July 2010 Archives

Shedding More Light on Energy Conservation

lights.jpgWork to replace the light fixtures in Lysaker Gymnasium, the Fitness Center, and UTOC Arena was recently completed.  The project involved replacing existing low efficiency lighting with high efficiency fluorescent lighting. Replacement of lights in campus greenhouses is also planned.  Not only are the new lights brighter, but their electrical efficiency will also save an estimated $11,000 per year.  The new fixtures will essentially pay for themselves by the electical savings they generate in just over two years. This replacement project has been part of the Campus Energy Challenge, a conservation effort UMC has undertaken with Otter Tail Power Company to reduce campus electrical consumption by 15% by the end of this year. Learn more about the Campus Energy Challenge.

Rocket Launch Highlights Week for Club Kid

Students participating in Club Kid gathered on campus to learn more about the exciting world of math and physics this week.

Tim Young, professor of physics and astrophysics at the University of North Dakota joined Teaching Specialist Tricia Young and Professor David DeMuth, Jr., both from the Math, Science and Technology Department at the U of M, Crookston to help participants in Club Kid build and launch model rockets.

The rocket launch took place on the Jim LeClair Practice Field on Tuesday, July 27.

Instructors together with the Center for Adult Learning and Crookston's Park and Recreation Club Kid wrapped up this week with their collaborative effort to expose elementary and middle school aged students to a college campus while experiencing various lessons in science, athletics, physics, humanities and natural resources.

Research has Implications for Health of Human Food Chain

Research currently being conducted on wetland plants may provide important answers to Werner_Luna_envirosci.jpgsolving one of our most pressing environmental challenges - the restoration of contaminated soil sediments.

Assistant Professor Katy Smith and recent university graduate Tamara Luna used a growth chamber in the lab to conduct tests on several plant species including Iris, Mimulus, Switchgrass, and Fescue.
The fact that the contaminants are toxic and carcinogenic makes the research both important and relevant to the field. Early tests are still being evaluated and will become part of a body of scientific research in this area.

For now, the plants are cared for in the growth chamber and testing will begin again in earnest in February 2011. At that time, Smith and Kristin Werner, a senior horticulture major, will conduct a chemical analysis of the PAHs in the soils as well as three toxicity assays which will be used to determine the degree to which the toxicity of the sediments has been reduced by the presence of the plants.

Smith's research interests mesh with the introduction of the new environmental sciences degree program this fall.

In the photo: Tamara Luna (left) and Kristin Werner (right) check on the plants in the growth chamber.

News Release.

Second Annual Highway 2 Classic Golf Tournament

Teambackers held their second annual Highway 2 Classic Golf Tournament on Thursday, July golfers.JPG23. Participants played nine holes at the Fosston Golf Club and nine holes at Oak Lake Golf Course in Erskine, Minn. The 45 golfers participated in the 18-hole scramble raised money to support student-athlete scholarships on the Crookston campus.

The tournament championship was captured by the team of Scott Sandberg, Paul Noyes, Karl Erickson, Daryl Halvorson, and Todd Pearson.

To become a Teambacker and support Golden Eagle student-athletes, contact Bill Tyrrell, director of athletic fundraising at 218-281-8436 (btyrrell@umn.edu). For more information, visit the Golden Eagle Athletics Web site.

2010 Summit Connecting Ag Listening Session


Listening sessions related to the 2010 Summit Connecting Ag have been scheduled across Minnesota including one to be held at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. With job creation a priority for the state, these sessions will help design, develop, and create the future direction of agriculture. The listening session is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 28, 2010, in the Kiehle Auditorium.

Attendees should register for the session online. Participants will include representatives from all levels in education, agriculture, and related fields. To learn more, visit the 2010 Summit Connecting Ag Web site.

The Gardens on (and off) Campus Are in Full Bloom


Stop by the campus and see the gardens in full bloom.  Daylilies of every available color (above) are currently in full bloom across campus, and the gardens at the campus entrance are at their peak. 

West of campus at the University's Red River Valley Natural History Area, the prairie wildflower tall blazing star is blooming brightly (below, photo and information courtesy of Professor Dan Svedarsky). This species of blazing star prefers wet spots in the prairie. This scene is near visitor station number 10 in the restored tall grass prairie. Blazing star is also a favored nectar flower of the Monarch butterfly which is relatively abundant this year compared to a scarcity in the summer of 2009. Monarch larvae feed on milkweeds which make them distasteful to birds. The Natural History Area was established in 1971 by the Northwest Research and Outreach Center and is used as an environmental education and research area. For more information contact Laura Bell at lbell@umn.edu or Dan Svedarsky at dsvedars@umn.edu.


