UNL in the national news: November 2015
A fire-setting drone and a study showing that ADHD medications disrupt kids' sleep were among the hot topics that generated national coverage for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and its personnel during November. Faculty, students and staff were included in more than 70 separate stories during the month.
The Associated Press reported Nov. 1 on efforts by Sebastian Elbaum and Carrick Detweiler, computer science and engineering, and Dirac Twidwell, agronomy and horticulture, to develop a drone that can set prescribed burns for conservation purposes. Internet news sources that specialize in technological developments had a lot of fun with the story. Slate's Future Tense wrote about the fire-starting drone on Nov. 5. Inverse.com, UAS Magazine, Engadget and Übergizmo wrote about the drone on Nov. 5. Gizmag, Gizmodo and Slashgear followed suit soon afterwards.
In late November, a study showing that stimulant medications prescribed for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder can interfere with children's sleep received extensive national coverage, including reports on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and NPR. The study was authored by Katie Kidwell, Alyssa Lundahl, Tori Van Dyk and Timothy Nelson, psychology, and published in the journal Pediatrics. U.S. News & World Report, Fox, NBC and ABC picked up a story prepared by the HealthDay news service. CBS News produced its own version, which was carried by numerous CBS outlets nationally. National Public Radio published its story Nov. 24, which was widely varied by NPR outlets across the country.
Other national news from November:
Science Codex reported Nov. 2 on a study performed by engineering student Brenna Boyd that compared noise levels at an Omaha hockey arena with the home team’s performance. Boyd, an undergraduate research assistant, worked with Lily Wang, a professor at UNL’s Durham School of Architectural Engineering & Construction. Boyd’s study also received coverage from Gizmodo, Red Orbit, and Science Daily.
A $20 million gift from the Johnny Carson Foundation to establish the Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts was reported by the Associated Press on Nov. 7. U.S. News & World Report and the Daily Mail in the U.K. were among outlets that carried the story. Philanthropy News Digest reported on the gift Nov. 14.
"Bond, James Bond." Agent 007 gained several headlines for Wheeler Winston Dixon, film studies in November. He was quoted in a syndicated Nov. 4 San Jose Mercury News story about the continuing appeal of Bond movies after 50 years. Then, on Nov. 12, he was interviewed for a Knowledge@Wharton podcast on "The Spy Who We Loved."
A Nov. 17 LiveScience article about El Niño and its potential to bring more rain to many areas of the U.S. – while leaving other spots more prone to drought – was one of several stories that cited the National Drought Mitigation Center during the month. The El Niño article was carried by several outlets, including CBS News.
Iowa Public Radio carried a Nov. 25 Harvest Public Media story about the effect of nitrates on small-town water systems. The story quoted Bruce Dvorak, environmental engineering.
Several national outlets turned to Frans von der Dunk, law, for perspective after Congress passed legislation governing commercial space ventures in mid-November. He was interviewed by Popular Science for a Nov. 17 story. Yahoo! News carried a .Mic piece Nov. 18 that quoted a Daily Nebraskan interview with von der Dunk about the new legislation. Mining Technology.com also carried a version of the story on Nov. 19. The Huffington Post interviewed von der Dunk for a Nov. 19 piece called “Space Lawyers are a thing, and we talked to one about the future of cosmic mining.”
A Black Lives Matter rally on the UNL campus was covered by USA Today College on Nov. 20. The story quoted students Mecca Slaughter and Maya’Lee Evans.
Discovery News interviewed Phil Geib, anthropology, for a Nov. 25 story about indications ancient Native Americans in what is now Utah raised turkeys not for food, but for their feathers.
Ingrid Haas, political science, was among experts interviewed by Vox for a Nov. 18 article on the science behind why people fear Syrian refugees.
Science Daily quoted John Hibbing, political science, in a story about new research from Aarhus University in Denmark that found Republicans prefer candidates with deep voices and square jaws. Hibbing, who studies how biology influences political attitude, said the new study is part of a growing body of work that seeks to understand political behavior from biological and psychological perspectives. Research by Hibbing and Kevin Smith, political science, also was highlighted in a Nov. 10 Chicago Tribune article. That study, which included Jeff French from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, found that voting at the polls stresses people out. It was published last year in the journal Physiology and behavior.
Ari Kohen, political science, was interviewed for a Nov. 2 BBC documentary that interviewed U.S. military veterans who are uncomfortable being described as heroes. Kohen has studied the nature of heroism dating back to Achilles in the Trojan War. “We don’t need parades and celebrations, we need people to give us an opportunity when we come home,” one veteran said.
David Loope, earth and atmospheric sciences, was among the experts interviewed in the PBS Nova program “Making North America.” He appeared in “Origins,” the first episode in the three-episode series, which aired Nov. 4.
Rod Moxley, veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences, was interviewed by National Provisioner Nov. 13 for an update on Shiga toxin-producing E. coli research.
“The Conversation,” a Hawaii Public Radio talk show, interviewed David Davis, author of a biography of Duke Kahanamoku, a native Hawaiian athlete who popularized the ancient sport of surfing. The biography, “Waterman” was published by the University of Nebraska Press.
Deseret News published a Nov. 2 story about findings from Philip Schwadel, sociology, that there are national differences in whether people lose their religiosity when they attend college. The story was carried in a number of affiliated outlets nationwide.
MarketWatch quoted Jeffrey Stevens, psychology, for a Nov. 30 story about how biology and evolution makes it difficult for humans to save toward retirement.
Steve Taylor, Food Allergy Research & Resources, was quoted on lactose intolerance for an article in the November issue of Self magazine.
The Associated Press and Pechanga.net carried a Nov. 19 Omaha World-Herald report about UNL students’ efforts to raise awareness about beer sales in Whiteclay, Neb., and alcoholism on the neighboring Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The class involved focuses on social justice and human rights issues in the media and is taught by Sriyani Tidball, advertising and public relations.
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette quoted Matt Waite, journalism, about the regulations inhibiting drone journalism. Among other things, the Federal Aviation Administration requires a pilot license for those who would use drones for news gathering.
A study led by Tara Warner, sociology, that found minority youth are significantly less likely to believe they will live to age 35 was covered Nov. 18 piece by ThinkProgress and The Economic Times. Vox reported on the study on Nov. 22.
PBS stations in Missouri and Colorado carried a story about Tom Weissling, entomology, and his efforts to count the dwindling number of monarch butterflies. Rocky Mountain PBS published the story Nov. 25 and KBIA-FM in Missouri carried it Nov. 30.