Volume XXIX, No. 4 • Jan. 28, 2005

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Anderson receives grant to study lava flows on Mars - top


Dr. Steve Anderson, professor of geology and planetary science at Black Hills State University, recently received a three-year grant that will total more than $160,000 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to study lava flows on Mars.

The research, titled “Mars Lava Flow Surface Morphology: An Avenue for Answering Fundamental Questions Regarding the Rates and Styles of Volcanism,” focuses on the study of lava flow surfaces and what they can tell scientists about the eruptions that produced them. Anderson is serving as the principal investigator on the grant and with assistant by several colleagues including Dr. Mike Ramsey, University of Pittsburgh; Dr. Ellen Stofan, Proxemy Research; Dr. Sue Smrekar, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and Dr. Jon Fink, Arizona State University.

The researchers will refine existing models to better utilize the wealth of high-resolution data now available for flow surfaces on Mars. Their research will promote advances in assessing volcanic regions, ranging from interpretations of individual lava flows to regional and global interpretations of the rates and styles of volcanism evident in high-resolution mission data.

“Because primary lava surfaces pose significant danger, this work is vitally important for assessing volcanic areas on Mars through remotely sensed data,” Anderson said.

The proposed work for this project involves a series of carbowax experiments, field and modeling efforts to improve knowledge of the four key parameters that influence morphology of lava flows: underlying topography, composition, effusion rate and internal flow pathways. Anderson says the research will provide an improved understanding of lava flow emplacement over variable terrians, which has implications for how some Martian lava flows may have been emplaced.

Anderson is excited about the grant and notes, that although he has been involved in the Mars program for several years now, this is the first one for which he will serve as principal investigator.

“This research should open up some new opportunities as additional data are returned from the various missions that are currently focusing on Mars,” Anderson said.

He noted that even though much attention at NASA is focused on returning an astronaut to the Moon as a stepping stone for an eventual manned space flight to Mars, fundamental research on the red planet continues as well.

“Several current missions, including the Mars Global Surveyor Orbiter and two rovers, are providing an unprecedented opportunity to study another planetary body, and perhaps learn something about our own planet in the process,” Anderson said.

The professor said he’s often asked “why should we spend the time and money to study a different planet?” His usual reply is that it’s not all that different than studying people.

“You can learn a lot about people by studying one person, but you certainly can’t learn everything there is to know about people by just studying just one person. “It’s the same with planets. We can learn a lot about Earth by studying Earth, but we can learn a lot more about our home by looking at it as part of a group, paying attention to the differences we find among the planets and trying to learn why those variations exist,” Anderson said.

He noted that the technological spin offs from these types of missions filter down to technology companies and become incorporated into new products that makes business better and make lives a bit easier.

Anderson explained that there are three parts to the proposed research. The first part is understanding how the surface over which a lava flow travels affects its appearance.

“We really need to understand how underlying topography influences lava flow appearance so that we can eliminate it as an unknown variable and focus on those factors unique to Mars that affect lava flow surfaces,” Anderson said. “This task will involve some high-precision GPS and surveying work on active lava flows.”

Anderson plans to go to Hawaii in February to construct high-precision maps of old lava flow surfaces, then re-shoot the topography at equally-spaced time intervals as new lava flows cover the land.

“We’ll then create a final topographic map of the flow surface and use some statistical tools to look at relationships between pre- and post-eruption topography. We’ll also do several lava flow simulation experiments using polyethylene glycol wax extruded over different types of flow surfaces to look at these processes in a more controlled setting,” Anderson said.

The second stage of the research involves a study of how the interior structure of a lava flow affects its surface appearance. Again, the researchers will conduct simulations with wax and look at active Hawaiian lava flows with a thermal infrared camera to get an idea of where lava is traveling beneath the black surface crusts.

According to Anderson the final stage of the research focuses on the role of chemical composition on the surface appearance of lava flows.

“Lavas that have a relatively high percentage of silica are far more viscous and the increased viscosity affects the surfaces of lava flows on Earth in a profound manner,” Anderson said. “However, we don’t know how these more silica-rich lavas will behave under Martian conditions, and therefore have designed a number of simulation experiments and mathematical models that should enable us to understand what might happen on a different planet.”

