ASGSB- SEDS – Quarterly Report – April 2011

New Member

Chelsey Robinson, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

Awards & Honors

Ashley Gravelle (Midwestern State University)

·Outstanding Analytical Chemistry Student

·Outstanding Graduating Professional Student (American Chemical Society)

Christina Johnson (Miami University of Ohio)

·New inductee to Sigma Xi (Scientific Research Society)

Accepted to Graduate School

Our following member(s) were accepted to graduate schools

·Ashley Gravelle has been accepted for a master’s program with Dr. Stan Roux, a space biologist, at The University of Texas, Austin.

SEDS Space Letter

·Our group collected 35 signatures for this letter to policymakers.  Signatures were from university students and recent graduates from 12 universities across the US.  Good work!

Lectures / Seminars

· On April 12, student Christina Johnson gave a presentation about microbes in bioregenerative life support systems at Miami University of Ohio.  The audience was small but attentive.  The lecture was followed by an hour of questions on the topic.

· On April 25, space researcher Dr. Elison Blancaflor from the Noble Foundation gave a speech entitled “Tales of Discovery: Boldly Going Where No Mustard Plant Has Gone Before” at Midwestern State’s Annual College of Science & Mathematics Banquet.  Dr. Blancaflor is our student Ashley Gravelle’s research mentor.  Photo is of Ashley and Dr. Blancaflor.

Research Presentations

Texas Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol – February 14, 2011

· Ashley Gravelle (Midwestern State University) presented her poster entitled “Brassinolides Promote the Gravitropic Response of Maize Roots by Disrupting Actin Filament Organization.” Photo of Ashley with her poster.

Texas Academy of Science 114th Annual Meeting – March 3-5, 2011

· Ashley Gravelle gave an oral presentation entitled “Brassinolides Promote the Gravitropic Response of Maize Roots by Disrupting Actin Filament Organization.”  Photo is of Ashley preparing to speak.

Miami University of Ohio’s 17th Annual Undergraduate Research Forum – April 13, 2011

·Katharine Huntoon presented her poster entitled “Phototropism is enhanced in seelings grown in fractional gravity on the ISS.”  Photo is of Katharine and space researcher Dr. Kathy Millar standing beside the poster.

Education Outreach Efforts

Distribution of The High Frontier - Ongoing

·10 copies ordered for libraries in Saint Louis

·2 copies ordered for high school science classrooms in northern Los Angeles

Visit to 8th Grade Physical Science Classes at Mad River Middle School in Riverside (Dayton), Ohio – February 4, 2011

·Student member Christina Johnson visited science classrooms at a middle school in Dayton, Ohio to share her experience with space research, and to encourage an interest in science.

At the end of her presentations, she asked the students to respond to the following question – What will you research, and where?  Some memorable responses from these young students:

·Taylor Holman

I’d study astronomy, the stars and planets.  I’d study it in the center of the galaxy.  I’d see if I can discover any new planets or star constellations, maybe witness a new star being born or watch the start of a black hole.

·Shawn Derdue

I would study Astrobiology.  The place where I would study is on Mars because I wouldn’t have to sit at a desk all day.  You would get to look at things you haven’t seen before.

·Grayson T.

I would like to make it possible for the lack of gravity to not be in affect on space stations and shuttles.  Not just in one area.  I would do a lot of research and experiments to make this possible.  From the information we have now we could make a bigger accomplishment.

·Marissa Reece Varner

If I were to study space I would study … the health of people in space (Space Medicine). I would study this because it is interesting to me how the body reacts in space.  The way your organs and blood, cells, and all of that (especially the brain) is something that has had me wondering for a while.

Outreach Preparations for ASGSB Annual Meeting – San Jose, CA – November 4-6, 2011

·Bay Area K-12 teachers will be invited to a workshop on teaching space science in the classroom, taught by AIAA education specialists

·Student members will meet with science classes at an economically disadvantaged school to introduce them to basic concepts of space research, and encourage university education.

·Student members handed off a comprehensive list of universities and colleges in the SF bay area to our friends at NASA-Ames.  They are contacting biology departments to invite students to attend the ASGSB annual meeting at a special inexpensive day-rate.

Political Outreach Efforts

Congressional Visit Days – Washington, DC – March 15 – 22, 2011

Three of our students participated in lobbying efforts alongside AIAA & ASGSB during their joint Congressional Visit Days:

·Pedro Jofre (Purdue)

·Chelsey Robinson (SIU, Edwardsville)

·Christina Johnson (Miami of Ohio)

Students suggested an organized and increased student lobbying effort to ASGSB executive officer.  She seemed responsive to the idea of a funding line for an exemplary undergraduate student to spend their summer working with ASGSB in Washington DC to further aid in the ongoing political efforts.  We must have a formal proposal ready before November’s meeting for such a program to begin in 2012.


Still a preliminary effort at

Random Happy Announcements

Ashley Gravelle and her sweetheart Regis Cannon got engaged this quarter – she couldn’t even get away from her microscope for the photo shoot.


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