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Study Abroad Student Aims to Excel as Physics Teacher
27 April 2010He may have had the time of his life while studying abroad, but this student never lost sight of his lifelong dream of teaching high school physics. Andrew Palmer, a senior from West Chester, Pennsylvania, is currently pursuing his degree in physics with a teaching option and a minor in mathematics. Aside from fulfilling his goal of becoming a teacher, Andy came to Penn State determined to study abroad and was accepted to the National University of Ireland in Galway for the 2009 spring semester.
Penn State Science Proposes the Explorarium, a Digital Planetarium Concept at the Arboretum at Penn State
23 April 2010For decades, the Penn State department of astronomy and astrophysics has been providing students and the public with the opportunity to explore space. With the acquisition of the first Spitz Model A planetarium projector in the 1930s, to the more modern Spitz starball projector, to the current 3D GeoWall projectors, the department has been able to educate and immerse thousands of people each year in the wonders of the sky. To continue educating students and the public, the department envisions building a state-of-the-art, easy-access public science education facility at the Arboretum at Penn State.
Satellite Has Found 500 of the Most Gigantic Explosions in the Universe
19 April 2010NASA's Swift satellite, whose science and flight operations are controlled from Penn State University's Mission Operations Center in State College, has detected its 500th gamma-ray burst -- a type of explosion that is the biggest and most mysterious in the cosmos. Swift's X-Ray Telescope and Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope were developed and built by international teams led by Penn State.
Dr. Stu Seides Selected to Receive 2010 Alumni Fellow Award
16 April 2010Dr. Stu Seides, '67 Sci, has been selected to receive the 2010 Alumni Fellow Award. Seides is currently the president of Cardiology Associates, P.C., in Washington, D.C. The Alumni Fellow Award is the most prestigious award given by the Penn State Alumni Association. Since 1973, the Alumni Fellow Award has been given to select alumni who, as leaders in their professional fields, are nominated by an academic college and accept an invitation from the President of the University to return to campus to share their expertise with students, faculty, and administrators.
Alumni Spotlight - Turning a Passion into a Career
12 April 2010Although one Penn State Science alumni knew he wanted to be a physician since he was a child, it wasn’t until he was much older that he realized osteopathic medicine is exactly what he wanted to pursue not only as a lifelong career, but also as his passion. Philip Miller, a 2000 graduate of life sciences, is currently completing his fellowship in neuromuscular medicine and osteopathic manipulation.
Science BS/MBA Student Succeeds On and Off the Ice
08 April 2010While one Penn State Icers player may have made a science out of scoring, it was his lifelong interest in the field of science that brought him to Penn State to study both science and business while playing for the Penn State ice hockey team. Marek Polidor, a junior from Imperial, Pennsylvania, is one of the top leading scorers for the Penn State Icers. In addition to playing hockey and taking two classes, Marek has a full-time business co-op at Innovation Park where he is gaining experience to eventually enter a corporate setting of a science-based business.
Mysterious Planet-like Object Challenges Simple Definition, Reveals Its Surprising Identity
06 April 2010A mysterious planet-like object orbiting a not-quite-starlike "brown dwarf" is the most recent enigma discovered by astronomers with their ever-more powerful telescopes. Kamen Todorov, a graduate student at Penn State University, and a team of co-investigators including Kevin Luhman, assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State, used the keen eyesight of the Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini observatory to directly image the planet-like object.
Garrison Honored with Special Edition of Chemistry Journal
02 April 2010The American Chemical Society is honoring Barbara Garrison, the Shapiro Professor of Chemistry and the head of the Department of Chemistry at Penn State, by dedicating the current April 2010 edition of the Journal of Physical Chemistry C to the celebration of her scientific career. This special "festschrift" issue of the journal contains 49 scientific articles, many of which are authored by Garrison's colleagues, some of whom she mentored earlier in their careers when they were members of her research lab.
Sandra Murray Receives Distinguished Service Award
01 April 2010Sandra Murray, the administrative assistant in the Penn State Eberly College of Science Office of Associate Dean Norman Freed, has received the 2009 Eberly College of Science Alumni Society Distinguished Service Award. The award was established in 1979 to recognize individuals who have made significant and outstanding leadership and service contributions to the Eberly College of Science over a sustained period of time.
Ancient Snakes Living on Madagascar
31 March 2010"Blindsnakes are not very pretty, are rarely noticed, and are often mistaken for earthworms," admits Blair Hedges, professor of biology at Penn State University. "Nonetheless, they tell a very interesting evolutionary story." Hedges and Nicolas Vidal, of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, are co-leaders of the team that discovered that blindsnakes are one of the few groups of organisms that inhabited Madagascar when it broke from India about 100 million years ago and are still living today.