He said the goal of this work is to obtain a better fundamental understanding of how to interpret geologic surfaces on Mars. Several large areas of Mars are dominated by volcanoes including the largest volcano in the solar system, Olympus Mons, which rises over 60,000 feet and covers an area larger than the state of Colorado.

Smith will be featured in Public Television segment - top


Black Hills State University professor Brian Smith, associate professor of biology at BHSU, will be featured on an upcoming “Dakota Life” segment on South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

The show, titled Black Hills Reptiles, will air Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. on the local public television channel.

Smith, along with several current and former students including Laurelin R. Cottingham, who helped write the final report on this work, as well as Jodi Massie and Ben Blake, were interviewed about a reptile and amphibian survey conducted in the Black Hills last summer.

Smith is an expert in reptiles and amphibians and has worked extensively in tropical biology, including fieldwork in the Philippine Islands, the Amazonian lowlands of Peru, the Pacific island of Guam, and tropical lowland areas in Costa Rica and Guatemala. Several BHSU students have accompanied Smith on research trips to the Caribbean. His research interests include tropical biology, conservation biology, and herpetology. At BHSU, he teaches conservation biology, ecology and vertebrate zoology.

Smith received a bachelor’s of science degree in zoology from Washington State University in 1980, a master’s degree in zoology from Louisiana State University in 1985, and a Ph.D. in quantitative biology from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1996. He joined the BHSU faculty in 1997.

BHSU faculty and friends plan jazz concert - top

Faculty members Christopher Hahn (left), Randall Royer, and Janeen Larsen will perform a variety of songs during the faculty jazz concert this Sunday. They will be joined by community members Dick Rausis, Terry Rathbun, John Kelly and Nick Brandriet.

Faculty and friends of Black Hills State University will hold a jazz concert Sunday, Jan. 30 at 2:30 p.m. in the recital hall in Clare and Josef Meier Hall.

The concert will feature BHSU music faculty members Mr. Christopher Hahn, trumpet; Dr. Randall Royer, guitar and bass; and Dr. Janeen Larsen, piano. Joining them will be Mr. Dick Rausis, guitar; Mr. Terry Rathbun, drums; Mr. John Kelly, keyboard; and Mr. Nick Brandriet, percussion.

The ensemble will perform a variety of songs in several combinations: as a sextet, a quartet, a trio, and several duos (piano/piano, guitar/piano, trumpet/guitar, guitar/guitar). Jazz styles ranging from blues to swing to bebop to fusion will be featured.

The concert is open to the public at no charge; however, scholarship donations will be accepted at the door. For more information call Larsen at 642-6241 or email JaneenLarsen@bhsu.edu.

South Dakota teachers invited to participate in spring 2005 Stock Market Game - top

South Dakota high school, middle school and elementary teachers are invited to participate in the spring 2005 South Dakota Stock Market Game (SDSMG) according to Don Altmyer, SDSMG coordinator and director for the Center for Economic Education at Black Hills State University.

“Teachers can use the Stock Market Game to motivate students to learn in classes such as social science, math, business, computers, accounting, personal finance, language arts and gifted studies,” Altmyer said. “All course content materials conform to national standards in economics, mathematics and business.”

The SDSMG is an innovative education tool that motivates students and supports teachers in building lifelong learning skills, and research has shown that there is no better way to teach the importance of savings and investing. The SDSMG is the only stock market simulation program endorsed by the South Dakota Council on Economic Education. Since 1977, more than 8 million students, from all 50 states, have participated in the program.

The SDSMG offers a vast library of learning materials correlated to national voluntary educational standards in math, business education and economics. Many teachers have incorporated the program into classes from fourth grade to college. According to Altmyer, teachers have discovered that the SDSMG actually boosts attendance and reduces dropout rates, and students who participate gain confidence and build self-esteem while having fun learning as they see how their classroom lessons apply to the real world.

