Sep 272010
Authors: Collegian Staff Report

CSU launches new master’s of natural sciences education

After the National Science Board issued a report earlier this month saying that the nation lacks science education, CSU’s College of Natural Sciences announced its creation of a new online Master of Science degree program.

For Colorado’s middle and high school teachers, the Colorado State master’s of Natural Sciences Education is designed to give educators the skills to teach innovation in science.

On Sept. 15, the National Science Board published a report that says the United States has too few innovators in STEM –– science, technology, engineering and mathematics –– education. This, the report said, translates into fewer opportunities for significant breakthroughs or advances in scientific understanding, according to a CSU press release.

“Our state is experiencing a shortage of highly qualified teachers in these subjects,” Donna Cooner, associate professor in the School of Education, said in the release. “It will take collaborative efforts between departments and universities with local education agencies to meet this demand.”

The new master’s program includes science and education courses –– models of teaching, communications and classrooms, education policy analysis, physics, chemistry and more –– and research and independent study opportunities.

Applications are being accepted for the spring semester, according to the release. Participants must be working science teachers with a Bachelor of Science discipline and be qualified Colorado licensed teachers.

For more information, go to or e-mail

CSU study: Algae-to-biofuel process environmentally friendly

A CSU study published in this week’s Journal of Environmental Science and Technology said that the transformation of algae into a biofuel is more environmentally friendly that the process for petroleum or soy biodiesel.

Research by professors Thomas Bradley and Bryan Wilson relied on data gathered from CSU’s Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory and spinoff Solix Biofuels, according to a CSU media release. With the university’s support, Solix can produce and sell, on a large scale, microalgae-based biofuels and similar products.

The company expanded into a multi-acre test facility on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation in Durango, the release said.

“There has been some research indicating that algae might be more energy intensive, but this study is the first to directly compare the complete manufacturing process of algae, petroleum biodiesel and soybean biodiesel,” Bradley said in the release.

“We made an apples-to-apples comparison and the results show that algae is net beneficial –– it reduces greenhouse gas emissions more than soy biodiesel and is more scalable and it has lower energy consumption than soy biodiesel.”

Doctoral students Liaw Batan and Jason Quinn contributed to the study.

Man dies as a result of stabbing

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a stabbing in west Fort Collins, resulting in death.

At approximately 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 12, deputies responded to the 8000 block of North Taft Hill Road. When they arrived, they found Donnie E. Finley suffering from stab wounds to the head and neck.

Finley was then transported to Medical Center of the Rockies in critical condition. He died from his injuries the next day, according to an LCSO press release Monday.

LCSO is investigating Finley’s stabbing and any contributing factors in the weeks prior to the assault, the release said. The agency is talking with Finley’s family and friends and examining evidence connected to the case.

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