Celebrating 75 years: Information, library science school marks anniversary
Diversity plan advances vision for community
Bowles to help celebrate UNC’s 213th birthday
Carolina hits new NIH funding mark, ranks 15th
Carolina First campaign
Albright to speak at May 2007 commencement
Faculty Council: New chair asks what issues council should explore
SECC kicks off campaign with Oct. 3 charity fair
Pandemic topic of Sept. 29 broadcast, talk
Tuition task force set to weigh tuition levels against
Planetarium launches ‘Destination: Space’
FYI Research: Mapping invaders in Darwin’s Isles of Inspiration
Detecting mercury: making the workplace a safer environment
Basic PowerPoint class is
available through CBT
HR and ITS collaborate to offer business skills
CELEBRATING 75 YEARS:
Information, library science school marks anniversary
José-Marie Griffiths (left), dean of the School of
Information and Library Science, is accompanied by former deans Joanne
Marshall, Barbara Moran, Evelyn Daniel and Raymond Carpenter as they cut
birthday cake at the school’s 75th anniversary celebration on Sept. 18.
The reception, held at Memorial Hall, was the kickoff of
SILS’ series of events encompassed by the theme “Illuminating the Past,
Imagining the Future.” On Sept. 21, for example, SILS students held poster
sessions and panel discussions. And the Adventures in Ideas Symposium,
co-sponsored with the Program in Humanities and Human Values, featured
“Censorship, Privacy, National Security and Other Dilemmas of the Information
Age,” on Sept. 22-23.
For complete information on SILS’ anniversary speakers and
events, refer to sils.unc.edu/75thAnniversary.
Diversity plan advances vision for community
The University announced this month a five-point plan to
advance a campus vision for a diverse and inclusive campus community.
After attending a national summit on diversity in higher
education held at the University of Texas-Austin in 2004, Chancellor Moeser
became convinced that Carolina should not leave its vision for a diverse and
inclusive community to chance, but rather should develop a plan that would help
guide its actions and commitment to diversity. During a debriefing with senior administrators on the
diversity summit, Moeser asked Archie Ervin, associate provost for diversity
and multicultural affairs, to take the leadership for assessing how well the
University was doing in creating a campus climate welcoming to all. The
Chancellor’s Task Force on Diversity completed work in April 2005 with a report
that contained eight recommendations to advance Carolina’s vision for
In response to the diversity task force report, Moeser
appointed Ervin to lead an ad hoc committee of faculty and senior
administrators to use the work of the task force to develop a plan for
diversity that would address the issues identified by the diversity task force.
In May 2006, the ad hoc committee submitted a final draft of the diversity plan
to the chancellor.
Moeser, in a campuswide letter on Sept. 7, said the plan
will set common goals for University leaders and provide an avenue for sharing
strategies. The five goals are to:
Define and publicize the University's commitment to
Achieve the critical masses of underrepresented
populations necessary to ensure the educational benefits of diversity in
faculty, staff, students, and executive, administrative and managerial
Make high-quality diversity education, orientation and
training available to all members of the university community.
Create and sustain a climate in which respectful
discussions of diversity are encouraged and take leadership in creating
opportunities for interaction and cross group learning.
Support further research to advance the University's
commitment to diversity.
Ervin, in a recent interview, said the five-point plan is
the cornerstone initiative that will put into practice what the campus has long
embraced in principle. The practice calls on unit leaders to submit baseline
reports this fall and an initial full diversity report in spring 2007, as part
of the annual budget review process.
Ervin emphasized that the diversity initiative is really an
extension of the goal of diversity that is already part of the University’s
five-year academic plan.
“We took a cue from the academic plan, which was the result of
lots of labor, lots of groups vetting, but the approach of the plan is these
are the strategic steps that will allow us to achieve the vision we have for
ourselves,” Ervin said.
Ervin said the expectation is that senior leadership will
embrace these strategic steps as goals within their respective units,
departments and schools. This approach, he said, avoids “dictating downward.”
Instead, it seeks to get school deans, department chairs and directors to
incorporate diversity into their budgeting and planning. “Deans, vice
chancellors and other senior leaders are expected to balance budgets and put a
plan together for academic priorities,” Ervin said. “We want to say that
included in that planning and leadership are issues and dimensions of diversity
that are relevant to each unit.”
He described it as a process of self-accountability. “We are
not in a culture where you can dictate accountability,” Ervin said. “People
either assume responsibility for things or they don’t.”
Ervin said a second part of the process is for campus
leaders to complete a report of what they are already doing related to
diversity in October. “We’ve never had a way to systematically become more
aware of what we are doing,” He said. “There are so many things going on here
that Carolina deserves a lot of high praise for.”
