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Annette Hacker, manager, (515) 294-3720
Office: (515) 294-4777
Researcher controls erosion to save the African Sahel
An Iowa State agronomy professor is using erosion control methods to restore the Sahel and Niger River in West Africa, where land degradation threatens the region's economic stability. He will present his findings next week in Seattle at the 2004 international annual meetings of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America in Seattle.
2004 Inventor of the Year
Edward Yeung Distinguished Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of chemistry has been named 2004 Inventor of the Year by the Iowa Intellectual Property Law Association. He was honored for his development of a DNA sequencer that combines laser microfluorescence with capillary electrophoresis, two analytical chemistry methods for determining the minute components of a substance. The sequencer can detect, monitor and quantify materials 24 times faster than earlier DNA sequencers.
Celebrities campaign on campus
New x-ray imaging device demonstrated
The College of Engineering will demonstrate a new x-ray imaging device used to study part of the paper recycling process during an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, in the Transport Processes Laboratory, 1121 Black Engineering Building. Mechanical engineering professor Ted Heindel required the specialized industrial imaging device to study the interaction of multiphase flows (gas, liquids and solids) in a contained area. The device has potential uses for everything from food to fuel to pharmaceuticals. The device was funded with $640,000 in grants from the National Science Foundation and Iowa State.
How can GM and organic crops coexist?
That's the subject of a Nov. 6 symposium at ISU. Hosted by the Bioethics Program, the symposium will information and discussion about the coexistence of organic agriculture and genetically modified (GM) crops. The event will be from 2 to 5:30 p.m. in the Gallery of the Memorial Union. It is free and open to the public.
National Science Foundation funds ISU research on influence of political parties
An Iowa State University political scientist has received a $90,000 National Science Foundation grant to study the influence of national political parties on local, state and national elections. Robert Lowry, associate professor of political science, said the study, "National Party Committees, Competitive Elections, and State Autonomy Before and After the Bipartisan Campaign," focuses on how national committees and their distribution of large sums of money nationwide affect the competitiveness of elections.
Iowa League of Cities honors two
Two Iowa State University faculty members were inducted into the Iowa League of Cities Hall of Fame recently for their service to local governments. The league is a municipal advocacy and training organization based in Des Moines. Jack Whitmer, emeritus associate professor of political science, and Paul Coates, associate professor of political science, were honored for their roles with the Iowa Municipal Clerks' Institute and Iowa Municipal Clerks' Academy.
Stephens Auditorium is 'Building of the Century'
ISU's Stephens Auditorium has been selected as "Building of the Century" by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Iowa Chapter.
On the election
"Many American voters are beginning to wonder if the 2004 presidential election will be clean and fair, or if it will turn out to look more like the electoral processes held in Latin American, Asian, Africa, and other countries run by authoritarian governments," says ISU political scientist Patricia Hamm. "Will their vote be counted? Will the electoral outcome be manipulated? Are voters being intimidated to vote in a certain way? Will the "dead" turn out to vote and the "living" be prevented from voting? Most importantly, they are asking themselves what can they do to ensure that the 2004 electoral campaign and election be viewed in retrospective as an example of democratic practices."
"The challenge for George W. Bush and the Republican Party is to convince voters that their emphasis on faith is not meant to divide or exclude people," says ISU associate professor of philosophy and religious studies Robert Baum, "or to remove the separation of church and state that has guided this country since the time of Jefferson."
"The Internet has become vital to the 2004 campaign giving both parties access to information and ideas not provided by the big national media," says ISU journalism professor Daniela Dimitrova. "For instance, the Internet is an important source of information on the Iraq War. Americans holding negative views toward the war have been particularly motivated to go online and seek alternative views. Blog sites such as 'Where is Raed' is a good example."
"The 2004 election is one of the most important in U.S. history because it may be the defining moment for the Democrats who have been losing power at the local, county, state and national level for the past decade," says ISU political scientist Steffen Schmidt. "The real question is, 'Will the Democrats go the way of the Tory party in England or will it find its new identity in 2004?'"
"States like Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio are crucial to the selection of the next president," says ISU political scientist James McCormick. "As the Midwest goes, so goes the presidency."
"Given the difficulties of polling in the age of cell phones and the numbers of new voters that both parties claim to have registered, it's extremely difficult to predict the popular vote for president," says ISU political scientist Robert Lowry. "If the polls indicate a strong last-minute trend in battleground states, that will probably be an indicator of the outcome, but otherwise, we will just have to wait and see."
"Voter registration is breaking records in almost every state," says ISU political scientist Kimberly Conger. "Since about 85 percent of people who are registered actually vote in national elections, we could see record voter turnout, as well. High turnout usually favors Democrats, but as we saw in 2000, in what state those Democrats vote could have the biggest impact of all."
"Since Richard Nixon in 1960, it has been customary for nomination accepters in both parties to include in their speeches 'personal vision statements' of the American dream," says ISU political scientist Ray Dearin. "Republicans have stressed the pioneer, individual liberty, and 'opportunity society'; Democrats have leaned toward the immigrant, 'huddled masses,' and communitarian version. Expect this trend to continue in New York."
"The Bush/Cheney campaign is doing more than it did four years ago to try to win the women's vote," says ISU political scientist Dianne Bystrom. "This includes a greater reliance on the president's wife to campaign. For example, she is featured in an ad on the Bush campaign's Web site devoted to women, talking about the administration's record on education."
ISU in the news
Tornado team on network TV
ABC's "Good Morning America" featured Iowa State's tornado simulator on Oct. 28. The simulator is a collaboration of ISU faculty Partha Sarkar, Bill Gallus and Fred Haan.
Election Early Birds
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Iowa, like several states, is allowing early voting in addition to absentee ballots in the 2004 election. Both major political parties are aggressively working to "get the vote out" because Iowa's seven electoral votes could be crucial this year, says Dianne Bystrom, director of Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State. Bystrom said early voting is good for young people and single parents. "There are no excuses for not voting," she said.
The New York Times
Folklore says fuzzy caterpillars can predict the weather. Can they? Iowa State University Extension entomologist Donald Lewis fields a few hundred questions about this every year, and explains the subtle differences between woolly bear caterpillars and other fuzzy species in the same family.
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