Marshall Fire Air Quality Research from Benjamin Crawford and GES Students
I want to alert everyone to a really timely and dynamic project that came about this semester for our students thanks to Geography and Environmental Sciences Assistant Professor Ben Crawford and Associate Professor in the School of Education and Human Development Bud Talbot. When the Marshall Fire came perilously close to Talbot’s home in December, and destroyed parts of his nearby community, he reached out to Crawford to see if there was anyway CU Denver could help with researching impacts.
The result has been a hands-on project for Crawford’s Air Quality Monitoring and Analysis class this semester. Air quality has been a concern for people returning to the Louisville area during the on-going clean-up. The first step in helping the community determine the impacts of the fire on their air quality was for the class to build a dozen small, custom, low-cost air quality surveillance units. With the help of Talbot’s connections in the community, the students placed the units in strategic locations all around the areas impacted by the Marshall Fire. The sensors are in homes now, collecting data, and will continue doing so throughout the semester.
Crawford is proud of how the students in the class have taken the lead in how data is being gathered, analyzed, and distributed. The class will host a community workshop and presentation in early May where they will share their findings with those directly impacted. Crawford also sees this as an opportunity for future publication and collaboration with other groups (particularly from CU Boulder) who are working in similar ways to gather impact data. These students are getting a chance to not only hone important research skills and make connections in the environmental sciences community, but also to feel like they are making a real difference in people’s lives and health.
This type of reaction to helping our community and being a source of knowledge and data when our state is impacted by tragedy is exactly what being a public, urban, research university is all about. I applaud everyone involved in this project and hope we can continuously find ways to emulate it in the future.
This Month’s CLAS Staff Council Profile of Outstanding Staff
Erin Golden, Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities
Erin Golden joined CU Denver and CLAS in Fall 2019 to direct the Denver Metro Regional Science and Engineering Fair, and is also currently Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities. In both of these roles, Erin works with middle school, high school and undergraduate students as a research mentor and advisor. Erin likes working with students because, “They bring an energy and curiosity that is both infectious and inspiring… to help them embrace their identity as scholars—to me, that is the best job in the world”!
When asked what she likes the most about working at CLAS, Erin answered, “My colleagues and our shared commitment to advancing knowledge for both the students and ourselves…This is an environment where I learn something new every day and feel supported to continuously explore new ideas and approaches!”
Among her many professional accomplishments, Erin is most proud of the 2022 Denver Metro Regional Science and Engineering Fair. The fair was held online again this year due to the Omicron virus surge. 190 student scientists and over 100 volunteer judges participated in the virtual fair.
“She manages to produce blockbuster research experiences for students with not many resources or people assisting,” says Lindsey Hamilton, Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology. “Erin had to pivot one of the largest campus events, the Research and Creative Activities Symposium (RaCAS), virtual the last two years and in doing so, has made this event more inclusive… Erin recognized quickly that moving the conference virtual allows more students to participate than in previous years.”
Hamilton says “Erin Golden is a champion of undergraduate research and creative activities. She is tireless in her ability to arrange inclusive and positive mentored research experience[s] for as many students as possible… Erin goes to bat for students and encourages them to nominate themselves for awards, internal and external funding, and self-advocate for their needs.”
Erin tells people, “My goal is to train science-literate students who can think independently and are experts at broadly communicating their ideas”. She constantly strives to make these student research experiences inclusive, fun, informative and inspiring.
The Lynx community is proud to celebrate Erin Golden’s accomplishments and her dedication to student research and creative activities.
Andrew Friedson, Associate Professor of Economics, said a notable shortage of new homes coming on the market can cause price spikes, creating a sort of self-fulfilling collective psychology. “Prices are made up, right?” Friedson said. “If what you have is realtors convincing a critical mass of people to bid very large numbers, then those very large numbers become the price.”
Associate Professor of Sociology Keith Guzik provides insight into the dangers of current reactions to Russian culture: “Whether the canceling of Russian culture is a purposeful anti-war strategy or a cathartic response against those deemed guilty by association, it is difficult to imagine a more flawed stance at this pivotal moment in history. Punishing people for who they are and what they think runs counter to the values that the war in Ukraine has reawakened. Freedom of speech and prohibitions against bills of attainder feature prominently in the U.S. Constitution for a reason.”
