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  • richardmitnick 10:16 am on June 28, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Baby woolly mammoth – beautifully preserved – found in Yukon", Anthropology, , , , ,   

    From “EarthSky” : “Baby woolly mammoth – beautifully preserved – found in Yukon” 

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    From “EarthSky”

    June 28, 2022
    Deborah Byrd

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    Miners in Yukon, Canada, stumbled upon an intact and beautifully preserved baby woolly mammoth on June 21, 2022. Geologists suggest the animal was frozen in permafrost during the ice age, over 30,000 years ago.

    Baby woolly mammoth: ‘Beautiful’

    The Canadian territory Yukon – and Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, a First Nation band – said late last week (June 24, 2022) that miners in the region have discovered a whole, 30,000-year-old mummified baby woolly mammoth. It’s only the second one ever found in the world. And it’s the first and most complete discovery of its kind in North America.

    Miners with the Treadstone Mining company found the near-complete mummified baby woolly mammoth. They found her in the Klondike gold fields within Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Traditional Territory. A joint statement from Yukon and Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in said:

    “Miners working on Eureka Creek uncovered the frozen woolly mammoth while excavating through the permafrost. This is a significant discovery for Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and the Government of Yukon. Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Elders named the mammoth calf Nun cho ga, meaning ‘big baby animal’ in the Hän language.

    The Yukon has a world-renowned fossil record of ice age animals. But mummified remains with skin and hair are rarely unearthed. Nun cho ga is the most complete mummified mammoth found in North America.”

    “It took my breath away”

    Yukon paleontologist Grant Zazula has been studying the ice age in the Yukon since 1999. He said:

    “As an ice age paleontologist, it has been one of my lifelong dreams to come face to face with a real woolly mammoth. And that dream came true today. Nun cho ga is beautiful and one of the most incredible mummified ice age animals ever discovered in the world. So I am excited to get to know her more.”

    Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Elder Peggy Kormendy said:

    “It’s amazing. It took my breath away when they removed the tarp. We must all treat it with respect. When that happens, it is going to be powerful, and we will heal.”

    Brian McCaughan of Treadstone Mining said:

    “There will be one thing that stands out in a person’s entire life. And I can guarantee you this is my one thing.”

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    “She’s beautiful,” said Yukon government paleontologist Dr. Grant Zazula. The 1st whole baby woolly mammoth found in North America and 2nd in the world has been named Nun cho ga (“Big baby animal” in the Hän language). You can see her well-preserved trunk, ears and tail. Image via Government of Yukon.

    “Most important discovery in paleontology in North America”

    Michel Proulx of CBC News in Canada reported that miners made the discovery on June 21, which is National Indigenous People’s Day:

    A little after noon … a young miner working in Yukon’s Eureka Creek, south of Dawson City, was digging up muck using a front end loader when he struck something. He stopped and called his boss, who went to see him right away.

    When he arrived, Treadstone Mining’s Brian McCaughan put a stop to the operation on the spot. Within half an hour, Zazula received a picture of the discovery. According to Zazula, the miner had made the “most important discovery in paleontology in North America.”

    “She would have been lost in the storm”

    Proulx continued:

    National Indigenous People’s Day is a statutory holiday in the Yukon so when Zazula received the email, he tried to contact anyone he could find in Dawson City who could help.

    Two geologists, one with the Yukon Geological Survey and another with the University of Calgary, were able to drive to the creek and recover the baby woolly mammoth and do a complete geological description and sampling of the site.

    “And the amazing thing is, within an hour of them being there to do the work, the sky opened up, it turned black, lightning started striking and rain started pouring in,” said Zazula.

    “So if she wasn’t recovered at that time, she would have been lost in the storm.”

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    On June 21, 2022, miners discovered the intact baby woolly mammoth at Treadstone Mine in the Yukon’s Eureka Creek. The mine is located south of Dawson City, a town in the Canadian territory of Yukon. Image via Government of Yukon.

    Quick facts:

    – A quick examination of the woolly mammoth suggests she is female and roughly the same size as the 42,000-year-old infant mummy woolly mammoth Lyuba, found in Siberia in 2007.

    – Geologists from the Yukon Geological Survey and University of Calgary recovered the frozen mammoth on site. They suggest that Nun cho ga died and was frozen in permafrost during the ice age, over 30,000 years ago.

    – These amazing ice age remains provide an extremely detailed glimpse into a time when Nun cho ga roamed the Yukon alongside wild horses, cave lions and giant steppe bison.

    – The discovery of Nun cho ga marks the first near complete and best-preserved mummified woolly mammoth found in North America. A partial mammoth calf, named Effie, was found in 1948 at a gold mine in interior Alaska.

    – The successful recovery of Nun cho ga was possible because of the partnership between miners, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and the Government of Yukon’s Department of Environment, Yukon Geological Survey, and Yukon Palaeontology Program.

    Baby woolly mammoth: What’s next?

    In the months to come, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and the Government of Yukon say they will work together to respectfully preserve and learn more about Nun cho ga and share these stories and information with the community of Dawson City, residents of the Yukon and the global scientific community.

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. “Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers,” she says.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:37 am on June 28, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Australopithecus africanus", "Fossils in the ‘Cradle of Humankind’ may be more than a million years older than previously thought", "Little Foot", A dating method developed by a Purdue University geologist just pushed the age of some of these fossils found at the site of Sterkfontein Caves back more than a million years., , All of the Australopithecus-bearing cave sediments date from about 3.4 to 3.7 million years old rather than 2-2.5 million years old as scientists previously theorized., Anthropology, , , For decades scientists have studied fossils of early human ancestors and their long-lost relatives., , Granger and the research group at the Purdue Rare Isotope Measurement Laboratory (PRIME Lab) study so-called cosmogenic nuclides and what they can reveal about the history of fossils., , , , Sterkfontein has more Australopithecus fossils than anywhere else in the world., Sterkfontein is a deep and complex cave system that preserves a long history of hominin occupation of the area., The age of the fossils matters because it influences scientists’ understanding of the living landscape of the time., The “Cradle of Humankind” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in South Africa that comprises a variety of fossil-bearing cave deposits including at Sterkfontein Caves., The new dating method would make them older than Dinkinesh-also called Lucy: the world’s most famous Australopithecus fossil.   

    From Purdue University: “Fossils in the ‘Cradle of Humankind’ may be more than a million years older than previously thought” 

    From Purdue University

    June 27, 2022
    Media contact:
    Brittany Steff
    bsteff@purdue.edu

    Source:
    Darryl Granger
    dgranger@purdue.edu

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    Darryl Granger of Purdue University developed the technology that updated the age of an Australopithecus found in Sterkfontein Cave. New data pushes its age back more than a million years, to 3.67 million years old. Credit: Lena Kovalenko/Purdue University photo.

    The earth doesn’t give up its secrets easily – not even in the Cradle of Humankind in South Africa, where a wealth of fossils relating to human evolution have been found.

    For decades scientists have studied these fossils of early human ancestors and their long-lost relatives. Now, a dating method developed by a Purdue University geologist just pushed the age of some of these fossils found at the site of Sterkfontein Caves back more than a million years. This would make them older than Dinkinesh-also called Lucy-the world’s most famous Australopithecus fossil.

    The “Cradle of Humankind” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in South Africa that comprises a variety of fossil-bearing cave deposits including at Sterkfontein Caves. Sterkfontein was made famous by the discovery of the first adult Australopithecus, an ancient hominin, in 1936. Hominins includes humans and our ancestral relatives, but not the other great apes. Since then, hundreds of Australopithecus fossils have been found there, including the well-known Mrs. Ples, and the nearly complete skeleton known as Little Foot [Nature].

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    Palaeoanthropologists recovering Little Foot from a rock inside a cave. Credit: Patrick Landmann/Science Photo Library.

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    Little Foot’s fossil bones. Credit: Patrick Landmann/Science Photo Library.

    Paleoanthropologists and other scientists have studied Sterkfontein and other cave sites in the Cradle of Humankind for decades to shed light on human and environmental evolution over the past 4 million years.

    Darryl Granger, a professor of earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences in Purdue University’s College of Science, is one of those scientists, working as part of an international team. Granger specializes in dating geologic deposits, including those in caves. As a doctoral student, he devised a method for dating buried cave sediments that is now used by researchers all over the world. His previous work at Sterkfontein dated the Little Foot skeleton to about 3.7 million years old, but scientists are still debating the age of other fossils at the site.


    New instrument dates ‘Little Foot’ skeleton.

    In a study published in the PNAS, Granger and a team of scientists including researchers from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa and the University Toulouse Jean Jaurès in France, have discovered that not only Little Foot, but all of the Australopithecus-bearing cave sediments date from about 3.4 to 3.7 million years old rather than 2-2.5 million years old as scientists previously theorized.

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    Map and cross section of Sterkfontein showing sample locations. (A) Map shows the extent of surface deposits and excavations superposed on the cave system. Sample locations reported here are shown as green circles; selected hominin fossils are shown with red stars and U-Pb-dated samples with yellow circles. Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates are shown. (B) Cross section of the surface deposits along east-west red line in A. Cosmogenic sample locations are in green circles, and flowstone sample BH4-9 from ref. 5 in BH 4 is shown as a yellow circle. Measured bedding shows that the flowstone is located stratigraphically between the cosmogenic samples, although like other flowstones in Member 4, it is likely intrusive and younger than the breccia. Cross-section topography based on light detection and ranging (LiDAR) collected at the surface and underground.

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    Stratigraphic sections and associated photos showing previously dated flowstone. Two sections are located at red bars shown in the base map found in the figure legend. (A) North-south section shows that the previously dated flowstone OE-14 (5) is not in stratigraphic contact with Member 4 but instead is separated by fins of dolomite and decayed dolomite that were removed by blasting. Its age therefore does not constrain that of Member 4. (B) Detailed section of the OE-14 flowstone (5) shows that it lies on decayed dolomite and reworked decayed dolomite breccia derived internally within the cave. The flowstone is overlain by and interfingers with orange sandy microbreccia with no clear stratigraphic relation to Member 4 or Member 5. The north-south cross section intersects at ca. 3.5 m on the west-northwest–east-southeast section, at the plaque.

    That age places these fossils toward the beginning of the Australopithecus era, rather than near the end. Dinkinesh, who hails from Ethiopia, is 3.2 million years old, and her species, Australopithecus africanus, hails back to about 3.9 million years old.

    Sterkfontein is a deep and complex cave system that preserves a long history of hominin occupation of the area. Understanding the dates of the fossils here can be tricky, as rocks and bones tumbled to the bottom of a deep hole in the ground, and there are few ways to date cave sediments.

    In East Africa, where many hominin fossils have been found, the Great Rift Valley volcanoes lay down layers of ash that can be dated. Researchers use those layers to estimate how old a fossil is. In South Africa – especially in a cave – the scientists don’t have that luxury. They typically use other animal fossils found around the bones to estimate their age or calcite flowstone deposited in the cave. But bones can shift in the cave, and young flowstone can be deposited in old sediment, making those methods potentially incorrect. A more accurate method is to date the actual rocks in which the fossils were found. The concrete-like matrix that embeds the fossil, called breccia, is the material Granger and his team analyze.

    “Sterkfontein has more Australopithecus fossils than anywhere else in the world,” Granger said. “But it’s hard to get a good date on them. People have looked at the animal fossils found near them and compared the ages of cave features like flowstones and gotten a range of different dates. What our data does is resolve these controversies. It shows that these fossils are old – much older than we originally thought.”

    Granger and the team used accelerator mass spectrometry to measure radioactive nuclides in the rocks, as well as geologic mapping and an intimate understanding of how cave sediments accumulate to determine the age of the Australopithecus-bearing sediments at Sterkfontein,

    Granger and the research group at the Purdue Rare Isotope Measurement Laboratory (PRIME Lab) study so-called cosmogenic nuclides and what they can reveal about the history of fossils, geological features and rock. Cosmogenic nuclides are extremely rare isotopes produced by cosmic rays —high-energy particles that constantly bombard the earth. These incoming cosmic rays have enough energy to cause nuclear reactions inside rocks at the ground surface, creating new, radioactive isotopes within the mineral crystals. An example is aluminum-26: aluminum that is missing a neutron and slowly decays to turn into magnesium over a period of millions of years. Since aluminum-26 is formed when a rock is exposed at the surface, but not after it has been deeply buried in a cave, PRIME lab researchers can date cave sediments (and the fossils within them) by measuring levels of aluminum-26 in tandem with another cosmogenic nuclide, beryllium-10.

    In addition to the new dates at Sterkfontein based on cosmogenic nuclides, the research team made careful maps of the cave deposits and showed how animal fossils of different ages would have been mixed together during excavations in the 1930s and 1940s, leading to decades of confusion with the previous ages. “What I hope is that this convinces people that this dating method gives reliable results,” Granger said. “Using this method, we can more accurately place ancient humans and their relatives in the correct time periods, in Africa, and elsewhere across the world.”

    The age of the fossils matters because it influences scientists’ understanding of the living landscape of the time. How and where humans evolved, how they fit into the ecosystem, and who their closest relatives are and were, are pressing and complex questions. Putting the fossils at Sterkfontein into their proper context is one step towards solving the entire puzzle.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Purdue University is a public land-grant research university in West Lafayette, Indiana, and the flagship campus of the Purdue University system. The university was founded in 1869 after Lafayette businessman John Purdue donated land and money to establish a college of science, technology, and agriculture in his name. The first classes were held on September 16, 1874, with six instructors and 39 students.

    The main campus in West Lafayette offers more than 200 majors for undergraduates, over 69 masters and doctoral programs, and professional degrees in pharmacy and veterinary medicine. In addition, Purdue has 18 intercollegiate sports teams and more than 900 student organizations. Purdue is a member of the Big Ten Conference and enrolls the second largest student body of any university in Indiana, as well as the fourth largest foreign student population of any university in the United States.

