Posted tagged ‘biological sciences’

Preschoolers visit Biology Department

July 3, 2017

The Marsh Room children from the Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Laboratory visited the Biology Department on Wednesday, June 28. The experience provided an opportunity for the children to extend their current study on spiders. Hats off to Holly Christopher, Biology Learning Center coordinator, who helped make this field trip a very enriching and rewarding experience for them!

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Matthew Douglas uncovers insect fossil

March 27, 2017

This past summer, while continuing his sabbatical research on North American and South American Monarch butterflies, Dr. Matthew Douglas of GRCC’s Biology Department had the good fortune of uncovering a nearly perfect insect from the Florissant deposits of Colorado (dated at 36 million years in age).  The insect, a fly in the family Tipulidae (cranefly), was a female entombed by a volcanic explosion that caused a great deal of silt to cover an ancient freshwater lake, entrapping this specimen.

All insect fossils are very rare because insects are so delicate, and this one is particularly rare and amazingly well preserved.

A fossilized fly.

Physical Sciences hosts STEM event

March 20, 2017

Last month, the Physical Sciences Department hosted a collaborative public outreach event led by faculty and students from GRCC and Van Andel Institute. The event, titled “Fall in Love With STEM” was part of a series of similar events sponsored by the Association of Women in Science West Michigan chapter. The GRCC site featured a unique “Exploration Station” format, where middle-school-aged registrants investigated scientific disciplines across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, making this a true STEM event.

From the Physical Sciences Department, Assistant Professor Ashley Campanali led a station on engineering and Assistant Professor Lauren Woolsey led a station on astronomy. From the Mathematics Department, GRCC student Rachel Swem led her own station on mathematics and game theory. From the Biological Sciences Department, Professor Leigh Kleinert organized a station that was run entirely by the following GRCC students as part of their service learning program: Shelsy DeLeon-Lopez, Afrika Earvin, Alma Garcia-Bautista, Mollie Hettinger, Brendan Howe, Jenna Meyers, Mauricio Perez, Monica Rivera, Taylor Swift, Megan Thomas, and Ana Villagomez.

Sincere thanks and congratulations to all those involved, including the countless volunteers and support staff who made this event possible! Other station leaders include Alison Bernstein (MSU), Jamie Grit (VAI), Marie Adams (VAI), Allie Weber (VAI), and Jacqueline Peacock (FSU). Julie Turner led the VAI logistics and event registration, and Lauren Woolsey led the GRCC logistics and event setup. Photos in this post were taken by Katie Krajnak from VAI. Dozens of families attended this inaugural event, and we look forward to expanding the event in future years!

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Free Fall in Love with STEM event set for Feb. 18

February 14, 2017

Investigate a series of Exploration Stations during the Fall in Love with STEM event from noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 18. The free event was developed in a collaboration between Grand Rapids Community College, Van Andel Institute and Michigan State University.

From the very large (the solar system) to the very small (blood cells), explore all that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has to offer! Each station is designed to be a 15- to 30-minute activity, targeted at middle school students. Pick and choose which stations to complete, or explore all of them over the course of the afternoon! Program a robot or computer to make a drawing, investigate skeletons by dissecting an owl pellet, figure out mathematical strategies in games, identify DNA to help solve a crime, control objects with your brain waves, and more! Registration limited to 100 students, parking passes will be provided to registrants. This event is sponsored by the West Michigan Association for Women in Science.

This Open House of STEM activities is geared towards middle school and high school students and will be held on the first floor of the Calkins Science Center. The event is sponsored by the West Michigan Association for Women in Science.

For more information or to RSVP, please click this link.

 

Matthew Douglas elected president of Michigan Entomological Society

February 13, 2017

Dr. Matthew Douglas of the GRCC Biology Department has been elected as the President of the 275-member Michigan Entomological Society (MES).  (The MES has member faculty from around the United States and a number of foreign countries.)

During the summer meeting of the MES near Traverse City, Michigan, Dr. Douglas presented a paper (derived from his sabbatical work in South America), entitled: Monarch Migration in the Americas.  In this paper Dr. Douglas proposes that the three species of Monarch butterflies in the Americas are all derived from an ancestral population (no longer in existence) extending from Central Mexico across to Hispaniola.  It is apparent that all species of Monarchs had the ability to migrate either attitudinally or latitudinally:  In South America the Monarch migrates along the Andes of Argentina to an unknown location; on the island of Hispaniola, Monarchs migrate attitudinally; and in North America, our Monarchs migrate in three migrational cohorts toward Mexico, California, and South Florida (across to the Yucatan Peninsula).

