Archeology students break new ground

UIndy archeology faculty and students staked out new dig sites in May during their summer field school near Flora, Ind., where previous UIndy efforts have uncovered evidence of massive prehistoric mammals as well as human occupation dating back more than 10,000 years.

Led by Associate Professor of Anthropology Christopher Schmidt and geology instructor Christopher Moore, the UIndy crew also used new surveying equipment to map topographic features and identify promising locations for further excavation.

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UIndy experts to present archeology event

This artifact, found during a UIndy excavation in Carroll County, dates back 10,400 years, making it the oldest bone tool ever documented in Indiana.

Carroll County is an archeology hotspot for researchers from the University of Indianapolis, who will discuss their finds during a special event May 22 in Flora.

Collectors also will be able to bring their Indian artifacts and other items for identification by UIndy experts during the first Carroll County Public Archeology Day, scheduled 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Flora-Monroe Township Public Library, 109 N. Center St.

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UIndy prof helps launch South Africa facility

University of Indianapolis Professor Stephen Nawrocki (center) poses with South African researchers at the University of Pretoria.

Dr. Stephen Nawrocki, UIndy’s Sease Distinguished Professor of Forensic Studies, has just returned from South Africa, where he gave the keynote address at the opening ceremony for a new anthropology facility at the University of Pretoria.

Nawrocki is a forensic anthropologist known internationally for the services he and his students provide for law enforcement agencies in analyzing and identifying human remains. He has visited Pretoria in the past to conduct research and has played an advisory role as that university established its own Forensic Anthropology Research Centre, a significant development in a nation that has a large need but little capacity to conduct this particular scientific work.

During the visit, Nawrocki also led a workshop for South African police and crime scene technicians on search and recovery techniques, evidence preservation and other aspects of forensic anthropology, the same kind of work performed at UIndy’s Archeology and Forensics Laboratory. The event was reported in Tuesday’s edition of the Pretoria News and also on the UP website.

Science and math student group honored

UIndy’s Rho Chapter of Sigma Zeta, the national science and mathematics honor society, received the society’s Founder’s Cup Award for Most Active Chapter at the Sigma Zeta national meeting held March 25-27 in Campbellsville, Ky.

The award is based on the chapter’s activities at both the local and national level, and UIndy was chosen for its outstanding service activities, including hosting a Haunted Laboratory during UIndy’s annual trick-or-treating events, partnering with UIndy’s College Mentors for Kids for a science night and decorating a golf cart for UIndy’s homecoming golf cart parade.

This is the third time since 2003 that UIndy’s chapter has received the prestigious award. The group is led by Dr. Joe Burnell, associate professor of chemistry.

Regional science fair winners announced

More than 700 students competed last week in the Central Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair, hosted by the University of Indianapolis at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
North Central High School seniors Lauren Stephens and Boning Han claimed first place in the senior division and a trip to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, May 9-14 in San Jose, Calif. They and several other competitors qualified for the Hoosier Science and Engineering Fair, scheduled Saturday, March 27, at IUPUI.
The annual fair is conducted by UIndy science faculty and student volunteers. Other sponsoring organizations include the R.B. Annis Educational Foundation, D.J. Angus-Scientech Educational Foundation, Scientech Club, Indiana State Fair and Eli Lilly & Co. The regional competition includes grades 1-5, but only the winners in grades 6-12 can advance to further rounds of competition.
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Inspiring the next generation of researchers, UIndy conducts annual regional science fair

It’s a busy week for UIndy faculty, staff and students in the hard sciences, who once again are conducting the Central Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

More than 100 university volunteers keep the registration, judging and awards processes running smoothly for more than 700 students from several counties, along with their teachers and parents. The fair is open to students from public, private and home schools, with grades 1-5 competing Tuesday and grades 6-12 competing Thursday at the fairgrounds 4-H complex.

Dr. Sandra Davis, associate professor of biology at UIndy, is the fair director. Dr. Tim Duman, chair and associate professor of physics and earth-space sciences, is the director of judging. UIndy instructors/lab directors Mary Gobbett and Brian Vermillion serve on the fair committee and are heavily involved in planning and executing the event.

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In the news: Biology prof explains crow invasion

A mysterious increase in crow sightings is not limited to Indianapolis, UIndy Associate Professor Roger Sweets told local NBC affiliate WTHR for a Monday news story.

“It’s been seen all over the state by many bird watchers and normal people,” quipped the biology prof, himself a veteran bird watcher.

Sweets offered three possible factors behind the increase, but told reporter Emily Longnecker that the public should not be alarmed, despite frustrations over bird droppings in some areas of the city.

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