Every day, Rachel Kronyak walks around the surface of the planet Mars, examining a rock or getting a closer look at a butte framing the horizon. A doctoral student in geology at UT, Kronyak is among a small set of research scientists worldwide testing the use of an augmented reality headset to see how it can help NASA determine whether Mars could support life.
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Miranda Gottlieb, who graduated from UT last spring, has been named to the second class of Schwarzman Scholars, a highly competitive program that offers selected students the opportunity to earn a master’s degree in China. She is the first UT student to be selected for the program, which launched in 2015.
A partnership between UT, federal and state agencies, Indian tribes, and other stakeholders to save a set of centuries-old Native American petroglyphs, pictographs, and historic signatures in Alabama has been honored with a prestigious national preservation award. The initiative brought together researchers and local volunteers to camouflage and remove graffiti that had impacted the images at the Painted Bluff site in Marshall County, Alabama.
Editor’s Note: This is the final issue of Tennessee Today for 2016. We will resume publication in early January. See you in 2017!
When Henri D. Grissino-Mayer, a UT professor of geography, heard about the forest fires threatening Gatlinburg, he was not surprised. For years, Grissino-Mayer has been giving talks throughout Tennessee and the Southeast on the subject “Will Our Great Smoky Mountains One Day Go Up in Flames?”
UT wrapped up its annual Big Orange Give online giving campaign with alumni and friends donating $1,521,305 in one week. “For the fourth year in a row, our Volunteer family has exceeded our goals for the Big Orange Give campaign,” said Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “We are grateful to our alumni and friends for their enthusiasm for the campaign.”
When an 8-magnitude earthquake struck Yingjie Hu’s home province of Sichuan, China, in 2008, he was more than 1,000 miles away attending college in Shanghai. While Hu wanted to help, there wasn’t much he could do due to the long distance. Since then, web-based mapping platforms have been developed that enable volunteers to participate in remote disaster response. Hu, now an assistant professor of geography at UT, and his colleagues have found a way to make the process more effective by developing an algorithm that indicates which areas need detailed mapping first.
A group of UT students will award $30,000 among 14 area nonprofits at 6 p.m. Tuesday, November 29, in Room 501 of the Haslam Business Building. The presentation, as well as the process of choosing which nonprofits would receive funds, is part of Alex Miller’s nonprofit management class. Miller described the course as an opportunity for students to learn through service and experience.
Policy experts from the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy will discuss potential policies of a Trump administration based on his published policy stances at 3 p.m. Wednesday, November 30, in the center’s Toyota Auditorium. The discussion, “We Look Ahead: Potential Policies of the Trump Administration,” is free and open to the public.
Matt Buehler, assistant professor of political science at UT, will give a Global Security Lecture at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 29, in Room 205 of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy. He will be joined by political science doctoral student Mehdi Ayari in the presentation, which explains the impact of authoritarian coalitions on Tunisia and explore the authoritarian influence on retaining Tunisian governmental ministers and other ruling elite.