Fort Collins prairie dogs may be gassed to make way for apartment complex

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Feb 292012
 
Authors: Jason Pohl

Animal rights groups and concerned residents are lashing out against the potential gassing and extermination of prairie dogs to make way for a new student housing development in one north Fort Collins community.

Aspen Heights –– a national chain providing student housing and family residences –– is behind the 200-unit-project that will house nearly 700 students. But part of the nearly 30-acre site is home to a colony of hundreds of prairie dogs, raising questions –– and tempers –– with nearby residents since it was first discussed at a community forum in December.

“They were here first, and we shouldn’t just go through and take out a species and totally destroy the ecosystem in the name of development,” said Lori Nitzel, a 37-year-old Fort Collins resident whose home overlooks the intricate prairie dog colony that could be wiped by the development.

The proposed site is north of New Belgium Brewing Company and east of Lee Martinez Park and College Avenue. It has been approved by the city, with no new zoning amendments needing to be made.

“They (Aspen Heights) can do something here, and they should,” Nitzel added.

The ideal answer for everyone involved is a relocation, but with that comes numerous hurdles including finding a suitable location and paying for the transport.

Additionally, city and county governments would have to approve any new additions of prairie pups to their public lands in cooperation with Senate Bill 99-111.

Plus, landowners in potential relocation areas would need to agree to the change.

“Aspen Heights is actively looking for land to relocate the prairie dogs from the existing property,” Charlie Vatterott, vice president of development for Aspen Heights, said in an email to the Collegian. “Thus far, our efforts have been unsuccessful.”

Vatterott added that Aspen Heights officials are working to strike a balance with the community members and the other interested parties. They have even hired a wildlife biologist to help with the the complex problem.

Regardless, they acknowledged there are no easy answers.

“Feedback from the Fort Collins community has been extremely helpful,” Vatterott said. “We welcome additional feedback.”

The issue has now drawn attention from Rams Organizing for Animal Rights (ROAR), one animal advocacy group at CSU.

The group is led by Angie Rodgers, a senior art education major at CSU. As president of the club, Rodgers is organizing letter-writing campaigns and social media advocacy on the Aspen Heights Facebook page.

She said the developers have been very cooperative during this difficult issue, but she hopes that, with enough student input, the right decision can be made –– even if it might not be the cheapest option.

“We feel like we need to be the voice for this cause,” Rodgers said. “It’s a local issue that pertains to our community and to CSU.”

She stressed the project is especially geared toward students. For that reason, the student voice needs to be active, especially in shaping the future of this community and all things living in it.

“I think in an ideal world, you would leave them where they are,” she said. “But I think, realistically, it’s about humanely moving them to a new place. It’s hard, but it’s far better than killing off a whole community of animals.”

Moving forward, Aspen Heights plans to break ground this fall and open for students in 2013, according to Vatterott. The future of the prairie dogs remains uncertain, but everyone involved is at least hoping for the best, even while preparing for the worst.

“There’s a win-win option here for everybody,” Nitzel said, stressing that the ultimate answer might take some sacrifice from everyone involved.“There’s definitely some options. Let’s start thinking outside of the box.”

Senior Reporter Jason Pohl can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 3:34 pm

Colorado State set to release smartphone app in March

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Feb 292012
 
Authors: Jordan Kurtz

We live in a technology-saturated society flooded with the never-ending use of computers, tablets and mobile devices. And while there are smart phone applications out there for just about everything, some CSU students may be asking why a university app doesn’t exist.

Well, the answer is: it’s coming.

“We are planning a soft release around the end of March,” Dean of Libraries Patrick Burns said of the CSU mobile app that will be available for smartphones across the board, including iPhones, Androids and BlackBerrys.

The app will have a variety of uses, including access to RamCT and RamWeb as well as the university directory, news, building locator, course catalog, news, events and social media such as YouTube and Facebook.

So why the wait after taking it into consideration that our smaller sister school, CSU-Pueblo, has had a mobile app for more than two years?

“We’ve been looking at this for a couple of years, and a couple of years ago, there weren’t all that many students that had web capable browsing phones,” Burns said. “The modus operandi back then was still primarily text messaging.”

Burns added that research indicated very limited use in CSU-Pueblo’s first year of implementing the app.

But CSU-Pueblo’s web communications manager, Jeff Miller, said that their app is now a growing success.

