Campus Journal News
Geoscience ranks No. 1 in the nation
By Sharon Keeler
UNH is ranked as the number one university in the nation for geoscience research, according to a recent report from a national institute in Philadelphia that ranks high-impact U.S. universities.
The Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) provides researchers with resources that enable them to access historical research and keep abreast of the most recent developments in their respective disciplines.
ISI's editorial component, in-cite.com, ranks universities based on how frequently their work is cited by other researchers. It analyzes research performance and identifies significant trends in the sciences and social sciences, ranking the top 100 federally funded universities that published at least 100 papers in more than 8,697 ISI-indexed journals.
Citations are important because they indicate cutting-edge scientific findings that lay the groundwork for advanced research. Papers cited represent "some of the most important scientific advances of our time," according to the institute's staff.
UNH, which previously ranked third, moved to the top spot in the most recent rankings covering 1997 to 2001. During that time, researchers published 281 papers that were cited an average of 10.2 times by other scientists.
UNH tops an elite list of schools, including Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of California, Irvine, and the University of Washington.
"This ranking is a crowning achievement for New Hampshire's university," says UNH President Ann Weaver Hart. "The citizens of the state, as well as the university community, should be extremely proud. It is a testament to the leadership of our faculty, to the hard work and exceptional minds of our scientists, and to the ongoing support of NOAA, NASA, NSF and the members of our congressional delegation -- most notably Senator Judd Gregg -- who have believed in the research, teaching and engagement work of geoscientists at UNH.
"Our students benefit from being actively involved in this work," Hart continues. "The scientific community benefits from the creation of new knowledge, and the citizens of our state and the world benefit when research findings affect public policy and improve the quality of life and health of all of us."
Geoscience involves many fields of study including geology, geochemistry, hydrology, oceanography, volcanology, climatology, paleontology and remote sensing. At UNH, scientists who work in these disciplines are faculty members in the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture and the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Many of these scientists conduct their research as part of the university's world-renowned Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space.
Work being done at UNH in these areas focuses on the integrated behavior of the Earth and its surrounding environment. On-going studies examine such things as climate change, global water issues, land use change and atmospheric chemistry. Some of the highly-cited UNH research noted by ISI includes groundbreaking work on the U.S. carbon sink, on atmospheric changes due to pollution transport, on the effects of population growth on the availability of fresh water, and on the impact of nitrogen pollution on Northeast forests.
These studies have not only laid the foundation for future scientific inquiries, they have also directly impacted policy change. Based in part on research findings from the New England Regional Assessment (NERA) report released by the UNH's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, for example, New Hampshire and Massachusetts have passed first-ever legislation clamping down on power plant emissions, and New England governors and eastern Canadian premiers have agreed to reduce mercury emissions in the region by 75 percent by 2010, and to scale back greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010.
For more information on the ISI rankings, go to the Web site http://in-cites.com/research/2002/december_2_2002-2.html.
By Lori Gula
Amtrak's Downeaster now stops in Durham seven days a week -- just one of the many new transportation services UNH planners and Transportation Services are implementing this year.
Other projects about to launch or expand include a vanpool program, guaranteed ride home, and expanded carpool program. Federal transportation funds will support many of the costs of the programs, sometimes up to 80 percent.
"We have developed a comprehensive package of new transportation alternatives to give people more mobility options at UNH," said Stephen Pesci, special projects manager with Campus Planning and Transportation Services.
Rail service expands
Seven-day rail service began Jan. 22. The next upgrades at the rail station will include platform surface heating and an Amtrak Quik-Trak ticketing machine installation in the Whittemore Center lobby. "It will simplify the process of making reservations and obtaining tickets. In addition to the current options of on-line and phone reservations, riders will be able to make reservations in advance of train arrival using the Quik-Trak as well as pay for and print tickets before boarding," Pesci said.
