BY HANNAH HYAT
CAMPUS – The Henson School of Science has been working hard to benefit multiple communities and their efforts are paying off.
The National Science Foundation has rewarded Salisbury University three grants, which amount to almost $600,000. The three grants aid in career development, scientific research and updating necessary equipment.
SU received $150,291 as its portion of the million-dollar five-year project which works alongside the PROMISE Academy to help recruit scientists.
Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Karen Olmstead expressed her excitement for the collaboration.
“Through this award, we will be able to support young faculty in their development as teachers and mentors,” said Olmstead. “To transform the hiring practices, job satisfaction and career success of historically underrepresented faculty in the sciences.”
The partnership will sponsor the participants’ training and resources. The program hopes to increase the number of underrepresented students who are receiving doctoral degrees and becoming professors.
The National Science Foundation also plans to fund critical research equipment, located in the University’s chemistry department.
Drs. Seth Friese and Jose Juncose were awarded a $265,196 grant to upgrade the University’s 400 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer and add an accompanying sample changer.
The Interim Dean of the Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology, Dr. Michael Scott, discussed the opportunities the new equipment will bring to the University.
“Our old spectrometer had been held together by good luck and the ingenuity of our technician and faculty for several years,” Scott said. “Updating it allows us to continue providing top-notch undergraduate chemistry education and cutting-edge research opportunities.”
Salisbury University’s biology department and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s School of Pharmacy will also have access to the equipment. To help boost the quality and quantity of their research data.
“The machine makes our research possible and expands access to benefit others in the region,” said Juncosa.
Salisbury University economics professor Dr. Jill Caviglia-Harris has also been given the opportunity to benefit the community.
Caviglia-Harris was awarded $178,000 by the NHS to oversee a subproject research for a study known as “The Sociohydrological System of a Tropical Forest Frontier: Land-Climate-Water Feedbacks and Farmer Adaptation.”
The fund will aid in covering project and workshop expenses. Geography department chair Dr. Daniel Harris will be working a long with Caviglia-Harris to manage field work at sites located in the rainforest of Rondônia.
In the Brazilian rainforest, farmers have been impacted by extreme weather conditions including floods and droughts.
To adapt, agricultural communities have begun taking action, which may have direct implications for deforestation. As a result, the water supply could be impacted even further.
The goal of the project is to define how the agricultural community has adapted to changes in accessibility, water use and also how the adaptations impact the environment.
Harris has been directing research in the Brazilian Amazon for over 10 years.
Cavigilia-Harris presented on the topic at the,World Congress of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics in Sweden and the Northeastern Agricultural Resource Economics Association’s annual meeting in Rhode Island.
The research will begin this fall and continue until the summer of 2023.
Photo featured by Salisbury University’s Office of Public Relations.