“We know we are somewhere in the 2,000 downloads range,” Miller said. “Our current population is somewhere around 6,000, so that’s how we know we obviously need to step it up a little bit.”

Competition within the market has also been a factor. Mobile service providers like Blackboard Inc. had such a high asking price – originally $50,000 – that CSU decided to hold out and wait for a more feasible option.

CSU-Pueblo’s service provider was initially Blackboard Inc., but due to an increased asking price Miller deemed as “astronomical,” they have since chosen other options.

“The competition wasn’t there to get good prices and good service from some of the providers,” Burns said. “What’s happened is three things since then. Number one is the students have gotten smartphones now, so they browse the web and download apps. The second thing is that there is some competition now, so the prices are much lower. I think the third thing is the services have developed over that time and are much better.”

The popularity of apps and market competition have been extreme variables in this equation. Miller compared the generation of apps to the infancy of web sites.

“Initially web sites cost a lot of money, and they were real difficult to make,” Miller said. “Now, we can build web sites in a day or two. Apps are kind of the same way. Now that apps are becoming more popular, companies are charging a lot less to create them.”

The app will be free for users, according to Burns , who said that it has been paid for. The service costs $15,000 a year and the implementation fee is $5,000 bringing the grand total to $20,000 per year. That funding is split between CSU and the University Technology fee.

As far as release dates go, everything is still tentative. There is the aforementioned soft release planned for the end of March, and different phases will be implemented throughout the following months.

“Our objective is to launch it, and then meet with students to prioritize next steps,” Burns said. “That will determine a timeline as the project, priorities and scope of effort are determined.”

As for students, many say they would use a CSU smartphone app.

“If it was useful, yes,” said senior hospitality management major Sam Sapen.

Sapen added that some of the features she viewed as essential for the app are RamCT, email, weather and other current university information.

Chris Herron, a senior music major agreed, saying that he thinks the app would be beneficial to students.

Both universities have made conscious efforts to make sure the content of the app includes what students want. Miller said that CSU-Pueblo offers courses in app creation, and under his supervision, students can create apps that are available in the university’s super app.

For example, with the use of GPS locators, students are creating an app that will display information about the art and artifacts found on campus, and the app will basically serve as a tour guide.

Burns said, for the CSU app, most students want to be able to access features such as RamCT, which will be outsourced in May, and RamWeb. The RamWeb application comes at an additional cost for the university and it is projected to be released after the initial phase.

A mock template of the CSU app can be found at colostate.boopsie.com/m.

Collegian writer Jordan Kurtz can be reached at news@collegian.com.

CSU Smartphone App Contents
-University Directory
-Library
-Building Locator
-Course Catalog
-Events
-News
-Social Media

 Posted by at 3:33 pm

Raising awareness for eating disorders

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Feb 292012
 
Authors: Taylor Pettaway

According to the Eating Recovery Center of Denver, more than 11 million Americans struggle with eating disorders, including as many as 10 percent of college females and 10 to 15 percent of college-aged males.

And to raise awareness for this problem, the CSU Health Network has partnered with Beyond the Mirror Counseling and Wellness and the Eating Recovery Center of Denver this week to put on National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, a week where health professionals have the chance to educate students about eating disorders on college campuses.

“There is a committee of concerned professionals including medical providers, counselors and nutritionists who are all a part of the CSU Health Network who meet on a regular basis to take a more in-depth look at this issue on our campus and serve to help coordinate outreach and prevention efforts for the entire CSU Health Network,” said Janelle Patrias, the coordinator for Mental Health Initiatives at the CSU Health Network, in an email to the Collegian.

To raise awareness, local Beyond the Mirror counselors were on campus Wednesday talking to students about disorders, signs and symptoms, treatment information and engaging students in positive body affirming activities.

“It is an important week to support,” said Jennifer Amaral-Kunze, the program director of Beyond the Mirror. “Our theme this year is ‘Everyone Knows Someone,’ because it is true; everyone does know someone struggling with this. This way students can recognize the signs and support others.”
According to Kerry Duncan, the Beyond the Mirror’s registered dietitian, college students are one of the groups most susceptible to developing disorders.

“Largely this population develops an eating disorder because of how big the transition to college is. It creates an increased risk [for college students],” said Duncan. “However, this is also a good environment for students with eating disorders because it is where friends can help friends recover.”

