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DISCOVERY AND INNOVATION FROM NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY

Roots of understanding Unearthing the hidden power of the tree gene

“What matters to me is that look on a student’s face—the one that says, ‘I get it and I’m ready to run with it.’”

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Professor: Eugene Cruz-Uribe, Ph.D Teaches: History Expertise: Ancient Egypt and Early Christianity At NAU: Since 1989 Recently: Received a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture and research in Egypt on

graffiti in the royal tombs of the

Valley of the Kings.

What matters to you?

nau.edu The difference that matters.

Office of Public Affairs PO Box 4133 Flagstaff, AZ 86011-4133

Non-profit Org. U.S. Postage

PAID

Northern Arizona University

CLIMATE CHANGE ü PROFESSOR AS STUDENT ü BROADWAY LEGENDS


(welcome)

PUBLISHER

NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY

John D. Haeger President, Northern Arizona University office of public affairs

Lisa Nelson, Director

Isa Rueda, Executive Assistant

ADMINISTRATION John D. Haeger President

Northern Arizona University’s mission is diverse and synergistic, with our total outcomes being even greater than the sum of our individual efforts. Our institution has evolved into a thriving venture both on the Flagstaff campus and at sites throughout the state—it’s the essence of managing the university as an entrepreneurial enterprise. Yet it is innovation that guides our institution. Innovation leads to the “I get it!” moment in the classroom and to studies that can change the world. Horizons magazine focuses on some of the outstanding work being done by this institution that opens our eyes to new perspectives and our minds to what is possible. Whether it is Cathy Small’s widely acclaimed study of residential students or Paul Keim’s barrier-breaking work in genetics, Northern Arizona University is involved in important investigations that affect lives and help us understand ourselves. The university owes a debt of gratitude to longtime English professor William Grabe, who is serving as interim vice provost for research and graduate studies. Under Dr. Grabe’s leadership and with the full support of all faculty and staff at Northern Arizona University, our institution will continue to serve our students and our state through education and exploration. And through Horizons magazine, we will keep you informed.

M.J. McMahon Executive Vice President

David Bousquet Vice President, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

William Grabe Interim Vice Provost for Research and Dean, Graduate Studies Fred Hurst Vice President, Extended Programs and Dean, Distance Learning

DEANS

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18 Giving Regards to Broadway Legends

Daniel Kain College of Education

Kander and Ebb, creators of such Broadway classics as Chicago and Cabaret, are the subjects of a new book by a professor in the School of Music.

David Patton Consortium of Professional Schools Michael Vincent College of Arts and Letters

Robert Bulla President Fred Boice Ernest Calderón Fred DuVal Anne Mariucci Christina Palacios Gary Stuart Edward Hermes, Student Mary Venezia , Student

John D. Haeger President

NAU is one of four universities hosting regional centers for the National Institute for Climatic Change Research. Biology professors Bruce Hungate and George Koch will run the center with $10 million in funding over the next five years.

Molly Williams Vice President, University Advancement

ARIZONA BOARD OF REGENTS

EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS Janet Napolitano Governor of Arizona Tom Horne Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

Publishing Consultants Art Director, Lisa Altomare Prep Specialist, Julie S. Fong Production Manager, Laura Marlowe V.P./Creative Services, Beth Tomkiw Account Supervisor, Robyn LaMont, ’96 McMurry CEO, Chris McMurry, ’87 HORIZONS is published once annually by McMurry, 1010 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85014. For more information about custom publishing, call McMurry at 888-626-8779. Vol. 1 No. 1.

10 It’s a Small World 14 Know Sweat

Kathe Shinham Vice President, Administration and Finance

Laura Huenneke College of Engineering and Natural Sciences

Researchers show that certain genes in cottonwood trees can affect an entire ecosystem.

Professor Cathy Small spent a year in a residence hall as a student and emerged a better teacher.

Pat Haeuser Vice President, Planning, Budget and Institutional Effectiveness

Dennis DeConcini

Sincerely,

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Fred Estrella Chief Information Technology Officer

Mason Gerety College of Business Administration

Tiny sensor holds huge promise…Preserving tribal traditions in school...Going the distance for NAU...Helping emerging scientists… Arizona’s philanthropy potential

6 The Cottonwood Connection

Liz Grobsmith Provost, Vice President of Academic Affairs

Kathy Cruz-Uribe College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

2 Notes

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22 Attacking Killer Diseases

Paul Keim’s genetic research is using information learned from the biodefense arena to save lives around the world.

26 Highway to Healing

An annual motorcycle ride to the Vietnam Memorial is a 2,000-mile lesson in grief, healing, and support.

29 End Page

A historic homestead presents breathtaking views.

www.NAU.edu

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Diane Rechel, Public Affairs Coordinator

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‘Horizons’ helps discover the NAU story

Tom Bauer, Assistant Director Tracie Hansen, Public Affairs Coordinator


(notes)

Hopi footprints

Water sensor can save lives

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Above: An American soldier deals with the desert heat. Right: NAU Professor Tim Porter

Physics professor Tim Porter and fellow NAU inventors have developed a device to monitor human hydration levels for more effective and efficient care for the elderly, children, and soldiers. In many cases, it will save lives. Currently, fluid samples are sent to labs for hydration level analysis. The sensor produces highly accurate results within seconds of contact with a patient’s saliva and transmits data to a computer. The sensor is now being manufactured as two products. A handheld device, much like an oral digital thermometer, detects geriatric and pediatric hydration levels and is undergoing clinical testing at Stanford University’s medical

Archaeologists and teachers bring together historic knowledge for future generations

www.NAU.edu

Gilbert Naseyowma honors the Earth by farming it and feeding his Hopi family the sweet corn, watermelon, and other plants he grows. To make the arid land fruitful, he uses planting methods that Hopis have used for hundreds of years. To ensure these techniques are around for another hundred years, Naseyowma is working to create Hopi Footprints for future generations to follow. Naseyowma is one of many Hopi elders participating in Hopi Footprints, a project led by Northern Arizona University’s anthropology department, to build a culturally relevant, standards-based curriculum for Hopi schools. It uses archaeology and Hopi elder oral history as its foundation. “Hopi Footprints is a powerful force for archaeologists and teachers to bring together historic knowledge for future generations,” says George Gumerman, anthropology chair. “The Colorado Plateau is full of archaeological sites that provide a stimulating arena for understanding traditions linked to today’s Hopi people.” Stories and traditions linked to the land are the foundation for Hopi Footprints, which launched at Hopi’s K-6 Moencopi Day School in 2003. Anthropologists worked with tribal members such as Naseyowma to develop curriculum tools. Lesson plans and training provide teachers ways to incorporate cultural material into their classrooms. Intensive on-site visits, training, Saturday seminars, and summer institutes help facilitate the program’s success. The Hopi villages are the oldest continuously occupied villages in North America and are located atop three high mesas in north­ eastern Arizona. Through Hopi Footprints, more than twenty-five hours of interviews with elders and archaeologists are being incorporated into accessible video, images, maps, CD-ROMs and web availability, and more will follow. The program just received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to continue the program for another three years. For information, go to www.idig.nau.edu. —Diane Rechel