This research resolves a major issue concerning the origination of the migratory behavior in all Monarch butterflies, and it is hopeful that this information will promote additional research into the migratory behavior of the Monarch butterflies.

The annual meeting of the MES will be help from August 25th through August 27th at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, just south of Hastings, Michigan.  Any interested students or professors should contact Dr. Douglas for additional information at mdouglas@grcc.edu.

Paul Krieger’s sabbatical

February 8, 2017

Paul Krieger, professor of Biology, is currently on sabbatical studying scientific and medical illustration at Kendall College of Art & Design (KCAD). These pen and ink illustrations – a Great Horned Owl and a zebra – are samples of his work.

 

Gregory Forbes to present lecture on Darwin

January 30, 2017

Dr. Gregory Forbes, from Biological Sciences, will be presenting a free public lecture entitled “Charles Darwin; A Retrospective and Perspective View” in honor of Darwin’s upcoming birthday.

This presentation will explore Darwin’s life, including his unlikely development into a scientist, his struggles to have his ideas taken seriously and his impact upon our present society, including how Darwin’s view of life has allowed us to understand relationships in science that otherwise would have been obscured had they not been viewed through the clarity provided by the lens of evolution.

This free lecture will be held Wednesday, Feb. 8, from 7-8 p.m. at the Women’s City Club in Grand Rapids.

Condolences to Janis Qualls

January 11, 2017

GRCC extends condolences to Janis Qualls, in Biological and Physical Sciences, and her family upon the death of her father, John Qualls, on Jan. 10.

GRCC In the News, 1-3-17

January 3, 2017

 

Amanda Price bill opens possibility for lowering community college costs

Dec. 30, 2016; Grand Haven Tribune

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed House Bill 4265, sponsored by state Rep. Amanda Price, R-Park Township, that would give voters in counties that don’t border community college districts the chance to approve joining a district.

… “Think of Grand Rapids Community College,” Price said. “If we wanted it here in Holland, we would have to go through the whole process of becoming accredited, which is not likely to happen even in Ottawa County. We have to be a contiguous district, but there are several school districts and communities in between.”

Grand Rapids murders up slightly from last year; nine of 12 deaths involved a gun

Dec. 29, 2016; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (WZZM) – As 2016 draws to a close, the city of Grand Rapids is ending the year with an uptick in murders.

… Here is a look at the city’s dozen murders so far this year:

… April 30, 2016: Jeanne Huntoon, 34, was found beaten and fatally stabbed next to a Grand Rapids Community College parking ramp on Bostwick Avenue NE. A 19-year-old man has been charged with her murder.

Bill Pink Raising the Bar at Every Level

Dec. 27, 2016; Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

Throughout his youth, Dr. Bill Pink had one academic goal. “I wanted to leave my mark on every school that I left, and so I wanted to have my name up on the wall,” says Pink, who was unanimously voted in November to become the next president of Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan.

Greenville Department of Public Safety welcomes 2 new officers

Dec. 23, 2016; The Daily News (Greenville)

GREENVILLE — The Greenville Department of Public Safety has welcomed two new officers to its ranks.

… After graduating from the Grand Rapids Community College Police Academy program this past October, (Marcus) Roy was selected for a full-time job along with DeWitt after the city received 35 applications for two open positions.

Dancing with the Local Stars tickets go on sale Jan. 2

Dec. 28, 2016; MLive

MUSKEGON, MI — The Women’s Division Chamber of Commerce has announced that tickets for its annual Dancing with the Local Stars charity event will be available on Jan. 2.

… The 2017 participants include:

… Becky Kuznar, Occupational Therapist, Rehabilitation Program Manager, Lake Woods Nursing & Rehabilitation Center with Patrick Johnson, Co-Owner PT Arts – LLC Consulting; Dance Faculty Instructor, GRCC; President & CEO, West Michigan Flight Academy

Gov. Rick Snyder makes reappointments to the Michigan Asparagus Marketing Advisory Board

Dec. 20, 2016; michigan.gov (state press release)

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the reappointments of Sarah Greiner of Hart and Eric Herrygers of Hart to the Michigan Asparagus Marketing Advisory Board which develops and implements asparagus marketing programs.

