BHSU student builds cosmic ray detector during Dept. of Energy-INFN internship in Italy

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Research at the BHSU Underground Campus at Sanford lab created an opportunity for Rachel Williams, Black Hills State University physical science and chemistry major from Spearfish, to earn an international internship with the U.S. Dept. of Energy and the National Institute for Nuclear Physics. Her work at the National Institute for Nuclear Physics, Catania section, included building a detector that is now the highest efficiency cosmic ray detector housed at the Institute.

Williams says she chose to attend BHSU because of the University’s involvement in research with, and proximity to, Sanford Underground Research Facility. In high school, Williams worked alongside Spearfish High School physics instructor Steve Gabriel on his project at Sanford Lab involving measuring ventilation using flow meters.

Green and gold surround BHSU as leaves approach peak color change

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Even the leaves are showing their Yellow Jacket spirit.

Dr. Tara Ramsey, Black Hills State University research associate with a Ph.D. in botany, says color change in Spearfish Canyon usually begins mid-September through the first week in October.

“In the higher elevations, Quaking Aspen tends to change early and is a bright yellow. It will contrast against the coniferous trees so you’ll see beautiful BHSU colors – green and gold,” said Ramsey.

Spearfish named Best Hippie Town in South Dakota

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Spearfish was recently named the “Best Hippie Town” in South Dakota by, a foodie and travel website which noted the mellow feel Black Hills State University contributes to the town.

One of 50 best hippie towns in America, Spearfish outshines all other towns in the state as a “hippie haven.” The list showcases the natural beauty of Spearfish combined with local businesses contributing to its unique culture.

“The town is home to Black Hills State University (go Yellow Jackets!) which gives the Downtown a rustic, mellow feel,” writes Thrillist columnist Matt Meltzer. “Combine that with the natural beauty of the surroundings and you’ve got yourself a hippie paradise.”

In the last year Spearfish has been recognized on a number of national lists including Best Small Towns by, No. 1 community to retire by South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Best Towns 2015: The Road Trip by Outside Magazine, and Top Small Town Getaways by Infogroup. 

BHSU receives National Science Foundation grant for undergraduate research at Sanford Lab

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Black Hills State University received a grant of more than $250,000 from the National Science Foundation to support students participating in undergraduate science research at Sanford Underground Research Facility.

The funds will be used over three years to provide 21 college-level students a 10-week hands-on research experience in physics, biology and chemistry.

Dr. Brianna Mount, assistant research professor at BHSU, said student researchers will have the opportunity to engage in research related to some of the most important physics experiments of our time – searching for dark matter and investigating properties of the neutrino.

BHSU students will showcase research; Heise will present during 18th Annual Black Hills Research Symposium

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Black Hills State University announces that Dr. Jaret Heise, science director of Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, will be the keynote speaker during the 18th Annual Black Hills Research Symposium, where more than 40 BHSU students will showcase their research and scholarly projects.

Heise’s keynote presentation will be held Thursday, March 24 at 2 p.m. in Clare and Josef Meier Hall on the BHSU campus in Spearfish, as a conclusion to the 18th Annual Black Hills Research Symposium March 22-24. The Symposium and keynote presentation are free and open to the public.