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facility. A tiny chip, to be bonded to the human tooth, will be produced for U.S. military personnel deployed in hot climates. Arizona Technology Enterprises negotiated patents and exclusive licensing of the sensor for NAU and marketed the device to Californiabased Cantimer Inc. to manufacture the product for sale to the military and health care industries. NAU will receive a generous share of profits from sales if the products succeed on the market. Though Porter is cautious about revenue expectations, warning that “the success rate of new companies is quite low,” he is optimistic that medical applications will be lucrative. The sensor’s replaceable polymer tips can be also be used to detect disease, exposure to pathogens, and environmental contamination. Porter and his team continue to research further applications and are currently testing the device for measuring carbon tetrachloride contamination in Nevada well water. —Margaret Conley

PHOTOGRAPHY BY (TOP LEFT) GETTY IMAGES, (BOTTOM LEFT) JERRY FOREMAN

www.NAU.edu

lead to culture-wise classrooms


statistics. It will also support costs for travel, research materials, technical tools, workshops, administrative support and internships on and off campus. According to Watwood, educating graduates with a broader understanding of their research implications will give them “the edge to become leaders in their fields.” This year the interdisciplinary research approach is being applied in various projects, including one student’s exploration of how spider monkeys in Nicaragua move across landscapes that are being modified by human use. The results will help local conservation groups protect the monkey population. Other research, focused on uncovering and characterizing new microbial species, could lead to a better understanding about the impact of soil nitrogen cycling on eco­ system health. —Diane Rechel

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Two NAU students, in the Integrative Biosciences curriculum, explore a swampy ecosystem

Alumni report on NAU experience

99% 98% 95% Report good or excellent overall experience

Satisfied with faculty

Satisfied with post-college career

Teaching is everywhere Arizona wants to learn

in the state that enrolls twenty-five students or more in a cohort. Haeger says NAU is prepared to establish branch campuses and even stand-alone regional universities when enrollment dictates. The principle of taking courses to where they are needed, known as “Expand on Demand,” allows NAU to adapt quickly to continually changing student and community needs. With new facilities opening in Phoenix and Tucson and expanded partnerships under way with Yavapai College and Maricopa Community Colleges, the university is well positioned to serve the growing needs for higher education. “Through distance learning, students have educational opportunities and choices they’ve never had,” says Fred Hurst, vice president for Extended Programs and the dean of Distance Learning. “More than ever, students are juggling work and family commitments that make a traditional learning model impossible for them.” —Carla Andrews-O’Hara

Predicting Arizona’s

PHOTOGRAPHY BY (LEFT) MARIBETH WATWOOD

www.NAU.edu

Grant aids emerging scientists

An increasing number of students are looking for options. Options that include flexibility, convenience, and access to high-quality higher education opportunities. “Northern Arizona University has always been a residential institution, but our distance learning mission has become deeply entrenched in the university’s culture and within Arizona,” says university President John Haeger. While NAU enrolls more than 13,000 students on the Flagstaff campus, it also serves an additional 7,100 students across the state through extensive distance learning initiatives. Access to higher education is a priority for Gov. Janet Napolitano, the Arizona Legislature, and the Arizona Board of Regents as they struggle with the state’s burgeoning population. Haeger even has committed the institution to the “NAU Promise,” which states that the university will establish traditional classroom bachelor’s degree programs at any location

Charities and foundations eyeing Arizona should know that the state will have a potential of about $596 billion to donate over the next fifty years. The key word in that finding is potential. In fact, a conservative estimate of how much will actually be donated to charity is about 5 percent—$29.7 billion. That generalization can be found in Arizona Philanthropy Indicators: A Philanthropy Indexed Transfer of Wealth Study for 2005-2055. Wayne Fox, director of NAU’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research in the College of Business Administration, oversaw an analysis that estimated Arizona’s propensity for philanthropic giving and the potential available for philanthropy in Arizona. According to Ann Keller, a research assistant in the bureau, the study used Arizona ZIP codes because of the economic disparity found in the state’s fifteen counties. Using the national variables—median household income; dividend, rental income, and interest income; agriculture value of land and buildings; residential real property— as a benchmark, each ZIP code’s total transfer of wealth was adjusted up or down in comparison to the national benchmarks. “We moved on to figuring out how to show the timing of the transfers of wealth for each ZIP code using the Bureau of Vital Statistics Life Tables,” Keller explains. For example, the index shows that in 2045, Douglas, Arizona’s 85607 ZIP code will experience a spike in transfer of wealth along with the state and the entire nation. Yet Douglas 85608 will see a spike in 2015. —Tom Bauer

philanthropy potential Arizonans will donate an estimated $29.7 billion or more to charity over the next fifty years.

www.NAU.edu

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Distance learning

What do spider monkeys, soil nitrogen and fungal biodiversity have in common? They are just a few examples of research topics supported by the National Science Foundation at Northern Arizona University. The university recently received a $2.9 million grant from the foundation to establish a multidisciplinary graduate training program called Integrative Biosciences: Genes to Environment. The five-year Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship grant will help train a new generation of scientists with the technical and professional skills needed to address critical environmental issues. This program is designed to target links between genetic information and environmental systems. “The grant will also help NAU educate well-rounded scientists who are able to bridge gaps between the scientific community and the public,” said Maribeth Watwood, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. The grant will support multidisciplinary education and research. It will fund new courses focused on topics such as scientific ethics, cultural issues, and specialized

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(notes)


The Cottonwood Connection

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By Lisa Nelson

The unique DNA of each cottonwood tree determines the level of tannins in its leaves.

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Tannins affect the decomposition rate of cottonwood leaves.

The rate of leaf decomposition impacts the makeup of microbes in the soil.

