News and Events
Super STEM Saturday
A half-day of workshops intended to enrich science education in your classroom, sponsored by Central Coast Science Project.
Free to K-12 Teachers!
When: Saturday, December 7, 2013
Where: Cal Poly, Building 180 Room 330
Ocean Activities Day
Cal Poly students from the Communicating Ocean Sciences to Informal Audiences (COSIA) course will be presenting NEW hands-on ocean-themed projects to public audiences. The activities are family friendly and are designed for all ages. This event will take place rain or shine.
Cal Poly Partners with Local Teachers to Put Common Core into Practice
The Common Core standards are here, and Cal Poly's School of Education is working with local teachers to prepare. This summer, a team of professors held a free workshop attended by 103 local K-6 teachers and administrators representing all of San Luis Obispo County's school districts as well as two out-of-county districts.
Physics Alumnus Keeps World's Largest Telescope Running
Aside from being a proud member of the League of Physicists Who Own Tractors, Mike Pollard (B.S., Physics, 1998) is the senior engineer in the Technical Services Department at W. M. Keck Observatory, home to the two largest and most scientifically productive optical and infrared telescopes in the world. Set atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea volcano, Keck Observatory's 10-meter-diameter mirrors allow the world's top physicists to take advantage of the clear, dark atmosphere above the island. All areas of astronomy and astrophysics research have greatly benefited from the observatory.
Are Black Holes the Chicken or the Egg?
Which came first, the galaxy or the black hole? Cal Poly physics professor Vardha Bennert and her students will investigate that question with a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.
Virtually all the galaxies for which astrophysicists have collected and analyzed data have black holes at their centers. As the scientific community has studied these black holes, it has found a consistent relationship between the mass of a black hole and the mass of its host galaxy, which suggests that, as one forms and grows, it causes the other to form and grow. But which one started the whole thing?
CSI Cal Poly
SAN LUIS OBISPO (November) — A terrible crime took place in Cal Poly's Learn by Doing Lab this summer: someone stole the candy jars. Luckily, students from Pacheco Elementary School solved the mystery using skills they'd learned during the four-day Learn by Doing Science Summer Camp.
Biology Professor Develops Tree Identification App
SAN LUIS OBISPO (November) — If you've ever wondered, "What tree is that?" the answer is now, "There's an app for that." Matt Ritter, a biology professor, has developed an iPhone app called City Tree for identifying urban trees.
Trees that thrive in urban environments are somewhat uniform around the world. According to Ritter, the same 450 or so trees are used in cities across the globe. "If you're in Singapore or L.A. or San Francisco, you can identify the tress using this app," Ritter said.
Warren J. Baker Center for Science and Mathematics Dedicated Nov. 1
Photo by Brittany App
SAN LUIS OBISPO (November) — The campus community, donors, alumni and friends of Cal Poly gathered to dedicate the new Warren J. Baker Center for Science & Mathematics Nov. 1.
Dedication audience in front of the Baker Center Photo by Brittany App President Jeffrey D. Armstrong and Phil Bailey, dean of the College of Science & Mathematics, recognized the contributions of donors, architects, builders and artists as well as Cal Poly faculty, staff and students.
Tour the Cal Poly Pier November 16
SAN LUIS OBISPO (November) — The Cal Poly Pier in Avila Beach will be open to the public on Saturday, November 16, from 9 a.m. to noon.
Interactive displays on the pier for the spring “open house” event will include special touch-tanks full of live marine creatures, microscopes for viewing ultra-small sea creatures, a “discover SCUBA” experience and more.
The CSU blog reports that "On October 4, CSU’s Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology (COAST) hosted a one-day workshop at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where faculty and students in science disciplines learned successful strategies on how to bridge the gap between academia and Sacramento."
Ocean Activities Day
Cal Poly Students from Communicating Ocean Sciences to Informal Audiences (COSIA) course will be presenting hands-on ocean themed projects to public audiences. The activities are very family friendly – and are designed for all ages. This event will be happening rain or shine!
