UNDDiscovery SPRING 2014
ADDING VALUE WITH RESEARCH AND COLLABORATION
Bang for our buck
A value-added career
Back in the ‘90s when I worked for the government, the buzzword for federal managers was “Total Quality Management,” or TQM. TQM is all about improving business processes and achieving greater efficiency. One of the things I learned from various TQM projects is that each step in a process needs to be looked at to see what value it adds to the overall product. In many cases, it was possible to eliminate multiple levels of approval for something, leading to a speedier process without increasing the risk of problems; the steps that were eliminated were ones that did not add value to the process. The idea of how value is added to something has other, broader applications as well, and those are some of the things we are exploring in this issue of UND Discovery. North Dakota is known nationally for valueadded agriculture. For example, we make pasta out of our durum wheat and frozen french fries from our potato crop, thus adding value to the product before we sell it out of state. Our focus in this issue is on yet another kind of added value. How do the expertise of UND’s faculty and our broad research portfolio provide added value beyond the curricular offerings of the University? The value-added aspect of UND’s research ranges from weather forecasting to pharmaceutical development, from managing rural health care to managing soil erosion. Much of the added value comes from the collaborative spirit of our faculty and students, who work with researchers from other universities, private companies, and scientists from federal agencies such as NASA. By teaming with others who have complementary skills and knowledge, we can get the most bang for our buck and the most value from our research and scholarly work. There’s another, less obvious, added value for our students. It’s been shown that when students are engaged in real research projects, they are much more likely to stay in school and complete their degrees in a timely way. Even freshmen can be involved in research, whether it’s in a lab or a historical archive. Either way, what could be more exciting than discovering new knowledge — being the first person to know a particular thing! UND has a high level of research participation by undergraduates, and we all love seeing them have those “Eureka!” moments. On a personal note, this will be my last letter for this magazine. I will retire from UND at the end of June, and I know that one of the things I will miss is the daily contact with faculty and students who are engaged in discovering new things and adding value to what the University does. I will be staying in Grand Forks, and I will continue to be committed to supporting this great university, my alma mater.
Three cheers for Dr. Phyllis Johnson! You will usually find her letter before mine on the inside cover of UND Discovery editions, just like this one. As vice president for research and economic development, Johnson also acts as publisher of this magazine and has been doing so since she came to UND in 2009. She has guided nine successful editions (twice a year, spring and fall) of UND Discovery, the University’s only publication dedicated exclusively to research, creative activity and economic development originating on campus. But this edition is her last. A long-planned and well-deserved retirement for Johnson is on its way. And as editor of the magazine, in the Division of University & Public Affairs, I’d like to use this space to extend our heartfelt thanks to Dr. Johnson and her staff for their efforts to help make this magazine a fresh and compelling representation of what is taking place in laboratories, offices, and scholars’ workshops across campus. We often receive positive feedback from across the state and nation on the storytelling, imagery, and, of course, the interesting research and creative activity that is detailed in these pages. In the last issue, we got a chance to tell the story about Johnson’s early involvement in UND research — as one of a group of grade schoolers who volunteered to be part of a study — on whether exposing children to typing impacted their academic progress positively or negatively, compared to a control group that maintained a traditional writing regimen as part of their education. The study was featured on national television and young Phyllis Johnson got her picture in the Grand Forks Herald and other newspapers nationwide. Fast forward a few years: Johnson was still delving into the sciences as a chemistry major at UND. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UND in 1971 and her doctorate in physical chemistry, again from UND, in 1976. She ended up heading down Second Avenue North a short ways to do her post-doctoral work at the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center (HNRC). That launched her on a distinguished career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) research arm. She would serve as a research chemist and a research leader for nutrition, biochemistry and metabolism at the Grand Forks HNRC before serving as the associate director of the Pacific West Area USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in California. Along the way, she also worked as a clinical instructor in internal medicine at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences. Eventually, Johnson was named director of the Beltsville Area USDA ARS, where she managed a broad range of research from entomology to genomics to remote sensing. Under her direction, USDA’s flagship research center led the USDA in biofuel and bio-based product utilization and received three White House awards for these and other environmental activities. She was co-chair of a federal interagency working group developing science policy related to scientific collections as critical national research infrastructure. She continues to lead this effort internationally. Johnson was also recognized by President Clinton as being in the top 5 percent of senior executives across the federal government. So as we pieced together this latest edition, with its “Value Added” theme — as in, how does UND research and creative activity add value to life in North Dakota and beyond? — I thought it only fitting to celebrate the value that Johnson has added throughout her career in the name of science. Thank you, Dr. J.
Phyllis E. Johnson Vice President for Research and Economic Development
David Dodds Editor, UND Discovery
IN THIS ISSUE OF
UNDDISCOVERY PHOTO BY JACKIE LORENTZ
In this issue of UND Discovery, we’re focused on all things valueadded. In other words, we’re highlighting ways UND’s researchers and other creative thinkers enhance the world in which we live. Do these efforts add more comfort or convenience to our lives? Do they make us safer, healthier or smarter? Do these efforts invigorate our society and economy? These are but a few of the measuring sticks we could use to gauge how UND research and creative activity make us better. Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) is a rapidly growing field with great potential for North Dakota. UND is at the forefront of developing sense-and-avoid technology to improve safety for both manned and unmanned aircraft. Above, UND research pilot Jonathan Sepulveda and UAS lead instructor Trevor Woods (left and center, respectively) review plans with NASA Langley Research Center pilot Rick Yaskey for a flight mission to test this sense-and-avoid software developed at the University. The story is on Page 6. Leon Osborne, a UND atmospheric scientist, helped revolutionize the way travelers plan trips and stay ahead of Mother Nature. Find out how he did it on Page 4. And UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences faculty members David Bradley and Jyotika Sharma are working on advances to control certain deadly infections and dangerous human diseases. See the stories on Pages 13 and 17. These are just a sampling of the “value-added” stories you’ll find in this issue, thanks to UND researchers and creators! UND Discovery is published by the Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development, with assistance from the Division of University & Public Affairs. Editor: David Dodds. Contributors: Juan Miguel Pedraza, David Dodds, Denis MacLeod, Amy Halvorson, Kate Menzies, Alyssa Wentz, Kallie Van De Venter, Kortnie Evanson, and Chen Wu. Principal photography by Jackie Lorentz and Shawna Noel Schill. Please send inquiries and comments to the Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development, University of North Dakota, 264 Centennial Drive Stop 8367, Grand Forks, ND 58202-8367. The University of North Dakota is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.
2 Qualtrics and responsibility: Powerful tools for data collection create a need for ethical responsibility.
3 The art of farming: An unlikely collaborator assists in an art exhibition.
4 The people’s weatherman: Leon Osborne revolutionized the dissemination of weather information.
5 Shedding the sticky notes: TruServeTM helps health agencies track and report activities.
6 Friendly skies: Sense-and-avoid technologies promote safety for manned and unmanned aircraft.
7 Air support: Interdisciplinary efforts and UAS technology combine to enhance wildlife research.
8 What was old is new again: Historical parallels can help officials manage the challenges created by rapid development in the Bakken region.
10 A “dynamic” exchange: Colombian and Russian natives employ System Dynamics to assess commercial and social factors with carbon-capture technologies. 11 Soil sleuths: Geographic Information Systems technology yields new clues to soil erosion issues. 12 High-tech portraits of ancient materials: Meticulous digital imaging provides wider use of drilling core samples. 13 Combating in-hospital infections: NovaDigm and UND cooperate in the search for a vaccine against hospital-acquired infections. 14 Lemur clues: Cave-seeking behaviors may offer insights to early human development. 14 The student as teacher: Informal social networks may provide new avenues for teaching students and alleviating bullying. 16 Spreading the (good) word: Marketing professor William Martin studies the power of negative and positive word-ofmouth. 17 Getting a jump on rabbit fever: A faculty-student research team seeks a pathway to a vaccine. 19 BOOK NOTES: Jack Russell Weinstein draws on the writings of Adam Smith to offer new theories on diversity and justice, Paul Worley examines the importance of the oral tradition in understanding the Maya culture, and Elizabeth Harris is recognized for her achievements in literary translation. 22 Focus on Faculty 24 Spotlight on Students
ON THE COVER: An interdisciplinary team of UND researchers applies several forms of technology to improve wildlife tracking and management. See the story on Page 7. Photo by Jackie Lorentz.
UND Discovery n Spring 2014 n 1
Powerful tools to uncover a wealth of consumer and scientific data also create a need for significant ethical responsibility.
The survey says ... (probably more than you think) By David Dodds Call him the “King of Qualtrics.” For Tim Pasch, it probably wouldn’t be too much of a stretch on the University of North Dakota campus. Pasch, an assistant professor of communication, was instrumental in working with the UND Center for Instructional & Learning Technologies to make Qualtrics, a popular online survey platform, available to student, faculty and staff researchers at the University. In fact, following UND’s example, the North Dakota University System acquired the Qualtrics license for itself and eight other System campuses that wanted it. Since that time, students, faculty and staff across North Dakota have used this system not only for thousands of datagathering initiatives, especially for peer-reviewed research, but also for campus elections, thesis and dissertation work, gauging opinions across campus, event registrations, and quick polls. Pasch mostly uses Qualtrics for his own scholarly work, focused on research into communication and social media trends in the Canadian Arctic. He recently opened eyes off campus about how to gather data through the integration of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. His presentation took place on Feb. 20 in Salt Lake City at the Qualtrics Insight Summit: a gathering of industry, government, academic researchers, and IT professionals, all connected by a focus on conducting research online. Pasch was one of the invited panel session speakers. His talk drew about 200 people, representing an array of groups ranging from pharmaceutical companies to the auto industry to the energy sector, from Nike to Cox Media. He presented techniques that marketing professionals and researchers can use to leverage social media as a tool for analyzing discussions or “buzz” surrounding their brands. “By leveraging surveys and social media, organizations can create better reports and make data-driven decisions related to how to increase a certain kind of effect, whether it be increasing enrollment at a university, increasing sales at a business, or whatever targeted purpose the organization has in mind,” he said. But Pasch was just getting warmed up; he really got his audience’s attention when he warned them about a security loophole that allows researchers to pull user data directly from social media sites into Qualtrics. The results hit home, he said. “There were about 20 people lined up to talk to me after the presentation. One person was outraged and another audience member, a faculty member from Italy, told me it was the best presentation he’d ever seen.” 2 n UND Discovery n University of North Dakota
Pasch said that social media data (especially what is said in discussion groups) is a critically valuable asset to researchers, companies or other organizations. At the same time, most groups and companies want their own social media discussion archives to be as private as possible. “Everyone wants to know what people are saying about their brand,” Pasch said. “Increasingly, websites are growing more dynamic, providing analytics related to where people are in the world, what they are looking at, when they are looking at it, and even where they are hovering (with a mouse, with touchscreens, etc.). There are very significant, serious and far-reaching ethical concerns when we are dealing with this level of data that we need to be very highly cognizant of as researchers.” Pasch understands that the techniques he discussed at the Insight Summit are controversial, especially in light of ongoing public debate on reported government monitoring of American citizens. But in presenting his research techniques at a major research symposium, Pasch explained that he would rather talk about datagathering methods in a very public forum “so we as a digital research community can work ethically to ensure that our work complies with IRB (Institutional Review Board), HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) and other applicable regulations.” Perhaps one of the most important points from Pasch’s presentation can be summed up with the following: “We can gather this kind of information online, but the most important question is whether we should, and, if so, why do we need this data.” “With this ability to gather information comes a very significant ethical responsibility to respect privacy and personal information,” he said. “And some of the techniques that I demonstrated reveal the increasing lack of privacy online.” “At UND, in our Communication 103 class, we teach students how to work toward protecting their privacy online, and strive to educate students to become more aware and media literate when using digital tools,” Pasch continued. “While I would not want anyone to feel trepidation online, I would simply caution users of social media platforms to be careful and aware that when you click on a link from a social network (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.), that much of your user information can potentially be communicated with the site that you navigate to from there.” n PHOTO BY SHAWNA NOEL SCHILL
Tim Pasch: “There are very significant, serious and far-reaching ethical concerns when we are dealing with this level of data.”
