Collaborative Vitality Projects

Microbial Survival in Evaporated Salts
Jeff Eaton, Geosciences
Mohammed Sondossi, Microbiology
Colin Inglefield, Physics
This collaboration between three departments in the College of Science will leverage a better understanding of the salt-loving (“halophilic”) bacteria of the Great Salt Lake basin in order to study the similar processes which may underlie life on Mars. With both strong evidence for Martian bacteria, and the tantalizing idea that life on Mars may have “colonized” Earth as well, this project is especially timely and relevant.

Murray Leinster Project
David Ferro, Computer Science
Eric Swedin, Information Science and Technology
This collaboration between faculty in two different Weber State University colleges (Applied Science and Technology; Business) will examine a pivotal work by 20th century science fiction author Murray Leinster: “A Logic Called Joe”. In this short story, Leinster predicted the formation and operation of the Internet. Drs. Ferro and Swedin will travel to Syracuse, New York, where Leinster’s papers are archived, and examine his personal letters and notes in an attempt to ascertain whether Leinster was prescient or just lucky.

Isolation and Genetic Characterization of Microorganisms with the Capability to Metabolize Selected Aromatic Compounds
Mohammed Sondossi, Microbiology
Jonathan Clark, Zoology
Some bacteria are able to break down aromatic compounds, a type of carbon-containing ring compound not normally found in nature but created through chemical manufacturing processes. Understanding the special enzymes which some bacteria can use to break down these compounds in the highly salty environment of the Great Salt Lake is important for cleanup efforts based on biological processes (bioremediation).

Faculty Excellence Projects

16th Conference of the International Association of Hispanic Women Writers (AILFH)
Alicia Giralt, Foreign Languages
Dr. Giralt will host this prestigious international conference, with over 100 participants.  Previous sites include Tegucigalpa, Honduras and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  AILFH has members in 21 countries; its mission is to “foster the study of Hispanic literature...written by women.” The conference site alternates between a US location in even-numbered years, and a non-US location in odd-numbered years. This opportunity will both showcase Ogden, and provide Weber State students and local residents with a unique educational and cultural opportunity. This proposal is for expenses associated with the conference.

Science Education at the Crossroads 2006
Adam Johnston, Physics
Dr. Johnston has collaborated with Dr. John Settlage of the University of Connecticut on the Science Education at the Crossroads conference. This year’s conference is to be held at the Eccles Conference Center in downtown Ogden, September 28-30, 2006. This will bring a number of prestigious science educators to Ogden.  A webpage with information on the conference has been constructed (http://conferences.weber.edu/crossroads/).

Rwanda Well Service Learning Project
Julie Rich, Geography
Dr. Rich has formed a partnership with Blondine Nya Nchama, founder of the non-governmental organization Association REFUGE. A new orphanage and educational center in war-torn Rwanda, constructed by this organization, is in critical need of a water well. Dr. Rich has raised $12,000 for the drilling of the well, and now wants to travel to Rwanda to supervise and document the process.

Bonneville Chamber Music Festival
Viktor Uzur, Performing Arts/Music
Dr. Uzur proposes to develop an annual Chamber Music Festival in Ogden that will bring together Weber State University music faculty with guest artists from around the United States. The Allred Theatre is to be the site for this festival, which will be held each April.

Faculty Vitality Projects New Faculty Projects