    Purdue University is a member of the Association of American Universities and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. Purdue has 25 American astronauts as alumni and as of April 2019, the university has been associated with 13 Nobel Prizes.

    In 1865, the Indiana General Assembly voted to take advantage of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act of 1862 and began plans to establish an institution with a focus on agriculture and engineering. Communities throughout the state offered facilities and funding in bids for the location of the new college. Popular proposals included the addition of an agriculture department at Indiana State University, at what is now Butler University. By 1869, Tippecanoe County’s offer included $150,000 (equivalent to $2.9 million in 2019) from Lafayette business leader and philanthropist John Purdue; $50,000 from the county; and 100 acres (0.4 km^2) of land from local residents.

    On May 6, 1869, the General Assembly established the institution in Tippecanoe County as Purdue University, in the name of the principal benefactor. Classes began at Purdue on September 16, 1874, with six instructors and 39 students. Professor John S. Hougham was Purdue’s first faculty member and served as acting president between the administrations of presidents Shortridge and White. A campus of five buildings was completed by the end of 1874. In 1875, Sarah A. Oren, the State Librarian of Indiana, was appointed Professor of Botany.

    Purdue issued its first degree, a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, in 1875, and admitted its first female students that autumn.

    Emerson E. White, the university’s president, from 1876 to 1883, followed a strict interpretation of the Morrill Act. Rather than emulate the classical universities, White believed Purdue should be an “industrial college” and devote its resources toward providing a broad, liberal education with an emphasis on science, technology, and agriculture. He intended not only to prepare students for industrial work, but also to prepare them to be good citizens and family members.

    Part of White’s plan to distinguish Purdue from classical universities included a controversial attempt to ban fraternities, which was ultimately overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court, leading to White’s resignation. The next president, James H. Smart, is remembered for his call in 1894 to rebuild the original Heavilon Hall “one brick higher” after it had been destroyed by a fire.

    By the end of the nineteenth century, the university was organized into schools of agriculture, engineering (mechanical, civil, and electrical), and pharmacy; former U.S. President Benjamin Harrison served on the board of trustees. Purdue’s engineering laboratories included testing facilities for a locomotive, and for a Corliss steam engine—one of the most efficient engines of the time. The School of Agriculture shared its research with farmers throughout the state, with its cooperative extension services, and would undergo a period of growth over the following two decades. Programs in education and home economics were soon established, as well as a short-lived school of medicine. By 1925, Purdue had the largest undergraduate engineering enrollment in the country, a status it would keep for half a century.

    President Edward C. Elliott oversaw a campus building program between the world wars. Inventor, alumnus, and trustee David E. Ross coordinated several fundraisers, donated lands to the university, and was instrumental in establishing the Purdue Research Foundation. Ross’s gifts and fundraisers supported such projects as Ross–Ade Stadium, the Memorial Union, a civil engineering surveying camp, and Purdue University Airport. Purdue Airport was the country’s first university-owned airport and the site of the country’s first college-credit flight training courses.

    Amelia Earhart joined the Purdue faculty in 1935 as a consultant for these flight courses and as a counselor on women’s careers. In 1937, the Purdue Research Foundation provided the funds for the Lockheed Electra 10-E Earhart flew on her attempted round-the-world flight.

    Every school and department at the university was involved in some type of military research or training during World War II. During a project on radar receivers, Purdue physicists discovered properties of germanium that led to the making of the first transistor. The Army and the Navy conducted training programs at Purdue and more than 17,500 students, staff, and alumni served in the armed forces. Purdue set up about a hundred centers throughout Indiana to train skilled workers for defense industries. As veterans returned to the university under the G.I. Bill, first-year classes were taught at some of these sites to alleviate the demand for campus space. Four of these sites are now degree-granting regional campuses of the Purdue University system. On-campus housing became racially desegregated in 1947, following pressure from Purdue President Frederick L. Hovde and Indiana Governor Ralph F. Gates.

    After the war, Hovde worked to expand the academic opportunities at the university. A decade-long construction program emphasized science and research. In the late 1950s and early 1960s the university established programs in veterinary medicine, industrial management, and nursing, as well as the first computer science department in the United States. Undergraduate humanities courses were strengthened, although Hovde only reluctantly approved of graduate-level study in these areas. Purdue awarded its first Bachelor of Arts degrees in 1960. The programs in liberal arts and education, formerly administered by the School of Science, were soon split into an independent school.

    The official seal of Purdue was officially inaugurated during the university’s centennial in 1969.

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    Consisting of elements from emblems that had been used unofficially for 73 years, the current seal depicts a griffin, symbolizing strength, and a three-part shield, representing education, research, and service.

    In recent years, Purdue’s leaders have continued to support high-tech research and international programs. In 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan visited the West Lafayette campus to give a speech about the influence of technological progress on job creation.

    In the 1990s, the university added more opportunities to study abroad and expanded its course offerings in world languages and cultures. The first buildings of the Discovery Park interdisciplinary research center were dedicated in 2004.

    Purdue launched a Global Policy Research Institute in 2010 to explore the potential impact of technical knowledge on public policy decisions.

    On April 27, 2017, Purdue University announced plans to acquire for-profit college Kaplan University and convert it to a public university in the state of Indiana, subject to multiple levels of approval. That school now operates as Purdue University Global, and aims to serve adult learners.

    Campuses

    Purdue’s campus is situated in the small city of West Lafayette, near the western bank of the Wabash River, across which sits the larger city of Lafayette. State Street, which is concurrent with State Road 26, divides the northern and southern portions of campus. Academic buildings are mostly concentrated on the eastern and southern parts of campus, with residence halls and intramural fields to the west, and athletic facilities to the north. The Greater Lafayette Public Transportation Corporation (CityBus) operates eight campus loop bus routes on which students, faculty, and staff can ride free of charge with Purdue Identification.

    Organization and administration

    The university president, appointed by the board of trustees, is the chief administrative officer of the university. The office of the president oversees admission and registration, student conduct and counseling, the administration and scheduling of classes and space, the administration of student athletics and organized extracurricular activities, the libraries, the appointment of the faculty and conditions of their employment, the appointment of all non-faculty employees and the conditions of employment, the general organization of the university, and the planning and administration of the university budget.

    The Board of Trustees directly appoints other major officers of the university including a provost who serves as the chief academic officer for the university, several vice presidents with oversight over specific university operations, and the regional campus chancellors.

    Academic divisions

    Purdue is organized into thirteen major academic divisions.

    College of Agriculture

    The university’s College of Agriculture supports the university’s agricultural, food, life, and natural resource science programs. The college also supports the university’s charge as a land-grant university to support agriculture throughout the state; its agricultural extension program plays a key role in this.

    College of Education

    The College of Education offers undergraduate degrees in elementary education, social studies education, and special education, and graduate degrees in these and many other specialty areas of education. It has two departments: (a) Curriculum and Instruction and (b) Educational Studies.

    College of Engineering

    The Purdue University College of Engineering was established in 1874 with programs in Civil and Mechanical Engineering. The college now offers B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in more than a dozen disciplines. Purdue’s engineering program has also educated 24 of America’s astronauts, including Neil Armstrong and Eugene Cernan who were the first and last astronauts to have walked on the Moon, respectively. Many of Purdue’s engineering disciplines are recognized as top-ten programs in the U.S. The college as a whole is currently ranked 7th in the U.S. of all doctorate-granting engineering schools by U.S. News & World Report.

    Exploratory Studies

    The university’s Exploratory Studies program supports undergraduate students who enter the university without having a declared major. It was founded as a pilot program in 1995 and made a permanent program in 1999.

    College of Health and Human Sciences

    The College of Health and Human Sciences was established in 2010 and is the newest college. It offers B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in all 10 of its academic units.

    College of Liberal Arts

    Purdue’s College of Liberal Arts contains the arts, social sciences and humanities programs at the university. Liberal arts courses have been taught at Purdue since its founding in 1874. The School of Science, Education, and Humanities was formed in 1953. In 1963, the School of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education was established, although Bachelor of Arts degrees had begun to be conferred as early as 1959. In 1989, the School of Liberal Arts was created to encompass Purdue’s arts, humanities, and social sciences programs, while education programs were split off into the newly formed School of Education. The School of Liberal Arts was renamed the College of Liberal Arts in 2005.

    Krannert School of Management

    The Krannert School of Management offers management courses and programs at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels.

    College of Pharmacy

    The university’s College of Pharmacy was established in 1884 and is the 3rd oldest state-funded school of pharmacy in the United States. The school offers two undergraduate programs leading to the B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) and the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) professional degree. Graduate programs leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are offered in three departments (Industrial and Physical Pharmacy, Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, and Pharmacy Practice). Additionally, the school offers several non-degree certificate programs and post-graduate continuing education activities.

    Purdue Polytechnic Institute

    The Purdue Polytechnic Institute offers bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in a wide range of technology-related disciplines. With over 30,000 living alumni, it is one of the largest technology schools in the United States.

    College of Science

    The university’s College of Science houses the university’s science departments: Biological Sciences; Chemistry; Computer Science; Earth, Atmospheric, & Planetary Sciences; Mathematics; Physics & Astronomy; and Statistics. The science courses offered by the college account for about one-fourth of Purdue’s one million student credit hours.

    College of Veterinary Medicine

    The College of Veterinary Medicine is accredited by the AVMA to offer the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in veterinary technology, master’s and Ph.D. degrees, and residency programs leading to specialty board certification. Within the state of Indiana, the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine is the only veterinary school, while the Indiana University School of Medicine is one of only two medical schools (the other being Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine). The two schools frequently collaborate on medical research projects.

    Honors College

    Purdue’s Honors College supports an honors program for undergraduate students at the university.

    The Graduate School

    The university’s Graduate School supports graduate students at the university.

    Research

    The university expended $622.814 million in support of research system-wide in 2017, using funds received from the state and federal governments, industry, foundations, and individual donors. The faculty and more than 400 research laboratories put Purdue University among the leading research institutions. Purdue University is considered by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education to have “very high research activity”. Purdue also was rated the nation’s fourth best place to work in academia, according to rankings released in November 2007 by The Scientist magazine. Purdue’s researchers provide insight, knowledge, assistance, and solutions in many crucial areas. These include, but are not limited to Agriculture; Business and Economy; Education; Engineering; Environment; Healthcare; Individuals, Society, Culture; Manufacturing; Science; Technology; Veterinary Medicine. The Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP), a global research consortium focused on global economic governance challenges (trade, climate, resource use) is also coordinated by the University. Purdue University generated a record $438 million in sponsored research funding during the 2009–10 fiscal year with participation from National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and Department of Health and Human Services. Purdue University was ranked fourth in Engineering research expenditures amongst all the colleges in the United States in 2017, with a research expenditure budget of 244.8 million. Purdue University established the Discovery Park to bring innovation through multidisciplinary action. In all of the eleven centers of Discovery Park, ranging from entrepreneurship to energy and advanced manufacturing, research projects reflect a large economic impact and address global challenges. Purdue University’s nanotechnology research program, built around the new Birck Nanotechnology Center in Discovery Park, ranks among the best in the nation.

    The Purdue Research Park which opened in 1961 was developed by Purdue Research Foundation which is a private, nonprofit foundation created to assist Purdue. The park is focused on companies operating in the arenas of life sciences, homeland security, engineering, advanced manufacturing and information technology. It provides an interactive environment for experienced Purdue researchers and for private business and high-tech industry. It currently employs more than 3,000 people in 155 companies, including 90 technology-based firms. The Purdue Research Park was ranked first by the Association of University Research Parks in 2004.

    Purdue’s library system consists of fifteen locations throughout the campus, including an archives and special collections research center, an undergraduate library, and several subject-specific libraries. More than three million volumes, including one million electronic books, are held at these locations. The Library houses the Amelia Earhart Collection, a collection of notes and letters belonging to Earhart and her husband George Putnam along with records related to her disappearance and subsequent search efforts. An administrative unit of Purdue University Libraries, Purdue University Press has its roots in the 1960 founding of Purdue University Studies by President Frederick Hovde on a $12,000 grant from the Purdue Research Foundation. This was the result of a committee appointed by President Hovde after the Department of English lamented the lack of publishing venues in the humanities. Since the 1990s, the range of books published by the Press has grown to reflect the work from other colleges at Purdue University especially in the areas of agriculture, health, and engineering. Purdue University Press publishes print and ebook monograph series in a range of subject areas from literary and cultural studies to the study of the human-animal bond. In 1993 Purdue University Press was admitted to membership of the Association of American University Presses. Purdue University Press publishes around 25 books a year and 20 learned journals in print, in print & online, and online-only formats in collaboration with Purdue University Libraries.

    Sustainability

    Purdue’s Sustainability Council, composed of University administrators and professors, meets monthly to discuss environmental issues and sustainability initiatives at Purdue. The University’s first LEED Certified building was an addition to the Mechanical Engineering Building, which was completed in Fall 2011. The school is also in the process of developing an arboretum on campus. In addition, a system has been set up to display live data detailing current energy production at the campus utility plant. The school holds an annual “Green Week” each fall, an effort to engage the Purdue community with issues relating to environmental sustainability.

    Rankings

    In its 2021 edition, U.S. News & World Report ranked Purdue University the 5th most innovative national university, tied for the 17th best public university in the United States, tied for 53rd overall, and 114th best globally. U.S. News & World Report also rated Purdue tied for 36th in “Best Undergraduate Teaching, 83rd in “Best Value Schools”, tied for 284th in “Top Performers on Social Mobility”, and the undergraduate engineering program tied for 9th at schools whose highest degree is a doctorate.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:25 am on June 22, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Cangleska Wakan", "Paha Sapa" or "He Sapa", "Sacred Circle Garden design 100% complete", Anthropology, , , Potential events could include master gardening; astronomy and stargazing; the history and uses of South Dakota’s native plants; Earth science education and Native American cultural events., Since the inception of the Sacred Circle Garden initiative the vision has been clear: create an ethnobotanical garden honoring the history of the Black Hills., SURF’s vision to build a cultural and educational ethnobotanical garden space is now rendered in complete detail., The Garden will be used as a space for educational and cultural events for k-12 students as well as adults., The Garden will provide a place to reflect on the history of this region and what it could be in the future., , This design was created through conversations with tribal elders and our ad hoc committee which included members from across the state of South Dakota.   