Domino effect Among the genes under study are those that control the level of tannins in cottonwoods, which are dominant trees in riparian habitats in the West. Different cottonwood trees have different levels of tannins. (Tannins are what give wine an astringent taste and are also used in leather tanning.) These tannin levels drive the structure of a riparian forest, according to Whitham. As he explains, tannins affect the decomposition rate of cottonwood leaves, which in turn affects the fertility of soils, which affects the microbes in the soil, which affect the insects that live in the soil or eat the leaves, which affect the birds that feed on the insects, and so on. “What we looked at were the indirect genetic effects of one species on other species,” said Stephen Shuster, co-researcher and NAU professor of biological sciences. More specifically, they discovered how the genotype of one organism influences the phenotype of other species.

www.NAU.edu

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tanding in a room full of people, it’s easy to see individual differences in hair color, skin tone and facial features. Standing in a forest, one tree looks pretty much like another. However, just as with humans, genetics make each tree uniquely different. A group of scientists suggests that genes, which control individual characteristics of a particular tree, may also influence the characteristics of the entire ecosystem in which that tree lives—from the microbes in the soil to the animals that make the forest home. These tree traits, they say, drive the evolution of the ecosystem. The effort to prove such a theory would seem daunting at best, given the thousands of plant and animal species that constitute even simple communities. But lead investigator Tom Whitham of Northern Arizona University’s Biological Sciences Department and his team of researchers have developed a model system. “We’re pushing a whole new field of research,” Whitham acknowledges of their work to establish a framework for ecosystem genetics. “What we’ve done is zero in on a foundation species, because not all species are as equally important ecologically,” Whitham said. The foundation, or key, species in this case is the cottonwood tree, which is the first tree to have all its genes sequenced, or mapped.

The microbes influence the community of insects living there, which, in turn, affect the birds and other animal life in the ecosystem.

Illustration by Laura Williams

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www.NAU.edu

Tr e e g e n e s t i e d t o e c o s y s t e m e v o l u t i o n


lead investigator:

Increased diversity It’s a premise with far-reaching implications. Consider, for example, conservation efforts to preserve biodiversity in the face of habitat destruction, climate change, and other impacts on the environment. Planting trees that are genetically diverse will result in increased diversity of other species in the dependent community. The greater the tree

All of the experiments, so far, have exceeded the researchers’ expectations. “Initially we thought that the [genetic influences] would be more localized and that environmental effects would be most important as we moved beyond the local common garden setting to all of the western U.S.” In the end, however, Whitham says, “Plant genes are far more important than we ever expected them to be.” Now the researchers want to know if their findings hold true in different environments around the world. “To understand how important something is, you have to test in multiple locations,” Whitham says. A parallel study in Australia that examines the eucalyptus tree as the foundation species is yielding the same results as the studies on cottonwoods. And Whitham has just returned from South Africa and Borneo in Southeast Asia, where he is planting the seeds for further study.

www.NAU.edu

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o study the genetic framework of ecosystems in the wild, Tom Whitham and his team have planted several experimental “common gardens” of cottonwoods in Arizona and Utah. The trees are propagated at NAU’s research greenhouse. Through DNA fingerprinting in NAU’s Environmental Genetics and Genomics facility, the scientists know the precise genetic makeup of each tree. In one experiment, Whitham’s group worked with the Bureau of Reclamation to plant about 10,000 trees at the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge along the lower Colorado River, about 20 miles south of Blythe, California. The purpose was to examine how genetic diversity at the stand level can have a positive effect on the biodiversity and provide habitat for rare species. “The Bureau of Reclamation gets restoration out of this project, and we get this incredible experiment,” says Whitham.

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diversity, the greater the chance of associated species surviving environmental degradation. “It’s not enough to save rare and endangered species. We need to save genetic diversity in the foundation species,” says Jennifer Schweitzer, co-author of the Nature Reviews Genetics paper and postdoctoral researcher at NAU. “Having high genetic diversity in these foundation species is insurance against changes in the future.” The research also has ramifications when it comes to genetically modified organisms and their effects on the landscapes in which they are introduced. For example, grasses that are genetically altered to prevent weed growth could pass that resistance along to exotic plants, which then might take over a community and change the evolution of that ecosystem. More than fifty researchers from the United States, Canada, and Australia are studying this genetic driver of community structure and ecosystem evolution. The work is funded by a $5 million Frontiers in Integrative Biological Research grant from the National Science Foundation. The project includes scientists from a multi­ tude of disciplines because, as Whitham says, “No one person has all the skills to do this.” “This is an exciting project with global impact, drawing on the expertise of geneticists, ecologists, molecular biologists, biogeographers, and others,” says Chris Greer, program THOMAS WHITHAM director at the National Science Regents’ Professor, Department of Foundation. “The results are Biological Sciences expected to not only shed light Education: B.S. in plant pathology on how complex biological and horticulture from Iowa State communities function but to University; M.S. in zoology from Ohio inform efforts to address the State University; Ph.D. in biology from impact of human activities, the University of Utah such as landscape fragmentaExpertise: population and community tion, on stressed ecosystems ecology, ecological genetics and plantacross the planet.” NAU herbivore interactions

need to preserve genetic diversity in the foundation species.”

Study gardens reap restoration benefits

A couple of definitions are helpful here. Genotype is the internal genetic makeup of an organism—its DNA. Phenotype refers to the exterior observable traits of organisms. What the research group says is that the genet­ically controlled tannins of the cottonwood (genotype) influence the biologic structure (phenotype) of the ecosystem. “The assumption was you couldn’t track this [genetic influence] because there are so many species involved,” Shuster says. “What struck me was all the information the research group had on the biology associated with cottonwood trees.” The abundance of data helped Shuster in his quan­ titative genetic analysis. Not only did the team pinpoint this genetic influence, it also demonstrated it is inherited. That is, the offspring of cottonwood trees will support the same communities of organisms and ecosystem processes that their parents supported. “The traditionally held belief is that communities are assemblages of organisms, not evolved units. This research suggests that communities are not necessarily static assemblages, but are highly dynamic systems,” says Shuster. Their work has been published in Nature Reviews Genetics and the journal Evolution.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY (LEFT) MICHAEL MERTZ

www.NAU.edu

“It’s not enough to save rare and endangered species. We


It’s a Small world after all

Small’s schedule changed radically after her book My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by

star pupil:

CATHY SMALL Professor, Department of Anthropology Education: B.S. from University of Massachusetts-Amherst; M.S. from East Stroudsburg University, Pa.; and Ph.D. in anthropology from Temple University Expertise: transnationalism and immigration, education, gender studies, and computer simulation with geographical specialty in the South Pacific

