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Research Week to Celebrate Work of Faculty, Students

April 12, 2011
Sierra Nevada Research Institute symposium joins Student Research Poster Competition and Vital and Alice Pellissier Distinguished Speaker Series as highlight events

Research Week, the annual celebration of faculty and student research at the University of California, Merced, returns this month with a student research poster competition and a number of lectures and symposia.

Research Week's traditional mainstay events — the Student Research Poster Competitionand the Vital and Alice Pellissier Distinguished Speaker Series— will be joined by a new event, the Sierra Nevada Research Institute (SNRI) Research Symposium. All three events are open to the public.

“UC Merced students and faculty are routinely undertaking groundbreaking research, and Research Week is our chance to celebrate that and invite the general public to learn more about the important work being done here,” said Sam Traina, vice chancellor for research.

The SNRI Research Symposium, on April 18, will feature a number of UC Merced's top researchers speaking on issues of importance to the Sierra Nevada and Yosemite National Park, with topics ranging from climate change and bioenergy to archaeology and advanced search and rescue.

“These presentations will highlight issues of energy, water, ecosystems and human societies in the Central Valley-Sierra Nevada region,” SNRI Director Roger Bales said. “Research at SNRI uses the area as a natural laboratory and contributes to the knowledge base for resource management.”

The April 19 poster competition is a showcase for student research, with monetary prizes for those deemed to have created the best posters depicting their research. The undergraduate poster session begins at 10 a.m. and the graduate session at 1 p.m.

The Pellissier speaker series, made possible by a generous donation from the Pellissier family, will feature a new dean on campus for the second consecutive year. E. Daniel Hirleman, the new dean of UC Merced's School of Engineering, will speak on the rapid detection of food-borne pathogens.

Hirleman's groundbreaking studies employ the use of laser beams to analyze minute variations in the metabolic and colonization processes of different microorganisms. His talk will begin at 6 p.m. April 19.

The Sigma Xi Spring Symposium, hosted this year by UC Merced Professor Michael Spivey, will examine the complex patterns of the dynamics of language and the language of dynamics. Speakers at the April 21 event include Spivey, UC Merced Professor Chris Kello and Rick Dale of the University of Memphis.