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May 2011 Archives

May 3, 2011

DoD SBIR/STTR proposal dates and deadlines

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Interested in learning more about the U.S. Defense Department's Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs? Check out http://www.dodsbir.net, where you'll find detailed information, a history of the programs and important dates for submitting proposals.

Defense Department awards $191 million in research funding

Late last month, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that it will issue 27 awards to academic institutions to perform multidisciplinary basic research. The program expects to award $191 million over five years.

According to a news release from DoD Public Affairs, the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program supports research by teams of investigators who intersect more than one traditional science and engineering discipline in order to accelerate research progress. The awards will be made by the Army Research Office (ARO), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), and are subject to successful negotiation between the institution and DoD.

The awards are the result of the fiscal 2011 competition that ARO, ONR, and AFOSR conducted under the DoD MURI program. Most MURI efforts involve researchers from multiple academic institutions and academic departments. Based on the proposals selected in the fiscal 2011 competition, a total of 70 academic institutions are expected to participate in the 27 research efforts.

The highly competitive MURI program complements other DoD basic research programs that support traditional, single-investigator university research by supporting multidisciplinary teams with larger and longer awards.

The awards announced are for a five-year period subject to availability of appropriations and satisfactory research progress. Consequently, MURI awards can provide greater sustained support than single-investigator awards for the education and training of students pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering fields critical to DoD, as well as for associated infrastructure such as research instrumentation.

The list of projects selected for fiscal 2011 funding can be found at: http://www.defense.gov/news/d20110422MURI.pdf.

May 4, 2011

NSF official: Cyber infrastructure critical

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National Science Foundation EPSCoR Program Director Jennifer M. Schopf (right) visits with EPSCoR student Joy Esters (left) of Millsaps College during Mississippi EPSCoR's annual conference at Mississippi State University in April.


Stormy spring skies didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of more than 100 student researchers and faculty advisers from around the state who attended the Mississippi Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) annual meeting April 14-15 at Mississippi State University.

In spite of tornado warnings throughout day two of the conference, participants enjoyed a full agenda of presentations, networking opportunities and special speakers at this year’s gathering, according to education and outreach coordinator Katie Echols.

“It was wonderful to be able to showcase the work our students and faculty are pursuing thanks to EPSCoR programs and funding. The feedback we have received from the meeting has been very encouraging,” she said.

In Mississippi, the initiative funded by a National Science Foundation grant identifies, develops and deploys academic science and technology to increase the state’s research and development competitiveness and foster economic growth.

The program provides a platform for advancing scientific capabilities in the state, and also seeks to identify and enhance capacity needs and give stakeholders the ability to address those needs. For example, a new, high-speed Internet research ring is one of EPSCoR’s goals as it helps the state take advantage of major project funding opportunities.

“Without the new networking backbone and a robust cyber infrastructure, Mississippi institutions would be crippled in their ability to compete effectively for many NSF programs. They are critical,” said National Science Foundation (NSF) EPSCoR Program Director Jennifer M. Schopf, who was on campus to provide an update of the program from a Washington perspective.

EPSCoR programs utilize the resources of MSU, as well as the universities of Mississippi and Southern Mississippi and Jackson State University, under the auspices of the Mississippi Research Consortium. (For more, see http://www.mississippiresearch.org.)

For additional information about EPSCoR, visit http://www.msepscor.org or contact Echols at kechols@research.msstate.edu or 662-325-8904.

May 16, 2011

Agencies issue guidelines for eating fish from floodwaters

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State agencies in Mississippi are working tirelessly to meet the challenges posed by the historic flooding of the Mississippi River, its tributaries and backwaters. Hundreds of communities and thousands of Mississippians are being affected now, and the effects of the flood will be felt long after the water recedes.

The top priority in this natural disaster is keeping people safe, and a key issue is the safety of eating fish caught in floodwaters. Last Friday, state chemist Kevin Armbrust at the Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory at Mississippi State University personally received six calls from folks asking if it was safe to eat fish out of flooded waters.

It is a critical question in areas where residents supplement their diets with fresh-caught fish.

Armbrust reports that the lab worked closely with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and the Mississippi State Department of Health on guidelines to consider when consuming fish out of floodwaters. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency released that information late last week:

While there is no data showing that fish from the floodwaters are unsafe to eat, people should use common sense and observe the following precautions:

- Don't eat fish or crawfish that come out of an oil, gas or diesel slick.

- Don't eat fish or crawfish that don’t look normal. For example, fish with sores, tumors, or discoloration.

- Don’t eat fish or crawfish that don’t act normally. For example, fish that are gasping for breath at the surface, swimming erratically, or that are dead or dying.

- Don’t eat fish or crawfish that smell unusual--such as sewage, diesel or chemical odor.

- If they taste funny, throw them out.

- Handle fish and crawfish from floodwaters carefully. Avoid hand to mouth, nose or eye contact and wash hands thoroughly after handling uncooked fish or crawfish from flooded areas.

- Cook fish and crawfish thoroughly to kill any bacteria that may be present.

And MEMA also advises anyone thinking about fishing in floodwaters to be aware of several issues:

- In response to Executive Order 1053 issued by Gov. Haley Barbour, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks has closed all boating activity in counties affected by the recent flooding including: Adams, Bolivar, Claiborne, Coahoma, DeSoto, Jefferson, Humphreys, Issaquena, Sharkey, Tunica, Warren, Washington, Wilkinson, and Yazoo. This area will be expanded as needed.

- Floodwaters may have strong currents and unseen hazards under the surface of the water.

- Floodwaters often have high levels of bacteria as a result of flooded sewage systems and the decay of plant and animals that have been killed during the flood.

- Floodwaters may contain oil, gas, diesel, fertilizers or other chemicals.

MEMA’s best advice? It’s pretty simple: The safest thing to do is to avoid the flooded areas.

For additional information about the flood of 2011, visit the Mississippi State University Extension Services’ resource website at http://msucares.com/disaster/flooding/index.html.

About May 2011

This page contains all entries posted to Maroon Research Blog in May 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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