Monday, March 29, 2010

Crowd enjoys season's first UIS Star Party

For the Fenstermacher family, star parties at the University of Illinois Springfield are a family tradition.

Scott and Lori Fenstermacher started bringing their two daughters, Jaina, 9, and Shelby, 6, to the events about three years ago. Now, they usually attend four or five star parties a year.

The Fenstermachers were among more than 100 people who were on hand Friday as the university’s first star party of 2010 began.

John Martin, assistant professor of astronomy/physics, gave the crowd a quick lesson in astronomy and the universe on the way to the top of Brookens library, where the observatory is located.

The star party was featured in a March 27, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Star Parties at UIS to begin at end of March

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Friday night Star Parties will begin Friday, March 26, and continue through April 30 (excluding April 9), weather permitting.

Star Parties are held from 8 to 10 p.m. in the UIS observatory.

Conducted by UIS assistant professor of astronomy and physics John Martin, the Star Parties will use three telescopes to view a number of celestial objects, including the planets Mars and Saturn, the Orion Nebula, and the moon, when visible. Other double stars and star clusters will also be viewed.

Star Parties were featured in a March 12, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Starry stroll at Lincoln Memorial Garden

Star gazers and animal enthusiasts get two for the price of free at Lincoln Memorial Garden March 12. Trek the trails with two UIS science professors and learn about the night sky and night animals. Dr. John Martin from the astronomy/physics program will have telescopes and teach about the nighttime sky. Biology department vertebrate biologist Dr. Matt Evans leads an owl-calling night hike and a presentation on nocturnal animals.

Star and Night Hike
Friday, Mar. 12, 7-9pm
Lincoln Memorial Garden
2301 East Lake Drive

The event was featured in a March 11, 2010, article in the Illinois Times.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Science meeting tracks Emiquon progress

The notion that all science is “cold and hard” was debunked nicely at the Emiquon Science Meeting Thursday.

Doyn Kellerhals, a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Springfield, presented her research on the bacteria that decompose leaves of silver maple trees. Bacteria are very difficult to tell apart until they are examined at a DNA level.

She is learning that bacterial communities change as leaves break down. And different bacteria are at work in different habitats.

Kellerhals reminded the audience that the small things really do matter.

“I really like talking about the fish and the ducks, but this is where it all starts.”

Kellerhals was featured in a March 5, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Waterfowl research going on at Emiquon Preserve

Recently, wildlife technicians Danielle DeVito and Curt Kleist, of the Illinois Natural History Survey of the Forbes Biological Station in Havana, have been studying the migration of water fowl at the Emiquon Preserve.

Their mallard research, based at the Therkildsen Field Station - a teaching and research facility owned by UIS - is part of a larger effort to transform Emiquon from farmlands to floodplain.

Their research and details about Emiquon were featured in a February 4, 2010, article in the Illinois Times.

Download a PDF of the article: 20100204-ILTimes-mallards.pdf

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Emiquon to host public lecture on mallards

A public lecture titled “Monitoring Mallard Movements in the Illinois River Valley and Beyond” will be hosted at the UIS Alfred O. and Barbara Cordwell Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon on Tuesday, January 26 at 6:30.

The presenters of the lecture will be Danielle DeVito and Curt Kleist, waterfowl research technicians with the Illinois Natural History Survey, Forbes Biological Station in Havana.

The information about the lecture was published in the January 22, 2010, Galesburg Register-Mail.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Revealing the explosive heart of Eta Carinae

Using adaptive optics to remove atmospheric blurring, Gemini Observatory released an image showing previously hidden forensic secrets at the ballistic core of the Homunculus Nebula, part of the explosive Eta Carinae star system.

The new Gemini image was presented by John Martin of the University of Illinois Springfield who, along with an international team of researchers, obtained their data using the Near-Infrared Coronagraphic Imager (NICI) at the Gemini South telescope in Chile.

Martin's comments were feature in a January 6, 2010, U.S. News and World Report article.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Professor's work highlighted at national astronomy meeting

Dr. John Martin, professor of astronomy-physics at UIS, reported new observations of the Eta Carinae star system on January 4 at the national meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

His work was reported in the January 4, 2010, Science News.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

UIS hosts event at Emiquon Preserve for meteor shower

Many members of the Springfield and surrounding areas gathered at Thompson Lake at the Emiquon Preserve on Tuesday night, August 11, to view the Perseid Meteor Shower. The Sangamon Astronomical Society had telescopes set up for viewing and UIS physics and astronomy professor John Martin was on hand to explain the meteor shower.

The event was featured in an August 15, 2009, article of the State Journal-Register.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Professor weighs in on large mammoth bone found

Comments from Dr. Dennis Ruez, professor of environmental studies at UIS, were featured in a WICS news story about the finding of a large mammoth bone in Illinois. Dr. Ruez says the find will be instrumental for research and learning and is important for Illinois.

Watch the video clip here:

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Course helps students understand evolution and creationism theories

The debate about Charles Darwin's theory of evolution continues even 200 years after his death, and to help the public study and understand his views, local colleges, including UIS, offer classes on evolution and creationism.

UIS' class is taught by Dennis Ruez, Jr., assistant professor of environmental studies at UIS. His course is part of a feature story written about such classes in a January 30, 2009, article in the Galesburg Register-Mail.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wired world means rarely leaving work

Because about 60 percent of the workforce uses the Internet or e-mail for their jobs, almost half of them also work from home, checking their e-mail on weekends and sick days and logging in while on vacation.

Clinical psychologist Keith Burton, head of the psychology department at UIS, says that while some can manage with constant connection to work, most people need to recharge and take a break to be productive.

Burton's quotes were featured in an article in the November 25, 2008, State Journal-Register. Download a PDF of the file

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Campus hosts "Battle of the Brains" competition

On November 1 the UIS campus was the host site for a round of competition in an international programming contest – the 33rd annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest – also known as the Global "Battle of the Brains" Software Competition.

Reporter John Reynolds was on hand to profile the event. His account appeared in the November 2, 2008, State Journal-Register.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

UIS' Emiquon Field Station an asset to area teachers, students

The UIS Field Station located at the Nature Conservancy's Emiquon Preserve near Havana is providing area teachers and students with unique hands-on learning opportunities.

Mike Lemke, UIS associate professor of biology and field station director, noted that the facility "allows us access to an incredible restoration project and natural setting that would not otherwise be possible."

An article that appeared in the July 17, 2008, Canton Daily Ledger profiled the experiences of one teacher, Kristy Boggs from Spoon River College, who has been bringing students in her field ecology classes to Emiquon since 2006.

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Monday, February 4, 2008

Emiquon Field Station will open this spring

When UIS' new Emiquon Field Station opens this spring, the partnership that has been established among the university, the Nature Conservancy, and Dickson Mounds Museum will allow for a sharing of resources as well as educational and research programs that would previously have been very difficult.

An article in the February 2, 2008, State Journal-Register reports on the progress of construction and gives readers a preview of the possibilities the facility has to offer.

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