Tom Cronin, Biology, Washington Post on Camouflage

In a recent story the Washington Post wrote about what animals, specifically octopus, cuttlefish, and squid otherwise known as cephalopods can teach us about camouflage.

The ability of humans to camouflage themselves is very important in military applications.

UMBC biology professor, Tom Cronin, is quoted as saying:

Military applications will come first, predicts Thomas Cronin, a biologist at the University of Maryland Baltimore County who is part of the research community with octopus-to-gadget ambitions. “When a machine or person moves to a different environment or background, these camouflage systems could automatically reduce the level of detectability to any imaging system,” he says.

 

 

Geography Speaker Series (9/15)

On September 15 at 4 p.m. in the Library Gallery, as part of the GES seminar series, Rebecca Lave from the University of Indiana will give a talk titled “Marketing Environmental Science and Management: Stream Mitigation Banking in the U.S.”

Market-based approaches to environmental management are increasingly common. Conservation and water quality credits are for sale in many developed countries, and the idea of payment for ecosystem services is ubiquitous in international environmental policy circles. This talk traces that shift from command and control to market-based management and its ecological and policy consequences through analysis of the emerging practice of stream mitigation banking in the U.S. In the most common form of stream mitigation banking (SMB), a for-profit company buys land with a damaged stream on it and restores it to produce mitigation credits which can then be purchased by developers to fulfill their permit conditions under the Clean Water Act. Entrepreneurial SMB began in 2000, and has since spread rapidly across the U.S. with the strong support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Employing a Critical Physical Geography approach, this talk will present social science data fro m document analysis and interviews, and natural science data from geomorphic fieldwork conducted from 2010 through 2013. Lave will argue that while mitigation bankers have made several key interventions in the development of SMB policy, market forces have not dominated the policy-making process to the extent one might expect. Even so, their influence is clearly visible in the homogenization of channel form across the U.S.

There will be a light reception following the talk.

2015 NEH Summer Stipend Program – UMBC Nominations

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipends support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both. Recipients usually produce articles, monographs, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources. Successful applicants receive an outright award of $6,000 to support two consecutive months of full-time research during summer 2015.  UMBC may submit up to two nominations for this award.  The CAHSS Dean’s Office, the Office of the Vice President for Research, and the Dresher Center for the Humanities will work as appropriate with the two nominees selected as they prepare their applications to the NEH.

Instructions to Faculty

Review the guidelines here and submit the following materials to Scott Casper, Dean of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences by Monday, September 8, 2014.

  • A project narrative, not to exceed three-single-spaced pages, as described in the guidelines.  As the guidelines stipulate, the narrative must include an explanation of the part or stage of the project supported by the Summer Stipend and a work plan;
  • The names, positions, and affiliations of two or more potential recommenders, with, ideally, no more than one being from UMBC and with at least one being a scholar with expertise in the field of the proposed project.

In addition to the quality of the application, criteria for selection will include the likelihood that the award will have a significant impact on the faculty member’s program of scholarship and that the work proposed for the fellowship period can be completed. Secondary considerations will be whether the individual has other available sources of support for the proposed work (e.g., support from UMBC or another sponsor) and whether the individual is concurrently being nominated for or applying for other awards.

Victoria Sambunaris: Taxonomy of a Landscape (8/27)

VS-04-01

Victoria Sambunaris
Untitled (Potash Mine – distant view, Wendover, Utah), 2004
Chromogenic Print
Courtesy of the artist

Opening Wednesday, August 27, at the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery, is the exhibition Victoria Sambunaris: Taxonomy of a Landscape.

This exhibition presents photographs made over the span of more than a decade by photographer Victoria Sambunaris as she traversed the United States, stopping to photograph phenomena ubiquitous and familiar to particular regions but anomalous to the ordinary eye: massive distribution facilities, complex transport systems, colossal mining operations, majestic mountain gaps, exploding mud pots. Acting as both document and metaphor for the American experience, Sambunaris’s photographs bring into view the vast, open-ended mystery and unease of a country where human intervention and natural beauty inspire wonder in equal measure. Collected ephemera—the essential, and incidental, elements of Sambunaris’s work as a photographer and researcher—are also included in this exhibition (books on geology and history, maps, and artifacts collected on her journeys, such as mineral specimens, journals, road logs), as well as a video documenting her travel and work processes, and over 1,500 of her small photographic sketches. [Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Photography.]

The exhibition will continue through December 17. The Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Thursday until 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 12 – 5 p.m.  Admission is free. For more information call 410-455-2270.