PHOTO BY JACKIE LORENTZ
combine from a cattle prod, convinced Fortin to join him as a consultant for the show. “I told him that I needed him; I needed his advice,” Jones said. “I told him that I wouldn’t know even half of what I was looking at.” Fortin realized the art professor might be in a bit over his head when he described the Fortin family’s 300-acre farmstead, which got its start in the 19th century. It sounded like a vast territory to Jones, whose idea of large tracts of land was measured in city blocks. “Where I come from, that sounded like an awful lot of land to me,” Jones said. He was astounded to learn later that some farmsteads in the region can be as large as 6,000 acres or more. John Fortin (blue shirt) shows a certificate bearing an “Honorary ‘A’ in Art” that was presented to him at a Jan. 29 reception in As the art show began to develop, appreciation for his consulting work on “The Farmers’ Choice” exhibition in the UND Art Collections Gallery at the Empire Arts Center. Jones noted, more and more connections between the community and agriculture became evident to him. He had set out to inspire people through art, using agriculture as the touchstone, but at the same time, it was as if Jones was having an epiphany of his own when it came to agriculADDING ture’s value to the people of this region. Jones decided to name the exhibit “The Farmers’ Choice,” a play on the theme and the site — Choice Health and Fitness — where he was inspired to pursue the exhibit. Along the way, Scott Telle, a local businessman and graphic design instructor for UND’s Department of Art & Design, learned of Jones’ plans and asked him to meet with leaders at Choice Financial, a regional banking firm that had obtained naming rights to the fitness center. Choice Financial became enthusiastic about the show. The firm’s connection to the show became even more fitting, Jones said, By David Dodds when he learned about the bank’s history as a major lender to farmers Art Jones has spent a career making visual art relevant to people — of the region. even if they don’t realize it at first. “The Farmers’ Choice” exhibition, which ran at the Empire from So it’s not surprising that an innocent exchange of locker banter at Jan. 29 through April 1, featured 28 pieces, including paintings, prints, a local fitness club between Jones and an admitted art-agnostic farmer ceramics and cultural artifacts. Most dated from the 1930s onward, would eventually lead to a full-blown exhibit at the University of with the majority produced in the region, but the show also featured North Dakota Art Collections Gallery at the Empire Arts Center. The a sculptural object from ancient Greece, works on paper by 19th best part is that Jones was able to recruit a nonbeliever in art to be a century French artists Honoré Daumier and Jean-François Millet, and co-consultant on a major art project. a color lithograph by 20th century French cubist Fernand Léger. It all started when Jones, chair of the UND Department of Art & In addition to Fortin and his farming background, Jones also Design, met local farmer John Fortin in the locker room of the Choice leaned on other co-consultants, people such as Emily Burkland, execHealth and Fitness Center in south Grand Forks. The two struck up a utive director of the Empire Arts Center; Dawn Botsford, an events conversation about what each other did for a living, and the talk soon coordinator at UND; and Patrick Luber, a professor and sculptor at led to Fortin’s college days decades ago at Mayville State University. UND Art & Design, all of whom grew up on family farms. Fortin lamented how he was forced to take an art appreciation Jones says that his and Fortin’s chance locker room meeting has class at Mayville State and that it was the hardest course he ever had grown into a friendship. It has also spawned an incredible collaborato take. tion from which both men and the community are benefiting. “As I recall, John (Fortin) joked how ‘he liked it so much, he took it During “The Farmers’ Choice” public reception Jan. 29, Jones surtwice,’ ” Jones said. “This was his way of telling me that what I did had prised Fortin with an award certificate — an academic achievement very little relevance in his life.” award — that announced Fortin had earned an “Honorary ‘A’ in Art” The ribbing stuck with Jones and got him thinking about what as a gesture of appreciation for his work on the exhibit. he could do to turn Fortin’s disappointing college experience into an “John seemed happy to receive it,” Jones said. “He was showing it opportunity to change his mind about art appreciation. to people all night at the reception.” n To do it, he had to make the artworks relevant, Jones thought.
The art of farming
Before the two new acquaintances left the fitness center that morning, plans already were in motion for a grand art show with an agricultural theme at the Empire Arts Center. Jones, who grew up in Queens, New York, and didn’t know a
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Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor Leon Osborne has revolutionized how meteorology information is delivered nationwide through on-demand public interfaces that are timely and accurate. PHOTO BY JACKIE LORENTZ
The people’s weatherman ADDING VALUE By Juan Miguel Pedraza When the going gets tough, Leon Osborne’s science really gets going. The University of North Dakota meteorologist developed a surface weather information system now widely used nationwide. And it’s a real lifesaver, especially in places like North Dakota, where winter weather is a six-month challenge. Osborne, a Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, also is well-known in agriculture circles — especially in North Dakota — for the uncanny precision of his winter forecasts and spring moisture predictions. “That’s how we add value with our research,” said Osborne, a jovial man who loves talking about weather, so much so that he delivers scores of presentations annually to groups such as wheat growers, schools, and ag conventions. “This is value added to the state, starting with our changing the paradigm of what is now called 511, a phone number designated by the Federal Communications Commission for traveler information,” Osborne said. “North Dakota and South Dakota partnered with UND to develop this technology back in the early 1990s. Then, working with local groups, we added more value by becoming involved statewide with agriculture as a go-to climate and weather information service.” 4 n UND Discovery n University of North Dakota
The big impetus behind the 511 system was safety. “Severe weather conditions, such as blinding ground blizzards, account for 1.5 million car accidents annually and more than 7,000 fatalities, with an annual economic impact of $25 billion,” Osborne said. Osborne recollects that the development of the 511 surface weather info system paralleled the development of today’s computing. “We actually started our ag weather back in the 1980s with the AgWINDS project, where we provided software to farmers and ranchers to help them make decisions on agricultural practices using computer-based weather applications,” Osborne said. “(This was) well before the Internet was widely available.” Osborne’s team leveraged their work on AgWINDS with research on ATWIS (Advanced Traveler Weather Information System) in the mid-1990s. Their efforts led to the Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS) that is now known as 511 across the nation. “When we started, the entire concept of distributed computing was just starting to take hold,” said Osborne, whose 511 system in North Dakota includes a network of remotely operated roadside weather stations providing up-to-the-minute condition reports to help alert drivers. “Windows 3.1 came along with the first broadly accepted graphical user interface, or GUI, that we now take for granted. It revolutionized how personal computing was done, and allowed for desktop delivery of handy weather info,” he said. “Prior to that, you got weather forecasts and updates from your TV weather person, or you had a satellite (Leon Osborne, continued on Page 18)
TruServeTM, a UND-developed software, helps rural health offices across the nation track activities and prove value.
Shedding the sticky notes By Juan Miguel Pedraza It’s report time. So what’s a rural health organization administrator to do with the sticky notes adorning the computer? “Well, we know that’s how many folks used to track activities, and they had to gather a variety of documents and notes to create their reports,” said TruServeTM Coordinator Kelly Quigley in her office at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences. “In fact, in a few organizations, that’s still how they do it.” TruServeTM is a Web-based tracking system that enables organizations to conveniently monitor and report progress. UND Center for Rural Health staff initially developed TruServeTM to address its own needs for tracking and reporting. Outside organizations began using the system, and it’s now become the most utilized activity-tracking tool by rural health care agencies across the nation. There are currently three Center for Rural Health staff members — Kristine Sande, Maren Niemeier, and Barry Pederson —who work with Quigley as a team on the continued development of TruServeTM. “We’re all across the country,” said Quigley. “It’s used as a tool mostly by state offices of rural health to track and report everything that they need to do for their funding agencies.” That entails tracking the technical assistance that such agencies provide to rural health facilities, including clinics and hospitals, in their regions. “We use it daily,” said Mark Griffin, chief operating officer of the South Carolina Office of Rural Health, who discovered TruServeTM at a regional meeting of the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH). “As I do most of the reports, it helps me get performance indicators accurately, track employee activities, map where our work is focused, and overall more accurately and consistently capture and report about work we do,” Griffin said. “We’ve been using it three years solidly.” “TruServeTM helps us provide consistent accountability,” Griffin said. And that’s the main point of the system. “We work closely with TruServeTM users to ensure that it meets their needs for tracking, coordinating communication, monitoring progress and creating reports,” said Quigley, who once worked for Special Olympics as a database developer and administrator. “It’s all about helping them show what work they do and demonstrate their impact and reach, including the technical assistance that they provide. TruServeTM allows agencies that use it to say, ‘Here’s what we do and here’s why you should continue to fund us.’” The main reason it’s so popular with rural health organizations is that it was purpose-built. “It was designed from the beginning around rural health agency needs, formatted with them in mind, using their terminology,” said Quigley, a UND alumna. For Kylie Nissen, senior project coordinator, North Dakota Office
PHOTO BY JACKIE LORENTZ
The TruServeTM team at the Center for Rural Health (CRH) includes (left to right) Barry Pederson, Web developer; Kelly Quigley, program coordinator; Maren Niemeier, information resources manager; and Kristine Sande, CRH associate director.
of Rural Health (which is based at UND’s Center for Rural Health), TruServeTM answered a lot of needs. “We had been looking for a system to track our activities because the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (headed by former UND faculty member Mary Wakefield) requires detailed reports of our activities,” said Nissen, who’s working on a Master of Public Health degree at UND. “Prior to TruServeTM, it was sticky notes and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.” “Now we’ve been running TruServeTM for five years, including being part of the early testing of the system, and we’ve found that compared with the sticky note-spreadsheet ‘system,’ we save 40 hours at least,” said Nissen, who also is executive director of the North Dakota Rural Health Association. “Now we can prepare our reports in 15 minutes, and we can pull up a lot of much more meaningful information and prove that we’re making a difference.” TruServeTM is deployed as a licensed product, which is how it “earns its keep.” “We own the intellectual property and have a national organization that manages its licensing for use by others,” said Quigley, adding that a recently launched redesigned version of TruServeTM included reporting templates that will facilitate ease of use. TruServeTM is offered to rural health agencies in all 50 states through a nonexclusive license agreement with the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH). “The licensing model was designed for maximum deployment around the country,” said Michael Moore, associate vice president for UND’s Intellectual Property Commercialization and Economic Development office. “I believe it is working very well.” “It’s a very dynamic system, completely customizable, and it’s mobile-responsive, so it works well on smartphones and tablets, too,” Quigley said. “No need to install it because it’s Web-based, backed up daily on three servers.” “Ultimately TruServeTM helps people in rural areas,” said Nissen. n
TruServeTM facts • Created in 2007 by UND’s Center for Rural Health. • Web-based tracking system allows organizations to conveniently monitor and report progress. • Allows users to capture the activities of staff; information later used to provide detailed and accurate reports for staff, the organization, funders, decision makers, legislators and others. • Information within TruServeTM is available 24/7and provides the ability to generate reports, maps, charts, and more with a few clicks. UND Discovery n Spring 2014 n 5
UND is adding value to the field of aviation by helping aircraft talk directly to each other with new sense-and-avoid technology.
