NSF Research Proposal Workshop (11/30; RSVP by 11/26)

The Office of Research Administration will hold a workshop Friday, November 30, from 12 pm to 3 pm in Room 331 of The Commons which may potentially aid scholars in applying to the National Science Foundation (NSF) for research.

“How to Write a Research Proposal to the NSF” will cover matters such as exploring the fundability of ideas, the NSF’s review process, and critical questions which must be answered correctly for the funding to go forward, according to the the synopsis provided here.

Seats are limited, so RSVP by November 26 at the myUMBC Community Events link above.

Reminder: Refresher Training on Sexual Harassment Prevention

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County is reminding faculty and staff of its required training program on preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.

Training may be taken through an online survey, which new employees of UMBC must take within 30 days of hiring and which longer-term employees must keep current with and renew every two years. Once successfully completed, training certificates may be printed out and submitted to departmental staff. Training completion can also be verified or researched through the Office of Human Relations at x-51853.

The online survey should take 45-60 minutes, and can be found here. It is encouraged that UMBC’s Protocol also be reviewed to aid in the response to reports of sexual assault and relationship violence, which can be found on the Voices Against Violence here.

Alumnus Greg Cantori ’84, Geography, Named President of Maryland Nonprofits

Alumnus Gregory Cantori ’84, geography (cartography), was named the new president for Maryland Nonprofits beginning October 1st, according to an article in Maryland Reporter published September 25th.

Cantori will head an organization that includes roughly1,400 nonprofit organizations and 300 associate members in the state, of which many are used by statewide and local government agencies to provide social, health, housing and educational services. The new president has significant experience with such efforts, having worked in various capacities at the Downtown Sailing Center, the Marion I. & Henry J. Knott Foundation, and the Light Street Housing Corporation among others over the years.

Speaking with reporter Len Lazarick, Cantori said that he’s, “always looking at innovative ways to raise money,” adding that “I feel like like I’m going to be a funder without the funding.” Nevertheless, he also feels that this is a particularly good time for nonprofits and their futures in Maryland right now.

Raymond Hoff, Physics, Honored with NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) held its 2012 Agency Honor Awards on August 2nd to honor individuals who “have distinguished themselves by making outstanding contributions to the Agency’s mission.” Among those honored was Raymond Hoff, physics, who received the Distinguished Public Service Medal (DPSM) at an awards ceremony held at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The DPSM serves as NASA’s “highest form of recognition that is awarded to any non-Government individual or to an individual who was not a Government employee during the period in which the service was performed, whose distinguished service, ability, or vision has personally contributed to NASA’s advancement of United States’ interests,” according to the agency’s website. Hoff received his medal for Hoff is receiving the medal “for distinguished service and leadership in Earth observations and their application for societal benefit.”

Footage of the entire ceremony can be watched on NASA’s YouTube channel here, with Hoff’s award coming at approximately 30:15.

Lorraine Remer, Tianle Yuan JCET, Co-Authors Study on Foreign Aerosol Imports

NASA and UMBC issued a joint press release August 2nd announcing the first measurement-based estimate of the amount and composition of tiny airborne particles that arrive in the air over North America each year. Co-authored by Lorraine Remer, senior research scientist and Tianle Yuan, research associate in the climate and radiation laboratory of UMBC’s Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET), along with NASA and University of Maryland, College park scientists the study determined that it was dust and not pollution which constituted the main ingredient in small airborne particles which arrive in the air over North America every year.

The results published in Science Magazine showed that 64 million tons of dust and other particles with the potential to effect climate and human health survive their trans-ocean journeys to North America, a figure which parallels the estimated 69 million tons of aerosols produced domestically from natural processes, transportation and industrial sources.

Speaking on how this imported dust particles account for a third of the reduction in solar radiation over North America, Remer said that “[g]lobally this can mask some of the warming we expect from greenhouse gases.”

Furthermore, Remer noted that climate change resulting from greenhouse gases could greatly increase dust’s influence in the future, saying, “[d]esertification and reclamation, [and] the land use modifications that change the exposure of dusty soils to wind erosion, are going to have a big impact on particle distribution and climate around the planet.”

SUCCESS Serves Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Marking the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), yesterday Gov. Martin O’Malley announced the launch of SUCCESS, a four-year post-secondary education program for students with intellectual disabilities. The Maryland Department of Disabilities and UMBC partnered to develop the program (press release).

An AP report on the announcement, which appeared in The Washington Post and on WBFF FOX45, noted that although students will not receive college credit, they will take a seminar with degree-seeking students, lead a service learning project, and intern at departments on UMBC’s campus.

The Baltimore Sun added that SUCCESS will begin with 6-8 students this fall and will be housed in UMBC’s Shriver Center, named for Peace Corps founder Sargent Shriver and Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Continue reading

Matthew Panunto ’12, M.S. GES, Wins Poster Competition

Alumnus Matthew Panunto ’12, M.S. geography and environmental systems (GES), has won the 2012 American Water Resources Association (AWRA) National Conference Student Poster Competition for his submission “Effects of valley segment sequencing on floodplain hydroperiods.”

According to the abstract, Panunto and co-authors Philippe Vidon, Pierre-André Jacinthe, and GES professor Matthew Baker’s piece used “numerical simulations of… hypothetical hydraulic constraints and empirical characterizations of valley segments and flood hydrographs in central Indiana’s White River valley” in order to understand more about the impact of “valley sequencing” on floodplain hydroperiods, or when a region is waterlogged. Along with a certificate and monetary award from AWRA, Panunto will be featured on the organization’s website, as well as in an upcoming issue of IMPACT magazine.

Panunto recently accepted a position at the USEPA in Athens, GA, where he is working on a term contract with the the Office of Research and Development’s National Exposure Research Laboratory Ecosystems Research Division. Panunto will help develop hydrologic and hydraulic watershed models and program applications for Geographic Information Systems for the EPA.