    From The Sanford Underground Research Facility-SURF: “Sacred Circle Garden design 100% complete” 

    From The Sanford Underground Research Facility-SURF

    June 21, 2022
    Erin Lorraine Broberg

    SURF’s vision to build a cultural and educational ethnobotanical garden space is now rendered in complete detail.

    1
    Bear Butte, a Lakota sacred site featured in the garden.

    Since the inception of the Sacred Circle Garden initiative the vision has been clear: create an ethnobotanical garden honoring the history of the Black Hills, or Paha Sapa or He Sapa, and the connections we all share. Now, this vision is captured in a complete architectural design.

    Designworks Inc., a Rapid City landscape architect, completed the 100% design this month, rendering the features of the future Garden in detail.

    “This design was created through conversations with tribal elders and our ad hoc committee which included members from across the state of South Dakota. With their input and ideas, we’ve worked with the architect to achieve the 100% design,” said Staci Miller, director of the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) Foundation.

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    The Sacred Circle Garden, or Cangleska Wakan, will be located on a hilltop meadow at SURF. Primary features of the Garden include a medicine wheel and native grasses and plants. Located in the heart of the Paha Sapa, or He Sapa, the Garden will highlight four significant areas: Mato Paha (Bear Butte), Mato Tipila (Bear’s Lodge/Devil’s Tower), Hehaka Sapa (Black Elk Peak) and the Mako Sica (Badlands), all sacred sites for the Lakota and other regional tribes.

    “As a Lakota, I see strong connections between the Lakota way of understanding the universe and the research being done at SURF,” said Jace DeCory, a member of the planning committee. “I whole-heartedly support the efforts to build the Cangleska Wakan, where Tribal and all people can interact and connect with the Black Hills in a respectful way.”

    The Garden will be used as a space for educational and cultural events for k-12 students as well as adults. Miller said potential events could include master gardening, astronomy and stargazing, the history and uses of South Dakota’s native plants, Earth science education and Native American cultural events. “The Garden offers a space to bridge the science that’s happening a mile underground at SURF with the science that Indigenous peoples of the Black Hills have known for centuries,” Miller said.

    “This is a keystone project,” said Casey Peterson, ex officio member of the SURF Foundation board of directors and major donor to the initiative. “It’s a demonstration to our local community, to our Indigenous neighbors and to the world that we honor and respect this land. This space will offer a place of connection and cultural exchange for everyone who visits.”

    With the complete design in hand, the Garden is one step closer to becoming a reality. Through individual donations, corporate sponsorship, fund-raising events and a campaign offering limited-edition prints, the SURF Foundation has raised $449,771.59 of the $800,000 goal.

    Dana Dykhouse, emeritus member of the SURF Foundation board of directors and major donor to the initiative, said he hopes to inspire others to share in the vision for the project.

    “For all of us who hold the Black Hills in high esteem, both our Native community and those of us who have come later, the Garden will provide a place to reflect on the history of this region and what it could be in the future,” Dykhouse said.

    With the Garden design complete, sharing the vision has become 100% easier. To make a donation to the SURF Foundation or learn more, contact Staci Miller or visit the Sacred Circle Garden webpage.

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    About us: The Sanford Underground Research Facility-SURF in Lead, South Dakota, advances our understanding of the universe by providing laboratory space deep underground, where sensitive physics experiments can be shielded from cosmic radiation. Researchers at the Sanford Lab explore some of the most challenging questions facing 21st century physics, such as the origin of matter, the nature of dark matter and the properties of neutrinos. The facility also hosts experiments in other disciplines—including geology, biology and engineering.

    The Sanford Lab is located at the former Homestake gold mine, which was a physics landmark long before being converted into a dedicated science facility. Nuclear chemist Ray Davis earned a share of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2002 for a solar neutrino experiment he installed 4,850 feet underground in the mine.

    Homestake closed in 2003, but the company donated the property to South Dakota in 2006 for use as an underground laboratory. That same year, philanthropist T. Denny Sanford donated $70 million to the project. The South Dakota Legislature also created the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority to operate the lab. The state Legislature has committed more than $40 million in state funds to the project, and South Dakota also obtained a $10 million Community Development Block Grant to help rehabilitate the facility.

    In 2007, after the National Science Foundation named Homestake as the preferred site for a proposed national Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL), the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) began reopening the former gold mine.

    In December 2010, the National Science Board decided not to fund further design of DUSEL. However, in 2011 the Department of Energy, through the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, agreed to support ongoing science operations at Sanford Lab, while investigating how to use the underground research facility for other longer-term experiments. The SDSTA, which owns Sanford Lab, continues to operate the facility under that agreement with Berkeley Lab.

    The first two major physics experiments at the Sanford Lab are 4,850 feet underground in an area called the Davis Campus, named for the late Ray Davis. The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment is housed in the same cavern excavated for Ray Davis’s experiment in the 1960s.

    In October 2013, after an initial run of 80 days, LUX was determined to be the most sensitive detector yet to search for dark matter—a mysterious, yet-to-be-detected substance thought to be the most prevalent matter in the universe. The The U Washington MAJORANA Neutrinoless Double-beta Decay Experiment Demonstrator experiment, also on the 4850 Level, is searching for a rare phenomenon called “neutrinoless double-beta decay” that could reveal whether subatomic particles called neutrinos can be their own antiparticle. Detection of neutrinoless double-beta decay could help determine why matter prevailed over antimatter. The Majorana Demonstrator experiment is adjacent to the original Davis cavern.

    The LUX Xenon dark matter detector | Sanford Underground Research Facility mission was to scour the universe for WIMPs, vetoing all other signatures. It would continue to do just that for another three years before it was decommissioned in 2016.

    In the midst of the excitement over first results, the LUX collaboration was already casting its gaze forward. Planning for a next-generation dark matter experiment at Sanford Lab was already under way. Named LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ), the next-generation experiment would increase the sensitivity of LUX 100 times.

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory physicist Tom Shutt, a previous co-spokesperson for LUX, said one goal of the experiment was to figure out how to build an even larger detector.

    “LZ will be a thousand times more sensitive than the LUX detector,” Shutt said. “It will just begin to see an irreducible background of neutrinos that may ultimately set the limit to our ability to measure dark matter.”

    We celebrate five years of LUX, and look into the steps being taken toward the much larger and far more sensitive experiment.

    Another major experiment, the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE)—a collaboration with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) and Sanford Lab, is in the preliminary design stages. The project got a major boost last year when Congress approved and the president signed an Omnibus Appropriations bill that will fund LBNE operations through FY 2014. Called the “next frontier of particle physics,” LBNE will follow neutrinos as they travel 800 miles through the earth, from FermiLab in Batavia, Ill., to Sanford Lab.

    FNAL DUNE LBNF Caverns at Sanford Lab.

    The MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR will contain 40 kg of germanium; up to 30 kg will be enriched to 86% in 76Ge. The DEMONSTRATOR will be deployed deep underground in an ultra-low-background shielded environment in the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, SD. The goal of the DEMONSTRATOR is to determine whether a future 1-tonne experiment can achieve a background goal of one count per tonne-year in a 4-keV region of interest around the 76Ge 0νββ Q-value at 2039 keV. MAJORANA plans to collaborate with Germanium Detector Array (or GERDA) experiment is searching for neutrinoless double beta decay (0νββ) in Ge-76 at the underground Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) for a future tonne-scale 76Ge 0νββ search.

    CASPAR is a low-energy particle accelerator that allows researchers to study processes that take place inside collapsing stars.

    The scientists are using space in the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, South Dakota, to work on a project called the Compact Accelerator System for Performing Astrophysical Research (CASPAR). CASPAR uses a low-energy particle accelerator that will allow researchers to mimic nuclear fusion reactions in stars. If successful, their findings could help complete our picture of how the elements in our universe are built. “Nuclear astrophysics is about what goes on inside the star, not outside of it,” said Dan Robertson, a Notre Dame assistant research professor of astrophysics working on CASPAR. “It is not observational, but experimental. The idea is to reproduce the stellar environment, to reproduce the reactions within a star.”

     
  • richardmitnick 7:58 am on April 18, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Infrastructure Inequality Is a Challenge to Urban Sustainability", Anthropology, , , Infrastructure by policy makers is built into policies that then lock in social inequalities., , Urban Studies, Urban systems are the locus of both problems and solutions for many of the critical challenges we will face over the coming century.,   

    From Yale School of the Environment: “Infrastructure Inequality Is a Challenge to Urban Sustainability” 

    1

    From Yale School of the Environment

    at

    Yale University

    April 4, 2022

    Fran Silverman
    Associate Director of Communications
    fran.silverman@yale.edu
    +1 203-436-4842

    A first of its kind study focusing on infrastructure finds that infrastructure inequalities are ingrained in the urbanization process.

    1
    Credit: Yale School of Environment.

    Growing up in Delhi, India, Bhartendu Pandey ’21 PhD walked miles in his urban neighborhood to get fresh water for his family. The trek took time away from his studies and other activities — a sacrifice that young people in nearby communities with potable water didn’t have to make.

    This type of infrastructure inequality within regions and communities is the focus of a new PNAS study led by Pandey. It is one of the first studies that explicitly looks at unequal access to infrastructure as opposed to unequal levels of income.

    The study used satellite remote sensing and 2011 census data for more than 700,000 urban neighborhoods and rural areas to review infrastructure in South African and Indian communities. The results suggest that urbanization as a pathway to sustainable development faces fundamental constraints due to infrastructure inequality.

    “What is most surprising is that infrastructure inequalities are very much a characteristic and not an outcome of urbanization. It’s just ingrained in the urbanization process,’’ says Pandey, whose Yale School of the Environment doctoral dissertation focused on urban inequalities. He is now a lead urban data scientist at the Urban Nexus Lab at Princeton University.

    Karen Seto, YSE Frederick C. Hixon Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science and co-author of the study, says preferential treatment of infrastructure by policy makers is built into policies that then lock in social inequalities. Neighborhoods that are well lit with good drainage, for example, will attract families that can afford to live there while other lower-income families are forced to live in communities lacking infrastructure services where housing costs are cheaper.

    “These different types of inequalities reinforce each other,” Seto says.

    Infrastructure inequality can affect progress toward sustainable development and the inequalities can persist because of the durable nature of infrastructure, the study found. As urban areas increase globally — they will nearly triple in size from 2015-2050 — infrastructure expansion presents opportunities to address and shape present and future inequalities, the authors note.

    “What policy makers could investigate, and address, is how do we minimize that preferential bias when we are allocating infrastructure?” says Pandey. “If you’re thinking about achieving equitable or sustainable urbanization, then we need to be thinking about infrastructure inequalities first.”

    Christa Brelsford, co-author of the study and research scientist at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, says it creates sound theoretical and empirical strategy for characterizing inequality.

    “This is the framing we need to begin to tackle the grand urban challenges we face as a planet,” she says. “Urban systems are the locus of both problems and solutions for many of the critical challenges we will face over the coming century. Infrastructure inequality within cities is one example of those paired challenges and opportunities.”

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Yale School of the Environment

    2

    Yale School of the Environment Vision and Mission

    We are leading the world toward a sustainable future with cutting-edge research, teaching, and public engagement on society’s evolving and urgent environmental challenges.

    Core Values

    Our Mission and Vision are grounded in seven fundamental values:

    Excellence: We promote and engage in path-breaking science, policy, and business models that build on a fundamental commitment to analytic rigor, data, intellectual integrity, and excellence.
    Leadership: We attract outstanding students nationally and internationally and offer a pioneering curriculum that defines the knowledge and skills needed to be a 21st century environmental leader in a range of professions.
    Sustainability: We generate knowledge that will advance thinking and understanding across the various dimensions of sustainability.
    Community: We offer a community that finds strength in its collegiality, diversity, independence, commitment to excellence, and lifelong learning.
    Diversity: We celebrate our differences and identify pathways to a sustainable future that respects diverse values including equity, liberty, and civil discourse.
    Collaboration: We foster collaborative learning, professional skill development, and problem-solving — and we strengthen our scholarship, teaching, policy work, and outreach through partnerships across the university and beyond.
    Responsibility: We encourage environmental stewardship and responsible behavior on campus and beyond.

    Guiding Principles

    In pursuit of our Mission and Vision, we:

    Build on more than a century of work bringing science-based strategies, ethical considerations, and conservation practices to natural resource management.
    Approach problems on a systems basis and from interdisciplinary perspectives.
    Integrate theory and practice, providing innovative solutions to society’s most pressing environmental problems.
    Address environmental challenges at multiple scales and settings — from local to global, urban to rural, managed to wild.
    Draw on the depth of resources at Yale University and our network of alumni who extend across the world.
    Create opportunities for research, policy application, and professional development through our unique centers and programs.
    Provide a diverse forum to convene conversations on difficult issues that are critical to progress on sustainability.
    Bring special focus on the most significant threats to a sustainable future including climate change, the corresponding need for clean energy, and the increasing stresses on our natural resources.

    Statement of Environmental Policy

    As faculty, staff, and students of the Yale School of the Environment, we affirm our commitment to responsible stewardship of the environment of our School, our University, the city of New Haven, and the other sites of our teaching, research, professional, and social activities.

    In the course of these activities, we shall strive to:

    reduce our use of natural resources;
    support the sustainable production of the resources we must use by purchasing renewable, reusable, recyclable, and recycled materials;
    minimize our use of toxic substances and ensure that unavoidable use is in full compliance with federal, state, and local environmental regulations;
    reduce the amount of waste we generate and promote strategies to reuse and recycle those wastes that cannot be avoided;
    restore the environment where possible.