Science Students Expand Their Horizons with Costa Rica Trip
23 March 2010For twenty Penn State science students and three faculty members, the break between fall and spring semesters included sixteen days of humid weather, many different climates, and exotic wildlife. These science majors and faculty members stepped out of their typical classroom laboratories and flew to Costa Rica from December 27, 2009 to January 10, 2010 as part of Biology 499A, Tropical Field Ecology. It is an embedded course that includes sixteen intense days of experiments and studying in different climates of Costa Rica.
Discovery of Earliest Known Black Holes
17 March 2010Astronomers have discovered what appear to be two of the earliest and most primitive supermassive black holes known. The discovery, based on observations with the NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and other space observatories, will be published in the 18 March 2010 edition of the scientific journal Nature.
Musk Ox Population Decline Due to Climate, Not Humans, Study Finds
08 March 2010A team of scientists has discovered that the drastic decline in Arctic musk ox populations that began roughly 12,000 years ago was due to a warming climate rather than to human hunting. "This is the first study to use ancient musk ox DNA collected from across the animal's former geographic range to test for human impacts on musk ox populations," said Beth Shapiro, the Shaffer Career Development assistant professor of biology at Penn State University and one of the team's leaders. "We found that, although human and musk ox populations overlapped in many regions across the globe, humans probably were not responsible for the decline and eventual extinction of musk oxen across much of their former range." The team's findings will be published in the 8 March 2010 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Ancient DNA from Rare Fossil Reveals that Polar Bears Evolved Recently and Adapted Quickly
01 March 2010A rare, ancient polar bear fossil discovered in Norway in 2004 is yielding a treasure trove of essential information about the age and evolutionary origins of the species whose future is now seen as synonymous with the devastation wrought by climate change. A paper published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by researchers at Penn State University, the University at Buffalo, the University of Oslo, and other institutions is filling in key pieces of the evolutionary history of polar bears and brown bears, including their response to past climate changes.
THON: An Amazing and Inspiring Experience
26 February 2010Since 1977, Penn State students have participated in THON to raise money for The Four Diamonds Fund and raise awareness of pediatric cancer. Over those 30+ years, many Eberly College of Science students have been fund raisers, dancers, moralers, and spectators. Read about THON experiences from science alumni and current students.
Video Interviews: THON 2010 Dancers
26 February 2010Four dancers from two Eberly College of Science student organizations danced in the 46-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer. Watch Stephanie Huff, Michele Sassano, Andrew Shoemaker, and Sasha Slipak talk about their THON experiences.
Scientists Develop New Method for Tracking Seed Dispersal and Establishment
26 February 2010A Penn State biologist and his collaborators have developed a new method for tracking seed movement and germination. According to Tomas Carlo, assistant professor of biology at Penn State and the leader of the study, the technique will be useful for studying plant dispersal and how plants adjust to global climate change. The technique also will enable scientists to gather biological information about invasive plants that is critical to controlling their spread.
Astronomers Discover Ancient Galaxies Coming Together after Billions of Years
23 February 2010A team of astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and other space instruments has discovered that a collection of small, ancient galaxies, called the Hickson Compact Group 31 (HCG 31), finally is coming together into one larger galaxy after 10 billion years. The images the team recorded offer a window into the universe's early years, when the buildup of large galaxies from smaller building blocks was common.
Contest Winner Happy About Win, Student Involvement
22 February 2010As Penn State freshmen arrive to campus in late August, many begin their college journey by making new friends from all areas of the globe, following maps to classes, piling up trays with unlimited food at the dining halls, adjusting to dorm life, and taking their first spoonful of Creamery ice cream. But one freshman mechanical engineering major started her Penn State experience just a little differently. Siri Maley of Exton, Pennsylvania, won the Eberly College of Science NameMe contest to rename the east wing of Ritenour, an 88-year-old campus building.
Lessons from the Past: Research Reveals Ancient Civilization's Water-Supply Secrets" is a Free Public Event on 27 February
19 February 2010A free public event, titled "Lessons from the Past: Research Reveals Ancient Civilization's Water-Supply Secrets," will feature Kirk French, a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Penn State, on 27 February 2010 in room 100 Thomas Building on the Penn State University Park campus. The presentation is the last of six events in the 2010 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science, a free minicourse for the general public with the theme "Water: The Next Frontier." No registration is required. The minicourse takes place on six consecutive Saturday mornings from 11:00 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m. in Thomas Building.

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