Kinesiology Professor Awarded $3.3 Million NIH Grant to Study Fathers' Health During Pregnancy
SAN LUIS OBISPO (August) — Not many pregnancy studies focus on dads, but Cal Poly kinesiology professor Todd Hagobian is changing that. Hagobian recently received a $3.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study whether mothers who change their eating and exercise habits during pregnancy will rub off on fathers.
Second Annual Math Academy Inspires High School Students
(July) — Mathematics professors Elsa Medina and Amelie Schinck-Mickel know the challenges faced by first-generation college students — they were both the first in their family to attend college. They founded the Math Academy, now in its second year, to give under-represented high school students from Santa Maria and Pioneer High Schools the opportunity to do some hands-on math and get a taste of college life.
Chemistry Alumnus Appointed Vice President of Product Development at HealthTell
(June) — Ted Tasarow (B.S., Chemistry, 1989) has joined HealthTell, Inc. as Vice President Product Development. HealthTell is developing accurate, sensitive tests to detect and monitor cancer and other chronic diseases. Tasarow brings with him experience in developing medical diagnostic services.
Teaching Candidate Overcomes the Odds
SAN LUIS OBISPO — For a perfect example of a lifelong learner, look no further than Kathleen Krueger (B.S., Biological Sciences, 2004; Single Subject Credential in Biological Sciences, 2010). Krueger earned both her bachelor's degree and single subject credential while working full time for Cal Poly's custodial services.
Desert Plants May Yield Evolutionary Clues
SAN LUIS OBISPO — "Studying the plants of the future today" is how Charley Knight, a Cal Poly biology professor, describes the research he and his students conduct in the Mojave Desert.
"We're studying heat and salt tolerant plants that might become more prevalent in the future" because of the effects of climate change, Knight said.
Future Teachers Research Student Learning
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Three future teachers from Cal Poly's School of Education are investigating what's happening inside the minds of mathematics students. They recently presented their findings alongside professors, doctoral students and other professionals at the Conference on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education.
Number of Scientist-Educators on the Rise but Training and Funding Not Yet Aligned
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Science education may benefit from a new trend in faculty positions. Cal Poly Chemistry Professor Seth Bush is a member of the research team that recently published the first large-scale study of U.S. science faculty with education specialties (SFES). The researchers conclude that the number of these faculty members is increasing nationwide.
Physics Students Present at Prestigious Research Conference
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Not everyone gets invited to a Gordon Research Conference, especially not undergraduates. But that's what happened to Kara Zappitelli, a physics major, and Dana Hipolite, a math major, both working on liquid crystal research with Physics Professor Karl Saunders.
Students Challenge Laws of Physics in Italy
SAN LUIS OBISPO — A Cal Poly professor and his students are trying to disprove the laws of physics. Tom Gutierrez is part of the international collaboration called the Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events (CUORE), and for five years he's taken undergraduates to the Gran Sasso National Laboratory (LNGS) in Assergi, Italy, thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation.
13th Annual College of Science and Mathematics Research Conference
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s College of Science and Mathematics is hosting its 13th Annual Student Research Conference May 16 and 17. Almost 100 students are presenting posters or talks on topics ranging from organic polymer solar cells to genotype and breast cancer risk to the effects of relocating rattlesnakes. The conference celebrates science and our students. By discussing their faculty-supervised research with inquisitive audiences, our students gain the experience they need to become professional scientists.
SAN LUIS OBISPO (May) — STRIDE's Pink and Dude Chefs treated Cal Poly alumni and friends to some healthy cooking this winter. Following a campus brunch based on student recipes, Cal Poly's Health Ambassadors and one of their middle school chef trainees demonstrated how to make granola.
SAN LUIS OBISPO (April) — Do-it-yourself science and technology, sustainability, unique hand-made crafts, and educational exhibits will be on display at the Mini Maker Faire Saturday, May 11, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Mission Plaza in San Luis Obispo. The Faire is a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness. Participants will share what they're making and what they learned from the process. Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers of all ages and backgrounds. Cal Poly collaborators include the Materials Engineering Department, Architecture Department, Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies Program, Expressive Technology Studios, and the Science Cafe at Cal Poly’s Kennedy Library. The Faire aims to entertain, inform and create community.