    Each member of the School community is encouraged to set an example for others by serving as an active steward of our environment.

    Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The Collegiate School was renamed Yale College in 1718 to honor the school’s largest private benefactor for the first century of its existence, Elihu Yale. Yale University is consistently ranked as one of the top universities and is considered one of the most prestigious in the nation.

    Chartered by Connecticut Colony, the Collegiate School was established in 1701 by clergy to educate Congregational ministers before moving to New Haven in 1716. Originally restricted to theology and sacred languages, the curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences by the time of the American Revolution. In the 19th century, the college expanded into graduate and professional instruction, awarding the first PhD in the United States in 1861 and organizing as a university in 1887. Yale’s faculty and student populations grew after 1890 with rapid expansion of the physical campus and scientific research.

    Yale is organized into fourteen constituent schools: the original undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and twelve professional schools. While the university is governed by the Yale Corporation, each school’s faculty oversees its curriculum and degree programs. In addition to a central campus in downtown New Haven, the university owns athletic facilities in western New Haven, a campus in West Haven, Connecticut, and forests and nature preserves throughout New England. As of June 2020, the university’s endowment was valued at $31.1 billion, the second largest of any educational institution. The Yale University Library, serving all constituent schools, holds more than 15 million volumes and is the third-largest academic library in the United States. Students compete in intercollegiate sports as the Yale Bulldogs in the NCAA Division I – Ivy League.

    As of October 2020, 65 Nobel laureates, five Fields Medalists, four Abel Prize laureates, and three Turing award winners have been affiliated with Yale University. In addition, Yale has graduated many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 31 living billionaires, and many heads of state. Hundreds of members of Congress and many U.S. diplomats, 78 MacArthur Fellows, 252 Rhodes Scholars, 123 Marshall Scholars, and nine Mitchell Scholars have been affiliated with the university.

    Research

    Yale is a member of the Association of American Universities and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation , Yale spent $990 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 15th in the nation.

    Yale’s faculty include 61 members of the National Academy of Sciences , 7 members of the National Academy of Engineering and 49 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences . The college is, after normalization for institution size, the tenth-largest baccalaureate source of doctoral degree recipients in the United States, and the largest such source within the Ivy League.

    Yale’s English and Comparative Literature departments were part of the New Criticism movement. Of the New Critics, Robert Penn Warren, W.K. Wimsatt, and Cleanth Brooks were all Yale faculty. Later, the Yale Comparative literature department became a center of American deconstruction. Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, taught at the Department of Comparative Literature from the late seventies to mid-1980s. Several other Yale faculty members were also associated with deconstruction, forming the so-called “Yale School”. These included Paul de Man who taught in the Departments of Comparative Literature and French, J. Hillis Miller, Geoffrey Hartman (both taught in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature), and Harold Bloom (English), whose theoretical position was always somewhat specific, and who ultimately took a very different path from the rest of this group. Yale’s history department has also originated important intellectual trends. Historians C. Vann Woodward and David Brion Davis are credited with beginning in the 1960s and 1970s an important stream of southern historians; likewise, David Montgomery, a labor historian, advised many of the current generation of labor historians in the country. Yale’s Music School and Department fostered the growth of Music Theory in the latter half of the 20th century. The Journal of Music Theory was founded there in 1957; Allen Forte and David Lewin were influential teachers and scholars.

    In addition to eminent faculty members, Yale research relies heavily on the presence of roughly 1200 Postdocs from various national and international origin working in the multiple laboratories in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and professional schools of the university. The university progressively recognized this working force with the recent creation of the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs and the Yale Postdoctoral Association.

    Notable alumni

    Over its history, Yale has produced many distinguished alumni in a variety of fields, ranging from the public to private sector. According to 2020 data, around 71% of undergraduates join the workforce, while the next largest majority of 16.6% go on to attend graduate or professional schools. Yale graduates have been recipients of 252 Rhodes Scholarships, 123 Marshall Scholarships, 67 Truman Scholarships, 21 Churchill Scholarships, and 9 Mitchell Scholarships. The university is also the second largest producer of Fulbright Scholars, with a total of 1,199 in its history and has produced 89 MacArthur Fellows. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ranked Yale fifth among research institutions producing the most 2020–2021 Fulbright Scholars. Additionally, 31 living billionaires are Yale alumni.

    At Yale, one of the most popular undergraduate majors among Juniors and Seniors is political science, with many students going on to serve careers in government and politics. Former presidents who attended Yale for undergrad include William Howard Taft, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush while former presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton attended Yale Law School. Former vice-president and influential antebellum era politician John C. Calhoun also graduated from Yale. Former world leaders include Italian prime minister Mario Monti, Turkish prime minister Tansu Çiller, Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, German president Karl Carstens, Philippine president José Paciano Laurel, Latvian president Valdis Zatlers, Taiwanese premier Jiang Yi-huah, and Malawian president Peter Mutharika, among others. Prominent royals who graduated are Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and Olympia Bonaparte, Princess Napoléon.

    Yale alumni have had considerable presence in U.S. government in all three branches. On the U.S. Supreme Court, 19 justices have been Yale alumni, including current Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh. Numerous Yale alumni have been U.S. Senators, including current Senators Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Chris Coons, Amy Klobuchar, Ben Sasse, and Sheldon Whitehouse. Current and former cabinet members include Secretaries of State John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Cyrus Vance, and Dean Acheson; U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott, Robert Rubin, Nicholas F. Brady, Steven Mnuchin, and Janet Yellen; U.S. Attorneys General Nicholas Katzenbach, John Ashcroft, and Edward H. Levi; and many others. Peace Corps founder and American diplomat Sargent Shriver and public official and urban planner Robert Moses are Yale alumni.

    Yale has produced numerous award-winning authors and influential writers, like Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Sinclair Lewis and Pulitzer Prize winners Stephen Vincent Benét, Thornton Wilder, Doug Wright, and David McCullough. Academy Award winning actors, actresses, and directors include Jodie Foster, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Elia Kazan, George Roy Hill, Lupita Nyong’o, Oliver Stone, and Frances McDormand. Alumni from Yale have also made notable contributions to both music and the arts. Leading American composer from the 20th century Charles Ives, Broadway composer Cole Porter, Grammy award winner David Lang, and award-winning jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer all hail from Yale. Hugo Boss Prize winner Matthew Barney, famed American sculptor Richard Serra, President Barack Obama presidential portrait painter Kehinde Wiley, MacArthur Fellow and contemporary artist Sarah Sze, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau, and National Medal of Arts photorealist painter Chuck Close all graduated from Yale. Additional alumni include architect and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Maya Lin, Pritzker Prize winner Norman Foster, and Gateway Arch designer Eero Saarinen. Journalists and pundits include Dick Cavett, Chris Cuomo, Anderson Cooper, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Fareed Zakaria.

    In business, Yale has had numerous alumni and former students go on to become founders of influential business, like William Boeing (Boeing, United Airlines), Briton Hadden and Henry Luce (Time Magazine), Stephen A. Schwarzman (Blackstone Group), Frederick W. Smith (FedEx), Juan Trippe (Pan Am), Harold Stanley (Morgan Stanley), Bing Gordon (Electronic Arts), and Ben Silbermann (Pinterest). Other business people from Yale include former chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings Edward Lampert, former Time Warner president Jeffrey Bewkes, former PepsiCo chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi, sports agent Donald Dell, and investor/philanthropist Sir John Templeton,

    Yale alumni distinguished in academia include literary critic and historian Henry Louis Gates, economists Irving Fischer, Mahbub ul Haq, and Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman; Nobel Prize in Physics laureates Ernest Lawrence and Murray Gell-Mann; Fields Medalist John G. Thompson; Human Genome Project leader and National Institutes of Health director Francis S. Collins; brain surgery pioneer Harvey Cushing; pioneering computer scientist Grace Hopper; influential mathematician and chemist Josiah Willard Gibbs; National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee and biochemist Florence B. Seibert; Turing Award recipient Ron Rivest; inventors Samuel F.B. Morse and Eli Whitney; Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate John B. Goodenough; lexicographer Noah Webster; and theologians Jonathan Edwards and Reinhold Niebuhr.

    In the sporting arena, Yale alumni include baseball players Ron Darling and Craig Breslow and baseball executives Theo Epstein and George Weiss; football players Calvin Hill, Gary Fenick, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and “the Father of American Football” Walter Camp; ice hockey players Chris Higgins and Olympian Helen Resor; Olympic figure skaters Sarah Hughes and Nathan Chen; nine-time U.S. Squash men’s champion Julian Illingworth; Olympic swimmer Don Schollander; Olympic rowers Josh West and Rusty Wailes; Olympic sailor Stuart McNay; Olympic runner Frank Shorter; and others.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:58 am on April 14, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "How ancient and recurring climate changes may have shaped human evolution", Anthropology, ,   

    FromScience News: “How ancient and recurring climate changes may have shaped human evolution” 

    From Science News

    4.13.22
    Bruce Bower

    1
    A new study claims climate change–induced travels of a disputed hominid species called Homo heidelbergensis, represented here by a roughly 600,000-year-old East African skull, led to the evolution of H. sapiens in southern Africa and Neandertals in Europe. Credit: Ryan Somma/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

    Recurring climate changes may have orchestrated where Homo species lived over the last 2 million years and how humankind evolved.

    Ups and downs in temperature, rainfall and plant growth promoted ancient hominid migrations within and out of Africa that fostered an ability to survive in unfamiliar environments, say climate physicist and oceanographer Axel Timmermann and colleagues. Based on how the timing of ancient climate variations matched up with the comings and goings of different fossil Homo species, the researchers generated a novel — and controversial — outline of human evolution. Timmermann, of Pusan National University [부산대학교](KR), and his team present that scenario April 13, 2022 in Nature.

    Here’s how these scientists tell the story of humankind, starting roughly 2 million years ago. By that time, Homo erectus had already begun to roam outside Africa, while an East African species called H. ergaster stuck close to its home region. H. ergaster probably evolved into a disputed East African species called H. heidelbergensis, which split into southern and northern branches between 850,000 and 600,000 years ago. These migrations coincided with warmer, survival-enhancing climate shifts that occur every 20,000 to 100,000 years due to variations in Earth’s orbit and tilt that modify how much sunlight reaches the planet.

    Then, after traveling north to Eurasia, H. heidelbergensis possibly gave rise to Denisovans around 430,000 years ago, the researchers say. And in central Europe, harsh habitats created by recurring ice ages spurred the evolution of H. heidelbergensis into Neandertals between 400,000 and 300,000 years ago. Finally, in southern Africa between 310,000 and 200,000 years ago, increasingly harsh environmental conditions accompanied a transition from H. heidelbergensis to H. sapiens, who later moved out of Africa.

    But some researchers contend [Evolutionary Anthropology] that H. heidelbergensis, as defined by its advocates, contains too many hard-to-categorize fossils to qualify as a species.

    An alternative view to the newly proposed scenario suggests that, during the time that H. heidelbergensis allegedly lived, closely related Homo populations periodically split up, reorganized and bred with outsiders, without necessarily operatingIt has proven difficult to show more definitively that ancient environmental changes caused transitions in hominid evolution. For instance, a previous proposal that abrupt climate shifts resulted in rainy, resource-rich stretches of southern Africa’s coast, creating conditions where H. sapiens then evolved (SN: 3/31/21), still lacks sufficient climate, fossil and other archaeological evidence. as distinct biological species (SN: 12/13/21). In this view, mating among H. sapiens groups across Africa starting as early as 500,000 years ago eventually produced a physical makeup typical of people today. If so, that would undermine the validity of a neatly branching evolutionary tree of Homo species leading up to H. sapiens, as proposed by Timmermann’s group.

    The new scenario derives from a computer simulation of the probable climate over the last 2 million years, in 1,000-year intervals, across Africa, Asia and Europe. The researchers then examined the relationship between simulated predictions of what ancient habitats were like in those regions and the dates of known hominid fossil and archaeological sites. Those sites range in age from around 2 million to 30,000 years old.

    Previous fossil evidence indicates that H. erectus spread as far as East Asia and Java (SN: 12/18/19). Timmermann’s climate simulations suggest that H. erectus, as well as H. heidelbergensis and H. sapiens, adapted to increasingly diverse habitats during extended travels. Those migrations stimulated brain growth and cultural innovations that “may have made [all three species] the global wanderers that they were,” Timmermann says.

    The new habitat simulations also indicate that H. sapiens was particularly good at adjusting to hot, dry regions, such as northeastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

    Climate, habitat and fossil data weren’t sufficient to include additional proposed Homo species in the new evolutionary model, including H. floresiensis in Indonesia (SN: 3/30/16) and H. naledi in South Africa (SN: 5/9/17).

    It has proven difficult [Trends in Ecology and Evolution] to show more definitively that ancient environmental changes caused transitions in hominid evolution. For instance, a previous proposal that abrupt climate shifts resulted in rainy, resource-rich stretches of southern Africa’s coast, creating conditions where H. sapiens then evolved (SN: 3/31/21), still lacks sufficient climate, fossil and other archaeological evidence.

    Paleoanthropologist Rick Potts of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., has developed another influential theory about how climate fluctuations influenced human evolution that’s still open to debate. A series of climate-driven booms and busts in resource availability, starting around 400,000 years ago in East Africa, resulted in H. sapiens evolving as a species with a keen ability to survive in unpredictably shifting environments, Potts argues (SN: 10/21/20). But the new model indicates that ancient H. sapiens often migrated into novel but relatively stable environments, Timmermann says, undermining support for Potts’ hypothesis, known as variability selection.

    The new findings need to be compared with long-term environmental records at several well-studied fossil sites in Africa and East Asia before rendering a verdict on variability selection, Potts says.

    The new model “provides a great framework” to evaluate ideas such as variability selection, says paleoclimatologist Rachel Lupien of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y. That’s especially true, Lupien says, if researchers can specify whether climate and ecosystem changes that played out over tens or hundreds of years were closely linked to ancient Homo migrations.

