Kirbas Institute plans climate change dinner conversation
An organization that brings faith and science together is hosting an event that will explore the much-debated topic of climate change. The Kirbas Institute will host a dinner program entitled “Forget Al Gore: The Five Things You Really Need to Know About Climate Change” on Jan. 25 at the Oklahoma History Center. Keynote speaker for the event will be CNN investigative reporter John D. Sutter. The Rev. Paul Kirbas, the institute’s president and founder and senior pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church, said the dinner is in keeping with the mission of the institute, which was formed in 2010. Sutter was the creator of CNN’s “2 degrees” project, which aimed to involve readers in climate change coverage. He also was a part of the award-winning CNN Digital series called “Vanishing,” which focused on the global extinction crisis. That series was nominated for an Emmy Award and won Editor & Publisher’s EPPY Award for best online investigative/enterprise feature story. The dinner is hosted by the Kirbas Institute and supported by the Kirkpatrick Foundation. Kirbas said it would be helpful if people interested in attending the event would register and purchase tickets by Jan. 20.
Evolution Weekend events in Oklahoma
Hundreds of congregations all over the country and around the world are taking part in Evolution Weekend, February 9-11, 2018, by presenting sermons and discussion groups on the compatibility of faith and science. Participating churches in Oklahoma include: Cameron Campus Ministry, Lawton, OK, The Rev. Galeda M. Jones, The Rev. Montie D. Jones; Westminster Presbyterian Church of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City, OK, The Rev. Dr. Paul J. Kirbas; and Unity Church of Christianity, Tulsa, OK, The Rev. Mary Anne Harris.
Oklahoma Academy of Science Collegiate Academy Awards (2017)
OESE congratulates the winners on the Collegiate Academy Awards at the 106th Technical meeting of the Oklahoma Academy of Science, held Rogers State University. Winners were Maranda Robin Clymer, Nathanial J. Torres, Steven D. Hartson, Janet Rogers, Khadija A. Abdulhafid, and John E. Gustafson , Gunner Parent and April Nesbit, Haylee Story, Sonya Ross, Anna Parakevopoulos, Karl Roeder, and Diane Roeder, Shi Rui Yeoh, Tiara Travis, Paul Cook, Samuel Lawrence, and Nesreen Alsbou, Matt Broge, J Grimm, C Soden, K Karki, C Biles, A Howard, and B Bruton, Amjad Barghouthi, Mohamed Afify and Nesreen Alsbou, Joshua C. Hardage, Yilin Yu, and Courtney M. Karner, Billy Andrew, Whitney Hall, H. Mahmud, G. Maiti, A. Mille, and A. Ghosh. The students represented East Central University, Oklahoma State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Cameron University, University of Central Oklahoma, Duke University, Stephenson Cancer Center, and University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Congratulations to all.
More info at the OAS web site.
Noble Research Institute scientist recognized as a 2017 Highly Cited Researcher
Michael Udvardi, the Ardmore institute’s chief scientific officer, recently was recognized as a 2017 Highly Cited Researcher and was among the top 1 percent of science and social science researchers in the world and one of only 207 plant and animal scientists honored.
Udvardi’s research uses plant functional genomics to study how plants obtain and use nitrogen for growth in agriculturally-significant crops, especially legumes and grasses.
Researchers were ranked by their number of times their published findings were cited in journals or by other researchers.
“Publishing our research is a crucial aspect of what we do as scientists,” Udvardi said. “We need to share the results of our research so the science community as a whole can continue to advance and better understand plant and animal biology and its interaction with the environment as we strive to provide solutions to great agricultural challenges.”
Oklahoma native among three Americans to earn Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine
Oklahoma City native Michael Rosbash along with Jeffrey C. Hall and Michael W. Young won the $1.1 million prize for their work on finding genetic mechanisms behind circadian rhythms, which adapt the workings of the body to different phases of the day, influencing sleep, behavior, hormone levels, body temperature and metabolism.
They “were able to peek inside our biological clock and elucidate its inner workings,” the Nobel citation said.
“Circadian dysfunction has been linked to sleep disorders, as well as depression, bipolar disorder, cognitive function, memory formation and some neurological diseases,” according to a Nobel background report.
The awardees’ work stems back to 1984, when Rosbash and Hall, both at Brandeis, along with Young isolated the “period gene” in fruit flies. Hall and Rosbash found that a protein encoded by the gene accumulated during the night and degraded during daytime. A decade later, Young discovered another “clock gene.”
The work was done using fruit flies.
Teaching award finalists from Oklahoma
The state Education Department has announced four Oklahoma finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching at the secondary level.
The finalists are Telannia Norfar, math teacher at Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City; Cheryl Brannum, math teacher at Canadian Valley Technology Center in Yukon; Megan Cannon, director of science and engineering for the state Education Department; and Julie Klingensmith, math teacher at Norman High School.
The awards are the highest honors given by the U.S. government specifically for K-12 mathematics and science (including computer science) teaching. National recipients represent all 50 states and U.S. territories.
Finalists must have demonstrated a mastery of math and science instruction and effective use of students assessments to improve learning. Awards alternate each year between elementary and secondary teachers.
Congratulations to all and good luck!
OESE congratulates Oklahoma Teacher of the year, Donna Gradel
Donna Gradel was named 2018 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year on Sept. 19 in a ceremony at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City. She teaches science at Broken Arrow High School in Broken Arrow Public Schools. She has been an educator for 29 years and has held her current position for 21 years. Her statement in her application: “A teacher is not only an integral part of the educational community but can be a powerful model of good citizenship throughout his or her local and extended communities.”
“Donna understands the true potential of each of her students,” said Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “She differentiates instruction to meet the needs of each individual, challenges them to solve real-world problems, then goes one step further by modeling opportunities to implement their innovations to make a difference in the lives of people in Oklahoma and across the globe.”
Congratulations Ms. Gradel from OESE.
OESE congratulates Julie Angle
OESE Board member Julie Angle received a $599,652 National Scieence Foundation grant to focus on undergraduate research experiences for future science educators.
Angle will work with co-principal investigators and fellow OSU faculty Donald French, Andrew Doust and Carissa Ramming to address the challenge of providing undergraduate research experiences for all students pursuing a bachelor of science degree with an option in teacher certification at the secondary level.
The model provides them with extensive mentoring by faculty and graduate students from multiple science and engineering disciplines and colleges across the university. Research mentors will be offered quality professional development designed to deepen mentors’ understanding of the K-12 science classroom and skills in transitioning their STEM research to that environment.
OESE congratulates Bob Melton
OESE Board Member Bob Melton received the Jack Renner Distinguished Service to Oklahoma Science Education Award from the Oklahoma Science Teachers Association. The award is presented annually to “individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the advancement of science education in Oklahoma”. The award was presented at the OSTA’s annual conference on June 8. Congratulations, Bob! More at NCSE and National Association of Biology Teachers newsletter.
Some recent blog posts from OESE Past President Stan Rice
Stan’s Darwin YouTube channel