26

Dr. Holly Downing, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Black Hills State University, discusses social insect nest architecture and the various methods and building materials used in the construction process of those nests with attendees at the recent Women in Science Conference in Rapid CityDr. Holly Downing, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Black Hills State University, discusses social insect nest architecture and the various methods and building materials used in the construction process of those nests with attendees at the recent Women in Science Conference in Rapid City.

Downing was one of three BHSU staff members who spoke at the conference, which was attended by over 400 female students from area middle schools and high schools. Dr. Cynthia Anderson, associate director of the BHSU Center for the Conservation of Biological Research (CCBR)/WestCore, and Carolyn Ferrell, researcher for CCBR, also spoke at the event.

BHSU students Melissa Lehmann, Rapid City, and Jodie Massie, Belle Fourche, who are part of the University’s new master’s degree program in Integrative Genomics, were on hand to answer questions about their experience at BHSU. The Integrative Genomics program, one of a handful offered nationwide, is a new area of biological research that seeks to place the functional significance of an organism’s many genes into an ecological and evolutionary context.