The artist will deliver a public lecture on her work on Wednesday, October 8 at 4:00 p.m.: http://artscalendar.umbc.edu/2011/06/23/victoria-sambunaris-artist-lecture/

More information: http://artscalendar.umbc.edu/2011/07/30/victoria-sambunaris-taxonomy-of-a-landscape/

Fall 2014 Recreation and Group Fitness Schedules

The Fall 2014 Recreation and Group Fitness schedules is now available on myUMBC.

This semester, a diverse program consisting of a variety of fitness classes will be offered. From Piyo Pilates and Vinyasa Yoga in the morning to Kickboxing and Zumba at night, classes can meet everyone’s needs and at a variety of times. All of the classes are free to students, faculty and staff and all are encouraged to attend! Not only do the classes provide an opportunity to get a great work out and sweat, but also lets students, faculty and staff a chance to network with one another in a positive environment!

The Fitness Basics class is offered Monday-Friday from 12:00pm-1:00pm. It is a great opportunity for faculty and students to come work out during campus “Free Hour”. This moderate intensity level class will provide a great workout, but won’t leave you dripping sweat!

For the more detailed recreation and group fitness schedules, please click here.

Linda Dusman, Music, and Eric Smallwood, Visual Art, Awarded TEDCO MII Grant

Symphony Interactive Screen

Symphony Interactive Screen

Linda Dusman, Music, and Eric Smallwood, Visual Arts, in partnership with the School of Music at the University of Maryland, College Park, have received a $150,000 Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) grant for their work on the tablet app, Symphony Interactive. MII was created as a partnership between the State of Maryland and five Maryland academic research institutions (Johns Hopkins University; Morgan State University; UMCP; University of Maryland Baltimore; and UMBC), and is managed by TEDCO, created by the Maryland State Legislature in 1998 to facilitate the transfer and commercialization of technology from Maryland’s research universities and federal labs into the marketplace. The MII program promotes the commercialization of academic research conducted in the partnership universities. Symphony Interactive is only the second project within the humanities ever to receive an award from MII, and the first to be funded in the arts and humanities at UMBC.

SI_CommaderControlSymphony Interactive provides contemporary audiences a novel way to engage with live orchestral performances. Through both text and images presented through a unique interface at the exact moment the information is most pertinent to the music, SI enables an enriched experience for users by allowing them to learn about the music and its cultural history during its performance. Acting as an informed “friend,” the app subtly provides information to enhance engagement, keeping the experience of the live performance paramount. During the grant period, the SI team will create a library for thirty of the most performed orchestral works, producing unique textual and visual information for each piece. Over the next nine months, the grant funding also will enable developing a more fully featured proof of concept application, expanding the social media extensions of the app, and performing valuable market research to aid in the commercialization process.

The Symphony Interactive project has been in development since 2011, with support from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the Office of the Vice President for Research. Development has progressed through collaboration with many faculty, staff and students from Music, Visual Arts, the Imaging Research Center, Human Centered Computing, and the Department of Information Technology. Symphony Interactive has been tested in performances by the UMBC Symphony, and most recently at the National Orchestra Institute at the Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

Ascend Your Energy – Tune Into Your New Destiny (9/5-9/7)

Would you like to take advantage of what science reveals about the way your brain works and make measurable changes in your body and your life?

A powerful Dr. Joe Dispenza program is taking place on UMBC September 5-7, 2014. The organizers of this event are offering UMBC faculty and staff, and their families, the ‘early bird’ rate through August 28th. This discount is not being publicly advertised.

This offer applies to the full Friday-Sunday progressive workshop, which includes an 8-hour online program, the Friday evening lecture, and two full days Saturday and Sunday. Prior to the in-person program, you must view the online workshop or have attended a past live Level 1 or Intensive Workshop.

Additional pre-work is to read Dr. Dispenza’s book ‘Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself.’

When registering, just enter ‘UMBC’ in the ‘Coupon Code’ field to get the rate of $429 plus $6 service fee, for a total of $435.

Click here to register.

“During the course of this multi-day workshop, Dr. Dispenza will deliver new teachings, share case studies and examples, teach you how to recondition your body to a new mind, and show you how to liberate energy stored in your body in the form of self-limiting thoughts, unconscious habits, and memorized emotions.

You will leave this weekend having experienced powerful and profound shifts inside and outside of you. Many people in the last three years have reported that they literally left this seminar a different person from when they came. As you continue your practice with the tools and techniques you take away from this weekend, you will experience ongoing and significantly noticeable changes in your world.”

For more information, please visit Dr. Joe Dispenza’s website.