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Research Week to storm UC Merced
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It started off as a simple Research Day. But now, three years later, the University of California, Merced event has grown into a full-fledged Research Week.
“UC Merced is quickly becoming known for its groundbreaking research in a number of areas and disciplines,” said Sam Traina, UC Merced vice chancellor for research. “Research Week is our chance to celebrate that research and for the general public to learn about the amazing work being done by our students and faculty.”
The week of April 12 will feature three Research Week events open to the public, the Research Poster Competition, the Vital and Alice Pellisier Distinguished Speaker Series, and the Sigma Xi Spring Symposium.
The poster contest, set for April 13, provides students with an opportunity to showcase their research through posters. Winners receive monetary prizes, including a $1,500 scholarship for the graduate contest winner, courtesy of Comcast.
The undergraduate contest will begin at 10 a.m., while the graduate session will commence at 1 p.m. Both will occur at the UC Merced Recreation and Wellness Center.
The Pellisier speaker series will feature Mark Aldenderfer, the new UC Merced dean of the school of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts. He will make use of his archaeology background to lecture on how humans evolved to live at high altitudes using human genetics, cognitive science, glaciology, paleoclimatology, and ecology.
“The story of how humans evolved to live in the world’s high plateaus is one that can’t be told through archaeology alone,” Aldenderfer said. “It’s through interdisciplinary research that we can answer some of nature’s toughest questions, including what it took for our ancestors to finally live the high life.”
Aldenderfer’s lecture will begin at 6 p.m. on April 13 in the UC Merced Kolligan Library, Room 355.
The Sigma Xi Spring Symposium will feature three distinguished scientists – Richard Somerville, Catherine Gautier-Downes, and Steven Schnider – all discussing aspects of global climate change. Topics will range from the latest research to the public’s reluctance to believe in global warming.
“Global climate change is one of the most important scientific topics of our time,” said UC Merced Professor Anthony Westerling, who will host the symposium. “This illustrious group of speakers will inform and educate our audience while challenging their assumptions about what climate change is and what it means for the future of our planet.”
The symposium will run from 1:45 to 5 p.m. on April 15 in the UC Merced Lakireddy Auditorium, Classroom and Office Building, Room 102.
A full list of Research Week events, including student functions such as a workshop on locating research funding, is available online at
To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.