UNH does not want the Durham stop to become a commuter park and ride station for Boston-bound passengers so the first southbound morning train Tuesday through Thursday will stop to discharge passengers only. UNH also plans to expand the Dairy Bar and rail station, which will become a transit center that will host trains and buses. The design phase is about to begin, with construction possibly beginning October 2004.
Vanpool to launch next month
A vanpool program to begin in February will allow faculty, staff, and students from the same neighborhood to commute together to campus. The university will provide a leased van to a pool of route subscribers who will designate a driver and share the fuel costs at a federally subsidized rate.
Dirk Timmons, director of Transportation Services, said the initial response has been positive, with faculty and staff already contacting him about participating in the program. The two first routes likely will be westbound on Route 4 and northbound to Rochester on the Routes 11/16 corridor. Routes will be added as demand increases.
A companion program -- Guaranteed Ride Home-- will ensure that anyone participating in alternative commute programs, such as carpool, vanpool, Wildcat Transit, and bicycle, will have a free off-campus ride home in case of an emergency. "We find the biggest barrier to alternative transportation is the need to have a car in case of an emergency," Pesci said.
Carpool interest growing
The carpool program, which allows people who carpool to park in one of 55 reserved spaces in A-Lot, continues to gain momentum, and UNH is considering adding spaces in more lots. "We have talked informally about spaces on the eastern side of campus. Ideally, carpool spaces would be disbursed across campus to be attractive to all users," he said.
The carpool spaces are monitored in the morning during peak and random hours to ensure spaces are available and being used only by carpoolers. "There is no benefit to a carpool program if when you arrive at work, those spaces are full," Pesci said.
Because the carpool program continues to grow in popularity, Pesci estimates UNH might evaluate expanding carpool spaces by another row in A-Lot this spring. Down the road, there may be financial as well as locational benefits to participating.
"We are moving toward a system that is incentive based and more responsive to accessibility and mobility needs. This is the demand management policy adopted by the Transportation Policy Committee ‹ managing the demand for private vehicle use and parking on campus by providing other options," Pesci said.
CNG fueling station planned
Design work is set to begin this spring on a natural gas (CNG) Fueling Station, with the station open by spring 2004. UNH is slowly switching its vehicle fleet from diesel and gas to compressed natural gas. This includes the transit fleet (Campus Connector and Wildcat buses) and UNH campus vehicles. The town of Durham also is interested in using the facility.
Benefits of CNG powered vehicles include reduced particulate and gas emissions and quieter vehicles. This spring, UNH will also upgrade selected Campus Connector and Wildcat bus stops with new shelters, improved lighting and new information signage.
Finally, work on improving the intersection of College Road and Main Street will begin in late May and should be completed by mid summer. The project includes a new turning lane on Main Street, new shuttle stop at Depot Street, and new pedestrian crosswalks and signals. Upgraded technology of the signals will eventually allow shuttles and buses to trigger a green signal so they can move more quickly through the intersection. Pesci estimates the changes will improve capacity of the intersection by up to 30 percent and significantly reduce the traffic backup on Main Street.
A new Transportation Services Guide, which highlights the new services, and includes a new Campus Connector Shuttle map and schedule, is available from Transportation Services. The Wildcat bus and Campus Connector shuttle route schedules also are available online at www.unh.edu/parking/routes.html.
New student fee proposed
One source of local support for these and future transportation service improvements is a proposed mandatory student transportation fee between $45 and $55 a year. If approved by the Student Senate and USNH Board of Trustees, the fee would become effective July 1, 2003.
"This fee would not pay for parking lots or infrastructure. It would be dedicated to transportation services, such as expanding the campus shuttle, paying for Amtrak ticketing machines, boosting the carpool program, supporting the guaranteed ride home service, and increasing the transit service frequency during academic year," Pesci said.
"Students would work cooperatively with Transportation Services and the Transportation Policy Committee to decide how transportation fee funds are being spent," he said. "This fee would be a significant investment by the students and they will see a significant increase in services."
