July 2, 2019

Nebraska in the national news: June 2019

University of Nebraska–Lincoln experts were interviewed for June articles on the division of labor in an ancient American society and a looming race to claim moon terrain. The stories were among 25-plus featuring the university’s faculty, students, alumni and programs during the month.

Carrie Heitman, assistant professor of anthropology and Chaco Canyon scholar, was quoted in a June 3 National Geographic article on new research showing that men and women shared in the task of pottery-making 1,000 years ago at a Chacoan site and suggesting that participation in the task by gender changed over time.

Heitman said she was intrigued by the results but that more comparative studies from other Chacoan sites are needed.

“Maybe this is just a snapshot of a shift that was happening at that time, but these kinds of gendered analyses will help us expand the picture to try to look at what men and women were doing, and sets us up for a much richer and gender-equitable perspective of the past,” she said.

Heitman was also a recent guest on “The Scott Michlin Morning Program” on KSJE radio in Farmington, New Mexico. She discussed the Salmon Pueblo Archaeological Research Collection and the Chaco Research Archive.

Frans von der Dunk, Perlman Alumni and Othmer Professor of Space Law, was interviewed for an article in the July issue of Scientific American on the international race to claim territory, and accompanying resources, on the moon.

Recent developments, such as the expansion of space-faring nations and rise of commercial spaceflight, have raised issues that were not on anyone’s radar when the Outer Space Treaty was written more than 50 years ago. Various interpretations have emerged, resulting in tension.

“International law is made by the states collectively,” von der Dunk said. “If one says this is legal and another says this requires an international regime and licensing, then you have a big problem on your hands.”

In regard to the Chinese space program, he said it might be in the best interests of other countries to begin working on rules to rein in potential rivals, even if it means giving up some autonomy.

Other coverage:

Rupal Mehta, political science, discussed the ups and downs of U.S.-Iran relations, the United States’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, and the U.S. government’s Iran strategy under President Donald Trump in the June 3 edition of Fair Observer’s Interview.

A recent article by Aaron Berger, Nebraska Extension, was cited in a June 3 Beef magazine story. Berger listed 10 things producers should think about before moving calving dates for 2020.

Wheeler Winston Dixon, film studies, was quoted in a June 5 Pitt News movie blog entry on video game adaptations. He said the biggest issue with video game movies is that they lack player interaction and thus lose information.

Katie Edwards, educational psychology, was quoted in a June 5 Reuters article on Dating Matters, a dating violence prevention program for 11-to-14-year-olds. She said the program is unique in that it targets multiple risk and protective factors for teen dating violence, including engaging the important adults in the lives of youth such as parents and teachers.

BTN.com published a June 7 article on a bucket list for University of Nebraska–Lincoln students. The list featured the University of Nebraska State Museum, International Quilt Museum, Kruger Collection of Miniature Furnishings and Decorative Arts, sculptures on campus, pop-up courses and Maxwell Arboretum.

The play “The Fishermen” will be part of the British Council’s Edinburgh Showcase before a six-week run at Trafalgar Studios. The play is based on the Booker Prize-nominated novel by Chigozie Obioma, English. Broadway World published an article on the play June 7.

Obioma will headline the Open Book Festival in Cape Town, South Africa, in September. The festival was highlighted in a June 11 book column in the City Press.

Obioma will also headline the Africa Writes festival July 7 at London’s British Library. The Bookseller published an article on Obioma and the festival June 19.

Patrick Baker, a sophomore global studies and political science major, is one of 10 students nationwide to be accepted into the 2019 Cargill Global Scholars Program. Over the next two years, he and the other members of his cohort will travel the globe while networking with leaders and policymakers. The Maryville (Missouri) Daily Forum ran an article on Baker’s achievement June 11.

Matt Schaefer, international trade law and space law, was quoted in a June 13 Politico article on property rights in space. Those who oppose revising or creating new treaties argue that the laws and norms of space need to develop piecemeal. “To try to make rules in advance, I think it’s pretty impractical,” Schaefer said.

Philip Schwadel, sociology, a senior researcher focusing on religion at the Pew Research Center, co-wrote a June 13 Fact Tank post with Aleksandra Sandstrom on how lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans view religious institutions. LGB Americans tend to be more skeptical of churches and other religious institutions than straight adults, according to a new analysis of a 2014 Pew survey.

