SCB gets 2 behind-the-scenes tours at Callaway Gardens


On a beautiful Fall Saturday (September 28), 4 SCB student members traveled to Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain Georgia accompanied by advisor Bob Boyd and DBS faculty member and SCB supporter Sharon Roberts. After first stopping for lunch, we saw the Raptor show put on by staff members and then were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Raptor Facility, led by Manager Laura Mirarchi. We then went to the Day Butterfly House, where former AU student and current Manager Michael Buckman gave us a behind-the-scenes tour of that facility. Michael also gave students specimens (deceased) of some of the gorgeous moths or butterflies displayed at the Butterfly House: best souvenirs ever!

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Auburn professors develop disease-detection technology, possible key to new handheld detection devices


Two Auburn University professors have developed a disease-detection technology that could be the beginning of handheld, point-of-care devices – a breakthrough that would let health care professionals, first responders and even individuals quickly do blood tests for a variety of illnesses and conditions.

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SCB longleaf pine restoration tour


On Saturday, September 21, BioSci’s own Dr. Sharon Hermann led a tour of campus sites that are being used as demonstration areas for restoration of longleaf pine forests. Two hardy students braved the rainy conditions to learn from her expertise as a Restoration Ecologist. Longleaf pine forest, a dominant forest type over most of the Coastal Plain in the Southeastern United States, has been mostly lost over the past century (perhaps 3% of the original forest remains) because of logging and exclusion of fire from the landscape. Dr. Hermann showed us a site on campus that still has 18 old-growth longleaf pines (with ages over 200 years) along with other areas that she and colleagues have used for restoration research.

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Donnan conducts physics research in Germany and gives presentation at international conference in Scotland


Physics senior Patrick Donnan made his mark as an academic elite when he was chosen as a 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar , an honor bestowed upon approximately 300 students nationwide each year. The scholarship is widely considered the most prestigious award in the United States for undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.

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Night Swamp Walk taken by SCB


Under an almost full moon, Auburn University’s chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) took a nighttime stroll in swamps at Tuskegee National Forest after our second meeting of the semester (September 17). Led by Ecology Lab Coordinator Shawn “Gator” Jacobsen and DBS faculty member Debbie Folkerts, 13 members observed the eyeshine of spiders (and several species in webs and foraging on the ground), found a variety of other invertebrate species both aquatic and terrestrial, saw a fawn and several cottonmouths, found salamander larvae and Fowler’s toads, and otherwise explored the nocturnal world for several hours on a warm fall evening.

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2013 COSAM Visitation Day Registration Deadline October 11, 2013


We invite you to our Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) Minority High School Visitation Day on October 18, 2013 in the AU Student Center from 8:30 am - 2:30 pm CST.This event is hosted by the College of Sciences and Mathematics and is open to high school juniors and seniors who are interested in pursuing a career in science and mathematics. Parents, counselors, and teachers can accompany the students on this day. Please ask students to register online CLICK HERE by October, 11, 2013. The RSVP information will give us the students personal information so we can contact them directly with specifics about the day and provide them with city and campus maps.

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Professors Thomas and Konopka receive funding for dusty plasma research


Edward Thomas, Jr. , the Lawrence C. Wit Professor, and associate professor Uwe Konopka , both of the Plasma Sciences Laboratory in the Department of Physics, were awarded two new grants from the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation totaling $765,000 for the project titled, “The Physics of Magnetized Dusty Plasmas.”  According to Thomas, dusty plasmas are a novel, four-component plasma state consisting of ions, electrons, neutral atoms and charged microparticles (i.e., “dust”). The awards provide continuing support for the Magnetized Dusty Plasma Experiment (MDPX), a multi-user, next-generation, superconducting, high magnetic field plasma physics research instrument. The awards will support Auburn University students and researchers, and will also bring a diverse team of national and international researchers to Auburn to perform experimental and theoretical studies using the MDPX device. When combined with funding provided to the project collaborators at the University of Iowa and the University of California – San Diego, a total of more than $1 million has been provided to the MDPX research team. For more information on the Plasma Sciences Laboratory, visit the website.

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