UNH ADVANCE Awards Leadership, Collaboration Grants to Faculty

UNH ADVANCE Awards Leadership, Collaboration Grants to Faculty

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

The UNH ADVANCE program, funded by the National Science Foundation to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers, has awarded its Collaborative Scholarship Advancement Awards and the 2013 Karen Von Damm Leadership Development grant. UNH’s Leitzel Center for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Education at UNH administers the grants. 

Jo Daniel, associate professor of civil engineering, received this year’s Karen Von Damm Leadership Development grant, which honors Von Damm, a world-renowned UNH chemical oceanographer who passed away in 2008. The grant, designed to help female faculty members assume leadership roles within the university while maintaining their research, will provide Daniel with summer salary support as she works on strategic initiatives for the department graduate program and leads planning activities for an international conference.  

Specifically, Daniel, who is the graduate coordinator for the civil engineering department, will focus on marketing the new Masters of Engineering program and enhance mentoring and support for Ph.D. students. In addition, she will serve as the chair of the scientific committee for the International Society for Asphalt Pavements conference in 2014. 

“I am excited about the opportunity to improve our graduate program and to positively impact the graduate experience for our students, particularly those at the doctoral level. I am also looking forward to working with professional colleagues on an important international conference,” says Daniel. 

In addition, eight UNH faculty members received ADVANCE Collaborative Scholarship Advancement awards, designed to enhance collaboration between research and tenure-track faculty in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines. Recipients of the 2013 awards are: 

Serita Frey, professor of natural resources and the environment, and Alexandra Contosta, post-doctoral researcher in the Earth Systems Research Center of UNH’s Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space (EOS)

Frey and Contosta will develop a research-teaching collaboration that will integrate new, sensor-based research on soil processes with a new curriculum focused on environmental sensors in soil ecology, to be incorporated into Frey’s soil ecology course.

Meghan Howey, assistant professor of anthropology, and Adrienne Kovach, research assistant professor of natural resources

Howey and Kovach will conduct an interdisciplinary study using ancient DNA to inform contemporary cod fishery management. This collaborative project will provide the conceptual basis and the data to develop new teaching models and to pursue new cross-disciplinary funding opportunities.

Feixia Chu, assistant professor of molecular, cellular and biomedical sciences, and Kevin Culligan, research assistant professor in that department

Chu and Culligan will study how eukaryotic cells respond to DNA damage and replication blocks. They use Arabidopsis thaliana as a model to understanding molecular pathways involved in sensing DNA damage, using both genetic and biochemical approaches.

Linda Kalnejais, assistant professor of Earth sciences, and Joe Salisbury, research assistant professor in the Ocean Process Analysis Laboratory of EOS

Kalnejais and Salisbury will develop a research collaboration coupling marine chemistry observational data with sediment geochemistry. They will study reactions occurring in sediment near a Stellwagen Bank mooring, the site of an instrument array measuring carbonate-system parameters. This collaboration will provide a new understanding of carbon chemistry in the bottom waters of this region, and will provide an assessment of the impact of ocean acidification on the calcifying organisms in the Southern Gulf of Maine.