Terry Mader, animal science, was quoted in a June 13 Beef magazine article on summer feed conversion. “More often than not, our wetter years will potentially create more heat stress than our very dry years,” he said. “It’s cooler, but the cattle don’t get a chance to adapt to higher temperatures.”

New research by Omera Matoo and Kristi Montooth, both biological sciences, has revealed how fruit fly larvae with a seemingly fatal flaw can survive and advance to adulthood. Phys.org ran an article on the research June 13.

Husker alumna Channy Laux was featured in a June 14 article in The Phnom Penh Post. Laux’s company, Angkor Cambodian Foods, sells Cambodian spices, pastes and sauces. Angkor’s lemongrass paste won the Foodservice Innovation Award at the 65th IFMA Gold and Silver Plate Awards on May 18 in Chicago.

The U.S. Drought Monitor — produced by the university’s National Drought Mitigation Center, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — was cited in a June 18 Associated Press article on Arizona being free of short-term drought for the first time in nearly 10 years.

The Heritage at Fox Run in Council Bluffs recently hosted a week of celebrations in honor of David Appel, a World War II veteran and Husker alumnus. Appel turned 102 on June 20. The Daily Nonpareil published a June 19 article on Appel.

Ari Kohen, political science, wrote a June 21 piece for Talking Points Memo on criticism by some Republicans of migrant detention facilities being called “concentration camps.” He argued that the criticisms are not based on caring for the feelings of Jews or a deep understanding of the Holocaust, but rather scoring political points and avoiding serious debate about controversial policies.

Jan Meyers, a former congresswoman for Kansas and Husker alumna, died June 21 at age 90. Stories on Meyers appeared in The Kansas City Star, New York Times and several other media outlets nationwide.

Paul Jasa, Nebraska Extension, discussed the systems approach to farm management and soil health during a recent segment on Successful Farming.

Brian Fuchs, National Drought Mitigation Center, was interviewed for a June 24 Entrepreneur Fund article on a new study showing that certain tree species can make droughts more intense. This year has been one of the mildest periods for drought in recent history, Fuchs said, but that shouldn’t stop research into dry conditions that are becoming more common.

The Lied Center for Performing Arts’ volunteer ushers earned the 2019 Volunteer of the Year Award from the Educational Theatre Association for their work during the International Thespian Festival over the past 25 years. Broadway World published an article on the award June 25.

Government Technology published a June 25 article on Library Innovation Studios’ makerspace program, which brings special equipment to rural Nebraska libraries on a rotating basis. The program is run by a consortium comprised of the Nebraska Library Commission, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska Extension, Nebraska Innovation Studio and Regional Library Systems. Max Wheeler, an instructional designer at Nebraska Innovation Studio, was interviewed for the story.

Adam Houston, Earth and atmospheric sciences, was interviewed for a June 26 Gizmodo article on the Targeted Observation by Radars and Unmanned Aircraft Systems of Supercells (TORUS) project. The goal of the project is to better understand supercell thunderstorms, the parent storms of the most destructive tornadoes, to improve forecasts and save lives.

The College of Law’s Rural Law Opportunities Program was mentioned in a June 26 Stateline article on efforts to recruit lawyers to rural areas. The college works with Wayne State College, Chadron State College and the University of Nebraska at Kearney to jointly recruit incoming college freshmen from rural Nebraska to pursue legal careers outside the state’s metropolitan areas.

James Le Sueur, history, was interviewed by Radio Praha about his new documentary, “The Art of Dissent.” The film explores artistic engagement in Czechoslovakia before and after the 1968 Soviet-led invasion.

Jacob Friefeld, Center for Great Plains Studies, was interviewed for a June 27 Mountain West News Bureau story on a proposed housing development at the site of the former black homesteading community of Dearfield, Colorado. Friefeld, a historian working on the Black Homesteaders in the Great Plains project, said Dearfield is one of only two black homesteading sites with the original buildings still standing. The story was picked up by ColoradoPolitics.com and High Plains Public Radio.

Faculty, administration, student and staff appearances in the national media are logged at http://newsroom.unl.edu/inthenews.
 If you have additions to this list, contact Sean Hagewood at shagewood2@unl.edu or 402-472-8514. If you have suggestions for national news stories, contact Leslie Reed at lreed5@unl.edu or 402-472-2059.