Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Synthesist: November 17, 2015


Graduate Education Spotlight

From Foraging to Farming to Fuel

Ph.D. student Gerald Presley investigates the many functions of fungi: It turns out that the benign, nondescript fungi so often underfoot are actually very dynamic organisms with the capacity to change not just our weekend forays into the forest, but also how we convert plants into fuel or how small-scale farmers in developing countries earn a living. Learn more about Presley's research

Conferences, Events & Workshops 

Workshop: Telling Your Story

Let’s be honest, we all loved stories as kids, and we pretty much still do. Bookstore racks aren’t filled with science tomes or policy briefings; they’re filled with novels. Storytelling is an important leadership skill if you are interested in science or policy--or making an impact, whatever your field. This workshop will help you better understand stories and help you get better at telling your own.  November 20, 2015 | 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (preceded by informal networking, 9:15-10 a.m.) | 140 Nolte | More information/register 

Startup Seminar and Networking Event for University Inventors

U of M faculty, graduate students and post-docs are invited to a free startup seminar and networking event December 2, 2015, 5-7:30 p.m. for researchers interested in commercializing their inventions through a startup company. The event includes a panel of faculty inventors involved in U of M startup companies and opening remarks by Bill Murray, president and CEO of the Medical Device Innovation Consortium. Includes complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Learn more and register

Workshop: Using Theatrical Techniques to Power Your Presentations

Discover your inner “actor” and infuse your presentations with dynamic presence and more powerful communication skills. Demystify successful performance, discover creative strategies to bring your ideas to life, and literally “play” your way into more vibrant and evocative presentations through the art of acting!  December 1, 2015 | 3-5 p.m. | Multipurpose Room 2, University Recreation & Wellness Center | More information/register

Are robots a boon or a bust in scientific research?

Robots are increasingly being put to scientific purposes. Autonomous aerial, ground and surface vehicles are used to assess fertilizer levels in cornfields and yield estimates for apple orchards. They are also being used in a variety of wildlife management and conservation situations, such as monitoring invasive fish and tracking free-roaming wildlife. A recent study, however, found bears to have an adverse reaction to drones in their environment. Join this discussion on the benefits and drawbacks of this evolving technology. November 18, 2015 | 12-1 p.m. | IonE Seminar Room R380, Learning & Environmental Sciences Bldg., St. Paul. Learn more

Interdisciplinary Sciences Lecture: How Do Soils Form in the Anthropocene?

Soils are the most intimate part of the earth. They are the legacy of geological, ecological, and anthropogenic players and actions. In the Anthropocene, our ability to sort these out has become a basic necessity. Our efforts to connect the soils of the past to those in the present can only go as far as our understanding of past and present human-nature interactions. Dr. Kyungsoo Yoo, Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, will present his research on exotic earthworms and land uses to highlight these challenges and potential solutions. Please join us November 23, 2015 at 3 p.m. in Ruttan Hall B25. Lab Tour to follow. Presented by the Anthropological, Ecological, and Geological Interdisciplinary Sciences (AEGIS) graduate group.

Art as Activism: SAMEE Art Exhibit

Forty artists communicate their messages of social and environmental justice in Sustainable Acts: Mother Earth's Embrace. Through January 15, 2016 in IonE Commons Meeting and Art Space, 1954 Buford Ave., St. Paul campus.

Can competition between companies encourage innovations in sustainability that have the potential to solve some of the world’s grand challenges?

Using a series of case studies from his recent book, Innovations in Sustainability: Food and Fuel, Alfred Marcus will examine the progress, obstacles, competition and evolution of sustainable innovations in such companies as Tesla, General Motors, Toyota, General Mills, Kellogg, Whole Foods and Walmart, reflecting on lessons learned and shedding light on the challenges that lie ahead. December 2, 2015 | 12-1 p.m. | IonE Seminar Room R380, Learning & Environmental Sciences Bldg., St. Paul | More information

Aging Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Group

On Monday, December 7, the Aging Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Group (ASIGG) will host an event featuring student presentations on aging, followed by a meeting of the evidence project group from 6-7 p.m. Location: Mercy Learning Lab (D325 Mayo Building).  Email coa@umn.edu for more information about the ASIGG or to get involved.


