Alan Alda with participants in the 2012 Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science Fall Institute.
What do actors and scientists have in common? A lot more than one might think, according to Alan Alda.
The actor and visiting professor at Stony Brook University’s newly renamedAlan Alda Center for Communicating Science has been working with graduate students pursuing research science and health profession careers on how they can best use acting techniques to communicate technical and scientific information to different audiences. Since it’s founding in 2009, he has helped train more than 230 students through the Center’s interactive instructional programming.
Chapovalova, who graduated in December 2012 with a degree in psychology, is one of only 39 U.S. scholars chosen for the 2013-14 academic year. She also is one of two students from New York schools to earn the scholarship (the other recipient is from New York University). She will pursue a PhD in polar studies at Cambridge.
Growing cereal grains as an energy source has been criticized for impinging on food production resources. In a plot twist, Shijie Liu, a professor of paper and bioprocess engineering at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, is looking at using wood, an energy crop, as the source of a food additive.
While exploring ways to separate the different sugars to make the fermentation more efficient, Lui realized that sugars themselves might be marketable end products. He took a closer look at the five-carbon sugar xylose, which is used to make the sweetener xylitol.
To the uninitiated, the birds all look the same — shimmering black feathers, with eyes, beaks and feet to match. They sound the same, too, their calls collapsing into cacophony as they rise and fall on the wing.
Not so for behavioral ecologist Anne Clark. Binoculars at the ready, the Binghamton University associate professor of biological sciences sees enough intrigue and drama among a murder of crows to one day fill a novel. There is the peanut hound abandoning her nest for a treat, the devoted father driven from home in his dotage — by his sons — and the orphaned juveniles insinuating themselves into a new family. Hear the alarm call? The territorial declaration?
Clark has devoted the past decade of her research career to deciphering the biological and social relationships among a population of some 2,000 American crows in Ithaca, N.Y. “I’m interested in social behavior,” she explains, “and these birds are not only long-lived, they have a very complex social life.”