Though the National Eating Disorder Awareness week is almost over, resources are available year-round for anyone who is or knows someone who is struggling with a disorder. Beyond the Mirror offers community events including workshops, movie nights and support groups.

On campus, resources can be found at the CSU Health Network, which is located in Hartshorn Health Center.

“Students should know that the CSU Health Network has individual and group counseling services available for students struggling with eating disorders and body image,” said Patrias. “Also, nutrition counseling is also a great resource for students available through the CSU Health Network Medical Services.”

Collegian _writer Taylor Pettaway can be reached at news@collegian.com. _

 Posted by at 3:31 pm

Our View: More fees for Adult Learners and Veteran Services

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Feb 292012
 
Authors: The Rocky Mountain Collegian Editorial Board

Your Student Fee Review Board thinks you’re made of money.

Last week, SFRB approved a $1.54 fee increase for Off-Campus Life. This week SFRB is seeking student input on a proposed $5.89 fee for the Adult Learners and Veteran Services for the 2013 fiscal year.

Your $1.54 will go to Off-Campus Life to fund the vastly underused party registration program, to split one person’s job into two positions and to help with the mandatory 3 percent salary increase.

The $5.89 proposed fee for ALVS will go toward funding new staff members including 15 student hourly positions and two graduate assistants.

What’s difficult to understand is why the entire student body needs to fork out such a hefty fee for the small percentage of adult learners and veterans on campus? More so, the office is usually sustained by grant money, which ran out, but the office has not yet applied for additional grants.

So who gets to pick up that cost? We do.

So far only a handful of student organizations have submitted budgets to SFRB and already we could be paying $7.43 extra in student fees.

It’s time to put a stop to these needless increases to our student fees. In times of such sickening rises to tuition, it is utterly shameful that SFRB would throw our money at every organization that gives them a sob story.

You have a voice CSU, and SFRB does base its decisions off of student input. So please talk to your student government and tell them to be thrifty in times like these, not wasteful.

 Posted by at 3:30 pm

How to find the perfect college roommate

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Feb 292012
 
Authors: Lydia Jorden

I learned a lot at CSU, but if there’s anything that was cemented in my mind as most important it’s this: Be comfortable with the people you’re living with. These people will directly dictate your study, sleeping and partying habits with their mouse-like or overbearing behavior.

Sure, this sounds like an easy task, and I know you’re thinking that you’re the easiest person to live with. But finding the perfect roomies isn’t as simple as it sounds. When you put a carefree hippie with a security conscious, lock-down savvy individual, you have a lot moving against you.

Finding the right person to live with takes time, so start early and as I’ve learned (twice), have a backup plan when that seemingly seamless roomie bails on you. For it’s that time of the year filled with people falling through on commitments while you are left to quickly scramble to find a suitable roommate and apartment.

But what do you do when you’ve been planning to live with a certain person and things go down the chute? You start searching in malls, online dating sites and you might even hit roommate round-up that occurs on March 28 and April 3 from 5 to 6 p.m. in Room 208 of the Lory Student Center.

However, I will admit that my old roommate and I went about this daunting task a different way to find our perfect roommate.

Our roommate roundup trip went fine. We introduced ourselves as complete nerds who want nothing to do with partying, everything to do with studying and maybe a few beers in-between quiet hours. Strangely enough, people were interested. Who knew that others like us existed? We kept a few names in mind but no one stuck out to us as the perfect roommate.

This type of situation is very likely to occur. I find it easy to allocate who I want to live with based on a simple strategy of separating my new acquaintances into a three-tier hierarchy: 1. Just about as tolerable as shaving your dad’s back, 2. That feeling you get when you realize your best friend hates Celine Dion, and 3. The tingly sensation that arises from thoughts of kissing Matthew McConaughey (which clearly indicates a favorable “move-in-with-me –now-goddamnit” decision).
Most people I meet fall into tier 1, which means I avoid them at all costs. Finding a person at tier 2 and 3 caliber takes skill, but mostly luck.

My current roommate, Ali, and I found our perfect gal as we drove into Starbucks a hot Sunday morning two summers ago. We blasted “My Heart Will Go On” and sang along in an effort to distinguish the haters from the lovers, and thus move closer to narrowing our decision to find our third roommate. The individual we planned to meet there was sitting outside, wearing a flattering red shirt.

It’s not a good idea to judge others on their style. But we found if we did this, we had a higher chance of being able to essentially own two closets. Score!