    For now, much remains obscured on the ancient landscape of human evolution.

    See the full article here.


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 11:13 am on April 12, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "An Atacama Super-Quake We Never Knew About Sent Humans Into Hiding For 1000 Years", A gigantic tsunami-unleashing earthquake that struck northern Chile 3800 years ago wreaked such devastation on coastal populations that it took 1000 years for humans to return to the shore., Anthropology, , , , , , , The ancient super-quake would have had a magnitude of around 9.5., The quake generated a tsunami that hurled boulders hundreds of meters inland in New Zealand which is thousands of miles and an ocean away., The University of New South Wales(AU)   

    From The University of New South Wales(AU) and The University of Chile [Universidad de Chile](CL) via Science Alert(AU): “An Atacama Super-Quake We Never Knew About Sent Humans Into Hiding For 1000 Years” 

    U NSW bloc

    From The University of New South Wales(AU)

    and

    U Chile Bloc

    The University of Chile [Universidad de Chile](CL)

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert(AU)

    12 APRIL 2022
    PETER DOCKRILL

    A gigantic tsunami-unleashing earthquake that struck northern Chile 3800 years ago wreaked such devastation on coastal populations, it took 1,000 years for humans to return to the shore, scientists say.

    The ancient super-quake would have had a magnitude of around 9.5, and was so powerful it generated a tsunami that hurled boulders hundreds of meters inland in New Zealand, which is thousands of miles – and an entire ocean – away.

    The discovery is evidenced by uplifted land structures (aka littoral deposits) and samples of marine rocks, shells, and sea life washed far ashore by tsunami waves into the higher stretches of Chile’s Atacama Desert. It serves as a grim warning of the destructive potential of major tsunamigenic earthquakes that may have previously escaped our notice.

    “We found evidence of marine sediments and a lot of beasties that would have been living quietly in the sea before being thrown inland,” says geologist and tsunami specialist James Goff from the University of New South Wales, Australia.

    “And we found all these very high up and a long way inland so it could not have been a storm that put them there.”

    2
    Tsunami deposits visible in a trench. Credit: The University of Southampton (UK).

    The research team, led by anthropologist Diego Salazar from The University of Chile[Universidad de Chile](CL), conducted several years of research in the Atacama Desert region, which is particularly vulnerable to megathrust earthquakes due to its proximity to the convergence of the Nazca and South American tectonic plates, with the former being subducted under the latter.

    This phenomenon and its seismic backlash is what led to the most powerful earthquake on record, the 1960 Valdivia earthquake in southern Chile; thousands of years prior, it seems the same tectonic tensions led to an equally diabolical yet undocumented precursor in the north of the country.

    “It had been thought that there could not be an event of that size in the north of the country simply because you could not get a long enough rupture,” says Goff.

    “But we have now found evidence of a rupture that’s about one thousand kilometers long just off the Atacama Desert coast, and that is massive.”

    In their investigations, the researchers used radiocarbon dating to get a sense of the age of the littoral deposits, which stretch over some 600 kilometers (about 370 miles) of Chile’s coastline.

    Readings from several of the deposit sites suggest the existence of a “tectonic event that would have uplifted littoral deposits all along the study region, generated a paleotsunami, and triggered social disruption at a regional scale,” the researchers write in their paper.

    2
    Collapsed stone structure. Credit: Gabriel Easton.

    At the time of the event, the people living in this part of the world were hunter-gatherer communities. Archaeological evidence suggests the tsunami wave generated by the quake toppled their stone structures – and not just once, but twice, with a strong current of tsunami backwash wreaking havoc as it flowed back out to the sea.

    The effects on any people lucky enough to have survived the immediate disaster were long-lasting, with evidence suggesting the area remained uninhabited by human populations for as long as 1,000 years, despite people living on this stretch of coastline for nearly 10 millennia before the crisis.

    “The local population there were left with nothing,” says Goff. “Our archaeological work found that a huge social upheaval followed as communities moved inland beyond the reach of tsunamis.”

    With time and the passing of dozens of generations, the local people’s boldness (or perhaps forgetfulness) grew, and people eventually made their way back to the ocean about 1,000 years later.

    “The abandonment of previously occupied areas and changes in the mobility patterns and spatial arrangements of settlements and cemeteries were probably resilience strategies developed by hunter-gatherer societies,” the researchers write.

    “However, knowledge of these giant events and their consequences seems to wane over the passage of time.”

    Aside from filling the gaps in our historical understanding of this gigantic event – an earthquake about as powerful as anything known to humanity – the research is a cautionary note about the risks similarly powerful megathrust quakes might pose in the future, the researchers say.

    “While this had a major impact on people in Chile, the South Pacific islands were uninhabited when they took a pummeling from the tsunami 3,800 years ago,” Goff says.

    “But they are all well-populated now, and many are popular tourist destinations, so when such an event occurs next time the consequences could be catastrophic unless we learn from these findings.”

    The findings are reported in Science Advances.

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Chile Campus

    The University of Chile[Universidad de Chile](CL) is the largest and oldest institution of higher education in Chile and one of the oldest in Latin America. Founded in 1842 as the replacement and continuation of the former colonial Royal University of San Felipe (1738) (Spanish: Real Universidad de San Felipe), the university is often called Casa de Bello (House of Bello) in honor of its first president, Andrés Bello. Notable alumni include two Nobel laureates (Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral) and twenty Chilean presidents among many others.

    U NSW Campus

    The The University of New South Wales is an Australian public university with its largest campus in the Sydney suburb of Kensington.

    Established in 1949, UNSW is a research university, ranked 44th in the world in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and 67th in the world in the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. UNSW is one of the founding members of the Group of Eight, a coalition of Australian research-intensive universities, and of Universitas 21, a global network of research universities. It has international exchange and research partnerships with over 200 universities around the world.

    According to the 2021 QS World University Rankings by Subject, UNSW is ranked top 20 in the world for Law, Accounting and Finance, and 1st in Australia for Mathematics, Engineering and Technology. UNSW also leads Australia in Medicine, where the median ATAR (Australian university entrance examination results) of its Medical School students is higher than any other Australian medical school. UNSW enrolls the highest number of Australia’s top 500 high school students academically, and produces more millionaire graduates than any other Australian university.

    The university comprises seven faculties, through which it offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The main campus is in the Sydney suburb of Kensington, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from the Sydney CBD. The creative arts faculty, UNSW Art & Design, is located in Paddington, and subcampuses are located in the Sydney CBD as well as several other suburbs, including Randwick and Coogee. Research stations are located throughout the state of New South Wales.

    The university’s second largest campus, known as UNSW Canberra at ADFA (formerly known as UNSW at ADFA), is situated in Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). ADFA is the military academy of the Australian Defense Force, and UNSW Canberra is the only national academic institution with a defense focus.

    Research centres

    The university has a number of purpose-built research facilities, including:

    UNSW Lowy Cancer Research Centre is Australia’s first facility bringing together researchers in childhood and adult cancers, as well as one of the country’s largest cancer-research facilities, housing up to 400 researchers.

    The Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre is a centre for the faculties of science, medicine, and engineering. It is used to study the structure and composition of biological, chemical, and physical materials.

    UNSW Canberra Cyber is a cyber-security research and teaching centre.

    The Sino-Australian Research Centre for Coastal Management (SARCCM) has a multidisciplinary focus, and works collaboratively with the Ocean University of China [中國海洋大學](CN) in coastal management research.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:54 pm on April 11, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Anthropology, , Following the transition from foraging to farming hierarchical societies and eventually tax-levying states have emerged., High land productivity on its own does not lead to the development of tax-levying states, It is the adoption of cereal crops that is the key factor for the emergence of hierarchy., Only where the climate and geography favored cereals was hierarchy likely to develop., ,   

    From The University of Warwick (UK) via phys.org: “Study sheds new light on the origin of civilization” 

    From The University of Warwick (UK)

    via

    phys.org

    April 11, 2022
    Sheila Kiggins, University of Warwick

    1
    Credit: University of Warwick

    New research from the University of Warwick, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem הַאוּנִיבֶרְסִיטָה הַעִבְרִית בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם‎ (IL), The Reichman University אוניברסיטת רייכמן(IL),Pompeu Fabra University [Universitat Pompeu Fabra](ES) and The Barcelona School of Economics (ES) challenges the conventional theory that the transition from foraging to farming drove the development of complex, hierarchical societies by creating agricultural surplus in areas of fertile land.

    In The Origin of the State: Land Productivity or Appropriability?, published in the April issue of the Journal of Political Economy, Professors Joram Mayshar, Omer Moav and Luigi Pascali show that high land productivity on its own does not lead to the development of tax-levying states.

    It is the adoption of cereal crops that is the key factor for the emergence of hierarchy. Professor Moav explains in this short video:


    How farming shaped the world

    The authors theorize that this is because the nature of cereals require that they be harvested and stored in accessible locations, making them easier to appropriate as tax than root crops which remain in the ground, and are less storable.

    The researchers demonstrate a causal effect of cereal cultivation on the emergence of hierarchy using empirical evidence drawn from multiple data sets spanning several millennia, and find no similar effect for land productivity.

    Professor Mayshar said: “A theory linking land productivity and surplus to the emergence of hierarchy has developed over a few centuries and became conventional in thousands of books and articles. We show, both theoretically and empirically, that this theory is flawed.”

    Underpinning the study, Mayshar, Moav and Pascali developed and examined a large number of data sets including the level of hierarchical complexity in society; the geographic distribution of wild relatives of domesticated plants; and land suitability for various crops to explore why in some regions, despite thousands of years of successful farming, well-functioning states did not emerge, while states that could tax and provide protection to lives and property emerged elsewhere.

    Professor Pascali said: “Using these novel data, we were able to show that complex hierarchies, like complex chiefdoms and states, arose in areas in which cereal crops, which are easy to tax and to expropriate, were de-facto the only available crops. Paradoxically, the most productive lands, those in which not only cereals but also roots and tubers were available and productive, did not experience the same political developments.”

    They also employed the natural experiment of the Columbian Exchange, the interchange of crops between the New World and the Old World in the late 15th century which radically changed land productivity and the productivity advantage of cereals over roots and tubers in most countries in the world.

    Professor Pascali said “Constructing these new data sets, investigating case studies, and developing the theory and empirical strategy took us nearly a decade of hard work. We are very pleased to see that the paper is finally printed in a journal with the standing of the JPE.”

    Professor Moav said: “Following the transition from foraging to farming hierarchical societies and eventually tax-levying states have emerged. These states played a crucial role in economic development by providing protection, law and order, which eventually enabled industrialization and the unprecedented welfare enjoyed today in many countries.”

    “The conventional theory is that this disparity is due to differences in land productivity. The conventional argument is that food surplus must be produced before a state can tax farmers’ crops, and therefore that high land productivity plays the key role.

    Professor Mayshar added: “We challenge the conventional productivity theory, contending that it was not an increase in food production that led to complex hierarchies and states, but rather the transition to reliance on appropriable cereal grains that facilitate taxation by the emerging elite. When it became possible to appropriate crops, a taxing elite emerged, and this led to the state.

    “Only where the climate and geography favored cereals was hierarchy likely to develop. Our data shows that the greater the productivity advantage of cereals over tubers, the greater the likelihood of hierarchy emerging.

    “Suitability of highly productive roots and tubers is in fact a curse of plenty, which prevented the emergence of states and impeded economic development.”

    See the full article here.

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    Stem Education Coalition

    The establishment of the The University of Warwick (UK) was given approval by the government in 1961 and received its Royal Charter of Incorporation in 1965.

    The idea for a university in Coventry was mooted shortly after the conclusion of the Second World War but it was a bold and imaginative partnership of the City and the County which brought the University into being on a 400-acre site jointly granted by the two authorities. Since then, the University has incorporated the former Coventry College of Education in 1978 and has extended its land holdings by the purchase of adjoining farm land.

    The University initially admitted a small intake of graduate students in 1964 and took its first 450 undergraduates in October 1965. In October 2013, the student population was over 23,000 of which 9,775 are postgraduates. Around a third of the student body comes from overseas and over 120 countries are represented on the campus.

    The University of Warwick is a public research university on the outskirts of Coventry between the West Midlands and Warwickshire, England. The University was founded in 1965 as part of a government initiative to expand higher education. The Warwick Business School was established in 1967, the Warwick Law School in 1968, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) in 1980, and Warwick Medical School in 2000. Warwick incorporated Coventry College of Education in 1979 and Horticulture Research International in 2004.

    Warwick is primarily based on a 290 hectares (720 acres) campus on the outskirts of Coventry, with a satellite campus in Wellesbourne and a central London base at the Shard. It is organised into three faculties — Arts, Science Engineering and Medicine, and Social Sciences — within which there are 32 departments. As of 2019, Warwick has around 26,531 full-time students and 2,492 academic and research staff. It had a consolidated income of £679.9 million in 2019/20, of which £131.7 million was from research grants and contracts. Warwick Arts Centre is a multi-venue arts complex in the university’s main campus and is the largest venue of its kind in the UK, which is not in London.

    Warwick has an average intake of 4,950 undergraduates out of 38,071 applicants (7.7 applicants per place).

    Warwick is a member of Association of Commonwealth Universities (UK), the Association of MBAs, EQUIS, the European University Association (EU), the Midlands Innovation group, the Russell Group (UK), Sutton 13. It is the only European member of the Center for Urban Science and Progress, a collaboration with New York University (US). The university has extensive commercial activities, including the University of Warwick Science Park and Warwick Manufacturing Group.

    Warwick’s alumni and staff include winners of the Nobel Prize, Turing Award, Fields Medal, Richard W. Hamming Medal, Emmy Award, Grammy, and the Padma Vibhushan, and are fellows to the British Academy, the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Royal Society. Alumni also include heads of state, government officials, leaders in intergovernmental organisations, and the current chief economist at the Bank of England. Researchers at Warwick have also made significant contributions such as the development of penicillin, music therapy, Washington Consensus, Second-wave feminism, computing standards, including ISO and ECMA, complexity theory, contract theory, and the International Political Economy as a field of study.