Friendly skies By Juan Miguel Pedraza For University of North Dakota atmospheric scientist and radar expert Mark Askelson and his team, it’s all about safer skies. Askelson is the principal investigator on a project to research and deploy aviation technology that will enhance the safe operation of both manned and unmanned aircraft. The technology is called Automatic Dependent SurveillanceBroadcast, or ADS-B, and it is enabling enhanced utilization of global satellite networks, Askelson said. The ADS-B system, developed by the MITRE Corp., is part of the next generation, or NextGen, of air traffic safety. The ADS-B unit installed in an aircraft transmits aircraft speed, location and altitude information not only to air traffic control centers but also directly to other pilots in the vicinity. This produces huge safety and efficiency gains, Askelson said. “This multi-institution research project — the Limited Deployment-Cooperative Airspace Project, or LD-CAP — involved a complex set of test programs executed at the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences airport operations and at NASA-Langley,” Askelson said. PHOTO BY JACKIE LORENTZ
This part of the project tested sense-and-avoid algorithms [instruction sets for performing calculations, especially by computers] for unmanned aircraft, including sense-and-avoid computer software developed by a research team led by Will Semke and the late Richard Schultz, which included students at the UND College of Engineering & Mines. For the LD-CAP research, UND, NASA, the MITRE Corp., and Draper Labs flew missions over several days in 2012 and 2013 to validate the technology in aircraft flown by UND and NASA pilots. The tests also demonstrated onboard sense-and-avoid technologies. “Our partnership with MITRE and NASALangley for these tests was especially important Askelson as we move toward aircraft that will one day be equipped with ADS-B,” Askelson said. “The ADS-B system, together with more reliable and accurate sense-and-avoid technology, will be vital for creating safer aviation operations.” The aim of the flight tests was to determine how sense-and-avoid algorithms could work with the ADS-B. The LD-CAP phase at the national level is now complete, but research continues at UND focusing on ADS-B. “The MITRE, Draper and NASA-Langley funding ended, so now it’s just us here and a research team at NDSU working to complete the research,” said Askelson, who has been working on LD-CAP and ADS-B technology research for several years. “Now we’re working on finishing the project to install ADS-B units in 70 North Dakota-based aircraft. Appareo Systems in Fargo is in the final development stages of these advanced ADS-B units,” said Askelson. “The project depends on owners who volunteer to have these units installed in their airplanes.” “This is really about creating friendlier skies,” said Askelson. “With more aircraft transponding — or broadcasting their location signals — flying will become even safer. Additionally, ADS-B units provide information such as weather, and this all helps pilots make wiser decisions about when and where to fly. We want to see this capability in more aircraft globally.” Askelson is reaching out to North Dakota’s aviation community about this ADS-B project through the state Aeronautics Commission. Members of that group include Kim Kenville, director of the graduate program for UND’s Department of Aviation. “This is about the future of aviation,” said Askelson. “My ongoing role in ADS-B and sense-and-avoid technology is to get the message out and to keep developing solutions.” n
Team effort UND UAS-related partnerships include microelectronics and coatings research taking place at NDSU in Fargo.
NASA Langley Research Center computer specialist Joshua Cabonneau tested sense-and-avoid software developed by faculty and students in UND’s College of Engineering & Mines. 6 n UND Discovery n University of North Dakota
In the quest for safer skies, North Dakota’s two research universities are collaborating on a project to install new technology in general aviation aircraft that will provide other aircraft in the same airspace a better sense of who else is up there. At North Dakota State, this research is being carried out by Aaron Reinholz at the Center for Nanoscale Science & Engineering (CNSE), where the focus is on microelectronics and coatings technologies. CNSE houses several Centers of Excellence: Microsensors and Electronics Miniaturization; Advanced Electronics Design and Manufacturing; Integrated Electronic Systems; Sensors, Communications and Control; and Surface Protection. Research and development at the CNSE ranges from major interdisciplinary programs and collaborative projects to short-term projects for the private sector. Since its inception in 2002, the CNSE’s research funding has exceeded $110 million. — Juan Miguel Pedraza
An interdisciplinary team of UND researchers uses their combined expertise to solve wildlife management challenges with the help of UAS technology.
Air support By Amy Halvorson
ADDING VALUE ground surveys. Rundquist is focused on vegetation surveys and classifying vegetation images from sensors on the UAS to understand why wildlife are using certain areas. The plan is to run the UAS side by side with manned aircraft and ground surveys to measure differences in their capabilities. The team also will focus on how usable and detailed the collected data are. That’s where Desell comes in. Desell is developing computer systems to store the enormous amount of data collected. He also will be creating a method that helps computers sort through the data and recognize the animals that are being focused on. The UND Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Departments have been asked to design a way to load the UAS with the needed research components. Semke is leading a team of engineering students in developing the research platform, comprising the aircraft itself, launching abilities, sensors, a battery, and a camera, all of which must
America loves teams, whether it’s Marvel Comic’s The Avengers, Ocean’s Eleven, the Anchorman News Team, or even professional sports teams. Society eats them up. The University of North Dakota has its own interdisciplinary team of “heroes” that is connecting wildlife research in the state with its growing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) enterprise. That team comprises Susan Felege, assistant professor of biology; Robert Newman, associate professor of biology; Bradley Rundquist, assistant professor of geography; William Semke, associate professor of mechanical engineering; Michael Corcoran, UND UAS course manager; and Travis Desell, assistant professor of computer science. They’ve united to solve major challenges, such as accessing hardto-reach locations, that wildlife biologists face when collecting data. Their efforts also might help save lives. The leading cause of death for wildlife biologists is aircraft crashes as a result of flying low in treacherous conditions. By developing UAS that can handle these (Air support, continued on Page 8) tasks, wildlife biologists might be able to administer safer and more in-depth research projects. The wildlife management project is part of the next frontier of interdisciplinary efforts that are evolving across the UND campus in the realm of UAS technologies. Its support stems from research seed money made available by the UND Division of Research & Economic Development to help campus researchers collect preliminary data that could be used as starting points to attract larger research grants. Corcoran is the man behind the UAS. He’s in charge of lining up the aircraft, flying them, and coordinating with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). UAS projects are tightly regulated by the FAA. However, location has its advantages, as North Dakota has been designated as one of six FAA test sites for UAS operation, training and research. “In time, these issues (with the FAA) will ease as the volume of airspace available for operating UAS becomes much more accessible,” Corcoran said. “The work that we’re doing on this project only helps that effort.” While Corcoran has his eyes on the This multidisciplinary team bringing UAS technologies into wildlife research includes (from left) Logan Lass, UAS pilot for UND air, Felege and Newman are working on Aerospace; Travis Desell, assistant professor of computer science; William Semke, associate professor of mechanical engineering; Susan the ground with agencies such as North Felege, assistant professor of biology; and Robert Newman, associate professor of biology. Participating in this effort but not pictured Dakota Game and Fish by placing GPS here are Bradley Rundquist, assistant professor of geography, and Michael Corcoran, UAS course manager. Photograph by Jackie Lorentz. collars on deer and conducting other UND Discovery n Spring 2014 n 7
Continued from Page 7 be miniaturized and lightened to about six pounds. They also must make them quiet and ensure that the camera is able to take clear pictures. Semke hopes to begin testing as soon as weather permits. UND has exceptional qualifications for supporting such a project. Most universities would have to outsource at least one of the key pieces that make this project tick, according to Semke. Semke says everyone on the wildlife project is complementing, not competing with, each other. Desell calls the project a “unique and novel” experience because of all the talents involved. It also is a good indication of the future of research, with the wide range of disciplines and large amounts of data involved in the project, he said. “The folks on this project should be very proud of what they are accomplishing at UND,” said Corcoran. Outside interest, including that from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service, has been tremendous, say members of the UND team. If the project is successful, it will not only push back the limitations of wildlife research, it will help UND attract more students and faculty with interest in these areas and acquire more research funding. “This is the future” said Felege. “It is what everyone is talking about.” n
This is one of numerous scenes shot by Kyle Cassidy for the North Dakota Man Camp Project. His photographs documented the many efforts to create housing in the Bakken region during the dramatic expansion of oil and gas development.
Historical parallels can offer insights for today’s challenges in the Bakken region.
What was old ... ... is new again By David Dodds
In their own words UND UAS course manager Mike Corcoran on what it’s like to be part of the interdisciplinary wildlife project: “I’m an aviator by trade, so flying is typically my favorite part of any project. However, I’m finding more and more that seeing what other people gain from UAS is what it’s really all about. This is unbeatable. It’s like seeing the world of aviation opened up to an entire mass of people who simply have not had access to flight before, at least within their profession, within their reach. UAS offers this opportunity. Watching their excitement as they build more potential, and create greater use from this technology, far exceeds my love of flight. It’s been great to see the growth. Better yet, I get to see this excitement from both professors and students alike. So far, this is my favorite part about this project, and working at UND.”
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There’s the famous saying: “What goes around comes around.” Another variation is “Everything old is new again.” Then there’s this foreboding doozy: “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” They’re repeated so much in modern usage that they’ve become cliché — probably because there’s more than a shred of truth behind them. University of North Dakota scholars who have their collective eyes fixed on the oil-producing region of western North Dakota could apply all of these sayings to the environment that exists there. Oil production, fueled by fracking in the Bakken shale geological formation, has ramped up so much in recent years, the people of the area — both natives and newcomers — have struggled to cope with unprecedented growth and, yes, wealth. A big problem is that there’s not a whole
lot of good advice being given to the people who live there. Sebastian Braun, chair of UND’s Indian Studies Department, is among a group of researchers trying to change that. “It’s clear that they do not have the tools to put this in a global perspective,” Braun said. “They have been basically told to ‘just adapt.’” Braun and his colleagues contend that world history — ancient and modern — is rife with examples of people and regions that have found themselves swept away in the whirlwind of a boom economy. Some have dealt with the challenges better than others. The point is, there’s plenty of historical data on how other people and cultures have handled scenarios similar to what is currently playing out in the Bakken region of North Dakota. “This is being spun in a way that this is new — but it’s not — and this is something that is not just happening here,” Braun said. One way UND researchers are getting
the word out is through an International Studies Lecture Series in which they connect their historical and social scientific research to the challenges of today in the Bakken region. Recently, William Caraher, UND associate professor of history, and Bret Weber, UND assistant professor of social work, took to the lecture stage to talk about historical parallels to the current situation. Caraher, who frequently travels to Cyprus to conduct historical research at ancient sites, likened the modern-day situation in the Bakken, with its need for “man camps” to support the heavy boom activity, to temporary settlements that surrounded the copper mines along the Troodos Mountains during the Bronze Age. But Caraher doesn’t limit his discussion to just Cyprus. He says temporary settlements and their connection to extraction industries and other boom economies have been part of history throughout the world, from South America to Alaska to mining regions in Australia. He even points to unused relics of modern Olympic games in places such as Whistler, British Columbia, and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and even abandoned military bases — some dating back to 300 B.C. — as examples in which a huge buildup of labor was needed for a relatively short-lived payoff. “It’s interesting to place what is going on in the Bakken in this larger historical context,” Caraher said. But beyond talking, UND researchers are trying to do something to promote conversations among the people in the Bakken region to learn from the historical and global examples. It’s a role that UND is uniquely qualified to play, Caraher explains. He said the Bakken region is not the only one experiencing intense shale formation oil and gas booms. It’s happening in the Marcellus region across much of western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York, as well as in the Eagle Ford and Barnett shale plays in Texas. The big difference between the Bakken and those other shale plays is their proximity and access to research hubs, population centers and other resources. The Bakken is relatively remote when compared to the other regions. UND and its interdisciplinary teams of researchers have tried to fill this void and give the region and its people a competitive advantage to deal with its newfound challenges. “We’re here in North Dakota; this gives us a lot more credibility out west (in the Bakken),” Caraher said. And they’re not just doing it from their offices and labs in Grand Forks. They actually go to the heart of the Bakken to
examine the challenges firsthand. Caraher and Weber, working with scholars at North Dakota State and other universities, have visited several of the man camps that have popped up across the region in an attempt to research and document the evolution of these temporary settlements. Michael Niedzielski, assistant professor of geography, and Brad Rundquist, chair of the UND Geography Department, are also getting involved. Using a NASA grant, they and a geography class recently teamed with Fort Berthold Community College to conduct GIS mapping of the surrounding region. This will give the people of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation ready access to important geographical and mineral data of the area. Braun says this is significant, because “the national companies have people doing that for their own purposes, but people who live there don’t have those resources. The more technology and information that we can make available, the more informed the communities will be.” Another project has Ann Reed, assistant professor of anthropology, working with the community of Parshall, N.D., to compile a book about the town’s upcoming centennial. Reed and a team of UND students interviewed Parshall area residents
across all age ranges on what it was like growing up in the community before and during the current oil boom. The stories will be published in the town’s centennial book. Niedzielski also produced a set of GIS maps of Parshall for the book. Braun said activities like these and other research on the Bakken have been made possible because of a UND faculty seed money grant that was issued in 2012. Braun, Caraher, Weber, Reed and Carenlee Barkdull, chair of the Social Work Department, have all been able to use parts of that grant to collect preliminary data on the impact of the Bakken oil boom on social culture. The idea is that that preliminary work could lead to larger research projects involving the region in the future. Braun said the main objectives are to promote conversations with and among the people of the Bakken region — conversations that aren’t taking place now — and to establish means through which people can get access to knowledge and capabilities on how to better cope with the challenges they face. “Nobody is talking about what is going to happen when this is gone,” Braun said. “That’s my concern — not what is happening right now, but what is going to happen to these communities in 30 years.” n
PHOTO BY JACKIE LORENTZ
William Caraher (left), associate professor of history, and Sebastian Braun, chair of UND’s Indian Studies Department, are among the scholars who are discussing the impact of oil development in the Bakken formation on the region, including the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.