Each team of three to four students begins with $100,000 in hypothetical “cyber dollars” and performs on-line research and stock trading. They work together practicing leadership, organization, negotiation and cooperation. In building their portfolio of stocks, students make decisions based upon what they have learned. To determine why certain stocks or the broader market performs, they need to understand how the economy works. To calculate the return on investment in their portfolio, they must apply conceptual math skills.

The teams with the highest-valued portfolios at the end of the 10-week trading period receive prizes and awards. Student team divisions include elementary/junior high (fourth through eighth grades), high school and college.

The team registration fee of $10 includes all teacher materials, student team materials and support materials including newsletters with information on the stock market and a variety of business and economic topics to stimulate student discussion in the classroom. Teachers sponsoring eight or more teams receive a free eight-week subscription to the Wall Street Journal delivered to the classroom for students to read current news events about particular companies and industries.

The spring 2005 SDSMG begins Monday, Feb. 14; registrations are due Friday, Feb. 11. A free workshop will be held on the BHSU campus Feb. 10 at 8 a.m. in Meier Hall Room 205.

Sponsors for the South Dakota Stock Market Game are the Center for Economic Education at Black Hills State University, the Central States Securities Industries Association and the South Dakota Council on Economic Education.

To participate in the spring 2005 SDSMG, register at www.smgww.org by clicking on the “Register Now” link and following the prompts.

Contact Altmyer at 642-6266 or DonAltmyer@bhsu.edu with any questions or concerns. More information is also available at www.bhsu.edu/businesstechnology/cee/stockmarketsimulation.html.

Black Hills State University releases dean's list - top

The academic affairs office at Black Hills State University has released the dean’s list for the fall 2004 semester. A total of 394 students were named to the dean’s list. Students must maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or above while taking at least 12 credit hours to be named to the dean’s list. Students are listed by hometown or current place of residence.

See list.

BHSU seeks nominations for alumni awards - top

The Black Hills State University Alumni Association is seeking nominations for their annual alumni awards.

The Alumni Association annually recognizes outstanding alumni for their achievements and accomplishments. Nominations are being accepted through Friday, Feb. 25. For more information contact Jodi Neiffer, director of alumni, at 642-6446 or email JodiNeiffer@bhsu.edu. A nomination form is available on the BHSU website at www.bhsu.edu/alumni, then choose alumni association.

Nominations are currently being accepted for five different awards. The Young Alumni Achievement Award honors young alumni who have distinguished themselves with outstanding achievements, contributions and service to society, the community and BHSU. Nominees must have attended college within the past 10 years.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is based on long-term achievements and service or contributions to BHSU. Nominees must have graduated at least ten years ago.

The Special Achievement Award recognizes a particular achievement or contribution to society or community. Nominees need not have graduated within a certain time frame to be eligible for this award.

The Excellence in Education Award honors those alumni who have made outstanding contributions in the field of education.

The Special Service Award is given to honor those alumni or friends of BHSU who have contributed long-term service or exceptional effort in a single program or project at BHSU. Nominees for this award may also be employees or former employees of BHSU.

Adventure Center will sell balloon bouquets - top

The Adventure Center at Black Hills State University is now selling balloon bouquets for all occasions for students, faculty, staff and student organizations.

Beginning in February, balloons will be available in the Adventure Center, located in the lower level of the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union.

According to Ellen Melaragno, senior secretary in the Student Union, the Adventure Center, which is staffed by students, decided to sell balloons to meet the needs of students, faculty and staff.

“Need a birthday, get well, congratulations, or anniversary bouquet or a bouquet to spruce up a special event your organization is planning? The staff in the Adventure Center can make a bouquet to suit your needs,” Melaragno said.

She noted that a wide assortment of Valentine’s Day balloons and bouquets will be available. Valentine orders placed by Friday, Feb. 11 will be ready to be picked up by Monday, Feb. 14.

She added that balloon bouquets could be created with specialty items, such as mugs, candy or stuffed animals, purchased from the University Bookstore.

“We are hoping this will enhance bookstore sales,” Melaragno said. “Campus balloons are convenient, affordable and colorful. I think it will really benefit the campus because the balloons will be available right in the Adventure Center.”

To place an order, visit the Adventure Center or call 642-6103.