    Twentieth century

    The idea for a university in Warwickshire was first mooted shortly after World War II, although it was not founded for a further two decades. A partnership of the city and county councils ultimately provided the impetus for the university to be established on a 400-acre (1.6 km^2) site jointly granted by the two authorities. There was some discussion between local sponsors from both the city and county over whether it should be named after Coventry or Warwickshire. The name “University of Warwick” was adopted, even though Warwick, the county town, lies some 8 miles (13 km) to its southwest and Coventry’s city centre is only 3.5 miles (5.6 km) northeast of the campus. The establishment of the University of Warwick was given approval by the government in 1961 and it received its Royal Charter of Incorporation in 1965. Since then, the university has incorporated the former Coventry College of Education in 1979 and has extended its land holdings by the continuing purchase of adjoining farm land. The university also benefited from a substantial donation from the family of John ‘Jack’ Martin, a Coventry businessman who had made a fortune from investment in Smirnoff vodka, and which enabled the construction of the Warwick Arts Centre.

    The university initially admitted a small intake of graduate students in 1964 and took its first 450 undergraduates in October 1965. Since its establishment Warwick has expanded its grounds to 721 acres (2.9 km^2), with many modern buildings and academic facilities, lakes, and woodlands. In the 1960s and 1970s, Warwick had a reputation as a politically radical institution.

    Under Vice-Chancellor Lord Butterworth, Warwick was the first UK university to adopt a business approach to higher education, develop close links with the business community and exploit the commercial value of its research. These tendencies were discussed by British historian and then-Warwick lecturer, E. P. Thompson, in his 1970 edited book Warwick University Ltd.

    The Leicester Warwick Medical School, a new medical school based jointly at Warwick and University of Leicester (UK), opened in September 2000.

    On the recommendation of Tony Blair, Bill Clinton chose Warwick as the venue for his last major foreign policy address as US President in December 2000. Sandy Berger, Clinton’s National Security Advisor, explaining the decision in a press briefing on 7 December 2000, said that: “Warwick is one of Britain’s newest and finest research universities, singled out by Prime Minister Blair as a model both of academic excellence and independence from the government.”

    Twenty-first century
    The university was seen as a favoured institution of the Labour government during the New Labour years (1997 to 2010). It was academic partner for a number of flagship Government schemes including the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth and the NHS University (now defunct). Tony Blair described Warwick as “a beacon among British universities for its dynamism, quality and entrepreneurial zeal”. In a 2012 study by Virgin Media Business, Warwick was described as the most “digitally-savvy” UK university.

    In February 2001, IBM donated a new S/390 computer and software worth £2 million to Warwick, to form part of a “Grid” enabling users to remotely share computing power. In April 2004 Warwick merged with the Wellesbourne and Kirton sites of Horticulture Research International. In July 2004 Warwick was the location for an important agreement between the Labour Party and the trade unions on Labour policy and trade union law, which has subsequently become known as the “Warwick Agreement”.

    In June 2006 the new University Hospital Coventry opened, including a 102,000 sq ft (9,500 m^2) university clinical sciences building. Warwick Medical School was granted independent degree-awarding status in 2007, and the School’s partnership with the University of Leicester was dissolved in the same year. In February 2010, Lord Bhattacharyya, director and founder of the WMG unit at Warwick, made a £1 million donation to the university to support science grants and awards.

    In February 2012 Warwick and Melbourne-based Monash University (AU) announced the formation of a strategic partnership, including the creation of 10 joint senior academic posts, new dual master’s and joint doctoral degrees, and co-ordination of research programmes. In March 2012 Warwick and Queen Mary, University of London announced the creation of a strategic partnership, including research collaboration, some joint teaching of English, history and computer science undergraduates, and the creation of eight joint post-doctoral research fellowships.

    In April 2012 it was announced that Warwick would be the only European university participating in the Center for Urban Science and Progress, an applied science research institute to be based in New York consisting of an international consortium of universities and technology companies led by New York University (US) and NYU Tandon School of Engineering (US). In August 2012, Warwick and five other Midlands-based universities — Aston University (UK), the University of Birmingham (UK), the University of Leicester (UK), Loughborough University (UK) and the University of Nottingham — formed the M5 Group, a regional bloc intended to maximise the member institutions’ research income and enable closer collaboration.

    In September 2013 it was announced that a new National Automotive Innovation Centre would be built by WMG at Warwick’s main campus at a cost of £100 million, with £50 million to be contributed by Jaguar Land Rover and £30 million by Tata Motors.

    In July 2014, the government announced that Warwick would be the host for the £1 billion Advanced Propulsion Centre, a joint venture between the Automotive Council and industry. The ten-year programme intends to position the university and the UK as leaders in the field of research into the next generation of automotive technology.

    In September 2015, Warwick celebrated its 50th anniversary (1965–2015) and was designated “University of the Year” by The Times and The Sunday Times.

    Research

    In 2013/14 Warwick had a total research income of £90.1 million, of which £33.9 million was from Research Councils; £25.9 million was from central government, local authorities and public corporations; £12.7 million was from the European Union; £7.9 million was from UK industry and commerce; £5.2 million was from UK charitable bodies; £4.0 million was from overseas sources; and £0.5 million was from other sources.

    In the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework (REF), Warwick was again ranked 7th overall (as 2008) amongst multi-faculty institutions and was the top-ranked university in the Midlands. Some 87% of the University’s academic staff were rated as being in “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” departments with top research ratings of 4* or 3*.

    Warwick is particularly strong in the areas of decision sciences research (economics, finance, management, mathematics and statistics). For instance, researchers of the Warwick Business School have won the highest prize of the prestigious European Case Clearing House (ECCH: the equivalent of the Oscars in terms of management research).

    Warwick has established a number of stand-alone units to manage and extract commercial value from its research activities. The four most prominent examples of these units are University of Warwick Science Park; Warwick HRI; Warwick Ventures (the technology transfer arm of the University); and WMG.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:10 pm on January 8, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Anthropologist Lisa Messeri on the ‘metaverse’ and other digital worlds", Anthropology, , , Meta, VR: Virtual Reality-the new mythos,   

    From Yale University (US) : “Anthropologist Lisa Messeri on the ‘metaverse’ and other digital worlds” 

    From Yale University (US)

    January 6, 2022

    Mike Cummings

    1
    Lisa Messeri

    Yale anthropologist Lisa Messeri paid close attention last fall when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg shared his plans to invest billions into creating the “metaverse,” an immersive, digital world that he claims is humanity’s “next frontier.”

    2
    Meta Platforms Inc (FB.O), the owner of social media network Facebook, is behind a $60 million deal to acquire the trademark assets of U.S. regional bank Meta Financial Group (CASH.O), spokespeople for the companies said on Monday.

    Messeri studies the places where technology and science are produced and how scientists and engineers build new worlds through their research and innovations. Her current research focuses on the virtual reality (VR) industry, which produces some of the technology that is seen as central to the metaverse. She worries that Zuckerberg’s metaverse will do more harm than good.

    In Zuckerberg’s hands the vision of sociality, community, and experience existing on this frontier will be devastatingly limited …,” she wrote in an essay published in Wired that placed the tech titan’s vision in historical and cultural context.
    __________________________________________________

    Read An Ugly Truth-Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination by Sheera Frenkel and Cecillia Kang.
    3

    See the documentary video The Social Dilemma [not The Social Network a fictionalized account] on Netflix.
    ____________________________________________________

    Messeri’s first book, Placing Outer Space: An Earthly Ethnography of Other Worlds, explored the ways planetary scientists transform the void of space into a cosmos populated with worlds that ignite people’s imaginations. Her next book will examine the people, places, and fantasies shaping VR and its simulated worlds.

    Students have embraced Messeri’s anthropological approach to science and technology. She is a 2021 recipient of the Poorvu Family Fund for Academic Innovation award, which recognizes excellence in innovative teaching among Yale’s junior faculty.

    Messeri, an assistant professor of anthropology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, recently spoke to Yale News about her teaching, research, and skepticism of Zuckerberg’s metaverse vision. The interview has been edited and condensed.

    First, congratulations on winning the Poorvu prize. What do you most enjoy about teaching?

    Lisa Messeri: Teaching undergraduates is an extraordinary opportunity to engage with young, eager thinkers. They’re creative. They’re optimistic about technology and, yet, intuitively aware of some of the big problems about which those of us in technology studies are most concerned. It’s exciting to inhabit their more optimistic space. I also like watching students become more mature thinkers as they encounter new material throughout the semester.

    You teach an undergraduate seminar titled “Technology and Culture.” What ground do you cover?

    Messeri: We start with the ways in which technology affects our understanding of ourselves. Then we zoom out a little bit to think about technology’s role in shaping the communities in which we live. Next, we switch over to thinking about the virtual spaces that we occupy, and we try to understand the distinction between the physical world and the virtual world and how that divide is increasingly less obvious.

    This semester, in consultation with my teaching fellow Michelle Venetucci — a graduate student in anthropology — we included a unit on Silicon Valley, discussing its history and contemporary critiques of the tech industry. We hope to dispel myths about technological progress and reach a more fine-tuned understanding of the harms that the Valley propagates. If we can better understand the harms, then maybe we can better see our way toward a better future.

    What sorts of myths do you discuss?

    Messeri: There are a lot of them. One is the myth that technology is apolitical. It’s not. It embodies the values and perspectives of those who create it. We also try to demystify the idea that simply building a new technology creates a better world. Why have we allowed ourselves to believe this? Why does creating new human resources software, for example, necessarily make the world a better place? There certainly are technologies that can improve the world, but there’s nothing inherent in new technology that makes the world better.

    How did you become interested in studying VR?

    Messeri: I started thinking about VR in 2015. At that point, I was wrapping up my first book, which focused on outer space and the planetary scientists and astronomers searching for distant planets. That book asked whether the idea of “place,” which we often think of as intimate, personal, and community-based, scales up to the planetary. Can our notion of place be transported to planets that exist far outside our solar system?

    Academics tend to try to find through lines between our projects. I might have been expected to do another book on outer space, but I wanted to challenge myself a little bit more and I was still very intrigued about this concept of place. What I really wanted was to study another kind of science or technology that would allow me to continue asking, “How does science and technology change what it means to be somewhere?” VR seemed to directly implicate that question.

    What’s something you’ve learned about the VR industry that surprised you?

    Messeri: I became intrigued by the fact that so much of the conversation around VR was happening in Los Angeles, not Silicon Valley. I spent 2018 in Los Angeles doing ethnographic fieldwork. I affiliated as closely as possible with different communities of innovators, engineers, scientists, and researchers. I found a few enterprises, including a startup company, a large Hollywood post-production studio, and a university lab, that welcomed me through their doors, allowed me to peek over people’s shoulders, and contribute to their work where I could.

    The book will explore what we learn about technology when we study it from a different place — Los Angeles, as opposed to Silicon Valley — that has a slightly different set of cultural norms and local attitudes about technology. Tech becomes this local concept. Not only does the book examine how virtual reality is making us think about what it means to be somewhere, and what it means to be human, but it’s also about how a geographic location structures our understandings of technology and what that technology then, in turn, does in the world.

    Mark Zuckerberg has made headlines with his plans to build “the metaverse.” What is the metaverse?

    Messeri: When Zuckerberg uses the term, he’s imagining a world in which we’re somehow all equipped with a digital layer, whether it’s through glasses or contact lenses or something else, that provides access to a landscape that seamlessly integrates the physical and digital for social purposes. Currently, wearing a VR headset fully immerses the wearer into a virtual world, but there also is blended or augmented reality (AR) that overlays the virtual world onto the physical world. The Pokemon Go gaming app was one of the first and most successful augmented reality experiences. Using your smartphone, you activated an augmented reality where Pokemon characters were overlaid onto the physical world around you.

    To Zuckerberg, the metaverse is this seamlessly integrated VR/AR landscape that also includes collaborating and socializing with other people inhabiting this metaverse. But beyond Zuckerberg, what “the metaverse” means is still being debated. It mostly exists now as a marketing and branding idea.

    What concerns you about Zuckerberg’s plans?

    Messeri: When Zuckerberg talks about the metaverse, he’s laying out a vision for how humans are going to relate to each other and socialize in the future. And given how much money he’s willing to invest in this concept, we ought to be nervous. It’s unsettling for one individual to have so much dominion over this technology. What does Zuckerberg know about human connection? He’s an engineer. He’s a great coder. Clearly, he’s a shrewd businessman. Time and again, he has demonstrated that he has little true sense of what it means to be social and to build community.

    Consider that Facebook originated as an incredibly obnoxious “hot or not” site where guys could rate whether women were attractive or unattractive. Is that his idea of what it means to be social? I’m sure he’s matured, but we should be nervous about the prospect of his company dominating the metaverse because it will be his model of human sociality that gets baked into the code, the infrastructure, and the platform.

    Can the world benefit from VR/AR technology?

    Messeri: My research focuses on projects intended to do good, specifically a subset of VR experiences designed to create empathy in people wearing the headsets. The underpinning idea is that you can virtually embody someone else and by doing so, learn about someone who is different from you and become a better person. So, as a white woman, I can do a VR experience and have insight into what it’s like to be a Black man; or as a rich person, what it’s like to be poor, et cetera. As you might imagine, the racial, gender, economic, and ableist assumptions in these experiences are potentially problematic. I began my research skeptical of these experiences despite their good intentions. Can you really become more empathetic simply by putting on a VR headset and having an isolated experience?