The reports, Ervin said, will create an inventory of
activities that can be catalogued in such a way as to allow good models to be
shared throughout campus.
To learn more about the diversity plan and download the
complete plan, go to: www.unc.edu/diversity/diversityplan/index.html.
Bowles to help celebrate UNC’s 213th birthday
Virtual museum debuts on University Day
The University will celebrate its 213th birthday on Oct. 12
with a speech by UNC President Erskine Bowles and an awards presentation in
Memorial Hall. Students, faculty, staff and the public are invited to the free
public ceremony, which begins at 11 a.m.
University Day was created by the UNC Board of Trustees to
commemorate the laying of the cornerstone of Old East, the nation’s first state
university building, on Oct. 12, 1793. The university was chartered by the
state legislature in 1789 and welcomed its first students in 1795.
At 3 p.m., Chancellor James Moeser will help unveil a
virtual museum of University history at a public symposium in Wilson Library’s
Pleasants Family Assembly Room. The web-based museum, a joint project of the
UNC Center for the Study of the American South and the University Library,
chronicles Carolina’s people and events from its founding to the present day.
As a comprehensive resource, the virtual museum contains blunt historical
truths, including the role of slavery in the growth of the University.
“This project was born of both pride and responsibility,”
said Harry Watson, director of the Center for the Study of the American South.
“Carolina has a rich and complex story that includes some very painful
episodes. It’s important to thoroughly understand our past in order to move
intelligently to the future.”
In addition to Watson, the symposium will include William
Darity Jr., Boshamer distinguished professor of economics and director of the
Institute of African American Research; James Leloudis, associate professor of
history, associate dean for honors and director of the Johnston Center for
Undergraduate Excellence; and Jacquelyn Hall, Spruill professor of history and
director of the Southern Oral History Program. The symposium will explore
historical perspectives on race and the University; service to the state and
region; and gender and Southern education.
University Day became a college holiday in 1877 and an
all-day celebration in 1900. In 1906, Edwin A. Alderman, former University
president, received an honorary degree, the first given on University Day. That
practice evolved into the Distinguished Alumna and Alumnus Awards, first
presented in 1971 to alumni who had distinguished themselves in a manner that
brought credit to the University.
This year’s recipients, who will be recognized at the
Memorial Hall event, are: Valarie Alayne Batts, Angela Rebecca Bryant, William
“Bill” Burwell Harrison Jr., Weiming Lu, Charles Barnet Nemeroff and George
Edwin Stuart III.
Batts and Bryant are co-founders of VISIONS Inc., a
nonprofit firm offering consultancy and training in multiculturalism. Both are
natives of Rocky Mount. Batters earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from
UNC in 1974. She helped found the Black Student Movement at Carolina and was
inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece, the Order of the Valkyries and the
Order of the Old Well.
Bryant earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1973 and
a doctoral degree in law in 1976, both from UNC. She helped develop the Wright
Center, a multicultural adult daycare health project in Rocky Mount.
Harrison earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from UNC in
1966 and played basketball for Dean Smith. In 2001, Harrison was named chair
and chief executive officer of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. He piloted the
company through its merger with Bank One Corp. Harrison has served on Carolina’s
Board of Visitors, the Bicentennial Steering Committee and the National
Development Council. In 2004, the Board of Trustees honored him with the Davie
Lu earned his master’s in regional planning from UNC in
1956. As president of Lowertown Redevelopment Corp. in St. Paul, Minn., Lu has
advised major urban design projects including the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
and redevelopment of Chattanooga, Tenn., and south-central Los Angeles. Lu is a
member of the Committee of 100, a national organization of Chinese American
Nemeroff earned his doctoral and medical degrees from UNC in
1976 and 1981, respectively. He is now Reunette W. Harris professor and chair
of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the Emory University School of Medicine.
Nemeroff’s research focuses on biological basis of conditions such as
Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and affective disorders.
He has received numerous honors, including the Gold Medal Award from the
Society of Biological Psychiatry and election to the Institute of Medicine.
Stuart earned his doctoral degree in anthropology from UNC
in 1975. He spent 38 years as resident archaeologist for the National
Geographic Society, retiring in 1998, and was the society’s vice president for
research and exploration. A native of Barnardsville, his seven books include
“Lost Kingdoms of the Maya” and “The Mysterious Maya.” He founded and directs
the Center for Maya Research in the Yucatan and oversees the scholarly journals
Research Reports on Ancient Maya Writing and Ancient America.
More information is available at www.unc.edu/universityday.
