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Campus' Annual Celebration of Research Continues to Grow

April 10, 2012
Research Week at UC Merced highlighted by student research poster competition, plus enlightening lectures and symposia featuring a number of distinguished researchers

From the campus’ own undergraduate and graduate students to distinguished faculty members from here and abroad, Research Week at the University of California, Merced, will offer a wide range of events and information from April 16 to 19.

The campus’ annual celebration of student and faculty research will be highlighted this year by the Student Research Poster Competition on April 17 and the Vital and Alice Pellissier Distinguished Speaker Series — featuring UC Berkeley Professor Eva Harris — on April 18. Most events are free and open to the public.

“Research Week has become a special event that the entire UC Merced community can look forward to,” said Sam Traina, the campus’ vice chancellor for research and dean of its graduate division. “It’s an opportunity for our campus and the general public to recognize the outstanding research being done by our own faculty and students while also learning about exceptional work by researchers from other institutions.”

View a complete schedule of Research Week events

The first major event of the week will be the Sierra Nevada Research Symposium, from 1 to 3 p.m. April 16. Researchers from UC Merced’s Sierra Nevada Research Institute (SNRI) — including Anthony Westerling, Lara Kueppers, Asmeret Berhe and Michael Beman — will give talks on their work. SNRI Director Roger Bales will host the session, which will showcase the institute’s work on the environment and climate change in the Sierra Nevada, San Joaquin Valley and beyond.

“Our faculty members are producing new knowledge that can inform public policy and improve the quality of life for residents in California and the rest of the world,” Bales said. “Research Week is a great opportunity to share what we’re learning with our campus and community members.”

The poster competition, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 17, will be joined this year by two concurrent events. The Creative Research Exhibition will showcase the artistic side of graduate student research, while the Library Student Research Competition will present awards to recognize excellence in student research projects that incorporate library resources, demonstrate high-level information literacy skills and thoughtfully reflect on research strategies. In addition, the World Cultures graduate emphasis group will host a student research symposium that day.

One of the highlights of Research Week should be the Vital and Alice Pellissier Distinguished Speaker Series on April 18, which will feature UC Berkeley Professor Eva Harris. An internationally recognized researcher, Harris has spent much of her career studying dengue — the most prevalent mosquito-borne viral disease in humans — in Nicaragua and elsewhere in Latin America.

Also on April 18 will be the Environmental Systems Seminar, which will include a talk by University of South Florida Professor Pam Hallock-Muller on coral reefs and their response to climate change.

The week of events will conclude on April 19 with the annual Sigma Xi Symposium. This year’s symposium will be on the topic of “Service Science” and will include talks by: Paul P. Maglio, UC Merced professor and IBM research scientist; Richard B. Chase, professor emeritus of the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California; Shelley Evenson, research manager for Facebook; and William B. Rouse, professor of industrial and systems engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.