Campus briefs


OVPR seeking nominations for annual research staff, faculty awards

The Office of the Vice President for Research is seeking nominations for its annual research awards celebrating the impact and importance of the critical role research staff and faculty play in supporting and advancing university operations. OVPR has established 11 research staff awards to recognize staff excellence across a wide range of fields, including technicians, administrators, study coordinators, staff support, facility and core services, leadership, and data management and analysis. To honor the scholarly work of research faculty, OVPR encourages nominations for its Collegiate Research Professorship Award, Research Faculty Achievement Award and Research Faculty Recognition Award. Nominations for the staff and faculty awards are due Feb. 28. More information and nomination processes.

Big Heart Blood Battle with other universities runs through Feb. 23

Campus community members can help the university bring home another championship this winter by donating blood through Feb. 23 during the Big Heart Blood Battle at locations across the Ann Arbor and medical campuses. The annual winter blood-donation competition against Michigan State and Penn State universities and the University of Wisconsin helps keep critical blood supplies flowing to hospitals and clinics. The need is great. This month, the American Red Cross declared an emergency blood shortage, with blood donations at a 20-year low. Drive locations are available on the Blood Battle website at Donors should use the sponsor code “goblue” when scheduling an appointment. Before donating, potential donors should review the Red Cross’s eligibility requirements, which recently changed to open donation to more people; complete Rapid Pass the day of the scheduled appointment to save time; eat iron-rich foods and drink plenty of water. Donors receive a free Big Heart shirt, a Washtenaw Dairy coupon, and, during January, are automatically entered in a raffle to win a trip to Super Bowl LVIII.

Center for Interprofessional Education seeks nominations for two awards

The Michigan Center for Interprofessional Education is seeking nominations for the sixth IPE Award for Innovation and Award for Excellence, featuring updated award categories honoring work in interprofessional education, practice or research. These awards honor individuals and teams who have demonstrated excellence or innovation in practice, teaching, scholarship or leadership with regard to implementing or developing innovative, effective and sustainable interprofessional education or interprofessional practice at U-M’s health science schools, Michigan Medicine or community sites. All faculty, students and staff in the health science schools and colleges at the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses are eligible for nomination by colleagues and collaborators. Self-nominations are welcome. Award winners receive $1,000, presented to the individual or split among team members. More information about the awards and nomination process. The nomination deadline is March 3.

Anonymous tip line flags thousands of firearm threats in North Carolina schools

A look at one state’s use of Sandy Hook Promise’s Say Something Anonymous Reporting System, which provides K-12 students a way to confidentially report concerning behaviors, found that youth submitted thousands of tips each year on firearm-related risks. The study, led by researchers from U-M’s Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention in partnership with Sandy Hook Promise, analyzed the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System in North Carolina, which serves 103 school districts and 156 charter schools, and pulled data from more than 18,000 unique tips made through the system. According to the study, published in the journal Pediatrics, 1 in 10 tips submitted involved firearm-related threats. Of the total gun-related tips reported between 2019-23, 51% were classified as life-threatening — five times greater than the proportion of tips not related to firearms — eliciting response from emergency medical services or policing systems. Tips that referenced firearms include potential school shootings (38%), seeing or knowing of a weapon (22%), intent for interpersonal violence (9%), bullying or cyberbullying (3%), and suicide (3%). Read more about the study.

Climate change threatens global forest carbon sequestration, study finds

Climate change is reshaping forests differently across the United States, according to a new analysis of U.S. Forest Service data. With rising temperatures, escalating droughts, wildfires and disease outbreaks taking a toll on trees, researchers warn that forests across the American West are bearing the brunt of the consequences. The study was led by University of Florida researchers and includes a U-M co-author, Kai Zhu, an ecologist at the School for Environment and Sustainability’s Institute for Global Change Biology. It appears online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study reveals a pronounced regional imbalance in forest productivity, a key barometer of forest health that gauges tree growth and biomass accumulation. Over the past two decades, forests in the western United States, grappling with more severe climate change impacts, have exhibited a notable slowdown in productivity, while forests in the Eastern U.S., experiencing milder climate effects, have seen slightly accelerated growth. Read more about the study.

— Compiled by James Iseler, The University Record


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