Carolina hits new NIH funding mark, ranks 15th
The University received nearly $300 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in fiscal 2005, placing Carolina 15th overall and first among public universities in the South.
The $296.6 million total, an all-time high, was a 2.3 percent increase over funding of $289.7 million in fiscal 2004, and it represented more than $150 million in growth in biomedical research at UNC since 1998. It was also slightly more than half of UNC’s total research funding for fiscal 2005.
“The growth of investment by the federal government is a tribute to the diligent and creative work performed by Carolina faculty,” said Tony Waldrop, vice chancellor for research and economic development. “The continued success reflects a determination to improve the health of everyone in North Carolina, while making a mark among the best research institutions in the world. Everyone in the state can be proud of this success.”
The NIH is the federal government’s main source of basic research into such diseases as cancer, AIDS, diabetes, heart disease and mental illnesses. The bulk of the funding went to academic research centers.
NIH funding to UNC put all five health affairs schools in the top 20 of all public and private universities.
Within the medical school, the department of pharmacology ranked first in the nation, with more than $21 million in funding. That department has particular strengths in developing drugs to fight cancer and alcohol addiction as well as studying cellular proteins and their roles in causing disease. Other top-10 medical departments were: biomedical engineering, fifth; biochemistry, seventh; anatomy and cell biology, ninth; and genetics, 10th.
“The increase in NIH funding reflects our commitment to becoming the nation’s leading public medical school,” said William L. Roper, dean of the School of Medicine, vice chancellor for health affairs and chief executive officer of the UNC Health Care System. “The NIH is a very important source of funding for UNC. It makes possible much of the work we do in our laboratories and the clinical trials our patients participate in.”
The growth comes when total NIH awards had its smallest one-year increase since 1996. The NIH budget doubled from $11.2 billion in 1998 to more than $22.9 billion in 2004. In 2005, awards totaled $23.4 billion. The NIH budget is expected to decrease in 2007.
Roper attributed Carolina’s steady climb to the success of interdisciplinary teams, which compete more effectively for NIH grants. Also, UNC has received more NIH Roadmap awards than any other school. These grants encourage researchers to attack some of the most difficult problems using interdisciplinary collaboration. They are intended to break through traditional barriers to discoveries and deliver results more quickly, according to the NIH. Carolina’s total funding through this program, in its second year, totals $15.5 million.
UNC’s strategy to create centers where multidisciplinary teams can work together will help Carolina continue to compete successfully for shrinking research funding, Waldrop said.
“We’re in a good position now, but we need to continually assess our strategies and decrease our dependence on federal funding. Carolina has lagged in the arena of corporate support. That’s one target we are taking careful aim toward now so we’re more strongly positioned in the future,” Waldrop said.
Health Affairs' schools’ NIH rankings and funding totals:
School of Medicine, 17th, $217.4 million
School of Public Health, 6th, $36.6 million
School of Dentistry, 5th, $10.1 million
School of Nursing, 4th, $7.3 million
School of Pharmacy, 14th, $5.8 million
Gift of the Month: August
V Foundation for
The V Foundation for Cancer Research, headquartered in Cary,
has funded a $1 million, four-year collaboration between UNC Lineberger
Comprehensive Cancer Center and Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, with each
getting $500,000. The grant will fund a study to individualize treatment for
breast cancer. The grant honors Jamie Valvano Howard, Jim Valvano’s daughter,
who was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2005.
Goal: $2 billion
Raised: (as of Aug. 31) 87 percent/$1.83 billion
of campaign complete: 84 percent
raised in August: $4.1 million
Campaign runs through: Dec. 31, 2007
More information: carolinafirst.unc.edu.
of campaign complete:
raised in August:
Dec. 31, 2007
Albright to speak at May 2007 commencement
Madeleine Albright, first female Secretary of State, will
deliver the University’s spring commencement address set for May 13.
Chancellor James Moeser, who will preside at the 9:30 a.m.
ceremony in Kenan Stadium, said, “I think it is fitting that Dr. Albright will
address our graduates as the University celebrates our accomplishments in
global education throughout 2007.
“Our students will benefit from her valuable insights on
Albright served as the 64th Secretary of State and is the
highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. As secretary,
Albright reinforced America’s alliances, advocated democracy and human rights
and promoted American trade and business, labor and environmental standards
Moeser chose Albright in close consultation with the University’s
commencement speaker selection committee. The committee, chaired by executive
associate provost Steve Allred, is composed of an equal number of students and
“Dr. Albright was a unanimous and enthusiastic choice,”
Allred said. “She is a highly sought-after opinion maker and consultant on
world affairs,” he said.
