Phoenix Arizona


ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY News Release by azhttp

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY News Release

January 28, 2008

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY JOINS LARGEST TEACH-IN IN U.S. HISTORY
Thousands of campuses help focus nation on global-warming solutions

TEMPE, Ariz. — On Jan. 30 and 31, 2008, Arizona State University (ASU) will participate in Focus The Nation, an unprecedented teach-in on global-warming solutions.

Focus The Nation has created a teach-in model centered on the three most essential pillars needed to embrace solutions to global warming — education, civic engagement and leadership.

“Today’s college students are truly the greatest generation,” said Lewis & Clark professor of economics Eban Goodstein, author and project director for Focus The Nation. “No other generation has ever had to face this kind of challenge. We as educators would be failing if we did not prepare them with the tools to meet this challenge.”

“Arizona State University is delighted to take part in Focus the Nation,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “All of these efforts represent education at its finest. Our students have enormous power to use their education and passion to create positive change in the world.”

Focus the Nation activities at ASU include a pre-recorded web cast of the “The Two Percent Solution,” produced by the National Wildlife Federation. The web cast (which will be held at 6 p.m., Jan. 30) includes a four-minute segment on ASU’s School of Sustainability, the first school of its kind in the nation. The four-minute video will showcase what ASU is doing on Focus the Nation day and tell the larger story about sustainability at ASU.

The segment will come after a focused discussion about the “The Two Percent Solution” (reducing carbon emissions two percent every year to reach an 80 percent reduction by 2050), led by actor Edward Norton, climate scientist Steve Schneider, author Hunter Lovins (CEO, Natural Capitalism) and environmental justice leader Van Jones (executive director, Ella Baker Center, Oakland, Calif.)

The next day, Jan. 31, will include a range of global warming curricula presented by faculty members and guest speakers, flashlight tours at the Nelson Fine Arts Center, followed by a festival on Hayden Lawn from 11:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Student groups will host interactive activities, continuous viewings of “The Two Percent Solution” and the ASU video, and hear the “recycled” of The Sustainabillies band.

As a key part of Focus the Nation, students, faculty and staff will participate in the Choose Your Future vote and select what they think are the top five solutions for global warming. Participants can vote online (www.focusthenation.org ) or at the event. Voting results will be presented nationally to congressional offices on Feb. 18. All students who vote on the Choose Your Future ballot will be eligible to win a $10,000 leadership scholarship for a project to be completed by end of August 2008.

For more information on ASU’s Focus The Nation events, visit http://schoolofsustainability.asu.edu/events/focus2008.php.

# # #

Focus The Nation is an educational initiative on global warming solutions for America occurring at more than 1,000 universities and colleges and in all 50 states on Jan. 31, 2008. As the largest teach-in in U.S. history, Focus The Nation is preparing millions of students to become leaders in the largest challenge any generation has faced. For more information, visit http://www.focusthenation.org .

Contacts:
Lauren Kuby, ASU, (480) 730-8457
Lauren.Kuby@asu.edu
Garett Reiss Brennan, Focus the Nation, (503) 768-7990
garett@focusthenation.org

Skip Derra
National Media Relations Officer/Science Writer
Arizona State University
Media Relations
(480) 965-4823
(480) 965-2159 (fax)
skip.derra@asu.edu

Advertisements


NANOTECH’S HEALTH, ENVIRONMENT IMPACTS WORRY SCIENTISTS by azhttp

TEMPE, Ariz. — The unknown human health and environmental impacts of nanotechnology are a bigger worry for scientists than for the public, according to a new report published on line (November 25, 2007) in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
 
The report was based on a national telephone survey of American households and a sampling of 363 leading U.S. nanotechnology scientists and engineers. It reveals that those with the most insight into a technology with enormous potential — and that is already emerging in hundreds of products — are unsure what health and environmental problems might be posed by the technology.
 
Two Arizona State University researchers – Elizabeth Corley, an assistant professor in the School of Public Affairs, and David Guston, director of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society and a professor of political science, are co-authors of the paper.
 
“It’s unusual for experts to see a greater risk in new technologies than for the public at large,” Guston said. “But these findings do not mean that scientists are saying that there is a problem.”
 
“Scientists are saying, ‘we don’t know,” explained the study’s lead author Dietram Scheufele, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of life sciences communication and journalism. “The research hasn’t been done.’”
 
The new findings are in stark contrast to controversies sparked by the advent of major technologies of the past, such as nuclear power and genetically modified foods, which scientists perceived as having lower risks than did the public.
 