Professor Emeritus CTT Geography and Environmental Sciences Rudi Hartmann helped organize a panel event at the Colorado Snowsports Museum in Vail, on March 23rd, to discuss the complex relationship between wildlife and winter recreation. “Specifically, we want to address the question, and try to answer the question: Can the Canada Lynx, and the outdoor enthusiasts share the Vail Pass recreation area?” Hartmann said. A group of scientists conducted a study of how the Canada Lynx (reintroduced to Colorado in the early 2000s) and skiers, snowshoeing recreationists, and snowmobilers in the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area share the slope. Hartman hopes to organize a similar event on the Auraria campus in the next academic year.
New Mexico State University’s Archives and Special Collections is set to present an event for the father of the state’s chile pepper, Fabián García. For the last several years, Peter Kopp, History Assistant Professor, has been gathering the pieces about García’s life and is currently in the process of writing a biography about him. Kopp will discuss Fabian at an Interdisciplinary Exchange on Auraria Campus on April 12th (see details in the Events section below).
Patients who have felt that their symptoms were inappropriately dismissed as minor or primarily psychological by doctors are using the term “medical gaslighting” to describe their experiences. “We know that women, and especially women of color, are often diagnosed and treated differently by doctors than men are, even when they have the same health conditions,” said Karen Lutfey Spencer, Professor in the Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences.
Scientists are scrambling to find new space-based receivers for animal tags after a Russian-managed space station antenna has gone silent. The tags revealed some plovers are dying at midpoint migration stopovers, says the project’s director and Integrative Biology Professor, Michael Wunder.
Philosophy Professor Robert Metcalf and undergraduate student Kelly Tannenbaum will be attending the American Philosophical Association (APA) 2022 Pacific Division Meeting, from April 13th through the 16th, in Vancouver, BC. Both have been invited to give presentations on their research – Metcalf will comment on Andrew G. Fiala’s book Tyranny fromPlato to Trump: Fools, Sycophants, and Citizens and Tannenbaum will speak on decolonization.
Kari Campeau, Assistant Professor of English, published in the latest Technical Communication Quarterly: “It Makes Everything Just Another Story”: A Mixed Methods Study of Medical Storytelling on GoFundMe.” The article presents findings from an interview- and text-based study about writing and storytelling on medical crowdfunding platforms and ends with a few pedagogical implications for teaching and engaging digital storytelling in technical writing courses. The study contributes to questions about patient experience, especially in relationship to the financial and interpersonal dimensions of illness, and what it means to engage with health and medical information online.
Laura Meyers will be honored this month for her role as a founding member of the Arizona State University COVID-19 Case Investigation and Community Response Team. The team’s student and staff workforce provide support to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health by interviewing cases, or individuals who tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Meyer earned a Master of Social Work from ASU in May 2020 and is currently studying for a PhD in Health and Behavioral Sciences.
Preterm birth is a leading cause of neonatal mortality and is characterized by substantial racial disparities in the US. Despite efforts to reduce preterm birth, rates have risen and racial disparities persist. Recent Anthropology alum Gabriella Mayne and other researchers recently published "Understanding and Reducing Persistent Racial Disparities in Preterm Birth: a Model of Stress-Induced Developmental Plasticity" in the journal Reproductive Sciences. Maternal stress is a risk factor for preterm birth; however, often, it is treated as a secondary variable rather than a primary target for intervention. Stress is known to affect several biological processes leading to downstream sequelae. This work presents a model of stress-induced developmental plasticity where maternal stress is a key environmental cue impacting the length of gestation and therefore a primary target for intervention.
Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Sciences Gregory Simon was recently selected for the EPA’s Office of Research and Development Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC), a federal advisory committee. Members of the BOSC constitute a distinguished body of non-EPA scientists, engineers, and economists who are experts in their respective fields. EPA will consider nominees from industry, business, public and private research institutes or organizations, academia, government (federal, state, local, and tribal) and non-government organizations, and other relevant interest areas. Members are appointed by the EPA Administrator to serve as Special Government Employees and provide independent expert advice to the agency for a term of up to six years.
Ericka Wills, New Directions Lecturer for Labor Leadership, recently received the Robert F. Kennedy Labor Champion Award at the Southern Colorado Labor Council dinner in Pueblo in recognition of her contributions to the labor movement.
Please mark your calendars to attend CLAS Spring Faculty and Staff Forum hosted on Zoom next month by our Dean, Pam Jansma. The Zoom connection information for this Forum will be sent out a few days prior to the event.