Robotics Camp Wraps Up After Three Exciting Days


Ten campers attended Robotics Camp at UMC July 19-21 and spent three days learning how to build, program, and control Lego Mindstorms robots.  Four UMC students along with Associate Professor David DeMuth helped the students learn the basics of robotics.  The program was supported by United Way of Crookston, which helped the camp purchase the robot kits.  The camp was held in the classroom of Evergreen Hall.

Teambacker Golf Classic Held at Minakwa

Teambackers held their 20th annual Teambacker Golf Classic at Minakwa Golf Course in Lessard_J.jpgCrookston, Minn., on Saturday, July 19. Over 70 golfers participated in the18-hole scramble that saw wind and rain early but sunny skies by the end of the tournament. The flight one and overall tournament champions were Mike Nelson, Scott Sanders, John Peters, Eric Helgeson, and Calvin Anderson.

Joe Lessard, photo at right, from Crookston shot a hole in one on the par three fourth hole at the Teambacker Golf Classic. The hole-in-one came in the second round and he received a $500 Visa gift card.

News Release.
Svedarsky Service Award 2010.jpgDaniel Svedarsky, Ph.D., professor in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department and the director of the Center for Sustainability is a 2010 recipient of the University of Minnesota President's Award for Outstanding Service. Recipients of this award have gone well beyond their regular duties and have demonstrated an unusual commitment to the University community. Svedarsky was one of 11 to receive this year's award. Congratulations on this outstanding achievement!

News Release

In the photo (l to r): Clyde Allen, chair, U of M Board of Regents; Svedarsky; Robert Bruininks, president, University of Minnesota. 

RYLA Campers Share Their Energy with the UMC Campus

RYLA Group.jpgRYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) Camp is being held on the University of Minnesota, Crookston campus this week. It is the 19th year and they have 140 campers, which is a record number of campers this year. These campers are sponsored by 56 Rotary International Clubs of District 5580. The District 5580 includes clubs from Thunder Bay and Nipigon, Ontario; Northern Minnesota; Superior, Wisconsin; and all of North Dakota.

The week is filled with leadership training and Sean Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens is use for the training. Various speakers are brought in as well as activities like going to the waterslide, fine dining experience, act of kindness by handing out roses, a variety show, and many more activities.

We wish to thank all of the staff, facilitators, campers, and the sponsoring Rotary Clubs for their contributions!

The Liberal Arts and Education Department--the new name for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Department--is now in effect as of July 1, 2010.  The name change, suggested and promoted by the department itself, was approved earlier this year through official campus channels.  It is believed that the new name better reflects the combination of programs offered by the department and its faculty. Over the next few weeks the campus will transition official signage, websites, and letterhead to reflect the new name.  Such a change may not immediately appear in campus e-mails and correspondence, but the department asks everyone on campus to incorporate this new name into the campus nomenclature as soon as possible. 

The Coneflowers Are in Bloom


The purple coneflowers (Echinacea angustifolia) are currently in bloom in the dry prairie portion of the Youngquist Prairie Garden just outside Sargeant Student Center.  The coneflower is one of the most striking wildflowers to appear on the dry prairies of the Northern Great Plains at this time of year. It was used by Plains Indians for more medicinal purposes than any single plant on the prairie. Even today it is a very popular herb which is taken to stimulate the immune system. Stop out to campus to view this and the many other flowers in the various gardens.  Photos and information provided by Dan Svedarsky, Ph.D., professor, natural resources, and director, Center for Sustainability.

Enjoy Photos from the Northwest School Reunion

Visit the Northwest School of Agriculture alumni reunion photo album to revisit memories captured from this year's gathering which was held the last weekend in June.

Theme for the reunion was "A Summer Place" and more than 150 alumni gathered to reminisce and visit with classmates and friends.

The alumni reunion, first held in 1918, brings back alumni from the Northwest School of Agriculture, a residential high school located on what is now the U of M, Crookston. The NWSA opened its doors in 1906 and graduated its first class of 8 students in 1909. The campus educated students for 60 years, and during its last two years of operation, the campus transitioned to a two-year technical college, known as the University of Minnesota Crookston Technical Institute. In 1993, the campus transitioned again to offer baccalaureate degrees and became the first-ever laptop university in the nation. 

To learn more, check out the campus Quick Facts.

Happy Birthday, U.S.A.!

Independence Day, July 4, is recognized as the birthday of the United States and the adoptionFlag_crop.jpg of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

We wish you a safe and happy holiday weekend and remind you that all campus offices will be closed on Monday, July 5 in recognition of Independence Day.