By Erika Mantz
The Central Asia Institute is a grassroots organization based in Bozeman, Montana, dedicated to fostering community-based development projects in northern Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan.
Mortenson will share his decade-long effort to promote community girls' education amidst war, terrorism and turmoil in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He has started 22 schools in Pakistan, and spent the last year in Afghanistan talking with people about their needs and lobbying the U.S. government for funds promised for post-bombing reconstruction. UNH Associate Professor of Economics Marc Herold, who has done extensive research in the region, will introduce Mortenson's talk.
By Lori Gula
About five years ago when the flu seemed to be getting the best of faculty, staff, and students, Connie Hutchins decided it was time to pull out all the stops -- specifically, her soup ladle.
"Nothing was working. The flu shot wasn't the right strain. As a last resort, I said, 'How about if I just make chicken soup?' I don't know if it was the comfort factor, but it really did make the difference," said Hutchins, a part-time administrative assistant with Health Services.
Since then, when the cold and flu season hits, Hutchins (a.k.a. the Soup Lady) is ready with her crockpot of steaming goodness that she wheels out on her soup cart. When students weary of the cold and with colds seek comfort from Health Services services, many dip into Hutchins' homemade chicken soup.
"It never ceases to amaze me how many students are putting themselves through school. They don't have a lot of money to spare, and they are not eating properly," said Bridget Curtis, coordinator of nursing services who has watched Hutchins' soup effort involve.
For graduate student Steve Brennan, the soup was just what he needed last Friday. An international student from England, Brennan isn't accustomed to New England's cold winters, so a hot cup of soup hit the spot.
"It's fun to have them come in and hear their remarks like, 'This reminds me of my grandmother's house' or 'This makes me feel so much better,'" Hutchins said.
Initially, Hutchins paid for the soup and supplies out of her own pocket, but several years ago, the Parent's Association awarded her a $750 grant that paid for her cart, a stockpot, accessories, and ingredients. Health Services staff also have contributed money to the effort, and even bought her an LL Bean tote with "Soup Lady" embroidered on it.
The chicken vegetable soup is, by far, the most popular of all Hutchins' dishes. Sometimes she'll do a vegetarian batch, and even pea soup. But it's the golden chicken soup that students rave about.
"They love it. It's just a homey thing. The news is spreading because there is never any left," said Curtis, whose favorite is the chicken soup.
Hutchins makes the soup over two days. The broth is made from scratch -- no Swanson's canned chicken broth in this recipe. Hutchins refrigerates the broth over night. The next morning, she skims off the fat, adds the vegetables and meat, and cooks the pasta aldente before she brings it all to campus.
"I love to cook. I've cooked it so much, though, that I could care less if I even taste it. It's like someone working in the candy shop not wanting to eat the candy because they see it all the time," she said.
Around 10:30 a.m. on soup day -- usually once a week during the height of the flu season -- Hutchins wheels out her crockpot into the reception area. A couple of hours and gallons later, the pot is empty.
Over the years, Hutchins estimates she's made the students hundreds of gallons of soup. Her reason for doing so is simple: "I do it because I love them."
Sharon Ross, administrative assistant in the UNH Cooperative Extension's Dean and Director's office, was hit by a car while in a crosswalk walking her dog in Newmarket Jan. 14. She remains unconscious and in critical condition in Portsmouth Hospital.
Many people have expressed a desire to help in some way. An account has been established at Ocean National Bank in Durham for those interested in contributing. The fund will help the family pay Sharon's household bills and other unexpected expenses resulting from this tragedy.
Checks should be payable to "For The Benefit of Sharon Ross." Mail to Ocean National Bank, Durham Office, 8 Newmarket Road, Durham, NH 03824. Anyone on campus can pick up a pre-addressed envelope and deposit slip printed with the account number from Sharon Blake in Taylor Hall. For more information, contact Charlene Baxter, 862-2485.