Becoming a Student was released in August 2005 under the pseudonym Rebekah Nathan. A paperback version of the book was re-released in August 2006 by Penguin. In her book, Small reveals that she became a student for an academic year at NAU—what she calls AnyU—to show that if you really want to know what students are experiencing, you have to become one. Small did, living in a traditional-style residence hall and attending classes with her fellow students. She revealed who she really was only when conducting formal interviews, when asked directly, or if there was a compelling reason to tell a fellow student. Since the publication of her book, she has become a celebrity of sorts and, more important, she says she has become a better teacher. She now travels throughout the United States as well as Canada and Europe discussing how universities can better relate to students. “I’m surprised at how much interest has been shown in my book, especially a year after it was printed,” Small says. “Across the country, I’m learning that the situation on campuses is not at all different regionally

www.NAU.edu

See one, be one

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athy Small seems downright blithe about her upcoming schedule filled with newspaper and TV interviews as well as conferences, lectures, and whatnot. She wasn’t so calm a year ago, nervously awaiting a live interview on MSNBC. A lot has changed for Small since then. Sitting in a conference room on the Northern Arizona University campus on a sunny summer day, Small sips from her Starbucks Frappuccino and talks about her upcoming commitments as if she were talking about going to the dry cleaners. “I have an interview with The New York Times that week, and after that I’ll be going to Phoenix to be on a morning TV show,” she says. “So if you want to get my picture, we’ll have to do it soon, because after that things get crazy.” Her “crazy” schedule includes lectures at the University of Manitoba in Canada, the University of Illinois, Arizona State University, the Association of Fraternity Advisors, the University of Cincinnati, and, of course, her home institution. That’s only a small portion of her fall schedule, and it continues like that throughout the academic year.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY (LEFT) JERRY FOREMAN, (RIGHT) DAN VERMILLION

www.NAU.edu

Professor Cathy Small immerses herself in dorm life and discovers a better teacher


with student permission. But she also tried to live as a student herself, and take five classes, join student clubs, and play recreational sports. “I found out quite unwittingly that if I walked like a duck, and quacked like a duck…then people thought I was a duck,” she recalls. “It was a great way for me to see what students have to go through.” Since publication of her book, she has heard a few researchers sniff that her methods were unethical because she wrote under a pseudonym and didn’t identify herself as a professor in her classes. (She did, however, identify herself as a researcher.) Academics and students who have read the book, however, have been overwhelmingly supportive. Even the Arizona Republic wrote, “Lower those eyebrows, you academic purists.

No test, no text Before her life as a student, Small and her colleagues had often wondered why students behaved as they did: not taking advantage of office hours to talk with their professors, not doing the assigned reading, being indifferent to learning. What she learned is that there is so much more to college today than when she and many of her

colleagues attended. Jobs, volunteering, out-of-class student activities make time precious, and class work is prioritized with the rest of a student’s duties. “If the material in class readings isn’t going to be on a test, then the readings go on the bottom of the list,” Small says. Additionally, universities across the nation, including NAU, dedicate a lot of time and resources to building “community.” Small notes that despite group living in residence halls, students tend to keep a small circle of friends— often the same friends from high school—and even can feel isolated from the larger community despite the best efforts of the university.

In her book, Small writes, “When I asked students in interviews whether they felt they had a ‘community’ at AnyU, most said yes. But what they meant by community were those personal networks of friends. … It was these small, egocentric groups that were the backbone of most students’ social experience.”

‘Mom’ on board Small made some inroads into social circles after playing in dorm volleyball games, but as a fiftysomething “mom” figure, she had her own room and often was observing from the outside looking in, despite a minor flap when she

was busted for drinking a beer in a restricted area. “For students, informal student life is absolutely central— often much more important to their college experience than what goes on within their classes,” she says. Sixty-five percent of what students say they learn in college occurs outside the classroom, according to Small’s interviews with students. The professor suggests that living-learning programs truly integrate academics with living circumstances, with common courses and full professors participating. For instance, consider university “diversity” goals. “Despite

curricular efforts at diversity, people tend to choose people like themselves for friendships,” Small points out. “To accomplish the real goals of diversity—such as personal intimacy and respect for those different from oneself— universities must consistently integrate diversity into their plans beyond the formal curriculum. Friendships grow out of who you live with.” Small hopes that her experience can be a lesson for students and professors alike. “My biggest hope,” she says, “is that it will open a dialogue between us about what makes for an engaging and successful college experience.” NAU

Freshman Observations

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ollowing are excerpts from My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student, by Rebekah Nathan. The book was first published in 2005 by Cornell University Press. It was released in paperback in August 2006 by Penguin Books.

On setting priorities Cynthia shared a class with me which she regularly “ditched.” It is a matter, she explained, of priorities. She is an art major and very serious about her art, which takes up most of her time. In addition to her heavy studio schedule, Cynthia works— both on campus, at an office, and off campus at a local bar. She stopped her regular attendance at two student groups she had joined and admits, “I don’t see friends a lot. My social life is my [bar] job.” Aside from a close roommate from high school, the only other friends she sees are people in her art classes. She eats irregularly, by her admission, whenever she can fit it in, and so she passed on a meal ticket: “I have to remind myself, ‘Don’t forget to eat!’”

On community life During the course of an entire semester, what could be called “community life” or even “social activity” was extremely sparse. I saw one or two card games in the lounge on my floor, one simulation game meeting, scattered study groups that assembled in the dorm to work on a class project, and a Christian group who occasionally used space to work on volunteer projects.

Interviews with the few students who were in the lounges during my observations revealed that the majority came there to “get away”—from a gathering in their room, music blasting on the hall, or a roommate with a guest. In other words, the community spaces were often a retreat from social interaction, a way to create more private options. They were no longer, as their builders had probably envisioned, primarily a place for people to come together and participate in joint activities.

On ‘friendship’ and foreign students I typically asked what I considered to be a straightforward question: “Do you have friends who are American?” “I’m not sure,” answered one Japanese girl. “My American roommate might be my friend.” “What makes you unsure?” I queried further. “Well, I like my roommate,” she explained, “ and sometimes even I cook and we eat together at home, but since August [six months earlier] we have gone out together three times. That’s really not much, not what friends would do in my country, so I don’t know.” Another student responded to my question about friends with one of his own. “What do you mean by ‘friends,’” he asked, “my version or the American version?”

www.NAU.edu

Sixty-five percent of what students say they learn in college occurs outside the classroom.