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An international duo forms a unique System Dynamics collaboration for their work on issues with North Dakota’s oil and gas producing region.
A “dynamic” exchange By David Dodds Eduard Romanenko is on his second academic journey into the heart of the United States. The first time around, the native of Vladivostok, Russia, was on an exchange opportunity to Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis. He did, however, have a couple of pals who ventured farther west to schools in North Dakota. “I heard different stories from them about the temperature extremes, and back then, I thought I would never come to a place like that,” said Romanenko, who received his bachelor’s degree in international economics from Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, a city on Russia’s Pacific coast near China, Japan and South Korea. A lot has changed since then.
Romanenko is one of two students from the University of Bergen (UiB) in Norway who are currently working on their master’s degrees at the University of North Dakota. Romanenko and Andres Julian Gil Garcia, a native of Manizales, Colombia, are pursuing European Master’s Degrees in System Dynamics, through UiB and a consortium of allied institutions in Europe and at the UND College of Engineering & Mines (CEM), which is an associate member of the group. System Dynamics is an interdisciplinary response to dynamically complex problems around the world, using high-tech computer modeling to simulate scenarios and project outcomes, relying heavily on stakeholder input to come up with solutions. Romanenko and Garcia are working on independent theses, but the nature of their PHOTO BY JACKIE LORENTZ
The interdisciplinary approach of System Dynamics is combined with an international dimension as Andres Julian Gil Garcia (left) and Eduard Romanenko, natives of Colombia and Russia, respectively, work together at UND to explore the market factors and social issues associated with carbon-capture technologies and the use of carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery. 10 n UND Discovery n University of North Dakota
work and the idea behind System Dynamics necessitates the two collaborate on parts of their projects. The focus of their theses is the market dynamics associated with the commercialization of carbon-capture technologies and the use of carbon dioxide (CO2) for enhanced oil recovery, something of great concern to the people of the Bakken oil-producing region and Williston Basin of western North Dakota. Romanenko, who, in addition to his economics bachelor’s degree, holds a master’s in economic policy and global markets from Central European University in Hungary, clearly brings a strong background in economic theory and financial markets. Garcia, who got his bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from National University in Medellin, Colombia, possesses the technical engineering experience needed for the collaboration. “What makes System Dynamics special is the holistic, rather than fragmented, view of a problem, and we would love to maintain this approach throughout our project work,” Romanenko said. “In practice, this means that we might work on distinct pieces separately from time to time, but the important chunks of work will be happening in direct cooperation.” Last year, UND and its CEM signed a series of agreements with UiB and its Faculty (School) of Social Sciences and with the Petroleum Research School of Norway. These paved the way for faculty and student exchanges between UND and the Norwegian entities. The memoranda of understanding (MOUs) are a big reason why Romanenko and Garcia ended up at UND. Romanenko says he’s glad to be here, despite his preconceived notions of North Dakota. “The quality of the program was so good that I never hesitated to say yes,” he said. “It’s a perfect blend of economics and System Dynamics. System Dynamics supports social science research and I am a social scientist, but I also need technical experience, too.” That’s where his partnership with Garcia comes in. Garcia says it’s exciting for him to study System Dynamics in North Dakota, where so much is taking place in his field of expertise out in the state’s Bakken shale formation. “For me, this is amazing to have the opportunity to come here and work on my thesis at a time and place where this is such a hot topic,” he said. David Wheat, associate professor of System Dynamics at UiB’s Faculty of Social (System Dynamics, continued on Page 18)
PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY RICK THALACKER
GIS technology to harness spatial data. Two watersheds were used for this study. One was located entirely in Grand Forks County and the other was in the northwest corner of Grand Forks County, extending into both Nelson and Walsh Counties. Using high-resolution elevation data obtained previously by federal and state agencies to combat local flooding, Thalacker and Vandeberg created an affordable method to map erosion potential in these watersheds on a more detailed scale. This allowed them to measure even the slightest changes in elevation. When dealing with extremely flat areas, such as the Red River Valley, this detail is important, as other tools were not able to measure this. Overall, the model was able to accurately predict where gully locations intersect with stream channels. These erosion features adjacent to local streams have a high potential for impacting the waterways. Thalacker and Vandeberg hope to work with soil conservation districts in the future to target preventive erosion techniques in detrimental areas. Preventive techniques such as changing crop direction, plowing fields differently and planting vegetation along gullies can help farmers exercise best-management practices, Thalacker said. The hope is that, with the help of GIS technology, the fertile soil of North Dakota can be conserved for years to come. n
Soil sleuths By Kate Menzies Nothing wears away profits quite like erosion. Between sediment buildup in streams and loss of topsoil in fields, soil erosion can have detrimental effects on communities across North Dakota. University of North Dakota geography graduate student Rick Thalacker was keen to this fact. He knew that in a state where agriculture is a primary source of income, soil erosion needed further study. So he turned to Gregory Vandeberg, associate professor of geography at UND and an expert in the power of GIS technology. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology is used to study spatial data, such as erosion patterns, by gathering high-resolution data to mark changes in elevation, slope and soil type. By pinpointing areas with drastic changes in slope and elevation, GIS technology can identify areas that are more prone to erosion due to the accumulation of runoff. Soil erosion, in its simplest terms, is the wearing away of a field’s topsoil by water and wind. Once topsoil disappears, it can take a lifetime to build up again. For farm-
ers, this can result in lost profits, as a field is no longer arable. Sediment runoff is a source of “nonpoint pollution” that can have lasting effects on water quality. The buildup of sediment in the depths of reservoirs eventually will raise the bottom level, reducing the effective volume of water the reservoir can hold. This has a substantial economic impact on cities that have to pay to drain and dredge dams so reservoirs can hold their designed water capacity. Thalacker has devoted considerable time and effort pinpointing erosion areas in fields that could deposit sediment in local water sources. The hope is that by identifying erosion-prone areas early, farmers and citizens alike can take preventive measures to stop it from spreading. Water impairment has become an issue of global concern. By harnessing GIS technology, countries around the world will be able to improve quality of life. Thalacker secured funding for his research from the North Dakota Water Resources Research Institute in the form of a fellowship. His research has let him access more accurate methods of applying
PHOTO BY JACKIE LORENTZ
UND graduate student Rick Thalacker uses high-resolution GIS data to pinpoint soil erosion, keeping North Dakota fields arable and reservoirs flowing.
Back on campus, Rick Thalacker runs hydrometer tests on water samples.
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High-tech portraits of ancient materials
Matt Illies, a UND graduate student in paleontology, inspects the core samples he is polishing for the digital Continental Resources High Resolution Virtual Core Library Project. The samples are meticulously sanded and polished, and then photographed with specialized equipment to record the maximum amount of visual information. Illies is polishing rock samples from the Formation Devonian-Winnipeg 0515 Formation. Photo by Jackie Lorentz.