    Over the course of my research, I didn’t necessarily become any more comfortable with such claims. I think that a lot of these empathy experiences remove you from the very people who you’re seeking to better understand. As I teach my undergraduate students, a technology alone — even one as exciting as VR — cannot fix societal problems. That said, there are potentially beneficial uses for VR. It certainly can be an effective educational tool, but only if it is used within a community, not as a replacement for one. If a Yale professor can use a VR headset to better illustrate a point in class and use that experience to engage with students on a deeper level, then that’s a great use of the technology. It’s really a question of whether VR and technology in general replaces the need for human contact or, more preferably, supplements it.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Yale University (US) is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The Collegiate School was renamed Yale College in 1718 to honor the school’s largest private benefactor for the first century of its existence, Elihu Yale. Yale University is consistently ranked as one of the top universities and is considered one of the most prestigious in the nation.

    Chartered by Connecticut Colony, the Collegiate School was established in 1701 by clergy to educate Congregational ministers before moving to New Haven in 1716. Originally restricted to theology and sacred languages, the curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences by the time of the American Revolution. In the 19th century, the college expanded into graduate and professional instruction, awarding the first PhD in the United States in 1861 and organizing as a university in 1887. Yale’s faculty and student populations grew after 1890 with rapid expansion of the physical campus and scientific research.

    Yale is organized into fourteen constituent schools: the original undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and twelve professional schools. While the university is governed by the Yale Corporation, each school’s faculty oversees its curriculum and degree programs. In addition to a central campus in downtown New Haven, the university owns athletic facilities in western New Haven, a campus in West Haven, Connecticut, and forests and nature preserves throughout New England. As of June 2020, the university’s endowment was valued at $31.1 billion, the second largest of any educational institution. The Yale University Library, serving all constituent schools, holds more than 15 million volumes and is the third-largest academic library in the United States. Students compete in intercollegiate sports as the Yale Bulldogs in the NCAA Division I – Ivy League.

    As of October 2020, 65 Nobel laureates, five Fields Medalists, four Abel Prize laureates, and three Turing award winners have been affiliated with Yale University. In addition, Yale has graduated many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 31 living billionaires, and many heads of state. Hundreds of members of Congress and many U.S. diplomats, 78 MacArthur Fellows, 252 Rhodes Scholars, 123 Marshall Scholars, and nine Mitchell Scholars have been affiliated with the university.

    Research

    Yale is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) (US) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation (US), Yale spent $990 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 15th in the nation.

    Yale’s faculty include 61 members of the National Academy of Sciences (US), 7 members of the National Academy of Engineering (US) and 49 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (US). The college is, after normalization for institution size, the tenth-largest baccalaureate source of doctoral degree recipients in the United States, and the largest such source within the Ivy League.

    Yale’s English and Comparative Literature departments were part of the New Criticism movement. Of the New Critics, Robert Penn Warren, W.K. Wimsatt, and Cleanth Brooks were all Yale faculty. Later, the Yale Comparative literature department became a center of American deconstruction. Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, taught at the Department of Comparative Literature from the late seventies to mid-1980s. Several other Yale faculty members were also associated with deconstruction, forming the so-called “Yale School”. These included Paul de Man who taught in the Departments of Comparative Literature and French, J. Hillis Miller, Geoffrey Hartman (both taught in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature), and Harold Bloom (English), whose theoretical position was always somewhat specific, and who ultimately took a very different path from the rest of this group. Yale’s history department has also originated important intellectual trends. Historians C. Vann Woodward and David Brion Davis are credited with beginning in the 1960s and 1970s an important stream of southern historians; likewise, David Montgomery, a labor historian, advised many of the current generation of labor historians in the country. Yale’s Music School and Department fostered the growth of Music Theory in the latter half of the 20th century. The Journal of Music Theory was founded there in 1957; Allen Forte and David Lewin were influential teachers and scholars.

    In addition to eminent faculty members, Yale research relies heavily on the presence of roughly 1200 Postdocs from various national and international origin working in the multiple laboratories in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and professional schools of the university. The university progressively recognized this working force with the recent creation of the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs and the Yale Postdoctoral Association.

    Notable alumni

    Over its history, Yale has produced many distinguished alumni in a variety of fields, ranging from the public to private sector. According to 2020 data, around 71% of undergraduates join the workforce, while the next largest majority of 16.6% go on to attend graduate or professional schools. Yale graduates have been recipients of 252 Rhodes Scholarships, 123 Marshall Scholarships, 67 Truman Scholarships, 21 Churchill Scholarships, and 9 Mitchell Scholarships. The university is also the second largest producer of Fulbright Scholars, with a total of 1,199 in its history and has produced 89 MacArthur Fellows. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ranked Yale fifth among research institutions producing the most 2020–2021 Fulbright Scholars. Additionally, 31 living billionaires are Yale alumni.

    At Yale, one of the most popular undergraduate majors among Juniors and Seniors is political science, with many students going on to serve careers in government and politics. Former presidents who attended Yale for undergrad include William Howard Taft, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush while former presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton attended Yale Law School. Former vice-president and influential antebellum era politician John C. Calhoun also graduated from Yale. Former world leaders include Italian prime minister Mario Monti, Turkish prime minister Tansu Çiller, Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, German president Karl Carstens, Philippine president José Paciano Laurel, Latvian president Valdis Zatlers, Taiwanese premier Jiang Yi-huah, and Malawian president Peter Mutharika, among others. Prominent royals who graduated are Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and Olympia Bonaparte, Princess Napoléon.

    Yale alumni have had considerable presence in U.S. government in all three branches. On the U.S. Supreme Court, 19 justices have been Yale alumni, including current Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh. Numerous Yale alumni have been U.S. Senators, including current Senators Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Chris Coons, Amy Klobuchar, Ben Sasse, and Sheldon Whitehouse. Current and former cabinet members include Secretaries of State John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Cyrus Vance, and Dean Acheson; U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott, Robert Rubin, Nicholas F. Brady, Steven Mnuchin, and Janet Yellen; U.S. Attorneys General Nicholas Katzenbach, John Ashcroft, and Edward H. Levi; and many others. Peace Corps founder and American diplomat Sargent Shriver and public official and urban planner Robert Moses are Yale alumni.

    Yale has produced numerous award-winning authors and influential writers, like Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Sinclair Lewis and Pulitzer Prize winners Stephen Vincent Benét, Thornton Wilder, Doug Wright, and David McCullough. Academy Award winning actors, actresses, and directors include Jodie Foster, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Elia Kazan, George Roy Hill, Lupita Nyong’o, Oliver Stone, and Frances McDormand. Alumni from Yale have also made notable contributions to both music and the arts. Leading American composer from the 20th century Charles Ives, Broadway composer Cole Porter, Grammy award winner David Lang, and award-winning jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer all hail from Yale. Hugo Boss Prize winner Matthew Barney, famed American sculptor Richard Serra, President Barack Obama presidential portrait painter Kehinde Wiley, MacArthur Fellow and contemporary artist Sarah Sze, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau, and National Medal of Arts photorealist painter Chuck Close all graduated from Yale. Additional alumni include architect and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Maya Lin, Pritzker Prize winner Norman Foster, and Gateway Arch designer Eero Saarinen. Journalists and pundits include Dick Cavett, Chris Cuomo, Anderson Cooper, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Fareed Zakaria.

    In business, Yale has had numerous alumni and former students go on to become founders of influential business, like William Boeing (Boeing, United Airlines), Briton Hadden and Henry Luce (Time Magazine), Stephen A. Schwarzman (Blackstone Group), Frederick W. Smith (FedEx), Juan Trippe (Pan Am), Harold Stanley (Morgan Stanley), Bing Gordon (Electronic Arts), and Ben Silbermann (Pinterest). Other business people from Yale include former chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings Edward Lampert, former Time Warner president Jeffrey Bewkes, former PepsiCo chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi, sports agent Donald Dell, and investor/philanthropist Sir John Templeton,

    Yale alumni distinguished in academia include literary critic and historian Henry Louis Gates, economists Irving Fischer, Mahbub ul Haq, and Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman; Nobel Prize in Physics laureates Ernest Lawrence and Murray Gell-Mann; Fields Medalist John G. Thompson; Human Genome Project leader and National Institutes of Health (US) director Francis S. Collins; brain surgery pioneer Harvey Cushing; pioneering computer scientist Grace Hopper; influential mathematician and chemist Josiah Willard Gibbs; National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee and biochemist Florence B. Seibert; Turing Award recipient Ron Rivest; inventors Samuel F.B. Morse and Eli Whitney; Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate John B. Goodenough; lexicographer Noah Webster; and theologians Jonathan Edwards and Reinhold Niebuhr.

    In the sporting arena, Yale alumni include baseball players Ron Darling and Craig Breslow and baseball executives Theo Epstein and George Weiss; football players Calvin Hill, Gary Fenick, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and “the Father of American Football” Walter Camp; ice hockey players Chris Higgins and Olympian Helen Resor; Olympic figure skaters Sarah Hughes and Nathan Chen; nine-time U.S. Squash men’s champion Julian Illingworth; Olympic swimmer Don Schollander; Olympic rowers Josh West and Rusty Wailes; Olympic sailor Stuart McNay; Olympic runner Frank Shorter; and others.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:44 pm on January 4, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "All in a Day’s Work", Anthropology, , Evolutionary success is largely determined by the extent to which an organism is effective at extracting energy (i.e. calories) from the environment and converting that energy into offspring.,   

    From The University of California-Santa Barbara (US) : “All in a Day’s Work” 

    UC Santa Barbara Name bloc

    From The University of California-Santa Barbara (US)

    December 31, 2021
    Andrea Estrada
    (805) 893-4620
    andrea.estrada@ucsb.edu

    1
    A Tsimane woman harvests rice from her field. Credit: Michael Gurven.

    Among our closest living relatives — the great apes — we humans are unique: We have larger brains, reproduce more quickly and have longer life spans. These traits are obviously valuable, but the extra energy required to sustain them is quite significant. So how did we manage to afford them?

    A group of anthropologists from UC Santa Barbara, The University of Utah (US) and Duke University (US) have teamed up on a research study to understand the strategies humans developed for obtaining that extra energy. Their findings are published in the current issue of Science.

    Evolutionary success is largely determined by the extent to which an organism is effective at extracting energy (i.e. calories) from the environment and converting that energy into offspring. But energy acquisition is constrained by a number of factors, the primary being how much time and energy one can spend in the pursuit of food. Energy budgets represent the balance between energy intake and expenditure that all organisms must navigate in order to survive and reproduce.

    “Because energy is such a fundamental currency, evolution has produced many astonishing energy-saving adaptations across the Tree of Life,” said Thomas Kraft, the paper’s lead author. Currently an assistant professor at the University of Utah, Kraft conducted the research while a postdoctoral student with Michael Gurven, senior author and professor of anthropology at UC Santa Barbara. “But that doesn’t mean natural selection always favors reduced energy expenditure. In fact, tremendous variation exists in the ‘tempo’ of energetic strategies. A dramatic example is the difference between endothermic (warm-blooded) and ectothermic (cold-blooded) animals. Warm-blooded animals tend to use a lot more energy each day but are able to successfully channel that energy into activities that ultimately lead to successful reproduction.”

    The researchers began by comparing the amount of energy and time humans and other great apes expend in order to obtain all the foods they typically include in their diets. “We studied contemporary subsistence societies of hunter-gatherers and farmers in order to examine the kinds of energetic strategies that have existed for millennia, including those after the advent of plant domestication,” said Kraft.

    The team of scientists drew especially upon their long-term collective experience working with the Hadza, an indigenous group of foragers in northwest Tanzania, and the Tsimane, an indigenous group of horticulturalists in the Bolivian Amazon.

    Compared to chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans, human hunter-gatherers are not particularly efficient at acquiring food. “It turns out we spend a surprising amount of energy getting food because we walk very long distances and engage in intense activities such as digging tubers or clearing trees,” explained Kraft. “Other great apes, in contrast, don’t need to go very far each day. Most of their food shopping involves leisurely picking fruit and vegetation.”

    However, humans do benefit from earning a lot more food energy per hour. While other great apes don’t cook their food and they spend exorbitant amounts of time chewing and digesting, humans’ high-intensity subsistence activities yield many calories quickly.

    “This is like saying that despite the intensity of the work, humans earn a much higher energetic ‘salary’ than do other apes,” said Kraft. “This ability to attain a higher return rate is what makes hunter-gatherers so successful.” Add farming to the mix and that rate of return — or ‘salary’ — only increases. “Those who mix farming with foraging double or triple what hunter-gatherers earn,” Kraft continued. But high throughput human strategies, which involve expending a lot of energy to get more food faster, can also be quite risky if you fail to get food on a given day. “Yet humans seem uniquely able to overcome this by cooperating and sharing and storing foods to avoid dangerous shortfalls.”

    Such cooperation has other benefits as well. Being able to meet one’s daily food requirement in less time would have provided more opportunities for other endeavors. “Developing the rich social and cultural life so common in all human societies may first have required time-efficient strategies for feeding yourself,” said Gurven, who is also director of the UC Santa Barbara’s Integrative Anthropological Sciences Unit(link is external) and co-director of the Tsimane Health and Life History Project(link is external).

    However, he noted, it also can lead us astray, contributing to health problems such as the current obesity epidemic. “Part of what makes us humans so successful is being really good at figuring out how to get the biggest return for the least effort,” Gurven said. “You can see where that leads us today — driving cars or taking a bus to the local Costco to purchase those tasty $4.99 rotisserie chickens. We’ve replaced our physical labor in hunting or farming with supply chains. If we evolved to get calories cheaply, then the need to eat less or move more may be a struggle for good reason.”

    On the other hand, he continued, the research findings suggest humans also evolved to be highly physically active, at least to attain food. “This doesn’t mean we need to be vigorously active all the time,” he said. “The lesson from subsistence populations is instead to just be less sedentary.”

    One finding from the study that surprised the researchers involved the high energetic costs of human subsistence strategies. Walking in an upright/bipedal form makes humans move more efficiently than the other great apes, and we use sophisticated tools to make tasks easier to accomplish. However, humans (both hunter-gatherers and farmers) actually expend more energy per day on activities related to acquiring food than do chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans. This makes our subsistence strategies not very efficient overall.