Small’s goal was to protect students’ identities. Her methods look acceptable. And interesting.” Small says, “The previous ‘issues’ are not an issue anymore. Readers can see that the book is a compassionate description, not an exposé.” Importantly, she adds, no student quotes or stories appeared without their permission. What remains an issue is the chasm between universities— including academics and administrators—and students. “Universities, institutions and other organizations are trying other approaches to student life, and I think they’re looking for an integrated way to deal with opposites: campus life here and academics there,” she says. Kathryn Cruz-Uribe, dean of NAU’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, says Small brings a unique anthropological perspective to her study. “There are quite a few interesting books available that focus on students and campus life, but Cathy’s book stands out,” Cruz-Uribe says. “Her insights are informed by her very perceptive observations of the small things that many of us don’t even think about. “All of us who teach and interact with students on a daily basis can learn a lot from reading Cathy’s work,” she adds. “And as an added bonus, it is a pleasure to read— well written and very engaging.” 

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or by size. It’s the same disconnect people are wrestling with.” Small never wanted the attention she has received, but after being outed by a New York newspaper, Small chose to go public with her real name and her research. Small is an anthropologist and ethnographer in NAU’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and she knows that if you want to know about a different culture, you have to immerse yourself in it. She listened to her classmates and fellow dorm residents, observed, took notes, and conducted interviews


By Diane Rechel

The campus is home to the new Western Regional Center for the National Institute for Climatic Change Research—one of four sites in the country getting its finger on the pulse of the Earth’s response to changing climates. The work of NAU biology professors Bruce Hungate and George Koch impelled the Department of Energy to choose NAU for the home of its regional center. Their research on how land ecosystems influence change by releasing and absorbing greenhouse gases is the type of scientific evidence the DOE is seeking in order to help inform climate change policy. The center opened in late 2005, and now the biologists are seeking environmental research from scientists in thirteen western states, including Alaska and Hawaii. They are in charge of awarding, administering, and tracking $10 million of support to research examining climate change effects on ecosystems and atmosphere.

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NAU’s global warming research

heats up

PHOTOGRAPHY BY (LEFT) BILL HATCHER/GETTY IMAGES

Tracking human influence “Everybody acknowledges that over hundreds, thousands, and millions of years the climate has gone through periods of relative stasis and periods where it changes a lot,” Koch says. “No one is claiming that this is the first time the climate has changed, but this is the first time we’re able to track the human influence on the change. There’s no question that we are adding lots of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.” He says burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gases are increasing the concentration of those gases rapidly compared to how they have changed over history. “It’s the potential rate of climate change that has people concerned.” The climate research center is sponsored by the DOE’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research with a goal to mobilize university researchers from around the country in support of the government’s climatic research objectives. Regional centers are hosted by NAU, Pennsylvania State University, Duke University, and Michigan Technological University. “Our job is to foster the best research on the effects of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems of the U.S.,” Koch says.

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sweat

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know

ar-reaching implications of climate change are getting a close-up look at Northern Arizona University.


expert training:

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BRUCE HUNGATE

GEORGE KOCH

Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences Education: B.A. in music and English from Stanford University; B.S. in biological sciences; and Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley Expertise: ecosystem processes, particularly biogeochemical responses to global changes, such as rising atmospheric carbon dioxide, climate change and altered land use

Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences Education: B.S. and Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University Expertise: carbon dioxide on plants and terrestrial ecosystems—having worked for Swedish research institute International GeosphereBiosphere Programme before coming to NAU

(

Experiments in precipitation manipulation in the deserts of the southwestern United States

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www.NAU.edu

Hungate and Koch track the research results and ensure the information is accessible worldwide by posting it on the National Institute for Climatic Change Research web site, www.nicr.nau.edu. They also are conducting their own environmental research, continuing work with numerous climate research projects from previous grants, and they are working to

provide information useful should a “cap and trade” system of greenhouse gas management come about for American industries. A cap and trade policy would encourage industry and governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and one way to do so is by investing in land management activities that act as natural “sinks” for greenhouse gases. “People should care about climate research,” Koch says. “We need to understand how our natural systems could change in the future, particularly the systems we are heavily dependent on for producing food, fiber, and fuel. For example, if Midwestern cornfields are going to be less productive, that is something our country needs to know and plan for accordingly.” According to Koch, when climate change alters the base of food chains, which is largely plants, it has a ripple effect on other organisms. “What does it mean for a ponderosa pine forest that it might get warmer? Will that change the productivity of those ecosystems?” he asks. He says there are many “terrestrial ecosystem sites” in the United States that are not expected to respond the same to a warming environment. They may be more productive when it warms up because they are in a cold area right now, or they may be less productive because they are on the margin of being water-stressed, as in the Southwest.

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How climates alter ecosystems Koch and Hungate also hope to foster more research about how ecosystems influence climate change, in addition to how climate influences ecosystems. “A good example of how the ecosystems affect climate is in the boreal forest in Alaska where the warming has been the strongest. When those systems are warmer, it means the growing season is longer. It’s not frozen so much of the year, and plant productivity goes up as a result,” Koch says. “It could be that the forest will take up more carbon dioxide. It could also be that the warmer soils decompose more rapidly and return more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.” Projects supported by the center include investigating carbon dioxide exchange in the California ponderosa pine forests, the short-grass prairies in Colorado, the deserts of Nevada, and the Douglas fir forests in the Pacific Northwest. Three additional projects focus on the effects of human-made aerosols—tiny particles in the air whose effects on climate are difficult to predict. Some of the newer projects include research on the potential impacts of warming and precipitation change in the boreal forests of Alaska, a study of how warming may affect high-elevation conifer forests in the Rocky Mountains, precipitation manipulation experiments conducted in deserts of the southwestern United States, and the regional drought impacts to piñon-juniper ecosystems of the Colorado Plateau. NAU

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A study of the potential impacts of warming and precipitation change in the boreal forests of Alaska

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The ripple effect

climatic projects on the docket:

PHOTOGRAPHY BY (FAR LEFT) NANO CALVO, (LEFT) MICHAEL MERTZ, (OPPOSITE TOP) PETER ESSICK/ GETTY IMAGES

Koch and Hungate issued a call for research proposals from universities in the western region and received ninety-five requests for funding. After examining the proposals they requested more in-depth information from twenty-five of the researchers. The center is now funding four major projects receiving roughly $125,000 a year for three years. That’s just the tip of the melting iceberg. Hungate and Koch will also synthesize the research they receive, distilling the information for the DOE and science publications, since both are conduits for getting science information in front of policymakers. “There is growing interest in managing emissions of greenhouse gases. People, including politicians, recognize the importance of mitigating climatic change,” Hungate explains. “Research funded by the centers explores the likely impacts of climatic change and should help inform sound environmental policy.”