Learn more about the Maker Faire
Follow the Faire on Facebook
Cal Poly Physics Demonstrations Wow Middle School Students
SAN LUIS OBISPO (April) — How better to celebrate Pi Day — March 14 — than with three Cal Poly physics students and two cars full of science experiments? That's what Santa Lucia Middle School in Cambria did with the help of Physics Professor Karl Saunders and three of his students. Photo by family and event photographer Debbie Markham of Cambria.
SAN LUIS OBISPO (April) — All College of Science and Mathematics students are invited to submit an abstract for a talk or poster for the 13th annual Student Research Conference. The event celebrates science and our students. By discussing their faculty-supervised research with inquisitive audiences, our students gain the experience they need to become professional scientists.
The conference will take place May 16 and 17 in Fisher Hall. Applications are due May 6 at 5 p.m.
Apply for the research conference
SAN LUIS OBISPO (April) — The community is invited to the second annual “Beneath the Surface” Earth Day celebration and beach cleanup to be held Sunday, April 21, in Avila Beach. Organized by Cal Poly biology student Elizabeth Sikkema and sponsored by the Surfrider Foundation and EcoSLO, the cleanup is a chance to give back, learn a little and have some fun.
SAN LUIS OBISPO (March) — The Cal Poly Pier in Avila Beach will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 4. Interactive displays on the pier for the spring open house event will include special touch-tanks full of live marine creatures, microscopes for viewing ultra-small sea creatures, a “discover SCUBA” experience and more.
Learn by Doing Inspires Alum's Teaching Style
SAN LUIS OBISPO (March) — Malcolm McClain (B.S., Ecology and Systematic Biology, 1997; Single Subject Credential, Biological Sciences, 2000), a science teacher at Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School in St. Helan, Calif., credits Cal Poly's Learn by Doing approach with forming the foundation of his teaching style, according to an article in the St. Helena Star. “Cal Poly’s motto, is ‘learn by doing.’ And, so, that’s what happens in my class," McClain is quoted as saying.
Read more about McClain in the St. Helena Star
Chemistry Grad to Practice Medicine in Native Cambodia
SAN LUIS OBISPO (March) — Daniel Chan (B.S., Chemistry, 1994) recalled his rough childhood in Cambodia and decided to return to provide medical care to the poor and hungry. He and more than 100 medical professionals - including surgeons, optometrists, nurses and pharmacists – estimate they will treat about 1,000 patients a day. Currently Chan serves as the lead clinician and senior partner at Healthcare Partners in Los Alamitos. He departed mid-February.
SAN LUIS OBISPO (March) — Cal Poly students present Ocean Activities Day Saturday, March 9, 11-1 p.m. at the Avila Beach Sea Life Center at 50 San Juan St. in Avila Beach. Solve the mystery of the traveling barnacle, try on blubber gloves to learn how marine mammals stay warm, discover who lives in our kelp beds, or use puppets to eat like a sea creature. Activities are designed for all ages, and admission is free.
Biology Students Lead NSF Workshop, Teach New Technique to Professors
SAN LUIS OBISPO (February) — Cal Poly biology students are among the few experts in the country on a new method of protein analysis. Last December they shared their expertise by teaching the process to professors and PhD students from other universities. The students planned and led a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded workshop in environmental proteomics, a method of analyzing how organisms respond to different environmental stresses.
Biology Professor Receives Conservation Award
SAN LUIS OBISPO (February) — On Feb. 22, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service honored Cal Poly alumnus and Biological Sciences Professor Francis Villablanca with the service's Conservation Award. The award is given on a case-by-case basis. Villablanca was recognized for "outstanding efforts to conserve the natural resources of San Luis Obispo County, and in particular his leadership on recovery efforts for the endangered Morro Bay kangaroo rat," said Chris Kofron of Fish and Wildlife.