In 2006, Albright participated in meetings at the White
House to discuss United States foreign policy with Bush administration
Student Body President James Allred, who nominated Albright
to the selection committee, said he was thrilled Albright would participate in
“Carolina students are entering an increasingly global work
force, and she can address students’ interests in these areas. Global and
immigrant issues will also be fresh on the minds of the Carolina student body
because our summer reading book focused on these topics,” James Allred said.
Prior to her appointment as secretary of state, Albright
served as the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations
(presenting her credentials at the UN on Feb. 6, 1993) and as a member of
President Clinton’s Cabinet and National Security Council.
“I am honored and privileged to have such a distinguished
political figure as part of our commencement ceremony,” said Meg Petersen,
senior class president. “Personally, as a female leader on campus, I am
especially enthusiastic about hosting the first female Secretary of State at
After retiring as secretary of state, Albright published her
memoir, “Madam Secretary” in 2003 and “The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections
on America, God, and World Affairs” in 200). She is currently a professor at
Georgetown University and a principal in The Albright Group LLC, a global
strategy firm she founded in Washington, D.C.
Albright is the first Michael and Virginia Mortara Endowed
Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown School
of Foreign Service; the first Distinguished Scholar of the William Davidson
Institute at the University of Michigan Business School; chair of The National
Democratic Institute for International Affairs and president of the Truman
New chair asks what issues council should explore
Carnac the Magnificent was the role Johnny Carson once
ruled. At the Sept. 15 Faculty Council meeting, the role was reprised — minus
Ed McMahon and his hermetically sealed envelopes and mayonnaise jar — in the
form of new Faculty Chair Joe Templeton.
In place of McMahon was sidekick Sue Estroff, who, exactly
six years before, debuted for her three-year term as faculty chair by whipping
on a glittering, sequined Carolina jacket that a student gave her and dared her
Estroff, in introducing Templeton, said there are many
different models for being a chair. There are the hot seat, and the electric
chair (filled by outgoing chair Judith Wegner), the easy chair (James Peacock),
the overstuffed chair (unnamed), the booster or high chair (Jane Brown), the
ergonomic chair (Pete Andrews), and the folding chair, which Estroff claimed
for herself. The one chair yet to be modeled, Estroff added, is the rocking
For Templeton, a chemistry professor at Carolina the past 30
years, Estroff bestowed the undistinguished and unendowed chair: “the Carnac
chair of questionable judgment.”
Templeton, like Carson, divined answers to questions sealed
inside envelopes. And hidden within each answer was a joke or pun aimed more at
being corny and fun than funny.
Estroff: Ebenezer. Old geezer. James Moeser.
Templeton: Describe the name of Scrooge, Joe Ferrell (the
longtime faculty secretary) and the best UNC chancellor of the 21st century.
Templeton: What would be the logo after Duke merged with
Templeton, at the end of the meeting, revealed he really
does not have psychic powers when he set up a white board and asked Faculty
Council members to come up with issues that the council should explore over the
Among the topics suggested were PACE (UNC President Erskine
Bowles’ President’s Advisory Committee on Efficiency and Effectiveness); ERP,
or Enterprise Resource Planning; the role of graduate students, health-care
costs, faculty compensation, research collaboration and non tenure-track
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bernadette Gray-Little
reviewed efforts to improve four-year graduate rates and, in a separate
presentation, the potential major challenges posed by enrollment growth in the
decade ahead. The provost previously made both presentations to the Board of
The current long-range plan, submitted to General
Administration in December 2005, projects a student population of 29,447 by
fall of 2015, an increase of 2,171 students from the 27,276 students enrolled
in fall of 2005.
Gray-Little said there will be increasing pressure over the
next decade to accept more students because of the rising number of college-age
students within the state, coupled with the popularity of the Carolina campus.
One of the concerns that Gray-Little cited was that a bigger
campus would become less desirable for the top students that the University
seeks to attract.
SECC kicks off campaign with Oct. 3 charity fair
The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina serves
an estimated third of the state of North Carolina — or 18,689 square miles. And
the need is great within that large area: The 34 counties served are home to
more than 400,000 people who are at risk of hunger, statistics indicate.
“Food is a lifeline — period,” said Christy Simmons, manager
of public relations for the organization. “If a person has enough food, that
means they don’t have to choose between food and other necessities. A mother
doesn’t have to choose between food and rent. An elderly person doesn’t have to
worry about choosing between food and medicine.”
The Food Bank is one of the more than 850 independent
charities and organizations that receive — and depend on — support from the
North Carolina State Employees Combined Campaign. “Carolina Together:
Supporting a Great Cause” is the theme for UNC’s upcoming SECC effort, which
will officially kick off Oct. 3 with a 10 a.m.-noon charity fair at the Frank
Porter Graham Student Union’s Great Hall. The University community is invited
“Carolina has been a huge component in the fund-raising
efforts for the SECC, and our employees have put a lot of time, creativity and
fun into their individual department efforts in the past,” said John N.
