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March 2008

Release Date: March 12, 2008

ASU Students Reap Awards at State Science Conference

Fifteen Angelo State University students and faculty presented a variety of research projects at the 111th annual meeting of the Texas Academy of Science March 6-8 at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, with six students bringing home honors and awards.

First Place student awards, including checks for $1,500, went to Ryan Sonntag in chemistry for his undergraduate research proposal, “Detailed Geologic Mapping of the Slaughter Ranch, Big Bend Region, Texas,” and to Dana Lee in biology for her graduate research proposal, “Taxonomic Status of the Davis Mountains Cottontail, Sylvilagus robustus (Lagormorpha: Leporidae) Revealed by Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism.” Jessica Halley Newman received the Dr. Ali Reza Amir-Moez Award and $500 for best undergraduate oral presentation in math, “A Probabilistic Algorithm for Measuring of Coastline Length.” Faculty advisers for the three projects were Dr. Joseph Satterfield, Dr. Loren Ammerman and Dr. Trey Smith, respectively.

Other ASU student winners included Ashlee Stiles in biology (First Place, undergraduate oral presentation), Shane Guthrie in chemistry (Third Place, $500, undergraduate research proposal) and Gemma Guerra in biology (Honorable Mention, graduate oral presentation).

In all, ASU students made 12 presentations, including papers and posters, on topics ranging from biology and geosciences to mathematics, chemistry and marine sciences. Other student presenters were Jason Strickland, Adam Ferguson, David Ballard and Chris Montag.

Presenting ASU faculty were Dr. Nick Flynn, associate professor of biochemistry and head of the Honors Program; Dr. Joseph Satterfield, assistant professor of geology; Dr. Dionne Bailey, assistant professor of math; Elsie Campbell, professional specialist in math; and Dr. Ned Strenth, professor of biology.

Strenth received an Outstanding Service Award for his years of excellent service to TAS. Dr. David Marsh, professor of biology and immediate past-president of TAS, was appointed as Collegiate Counselor by the TAS board of directors.

The Texas Academy of Science is one of the oldest and most respected science organizations in the state. Its purpose is to promote scientific research among the colleges and universities of Texas, to promote undergraduate research and to enhance the professional development of its members. More than 450 scientists from dozens of universities statewide attended the annual meeting.