Read more about the conservation award
Million Dollar Grant Funds Collaborative Computing
SAN LUIS OBISPO (February) — Cal Poly and UC Berkeley recently received a million dollar grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for the development of the IPython Notebook, a project designed to make scientific and technical computing collaborative and interactive. The Sloan Foundation funds high impact work that is unlikely to be funded by the government or private foundations.
SAN LUIS OBISPO (February) — With asteroid 2012 DA14 making its historic close pass by Earth today (Friday, Feb. 15), UC Santa Barbara reports that physicist and professor Philip M. Lubin has been working with Cal Poly statistics professor Gary Hughes to develop a proposal for a system that could eliminate an asteroid this size in an hour. The proposed system is designed to harness some of the power of the sun and convert it into a massive phased array of laser beams that can destroy, or evaporate, asteroids posing a potential threat to Earth.
Read more about the asteroid defense system on Space.com
Read more about the asteroid defense system on UCSB's website
Watch asteroid 2012 DA14 live as it passes Earth
SAN LUIS OBISPO (February) — Cal Poly mathematics students are cracking the mysteries of climate changes that happened 1.2 million years ago. Cal Poly is one of only a few undergraduate members of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network (MCRN). Funded by the National Science Foundation, MCRN brings together top scientists and mathematicians to explore how mathematics can contribute to climate research.
Statistics Student Wins National Awards for Biomedical Research Presentation
SAN LUIS OBISPO (February) — Cal Poly student Debbie Huang recently won two awards at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, a national gathering held in San Jose in November 2012. Huang, a statistics major, received a presentation award and one of only five interdisciplinary awards for her poster. Her research focused on the statistical analysis of cardiovascular disease in women.
Read more about Huang's research
SAN LUIS OBISPO (January) — Cal Poly and the Clark Center for the Performing Arts will host a presentation by Cal Poly alumna Rebecca Mieliwocki, the 2012 National Teacher of the Year, from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20. Mieliwocki will present “Supercharging the Education Profession by Igniting the Power of One” at the Clark Center at Arroyo Grande High School, 487 Fair Oaks Ave. in Arroyo Grande. Mieliwocki has taught for 14 years, including nine years in her current position as a seventh-grade English teacher at Luther Burbank Middle School in Burbank, Calif. “Students learn best when they have the most enthusiastic, engaged teachers possible,” she said.
Read more on Mieliwocki's talk
Biology Study May Help Prevent Roadkills
SAN LUIS OBISPO (January) — Wildlife in San Luis Obispo county is getting a boost from research performed by biology students working with Professor John Perrine. Caltrans has commissioned the students to examine the effectiveness of a fence it recently erected to keep wildlife off Cuesta Grade north of San Luis Obispo. As it moves people north and south, Highway 101 cuts through a major east-west migration corridor for large animals such as bears, mountain lions, deer and wild pigs. The top of Cuesta Grade is one of the most popular places for animals to cross the highway, which can lead to high numbers of roadkill. Caltrans hopes the fence will direct animals to safe crossing places, thereby reducing roadkills while allowing necessary migration patterns to continue.
Read more about the wildlife study
School of Ed Alumna Honored as Cambria Citizen of the Year
SAN LUIS OBISPO (January) — The Cambrian reported that the Cambria, Calif., Chamber of Commerce chose Marcelle Bakula (Teaching Credential, Social Science, 1981; Special Education, 2004) as the 2012 Citizen of the Year. Bukala was honored for her tireless volunteer efforts supporting multiple local projects from land preservation to children's programs.
Read the article in The Cambrian
Apply for CSU Student Research Competition
SAN LUIS OBISPO (January) — Up to 10 Cal Poly students will be selected to compete in the statewide CSU Student Research Competition at Cal Poly Pomona, May 10-11. Dean Bailey will choose representatives from the College of Science and Mathematics to present before the Academic Senate. The senate will decide who continues on to the statewide competition. Students interested in competing should submit the registration form and a research summary to their department chair by Friday, February 8.
