TTU hosts Tennessee Academy of Science meeting Nov. 19

thumb_2010-Martin_Keller2Martin KellerTennessee Tech University welcomes scientists from around the state to campus on Nov. 19 for this year's Tennessee Academy of Science annual meeting. This year's plenary speaker is Martin Keller, associate director of both the environmental and biological divisions at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The meeting, being held at the Millard Oakley STEM Center on campus, brings together academics from around the state for a series of presentations by university faculty as well as undergraduate and graduate students.

The Tennessee Academy of Science, founded in 1912, seeks to promote scientific research and the diffusion of knowledge concerning science. TTU has had a close working relationship with the academy and is one of the academy's original Sustaining Members.

TTU faculty members have long been active in the affairs of the academy. Beginning in 1978, seven members of the faculty have served as TAS presidents, and Jeffrey O. Boles, chairperson of the chemistry department, assumes the role for 2011. TTU's Stephen J. Stedman, professor of English and communications, and Christy T. Carter, assistant professor of biology, edit the Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science. Four of the journal's 14 section editors are TTU faculty members.

Keller's discussion will be held at 9 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 19, and is entitled "Next Generation Climate and Biomass Research: From Molecular Biology to Earth System Models and Back."

"He will give a wonderful lecture appropriate for a diverse audience," Boles said. "Dr. Keller is a distinguished scientist involved in a broad array of research topics very important to all of us. These topics traverse multiple areas of science and engineering and impact everything from everyday conveniences we take for granted like water and air, to alternative energy and climate change."

Business meetings and any keynote speakers and/or symposia take place in the morning. Poster sessions also occur in the morning. Afternoon sessions are oral presentations divided into various sections with a room reserved for each section. Students are judged during both the poster and oral presentations and receive awards for first, second and third place. Winners receive a certificate and a year membership to TAS.

For the 2010 meeting, five TTU faculty members serve as section chairpersons and several others will participate by contributing papers or posters.

Although faculty members present a large number of papers at the annual meetings, TTU students also appear on the program in large numbers. The academy has always encouraged undergraduate and graduate students to present the results of their research, an opportunity long taken advantage of by science and engineering students at TTU. This year, nearly two dozen students will be presenting research reports at the TAS meeting.

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