Tuesday, June 11, 2013
At the end of last month, 16 phenomenal (and really tough!) students and I returned to the U.S. after spending just over two weeks in the Peruvian Amazon. It's no coincidence that "Amazon" and "amazing" have the same etymological root ("amaz(e)" means "to overwhelm with surprise or sudden wonder; astonish greatly."(Dictionary.com)). Every turn held a new wonder or surprise. After a few days in the river city of Iquitos (only accessed by plane or boat, and including the floating "city" of Belen), we took a four-hour speedboat ride up the Amazon to our destination, Madre Selva field station. This was a primitive base camp, immersed in the jungle, with electricity only provided for a few hours each day by a generator. Our days involved assembling and checking traps (pitfalls, bat nets, bird nets, funnel traps), hiking through the jungle (both day and night), fishing for piranhas, catching alligators, collecting leaves, conducting scavenger hunts, and catching snakes and tarantulas. We also visited the local villages and built desks and benches for one of the village schools. It was like no other experience, and we have to thank Project Amazonas, Inc., for guiding us and allowing us to share this opportunity. I could go on and on, but for now I will just say that it was truly
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Monday, April 22, 2013
Ahmad did an exceptional job of representing our research group this weekend at the Missouri Academy of Science Annual Meeting. This morning before class he brought me the award he earned for first place in the student poster competition! I'm so proud of these guys.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
As referenced in the previous post, our research team presented their poster at the FoSA yesterday. Congrats and well done to all of the presenters! The picture was during Jake's "shift" in front of the poster. That's me and our awesome Lab Manager, Aaron Bossert, talking to him about it.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Please join me in congratulating my outstanding research student, Mr. Ahmad Maaz (pictured below with his collaborators, Jake Grimes and Kurt Piening, at the Missouri Natural Resources Conference in January), for receiving the Dean's Undergraduate Fellowship for Summer Research! Ahmad will receive funding through this award to compose and publish a manuscript describing the research we have been conducting on the phylogeny and taxonomy of the Smooth Earth Snake (Virginia valeriae). He will also be presenting this research Monday at the Rockurst Outstanding Research Seminar and next weekend at the Missouri Academy of Science annual meeting; and all three students will be presenting their poster at the Festival of Student Achievement on campus next week. This is truly an exciting time for our research team! Great job, guys.
Monday, April 8, 2013
Yesterday morning, families, faculty and the Honors Student Executive Board formally welcomed the honors freshmen class into the Honors Program. We gathered for a nice brunch and were honored to have two distinguished speakers, Mr. Shail Mehta (freshmen honors student) and Dr. Joanna Carraway-Vitiello (Honors Advisory Committee member and professor in the honors program, pictured talking with me below). We were so proud to celebrate the