View guidelines and registration form on the Research and Graduate Programs' website
Read Dean Bailey's letter encouraging students to compete (pdf)
Learn about Fingerprinting Bacteria at Science Cafe
SAN LUIS OBISPO (January) — Hear stories from Professor Chris Kitts and third year biology student Maria Zuleta Alvarado about their adventures collecting local E. coli data for the Cal Poly Library of Pyroprints (CPLOP). The database is intended to be a searchable, online library and lower-cost resource for tracking E. coli to help researchers understand who or what is polluting the water. Then, brainstorm with the researchers about ways to collect wildlife “samples” that include origin confirmation. It’s one of their greatest challenges!
Date: Thursday, February 7
Time: 11:00am – 12:30pm
Location: Kennedy Library, second floor café lounge
COSAM Student Research Featured in Cal Poly Magazine
SAN LUIS OBISPO —The winter 2012 edition of Cal Poly Magazine features an article on two student-fueled research projects led by Chris Kitts and Dean Wendt, both biological sciences professors. The article explains how this real-world investigation into the health of local oceans and creeks benefits both students and the local community.
Read the Cal Poly Magazine story on student research
Biology Alumna Named Industry Leader in West Virginia
Amy Flynn (B.S., Microbiology, 1998) has been names one of 10 Young Guns by West Virginia Executive Magazine. The annual award goes to industry leaders in West Virginia who demonstrate ingenuity and have taken risks on their road to success.
Read the article about Flynn's award in West Virginia Executive Magazine
Biology Professor Contributes to New Ocean Monitoring Website
SAN LUIS OBISPO —Dean Wendt, associate professor of biological sciences and director of the Center for Coastal Marine Science, appears in an online video on the OceanSpaces website, an online community dedicated to sharing information about the ocean's health. Wendt speaks about the potential benefits of scientists collaborating with local fishing communities.
Watch the OceanSpaces: Connecting Communities video
Listen to an interview on California's Public News Service
Read more about Wendt's collaborative research in Cal Poly Magazine
Cal Poly Triple Grad Named Napa County 2012 Teacher of the Year
SAN LUIS OBISPO (November) — Thirty seconds in the classroom with Jennifer Castelazo (B.S., Microbiology, 1989; M.S., Agriculture, 1994; Single Subject Credential, Physical Sciences, 1994) make it clear why Napa County chose her as Teacher of the Year in 2012. Her enthusiasm for learning is infectious.
"I'm a lifelong learner, and I think that's the important part. You need to impart to your students the excitement of learning," Castelazo said.
Read more about Castelazo
Statistics Alum Named Deputy Director of National Institute of Justice
SAN LUIS OBISPO (November) — Amstat News, the magazine of the American Statistical Association, reported that Greg Ridgeway (B.S., Statistics, 1995) was recently named deputy director of the National Institute of Justice. In the interview with Amstat, Ridgeway talks about the position, his fascination with criminal justice and why being a statistician made him the right person for the job.
Read the article in Amstat News
One of Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Newsletters Features STRIDE
SAN LUIS OBISPO (November) — The November issue of Let's Move! Museums & Gardens newsletter, a part of Michelle Obama's anti-childhood obesity initiative, featured a partnership between STRIDE, Cal Poly's Center for Science through Translational Research in Diet and Exercise, and the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden. The two teamed up to offer a Garden Fresh Family Cooking Class for children and their families. The kids start by harvesting organic produce from the botanical garden and then cook a family meal with the help of STRIDE's Health Ambassadors.
Read the article in Let's Move! Museums & Gardens
Read more about STRIDE
Read more about the Garden Fresh Family Cooking Class
$200,000 NSF Grant Helps Transform Undergraduate Education
SAN LUIS OBISPO (November) — SAN LUIS OBISPO — Engaging students in research is important to Biological Sciences Professor and Department Chair Chris Kitts. It's also important to the National Science Foundation (NSF), whose Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science division recently awarded Kitts and three collaborators a $200,000 grant to integrate research into the curriculum. The grant funds the development of a theme-based, interdisciplinary approach to science education that allows students to work on real-life science from day one. Kitts believes student participation in ongoing research will increase student engagement in entry-level courses, which should lead to increased retention.
