Last spring, the College of Science and Mathematics gave the Donald E. Bianchi Awards to two Biology students, thus recognizing their outstanding academic records and their contributions to research. Sherri Walker earned the Undergraduate Award and Julissa Sosa took the Graduate Award. A Biology majoróIvette Estayóalso took the Collegeís Outstanding Junior Award.
The Biology Department faculty awarded its top academic prize, the Outstanding Biology Student Award, jointly to Sherri Walker and Jeanie Paris. The Departmentís Graduate Student Award, given in honor of former Biology Professor Donald Bianchi, went to Julissa Sosa. Carla Zilberberg took the Bennett-Bickford Award, a monetary award given to a top student intending to enter the teaching profession.
First year graduate students seeking a M.S., Ph.D., or Sc.D. degree in the biological sciences are encouraged to check out the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellowships. Each fellowship comes with an annual stipend of $18,000 and a cost-of-education allowance of $16,000. Applicants need not be U.S. citizens. Application forms are available at national-academies.org/osep/fo. Deadline for applying is November 8.
Full-time students who are at least one-half Latino descent and who have completed at least 15 college credits are eligible to apply for an Hispanic Scholarship worth $1000ñ 3000. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents. Applications are available at the SMAC/EOP Office in Science 2126; deadline for applying is October 15. For more information, check out the HSF web-site at www.hsf.net.
Seminar: How To Apply to Graduate School
Thinking of getting your Masterís Degree but donít know where to begin? Why not start with an informational seminaró"How to Apply to Graduate School"óspecifically designed to reduce the application process to its simplest form. Ms. Hedy Carpenter and Katherine Bradford, Associate Director and Program Coordinator, respectively, of Graduate Studies, will be featured speakers.
The seminar will provide answers to commonly asked questions such as: "What is the GRE and will I need it?" "How high must my G.P.A. be to qualify?" "Can I pursue a masterís degree in a subject different from my bachelorís degree?" .
The seminar is scheduled for Wednesday, October 4 from 4:00ñ5:30pm (location to be announced). Everyone is invited! For more information, contact Frankie Augustin at 677-4558 or stop by the SMAC/EOP Office.
A series of speakers discussing health-related professions has been arranged for the fall 2000 semester. Speakers will provide insight into what it takes to succeed in their specialty. The first of the seriesó"Cal State Northridge Alumni M.D. Night"óis planned for October 20, 2000. Featured speakers will be two special alumni, one a medical doctor with a law degree, the second a second-year medical student.
Students considering a career in medicine, osteopathic medicine, chiropractic medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, or related health professions are encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Angelica Mata at SMAC/EOP, 677-4558.
The SMAC/EOP Office is now offering a free tutoring program for students needing help in Math 094A, 094B, 095, 105, 255A, 150A, Biology 100, 101, 106, 107, and Chemistry 105, 101, 102, 333, 334. Tutors are available for appointments of 30 minutes to an hour. Some tutors are available on a walk-in basis. The programís goal is to increase the passing rates and lower the repeat rates in these courses. If you are struggling in a Math, Biology and/or Chemistry class, donít wait until itís too late! Make an appointment to see a tutor today!
A Coral Odyssey: Dr. Edmundís Sabbatical Adventures
Dr. Peter Edmunds returned from his year-long sabbatical leave to full-time teaching this fall. "My sabbatical has been a truly remarkable experience, one that leaves me reinvigorated to return to the teaching environment," says Dr. Edmunds. "One of the principal goals of my sabbatical was the development of new directions in my research, combining studies of coral physiology with population biology." Thus, much of his travel focused on collecting preliminary data for future research proposals.
Over the year Dr. Edmunds travelled to far-flung corners of the globe, always accompanied by one or more of his students. First it was to Conch Reef, Florida, where he collaborated with colleagues from UCLA and Georgia Southern University, and from there to Virgin Islands National Park to continue a long-term study.
But, says Dr. Edmunds, "The real excitement began on Moorea, an island near Tahiti, where UC Berkeleyís Gump Research Station offered a chance to begin a whole new phase of my work." Then he was off to the "main event" of his sabbatical adventure: Australiaís Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the world.
Arriving on One Tree Island, he settled in for a six-week study of reef corals. Says Dr. Edmunds, "Though the Caribbean reefs I have studied are fascinating, I liken my experience on the Great Barrier Reef to discovering Disney World after spending a lifetime playing in my own back yard." He made a second, shorter trip to Australia in May to expand on his earlier work; the second trip was funded by a National Science Foundation grant.
While in Australia, Dr. Edmunds gave lectures and collaborated with colleagues at the University of Sydney, at James Cook University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Townsville, and at the University of Queensland in Brisbane.
The start of the millennium found Dr. Edmunds in Jamaica, teaching a "Corals Class" for the East/West Marine Biology program of Northeastern University for the tenth time. Dr. Robert Carpenter joined him in Jamaica and together they collected data related to the recovery of coral reefs and the return of the spiny sea urchin, Diadema.
Returning from Australia, Dr. Edmunds moved on to Akumel, Mexico, where he gave an invited lecture to a Cornell University tropical marine biology class. The class was taught by Dr. John Bruno, one of Dr. Edmundsí first MS students who completed his Ph.D. at Brown University.