By Denise Hart
Bob Grappone, CEO and chairman of Grappone Companies of Concord, is the featured speaker for the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore School of Business and Economics' CEO Forum Thursday, Feb. 13, 2003. The Grappone Companies, an automotive group selling and servicing Ford, Toyota, Honda, Mazda, VW and Hyundai cars and trucks, is one of the largest privately held company in New Hampshire.
Grappone will discuss "The Formula for Success -- Putting Together a Great Team that Provides Superior Service." His presentation will discuss the history of Grappone Companies, founded by his grandfather in 1924, and focus on how sales and service have changed over the years. Grappone credits much of the company's success with building excellent customer service.
Grappone joined the family business after completing his Bachelor of Science degree in business at East Carolina University. Two of his children are employed by the company, which makes it a fourth generation family-owned and operated business. Grappone has served on the board of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce and Concord Kiwanis Club and many other professional organizations over the years. He and his family support numerous local, not-for-profit organizations. Notable examples include the Grappone Stadium at St. Anselm College and The Grappone Conference Center in Concord.
The UNH forum opens with a breakfast buffet at 8:30 a.m. at the New England Conference Center on the Durham campus, with the program following from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Annual membership in the CEO Forum is $695, which includes breakfast for two at five seminars. For more information, contact Barbara Draper at (603) 862-1107 or Barbara.Draper@unh.edu.
By Lori Gula
Deb Soule, founder of Avena Botanicals and the Avena Institute located in Rockland, Maine, will give two workshops on herbal medicine and women's health at the University of New Hampshire Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2003.
Soule will present "A Guide to Herbal Remedies" at the Women's Commission Networking Breakfast from 8:30 to 10 a.m. in the Oak Room. This presentation will give an overview of medicinal herbs with an emphasis on how to choose and use herbs for good health. Soule will sign copies of her books following the breakfast. Reservations are required. For more information please call 862-1058.
A workshop titled "Women's Health and Herbal Medicine" will focus on how herbs can be used to treat a variety of women's health concerns. The workshop will be held in Spaulding Hall Room G26 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
A gardener and wildcrafter, Soule founded the Avena Institute in 1996 as an herbal and healing arts teaching center. The Avena Institute offers programs primarily for women that promote health approaches emphasizing medicinal herbs, organic and biodynamic gardening, and a deeper understanding of the natural world.
The institute evolved from her vision of practicing and teaching herbal arts, which included the creation of the herbal apothecary, Avena Botanicals, in 1985, and the Avena Botanicals Public Medicinal Herb Gardens in 1997. She is the author of The Roots of Healing: A Woman's Book of Herbs and Women and Herbs: Exploring Our Roots.
Both events are programs of the Public Health and Sustainability: Vital Signs of New Hampshire series sponsored by the UNH Office of Sustainability Programs, Health Services, the President's Commission on the Status of Women and the School of Health and Human Services. For more information about the series visit: http://www.sustainableunh.unh.edu/climate_ed/index.html or call the Office of Sustainability Programs at 862-4088.
Snuggle up with your sweetheart this Valentine's Day while enjoying the serene winter beauty of the coast. New Hampshire Sea Grant and the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension are sponsoring a Valentine's Day Sweetheart Cruise Friday, Feb. 14, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Proceeds from the event will help support the SeaTrek and Great Bay Coast Watch programs.
Participants will board the university's research vessel, the Gulf Challenger, at the Burges Dock near the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. on Market Street Extension in Portsmouth. They will be treated to a view of the New Hampshire coastal landscape in winter, with commentary on natural and historic sites as the boat travels along the shore. Lunch and hot drinks will be provided and participants are advised to dress warmly.
Cost for the excursion is $30 per person, and reservations must be made by Feb. 12. Participants must be at least 10 years of age and parents must accompany all children.
For reservations call Barbara Pinto-Maurer or Sharon Meeker at the NH Sea Grant Extension office (603) 749-1565.