Read more about the Transforming Undergraduate Education Grant
Biological Sciences Grad Talks Health for the Obama Campaign
SAN LUIS OBISPO (October) — “We do it all,” Cal Poly’s Biological Sciences Department claims, and 2010 graduate Rachel Hornstein certainly proves the point. While pursuing her graduate degree in health policy and management at UCLA, she applied to work for the Obama campaign’s health policy team and has been with the campaign since June 2012.
Read the interview with alum Rachel Hornstein
CANCELLED DUE TO RAIN — Tour the Cal Poly Pier Nov. 17
SAN LUIS OBISPO (October) — The open house at the Cal Poly Pier in Avila Beach scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 17 has been cancelled due to rain. Please join us in April 2013.
Spend a "Night in Rome" to Support Education Scholarships
SAN LUIS OBISPO (October) — The Cal Poly School of Education will host a scholarship fundraiser, A Night in Rome. The event will take place 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2 at Café Roma and is open to the public. The scholarships will benefit students pursuing their teaching credential or graduate studies in education. The event includes dinner, and silent and live auctions with prizes that include a weekend in Santa Barbara and a week-long golf vacation in Alabama. Tickets are $50 and are available by calling 805-756-1503 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets must be purchased by October 30.
Master Storyteller to Offer Workshop
SAN LUIS OBISPO (October) —Master storyteller, science consultant, author and oceanographer Kendall Haven will facilitate a workshop for all educators (teachers, students and faculty) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, in the Math and Science (Building 38), Room 131. The free event is sponsored by the Liberal Studies Department. RSVPs are required, as space is limited. To RSVP, contact Maureen Conner at ext. 6-2935 or email@example.com.
Read more about the workshop
$250,000 NSF Grant Funds Telescopes for Research and Community Use
SAN LUIS OBISPO (October) — A free 11-inch telescope may be coming to a rural California town near you thanks to an NSF grant recently awarded to physics professor John Keller. The $233,000 grant, which Keller will share with Marc Buie of the Southwest Research Institute (SWRI) in Boulder, Colo., will bring 10 telescopes to towns stretching along the California-Nevada border. Keller and his collaborators at SWRI want to learn more about Kuiper belt objects (KBOs)—large, frozen bodies that orbit the sun beyond Neptune.
Read more about citizen scientists and KBOs
Follow Keller and Buie's blog of their road trip to find community partners
Math Major at JPL When Curiosity Landed
SAN LUIS OBISPO (August) — The California State University reported on the many contributions of alumni and current students to NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars August 5. Cal Poly mathematics major Jenna Murphy spent nine weeks at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) this summer as part of the CSU’s STEM Teachers and Researchers (STAR) program. Murphy experienced the excitement at JPL when Curiosity touched down, though she was not involved in the landing. Her research focused on how to transport and handle the samples a future rover will collect.
Read more about Murphy's summer at JPL
Read the CSU article on Curiosity
Bridges to Baccalaureate Program Continues to Grow
SAN LUIS OBISPO (July) — Allan Hancock College reported that 19 of their students worked as research interns in Cal Poly labs this summer through the Bridges to Baccalaureate program. That's up from two students in 2009, the inaugural year. With funding from an $848,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health, the program aims to help underrepresented students pursue careers in biomedical or behavioral sciences. The students worked on a variety of projects from trying to prevent milk spoilage to identifying different types of E. coli.
Read the Allan Hancock article about Bridges to the Baccalaureate
Mathematics Professors Lead First-Ever Cal Poly Math Academy
SAN LUIS OBISPO (July) — Mathematics Professors Elsa Medina and Amelie Schinck-Mickel organized a Math Academy for 18 students from Pioneer Valley and Santa Maria high schools this summer. Student participants were selected by their teachers. The academy aims both to make math more fun and to get students thinking about going to college. Two Cal Poly grants paid for the week-long session.
Read more about the Math Academy
Read the Santa Maria Times article on the Math Academy
Students Create Sustainable Systems with Guatemalan Peers
SAN LUIS OBISPO (July) — During July and August, nine Cal Poly students are teaming up with 10 of their Guatemalan peers in San Pablo, Guatemala, to study economic, resource, and energy use in developing nations. This is the second summer Physics Professor Pete Schwartz has taken students on the program, known as Guateca. The students work together to develop sustainable technologies for use in both the US and Guatemala. Technologies must be able to be created and maintained with locally available supplies and resources.