… Greiner is an owner/operator of Todd Greiner Farms Packing, LLC which grows fruits, vegetables and evergreens; they also operate a fresh asparagus packing facility.  Greiner holds an associate’s degree in allied health from Grand Rapids Community College. She will continue to represent Northern-Central Michigan Growers.

National Endowment for the Arts awards $60,000 to West Michigan poet, Grand Rapids Symphony, UICA

Dec. 30, 2016; MLive

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded a West Michigan poet a $25,000 Creative Writing Fellowship for 2017.

… Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt leads the performance on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. Along with Hathaway, the one-night only show features the Grand Rapids Community Chorus organized by Duane Davis, retired director of vocal music at Grand Rapids Community College.

Thomas Wilcher would consider leaving Cass Tech for right college job

Dec. 30, 2016; The Detroit Free Press

Thomas Wilcher plans to leave all his options on the table.

… Wilcher’s role models include Ferris State coach Tony Annese, who won three prep titles at Muskegon and then left to coach Grand Rapids Community College, where he won two national titles. Now, Annese is building an NCAA Division II power at Ferris State.

Matthew Douglas researches ‘South American’ Monarch butterflies on sabbatical

January 3, 2017

During the Winter 2016 Semester, Matthew Douglas was given the sabbatical opportunity to research the “South American” Monarch butterfly (Danaus erripus) throughout South America.

Three boxes inside of a case hold preserved South American monarch butterflies (Danaus erripus).

GRCC In the News, 11-29-16

November 29, 2016

“News at 11 p.m.”

Nov. 28, 2016; FOX 17

A violent day at Ohio State University … Three words we’ve been hearing all day: “Run, hide, fight.” It’s the protocol to take during an active shooter or attacker emergency.

… (Calvin College) students and staff automatically have their emails plugged into the system … Bill Corner with Calvin College public safety says Grand Valley and GRCC both use the Rave emergency notification system.

Combing through pollinator planning

Nov. 28, 2016; Morning Ag Clips

EAST LANSING, Mich. — In response to concerns about pollinator health, Michigan agencies and legislators are gearing up with big plans and programs for pollinators in our state. Given their importance to our agricultural economy and natural lands, Michigan is taking part in the nationwide movement to protect the insects that pollinate our fruits, vegetables and native plants. In this article we outline, explain and provide updates on the different pollinator plans in Michigan (as of the end of 2016), providing links for more resources and ways you can get involved and receive updates as these plans progress.

… MDNR, along with numerous partners, hosted a Monarch and Wild Pollinator Summit in September 2016. The goals of the summit were to gather key conservation partners from across the state to initiate development of a statewide strategy to conserve habitat for the Monarch butterfly and wild pollinators, and develop a collaborative initiative to attract people and resources to help conserve habitat for monarchs and wild pollinators. A steering committee was created to help develop and organize this Summit that included the following organizations: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, USDANatural Resource Conservation Service, Farm Bureau, National Wildlife Federation, Michigan Department of Transportation, Michigan State University Extension, MSU Entomology Department, Michigan Pollinator Initiative and Grand Rapids Community College. The steering committee invited a diverse group of organizations to attend the summit, which included 32 different organizations.

GRCC In the News, 11-22-16

November 22, 2016

GRCC chooses new president

Nov. 21, 2016; FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College has a new president.

MSU to help increase student success in Grand Rapids

Nov. 21, 2016; MSU Today

Michigan State University has joined a Grand Rapids-area community initiative to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups entering and graduating from Michigan colleges.

… In addition to MSU, other higher education institutions partnering with TCTC are: Aquinas College, Calvin College, Cornerstone University, Davenport University, Ferris State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, Northwood University and Western Michigan University.

Combing through Michigan’s pollinator planning efforts

Nov. 21, 2016; Michigan State University Extension

In response to concerns about pollinator health, Michigan agencies and legislators are gearing up with big plans and programs for pollinators in our state. Given their importance to our agricultural economy and natural lands, Michigan is taking part in the nationwide movement to protect the insects that pollinate our fruits, vegetables and native plants. In this article we outline, explain and provide updates on the different pollinator plans in Michigan (as of the end of 2016), providing links for more resources and ways you can get involved and receive updates as these plans progress.

