Wildfire Archaeology and the Burning American West

Sapiens Originally Posted: September 9, 2020 As I type, the American West is ablaze with more than 100 devastating wildfires. Many of these are record-setting in both size and intensity. Several, including one in my home state of Colorado, have been so intense they’ve created their own thunderstorms. Science shows that wildfires have been getting more destructive over the last several decades. The question is: Why? Are they getting worse due to climate change? Or is it due to human encroachment on once remote forests? Or, counterintuitive as it may seem, are federal wildfire suppression policies to blame? In the U.S., forest fire management policies date back to the 1880s, shortly after Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872. After a roughly 50-year period in which some [...]

By | 2020-09-10T10:26:14-07:00 September 10th, 2020|Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News|Comments Off on Wildfire Archaeology and the Burning American West

Dinosaurs’ unique bone structure helped them support their large weight

CNN Originally Posted: August 19, 2020 Some dinosaurs were so big the ground would have shaken while they walked. But how did they carry such massive loads? Dinosaurs likely had a different bone structure to mammals and birds that was uniquely capable of supporting huge weights, a new study has found. A team of paleontologists, mechanical and biomedical engineers examined the upper and lower leg bones of duck-billed hadrosaurs and sauropods, long-necked and big-bodied plant eaters, whose fossils have been found on every continent. "The structure of the trabecular, or spongy bone that forms in the interior of (the)bones we studied is unique within dinosaurs," said AnthonyFiorillo, a Southern Methodist University paleontologist and one of the authors of the study that published Wednesday in the [...]

By | 2020-09-02T10:35:23-07:00 September 2nd, 2020|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on Dinosaurs’ unique bone structure helped them support their large weight

No one can predict the crises a president will face, so it’s better to vote on character (OPINION)

Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: August 30, 2020 Jeffrey A. Engel directs the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. He wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News. (OPINION) The Dallas Morning News is publishing a multi-part series on important issues for voters to consider as they choose a president this year. This is the third installment of our What’s at Stake series, and it focuses on presidential leadership. Find the full series here. Surely you predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall? Tiananmen Square? You also expected San Francisco’s World Series earthquake, and anticipated that the Exxon Valdez would choke Alaska’s coast with oil. Of course you didn’t. Neither did President George H.W. Bush, who confronted them all during his first year in [...]

By | 2020-08-31T13:21:29-07:00 August 31st, 2020|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, History|Comments Off on No one can predict the crises a president will face, so it’s better to vote on character (OPINION)

Contact tracing can stop COVID-19 — only if Americans allow government access to personal data

MSN Originally Posted: August 26, 2020 BY: Jo Guldi and Macabe Keiher Jo Guldi is an associate professor of history at Southern Methodist University. She teaches courses on data, text mining, and the history of capitalism. She is author of "Roads to Power: Britain Invents the Infrastructure State" and co-author, with David Armitage, of "The History Manifesto (2014)". Macabe Keliher is an assistant professor of Chinese history at Southern Methodist University. He is the author of "The Board of Rites and the Making of Qing China." Most Americans await a vaccine to end the pandemic and get us back to work. But the drama about vaccines and masks has obscured a practical answer to ending the pandemic that has already worked in other parts of the [...]

By | 2020-08-26T07:47:20-07:00 August 26th, 2020|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, History|Comments Off on Contact tracing can stop COVID-19 — only if Americans allow government access to personal data

What is oleandrin, the compound touted as a possible COVID-19 treatment?

C&E Chemical and Engineering News Originally Posted: August 20, 2020 Robert Harrod, a virologist in the SMU Department of Biological Sciences, has studied oleandrin’s ability to block human T-cell leukemia virus, type 1, a retrovirus that causes fatal blood cancer, from spreading to other cells in test tubes. “Even if (oleandrin) does make it into treatment of coronavirus as a therapeutic, this is going to have to be monitored very closely by doctors,” Harrod says. “It is a very dangerous compound.” https://cen.acs.org/biological-chemistry/natural-products/oleandrin-compound-touted-possible-COVID/98/web/2020/08

By | 2020-08-21T08:13:45-07:00 August 21st, 2020|Biology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News|Comments Off on What is oleandrin, the compound touted as a possible COVID-19 treatment?