Fundraising concert raises more than $2,700 for music scholarships - top

A fundraising concert and silent auction at Black Hills State University recently raised more than $2,700 for scholarships for music students.

A local group, Lyle, Doug, Rick and Paul, whose members are all BHSU graduates presented the concert. A number of local businesses donated auction items.

According to Susan Hove-Pabst, coordinator of the event and music faculty member at BHSU, the event was a success.

“We had a really good crowd which was appreciative of the musicians and their music. I'd say Lyle, Doug, Rick and Paul are kind of a community treasure. The crowd gave them a truly-earned standing ovation and, I believe, could have willingly gone on all night listening to the harmonies,” Hove-Pabst said.

According to Hove-Pabst, the musical group donated their performance, forfeiting their normal fee, to support their alma mater. They played a wide variety of music including rock, pop, country, and an original number.

The event was sponsored by the BHSU Friends of Music organization, a group of music and BHSU supporters whose main functions include raising money for music scholarships and generally promoting the BHSU music department and its events.

“The BHSU Friends of Music are the folks who come to the music events and act as greeters. The group works in cooperation with the music faculty,” Hove-Pabst said.

She indicated that BHSU plans to host Lyle, Doug, Rick, and Paul again. The group is also planning to do a yearly fundraiser of some sort.

Middle school science fair held at BHSU - top

Larry Vrooman, a Black Hills State University staff member, views a science fair display created by sixth graders Kelsey Jorgenson and Ashten Rombough and at the annual middle school science fair held recently at the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center on the campus of Black Hills State University.

A group of BHSU science students, the Health Sciences Student Organization, as well as education students who are completing their junior field experience helped conduct the science fair and served as judges. Several BHSU faculty and staff members also served as judges. Facilities services helped with the setup and cleanup.

According to Dr. Charlie Lamb, chair of the science department at BHSU, about 50 percent more presentations than previous years were included because, for the first time, nearly all of the eighth graders participated along with the sixth and seventh graders. He estimated there were 300 presentations highlighting the science research by 450 middle school students.

Grant opportunities announced - top

Below are the program materials received in the Grants Office, Woodburn 309, through Jan. 27. For copies of the information, contact the office at 642-6204 or e-mail requests to grants@bhsu.edu. Fellowship information will also be posted on the Student Union bulletin board near the information desk.

National Forest Foundation 2005 Wilderness Stewardship Challenge

The National Forest Foundation (NFF), chartered by Congress, engages America in community-based and national programs that promote the health and public enjoyment of the 192 million acre National Forest System, and accepts and administers private gifts of funds and land for the benefit of the National Forests. The NFF funds action-oriented projects that enhance the viability of natural resources while considering the benefits to, and the involvement of, surrounding communities. Projects address NFF’s four programmatic priorities – community-based forest stewardship, watershed health and restoration, wildlife habitat improvement, and recreation. In 2005, the NFF will accept applications from non-governmental, nonprofit organizations to accomplish ecosystem restoration-related work in Congressionally designated Forest Service Wilderness Areas.

Successful projects will: accomplish measurable on-the-ground results in designated USDA Forest Service Wilderness Areas; carry out ecosystem restoration-related work that supports the strategic goals of the National Forest Foundation and the USDA Forest Service; include a high level of community involvement, participation and support for the project; enhance the capacity of local group(s) involvement in the effective stewardship of wilderness areas; be applicable to other wilderness areas through easily transferable projects in multiple areas and sharing of lessons learned; support accomplishment of the USDA Forest Service “10-Year Wilderness Stewardship Challenge” for Wilderness Areas; be implemented in one year; develop monitoring models/plans that can be exported to other USDA Forest Service Wilderness Areas.

Projects will receive a higher rating if the non-federal cash match is already in hand at the time of application. The NFF Wilderness Stewardship Challenge will not fund projects that are seeking general operating support, policy or advocacy work, or cannot produce at least a 1:1 non-federal cash match within one year. The NFF will not fund educational curriculum development projects. Educational projects resulting in on-the-ground benefits to wilderness will be considered.

Deadline: March 4. Complete instructions and more information are available at http://natlforests.org/wilderness_stewardship_criteria.html.

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