11:00 am – 12:30 pm ACAD 1401 Boetcher Conference Room
The CLAS Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’s Interdisciplinary Exchange will be returning to an in-person format for the first time in two years featuring:
Assistant Professor C/T of Political Science James Walsh and history student Kira Boatright will be presenting on the complex identity and history of Irish immigrants to the American West, highlighting the Irish/Chinese relationship in early Colorado, and History Associate Professor Peter Kopp will discuss the Father of New Mexico’s’ Chili Pepper Industry Fabián García.
Lunch will be served to everyone in attendance to enjoy together (if permitted) or to take away.
Interdisciplinary Exchange offers presentations, discussions, and working groups highlighting the research and creative work of CLAS faculty, staff, and students. All are welcome!
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Lawrence Street Center Terrace Room
The President’s Sustainable Solutions Challenge encourages student-led innovation in sustainability on CU campuses. Students with ideas for sustainability innovations on their campus will compete for up to $2500 in cash prizes while gaining experience in leadership, entrepreneurship, and social enterprise. There will be a 30-minute meet and greet with apps and beverages followed by presentations from 3:30-4:30 pm Judges will announce the winner by 5:00 pm. The winner will participate in the final competition against all four campuses on April 21 at the Student Summit at CU Boulder.
9:30 am - 10:30 am
Student Commons Building Room 1500
Join Dean Jansma for a CLAS conversation in-person with the Chancellor to discuss university priorities and the progress being made on CU Denver’s 2030 Strategic Plan, as well as to answer questions and hear your thoughts and ideas. Chancellor Marks is eager to connect more with faculty and staff in each college. This event will be entirely in-person, no zoom will be administered.
8:00 am – 4:00 pm Virtual (link upon registration)
Career Champions Symposium is for any faculty or staff member who interacts with students, in the classroom, outside the classroom, as a mentor, supervisor, and teacher. This free event is designed to help faculty and staff become comfortable with having career-based conversations with their students. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided. This year’s keynote speaker is Jackie Peila-Shuster, Ph.D., LPC, NCC. Dr. Peila-Shuster is an Associate Professor in the Counseling and Career Development graduate program at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. She teaches courses in career development, career counseling, and counseling skills; supervises counseling internship; and serves as the program chair as well as the career counseling specialization coordinator. Her areas of teaching and research interest include career counseling and development across the lifespan, counselor education, career construction, and life design. Registration and more information at...
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Lawrence Street Center Terrace Room
Near modern day Coors Field in historic downtown Denver, there once thrived a Chinese American community on what was known as Hop Alley Chinatown, along Wazee Street. Unfortunately, anti-Chinese sentiment by settlers in the late 1800s had increasingly viewed Chinatown with suspicion and mistakenly linked Chinatown to social vices such as gambling, prostitution, and opium dens. It all came to a clash on October 31, 1880, when a saloon brawl erupted. What started out as an altercation quickly escalated into a full-fledged riot, with a drunken white mob attacking and setting fire to every Chinese business in the area. By nightfall, a Chinese man named Look Young was hung while several other Denver Chinese residents were badly beaten. In the end, almost all the Chinese businesses in the area were destroyed and within the span of ten years...
Students, faculty, and staff are invited to join this tri-campus event focused on why and how to gain employment with the U.S. State Department. Diplomatic and non-diplomatic positions will be discussed by Stewart T. Devine, an American diplomat and U.S. Department of State career Foreign Service Officer. With a career with the U.S. Government (military and Department of State) spanning 43 years, Devine has served assignments worldwide and domestic. Assignments have included international relations, foreign policy, program management, and international political affairs. He has held diplomatic posting overseas including in Egypt, Fiji, Japan, South Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, Thailand, the Netherlands, and United Arab Emirates. He is a former U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel.
The Annual Research and Creative Activities Symposium is back in person to celebrate CU Denver's student researchers. Each year over 200 undergraduate and graduate presenters share the research and creative projects they've worked on throughout the academic year. For this 25th annual event, we are excited to host student presentations in a hybrid format. Find all details on the website.
Faculty and staff have multiple ways to get involved:
Sign up to review presentations in-person on April 29th
Propose to run a workshop or mini-symposium
Sign your department up to table - share resources and research opportunities, as well as information about your majors, minors, and certificate programs.