Williams, UNC’s SECC chair and dean of the School of Dentistry. “The Carolina
community comes together quickly and effectively to help people in need, and I
am confident that we will have an extremely successful effort this year.”
Refreshments and door prizes (including four tickets to the
UNC-Georgia Tech game, lunch for two at Carolina CrossRoads Restaurant, SECC
T-shirts and much more) will be part of the fun on Oct. 3. Training for
captains, who will lead SECC efforts in their own academic units, will take
place in the multipurpose room on the Student Union’s first floor concurrently
with the charity fair.
Administrative costs for the SECC have totaled 15 percent or
less since 1992, and organizations must meet stringent requirements each year
to participate, said Stephen E. Davis, interim executive director for the N.C.
that for every dollar donated, the Food Bank is able to distribute more than $8
worth of food. She added that 97 cents of every dollar goes directly to food
and food programs.
“More than 890 partner agencies come in our warehouses to
shop, and we get so much pride in looking out the window and seeing the food
move, literally, onto the shelves and off the shelves.”
For more information on the organizations included in this
year’s SECC initiative, visit www.ncsecc.org. For more information on the Food
Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, refer to
Pandemic topic of Sept. 29 broadcast, talk
Public health experts predict that a new pandemic flu would
affect every community and every citizen. On Sept. 29, the School of Public
Health and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will examine
how communities can prepare for pandemic influenza.
The program, part of the Public Health Grand Rounds
broadcast series, will air live via satellite downlink and online from 2 to 3
p.m. Registered viewers may submit questions to the panel at interactive
satellite conference sites, by fax or online. Members of the medical community,
the media and the public can register at www.publichealthgrandrounds.unc.edu. Program
information and list of broadcast sites are also on the web site.
After the broadcast, Edward L. Baker, research professor and
director of the N.C. Institute for Public Health, will moderate a discussion about
the University’s pandemic preparations. Also presenting information will be:
Pia MacDonald, director of the N.C. Center for Public Health Preparedness;
Kristina Simeonsson, medical epidemiologist with the General Communicable
Disease Branch of the N.C. Department of Public Health and Human Services; and
Peter Reinhardt, director of UNC’s Department of Environment, Health and
The discussion will take place in the School of Public
Health’s auditorium on the lower level of the Michael Hooker Research Center,
or through a web conference.
To access the web conference, go to breeze.unc.edu/r21649971 and log in as guest. A broadband Internet connection is recommended for best
results, and users will need Flash Player on their computers. Flash Player may
be downloaded at www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer.
For computer support, call 962-4357 or visit
its.unc.edu/joomla/content/view/41/52. For other questions, call Linda Kastleman at 966-8317 or e-mail
Tuition task force set to weigh tuition levels against
With two more meetings left to go, the Tuition and Fee
Advisory Task Force is zeroing in on two sets of numbers. One deals with a
model for campus-based tuition increases, the second with the total revenue required
to reach target goals for faculty salaries and graduate teaching assistant
The task force has met three times to date. On Sept. 22, the
panel reviewed various tuition models to show how much money various scenarios
of increases might generate to meet specific University needs.
At its Oct. 4 meeting, both sets of numbers are expected to
come into sharper focus if not final resolution, said Executive Vice Chancellor
and Provost Bernadette Gray-Little, who co-chairs the group with Student Body
President James Allred.
The group is expected to complete its work on Oct. 18. The
group reviewed tuition models that included financial assumptions that
represent a break from recent practices.
First, the models assume that the campus-based tuition increases
be paid by all students, including professional and graduate students in
professional schools where there are often separate school-based increases.
Under the policy used last year, a student in a professional
school that had a $1,000 school-based increase would pay the $1,000, but not
the campuswide increase. Under the proposal being considered now, the student
would pay both.
Gray-Little said there are two philosophical and practical
arguments for changing the practice.
The philosophical issue is fairness. Since all schools and
units received a fraction of the revenue from campus-based increases for
priorities like faculty salaries, students in all schools should bear a
fraction of the burden.
On the practical side, the more students who pay the campus-based
tuition increase, the less the increase would have to be to raise the same
amount of revenue.
Gray-Little noted that having all students pay the campus-based tuition was the
original practice that was followed until it was modified several years ago to
exclude students paying school-based tuition.
