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Why do birds migrate at night?

Mother Nature Network Originally Posted: September 30, 2019 While plenty of birds — such as swallows, hawks and hummingbirds — migrate during the day, the majority of land birds travel at night. Although it would seem more difficult to fly when it's dark, there are good reason for the nighttime maneuvers. "Migration at night has at least three advantages," writes Herb Wilson, a professor of biology at Colby College, in Maine Birds. "Birds do not have to worry about falcon or hawk attacks. Second, the air in the atmosphere is usually less turbulent than during the day. Lastly, the air is cooler at night. A migrating bird produces a huge amount of excess heat that needs to be released. Most of the heat is lost from [...]

By | 2019-10-21T10:11:54-07:00 October 23rd, 2019|Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News|Comments Off on Why do birds migrate at night?

Some Personality Traits Are Easier To Change Than Others

Forbes Originally Posted: September 2019 A growing number of studies in psychology are showing that personality is more “changeable” than previously thought. Personality changes as we age; it changes as we learn new things and are exposed to new environments. But which aspects of personality might be easiest to change, and which might be most difficult? New research appearing in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology may hold the answer. A team of researchers led by Nathan Hudson of Southern Methodist University designed an experiment to test which of five core personality traits would change most over the course of a 15-week intervention. Interestingly, they found that the personality trait of “agreeableness” showed the most improvement while the trait “openness to experiences” showed the least improvement. To arrive [...]

By | 2019-10-21T10:06:33-07:00 October 21st, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, Psychology|Comments Off on Some Personality Traits Are Easier To Change Than Others

Jill DeTemple is teaching local students and faculty nationwide how to effectively navigate hot-button topics

Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: October 17, 2019 I don’t know about you, but the sorry state of what passes for debate these days — hair-trigger anger and social media carpet-bombing — beats me into believing that thoughtful discussion about life’s toughest stuff is dead and gone. Too often, I wind up feeling timid, tentative or just plain tired-head around hot-button issues. That’s why I went back to college last week to look into what I had heard were powerful efforts by one professor and her students to revive civil discourse. I didn’t find a magic potion for what ails society, but I did come back with better ideas on how to reengage. The timing couldn’t have been better, given the hotbed of political emotions [...]

By | 2019-10-17T08:42:50-07:00 October 17th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, Religious Studies|Comments Off on Jill DeTemple is teaching local students and faculty nationwide how to effectively navigate hot-button topics

In Memoriam – Edward R. Biehl, Ph.D.

Edward R. Biehl, Ph.D. passed away yesterday, October 14, 2019.  Professor Biehl’s career in the Chemistry Department, including department chair, spanned from 1962 until he retired as Professor Emeritus in 2017. He was the recipient of many teaching, research and professional awards and authored many publications.  Arrangements are pending. We send our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Professor Biehl.

By | 2019-10-16T06:51:27-07:00 October 16th, 2019|Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences|Comments Off on In Memoriam – Edward R. Biehl, Ph.D.

The (Lack of) Science Behind Time-Outs As a Tool to Discipline Children

Time Originally Posted: October 15, 2019 George Holden, chair of the Department of Psychology at Southern Methodist University was quoted in this article When Amy and Steve Unruh decided to adopt a four-year-old child from the Philippines, they anticipated challenges. They understood it would take time, as well as a great deal of love and care, for their family and its newest member to adjust. But they were committed to helping a child in need. The Unruh’s were blindsided when their adoption application was turned down. The reason, they were told, was that their parenting style was not suitable for an adopted child. “They said it was because we’ve used time-outs with our daughter,” says Amy Unruh, 43, who is a stay-at-home mom in Milton, [...]

By | 2019-10-15T09:27:35-07:00 October 15th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, Psychology|Comments Off on The (Lack of) Science Behind Time-Outs As a Tool to Discipline Children

SMU paleontology grad named one of the AAAS IF/THEN ambassadors

SMU News Originally Posted: September 10, 2019 The ambassadors are encouraged to share their stories of being women innovators, in hopes it inspires the next generation of women to get into science, technology, engineering and math [STEM] Myria Perez ’18 and Louis Jacobs DALLAS (SMU) – SMU (Southern Methodist University) graduate Myria Perez ’18 was one of 125 women innovators across the country who was selected to be an AAAS IF/THEN ambassador. Their mission? To share their stories and serve as high-profile role models for girls, in hopes it leads to a new generation of women getting into science, technology, engineering and math [STEM]. “We firmly believe that if we support a woman in STEM, then she can change the world,” Lyda Hill, the founder of Lyda Hill Philanthropies, said [...]

By | 2019-10-07T08:46:01-07:00 October 11th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Undergraduate News|Comments Off on SMU paleontology grad named one of the AAAS IF/THEN ambassadors

Researchers unveil new volcanic eruption forecasting technique

SMU News Originally Posted: September 12, 2019 Volcanic eruptions and their ash clouds pose a significant hazard to population centers and air travel, especially those that show few to no signs of unrest beforehand. Geologists are now using a technique traditionally used in weather and climate forecasting to develop new eruption forecasting models. By testing if the models are able to capture the likelihood of past eruptions, the researchers are making strides in the science of volcanic forecasting. The study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, examined the eruption history of the Okmok volcano in Alaska. In 2008, a large eruption produced an ash plume that extended approximately 1 mile into the sky over the Aleutian Islands – posing a significant hazard to aircraft engines along [...]

By | 2019-10-07T08:43:49-07:00 October 9th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences|Comments Off on Researchers unveil new volcanic eruption forecasting technique

12 Surprising Facts About the Legislative Branch

The History Channel Originally Posted: October 3, 2019 The executive branch enforces laws. The judicial branch interprets laws. But it is in the law-making legislative branch, says Howard Schweber, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin, “that the people deliberate and arrive at an agreement about the common good.” When writing the U.S. Constitution, the framers built in three branches of federal government to ensure a separation of powers, and, as Article I states, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” “The point of the Constitution was to replace a system in which the national government could only make laws that affected states in their relations with one another,” Schweber says. [...]

By | 2019-10-07T08:35:10-07:00 October 7th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, History|Comments Off on 12 Surprising Facts About the Legislative Branch

The William P. Clements Department of History and the Center for Presidential History welcome Gordon H. Chang

Alien Chinese Railroad Workers and American National History Date: Thursday, October 3, 2019 Time: 5:30 PM (CT) Location: Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom The Clements Department of History and the Center for Presidential History at SMU welcome Gordon H. Chang, history professor and Senior Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Stanford University, as part of the Stanton Sharp Lecture Series. Chang studies the history of America-China relations, U.S. diplomacy, and Asian American history and currently co-directs the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project. His lecture is free and open to the public following a brief reception. For more information, please contact Margi Evans at mfevans@smu.edu.

By | 2019-09-30T08:21:53-07:00 October 2nd, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Events, History|Comments Off on The William P. Clements Department of History and the Center for Presidential History welcome Gordon H. Chang
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