Good conversation is a must when understanding your new roommate. I hear the phrase, “I’m not renting a friend, I’m renting a room” pretty frequently, but if you just so happen to get both (without paying the fees of a dating site), then I suggest you put this on your list of things to be thankful for.

But finding common ground when each person in the scenario has their judge eyes on is quite difficult. However, get on the same page by talking about your affinity for sexy professors. Describe how when you look into so and so’s eyes, you feel like you want to throw your pre-med degree out the window for just a chance to take another liberal arts course with Professor Dreamy.

After all, if you can’t be yourself around your future roommate without judgments passed, then they are no longer a contender in your pool of candidates.

When the person you plan to live with doesn’t appreciate your love for Dr. Dreamy, you have to start considering how to make finding a solo apartment work. Studio apartments provide the perfect quaint space. These studio-type apartments are relatively inexpensive and provide enough space to wine and dine, sleep but most-likely, party alone.

If that doesn’t work, there’s always Clark A…oh wait, you probably want heat in your apartment. In that case, take your life to the Alley Cat where you will be provided with a comforting area, delicious beverages and entertainment to the fullest extent.

Regardless of what happens in your location and roommate searching extravaganza for the summer, just remember that when things seem to go wrong, they usually turn out for the better. So get out to the malls, establish your presence on a dating site, enroll with that sexy professor and get on the road to a decent place with great people.

Lydia Jorden is a junior business major. Her column runs Thursdays in the Collegian. She can be reached at letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 3:25 pm

Briefs 3/1/12

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Feb 292012
 
Authors:

Bingo returns to the Ramskeller

Ramskeller bingo is back, and this time, one lucky winner will finally have the opportunity to learn once and for all whether or not Caesar’s Palace Hotel is the “real” Caesar’s Palace, and the location of its pay-phone bank.

ASAP will resume hosting ‘Skeller bingo the first Thursday of every month, and this semester, a lucky grand-prize winner will receive round-trip tickets to Las Vegas, courtesy of Allegiant Airlines.

Bingo will last from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Ramskeller, and it is free and open to all ages.

‘Structure and Flow’ closing at Curfman Gallery

‘Structure and Flow,’ an exhibit by artist Sara Schneckloth, will be ending its run at the Curfman Gallery in the main level of the Lory Student Center today.

The exhibit, according to an entry on the events calendar, “draws on the visual culture of science,” where Schneckloth attempts to create “images that speak to the physical and emotional processes of remembering.”

“I think of drawing as an expanded practice, in which it is possible to articulate ideas and sensations in a range of media. Drawing for me is about experimentation, discovery and making surprising connections between ideas and materials,” she said in a news release.

The Curfman Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.

FBI workshop to be held at Hilton

Experts from the FBI are set to speak on biosecurity risks Friday at the Fort Collins Hilton, at 425 W. Prospect St. from 12:30 to 5 p.m.

The workshop, which is sponsored by the Research Integrity and Compliance Review Office and Environmental Health Services, will first include a formal presentation and then have a table top exercise.

The experts, according to a Today@ColoradoState report, will share information and provide training for researchers, faculty, administrators, staff and students – touching on topics like potential security risks and the importance of reporting suspicious activities early.

While registration is free, those interested should register online due to limited seating. For more information, visit today.colostate.edu.

Discussing the “Silver Tsunami”

Fort Collins is a great place to grow up and grow old. And, with the “Silver Tsunami,” or wave of baby boomers turning 65 each day, more and more retirement communities like Fort Collins are constantly growing and changing.

CSU students are set to lead a discussion co-hosted by the university’s Center for Public Deliberation called “Growing Older in Fort Collins – The Silver Tsunami as a Golden Opportunity,” from 4:30 to 7 p.m. today at the Fort Collins Senior Center.
The discussion, which is open to the public, will serve as an opportunity for Fort Collins retirees to voice their opinions about the state of the city in the eyes of its older residents.

To RSVP for the event, visit the discussion’s listing at today.colostate.edu.

 Posted by at 3:23 pm

Dealing with the death of a loved one through laughter

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Feb 292012
 
Authors: Jesse Benn

I have a funny story about my grandmother’s funeral.

I bet not too many people get to say that, but more should, because if I know one thing about death, it’s that the dead won’t mind anyone having a laugh.