The second change is to exclude the
5 percent of additional revenues that previously had been set aside for
graduate student support. Once again, Gray-Little noted that the extra 5
percent earmarked for graduate students was a surcharge added the past few
years to the 35 percent that is the standard amount set aside for need-based
aid for undergraduate, graduate and professional school students.
Task force members quickly endorsed the 35 percent set-aside,
reflecting a core principle of protecting accessibility that past groups have
almost set in stone.
Planetarium launches ‘Destination: Space’
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center (MPSC) will launch
its new planetarium show, “Destination: Space,” with a full weekend of
activities Sept. 28-Oct. 1.
MPSC will couple the show’s public premiere with a lecture
by one of the few men to walk on the moon, Charlie Duke. Duke, who visited the moon
as part of the Apollo 16 mission in 1972, is one of just 12 men ever to set
foot on Earth’s closest neighbor. The premiere and Duke’s lecture will begin at
7 p.m. on Sept. 28.
The premiere and lecture are free and open to the public.
Seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-seated basis.
Current NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn will offer
perspectives on the future on space exploration Sept. 30, at 11:30 a.m. in a
program designed for children and their families. Marshburn, a Statesville
native, completed astronaut candidate training in February and has not yet been
to space. Marshburn’s talk is free and open to the public on a first-come,
Normal showings of “Destination: Space” begin Sept. 29. MPSC
will be showing “Destination: Space” in every time slot Sept. 29-Oct. 1. Normal
admission prices apply.
“Destination: Space” examines the history and future of
America’s space program, from the moonwalkers of the 1960s to NASA’s current
plans to send astronauts to Mars. Morehead Planetarium played a role in that
history. During the 1960s and 1970s, the planetarium served as a training
center for NASA, teaching celestial navigation to more than 60 astronauts -
including 11 of the 12 astronauts to visit the moon.
Retired “CBS Evening News” anchor Walter Cronkite narrates
“Destination: Space,” an original MPSC production. The show also features
appearances by Duke, fellow Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin, space shuttle
astronauts Kathryn Thornton and William Thornton (no relation), and current
astronaut Robert Satcher.
GlaxoSmithKline made the largest gift ever to MPSC for the
production of a planetarium show for “Destination: Space.” Capital Broadcasting
is also providing support for the show, while a North Carolina Space Grant
award is supporting “launch weekend” activities.
For more information, refer to: www.moreheadplanetarium.org.
Mapping invaders in Darwin’s Isles of Inspiration
Invasive plants and animals once foreign to the famous
archipelago are eroding fragile landscapes and threatening species that have
been aiding scientific discovery since Charles Darwin’s first voyage in 1835.
The Ecuadorian government knows this, as do other local organizations and the
United Nations, which is considering listing the archipelago as a World
Heritage Site at risk. That’s why Ecuador’s ministry of the environment asked
Steve Walsh, geographer and fellow at the Carolina Population Center, to help
map the problem and form a team to find solutions.
This summer, geographer Steve Walsh led a team of students
on a trip to the Galapagos Islands where they used their satellite data and spatial
imaging to map invasive species that harm the breeding grounds of giant
tortoises, like the one pictured with Walsh.
Since 1997, Walsh has been studying changes in land use and
land cover in the Ecuadorian Amazon Forest. The ministry wondered if Walsh’s
satellite technology and high-resolution imaging could pinpoint invasive
species in the Galapagos. So last February Walsh’s team mapped the spatial
patterns of selected invasive plants and used satellite data to build digital
elevation models to map three dimensional landforms and landscapes. One of his
maps shows how guava fruit trees, which were brought in by humans long ago,
spread so fast that grasslands are changing into forests. Before that, no one
could show the pattern of how guava had been spreading.
But beyond making maps and models, Walsh is putting together
a team to tackle the larger issue of human involvement that dates back to Darwin’s
The Galapagos remained unsullied by humans for millions of
years until whalers, sealers, and even pirates put goats and pigs on the
islands as food sources for return visits. The animals thrived, in part by
eating guava, whose seeds traverse animal digestive tracts intact. Thanks to
the natural fertilizer and the increase in animal populations, guava trees
began sprouting like weeds. They germinated densely, creating a canopied forest
where grasslands had been.
“Now such plants are overtaking indigenous plants that
appear no place on Earth other than in the shadows of volcanoes,” Walsh says.
“There are entire landscapes overcome by invasive species. It is a dramatic
Eradicating some invasive species might be a result of
Walsh’s maps, but his goal is much broader.
“It’s about trying to understand how the human dimension
connects with the environment,” he says.
Thirty thousand people live on the Galapagos, and about
125,000 tourists visit annually. There are hotels, restaurants, two airports,
farms and plans for further development.