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By Juan Miguel Pedraza The rock is 500 million years old. Its gem-quality sheen is brand new. So is the detailed digital image of this core, which was extracted two miles underground from a site in western North Dakota as part of an oil exploration venture. “This image is part of an innovative research library being developed right here at the University of North Dakota’s Harold Hamm School of Geology & Geological Engineering,” said Hesham El-Rewini, dean of the College of Engineering & Mines and the force behind the digitization project. El-Rewini sees this new core image library revolutionizing how students and industry will develop knowledge and understanding of oil and other geologic resources in the state. UND and Houstonbased PetroArc International are developing the new digital Continental Resources High Resolution Virtual Core Library project, El-Rewini said. PetroArc representatives say that, following many years of hightech research and development, the company produced a method of digitally scanning cores, thin sections, plugs and drill cuttings that can be viewed via computer utilizing their “CORSystem” software. “For a number of years, our students and faculty have been utilizing the Wilson Laird Core & Sample Library for upper division classes and research projects,” said El-Rewini. “With the rapid expansion of the oil industry in the western part of state, that library has become an even more important resource. But to access that resource, people have to physically come here and actually examine the cores and samples.” Harold Hamm, founder and CEO of Continental Resources, told El-Rewini that he regularly used the Laird Core & Sample Library when he was getting started in the petroleum exploration and extraction business. “Mr. Hamm himself indicated to me how valuable this resource was to him when he started his career,” El-Rewini said. “The digital core library images will help our students not just with much easier access, but also with software tools that will allow them to manipulate those images,” El-Rewini said. “They will be able to extract a lot more information much more easily.” The second key advantage to the digital
core image library is remote access. “You’ll be able to access this image library from anywhere,” El-Rewini said, noting that the details on how to make that happen, such as who gets access and whether it will be free or not, still are being reviewed. “The beauty of this project is that we’re also engaging students as an integral part of it. PetroArc is hiring UND students to prepare the samples for digital imaging.” Right now, only certain cores in the Core & Sample Library are being selected for processing and imaging, according to Joseph Hartman, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor and director of the Harold Hamm School of Geology & Geological Engineering. He’s also heading up the project. There’s a lot more to this project than point-and-shoot photography, as good as that’s gotten over the last few years, said Hartman: “It’s a painstaking two-part process.” First, each core has to be meticulously sanded and polished to a finish that rivals top-end marble countertops. That takes many hours of work with sand, grinding wheels of various fine and finer grits, and buffing wheels. The time it takes varies according to the composition of the cores. Then a PetroArc digital imaging specialist, trained in academic photography and digital image processing, positions the specially prepared core precisely in a tray. After setting a sophisticated digital camera with a macro lens, the photographer scans the core and then processes and archives each image. Images for a core are merged, making for a very large file. “Every rock behaves differently,” said Hartman, an internationally known expert in prehistoric mollusks and the formations they’re found in. “So it takes varying times to process and scan each core. The result is an extremely accurate image that’s much easier to access than the original core. Discussing the subsurface geology of the Williston Basin of North Dakota in class will be much easier with access to these images. “Basically, we will be able to ‘tour’ the deep underground geology of North Dakota, and not just for oil but other resources as well,” Hartman noted. “Wherever possible, these digital images will be incorporated into geology courses and labs. There’s a lot of really cool life and features produced by life preserved in the cores, and the Virtual Core Library will help us see and understand more of the record.” n
Closing in on a vaccine for in-hospital infections By Juan Miguel Pedraza So you’re in the hospital for minor surgery recommended by your family physician. Your surgeon tells you it’s a simple procedure. You wake up with fever, chills and a nasty rash, unrelated to what you went into the hospital for. “These types of in-hospital infections occur a lot more often than we’d like, especially in intensive care units,” said Clint Schmidt, a cellular immunologist and director of research operations for NovaDigm Therapeutics. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that close to 2 million people annually contract in-hospital infections, and about 100,000 people per year die as a consequence. These hospital-acquired, or nosocomial, infections, are largely produced by two families of nasty bugs: Staphylococcus (bacteria) and Candida (yeast/fungus). Schmidt, a former Minnesota Gophers center and West Fargo High School football player, says these two infectious agents can be virulent, deadly and tough to manage. There’s a big problem: the resistance of these bugs to currently available drugs. “That’s why NovaDigm, a clinical stage vaccine development company, is researching a vaccine to prevent infections from methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium, and Candida albicans, a yeast and a fungus,” said Schmidt, who worked as a research postdoctoral scientist for Eli Lilly for several years. Consulting with NovaDigm is David Bradley, an immunologist and executive director of the Center of Research Excellence for Avian Therapeutics for Infectious Diseases at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences. “We’re very excited now because we completed two Phase I human clinical trials and we’re currently enrolling volunteers for a Phase II proof-of-concept, or exploratory, trial for women suffering from recurrent, or chronic, vulvo-vaginal candidiasis, a recurrent yeast PHOTO BY JACKIE LORENTZ
UND immunology professor David Bradley (left) is consulting with NovaDigm Therapeutics’ on-site research administrator Clint Schmidt on the firm’s efforts to develop a vaccine against hospital-acquired, or nosocomial, infections.
infection produced by Candida albicans,” said Schmidt, whose experience also includes a stint at Dendreon, a company that developed the first — and now commonly used — cellular immunotherapeutic treatment for end-stage prostate cancer. “We’re going to do another trial of our vaccine in people who have this particular affliction three to four times per year,” said Schmidt. “Besides the physical pain and discomfort it brings, it can also affect personal relationships; our vaccine aims to prevent recurrence.” Schmidt, who is the on-site research administrator for NovaDigm’s facility in Grand Forks, says NovaDigm was founded by a group of physicians and scientists at the Harbor University of California-Los Angeles Medical Center. “They found a virulence factor that allowed pathogenic Candida to stick to and invade human cells,” Schmidt said. Antigens, he explained, are mostly foreign proteins — say, bacteria surface structures — that trigger immune responses in the body. They do that by binding to specific antibodies produced by the body’s white blood cells. “Vaccines target the body’s immune response by mimicking the foreign agent that can cause illness or disease,” said Schmidt. Vaccines, including NovaDigm’s preparation against recurring vulvo-vaginal candidiasis, are theoretically simple: they boost the body’s power to fight or prevent a particular disease. A vaccine resembles a disease-causing microorganism and is prepared from antigens or attenuated forms of the disease-causing agent. The vaccine thus triggers the body’s immune response to the agent without suffering from a full-blown case of the disease. “So, if you’ve been vaccinated, the next time the disease agent invades the body, the body’s immune system recognizes it and attempts to destroy it,” Schmidt said. NovaDigm’s vaccine is even more promising than originally targeted, Schmidt says. “What’s really compelling is that it potentially offers crosskingdom protection, and that’s never been done before,” Schmidt said. Candida are yeasts or fungi; Staph are bacteria, representing two vastly different kingdoms, eukaryotes and prokaryotes. “They’re both pathogens, microorganisms that cause disease, but they’re from two different kingdoms, as different from one another as people are from trees,” Schmidt said. “What we’ve done, and what we want to test more fully in the next phase of human trials, is to induce a very fast immune response,” Schmidt said. “And that’s the goal: to amp up the immune response as quickly as possible. The amazing thing for us is that we’re getting 100 percent seroconversion by day 14 after vaccination.” In other words, they’re getting quick results in fighting powerful infections that, if untreated, can kill close to half the infected patients. “If we find this vaccine prevents progression of this disease, we’ll also focus on totally preventing or slowing it down and reducing the severity,” Schmidt said. “This is Phase IIA; we’ll then move on to Phase IIB to test end-point efficacy of the vaccine.” “As this project moves forward, my lab will help to evaluate and test the candidate vaccine,” said Bradley, whose specialty is immunology at the cellular level and who helped to recruit NovaDigm to North Dakota. “My team will be collaborating with NovaDigm in investigating the immune response to the vaccine. To get to the point where this is a proven vaccine, approved by the Food and Drug Administration, we still have to test to be sure that it actually works in people, not computer models.” With companies such as NovaDigm probing for solutions at the leading edge of this field, Bradley said signs are hopeful for new therapies against pathogens that resist the current pharmacological catalog. “Immunology is so much a part of what and who we are,” said Bradley, noting that this science is about how the body responds to prevent disease — and about digging into the reasons why it can fail. n UND Discovery n Spring 2014 n 13
Cave-seeking behaviors may offer insights to early human development.
Lemur clues By Kate Menzies When it comes to lemurs, Frank Cuozzo of the University of North Dakota Anthropology Department, doesn’t monkey around. As part of recent research efforts, Cuozzo and his U.S., Malagasy and Canadian colleagues have documented wild ring-tailed lemurs using caves as sleeping sites in southwestern Madagascar. Their new article, published in Madagascar Conservation and Development, is based on seven years of fieldwork, and reports the first habitual and continuous use of a single-cave site for sleeping among wild primates. Studying the lemur population offers particularly valuable information for researchers, as their environment in Madagascar represents some of the last areas of the world to be impacted by human settlement. Ring-tailed lemurs are one of the few primate species to live in seasonal, temperate (non-tropical) habitats. In this way, they provide
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UND kinesiologist Jesse Rhoades eyes a taekwondo class for research on teaching, learning, social groupings, and bullying in the classroom. By Kate Menzies From the mats of a Grand Forks taekwondo dojang, Jesse Rhoades, a University of North Dakota assistant professor of kinesiology and public health education, examines networks of students to gain a better understanding of how they interact. It’s all part of his pedagogical research to see how students, especially in physical education classes, form social groupings. Once students are in these groupings, Rhoades examines how they communicate with each other. With the help of two graduate students, Rhoades is trying to develop better teaching strategies that target entire classrooms, rather than just a few students. Through his research, he has discovered that social
networks may hold promise in understanding how to design a teaching curriculum that achieves optimal success. The project stemmed from his dissertation work, which proposed that communities of practice tend to develop their own knowledge and then circulate it. This is a concept that Rhoades believes in strongly. “I view learning as a co-evolutionary process,” said Rhoades. This process is one in which students learn by teaching, thereby actively engaging in the material. Based on this theory of co-evolution education, Rhoades hypothesizes that students may get more out of classes if teachers direct certain materials to specific students, who can then in turn teach others in their social networks. Ultimately, his findings may have implications on bullying. Rhoades is curious about the ways in which bullying affects the social structures that students form. “I want to see if learning is disrupted or enhanced by certain processes like bullying,” said Rhoades. Since bullying behaviors are linked to anti-social properties, the goal would be
a comparative model for understanding some aspects of human and other primate ecology and behavior. Early humans were also subject to non-tropical environments and were forced to live with extreme temperature swings across the different seasons. Previously, it was often argued that cave use by anthropoid primates (monkeys and apes) was to help regulate temperature. But Cuozzo and his colleagues’ new lemur information suggests that these primates are using caves as sleeping sites to avoid native and introduced predators. These new data provide a framework for interpreting possible cave use by early human ancestors and other extinct primates, indicating their potential use of caves for protection from predators, similar to the ring-tailed lemurs described by Cuozzo and colleagues. Since more people are populating Madagascar, new predators such as dogs and cats have emerged. This has posed a new threat to the lemur species. Cuozzo said that caves found along the ground could be considered traps for lemurs if being chased by predators. As shown in this research, only caves found high on cliff faces, where predators can’t climb, are chosen by these lemurs as sleeping sites. Research efforts are ongoing for the study of this ring-tailed primate. Cuozzo is among those leading efforts to find answers for this recent change in primate behavior. The work of Cuozzo and his colleagues was funded by various sources, including a UND Faculty Seed Money Grant, the University of Colorado-Boulder, Colorado College, The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, The National Geographic Society, and the U.S. National Science Foundation. n Photographs courtesy of Frank Cuozzo.
PHOTO BY JACKIE LORENTZ
to help design teaching methods that may mediate these effects. Currently, Rhoades is among the few researchers in the United States studying this topic. He is working with researchers in New Zealand, Scotland and South Africa who are also studying novel education techniques. The field of education has generally been resistant to complexity research, instead opting for the traditional direct classroom approach to teaching, said Rhoades. But he contends, “This research is giving us answers to questions we just aren’t getting with other teaching methods.” Even though his study remains in the confines of a local taekwondo dojang, Rhoades hopes someday to conduct his research in public schools. n
Jesse Rhoades is exploring how the natural tendency of students to form their own social networks can be utilized to create better teaching strategies. These might also suggest more effective ways to mediate bullying or other behavior issues.
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So what does this mean for companies? By incentivizing patrons with rewards to spread positive word-ofmouth, companies may be just creating noise. Therefore, companies are not impacting consumption nearly as much as they intend to, he said. In order to gain the trust of the listener, companies have to encourage people to spread positive word-of-mouth without incentivizing it. Marketers will have to genuinely spark enthusiasm among consumers when trying to boost the sales of a product. Overall, Martin’s research will help improve the awareness and prestige of the University. The research that faculty participate in contributes to their reaccreditation process, and also provides material to take back to the classroom. “This research allows me to be active in creating new knowledge,” said Martin. By observing interactions involving word-of-mouth, Martin has been able to gain insight into how people form relationships with each other and their culture, as well as how emotions influence what consumers purchase. Through this study, companies may better understand what kinds of products are more susceptible to word-of-mouth. Companies also can use this knowledge to avoid the pitfalls of negative word-of-mouth and help create a better customer experience. Because, after all, there is such a thing as bad publicity. n
PHOTO BY JACKIE LORENTZ
A UND marketing professor studies the power of negative and positive words-of-mouth and how they impact consumer decisions. By Kate Menzies “There’s no such thing as bad publicity,” the old adage says. Not when it comes to companies and their reputations. For the corporate world, word-of-mouth can be the death of a brand or company or the reason for its success. Because of its substantial impact on a business’ bottom line, William Martin, an assistant professor within the University of North Dakota’s Department of Marketing, decided it needed further study. Martin, a Dean’s Excellence Junior Faculty Fellow, was specifically interested in how people use word-of-mouth in purchasing decisions. What he has found is that word-of-mouth depends on aspects of both the listener and the speaker. Contrary to popular belief, negative word-of-mouth doesn’t always have a strong impact on consumption. According to Martin, it most likely depends on what product is being talked about. For instance, word-of-mouth may be considered more heavily when purchasing the latest electronic gadget compared to purchasing basic items like a loaf of bread. What’s interesting is that people don’t seem to care from whom the negative message is coming. Whether from friends, family or complete strangers, it is all weighted similarly in the minds of consumers. However, this is not the case when assessing positive word-of-mouth. Consumers are more apt to rely on people they trust when evaluating positive assessments. Because of this, Martin was curious about what would happen if a firm rewarded people for spreading positive word-of-mouth, a practice that is becoming common. The result was that by gaining a reward, the person who spread the positive message was discredited in the minds of the receiver. When the listener discovered that the speaker had been compensated, the information was treated largely as noise. That, in turn, didn’t have a strong impact on consumers’ overall purchase decisions. 16 n UND Discovery n University of North Dakota
William Martin: The “source” seems to matter more when considering positive opinions, compared to negative ones.