    Anthropology has a long tradition of collecting data on energy flows in different kinds of societies — e.g. hunter-gatherers, horticulturalists, pastoralists. The researchers compiled these disparate data into a single database so they could ask whether the detailed data they had from the Hadza and the Tsimane were representative of broader patterns in subsistence energetics across societies. And they were, but other surprises came out of this exercise as well.

    “We didn’t expect that our cross-cultural database would reveal minimal difference in the amount of time spent working between hunter-gatherers and farming populations,” he continued. As exemplified by James Suzman’s recent book, “Work: A Deep History from the Stone Age to the Age of Robots,” many anthropologists have long argued that hunter-gatherers spend very little time working as compared to other human societies. After compiling an exhaustive list of studies, the researchers found no evidence to support the idea that contemporary subsistence farmers spend more time working on average than hunter-gatherers.

    “We hope that having all this new information in one place will help us understand the fundamental relationship that humans have with energy. How we obtain and expend energy lies at the heart of both what makes us human and many of the health and environmental issues that we face today,” Kraft explained. “It would be wise not to forget our evolutionary legacy as we approach these problems.”

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    UC Santa Barbara Seal

    The University of California-Santa Barbara (US) is a public land-grant research university in Santa Barbara, California, and one of the ten campuses of the University of California (US) system. Tracing its roots back to 1891 as an independent teachers’ college, The University of California-Santa Barbara joined the University of California system in 1944, and is the third-oldest undergraduate campus in the system.

    The university is a comprehensive doctoral university and is organized into five colleges and schools offering 87 undergraduate degrees and 55 graduate degrees. It is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation (US), The University of California-Santa Barbara spent $235 million on research and development in fiscal year 2018, ranking it 100th in the nation. In his 2001 book The Public Ivies: America’s Flagship Public Universities, author Howard Greene labeled The University of California-Santa Barbara a “Public Ivy”.

    The University of California-Santa Barbara is a research university with 10 national research centers, including the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (US) and the Center for Control, Dynamical-Systems and Computation. Current University of California-Santa Barbara faculty includes six Nobel Prize laureates; one Fields Medalist; 39 members of the National Academy of Sciences (US); 27 members of the National Academy of Engineering (US); and 34 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (US). The University of California-Santa Barbara was the No. 3 host on the ARPANET and was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1995. The faculty also includes two Academy and Emmy Award winners and recipients of a Millennium Technology Prize; an IEEE Medal of Honor; a National Medal of Technology and Innovation; and a Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.
    The University of California-Santa Barbara Gauchos compete in the Big West Conference of the NCAA Division I. The Gauchos have won NCAA national championships in men’s soccer and men’s water polo.

    History

    The University of California-Santa Barbara traces its origins back to the Anna Blake School, which was founded in 1891, and offered training in home economics and industrial arts. The Anna Blake School was taken over by the state in 1909 and became the Santa Barbara State Normal School which then became the Santa Barbara State College in 1921.

    In 1944, intense lobbying by an interest group in the City of Santa Barbara led by Thomas Storke and Pearl Chase persuaded the State Legislature, Gov. Earl Warren, and the Regents of the University of California to move the State College over to the more research-oriented University of California system. The State College system sued to stop the takeover but the governor did not support the suit. A state constitutional amendment was passed in 1946 to stop subsequent conversions of State Colleges to University of California campuses.

    From 1944 to 1958, the school was known as Santa Barbara College of the University of California, before taking on its current name. When the vacated Marine Corps training station in Goleta was purchased for the rapidly growing college Santa Barbara City College moved into the vacated State College buildings.

    Originally the regents envisioned a small several thousand–student liberal arts college a so-called “Williams College (US) of the West”, at Santa Barbara. Chronologically, The University of California-Santa Barbara is the third general-education campus of the University of California, after The University of California-Berkeley (US) and The University of California-Los Angeles (US) (the only other state campus to have been acquired by the UC system). The original campus the regents acquired in Santa Barbara was located on only 100 acres (40 ha) of largely unusable land on a seaside mesa. The availability of a 400-acre (160 ha) portion of the land used as Marine Corps Air Station Santa Barbara until 1946 on another seaside mesa in Goleta, which the regents could acquire for free from the federal government, led to that site becoming the Santa Barbara campus in 1949.

    Originally only 3000–3500 students were anticipated but the post-WWII baby boom led to the designation of general campus in 1958 along with a name change from “Santa Barbara College” to “University of California-Santa Barbara,” and the discontinuation of the industrial arts program for which the state college was famous. A chancellor- Samuel B. Gould- was appointed in 1959.

    In 1959 The University of California-Santa Barbara professor Douwe Stuurman hosted the English writer Aldous Huxley as the university’s first visiting professor. Huxley delivered a lectures series called The Human Situation.

    In the late ’60s and early ’70s The University of California-Santa Barbara became nationally known as a hotbed of anti–Vietnam War activity. A bombing at the school’s faculty club in 1969 killed the caretaker Dover Sharp. In the spring of 1970 multiple occasions of arson occurred including a burning of the Bank of America branch building in the student community of Isla Vista during which time one male student Kevin Moran was shot and killed by police. The University of California-Santa Barbara ‘s anti-Vietnam activity impelled then-Gov. Ronald Reagan to impose a curfew and order the National Guard to enforce it. Armed guardsmen were a common sight on campus and in Isla Vista during this time.

    In 1995 The University of California-Santa Barbara was elected to the Association of American Universities– an organization of leading research universities with a membership consisting of 59 universities in the United States (both public and private) and two universities in Canada.

    On May 23, 2014 a killing spree occurred in Isla Vista, California, a community in close proximity to the campus. All six people killed during the rampage were students at The University of California-Santa Barbara. The murderer was a former Santa Barbara City College student who lived in Isla Vista.

    Research activity

    According to the National Science Foundation (US), The University of California-Santa Barbara spent $236.5 million on research and development in fiscal 2013, ranking it 87th in the nation.

    From 2005 to 2009 UCSB was ranked fourth in terms of relative citation impact in the U.S. (behind Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US), California Institute of Technology(US), and Princeton University (US)) according to Thomson Reuters.

    The University of California-Santa Barbara hosts 12 National Research Centers, including the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, the Southern California Earthquake Center, the UCSB Center for Spatial Studies, an affiliate of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, and the California Nanosystems Institute. Eight of these centers are supported by The National Science Foundation (US). UCSB is also home to Microsoft Station Q, a research group working on topological quantum computing where American mathematician and Fields Medalist Michael Freedman is the director.

    Research impact rankings

    The Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked The University of California-Santa Barbara 48th worldwide for 2016–17, while the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) in 2016 ranked https://www.nsf.gov/ 42nd in the world; 28th in the nation; and in 2015 tied for 17th worldwide in engineering.

    In the United States National Research Council rankings of graduate programs, 10 University of California-Santa Barbara departments were ranked in the top ten in the country: Materials; Chemical Engineering; Computer Science; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Physics; Marine Science Institute; Geography; History; and Theater and Dance. Among U.S. university Materials Science and Engineering programs, The University of California-Santa Barbara was ranked first in each measure of a study by the National Research Council of the NAS.

    The Centre for Science and Technologies Studies at

     
  • richardmitnick 9:38 am on March 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Anthropology,   

    From University of Delaware: “Anthropology in action” 

    U Delaware bloc

    From University of Delaware(US)

    March 01, 2021
    Ann Manser
    Photo Credit: Carla Guerrón Montero
    Illustration Credit: Jeffrey C. Chase

    1

    Discipline offers tools to understanding, respecting others.

    In recent years, as America seems increasingly divided politically and culturally, countless observers and editorial writers have urged more civil discussions among those who disagree, encouraging us to listen and try to understand different points of view.

    It’s not always an easy thing to do, but the University of Delaware’s Carla Guerrón Montero thinks one way to accomplish it may lie in a particular discipline: Anthropology.

    “I think that one of the key contributions of anthropology is highlighting the value of careful and patient observation” of people and their interactions, she said. “Another great contribution — the exercise of suspending our judgment about any issue or activity in order to understand why people act in a certain way — is incredibly valuable.”

    Guerrón Montero, a professor in UD’s Department of Anthropology, clearly feels strongly about the subject. She is a co-editor of a new book, Why the World Needs Anthropologists, in which she also co-wrote the concluding essay, Back to the Future of Applied Anthropology.

    The essays in the book, written by prominent academic and practicing anthropologists, seek to explain the field to students and the general public, as well as exploring issues of interest to new and established professionals. The authors point out that today’s problems in the world are both new and old, and they suggest that solutions lie in a combination of established and innovative approaches. They discuss practical ways to use anthropology to change the world for the better.

    Guerrón Montero recently answered a few questions about topics covered in the book.

    Q: Does the public understand what anthropology is?

    Guerrón Montero: I believe the discipline is going through a self-reflective process about its public role and about how to communicate the value of anthropology to the public. I should note that from its origins, anthropologists have worked outside academia, but we have not been good at communicating the value of our discipline to the public. That is why people continue to have dated and incorrect stereotypes about what anthropology is all about. Very often people believe anthropologists “only” study dinosaurs (that is what paleontologists study), or that anthropologists “only” study so-called exotic, distant places or that anthropologists “only” study issues that have no immediate relevance for the world beyond the academic context.

    Q: What jobs do anthropologists hold?

    Guerrón Montero: Anthropologists work everywhere! They work in academia as faculty, but they also work as assistants for U.S. senators, as representatives of social movements pursuing transformative economic worlds, or as researchers for companies as diverse as Intel, Boeing, Motorola or even Hallmark. Why the World Needs Anthropologists offers a diverse list of activities carried out by anthropologists in the United States and Europe

    Q: How can anthropology help solve some of the world’s most pressing problems?

    Guerrón Montero: In addition to highlighting the value of careful and patient observation of peoples and of suspending our judgment while we try to understand why people act the way they do, anthropologists also can show the value of taking a holistic approach. In its broadest sense, that approach refers to focusing on the larger context to understand cultures and practices.

    Q: Do anthropologists have any specific insights into the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?

    Guerrón Montero: Anthropologists can help us understand why people around the world react to a global pandemic like this and why some populations have been more affected than others. For example, anthropological research conducted in several countries in Africa shows that a dynamic informal market has contributed to the quick proliferation of elaborate and fashionable masks to follow governmental requirements, even though the masks themselves were not produced following those standards. In addition, in these regions people were open to wear masks rather quickly because there already existed socio-cultural practices that required the use of veils or turbans that covered noses and mouths. This swift adoption of masks did not happen in some countries in the global north. An insight like this can be achieved through anthropological research and can contribute to providing appropriate public health recommendations.

    My co-editor Dan Podjed notes that the pandemic is a huge challenge but also an opportunity for social reset. As we seek sustainable solutions for the future in areas like mobility and energy consumption, he says, the help of anthropologists and other social scientists will be crucial.

    Q: Does anthropology offer tools the general public can use?

    Guerrón Montero: My co-editor Meta Gorup believes that we can all benefit from the anthropological technique of understanding another’s point of view. Instead of drawing lines between “us” and “them,” she recommends that we put more effort into trying to grasp why another person thinks and acts differently than we do, given their different life circumstances. That doesn’t mean we’ll all start agreeing with one another, or that our divisions will disappear, but at least we’ll be able to show more empathy.

    More about the book and Guerrón Montero

    Why the World Needs Anthropologists was published in November 2020 by Routledge and was No. 1 on Amazon’s list of Hot New Releases in the anthropology category and No. 2 in sociology.

    The book was edited by Dan Podjed, a research fellow and associate professor of anthropology in Slovenia; Meta Gorup, an anthropology doctoral candidate at Ghent University [Universiteit Gent](BE); Pavel Borecky, an anthropology doctoral candidate at the University of Bern [Universität Bern](CH) in Switzerland; and Guerrón Montero.

    Guerrón Montero is a cultural and applied anthropologist who trained in the United States and Latin America and specializes in the anthropology of tourism, the anthropology of food and the African diaspora. At UD, she has joint appointments in Latin American and Iberian studies, Africana studies and women and gender studies.

    She studies the complex and multiple meanings and representations of identity among marginalized populations in modern Latin American and Caribbean nation-states, particularly Brazil, Ecuador, Grenada and Panama.

    She is the author of The Color of the Panela: Study of Afro-Ecuadorian Women in the Afro-Ecuadorian Andes and From Temporary Migrants to Permanent Attractions: Tourism, Cultural Heritage, and Afro-Antillean Identities in Panama and the editor of Careers in Applied Anthropology: Advice from Academics and Practicing Anthropologists.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition
    U Delaware campus

    One of the oldest universities in the U.S., the University of Delaware(US) traces its roots to 1743 when a petition by the Presbytery of Lewes expressing the need for an educated clergy led the Rev. Dr. Francis Alison to open a school in New London, Pennsylvania.

    Alison’s first class was “possibly the most distinguished in terms of the later achievements of its members, taken as a whole, of any class in any school in America,” wrote historian John Munroe.

    Those first students would go on to become statesmen, doctors, merchants and scholars. Thomas McKean, George Read and James Smith signed the Declaration of Independence, and Read also signed the U.S. Constitution.

    By 1765, Alison’s school relocated to Newark. NewArk College opened as a degree-granting institution in 1834 and was renamed Delaware College in 1843. In 1867, the college was designated one of the nation’s historic Land Grant colleges.

    A women’s college opened in 1914 with 58 students, and in 1921, the two colleges joined to become the University of Delaware.

    Since 1950, UD has quadrupled its enrollment and greatly expanded its faculty and academics and its influence in the world.

    In 2009, the University purchased a 272-acre parcel of land adjacent to the Newark campus that previously had been a Chrysler Plant. That site, now the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus, is home to the University’s Health Sciences Complex and is being developed as a space combining business, research, education and more.

     
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