… MDNR, along with numerous partners, hosted a Monarch and Wild Pollinator Summit in September 2016. The goals of the summit were to gather key conservation partners from across the state to initiate development of a statewide strategy to conserve habitat for the Monarch butterfly and wild pollinators, and develop a collaborative initiative to attract people and resources to help conserve habitat for monarchs and wild pollinators. A steering committee was created to help develop and organize this Summit that included the following organizations: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, Farm Bureau, National Wildlife Federation, Michigan Department of Transportation, Michigan State University Extension, MSU Entomology Department, Michigan Pollinator Initiative and Grand Rapids Community College. The steering committee invited a diverse group of organizations to attend the summit, which included 32 different organizations.

Experience GR launches renovated Beer City Passport

Nov. 21, 2016; FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Beer lovers have the chance to become a “Brewsader” with the newly renovated beer city passport.

… Below is some of the other breweries featured:

… Fountain Hill Brewery at GRCC

 

GRCC In the News, 11-21-16

November 21, 2016

$6 million grant aims to create worker pipeline for senior living, other employers

Nov. 20, 2016; McKnight’s Senior Living

Four Michigan senior living communities are partners in a $6 million grant awarded to Grand Rapids Community College and designed to address healthcare workforce needs in the western part of the state.

Science Day brings hands-on learning to Grand Rapids community

Nov. 18, 2016; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The second annual Community Science Day, hosted by Grand Rapids Community College, is taking over campus on Nov. 19.

Inside Track: Changing people’s lives

Nov. 18, 2016; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Dennis Van Kampen remembers journeying with a friend to Juarez, Mexico, in 1988 for what would prove to be far from the typical touristy experience.

… When he was younger, Van Kampen felt destined for a career in law enforcement. After graduating in 1988 from Grand Rapids Community College with a degree in criminal justice, Van Kampen worked as a reserve officer for the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department.

First Lady Michelle Obama presents WMCAT with national award

Nov. 17, 2016; rapidgrowthmedia.com

There is big news.

… (Keloni) Seawood-Walton became a part of WMCAT while attending Grand Rapids Montessori School and graduated in spring 2016. She now is working part time as an apprentice at WMCAT’s Ambrose Print Shop while attending Grand Rapids Community College.

Keeping Jeanna Huntoon’s memory alive

Nov. 21, 2016; WZZM

MUSKEGON, MICH. – It’s been a little over six months since the murder of Jeanne Huntoon.

The 34-year-old was stabbed to death near Grand Rapids Community College in April. Authorities have charged Marcus Bivens with her murder.

Grand Rapids wins battle of the Raiders

Nov. 18, 2016; KTIC

The Central Community College Raiders saw their season come to an end with a 3-1 loss to the Grand Rapids Community College Raiders in the consolation bracket of the NJCAA Division II National Tournament.

Photos from Community Science Day

November 21, 2016

Students, staff and faculty from GRCC’s biological sciences, physical sciences, exercise science, dental assisting, nursing, radiologic technology and occupational therapy programs organized the Community Science Day on Nov. 19.

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Biology faculty members host statewide conference

November 14, 2016

Grand Rapids Community College biology faculty hosted the annual fall conference of the Michigan Community College Biologists (MCCB) on October 14-15, 2016.

The conference began with a cadaver workshop facilitated by GRCC biology faculty member Dr. Gregory Forbes. The keynote speaker on Friday evening was Ashley Hannah Sanderlin, who gave a presentation concerning the relationship of obesity and neuropsychiatric symptoms in mild cognitive impairments. Afterwards, there was a social hour with local beer and cheese pairings.

On Saturday morning, Dean Michael Vargo gave a warm welcome to the membership.  Members then traveled to Blandford Nature Center where master naturalist Kristin Tindall provided a guided hike through the center while teaching about some of Michigan’s medicinal and edible plants. After lunch back at GRCC, three former GRCC biology students (Jamie Grit, Dave Klungle, and Nicole Thorwall) offered a panel discussion concerning their experiences taking biology courses at GRCC. Finally, Carol Hendershot, co-founder of Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness, gave attendees an introduction to mindfulness practices.

The conference organizers were Leigh Kleinert, Holly Christopher, Bob Leunk, and Tim Periard.

Michigan Community College Biologists (MCCB) provides a statewide forum for sharing instructional techniques and up-to-date information for teaching college-level biology. The organization fosters communication, friendship, and unity among the biologists of the 29 community colleges in the state of Michigan. Two statewide conferences are held annually.