Investigations of carbon dioxide exchanges in the short grass prairies in Colorado and other areas of the West

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Professor’s book gives regards to Broadway By Diane Rechel

AMES LEVE STILL REMEMBERS THE MAGIC HE FELT AS A BOY SEEING 1776, HIS FIRST BROADWAY MUSICAL. William Daniels, playing John Broadway. They won Tony Awards Adams, and Howard DaSilva, playfor Cabaret, Woman of the Year, and ing Benjamin Franklin, danced and Kiss of the Spider Woman. In 2002, sang their way into Leve’s heart, their musical Chicago was adapted to igniting a lifelong fascination with film and earned six Academy Awards. Broadway that has resulted in a book Well remembered for the title song about two of its legendary writers. from the 1977 film musical New York, Leve, music historian and direcNew York, starring Liza Minnelli and tor of graduate studies in music at Robert De Niro, they are also known Northern Arizona University, is in for fueling the careers of Minnelli the process of completing a volume and Chita Rivera, for whom the team for the Yale Broadway Masters expressly wrote material. In 1998, Series about the work of his favorite Kander and Ebb were honored with Broadway composer John Kander lifetime achievement awards at the and lyricist Fred Ebb. 21st Kennedy Center Honors. “This project is a natural for me,” “Their work has resonated with says Leve of the book, due out in audiences in an age during which the 2007. “I’ve had a lifelong passion musical suffered a precipitous decline for musical theater and once studied in American culture,” Leve says. with Kander.” Kander and Ebb’s Curtains, which they began in the mid-1980s, opened Winning performances in Los Angeles in August 2006 with The team of Kander and Ebb is the its path set toward a Broadway openlongest music and lyrics partnership ing as soon as a Broadway theater in Broadway history. They worked becomes available. The musical mystogether from 1962 to Ebb’s death tery thriller stars David Hyde Pierce, in 2004. Kander, 79, continues who Leve predicts will win a Tony to work. Award for his performance. Kander and Ebb wrote about “I am hoping Kander and Ebb will twenty-two musicals, eleven of win another Tony award for Curtains,” which have been produced on Leve says.

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the news

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spreading


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20 JAMES LEVE Director of graduate studies in music at Northern Arizona University Education: B.A. in music composition from SUNY Fredonia; Ph.D. in Musicology from Yale University Expertise: Specialist in 17th century comic opera, performer, composer, and music historian

Metaphors and meaning Leve is tapping into his own experiences as a performer, composer, and historian when writing about the Broadway team. He’s a specialist in 17th century comic opera and recently published a modern edition of Il potestà di Colognole, the first comic opera which premiered in Florence in 1657. He has a bachelor’s degree in music

composition from SUNY Fredonia and a doctorate in musicology from Yale University. “The Kander and Ebb volume is not as much about the composers’ lives as much as it is about their music and introducing it to a wider audience,” says Leve, who credits the writers for presenting the first successful “metaphoric” or “concept” musical. Unlike most musicals that use songs to carry the plot from one point to another, such as Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, Kander and Ebb’s musicals are experimental, fragmented, and self-referential. Cabaret, produced in 1966, “explored some of the most examined social and political issues of the twentieth century. Using irony, something not prevalent in musicals before Kander and Ebb, the show, based on the Christopher Isherwood novel The Berlin Stories explores life in Berlin as the Nazis were rising to power,” Leve explains. “Cabaret explores serious issues in an entertaining way. The cabaret scenes are a metaphor for the creeping rise of Nazism, and one of the book’s doomed characters, Sally Bowles, took center stage in Cabaret.”

He says Kander and Ebb’s success is partly due to their ability to assimilate the past while creating something new.

Like being in heaven Leve cites the team’s skill at creating material matching the strength of female stars—whether it was Barbra Streisand in the film Funny Lady, or Rivera and Minnelli. The author refers to these performers as “essentially playing themselves in musicals that portray characters overcoming obstacles.” According to Leve, “Fred Ebb practically invented Liza Minnelli, who once said that she was a figment of his imagination. They were very close friends.” Leve also includes information about operatic influences on their work, their films, and the journey of the musical Chicago from the streets of Broadway to the hills of Hollywood. “The success of their movie version of Chicago and its Broadway revival, along with the revival of Cabaret, underscore the remarkable legacy of Kander and Ebb,” Leve notes. In 1986, Leve received a grant to study composition with John Kander.

When it was time for the book research to begin, Kander gave Leve a key to his Manhattan apartment. “It was like being in heaven,” Leve says. “I looked at every single thing he ever wrote. You name it; his whole career was sitting there. I was impressed with the number of projects that Kander and Ebb wrote that never reached fruition. It was a privilege to be able to do research under these conditions.” Kander’s papers are bequeathed to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, where Ebb’s papers are already available for researchers. “I spent hours interviewing Kander, as well as Ebb before he died,” Leve says. “I also interviewed many people who knew and worked with both of them. “Fred was the cynic and John was more of a romantic,” Leve surmises. “Fred’s contribution came in his satirical approach while John was well-educated in opera and very sentimental and soft spoken.” Leve’s own sentiments toward Broadway are still strong. He still delights over the old playbills he’s collected since we was a kid growing up in Buffalo. The playbill for 1776 rests on top of the huge pile. NAU

1962 

Ebb and Kander write the score for Flora and the Red Menace together. The project initiates a lifelong collaboration

1966 

Produced Cabaret together. The score becomes an instant success

www.NAU.edu

The Yale Broadway Masters Series includes volumes about Richard Rodgers and Jerome Kern, who both wrote musicals with Oscar Hammerstein, and on Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim. What sets these books apart from earlier literature about musical theater is that they “provide a scholarly look at the music,” Leve says. Geoffrey Block, a professor of music history at the University of Puget Sound and editor of the Yale series, says Leve’s proposal to write the book was chosen over others because, “His proposal was great and showed the most depth. The work of Kander and Ebb encompassed much more than what they are widely known for, and a book about their contribution to musical theater is well timed.”