Nanotechnology is based on science’s newfound ability to manipulate matter at the smallest scale, on the order of molecules and atoms. The field has enormous potential to develop applications ranging from new antimicrobial materials and tiny probes to sample individual cells in human patients, to vastly more powerful computers and lasers. Already, products with nanotechnology built in include such things as golf clubs, tennis rackets and antimicrobial food storage containers.
 
At the root of the information disconnect, said Elizabeth Corley, who conducted the survey with Scheufele, is that nanotechnology is only now starting to emerge on the nation’s policy agenda. Amplifying the problem is that the news media have not paid much attention to nanotechnology and its implications.  
 
“In the long run, this information disconnect could undermine public support for federal funding in certain areas of nanotechnology research, particularly in those areas that the public views as having lower levels of risk,” Corley said.            
 
While scientists were generally optimistic about the potential benefits of nanotechnology, they expressed significantly more concern about pollution and new health problems related to the technology. Potential health problems were in fact the highest rated concern among scientists, Guston said.
 
Twenty percent of the scientists responding to the survey indicated a concern that new forms of nanotechnology pollution may emerge, while only 15 percent of the public thought that might be a problem. More than 30 percent of scientists expressed concern that human health may be at risk from the technology, while just 20 percent of the public held such fears.
 
Of more concern to the American public, according to the report, are a potential loss of privacy from tiny new surveillance devices and the loss of more U.S jobs. Those fears were less of a concern for scientists.
 
While scientists wonder about the health and environmental implications of the new technology, their ability to spark public conversation seems to be limited, Corley and Guston said.
 
That’s because “scientists tend to treat communication as an afterthought,” Wisconsin’s Scheufele added. “They’re often not working with social scientists, industry or interest groups to build a channel to the public.”
 
The good news for scientist is that of all sources of nanotechnology information, they are the most trusted by the public.
 
“The public wants to know more about nanotechnology,” Guston added. “That’s why the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at ASU is conducting additional polls of the public and of scientists, and is organizing a National Citizens’ Technology Forum to elicit informed public perspectives on nanotechnology.”
 
“The climate for having that discourse is perfect,” Scheufele added. “There is definitely a huge opportunity for scientists to communicate with a public who trusts them.”
 
In addition to ASU’s Corley and Guston and Wisconsin’s Scheufele, other authors of the Nature Nanotechnology report include Sharon Dunwoody, Tsung-Jen Shih and Elliott Hillback of University of Wisconsin-Madison. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation as part of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University and the UW-Madison Graduate School.



ASU scientists invite the community to explore Earth and space Nov. 3 by quotes
October 31, 2007, 2:07 pm
Filed under: Arizona, Arizona State University, ASU, Science | Tags: , , , , , ,


TEMPE, Ariz. – Kids of all ages, and their parents and teachers too, are invited to learn more about Earth and space through hands-on activities, experimental demonstrations and public lectures by ASU scientists from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 3, in the Bateman Physical Science Building, F-Wing, at ASU’s Tempe campus.
 
The annual Earth and Space Exploration Day, hosted by ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, provides a variety of educational activities “for kids ages 5 to 95,” says professor Tom Sharp, a mineralogist and associate director of the NASA Arizona Space Grant Consortium.
 
“The purpose of this event is to provide an up-close opportunity for the public to see some of the great science we do at ASU, while we engage students of all ages in fun, hands-on scientific learning activities,” says Sharp. “There is plenty of depth for adults too.”
 
For example, ASU planetary scientist David Williams will present a lecture on solar system exploration at 10 a.m., and give an overview of results from NASA’s and the European Space Agency’s 2007 planetary missions. Other lectures on black holes, volcanology, the Mars rovers and whether there will be an energy crisis are scheduled on the hour throughout the event.
 
In conjunction with the day of exploration, ASU’s Space Photography Laboratory is hosting an open house and will show the latest NASA planetary images.
 
There also will be special shows in the planetarium, including one on “Stars over Arizona.” Other educational activities include learning about minerals while panning for gold, examining rocks and meteorite sections under a microscope, viewing the sun with a solar telescope, and learning about volcanoes and their explosive eruptions.
 
The public can “take a tour” of Mars with the aid of a GeoWall 3-D projector. Children, and adults can bring in rocks for “Dr. Rock” to identify or water samples for “Dr. Water” to analyze. Minerals, gems, fossils from around the world, the only active seismograph in central Arizona, a six-story Foucault pendulum, and Columbian mammoth bones from Chandler, Ariz., will be on display in the Dietz Museum of Geology.
 
Also scheduled is a geology field trip to “A” Mountain (Hayden Butte) to learn about sedimentary rocks, volcanic rocks and geological structures exposed in Tempe.
 