Walsh returned to the archipelago this summer with
sociologist Ron Rindfuss, anthropologist Flora Lu Holt, Carolina students
Carlos Mena, Amy McCleary, Julie Tuttle and Patricia Polo, and two colleagues
from other universities. They validated Walsh’s preliminary maps, gave
workshops on spatial digital technology, and held meetings about Carolina
becoming a longstanding research partner with the Charles Darwin Research
Center, the Galapagos National Park, and Ecuador’s Ministry of the Environment
to study and help ecological systems under stress.
Walsh will return to the Galapagos this fall to present his
team’s preliminary research at a public forum.
Provided by the Division of Research
and Economic Development
Editor: Neil Caudle
Writer: Mark Derewicz
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
making the workplace a safer environment
Editor’s note: Following is a conversation with Ron Howell,
industrial hygienist, who has put his skills to the test over the years to
ensure the University and local communities are safe.
As an industrial hygienist specializing in indoor
environmental quality, Ron Howell has a unique job. He makes sure the
environment inside campus buildings is safe for everyone — from students,
faculty and staff to administrators and visitors.
Last May, Howell’s skills were put to the test when he was
called upon to help determine if there was mercury contamination at Davis
Library — and later at an elementary school in Durham. UNC has one of the most
advanced mercury vapor analyzers available, so Howell was the first person
contacted by state authorities to test the schools.
Davis Library was temporarily closed the morning of May 24,
as Howell came in to scan the building for possible mercury contamination.
Finding none, Howell went to Oak Grove Elementary School to search the campus,
buses and children’s clothing for possible traces of mercury. Investigators
connected the two contaminations to a housekeeper who worked at both buildings.
What does an industrial hygienist do?
People may say that they do not want to come to work because
they have allergy reactions or are getting headaches or other discomfort or
health concern. So what I do is assess the conditions in the building. I look
at ventilation, the HVAC system or sources of contaminant. Did they recently
apply an adhesive or paint that may be outgassing? One of the big issues is
mold in the buildings because of the humidity in our climate and the age of
For what possible contaminants can you test?
I have a set of instruments that I use to measure
temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, bacteria, molds and
other organic chemicals. We have equipment that will measure explosive gas
levels in buildings, oxygen levels in buildings, carbon monoxide levels and
general chemical levels in the air. We have equipment that can measure other
contaminants as well.
Are you involved in building planning?
I review designs of buildings to ensure that when we build
we are minimizing the chances of indoor environmental quality issues. We work
with contractors and consultants as we take a building down. We come up with a
contract and specifications on how we systematically take the building down. We
look at the building and what was done in the building.
Why does UNC have a mercury vapor
The University has had mercury monitoring equipment for a
while because we are involved with mercury responses on campus. If someone
breaks a thermometer or there is a spill, we have the ability to analyze the
Within the last year, we have purchased a new instrument,
the Ohio Lumex mercury vapor analyzer. We purchased this because we are going
through some building decommissioning and some of the old buildings that are
coming down may have mercury. We use the Ohio Lumex because it has a high
sensitivity — it measures down to the nanongrams rather than the microgram
How important is it to have this machine?
If we start tearing buildings apart, we don’t want that
mercury to get into the environment. We want to make sure we get that mercury
out of the building. We want to protect workers during the demolition and
protect the environment at the same time.
What did you do at Davis Library?
We worked with Public Safety to check the people. We checked
clothing and went around places where the housekeeper had been working to look
for residue of mercury contamination. We found nothing.
How did you become involved
The state emergency management called Public Safety and was
concerned if we had any mercury tracked over here to Davis Library where he
worked. I had worked at the Division of Public Health in North Carolina. Having
kept in contact with them, they knew we had an Ohio Lumex. They did not have
direct access to one without it taking a while to get.
State toxicologist Luanne Williams called me and asked for
our assistance. I helped assess the school situation there with public health
officials and the school system. The EPA had not arrived yet, so we were the
only ones in the neighborhood with this type of equipment. We were a valuable
commodity to them.”
What did you do at the scene?
I got to Oak Grove Elementary School around 2 p.m. Their
first concern involved school buses. The kids had ridden on the school buses
from a couple of different schools. So, we went to test the buses first. They
were trying to determine if they could use the buses to send the children home
at the end of the day. There was evidence of elevated mercury on one bus and
another that had slight elevation of mercury. The third one was clean. The
school system had those buses professionally decontaminated.
Did you check the children?
They wanted us to see if they had any mercury contamination
on their clothes or backpacks before they left school. So we spent time
measuring shoes, clothing, backpacks to check for contamination.