PHOTOGRAPHY BY (LEFT) JERRY FOREMAN, (TOP RIGHT) BRUCE GLIKAS/CONTRIBUTOR/GETTY IMAGES ENTERTAINMENT

www.NAU.edu

il maestro:

Kander and Ebb

21 1998 

Honored with lifetime achievement awards at the 21st Kennedy Center Honors

2002 

The play Chicago is adapted to the silver screen and wins six Academy Awards

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his volume is not as much about the composers’ lives as it is about their music.

Some encore moments


Health care benefits arise from anthrax scare

became part of the nation’s vernacular

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with the anthrax mail scares

PHOTOGRAPHY BY (TOP LEFT) JERRY FOREMAN

of post-9/11. It was Northern Arizona University’s Paul Keim and his genetics team that identified the specific strain of anthrax first found in letters on the East Coast. Now, Keim and his colleagues are taking the technology they developed in this biodefense arena to battle diseases that kill people every day.

(top) Paul Keim and NAU faculty member Maricela Reyes do research in the NAU laboratory.

Keim’s group is working to save lives through faster diagnosis of certain deadly pathogens. The targeted pathogens include community-acquired pneumonia, or CAP, and sepsis, a severe illness caused by bacterial infection of the bloodstream. It was sepsis that befell the late Pope John Paul II. Sepsis and CAP are among the top ten leading causes of death for most age groups worldwide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. “A major challenge facing health care providers in the successful treatment of medical conditions, such as sepsis and CAP, is the inability to rapidly

www.NAU.edu

“Bio terrorism”

23 HORIZONS 2007

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By Lisa Nelson


code breaker:

Paul Keim Regents’ Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, and Cowden Endowed Chair in Microbiology Education: B.S. in biology from Northern Arizona University; Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Utah Expertise: genetic analysis of diverse organisms, including bacteria, fungi, birds, plants, and animals

of Health, the Department of Homeland Security, and matching funds from the private sector. The scientific focus of TGen North will be to use genomic technology and tools TGen typically applied to disease and apply them to biodefense, pathogen diagnostics and microbial forensics. This will continue TGen’s mission to develop earlier diagnoses and smarter treatments.

NAU receives patent that could stop TB in its tracks

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Northern Arizona University team of scientists has received a patent for a technique that could help control the spread of tuberculosis, the second deadliest infectious disease among adults worldwide. The team developed a new system for identifying different genetic strains of the TB-causing bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosum. “The technique provides a faster, cheaper, and more precise method of testing for these strains,” says Paul Keim, NAU professor of biology and the Cowden Endowed Chair in Microbiology, the lead member of the three-person NAU team. Also named on the patent are James Schupp, assistant director of the Microbial Genetics and Genomics Center at NAU, and Robert Scott Spurgiesz, a former undergraduate student. The speed and accuracy of this new genetic subtyping system will boost efforts to identify the sources of TB

National stature “We’re incredibly excited to establish a footprint for TGen in Flagstaff, and expand our partnership with NAU,” says Jeffrey Trent, president and scientific director of TGen. “Dr. Keim is unique in the pathogen genomics field, and the growing opportunity has led us to launch TGen North, which contributes to the nation’s biosecurity work and our efforts to make Arizona a premier center for biotechnology excellence.” In 2002, the Flinn Foundation funded a comprehensive study by the Battelle Memorial Institute that outlined a ten-year road map to “fast track” Arizona on a path to achieve national bioscience stature and a diversified economy. The study highlighted Arizona’s existing research strengths and emphasized the need for increased public- and private-sector collaboration. The Flinn Foundation tapped Keim to chair the road map committee for Arizona infectious disease research. The launch of TGen North is a significant step for both establishing a biosciences corridor in Arizona and furthering economic development in Flagstaff. The venture holds the promise of a healthy return on investment, but more important, it pledges an even greater return in saving human lives. NAU

infection. In what Keim describes as “molecular sleuthing,” the system will allow health professionals to track down how a person became infected with TB. The “DNA fingerprint” from an infected individual will be compared with other samples in a national database to backtrack an infectious strain to its point of origin. “We can identify where a TB infection came from and control it at its source,” says Keim. The methodology used to develop the typing system for M. tuberculosum is similar to the technique Keim and his colleagues used to distinguish one anthrax sample from another during the post-9/11 anthrax scare. “As such, this represents a peace dividend from the war on terrorism,” Keim says. NAU will work with TGen, the Translational Genomics Research Institute, on translating this laboratory research into potential commercial application. — Lisa Nelson

Building LEEDs the way with platinum rating

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aul Keim’s Microbial Genetics and Genomics Center and the Environmental Genetics and Genomics lab, where molecular genetic analyses lend insight to everything from plant evolution to infectious diseases, will relocate to NAU’s new “high performance” Applied Research and Development building in spring 2007. The ARD building is like no other on campus and will be one of only two university buildings in the nation to have the highest LEED rating—platinum—offered by the U.S. Green Building Council for environmental sustainability. Features of the ARD building include: •reduced energy costs, passive solar heating and on-site waste treatment •recycled steel and recycled flooring materials •reduced use of potable water by 90 percent •a learning laboratory to help teach users how to manage a building to improve its environmental performance

Other occupants of the building will include NAU’s Merriam Powell Center for Environmental Research, Center for Sustainable Environments, Ecological Monitoring Assessment, Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies, and the Office of Grants and Contract Services. The building also will house the Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit of the National Park Service and a portion of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Colorado Plateau Research Station.

www.NAU.edu

Enter TGen, or the Translational Genomics Research Institute. As its name implies, Phoenix-based TGen is dedicated to translating genomic discoveries into advances in human health. “The most promising new techniques in terms of preparing for possible pandemics or bioterrorism are the translation of genomic analysis into advanced diagnostic devices,” says Keim, who also serves as director of TGen’s Pathogen Genomics Division. To facilitate the translation of technology developed in the lab to actual use in hospitals and clinics, TGen announced in May it will open TGen North in Flagstaff. Initial funding for TGen North totals about $10 million from the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, the National Institutes

