All posts by Melissa Beattie Moss

A headline act in Music City

There’s seeing Nashville—and then there’s taking Nashville by storm with Jerry Zolten.

10390022_10152825535492086_8165040390046874029_nThis is a story of the latter experience.  Continue reading A headline act in Music City

Bringing an Eco-Friendly Message to the Green Mountain State

It may not come as a surprise that the “Green Mountain State” of Vermont is considered one of America’s greenest regions, in terms of its carbon footprint, energy efficiency, and air quality.  If our Research On The Road trip to Vermont earlier this month is any barometer, let’s add bees to the list of things that matter deeply to Vermonters.

ROTRVermontThursJPEG Continue reading Bringing an Eco-Friendly Message to the Green Mountain State

Hitting the Oregon Trail

As association conferences go, the University Research Magazine Association’s annual meeting is at the “exceptionally good” end of the spectrum.

I think the winning formula may be an international mix of longtime colleagues who share advice and resources throughout the year; an influx of new members who keep us on our toes with fresh ideas; and a rotating conference location, allowing us to take turns hosting and our showing off our parent institutions and publications.

For instance, Penn State took its turn in 2008. (Acclaimed PSU geologist and climate change researcher Richard Alley gave a memorable presentation.)  We’ve been hosted in Maryland by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, we’ve met up in Evanston and Chicago (check out the blog post!) when our meeting was sponsored by Fermilab and Northwestern University, and in Binghamton, New York last year, just to name a few.

Some URMA members (including this author, third from right) pose in front of the Corning Museum of Glass which we toured as part of our 2013 conference.

Continue reading Hitting the Oregon Trail

Part Two, Research on the Road…and Sea!

In Part One of this recap, I described how the plans unfolded for Research On the Road’s trip to our alumni chapter in Puerto Rico, and shared the details of the talk given by Iliana Baums, a Penn State faculty member and marine biologist.  In this final installment, I describe our day trip with chapter members, a journey out on the ocean to get a hands-on –or “hands off!” in the case of coral–experience of the marine life of Puerto Rico.

Bright and early the next day, we set out from the marina in Fajardo on a power catamaran heading for the islands that make up the Cordillera Keys Nature Preserve, including Icacos, Palomino and Palominito.

Sunrise in San Juan

There were about a dozen Penn Staters, family members and friends on board, and the mood was understandably upbeat as we headed out.  Continue reading Part Two, Research on the Road…and Sea!

Research on the Road…and Sea!

Sometimes all signs point in a certain direction. So it was last winter when I met with folks from the Alumni Association to begin planning our spring semester “Research On The Road” events. They mentioned that the alumni chapter in Puerto Rico is rapidly growing, with hundreds of Penn State grads on the island, and increasingly active membership programming. I left that meeting (bundled up against the cold and snow) pondering their enthusiastic suggestion to bring ROTR to Penn State’s hopping Caribbean alumni group.

Just hours later, I happened upon a Penn State video about the work of Iliana Baums, associate professor of molecular ecology in Penn State’s biology department. Trained at the University of Miami and the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, Baums focuses her work on the coral reefs of the Caribbean and, in particular, has ongoing research projects on Elkhorn corals in Puerto Rico. 


Continue reading Research on the Road…and Sea!