PHOTO BY WANDA WEBER, SCHOOL OF MEDICINE & HEALTH SCIENCES
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a two-year grant to Assistant Professor Jyotika Sharma (second from left) for an investigation of the respiratory infection popularly known as “rabbit fever.” Her research team includes (from left) undergraduate student Brandilyn Binstock, Assistant Professor Bibhuti Mishra, and third-year Ph.D. student Anthony Steichen.
Getting a jump on
RABBIT FEVER A team of faculty and student researchers investigates this debilitating disease with the goal of identifying a pathway to a vaccine.
ponized and used by bioterrorists. When harmful bacteria invade the body, the immune system recognizes the antigens or chemical flags on the surface of the bacterial cells that tell the immune system the cell is foreign. The immune system mounts a defense by preparing antibodies to attack and repel the infection. But if the immune response is ineffective or weak, the body will succumb to the infection. If caught in time, Francisella can be combatted with antibiotics; however, given the widespread and deadly nature of the bacteria, vaccination before infection would be optimal. “The NIH has poured in millions of dollars so far to get a vaccine made against this infection,” Sharma said. “While it has vastly improved our knowledge about how this disease is caused, we are still far from formulating an effective preventive strategy.” Assistant Professor Bibhuti B. Mishra is a co-investigator and collaborator with Sharma. Their team working on this project also includes Anthony Steichen, a third-year Ph.D. student, and Brandilyn Binstock, an undergraduate student. They have designed a unique way of identifying Francisella antigens that produce the most protective antibodies to fight off the infection. By “filtering out” the antigens that elicit a nonprotective response from the immune system, they hope to yield the identity of antigens required for generating antibodies that will provide a protective immune response. “Currently, when NIH funding is getting harder to obtain, particularly on Francisella research, the NIH has welcomed our unique approach that takes advantage of identifying differential immune responses,” Sharma said. “We believe that this unique approach can serve as a platform for identifying novel vaccine candidates for other bacterial pathogens as well.”
The National Institutes of Health By Denis MacLeod Despite its cute — maybe somewhat amusing — name, rabbit fever is no laughing matter for scientists at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS). The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently awarded a nearly $350,000 twoyear grant to Assistant Professor Jyotika Sharma, a microbial immunologist in the Department of Basic Sciences at the SMHS, for her study of the respiratory infection from a bacterium, Francisella tularensis, better known as “rabbit fever,” which causes a rare debilitating disease called tularemia. People exposed to the disease develop
flu-like symptoms, which, if left untreated, can lead to a mortality rate of up to 40 percent. Thus far, no vaccines are available to prevent this infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, naturally occurring infections from the bacterium have been reported in every state except Hawaii. Humans can become infected by tick and deer fly bites, skin contact with infected animals, ingesting contaminated food or water, and inhaling the bacteria. Francisella tularensis is very infectious — it takes only 10 to 50 bacteria to cause an infection. The virulence of the disease, particularly from inhalation, is a concern to the CDC because the bacteria could be wea-
A part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the NIH is the nation’s medical research agency. The NIH is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world. Its mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and to apply that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. n
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System Dynamics Continued from Page 10
Sciences, says, with respect to their areas of expertise, Romanenko and Garcia were paired together for a reason. He also added that in the System Dynamics curriculum, an important skill to master is the ability to work with and effectively communicate ideas to the public, or stakeholders, whose problems are under the microscope. “What we have here is a program that brings people together from a variety of different backgrounds,” Wheat said. “Real-world issues don’t exist in silos. It requires involvement from across various disciplines if you’re going to make a difference. Our work is not supposed to go back on the shelf when it’s done — it’s supposed to change the way people think about the problems they face. “But it’s one thing to solve problems on a computer; it’s another thing to do it in real life. That’s why we emphasize feasibility in our policy modeling and stress communication with stakeholders.” Romanenko and Garcia were recruited to come to UND by Scott Johnson, a principal advisor in the UND Institute for Energy Studies (IES) and an instructor in the Department of Petroleum Engineering, which has grown considerably in recent years as a result of its connections to the private sector oil and gas industry and support from the IES. Johnson, who studied at UiB and practiced System Dynamics in industry, was instrumental in setting up UND’s exchange agreements with Norway. “Anybody can sign an MOU — once that was done, we thought, ‘well, what are we going to do about it?,’” Johnson said. So Johnson visited UiB last year and reached out to Romanenko
Continued from Page 4 dish receiving that kind of information from DTN — every elevator in North Dakota had one of those. “That planted the seed with us for a way to provide weather info that was a lot more responsive to what the needs were, so we launched a proposal to create a distributed ag weather network,” said Osborne, who got his bachelor’s degree in physics from Utah State University and his master’s degree in atmospheric physics from Oklahoma State. “In that development process, we collaborated with John Enz, a faculty member at North Dakota State University and state climatologist. We secured funding for several North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) stations, and then more than doubled the size of that network,” Osborne said. He noted that another key factor was that North Dakota-based agricultural producer and marketing groups provided annual funding to support NDAWN. “It was a magical time for me because we got a lot of direct support from John (D. Odegard, founder of the School of Aerospace Sciences) doing a lot of different things to get this research on track,” Osborne said. “That was way back, it seems, when we had daily weather maps hanging on the wall. “We call it a weather mesonet to support agriculture; that kind of launched us by having the needed data, and we learned how to efficiently and effectively distribute this information,” Osborne said. “It was a struggle at first because we had inadequate tools to work with,
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and Garcia about the opportunity for the unique System Dynamics collaboration at UND. At the same time, Johnson was wrapping up the first semester of a new class in System Dynamics at UND. One of his students from that class, Neva Hendrickson, who already holds a bachelor’s degree from UND in anthropology (cultural anthropology emphasis) and a minor in chemistry, expressed interest in being the first UND student to take part in the exchange. She will be heading to UiB in August. Hendrickson, a native of Tioga, N.D., in the heart of the oil-boom region, currently works in the UND Office of International Programs. She said she’s intrigued by System Dynamics’ ability to model scientific processes and analyses of social science problems. “Since the model presents a low-risk environment, with no actual consequences, individuals can test out ideas and make adjustments that would not be possible in the real world where similar actions could have great consequences and risk,” she said. Johnson said the System Dynamics exchange arrangement with UiB is exceeding all expectations, so far. “We tried to create some new opportunities here at UND for students and faculty, and it’s worked the first time around,” he said. “We couldn’t be more pleased with how it’s going.” Steve Benson, chair of the UND Department of Petroleum Engineering and director of the IES, said there’s a lot of enthusiasm in the western part of the state for System Dynamics and how it can bring possible solutions to the real-world problems that many are facing there. He said he’s had conversations with key stakeholders in the region — in government, industry, academics and health care — who are interested in taking the next step with regard to System Dynamics. “We have an opportunity here to help the whole Williston Basin, in the wake of this whole unconventional resource play that has changed how we do business here and around the world,” Benson said. n
given our ambitious goals. It was the first year of our research when Microsoft Windows 3.1 came out, and it was quickly adopted.” Osborne is talking about Meridian Environmental Technology, a company he started with his wife, Kathy, and two other partners, Mark Owens and Bryan Hahn, fellow UND researchers. A classic “inthe-basement” launch, it was recently sold to a national company that continues Meridian’s operations in Grand Forks. “That’s the kind of added value that produces high-tech jobs,” Osborne said, noting that over the years Meridian has hired dozens of UND alums, mostly atmospheric and computer scientists. “We also produce weekly agricultural weather summaries for Agweek (a regional farm publication published by the Grand Forks Herald),” he said. Justifiably proud of the ag weather connections he’s worked on over the last 30 years, Osborne, who has relinquished his day-to-day roles at Meridian, is clearly enthusiastic about his 511 and AgWINDS concepts. “Our 511 system is used across the country, and for sure, it’s significant to North Dakota travel safety,” said Osborne, who is still director of the Surface Transportation Weather Research Center and the Regional Weather Information Center at the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. n
BOOK NOTES PHOTO BY SHAWNA NOEL SCHILL
A PHILOSOPHIC BLAST FROM THE PAST In his new book, UND scholar Jack Russell Weinstein taps into the famed writings of Adam Smith to establish new theories on diversity and justice. By David Dodds and Alyssa Wentz University of North Dakota Philosophy and Religion Professor Jack Russell Weinstein leans on the great writings of a famous philosopher of the past to support revamped theories on diversity and justice in his new book published last year. Inspiration for Weinstein’s book, titled Adam Smith’s Pluralism: Rationality, Education, and the Moral Sentiments (Yale University Press), began with his discontent for the present definition of justice, he said. Weinstein argues that a different definition can be developed by building on the writings of Adam Smith (1723-1790), the Scottish moral philosopher and pioneer of modern economic theory who is often referred to as the father of modern capitalism. “The basic point of the book is that all of our theories of diversity, the multicul-
turalism and the sense that we can all live in a pluralistic society, were anticipated by Adam Smith,” said Weinstein, who also is director of the UND Institute for Philosophy in Public Life and host of the popular radio show Why? on North Dakota Public Radio. “Smith set the groundwork for our present theories of diversity. This book presents a theory of diversity that will then lead to the foundation of a theory of justice.” Weinstein’s interpretation modernizes Smith’s two major works, The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments, showing that they are still relevant despite being more than 200 years old. He explains that there was a time when people lived divided by ethnicity and religion. And when they overlapped, one group had power over another. “Protestants exploited Catholics and vice versa, Christians exploited Mus-
lims and vice versa — Jews were always exploited — whites exploited blacks, men exploited women,” he said. “The standard solution was to carve out regions where people could live with their own kind, a segregated world. Today, however, we want a world where people can live together and where everyone has equal rights and equal freedom. “Justice, to us, means finding a perfect balance between this equality and freedom. But some people want the freedom to do things that other people object to, and others want to be left alone or segregated. A theory of justice outlines the rights and responsibilities of individuals, so that they can live together without oppressing, exploiting or injuring one another. The more diverse the population, the more complicated the theory of justice.” Weinstein’s book has been very well received, including this review by David J. Davis of The American Conservative: “Fascinating…an invigorating reorientation of liberal theory. Weinstein’s rescue… [of] Smith’s moral philosophy from its economically obsessed captors will prove an extraordinary blessing for conservative and liberal alike.” Weinstein plans to make this book the first of a three-volume series. He’ll write a draft for the second book’s manuscript while on sabbatical next year. “This first book is the interpretive book, modernizing Smith’s vocabulary and outlook so I can apply it to the contemporary world and its issues,” Weinstein said. “The second volume will describe the actual theory of justice and present an overall ‘philosophy of governance.’ The third volume will apply this theory to democratic participation — what it means to be a citizen, but also how justice informs our day-to-day lives and experiences. Hopefully, the three volumes will form one coherent theory that answers many of the major philosophical issues of the day.” The first book, which took about 10 years to complete, was officially released on Sept. 24, 2013. n
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BOOK NOTES Languages professor Paul Worley examines the importance of the oral tradition in understanding the Maya culture and its relationships with Mexican and global cultures.