Do you want to explore India?

In the Acara May-term seminar, we Discover India’s fast-growing entrepreneurship hub, Bangalore, where rural meets urban, poverty meets wealth, and environmental and quality of life issues are distinctly intertwined. This 3-credit, 3-week Bangalore study abroad course runs from  May 17-June 7, 2016. Undergrad and grad students of all majors seeking global immersive experiences loaded with incredible adventures and delicious Indian food are invited to apply. Priority application due December 1, 2015

Graduate and Professional Student Parent Support Group

All graduate and professional students with children are encouraged to attend, enjoy coffee, and share resources and ideas. Meetings are held in Appleby Hall 251, with drop-in hours 12-2 p.m. on Tuesday, November 17 and Tuesday, December 1. Contact Lauren, mitch938@umn.edu, or Nicole, carda028@umn.edu, for details. More information

Do you have an idea for a social business venture?

In Social Venture Launchpad, students design a venture solution to address a challenge they're passionate about. Many students then pursue the Acara Challenge to obtain funding to pilot their venture plan. This 2-credit impact venture design course is offered January 11-15, 2016. Any UMN student with an idea of a potential solution for a social or environmental problem is eligible. Teams are welcome to take the course together. Priority application due December 20, 2015. See course website for more information.

Employment, Fellowship & Funding Opportunities

2016-17 Torske Klubben Fellowship for Minnesota Residents

The Torske Klubben Fellowship for Minnesota Residents provides support to graduate students who have demonstrated an interest in or connection with Norway and its culture, expressing more than a superficial appreciation for Norwegian traditions.  Applicants should have a strong research or study plan and must be able to demonstrate outstanding leadership skills and high academic achievement.  Application deadline: February 22, 2016.  More information

Consortium Research Awards

The Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences is issuing a call for proposals addressing the societal implications of problems in health, environment, or the life sciences to graduate and professional students for work during summer 2016 and/or academic year 2016-17. Proposals are due by February 15, 2016.

Global Health Corps Fellows

Global Health Corps seeks to build a generation of global health leaders committed to social justice, and united by the belief that health is a human right. Searching for 160 talented young leaders from every sector for our 2016-2017 class of Global Health Corps fellows who will join our community of nearly 600 changemakers worldwide in a year-long paid fellowship program.  Applications are open November 4, 2015 to February 2, 2016. More information

Renewable Development Fund RFP

Institute on the Environment is accepting proposals for Renewable Development Fund grants for research related to the generation of renewable electricity in Minnesota. Submit letter of intent by Monday, November 23, 2015, 5 p.m. Download RFP

Do you have an idea to change the world? Win $6,000! 

The Acara Challenge is an annual spring semester impact venture competition to reward UMN students creating solutions to social and environmental challenges. Teams compete for real funding to address global grand challenges. All current degree-seeking UMN students who are up for the challenge are eligible. Must have an idea for a social business venture to apply. For more information or to apply, visit the competition website

Fellowships for Ph.D. and post-docs conducting research on the Holocaust

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany is offering a limited number of fellowships for Ph.D. and post-doctoral candidates who are conducting research on the Holocaust.  The application deadline is January 4, 2016 for the academic year of 2016-2017. The maximum award amount: $20,000 per year. Learn more and apply

Summer Arabic Language and Media (SALAM) Program

The Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center (SQCC) is delighted to announce its 2016 Summer Arabic Language and Media (SALAM) program, a fully-funded intensive Arabic language scholarship program in the Sultanate of Oman. SQCC supports Arabic language study for U.S. students through its annual SALAM program. For more information visit the SQCC website: https://sqcc.org/Scholarships-0024-Fellowships/SALAM-Application.aspx

Chateaubriand Fellowship call for applications

The Chateaubriand Fellowship is a grant offered by the Embassy of France in the United States. It supports outstanding Ph.D. students from American universities who wish to conduct research in France for a period ranging from 4 to 9 months. Chateaubriand fellows are selected through a merit-based competition, through a collaborative process involving expert evaluators in both countries. Complete applications must be submitted by January 20, 2016. View the call for applications