Though Dr. Edmunds was away from campus much of the year, his graduate students were always busy, sometimes assisting him in his research, at other times conducting their own. Joshua Idjadi assisted Dr. Edmunds in Florida, the Virgin Islands, Moorea, Australia and in Jamaica, where he also worked on his own studies. Carla Zilberberg and Traci Prude joined him in Florida, and Carla also worked in Jamaica on her own work. Rebecca Habeeb traveled to the Virgin Islands, Jamaica and Australia. In Jamaica, Rebecca assisted Dr. Edmunds and completed a portion of her own thesis research; in Australia she studied coral acclimation on Heron Island.
Doings of Nearshore Marine Fish Research Program (NMFRP)
Five NMFRP students working under the direction of Dr. Larry Allen presented papers at the 80th Annual Meetings of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH). The meetings, held at La Paz, Mexico, were hosted by the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California Sur.
The students and their topics included: Gregorio Benavides, "Population genetics of the barred sand bass (Paralabrax nebulifer)"; Brian Buaas, "Genetic variation in the yellowtail (Seriola lalandi) from southern and Baja California"; Erik Forsman, "Sound production in the white seabass (Atractoscion nobilis)"; Karin Wisenbaker, "Age, growth, and settlement of young-of-the-year barred sand bass (Paralbarax nebulifer)"; Dave Bottinelli , "Aspects of the occurrence and life history of selected young-of-the-year carangids on southern New Jersey shores." Greg, Brian, and Erik based their papers on their Master's thesis work while Karin and Dave's were based on undergraduate research. Students Jana Cobb and Brad Erisman also attended the meetings. The GRIP Office and the Department of Biology provided travel funds.
Together with his Mexican colleague, Eduardo Balart Paz, Dr. Allen organized a symposium at the ASIH meetings titled "Ecology of Eastern Pacific Fishes," and as a part of it presented a paper on "Warships, eelgrass and fish: the San Diego Bay connection, 1994-1999." He also was co-author of a paper presented with his former student Tim Hovey entitled "Observations on spawning behavior in captive white seabass (Atractoscion nobilis) from southern California."
Algae Lab Has Active Summer
During a month-long stay this summer at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology in Oahu, Hawaii, Dr. Robert Carpenter continued his research on the effects of water motion on coral reefs. While there, he measured rates of primary production across one of the largest reefs in the Hawaiian Islands. Some of the data were incorporated into an NSF proposal to study the effects of water motion on several reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Now if only the funding comes through! Dr. Carpenter was assisted in his work by graduate students Nick Haring, Maiko Kasuya, and Denise Weisman.
When not in Hawaii, Nick, Maiko and Denise conducting thesis research at the Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island. They were supported by USC internships and served as guides for groups that visited the lab. All three students are staying on Catalina for the fall semester assisting in the courses offered as part of the CSU Marine Biology Semester at Catalina.
Dr. Steve Dudgeonís Lab Now Up and Running
Says Dr. Steven Dudgeon, "Two undergraduate studentsóLaura Malessa and Christin Slaughteróhave jump-started work in my lab. Together they not only organized the lab but they took on the thankless job of maintaining our large algal sporeing cultures. Their efforts have been heroic."
Dr. Dudgeon spent a portion of the summer on Swan Island, Maine, studying the existence of alternative stable states in ecological communities. He also continues his research into the regulation of morphogenesis in colonial hydrozoans. Christin is spearheading the latter project this year.
Dr. Dudgeon is also involved in a collaborative study with his wife, Dr. Janet Kubler, also a marine biologist. Together they are examining the causes underlying the geographic variation in the life history of the red seaweed, Mastocarpus papillatus. This project combines both field and lab studies aimed at determining why along the California coast sexual individuals prevail in southern populations whereas asexual individuals are the norm in northern populations.
Both Drs. Dudgeon and Kubler are looking for students interested in evolutionary ecology to help them on this project. They can be reached by phone at 677-7322 or by email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Visit to Midway Atoll
Dr. Robert Carpenter and Dean Edward Carroll visited Midway Atoll in August to explore potential opportunities for offering field courses and conducting research in this unique setting. The atoll is a U.S. possession 1200 miles from Honolulu in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.
With the decommissioning of the Navy base on Midway, jurisdiction of the atoll passed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be operated as a National Wildlife Refuge. The atoll is home to a diversity of birds, among them Laysan Albatross, and the coral reefs teem with marine life. Spinner dolphins, endangered Hawaiian monk seals, and green sea turtles are common.
Newly renovated barracks provide comfortable accommodations and fine cuisine can be had at a French restaurant. Biology faculty will continue to explore opportunities at Midway. Students interested in field courses at this unique location should watch for future announcements.
CSU Marine Biology Semester at Catalina
This fall marks the third annual CSU Marine Biology Semester at Catalina Island, with all courses taught by Cal State Northridge Biology faculty. Dr. Edmunds is teaching Invertebrate Zoology (Biol. 313), after which Dr. Carpenter is offering Marine Ecology (Biol. 529), followed by a course on the Population Biology and Evolution of Clonal Marine Organisms (Biol. 595) taught by Dr. Dudgeon. Students complete the 15-unit semester by conducting independent research projects.
The Catalina Semester, to be offered again next fall, is open to upper division students interested in an intensive and rewarding field experience. Students spend the entire semester at the Wrigley Marine Science Center, located near the Isthmus on Santa Catalina Island.
This fall, students come from a cross-section of universities in California and elsewhere. Alumni of the program report it to be an unparalled academic experience and for several it served as a springboard to graduate school. The program is offered each year, but teaching responsibilities rotate among the faculty of several CSU campuses. Students interested in the program should contact the Biology office or any of the marine biology faculty (Drs. Allen, Carpenter, Dudgeon, Edmunds).