Head in the clouds

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Jul 172006
 
Authors: Mike Donovan

Usually when people’s heads “are in the clouds,” they’re merely daydreaming, but the National Science Foundation (NSF) is financing $19 million for scientists to get their heads up there and focus.

The NSF awarded the money on Monday to CSU to build a Science and Technology Center that will help meteorologists predict the weather using clouds. The 20,000 square foot center will be located at CSU’s Foothills Campus.

The main project at the center will be a climate model that will collect and read cloud samples. These samples will then be compared to a corresponding global atmospheric model. This will revolutionize the way clouds are used to predict the weather and will be used by scientists from all over the world, according to Hank Gardner, the interim vice president for research at CSU.

The NSF Science and Technology Center for Multi-Scale modeling of Atmospheric Processes will be the first NSF center in the state of Colorado, said David Randall, professor of atmospheric science. The center’s stated goal is to more accurately depict cloud processes and to improve weather forecasting.

Randall, who will be the director of the center, believes the center will have a major impact on meteorology.

“I think that we will make much faster process to get to the bottom of the problem of what clouds do and how they work,” Randall said.

The NSF will be giving $19 million over the first five years of the project with the option of a five-year renewal. The money will be used mainly to pay the approximately 30 faculty members, research students, and staffers who will work at the center.

The center will be the continuation of a six-year project that will help predict the weather in both the short and long term. Randall believes that the agreement with the NSF legitimizes the work that has already started.

“A lot of people did a lot of work over a period of six years to achieve this,” Randall said. “It is very gratifying that our hard work has paid off like this.”

CSU President Larry Penley believes that having a Science and Technology Center at CSU will enable the university to continue its high standard of research in various fields.

“What this program does is it enables us to continue what is already great world-class research,” Penley said. “CSU is one of America’s great research universities.”

While CSU will be home to the center, scientists from around the nation will work for the center. John Helly of the University of California-San Diego and Chin-Hoh Moeng of the National Center of Atmospheric Research will join CSU professors as principal investigators on the project.

“This center is truly a international consortium of scientists working on global problem,” Gardner said.

The center will be just the fourth NSF center on atmospheric science ever and will join the University of Arizona’s center on sustainability of semi-arid hydrology and riparian areas as the only active atmospheric science centers.

The NSF is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science and to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare.

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‘Dew Tour’ to hit denver

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Jul 112006
 
Authors: Mike Donovan

The winter X-games won’t reappear in Colorado for six months, but another extreme sports competition will be in Colorado this weekend. The Dew Action Sports Tour will be in Denver Thursday through Sunday as part of its five-city tour.

What: The tour consists of skateboarding, BMX biking and FMX motorcycling.

Who: The best extreme sports athletes in the world including TJ Lavin, Dave Mirra, and Ryan Nyquist.

Where: Inside and outside the Pepsi Center in Denver

Price: It costs $15 for a one-day pass and $40 for a four-day pass. All tickets are general admission. Tickets can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com or on the grounds.

When: Thursday – Skateboarding and BMX Practice and Prelims, Gates open at 3 p.m.

Friday – Skateboarding and BMX Prelims and Finals, Gates open at 3 p.m., Finals start at 6 p.m.

Saturday – Skateboarding, FMX and BMX Prelims and Finals, Gates open at 11 a.m., Finals start at 12:15 p.m.

Sunday – FMX and BMX Prelims and Finals, Gates open at 10 a.m. and Finals start at 11 a.m.

Watch: If you are unable to attend, you will still be able to watch the events on television. The events will be aired on NBC channel 9 from Noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

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Hughes gets new field

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Jul 112006
 
Authors: Mike Donovan

CSU is becoming the sixth school in the Mountain West Conference to install FieldTurf in its football stadiums – joining the Air Force Academy, Brigham Young, San Diego State, Texas Christian, and Utah.

FieldTurf is an artificial turf that looks and feels like grass as opposed to the carpet of the former artificial turf of choice, AstroTurf.

Private donations are paying for the FieldTurf, with the largest donation coming from the Bohemian Foundation. The foundation donated $1.2 million for the new playing surface as well as the additions of concession stands and bathrooms. The donation, which came in April, comes on the heels of a $15.2 million donation from the foundation in 2004 for numerous stadium upgrades.

The installation started in late June and will be ready for CSU’s home opener on September 2 against Weber State.

New Locker Room

The new turf is not the only upgrade that the football team is receiving. A new football locker room inside Moby Arena will be finished in time for fall practice.

The new locker room is being paid for with money donated by former Ram and current Pittsburgh Steeler Joey Porter. Porter, who donated $200,000 for the project, believed the Rams were in need of an upgrade.

“I didn’t realize how much of this type of stuff plays into recruiting and I hope this helps,” Porter said at the time of the donation. “A lot of schools have good facilities and now Colorado State is pushing toward that.”

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Extreme Makeover: CSU Edition

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Jul 112006
 
Authors: Kate Dzintars The Rocky Mountain Collegin

Instead of promoters, vendors and evangelists, chunks of concrete and bulldozers now litter the Plaza. Construction to renovate the Plaza started on Monday, July 10. Officials expect the work to be finished by Halloween.