More than 2.4 million people die every year in the United States –– the vast majority of them leaving some friends and family behind. These people, the survivors, are faced with the task of dealing with the loss of their dearly departed.

What comes next varies from person-to-person and family-to-family, but the original basic five stages of mourning are supposed to be common: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Of course, much of how you’ll react to a loved one’s passing has to do with who passed and how. I’ve been fortunate, in that the death I’ve had to deal with has mainly come in its natural order –– at least from outside my immediate group of friends.

Because of this, and because of my family’s good-humored nature, I’ve managed to take a slightly different perspective on handling death.

When my grandmother, Nan, passed away in January 2009, my partner and I were on our first international climbing trip in Mexico. My mom called early in the morning on the 12th, and I knew before she could finish her sentence.

We changed our flights, and got home as soon as we feasibly could. On our way back, though, I had plenty of time to consider my grief and my role in supporting those around me to get through theirs. I set forward one goal: to be the rock, to pretend that it was okay. Basically, I wanted to skip straight to acceptance.

My reasoning was simple; if I died tomorrow, all I would want for my loved ones is for them not to mourn a single minute. Of course, that would be impossible –– I’m far too enjoyable to be around. But the less mourning after I die, the better.

So the second I got home, I set about trying to cheer up my family, which led to an on-going joke.

In the movie “Old School,” there’s a scene when Will Ferrell screams and slams a chair while telling everyone they need to keep their composure. “Old School” is hilarious, and if you haven’t seen it, you should stop reading this and go watch it, but this scene in particular always cracked me up.

Naturally, I took the opportunity of inserting this joke into conversations with a few select loved ones as we would reminisce about Nan and inevitably get choked up. It was perfect; we’d go from tears to laughter as someone, usually me, would tell everyone it would be okay: “We just need to keep our composure.”

Now this joke was mainly used amongst the grandkids, as joking immediately following a death in the family –– even in my family –– isn’t necessarily to everyone’s taste. You could even say that in the week preceding the funeral, this became an inside joke for a few of us.

So I probably should have warned them…

You see, my brother and I both gave eulogies at the service, and, unbeknownst to everyone in on our little inside joke, I included the joke in my eulogy.

As I started talking, I slipped in a quick, “hopefully I can keep my composure,” along with a little grin. At least one member of our inside joke troupe heard me, and they laughed, out loud.

I didn’t even think about it at the time, but without the context of our joke –– which 90 percent of the room lacked –– this probably didn’t seem appropriate.

I mean, out of context, what you have is a kid who says he hopes to keep his composure while he delivers his eulogy for his grandmother, and someone laughing at them –– that seems pretty mean.

Who knows if anyone even noticed, I kind of doubt anybody except the two of us did. But when I look back on the week after Nan died, I don’t think about how sad I was, or how sad the people around me were; I think about that joke, and how close I was to family during that time.

I can’t think of any better way to have sent Nan off.

Jesse Benn is a senior political science major who has Nan’s signature from the last birthday card she ever gave him tattooed on his wrist. He can be reached at letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 3:22 pm

Colorado State Air Force ROTC gets ready for 26.2 mile death march

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Feb 292012
 
Authors: Emily Smith

Not many people would be excited to participate in something called a “death march,” but senior international studies major Ethan Wilson is an exception.

As a special projects officer in CSU’s Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), Wilson is one of the nine cadets preparing for the 23rd annual Bataan Memorial Death March, a 26.2 mile march through the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on March 25.

According to AFROTC public affairs officer Katie MacGregor, the event is a way to honor the group of American soldiers who, during WWII, were forced to march for days through the Philippine jungles. Thousands died during the ordeal, and soldiers who survived were sent to Japanese prisoner-of-war camps.

“Before the event began, all of the participants gathered to pay respect to those who came before us and suffered through the Bataan Death March during WWII. After that, everyone was excited and ready to go,” Wilson said.

“I find a sense of satisfaction in participating as a team in something challenging so that those who deserve it are always remembered,” Wilson said, adding that after participating in the march as a sophomore, he’s excited to “experience the camaraderie again.”

Civilians, military personnel and ROTC cadets can participate in the march, either as teams or individuals. Participants are divided into heavy and lightweight categories and by age.

According to Ben Angwin, cadet first lieutenant and Bataan team commander, CSU’s AFROTC program is sending five cadets on a team and four individuals. Three will march in the heavyweight category and one will run the marathon.