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and consistently diagnose these conditions,” says Keim, professor of biology and Cowden Endowed Chair in Microbiology at NAU. Other infectious diseases pose similar challenges, including HIV, tuberculosis, plague, E. coli, and staphylococcus. “There are tens of thousands of staph infections every day, and people die from these,” Keim says. “These are common diseases but they fly below the radar screen.” Often, several antibiotics can be used to treat these diseases. The trick is finding the antibiotic that is the most effective in fighting a particular strain of the disease. The problem, Keim says, is that antibiotic resistance is “thwarting traditional treatment approaches.” In Keim’s Environmental Genetics and Genomics lab, researchers are mapping DNA to identify specific strains of these deadly pathogens. And they are doing it at lifesaving speed. “Current diagnostic methods go back to Pasteur,” says Keim. Samples are sent to labs to grow a culture, which can take two to four days. Keim’s Environmental Genetics and Genomics lab can sequence whole genomes in a few hours. “Rapid diagnostics can save a life and also reduce the cost of health care,” he says, noting that faster diagnosis and treatment can shorten hospital stays. Developing the technique to swiftly diagnose individual strains of an infectious disease is one thing. Getting it into hospitals and clinics is another. “The regulatory environment in the U.S. is a burden. It usually takes ten years to move [technology] from the lab to the clinical setting,” Keim says.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY (LEFT) JERRY FOREMAN

www.NAU.edu

Genomic discoveries are advancing human health


By Tom Bauer

‘Vietnam changed my life’

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R CYCLE T R O T O M HELPS V

ETS,

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OPE

Dubisch works in NAU’s Department of Anthropology while Michalowski is in the Department of Criminal Justice. For more than 15 years, the Run for the Wall has been an annual event in which veterans and their families and supporters ride from Southern California to the Vietnam War Memorial, where they participate in Rolling Thunder, a motorcycle gathering in D.C. over Memorial Day weekend. For Michalowski and Dubisch, their participation in the Run for the Wall was driven by much more than academic curiosity. “It’s a very powerful experience to be there,” Michalowski says. “I never realized how much Vietnam changed my life.” And Michalowski has never been there. Yet he had seen the effects when he lost high school and college friends on the battlefield and when he witnessed the psychological wounds while working as a psychiatric social worker. Dubisch has similar feelings. She was out of the country at the height of the war and saw how it was dividing the nation. She also had deep fears that friends and relatives would be drafted. “For reasons I couldn’t understand, I was anxious about the first ride,” she says about her first trip in 1996. “It wasn’t the vets, even though I was opposed to the war. I guess I didn’t realize how much the war had affected us. It’s still alive.” As a result, Michalowski and Dubisch have written Run for the Wall: Remembering Vietnam on a Motorcycle Pilgrimage (Rutgers University Press, 2001), an account of this purely American and highly therapeutic annual journey. The two professors have been recreational motorcyclists for decades. They had joined “lightly” organized riding groups, such as the Goldwing Riders Association, and attended motorcycle rallies, like the Whole World Wing Ding. It was at a rally in 1996 when Dubisch and Michalowski first heard of the Run for the Wall and Rolling Thunder. Every May since 1989 motorcycle riders have made the tenday ride to the Wall. That first year saw forty riders make the

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or many, a motorcycle ride is invigorating, exciting. The freedom. The power. But for a few, a motorcycle ride is about grieving. And about sending a message to America, even if the message is simply, “We’re here. Don’t forget us.” Northern Arizona University Regents’ professors Ray Michalowski and Jill Dubisch know all about this latter group of riders. They’ve ridden with them. They’ve grieved. They’ve listened to them. And they’ve documented the cathartic Run for the Wall motorcycle pilgrimage that starts in California and ends at America’s “Wailing Wall”—the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. “This didn’t start as a study,” Dubisch says, noting that the two participated in the run four times before it became a writing project. “I had never been on a pilgrimage, but now I’m experiencing it.”


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two wheelers:

RAY MICHALOWSKI

Regents’ Professor of criminal justice Education: B.A. and M.A. in sociology from Fordham University; Ph.D. in sociology from Ohio State University Expertise: specialist in justice studies, social movements and popular culture

JILL DUBISCH

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Greater awareness

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entire trip, with others participating along the way. It was predominately Vietnam War veterans and their families when it first started. Today, Dubisch explains, the “All the Way Group,” the riders who travel the entire route, numbers in the hundreds with thousands participating along the way with ceremonies and rituals at veterans halls, memorials, and even truck stops. The ride is organized to arrive in D.C. on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Ostensibly, Michalowski explains, the group is trying to compel the U.S. government to gain release of the Vietnam prisoners of war and to compel Vietnam to give an accounting of POWs and those missing in action. Thus arises what Michalowski refers to as the event’s “duality of politics.” “The POW and MIA activists are seen as extremists and right wing,” he says. “They seemed alien to us.”

The ride

12 days, 2,300 miles and 11 states. 200,000 arrive in Washington, D.C.

START Long Beach, Calif.

Kingman, Ariz.

Gallup, N.M.

Although Vietnam seems to permeate the ride, and of course it ends at the Vietnam Memorial, the Ride to the Wall has expanded to all veterans, including World War II, Korea, the Gulf War and Iraq. Dubisch explains that the annual ride brings greater awareness of all veterans’ issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder and long-lasting physical and mental ailments. “They fought the war with Agent Orange, and it took a physical toll. There were a lot of things people were suffering from, and now they have to fight for their (government) benefits.” In addition to the therapeutic sense, the ride has the significance of a religious pilgrimage, Michalowski explains. “The riders carry objects to be left at a sacred space. It’s not something you do and leave life behind. It’s life itself.” NAU Rainelle, W.Va.

Limon, Colo. Salina, Kan.

Corydon, Ind.

END

Wentzville, Mo. Cimarron, N.M.

Huntington, W.Va.

Washington, D.C.

Snow Peaks Photograph by

Peter Schwepker School of Communication Northern Arizona University PHOTOGRAPHY BY (BOTTOM) JOE RAEDLE/STAFF

www.NAU.edu

Regents’ Professor of anthropology Education: B.A. in anthropology from Reed College; Ph.D. in anthropology from University of Chicago Expertise: specialist in anthropology of religion, Europe and the Mediterranean, gender, pilgrimage and ritual, American culture

At the same time, however, he says the beliefs of the participants cover the political spectrum, and one of the main concerns of the group isn’t political at all. It’s healing. “POWs and MIAs dominate the language, but healing is parallel if not more,” Michalowski says. “The key piece is the Wall for many vets. It has a degree of healing. They can go and grieve.” Sometimes the healing can be seemingly simple, because MIA can mean “Missing in America” to veterans who feel they have never been accepted since their return from Vietnam. “The vets try to heal ritually through personal contact,” Michalowski explains. “They were greeted with hostility and indifference when they returned. But when we met the Run during a Flagstaff ceremony in the park, it was called ‘The parade they never had.’ “If there’s a mantra, it’s ‘welcome home.’”

This historic homestead was built in 1900 in Fort Valley, north of Flagstaff on Highway 180. Very little of the homestead remains today.


Horizons magazine