“Talk is text” By Juan Miguel Pedraza In a small town 10 miles from the 1,000-year-old ruins of the Maya city of Uxmal, far from cruise ships and resorts, Paul Worley chats with his friend, Mariano Bonilla Caamal, a respected local leader and raconteur. They are talking in Spanish and Yucatec Maya, linking hands, so to speak, across 500 years of cultural history. The animated conversation ranges broadly over oral traditions, storytelling and the Internet. It’s friendly and informal, but still part of ongoing research that Worley, an assistant professor in the University of North Dakota Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures, started as a graduate student not all that long ago. This conversation and others in that Yucatec Maya community helped Worley, who teaches Spanish, write a compelling story in his newly published book, Telling and Being Told: Storytelling and Cultural Control in Contemporary Mexican and Yucatek Maya Texts. “Talk is text,” Worley declared in a recent coffee shop interview, referring to a form of cultural transmission that largely bypasses Western-style concepts of how knowledge and wisdom are stored and passed on. “Through performance and the spoken word, Yucatec Maya storytellers have maintained the vitality of their literary traditions for half a millennium,” said Worley, who started his work among the Yucatec Maya during his Ph.D. studies. Peer academics who reviewed Worley’s book, published by the University of Arizona Press in October, called it a “significant contribution” to the research literature about Meso-American indigenous peoples and cultures. “I learned a lot about the modern Maya culture from Mariano, who also tells me many traditional Yucatec Maya stories,” said Worley. “Most of what he tells me doesn’t show up in any anthologies, mostly because oral traditions like his have not been considered part of ‘literature.’ ” Mariano’s stories reflect a radically different perspective on life and living, Worley notes. “They’re mostly about how the Yucatec Maya look at the world,” he said. “In America, we’re so used to thinking that our literate culture began with Ann Bradstreet and John Winthrop (she was a 17th century poet, and he was a founding leader of the Massachusetts Bay Colony) that we paper over several prior literatures, including Native American oral and written traditions and all the writings of Spanish colonialists.” 20 n UND Discovery n University of North Dakota
In his book, Worley presents the figure of the storyteller as a symbol of indigenous cultural control in contemporary Yucatec Maya literatures, and by extension, in other non-Western traditionally oral cultures. Analyzing the storyteller as the embodiment of indigenous knowledge, Worley highlights how Yucatec Maya literatures play a vital role in imaginings of Maya culture and its relationships with Mexican and global cultures. Worley argues that many academics ignore an important component of Latin America’s history of conquest and colonization: Europeans consciously set out to destroy indigenous writing systems, re-emphasizing the importance of oral tradition as a key means of indigenous resistance and cultural continuity. “The oral tradition, such as what Mariano taught me, shows that we must include it in our literary perspective,” said Worley. “Indigenous oral texts are a key component of contemporary indigenous literatures, and storytellers and storytelling remain vibrant cultural forces in Yucatec communities and contemporary Yucatec writing.” Worley notes that in terms of how literature departments constitute their object of study and in terms of how these departments are housed within academic institutions, literary studies tend to focus on written texts that are printed in national languages. “Therefore, for many academics, literary criticism still entails the explication of what are traditionally construed as literary texts, these being texts written in national languages,” Worley said. “The fact is, indigenous literatures are the oldest literatures in the Americas.” Worley, with a colleague in the Languages Department, recently took that knowledge into a capstone course, Languages 480, an innovative two-semester series focusing on human rights and the post-colonial era in a global context. He said such classes aren’t designed to mystify, for example, the Yucatec Maya with whom he studies. “The Maya themselves will tell you what’s going on. It’s a living culture; it’s not some archaeological artifact,” said Worley. He is also part of the UND Working Group on Digital and New Media, which operates a high-tech media lab on campus. n
PHOTO BY JACKIE LORENTZ
Paul Worley: “The fact is, indigenous literatures are the oldest literatures in the Americas.”
“Found” in translation Award-winning writer Elizabeth Harris immerses herself in a literary art form that enriches how people view the world.
PHOTO BY JACKIE LORENTZ
By Amy Halvorson People are always searching for their passions, and once found, they look for ways to incorporate those passions into their lives. A lucky few are able to make a career out of their passions. Elizabeth Harris is one. Harris, an associate professor of creative writing at the University of North Dakota, has found success in the realm of literary translation, winning the 2013 Translation Prize from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Culture (Rome) for Mario Rigoni Stern’s Giacomo’s Seasons, a Banff International Centre Translation Residency (Banff, Canada), and a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Prize from the PEN American Center (New York) for Antonio Tabucchi’s Tristano Dies. Harris’s literary translation tale started in college. As an undergraduate, her major was not creative writing; it was art history. She found herself particularly interested in medieval Italian art, and she was also very interested in the Italian language. She studied Italian all of the time and loved everything about it, so she pursued it, even after graduation. Eventually, Harris earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University, and two Master of Fine Arts degrees from the University of Arkansas, one in creative writing and the other in literary translation. “Things kept rolling along and came together,” Harris said. Her first attempt at translation was a work written by Italo Calvino. That’s all it took. Once she started translating his stories, it was over. She had fallen in love with literary translation. Harris says that what many people do not realize is that translation is a form of creative writing. The translator/writer, who is creating a work of art, must be knowledgeable about the subject matter. To translate an author’s work, the translator must play the part of the author and become the author, in a manner of speaking, she said. Harris also has a background in fiction writing, and most of the classes she teaches at UND are about fiction. “Both [writing fiction and translating fiction] come with tremendous challenges,” Harris said. But in the end, she prefers translating fiction, as it combines her two loves: Italian literature and fiction writing. “It’s the perfect marriage for me,” she said. Harris describes her steps in translating by starting with a quick overview of the book and trying to figure out its voice as she begins to
translate. It’s painstaking work. She says she may get two pages done in a day, but that is if she is doing really well. She starts each new day by reworking the previous day’s translation and then moving on. Once finished, Harris admits that she feels a bit lost and sad, as her favorite part is the actual translating of the book. When Harris is translating she gets “swept away and consumed by it.” In addition to the four books that she has translated or is in the process of translating, Harris has more than 30 published translations of stories, novel excerpts and commentaries on translation in various journals, such as The Massachusetts Review, The Literary Review, Words Without Borders, AGNI magazine, The Kenyon Review, and The Missouri Review. Her translations also have appeared twice in the anthology Best European Fiction (Dalkey Archive Press), with work by Giulio Mozzi (2010) and Marco Candida (2011). Harris currently is working under a contract with Archipelago Books. Harris is particularly proud of her translation of Mozzi’s story collection, This Is the Garden (Open Letter Books), a book in which she (“Found” in translation, continued on Page 23)
The following is a list of the books Harris has translated or is currently working on: Giacomo’s Seasons, by Mario Rigoni Stern (Autumn Hill Books, 2012) This Is the Garden, by Giulio Mozzi (Open Letter Books, 2014) Tristano Dies, by Antonio Tabucchi (Archipelago Books, forthcoming 2015) For Isabel: a Mandala, by Antonio Tabucchi (Archipelago Books, forthcoming 2016)
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FOCUS ON FACULTY Globetrotting scholar Wayne Seames lands Fulbright spot in England; gives invited talks in China, California, Tennessee and Maine. University of North Dakota Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering Wayne Seames is racking up the frequentflyer miles lately — and for good reason. Seames recently was notified he will spend a sabbatical year at the University of Leeds in Northern England after being named that university’s 2014-2015 Fulbright Distinguished Chair Scholar. He’ll leave for England later this year. Earlier this year, the globe-trotting scientist dashed off to Hongzhoug, China, to be among a group of senior U.S. combustion researchers attending a sustainable energy workshop funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). This workshop, which took place March 11-12, targeted high-priority research objectives that could be pursued better by colSeames laborative U.S./China research teams than by U.S. researchers and China researchers working separately. At the workshop, they identified collaborative research projects on combustion related to sustainable energy that are potentially fundable jointly by the U.S. NSF and the Chinese NSF. Seames presented on the longterm sustainable use of coal for power generation. After the workshop, Seames took a side trip to visit Xi’an Jiaotong University to meet with more Chinese combustion researchers and to present another seminar on UND’s coal combustion capabilities. Now back to the Fulbright. One of only three distinguished chairs sponsored in the U.K. each year, the Fulbright Foundation awards one Distinguished Chair fellowship to a U.S. citizen to contribute to the intellectual life of the University of Leeds through seminars, public lectures and curriculum development in any discipline. Candidates are selected by the Fulbright Commission and the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) for a six-month appointment. While at Leeds, Seames will work on both teaching and research related projects. Other stops on Seames’ travel log:
• Last November, he was an invited plenary speaker at the NSF’s annual national EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) conference in Nashville, Tenn. • In January, he visited colleagues at the California State Polytechnic University at Pomona to discuss collaborative research and education projects as well as to recruit students to UND programs. • In April, he gave an invited seminar talk on renewable transportation fuels and chemicals at the University of Maine in Orono.
If that isn’t enough, Seames already has two papers accepted at a coal conference in the United Kingdom next September, and is being considered for a prestigious Gresham Lecture in London next winter.
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Wonderlich awarded grant for new therapy study Steve Wonderlich, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at the School of Medicine & Health Sciences, recently was awarded a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) grant to study a new treatment for binge eating disorder developed by investigators from UND and the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin. In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their lives, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or related disorders, according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). Wonderlich — with a team that includes researchers from the Fargo-based and UNDWonderlich affiliated Neuropsychiatric Research Institute (NRI) and colleagues at the University of Minnesota — will be conducting closely supervised trials of the new treatment with volunteers who suffer from binge eating disorder. Wonderlich and his research colleague, NRI president and Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor and Chair of Clinical Neuroscience James Mitchell, are known globally for their pioneering research and clinical work with eating disorders. The grant from NIMH, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, is part of a longer-term strategy to uncover better ways of treating this disorder.
Ingle uncovers, publishes groundbreaking trumpet pieces UND Trumpet Professor Ronnie Ingle edited and compiled a groundbreaking edition of music that has been published worldwide by Carl Fischer Music, leaders in educational publishing and arguably the largest music publisher in the world. Ingle recently discovered a collection of solos for trumpet and chamber orchestra composed by notable trumpeter Francois Dauverné, the first trumpet teacher at the famed Paris Conservatory. He then transformed the works for solo trumpet to a modern edition for solo trumpet and piano. Dauverné’s solos were known to exist through references from other sources, but the music itself was not located or available until Ingle managed to track it down. Now with Ingle’s publication, the music world has access to several masterpieces of trumpet literature by one of the most important Ingle figures in the history of that instrument. The modern edition is more than 120 pages, and includes parts for piano and trumpets in B flat and C. The book also contains a recording of these works played by the UND maestro himself, Ingle.