Read the Guateca blog
Visit the Guacteca website
Read more about the Guateca project
School of Education Professors Produce Video on Women in STEM
SAN LUIS OBISPO (July) — School of Education Professors Steven Kane and Jodi Jacques recently completed a documentary video, "Making the Grade: A focus on helping women excel in STEM majors." The 12-minute video features interviews with women STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) graduates discussing their experiences and offering advice on how to succeed. The video is part of a larger research project on the same topic.
View "Making the Grade" video
Read a review of the video on stemcareer.com
Visit the video's Facebook page
Congratulations to the Class of 2012
SAN LUIS OBISPO (June) — College of Science and Mathematics graduates began the next step of their journeys on June 9. The newest batch of alums will pursue activities as diverse as studying medicine, teaching, and working in industry or government.
Biology Professor Kitts Honored as Distinguished Scholar
SAN LUIS OBISPO (May) — Biological Sciences Professor and Department Chair Christopher L. Kitts has received one of two 2012 Distinguished Scholar Awards from Cal Poly for exemplifying the teacher-scholar model by involving students in collaborative, interdisciplinary research to understand and remediate local environmental problems. Professor Kitts will discuss “Student-Centered Research at Cal Poly, a Tale of Collaborations and Trade-offs” during an Interdisciplinary Colloquium on May 30, 2012 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm at the Advanced Technologies Laboratories (Bldg 7), and will be honored at Spring Commencement on June 9, 2012, and during Fall Conference General Session on September 10, 2012.
Read the press release about Professor Kitts
Dean Bailey Honored for Longtime Support of African-American Students
SAN LUIS OBISPO (April) — COSAM Dean Phil Bailey received an Ambassador of Goodwill Award April 21 at the ninth annual African Goodwill Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. Dean Bailey was nominated for the award by Cal Poly History Professor John Origi, a 2009 recipient of the same award from the African Focus organization. African Focus Incorporated (AFI) sponsors the annual African Goodwill Awards “to recognize, appreciate and celebrate the goodwill and contributions made by individuals, churches, organizations and corporations in response to the humanitarian needs of African people around the world.”
Read the press release
Cal Poly Pier Opens Up April 21 — Bring the Kids
SAN LUIS OBISPO (April) — The Cal Poly Pier in Avila Beach will be open to the public on Saturday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to noon. The event is free and the community is invited to come learn more about marine research going on there. Bring the kids and and enjoy special touch tanks full of marine creatures. Learn more about Cal Poly professors and students and their ongoing research into Morro Bay's ecosystem, sustaining local fisheries, and mapping ocean currents on the Central Coast.
Read more about April's Cal Poly Pier Open House
Students' Reptile Research Proposals Win Grant Funding
SAN LUIS OBISPO (March) — Would it hurt rattlesnakes if they were moved away from places humans are likely to frequent? And can the Western fence lizard species' immunity to tick-borne Lyme Disease be adapted to help humans? Two Cal Poly biology grad students have received research grants to find out. For his rattlesnake research proposal, first-year Biological Sciences master's student Kory Heiken received a $500 grant from the Chicago Herpetological Society and another $9,050 grant from Vandenberg Air Force Base. First-year biology grad student Kyle Weichert was awarded a $500 grant from the Chicago Herpetological Society to study the ability of western fence lizards to kill Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. The grant will pay for some of the lab supplies needed to perform the research.
Read more about snakes and lizards
Professor Testifies on Cal Poly Marine Science Research
SAN LUIS OBISPO (February) — Cal Poly Marine Science Professor Dean Wendt testified before the state legislature in Sacramento about the impacts that federal Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are having on the ocean environment. Wendt, associate dean of Cal Poly’s College of Science and Mathematics, is acting director of the university’s Center for Coastal Marine Sciences and executive director of the center’s SLOSEA research program and Central Coast Collaborative Fisheries project. He was invited to speak before the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture’s 39th Annual Fisheries Forum on Feb. 22 in the State Capitol at the request of committee chairman Wesley Chesboro (D-North Coast).