When SMU anthropologist Maryann Cairns joined an environmental research team dedicated to keeping Costa Rican beaches safe from wastewater, no one anticipated the research would help monitor COVID-19

Mirage News Originally Posted: July 30, 2020 At the end of last year, scientists from USF and Southern Methodist University (SMU) wrapped up an intense two-year field season on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica with colleagues at the Costa Rican Water and Sewage Authority’s Water Laboratory. With more than 5,000 beach surveys, 500 behavioral observations and 80 interviews to digest, and water quality data to crunch, it was time to celebrate this phase of their NSF-funded coastal health study called MERA, which included several trainings by the USF team to help their colleagues get up to speed on a suite of environmental monitoring techniques. It was December 2019, a time when working side-by-side was a fine thing to do and facial expressions – like [...]

By | 2020-08-17T13:42:56-07:00 August 17th, 2020|Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences|Comments Off on When SMU anthropologist Maryann Cairns joined an environmental research team dedicated to keeping Costa Rican beaches safe from wastewater, no one anticipated the research would help monitor COVID-19

Were humans living in a Mexican cave during the last ice age?

Science Magazine Originally Posted: July 22, 2020 In Science magazine, SMU archeologist David Meltzer questions if stone tools found in a Mexico cave indicate that humans were there 26,000 years ago, more than 10,000 years before any other known human occupation in the region. At first glance, Chiquihuite Cave in Mexico’s Zacatecas state is an unlikely place to find signs of early humans, let alone evidence that might change the story of the peopling of the Americas. It sits a daunting 1000 meters above a valley, overlooking a desert landscape in the mountains north of Zacatecas. Getting there requires a 4- or 5-hour uphill scramble over a moonscape of jagged boulders. But in the soil below the cave’s floor, a team led by archaeologist Ciprian [...]

By | 2020-08-10T07:27:35-07:00 August 10th, 2020|Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences|Comments Off on Were humans living in a Mexican cave during the last ice age?

SMU Economists’ Research Details Why Some Counties Have Fared Better Than Others During The COVID-19 Pandemic

SMU Research Originally Posted: July 2, 2020 DALLAS (SMU) – The “back to the city” movement popular with Millennials has resulted in the revitalization of many urban areas, but has also made these city dwellers living in close proximity, frequently sharing rail cars and buses, more susceptible to risk during a pandemic. Population density and dependence on public transportation are just two of the factors that came into play in a new statistical study of how 3,000 U.S. counties have fared during the COVID-19 pandemic. Produced by SMU economist Klaus Desmet and his UCLA colleague Romain Wacziarg, the working paper issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research confirms some previous assumptions about the spread of COVID-19, but raises intriguing questions, such as: How have counties that more strongly support [...]

By | 2020-07-29T10:28:50-07:00 July 31st, 2020|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Economics, Faculty News|Comments Off on SMU Economists’ Research Details Why Some Counties Have Fared Better Than Others During The COVID-19 Pandemic

How the (Econometrics) Sausage is Made: Thoughts from Economics Professor Daniel Millimet

Department of Economics Research Originally Posted: July 16, 2020 Even for experienced empirical researchers, certain econometric issues can be often overlooked or seem confusing. It can seem like everyone else knows what’s going on except you! The rapid pace with which new econometric methods are being developed further exacerbates these issues. Who has the time to keep up to date? Enter, Professor Daniel Millimet from the SMU Department of Economics. His blog, “How the (Econometrics) Sausage is made” lays out what empirical practitioners need to know when it comes to those often overlooked or confusing issues as well as recently developed techniques in a simple, reader friendly way. His research spans microeconometric methods and applications in labor economics, environmental economics, and international trade and he teaches courses [...]

By | 2020-07-16T10:01:01-07:00 July 16th, 2020|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Economics, Faculty News|Comments Off on How the (Econometrics) Sausage is Made: Thoughts from Economics Professor Daniel Millimet

What white parents get wrong about raising antiracist kids — and how to get it right

Washington Post Originally Posted: June 25, 2020 The world feels broken right now — not just cracked in a few places but shattered in a million pieces. It’s been this way for centuries, of course, but many Americans — white Americans — are just starting to wake up and grapple with the depth of this country’s deeply rooted racism, as well as the role they played in making it so. As a white parent, I feel a deep responsibility to provide my children with the tools and awareness to help rebuild our society into something better. I know I’m not alone, but I also know many white parents don’t know how or where to start. Research suggests that we need to confront our unfounded assumptions [...]

By | 2020-06-30T09:46:56-07:00 July 9th, 2020|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, Psychology|Comments Off on What white parents get wrong about raising antiracist kids — and how to get it right
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