According to march rules, all team members must cross the finish line within seconds of each other.

“The five I picked (for the team) are the fastest five that have the same pace,” Angwin said, adding that he will be on the team this year, making it his third in a row.

“I wanted to see the tradition kept up for our detachment,” Angwin said. “I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to go.”

According to Wilson, the terrain for the march is mostly flat but includes a long and vertical climb as well as a three-foot-deep sand pit filled with loose gravel.

Kaitlin Zito, a junior political science major and AFROTC cadet third class, took first place in her heavyweight individual division at last year’s march, where she carried a 53-pound rucksack.

The weight requirement for each rucksack was a minimum of 35 lbs.

“It was rewarding, to say the least,” Zito said, adding that she’ll be competing again – this time on a team.

The participants began training at the start of the fall semester by doing “rucks” (hikes with rucksacks of at least 35 lbs.) in the Horsetooth Reservoir area. The rucks began at about five miles and are now around 18 to 20 miles, according to freshman criminal justice major and first-time participant Spencer Huyck.

“I’m just looking forward to going down there with our group,” said Huyck, AFROTC cadet fourth class. “We’ve really become a close-knit team, kind of like a family.”

Collegian writer Emily Smith can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Upcoming Air Force ROTC Events:
-March 25: Bataan Memorial Death March
-April 6-7: Field Training Exercise for second-year cadets
-April 21: Games & sports competition vs. CU AFROTC in Boulder

 Posted by at 3:20 pm

Colorado State professor makes strides in flowering plant research

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Feb 292012
 
Authors: Bailey Constas

You say “potato,” but CSU biology professor Patricia Bedinger says “reproductive barriers in wild tomatoes.”

This is because Bedinger is researching the process of reproduction in wild tomatoes for the possibility of creating new types of tomatoes and potatoes that will be resistant to disease and wide varieties of environments.

And to further this research, Bedinger was awarded a $5.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation. She also received a $3.9 million grant five years ago.

Bedinger focuses on the reproductive and crossing processes between tomatoes and how they interact. Her research group has discovered during a cross, when pollen (the male tissue) is rejected by the pistils (the female tissue), it is the female’s decision whether to reject the pollen or not.

“I always like to hear that,” Bedinger said. “She can reject the species’ [pollen] if wrong. The pistil recognizes and says, ‘no stay away from my ovary,’ [then] mounts a response and makes it stop growing.”

The big question that sparked Bedinger’s interest in biology was to define a species, a topic of debate since Darwin.

“I was really interested in how species became reproductively isolated. We don’t know how that happens,” Bedinger said.

Bedinger looked at other species but found that wild tomatoes in particular can grow in extreme cold, dry and warm environments, and are exposed to bacteria and fungi –– making them resistant to many factors regular tomatoes succumb to.

However, wild tomatoes have reproductive barriers between species. A large focus of Bedinger’s research is to find ways to cross these wild tomatoes and then apply that science to potatoes.

“We love tomatoes, tomatoes make life good,” Bedinger said.“But we don’t depend on them.”

Bedinger explained that potatoes are a main source of calories in the world in Africa and other places. A family can grow a small lot of potatoes easier than growing corn or rice, which takes up larger plots of land and require more manual labor.

However, potatoes are easily susceptible to diseases and have a poor genetic base.

“We would like to surmount reproductive barriers between potatoes and wild tomatoes, beginning in the next five years,” Bedinger said.

Overcoming these barriers would lead to creating potatoes that are salt resistant (a concern given the increasing salt composition of soil), disease resistant, drought resistant and capable of withstanding extreme heat and cold.

Bedinger works with four other researchers from across the nation including Bruce McClure from the University of Missouri, Roger Chetelat at the University of California-Davis and a married couple from Indiana University, Leonie Moyle and Matt Hahn.

“I really like the people I work with. We’ve developed a trust and respect in the group,” Bedinger said. “It makes science fun, [we have] a lot of lofty goals, it’s really fun work.”

One of these researchers is Roger Chetelta, who received his Ph.D from UC-Davis and is the director of the Tomato Genetics Resource Center, a gene bank of stocks of tomatoes that supplies seeds of tomatoes for researchers and educators all over the world.

According to Chetelta, the research is focused on pollen factors that are important in reproductive barriers in tomatoes that prevent crosses between different species and on understanding the pollen factors and genes that are important on the male side and the female side.