Although the Plaza will be torn up, the covered walkway right next to the building will leave access to the main doors of the Lory Student Center. The renovation will push vendors and other groups that typically overtake the Plaza once school starts south toward the library and Clark Building.

“The goal is to create a more pedestrian friendly space, which equals a better social space,” said Fred Haberecht, a landscape architect for CSU. “And to remove the cracked, 40-year-old pavement.”

To make the Plaza more “pedestrian friendly,” workers will add more grass and benches to the high-traffic area. American elms will replace the buckeye trees that currently line the eastern edge.

Adding the American elms will not only eventually add shade to the Plaza, but also throwback to old school CSU. Until the ’60s, the Oval and its towering elms were the heart of campus. But the Plaza eventually replaced it with the addition of the Clark Building, the Morgan Library and the current student center.

A water feature in the “Student Square,” between the Clark Building and future Computer Science Building, will further define the Plaza as the core of campus, Haberecht said.

The Plaza overhaul is the first phase of a landscaping project meant to make campus architecture look more unified.

“This is part of a long range plan to make Colorado State’s architecture more cohesive,” said Keith Ickes, vice president of Administrative Services, according to a press release from CSU.

The next step is converting Isotope Drive and University Drive to pedestrian pathways. The culmination of the project will be the construction of a four-story, $13 million Computer Science building on what is now the west lawn of the Natural Resources building, according to the press release.

Although the new building is still in the early stages of design, construction is supposed to start in the spring, said Haberecht.

The Student Facility Fee and money from Referendum C will fund the projects.

Haberecht, along with four student employees for Facilities management, Nick Aceto, Ty Sturgeon, Caitlin Weller, Cory Hallam, started designing the landscaping on May 1.

The students said they had a fair amount of input in the project and enjoy seeing their schematics and graphics come to life.

“I’m happy to see stuff getting started,” said Sturgeon, a fifth year landscaping architechture major. “I do a lot of projects for school that are purely academic, so it’s fun to work with Fred on stuff that is really happening.”

The Plaza isn’t the only part of CSU getting a facelift. The Clark Building is getting a new coat of deep red and tan paint to break up its massive appearance and complement the adjacent Plant Science Building, according to the press release.

Renovation of Clark’s interior will displace some classes to the 200-seat lecture hall being created in Johnson Hall on the Oval, the press release said.

Kate Dzintars can be reached at editor@collegian.com.

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CSU professor dies hiking Horsetooth

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Jul 042006
 
Authors: Mike Donovan

Donald E. Johnson, who was a professor at CSU’s Department of Animal Science for 31 years, fell to his death Thursday, June 29, while hiking Horsetooth Mountain with his family.

Johnson, 67, was a professor of animal nutrition and director of the Metabolic Laboratory at CSU Foothills Campus. Even though he specialized in ruminant nutrition and animal energetics, Johnson had a wide knowledge of numerous animal science fields and departments.

Johnson was a longtime staple and friendly face to his fellow professors on the second floor of the Animal Sciences Building. Assistant Professor of Animal Science Terry Engle says the halls will seem empty without Johnson.

“It’s a shocker, he was top-notch in every way,” Engle said. “It’s a big loss to the whole science department at CSU and even society as a whole.”

Engle had trouble trying to describe what Johnson has meant to the animal sciences community.

“What the hell do you say about a guy who spent his career helping people and trying to make the world better?” Engle said.

Assistant Professor of Animal Science Mark Enns will most remember how Johnson was always willing to help anyone, whether it was a fellow professor or a graduate student.

“I’ll remember him being a very personable researcher who was very knowledgeable about many things,” Enns said.

Johnson was a very dedicated professor who helped many students throughout his four decades at CSU, said Bill Wailes, head of the Department of Animal Science.

“He had a great career; he was here for over 30 years,” Wailes said four days after Johnson’s death. “He had a deep commitment and love for his family.”

Over the last few years, Johnson made a concerted effort to address environmental and global problems that affected the animal science community.

“He was dealing with environment issues that a lot of people were concerned with,” Wailes said. “He was a dedicated person who cared a lot about the world he lived in and the people he knew.”

Some of Johnson’s most well-known work stems from his research into the gaseous emissions from livestock systems. Some of this research has inspired numerous jokes and was even commented on by noted humor columnist Dave Barry. Johnson was well aware of the humor that some people found in this research, Enns said.

“He was very good-natured about his subject,” Enns said. “His wife would even joke about his choice of research to him.”

While most of Johnson’s recent work was focused on greenhouse gas emissions from livestock or agriculture systems, he worked on numerous research projects throughout his life. Over the course of his career, Johnson saw his graduate and postgraduate students go on to write more than 300 published research papers.

“There is not enough paper to write about all the stuff that he has done,” Engle said.

Johnson contributed to research conducted by the National Research Council’s Committee on Animal Nutrition and has participated in workshops held by NATO and the EPA.

Johnson was born in Sykston, N.D., and received his undergraduate and master’s degrees at North Dakota State University. He received his Ph.D. in animal nutrition from CSU.

Public visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. today at Allnutt Drake Chapel, 650 W. Drake Road. His memorial service will be at 10 a.m. on Thursday at Trinity Lutheran Church, 301 E. Stuart St.

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