More on Wendt and SLOSEA
Bring the Kids to Explore the Oceans in Avila Beach This February
SAN LUIS OBISPO (February) – Cal Poly students will be offering some hands-on experience with sea creatures at the Avila Beach Sea Life Center Saturday, Feb. 11 and Saturday, Feb. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.Students enrolled in a Cal Poly course called Communicating Ocean Sciences to Informal Audiences will be presenting activities that are family-friendly and appropriate for all ages. Children (and adults) can see, touch and learn about hermit crabs, sea stars, sea urchins, clams, sea snails and more.
Detals on the Sea Life events
Scientist, Consultant, Storyteller Giving Free K-12 Teacher Workshop
on Use of Storytelling in Science, Math Teaching
SAN LUIS OBISPO (January) – Science consultant, oceanographer, author and master storyteller Kendall Haven will conduct a free workshop for K-12 teachers at Cal Poly on Saturday, Feb. 11, in Building 02 (The Cotchett Education Building) in room 212, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The workshop will focus on storytelling and its uses in teaching science and math in the K-12 classroom. Participants will learn how to use storytelling and stories to create an anticipatory set, to deliver content, to bring the story of discovery to life, and to present biographical stories on researchers, mathematicians and scientist to students.
Details on the K-12 Teacher Workshop
Scientist, Master Storyteller Giving Faculty Seminar on "Your Brain on Story" Feb. 9
SAN LUIS OBISPO (January) -- Science consultant, author and oceanographer Kendall Haven will be the speaker in a free seminar for Cal Poly faculty, staff and administrators titled “Your Brain on Story: The Neural Science Behind the Startling Power of Story, and What it Means for You and Your Teaching.” The event is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 9, at 11:10 a.m. in Building 10 (The Erhart Agriculture Building), room 220.
More on Haven's faculty seminar, plus K-12 educator workshop
Professors Ritter, Lovaglio Talk Trees in Kennedy Library Feb. 3
SAN LUIS OBISPO (January) -- The Robert E. Kennedy Library will host a Feb. 3 book talk about Biological Sciences professor Matt Ritter’s, author of “A Californian’s Guide to the Trees Among Us,” Published in 2011. The Conversations with Cal Poly Authors event is free and open to the public. It runs from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Room 111H at the Kennedy Library on the Cal Poly campus. Coffee and light refreshments will be served. For the discussion, Ritter will be joined by Enrica Lovaglio Costello, associate professor in the Digital Media, Art and Design Department. Ritter will give an informal talk about his love of trees and his writing process, followed by a conversation with Lovaglio Costello and Q&A with attendees.
More about the event
Cal Poly 'Hunger Free Communities' Research Released
SAN LUIS OBISPO (January) -- San Luis Obispo County families with low incomes are frequently being forced to chose between paying their rent or buying food, or paying their utility bill or buying food. The non-profit SLO Food Bank Coalition has seen a 25 percent increase in the amount of people showing up to request free food over the past year. And most of those who need food assistance are working - but at jobs that pay $250 to $1,500 a month. Those were just a few of the findings of a year-long research effort coordinated by STRIDE, Cal Poly's center for Science Through Translational Research in Diet and Exercise).
More on the study results
Link to full study presentation (pdf)
Professors, Students to Present Hunger Research to Congresswoman Jan. 13
SAN LUIS OBISPO (January) -- Cal Poly professors and students conducting research on hunger and food availability in San Luis Obispo County will present the initial findings to U.S. Rep. Lois Capps at Cal Poly on Friday, Jan. 13. Capps will speak at the event. Carl Hansen, director of the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County, and community members who gathered data for the study will also be on hand. All Central Coast media are invited; a disc containing the initial report and the PowerPoint presentation of research findings will be available to media at the event. Capps, Cal Poly professors Ann McDermott and Aydin Nazmi, Hansen, and student and community researchers will be available for questions and interviews after the presentation.
More on the report release