“My point of view is it’s primarily a fundamental research project understanding how these reproductive barriers operate in nature. It has evolutionary implications but…also can be applied to real world… understanding at deeper level, overcome and access new changes can develop new varieties of tomatoes,” Chetelta said.

Chetelta said the highlight of working on this research, besides the scientific findings, was a three week trip in 2009 to Peru for fieldwork and to see the plants in their native environment.

“It’s been a really, really good group. Pat at CSU has been the leader of the group and she’s just done a great job of having regular group meetings and having everyone interact. Very bright and very nice people. I enjoyed interacting with other members of the group scientifically but also on a personal level,” Chetelta said.

Daniel Bush, the chair for the Department of Biology, believes the grant and level of research Bedinger and her colleagues are doing is creating a higher visibility of the department to the scientific community.

“This big grant for the work Pat is doing reflects well…on our department and is exciting for the department and colleagues to do well and drive research,” Bush said. “I think this kind of grant reflects well on how well the faculty in the department of biology is in their ability to attract outside funding for fundamental biological questions.”

Collegian writer Bailey Constas can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 3:19 pm

Colorado State bike station pops up in effort to “go green”

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Feb 292012
 
Authors: Austin Briggs

Senior applied communication technology major Wesley Hawes braved the cold weather Tuesday morning to partake in one of CSU’s newest campus additions – a do-it-yourself bike repair station in front of Green Hall on Meridian Avenue.

The $1,300 dark green station, manufactured by Dero Bike Rack Co., comes fully equipped with an air pump, screw drivers, various wrenches and a tire lever – allowing cyclists to hang their bike on a specially designed rack to make quick repairs while they’re on the go.

And for Hawes, one of the station’s best attribute is that it’s funded by campus bike registrations and bicycle tickets.

“With everyone that rides bikes on campus and in town, it’s imperative to have something like this,” Hawes said of the fix station.

The Colorado State University Police installed the station last week to promote bicycling on campus.

And, for those who need help with minor bicycle repairs, local bike mechanic and Brave New Wheel employee Kris Swanson will be available for assistance at the station from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays through May.

Brave New Wheel has also donated tire tubes and cables for people who want help installing them while Swanson is working at the station.

“My goal is just to get people to enjoy biking on campus and in town,” Swanson said as he repaired a rear wheel on a 10-speed that was hoisted on the repair rack. “Even if I only work on one bike a day, it’s worth it knowing I was able to help someone get around and use the town the way it was designed.”

According to Joy Childress, the Traffic and Bicycle Education and Enforcement Program coordinator, she hopes the station will be the first of many more on campus.

“I would love to see these all over campus in main areas such as a couple in the plaza, one in Academic Village, one in the Corbett Hall courtyard, one around the University Center of the Arts,” Childress said. “There is already talk of one going in at the (CSU Recreation) Center.”

Childress said she came up with the idea after learning about a similar project that Stanford University, which has a platinum award-winning bike program, was offering its students.

And, while sophomore electrical engineering major David Mauger said he thinks the station is in a “weird spot,” Childress said the location was chosen due to its high visibility for cyclists who walk by it when they register their bike or pay tickets.

Collegian writer Austin Briggs can be reached at news@collegian.com.

What: New bike fix station
Where: In front of Green Hall on Meridian Avenue (south side of the CSU Police Department at the entrance where students pay yearly bike registration fees).
Cost: Free and open to everyone.

Brave New Wheels employee Kris Swanson, will be at the station Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. to help with repairs. Here are a few of Swanson’s tips to help riders keep their bikes up and running.
-Use your five senses when riding. If something looks, feels, or sounds off it probably is. -Grinding noises or a squeaky chain are a few things to look out for. Don’t ride until the problem is fixed.
-Keep moving parts moving – make sure chain link is oiled and all parts are functioning.
-Check reflectors to make sure they’re working. To ride at night you need a rear deflector and light on the front of the bike.
-Check tire pressure every time you ride. Make sure tires are inflated properly.
-Check the brake pull. If you have to pull the brake handle too far, something is probably wrong.
-Keep the bike indoors if it won’t be used for an extended period of time. According to Swanson, a bike is just like a car – if you let it sit for a year or two it won’t work properly when you go to use it.
-Make sure to have a seasonal bike tune-up.

 Posted by at 3:16 pm