There will be handouts and outreach information for teachers from the School of Earth and Space Exploration and other academic and research units in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, including the Institute for Human Origins and the School of Geographical Sciences.
 
“We hope the event will encourage children to learn that science is fun as they learn about how the Earth works and how we study it,” Sharp says.
 
For more information, contact the School of Earth and Space Exploration at (480) 965-5081 or http://www.sese.asu.edu <http://www.sese.asu.edu/> .



FAA sanctions air traffic controller program at ASU by quotes

FAA sanctions air traffic controller program at ASU

MESA, Ariz. – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave Arizona State University’s thumbs up on Oct. 16 to receive the Air Traffic Controller Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI) designation for its new air traffic controller degree program. The designation as a CTI program is highly coveted and only select institutions are awarded such status.

The FAA works with schools and universities all over the country as part of the CTI, which designates an institution as an FAA partner. Such a designation gives preferential hiring to students who successfully complete the degree program.

ASU’s program is unique in that it was designed by current and former air traffic controllers and faculty members. Students graduating from the program will have a combination of academics, theory and practical application, said Michael Pearson, clinical associate professor in the Department of Aeronautical Management Technology and an air traffic controller at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

“The program has been specifically designed to greatly reduce the time required for ASU students to enter the workforce and obtain full performance level (FPL) status,” said Pearson. “The first graduating class of CTI students is expected  by spring 2009.”

The FAA estimates that over the next 10 years, more than 17,000 air traffic controllers (ATC) will be needed to replace retiring ATCs.

Mandatory retirement is part of the profession. And many of the ATCs hired by the Federal Aviation Administration in the early 1980s are coming up on retirement.

To help meet the expected demand, the Arizona Board of Regents approved the Air Traffic Management bachelor’s degree in June 2006. As a new program, the  aeronautical department in the College of Technology and Innovation continues to develop relationships with the aeronautical industry as well as professionals in the ATC field.

“The CTI program is evolving, and it is likely in the near future that it may be possible for graduates of these programs to move faster through the FAA training than they have in the past,” said Richard Charles, chair and professor of the Department of Aeronautical Management Technology. “Graduates would still be considered trainees but they will be able to go to actual employment sites quicker.”

The program is tailored for traditional age students and those wanting a career change. Applicants for ATC jobs must be hired prior to reaching their 31st birthday due to federal law.

Students like Matt Bell, a junior in the program, started out as a professional flight student and is almost finished with his pilot ratings, but decided to switch his major. As part of the program, he is gaining first-hand experience through a three-semester internship in the air traffic control tower at Sky Harbor International Airport. It’s the only program in the country that offers an extensive internship as part of the curriculum, he said.

“Seven students are currently working in the tower or in the radar area,” said Bell. “As a tower intern, I’m learning the operation at Sky Harbor to become a controller, as well as doing other support functions like creating training materials and working with the simulators. At any other institution, I would not have this opportunity.”

If this internship program is successful, the FAA may use it as a model and implement it at other CTI designated colleges and universities.

“The CTI designation is a tremendous opportunity for our program, and the ancillary opportunities beyond the training of air traffic controllers are only limited by our own performance,” said Pearson.

For information about the program at ASU, visit www.poly.asu.edu/aviation or call (480) 727-1021.

***
ASU’s Polytechnic campus, located in southeast Mesa, offers bachelor and graduate degree programs, unparalleled by other Arizona state universities, through the Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness, the School of Applied Arts and Sciences, the College of Technology and Innovation, and the School of Educational Innovation and Teacher Preparation. Visit us online at http://www.poly.asu.edu.



Mars by azhttp

 
Heat-sensing ASU camera finds possible cave skylights on Mars volcano

TEMPE, Ariz. – A heat-sensitive camera designed at Arizona State University and flying on NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter has led a team of Mars geologists to find seven small, deep holes on the flanks of Arsia Mons, a giant volcano on Mars. The holes may be openings, called skylights, in the ceilings of underground caves. The discovery is announced in a scientific paper published recently in Geophysical Research Letters.
 
The team of scientists includes Philip Christensen of ASU, plus Glen Cushing and Tim Titus of the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, and Judson Wynne of Northern Arizona University. Cushing is the lead author on the paper.
 
Christensen, a Regents Professor of geological science in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, designed the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS), the instrument the team used to make the discovery. THEMIS has been photographing the Red Planet at five visual and 10 infrared wavelengths since February 2002.
 
Says Christensen, “THEMIS is the only heat-sensing imager currently orbiting Mars.” Temperature data was the key in spotting the potential cave skylights, he notes.
 
