As interim vice president for research and creative scholarship, I have learned a great deal with respect to the creative activities conducted by UM faculty and students. This Vision publication is but one of a number of methods used by this office to share the wide range of these activities. Additionally, two new methods of sharing such information commenced this year: the Research Spotlight panel discussions and a public radio program, “Cores of Discovery,” which highlights campus research.
This issue of Vision gives an excellent snapshot of the breadth and depth of the research and creative scholarship conducted by UM faculty and students. Highlights include everything from a tax-law discussion, which includes a case about country singer Conway Twitty’s hamburger joints, to mastering the microbe.
In the cover story, marketing Professor Jakki Mohr relates how she and her students study businesses that use biomimicry — the idea of solving human problems based on the way nature creates structural forms and establishes whole ecosystems. Mohr’s work provides an excellent example of an important attribute that is exemplified in these Vision articles: Student involvement is part and parcel of these creative activities.
Professor Martin Burke explains with the aforementioned Twitty tax case that “real life is much more interesting than fiction” and I am sure it would be difficult to top the Twitty Burger case! No doubt we all “grind our teeth” once a year at tax time, and Burke provides us with tax issues to think about and in some cases to smile about.
Professor Frank Rosenzweig uses yeast and microbiology to study the aging process, as well as the evolution of biodiversity. Most of us know that yeast is useful for making beer, wine and bread; however, most of us do not know that yeast also is a powerful tool for studying the basic biology of mammalian cells.
Professor Janet Finn reports on children growing up in the Butte mining community and the difficulty families experienced while earning a living in one of the most historically interesting Montana communities. I would encourage everyone to visit the “Copper City,” walk around, view the gargoyles (unique to Butte) and try to visualize the ethnic diversity and the old mines running three eight-hour-daily, dangerous shifts.
Professor Charlie Palmer reports on his study related to wildland firefighters having a high comfort level with risk and the potential indication of also having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Then, UM student Lance Pellerin is interviewed on his low-cost computing research, and recent graduate from UM’s School of Law Zachary Scott reports on his students working with UM’s Office of Technology Transfer.
Finally, UM Professor Ric Hauer and Montana State University Professor Cathy Whitlock report on the Montana Institute on Ecosystems, which is an excellent example where faculty from both UM and MSU work closely together.
I hope everyone’s curiosity is stimulated as they read about the excellent work of this cross-section of UM’s faculty and students and their involvement in a broad range of creative activities.
Interim Vice President for Research
and Creative Scholarship
The University has hired Scott Whittenburg as its new vice president for research and creative scholarship.
Whittenburg was vice president for research and economic development at the University of New Orleans. He will start his new duties at UM in January 2013.
Whittenburg worked at UNO since 1979, starting as an assistant professor of chemistry and eventually serving as dean of the graduate school before taking over as vice president for research and economic development. He received a physical chemistry doctorate from the University of Utah and completed his undergraduate degree at Oregon State University.
“I am excited about the opportunity to help UM grow its research enterprise and expand its nationally recognized creative and academic programs,” Whittenburg said.
Message from the
Interim Vice President
Campus works hard to share news of research success.
UM science highlights from the past year
The Business of Biomimicry
Professor studies companies using nature to create better products.
Mastering the Microbe
UM lab engages tiny organisms to study aging and multicellularity.
Fire and Risk
Researcher studies incidence of ADHD among wildland firefighters.
Missoula College student honored for study of sustainable computers.