Ingle devoted the last three years to transforming this historical piece to one with a modern flair. Though Ingle is not one to toot his own horn, Carl Fischer explains in its press releases that “this is a collection that all trumpeters should have in their library.” Ingle has been playing trumpet for more than 30 years and has earned degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (D.M.A.), Webster University in St. Louis (M.M.), and Western Carolina University (B.A.). He currently serves as trumpet instructor and director of the UND Trumpet Ensemble.
Mikulak’s new book takes open approach to world cultures
Marcia Mikulak, an associate professor in the Anthropology Department, is fascinated by how people interpret the world around them. For years Mikulak has been studying people and cultures, from her time in Brazil working with human rights for the Xukuru people to new research involving human and environmental rights in North Dakota’s Bakken oil region. She has edited a new book titled Searching for a New Paradigm: A Cultural Anthropology Reader, intended to help her students take a more open view of the world. The book takes a thoughtful approach to issues of human rights as well as biology and Mikulak cultures. “I wanted to provide a reader to my students that asked them to view the topics discussed in terms of a variety of perspectives,” Mikulak said. “The goal I had in mind was to assist them in asking the question, ‘can I view the world from a variety of perspectives?’” Mikulak has another book, detailing her studies of working children and children of the streets in Brazil, coming out in December. — adapted from the original piece by Melanie Herauf, UND College of Arts & Sciences
Caine named co-editor of sports medicine series Dennis Caine, professor and chair in UND’s Department of Kinesiology & Public Health Education (KPHE), part of the College of Education & Human Development, was named series co-editor for the long-standing Karger Publisher’s (Basel, Switzerland) book series, titled Medicine and Sport Science, on Jan. 1. Caine also currently serves on editorial review boards for three other journals: British Journal of Sport Medicine (associate editor), Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, and Research in Sports Medicine: An International Journal. Prior to coming to UND, Caine was a Caine professor in the Department of Physical Education, Health and Recreation at Western Washington University in Bellingham from 1992 to 2007. He began his career as a physical education teacher in Canada and with the Canadian Department of National Defense in Germany.
Caine’s research interests involve the epidemiology of injury in sport, injury and growth, and the effects of intensive training on growth. Within KPHE, Caine teaches Applied Motor Development at the undergraduate level and Physical Activity Epidemiology for graduate students.
Deans discuss Indian gaming trends at Stanford Law School Conference UND Law School Dean Kathryn Rand and Interim Dean of the College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines Steven Light recently participated in a conference on Indian gaming Rand trends Feb. 6-7 at Stanford Law School in California. Titled Contemporary Issues in Indian Law, the conference was organized by the Stanford Native American Law Student Association. Rand and Light, who also serves as UND’s associate vice president for academic affairs, spoke as part of a panel on Tribal Gaming and Tribal-State Compacting. Their presentation was titled, “Tribal Gaming Issues in the 21st Century.” Light In related news, Rand and Light’s research in Indian gaming issues around the nation continues to attract bigtime media attention. The research duo was cited in a March 4 New York Times story on the rise of intertribal disagreements over the expansion of Indian gaming in California.
“Found” in translation Continued from Page 21
felt that she really grew as a translator. She believes that she was able to recreate his rhythms and phrases and capture his voice in English. There are multiple routes by which a translator may be paired with a particular book to translate. The translator may choose a book she would like to translate, or the publishing house might approach the translator and ask her to translate a book. In Harris’s case, she was able to choose her first two books, and then Archipelago Books requested that she do the second two. “It is important to have the right translator for the book,” she said. Harris says people don’t always realize how much of the translator is in the book. They often don’t realize that someone spent considerable time translating the book and put part of themselves into its translation. So people often do not always give appropriate credit to the translators, she said. Harris feels that literary translation is a great aspect of the humanities: It’s an art form that brings literature from one culture to another and enriches how people view the world. Harris says she is grateful that UND has embraced her work in translation. n
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SPOTLIGHT ON STUDENTS PHOTO BY SHAWNA NOEL SCHILL
Good vibrations UND student Carly Flaagan wins prestigious music therapy award for research in the field. University of North Dakota senior Carly Flaagan was just looking for a little feedback from judges when she applied for the E. Thayer Gaston Research Writing Award. “And then I ended up winning it,” she said. Flaagan received her award at the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) conference, held last fall in Jacksonville, Fla. It’s considered the most prestigious student award given by the association. She may have been surprised by the result, but she was confident in her effort. “I’ve done a lot of research, and I put a lot of work into it,” Flaagan said. The East Grand Forks native is the first Gaston Award winner from UND. Flaagan was awarded a certificate, a $500 stipend and the opportunity to have her paper reviewed by the Journal of Music Therapy. During the 2013 spring semester, as part of her music class, Flaagan wrote a paper based on experiences she had during her practicum. She facilitated music therapy sessions at Toddler Language Circle, a partnership with UND speech-language pathology students. Her data from the sessions created the inspiration for the research. Flaagan incorporated music into speech and language goals for toddlers with language impairment. Her award-winning paper gathered professional opinions about collaborative efforts between music therapists and speech-language pathologists. The paper explained how important these collaborations can be. “I’m most proud of her willingness to reach out to her peers in music therapy who supported her and the speech-language pathology students,” said Andrew Knight, assistant professor of music therapy. Flaagan commended the support she received from Knight and UND Assistant Professor of Music Therapy Meganne Masko, as well as family, friends, and members of the UND Music Department. Flaagan has always been interested in music. She plays the piano, sings, directs children’s theater, and runs the Summer Arts Safari, a 24 n UND Discovery n University of North Dakota
nonprofit summertime performing arts program. Flaagan says that music therapy is a perfect combination of two of her primary interests: music and psychology. Music therapy, she said, “is a helping profession, and I wanted to go into something where I could help people.” Music therapy is defined as the use of music to address emotional, cognitive, physical and social needs to an individual or a group, according to AMTA. A music therapist treats clients through singing, creating, and listening to music. Music therapy also can help those who find it difficult to express themselves. North Dakota became one of the first states with a music therapy licensing program in 2011, and includes music therapy under its Board of Integrative Health. Flaagan was slated to wrap up her classes in December 2014 before starting a six-month internship. She will have to take an exam to become a board-certified music therapist. “I feel lucky to say that there are many exciting possibilities ahead,” Flaagan said. — by Kallie Van De Venter
‘Humbled’ but thriving at UND Chemistry graduate student Gerard Dickmu receives 2014 Young Investigator Award. Coming from a background where no research was done, University of North Dakota chemistry graduate student Gerard Dickmu describes his time in graduate school as “a very difficult and humbling experience.” Dickmu, a native of Cameroon, has overcome those challenges and was recently presented with one of two 2014 Young Investigator Awards presented by the Red River Valley regional section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) at a competition on Feb. 8. Students from regional graduate programs participated in the event and gave research presentations as part of the competition. “To move from knowing nothing about research to receiving this award is amazing,” he said. “It makes me feel great, and I know there is a better future ahead as long as I keep working hard and trusting in God.” Dickmu received his chemistry undergraduate degree from The University of Buea in his Dickmu home country. From there, Dickmu knew he wanted to pursue his dream of going to graduate school to become a university professor. After receiving high scores on both the Graduate Record Examination and the Test of English as a Foreign Language, and achieving above a 3.0 GPA, Gerard was accepted to the graduate program at UND. The Young Investigator Award, in the form of a $500 travel grant, will help Dickmu attend the 247th National ACS Meeting in Dallas this spring. At that meeting, Dickmu will present his research on “new cyclopalladated complexes based on D-camphor and other enantiopure compounds.” These processes are used extensively in the pharmaceutical industry and more generally in the synthesis and purification of biologi-
cally active organic compounds. An international team of university researchers shared the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize in Chemistry for breakthroughs with similar work. Dickmu also recently presented his research at the 2014 UND Scholarly Forum. Dickmu’s research advisor is UND Chemistry Professor Irina Smoliakova. — by Kortnie Evanson
Call of the Wild UND Wildlife Society students are recognized at the state chapter’s annual conference. Members of the UND Wildlife Society, including 19 undergraduates, seven graduate students, two faculty and an emeritus faculty member, represented the school recently at the 51st Annual Winter Conference of the North Dakota Chapter of the Wildlife Society in Mandan, N.D. The UND delegation presented seven posters and gave three oral presentations during the conference Feb. 12-14. At the conference awards banquet, Leila Mohsenian was presented the University of North Dakota Undergraduate Student Scholarship Award, and Paul Burr won the North Dakota Chapter of the Wildlife Society Outstanding Graduate Student Award. Mohsenian is a native of Chanhassen, Minn., and Burr is from East Grand Forks, Minn. In addition, Ph.D. student Alicia Andes of West Palm Beach, Fla., won the Outstanding Student Poster Presentation Award for her research presentation on using video cameras to monitor threatened bird nests on the Missouri River. The Program Committee of the North Dakota Chapter of The Wildlife Society hosts the annual conference for regular and student members to present papers and posters on natural resource issues. The theme for this year’s meeting centered on “Coping with North Dakota’s Changing Landscape.” As part of the biology program, the UND Wildlife Society primarily helps undergraduate students improve career-related skills and establish connections and working relationships with professionals in the wildlife field; it gives them the chance to refine their skills and share them with the Grand Forks community in the pursuit of wildlife education and conservation. — by Chen Wu
Learning to navigate the Hill Bergsrud, Proulx tapped for Washington, D.C., workshop on research funding and federal budgeting. Two University of North Dakota graduate students participated in a special workshop in the nation’s capital to examine the federal budgeting process and how it connects to research funding. Rob Proulx, a native of Crookston, Minn., and an Earth System Science & Policy student in the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, and Cory Bergsrud, a Devils Lake, N.D., native in the College of Engineering & Mines, were selected from among 17 UND students who submitted applications for the “Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering (CASE) Pilot Policy Workshop” March 31-April 2 in Washington, D.C. Topics such as U.S. science and technology policy and negotiating appropriation bills in Congress were presented by Toby Smith, vice president of the Association of American Universities, and Matt Hourihan, director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Research & Development Budget and Policy Program. Proulx said he hopes to obtain a fuller understanding of the reciprocal relationships between science and policy. “I am drawn to the idea that research can be specifically designed to inform policymaking, and in my future career, I hope to design and participate in such research projects,” Proulx said. “Therefore, this workshop represents a Proulx phenomenal opportunity for me.” Bergsrud said he will use the workshop and networking opportunities to gain experience toward a leadership role in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) community when it comes to Earth sustainability issues of the future. “I believe that outer space is the answer that we as a nation and world need to really get serious about starting work toward replenishing our minerals and continuing to supply Bergsrud affordable energy. In order to make this pivot in society, it is vital that more STEM folks are trained in the way of getting larger resource support by learning to effectively communicate with not only Congress but also industries and universities in a collaborative network.” They also participated in interactive team-building exercises on how to communicate with Congress. The workshop took place at the AAAS headquarters in Washington and on Capitol Hill. — by David Dodds
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The Farmers’ Choice exhibition at the UND Art Collections Gallery included this untitled 1934 oil painting by Thorarin Snowfield (1897-1981) depicting a threshing scene. A native of Mountain, N.D., Snowfield studied art in New York City and Minneapolis. During the Great Depression, he created paintings of North Dakota “native scenes” for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). After the closing of the WPA, he made a modest living as an artist in Cavalier and Langdon, N.D. Creating scenes of Icelandic life in North Dakota during the early and middle 20th century, Snowfield is the only known artist who painted scenes from this portion of the state’s history.