The features the team found are dark, nearly circular holes in the ground with diameters ranging from 100 to 250 meters (yards). The holes appear in images of Arsia Mons taken by Mars Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor orbiters. Located in the volcanic region of Tharsis, Arsia is one of the larger volcanoes on Mars, and like the rest of Tharsis, it has a heavy coating of dust.
 
“We examined the flanks of the volcano in nighttime infrared images, looking for temperature anomalies – warm spots,” explains Christensen. “Then when we re-examined the locations in daytime images, we saw the small, deep holes in the ground.”
 
Dusty surfaces, he says, become hot during the day, both on Earth and Mars. But at night, dust and sand give up heat quickly, becoming very cold shortly before sunrise. The holes, however, changed temperature by only two-thirds as much as the surface.
 
Says Christensen, “We saw that we had dark holes that are warm at night, but cool by day. The best way to explain that is to have a deep hole with vertical walls, so you’re looking at a rocky surface free from sand and dust.”
 
The team suggests that the deep holes on Arsia Mons probably formed as faults created stresses that opened spaces underground. Some of the holes are in line with strings of bowl-shaped pits where the surface has collapsed.
 
The observations have been discussed at meetings with other Mars scientists earlier this year, and they have prompted researchers using Mars Odyssey and NASA’s newer Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to search for other openings to underground spaces.
 
Christensen adds, “The temperature data is what really separated these unique holes from millions of run-of-the-mill craters, volcanic vents, and collapse pits.”
 



ASU RESEARCH GROWS TO MORE THAN $218 MILLION PER YEAR by azhttp

TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona State University’s research expenditures grew to $218.5 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30. This represents a growth of $15 million or 7.4 percent over last year’s total of $203.5 million.

“We experienced decent growth in our research expenditures this year, considering that there was a change in leadership in Congress that resulted in some delays in finalizing the Federal budget,” said R.F. “Rick” Shangraw, ASU’s vice president for research and economic affairs. “Right now, our proposal activity is up so I am optimistic about continued growth in our research portfolio.”

Shangraw added that at these levels of research expenditures, ASU ranks in the top tier of universities without a medical school and without an agricultural school.

The $218.5 million total research dollars for FY07 comes from a variety of sources. ASU spent $173.3 million in funds received from the federal government and industry, $39.1 million in state funds (including Technology & Research Initiative Funds from state sales tax revenue), $4.3 million in funds received by the ASU Foundation specifically for research projects and $1.8 million from local governments.

There was a wide variety of projects that brought in major funds in FY07, said Stephen Goodnick, ASU associate vice president for research. Those projects included the Flexible Display Initiative Center, which was funded at more than $9 million by the U.S. Army; the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera project got $3.85 million from NASA; a Department of Education grant of $2.35 million went to a program at ASU’s Speech and Hearing Science Department to maximize learning opportunities for young children with disabilities, and $2.35 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) was provided to the Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology for a project on “opening routes to math and science success for all students.”

The National Institutes of Health awarded $1.44 million for a project to explore plant-made microbiocides and mucosal vaccines; ASU’s Decision Center for a Desert City received $1.4 million from the NSF; and ASU’s Nanotechnology in Society Center received $1.4 million from NSF.

Fiscal year 2006 was the first time research expenditures at ASU topped the $200 million level, and it marked a doubling of research expenditures in a period of six years. This is a remarkable growth rate for a relatively young major research university, Shangraw said.

He adds that ASU is poised to earn more in research as it continues to bring on line new world class research facilities and ramps up its science expertise. Shangraw sees a maturing of ASU research efforts, which should result in securing larger grants for the university in the future.

“We have reached a point where a number of investigators are interested in and able to compete for much larger research projects,” he explained. “Our ability to match up against the more mature and better funded research institutions is a sign that we are moving into an elite tier of U.S. research universities. This is an exciting time for ASU research.”



ASU Gammage by azhttp

Nov. 26

ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave. (northeast corner of Apache Boulevard and

Mill Avenue)

Program:

“Triple Concerto (Mvts. 2 & 3)” by Ludwig Van Beethoven with Katherine

McLin, violin, Thomas Landschoot, cello, and Andrew Campbell, piano; “Suite

from the Opera, ‘Merry Mount’ ” by Howard Hanson; “Crown Imperial March” by

William Walton with Kimberly Marshall, organ; and “Mass in G Major” by Franz

Schubert with vocalists Carole FitzPatrick, soprano, Glenn Bennett, tenor,

Robert Barefield, baritone, and the Deseret Chorale (Michael Willson,

Conductor); Red Mountain Community College A Capella Choir; Sun Valley

Chorale (Glenn Bennett, Conductor).