We screened about 30-plus students. We found some elevated
levels of mercury to a point that the state toxicologist wanted them to put on
new clothes. Children are much more susceptible to mercury poisoning than
How did it feel to help in that way?
It was a good way for us to be able to provide a service and
protect public health. It was also a good test for us to use the equipment in a
real-world situation. It is one thing to use it here on campus, but it is
another to use the equipment at a school where it may be tracked out. It was a
learning situation for us to use the instrument in that situation.
Basic PowerPoint class is
available through CBT
One of the most popular computer-based training (CBT)
courses available is PowerPoint 2003: Creating a Basic Presentation. This
course teaches how to create a new presentation, add slides to a presentation,
format slides, and add basic images to slides.
PowerPoint offers flexible and powerful features and
it is often tempting to use them even though they may detract from your
content. It is always important to
remember that the purpose of a presentation is to convey content. PowerPoint makes it easy to incorporate
features that could obscure the message you want to convey. Always consider if a feature will add
to your content — or be a distraction.
To subscribe to CBT, point your web browser to cbt.unc.edu and follow the instructions. Until the end of September, receive an entry into
a drawing for two gift cards to the Student Stores for a new subscription and
for each course you complete.
tip: nomail option
Do you use more than one e-mail address? If so, you
may have experienced a common problem using a listserver: receiving an
error refusing to send a message to the list because you are not subscribed
under that address. Many listservers only accept messages from members of the
list. If you are subscribed to a list as firstname.lastname@example.org, the list will
only accept messages that are from that address. If you regularly use more than
one address, you can subscribe to the list using both addresses to ensure your
messages will always be accepted.
To receive just one copy of messages sent to the list,
you can set the “nomail” option for one address. To do that, point your web
browser to mail.unc.edu/lists and log into the list. Select the tab labeled “My Account.” Under “Essentials”
-> “Membership type,” select “No e-mail; receive no e-mail from this mailing
list.” Save the
change, and from now on, you can send mail from that address without receiving
an extra copy of all messages. If you would like to find out more about setting
options for your lists, point your web browser to help.unc.edu/?id=62.
Teaching with computers tip:
set expectations in syllabus
If faculty expect
students to use a laptop during some or all of their classes, they should
consider including their expectations in the syllabus. For example, remind
students to fully charge the battery before class, be sure their wireless
connection works and be sure the software they need to use is installed. Let
students know what the consequences will be for off-task computing, and be sure
to tell them what (if any) storage media they should bring to class with their
laptops. Do you have tips about teaching with computers you would like to
share in this column? If so, please send them to learnIT@unc.edu.
Have questions about technology or Information Technology
Send your question to Beth Millbank, public relations manager,
at email@example.com, or
Elizabeth Evans, manager for training and education, at LearnIT@unc.edu. You can
always visit the ITS web site (its.unc.edu), the
Help site (help.unc.edu) or the Help Desk at 962-HELP if
you have a pressing need.
HR and ITS collaborate to offer
units — Human Resources’ Training & Development and Information Technology
Services’ Teaching and Learning —
have partnered to bring a new library of business skills computer-based
training courses to the Carolina community for a one-year pilot program.
“Whether you want
to learn Oracle or time management, there’s a course for you,” said Elizabeth
(Libby) Evans of ITS Teaching and Learning. “The courses offer practical tools
that people can use every day — and they’re there whenever you need them.”
training (CBT) is available to subscribers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
People often think that they have to complete an entire course at one time, but
courses can be completed one lesson at a time.
The business skills
courses focus on workplace and interpersonal behavior skills such as conflict
intervention, applying leadership basics and solving problems as a team.
appreciate the tools that the courses provide,” said Tammy Sopp, Programs and
Projects specialist. “For example, in the Time Management course, I had the
option of 10 different downloadable resources including a ‘Daily Time Log’ to
help see where I spend my time and a ‘Meeting Agenda Form’ that outlined how to
effectively time manage and plan for a meeting. After completing the course I
was able to better balance my time commitments and had fantastic tools to
ITS recently added
more than 2,000 additional technology courses to bring the total number of CBT
courses to more than 2,800.
“HR Training &
Development and ITS Teaching and Learning share a commitment to provide quality
training and education to the campus community,” said Rob Kramer, director of
Training & Development.
In the past the two
groups have shared information, jointly encouraged staff to incorporate
learning opportunities into professional development plans and brainstormed
about how to enhance the identification and tracking of professional
development activities. The computer-based pilot project is another opportunity
for collaboration that provides maximum benefit to the Carolina community while
efficiently sharing resources.
HR Training &
Development and ITS Teaching and Learning intend to continue seeking
To learn more about CBT
or to subscribe to the free service, visit cbt.unc.edu.