College of Natural Sciences

Thanks to you, their futures are so bright, they have to wear shades!

This Saturday, we will confer degrees to nearly 200 Natural Sciences graduates. We know they will have brighter futures thanks to their education. And we know that they did not get to this moment on their own - your care for their education has made this day possible and your commitment to higher education has made the world a better place. Thank you for the support you give to our students and to Colorado State University.

--Jan Nerger, Dean

Around the College

We are very proud of our five professors who were just elected as Fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


The title of AAAS Fellow, one of the most prestigious honors in science, requires nomination by scientific peers. This year's class from CSU includes three from the Department of Chemistry and two from the Department of Biology. Fellows will be recognized at the AAAS annual meeting in Boston in February.

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Natural Sciences News
Professor Di Pietro

Professor Investigates How Cells Absorb Proteins and Other Materials

Santiago Di Pietro, assistant professor of biochemistry, has completed the first year of a $985,000, four-year National Science Foundation grant to study how cells take up materials such as proteins from outside their plasma membranes. The research could lead to a better understanding of how nutrients, hormones, cholesterol and some viruses enter cells.

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Professor Medford

Biology Professors Awarded a $2 Million DOE Grant to Re-engineer Plants for Befuels

June Medford and Mauricio Antunes, both professors in the Biology department, and Ashok Prasad, a professor in Chemical and Biological Engineering, received the grant from Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy, known as ARPA-E, which is the DOE's advanced research division.

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enzyme drawing

Discovery Published in Science Could Significantly Speed Up Drug Discovery

Chemistry Professor Tomislav Rovis and his doctoral student Todd Hyster, in collaboration with Professor Thomas R. Ward and Livia Knörr at the University of Basel, have produced an artificial enzyme made of metal and organic matter. The new enzyme could allow scientists to build many more complicated molecules necessary for creating drugs and cut months of work into days.

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Professor Whitley

Bonsai, Computer Science a Natural Fit for CSU Professor

Some professors walk the halls to do their thinking. Darrell Whitley, a computer science professor and department chair at Colorado State University, trims trees in his office. Of course, the trees are only about a foot or two tall. For 20 years, Whitley has been active in Japanese bonsai, which is the art of trimming small trees for contemplative purposes and to remind one of trees in the mountains. The art form also includes stones that resemble landscape or mountain ranges.


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Professor Cheney

Dr. Margaret Cheney Begins Term as the Albert C. Yates Chair in Mathematics

Dr. Margaret Cheney joined the Department of Mathematics this fall semester as a full Professor, filling the Albert C. Yates Chair position in Mathematics. Dr. Cheney received her PhD in Mathematics from the Indiana University, Bloomington. Her supervisor was Prof. Roger G. Newton, Distinguished Professor of Physics. Dr. Cheney is a world leader and expert in the field of inverse problems, with research in radar imaging, impedance imaging, and inverse scattering theory.

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Professor Buchanan

Physics Professor Receives DOE Early Career Award for Basic Research in Magnetism

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Kristen Buchanan, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics, a five-year, $762,000 Early Career Award to improve scientific understanding of spin dynamics in magnetic materials. Buchanan is one of only three Colorado scientists among the 68 awardees for 2012 and the only recipient at Colorado State University. Buchanan will use light to study dynamic processes in nanoscale magnets.

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Aging Clinic

CSU Offering Mental Health Counseling at No Cost for Aging Population through Larimer County Program

Colorado State University's Aging Clinic of the Rockies is offering no-cost mental health counseling services to caregivers of older adults and grandparents raising grandchildren in Larimer County. The program, funded through grants from Larimer County Office on Aging, addresses a growing need in the region for services designed for an aging population, said Tammi Vacha-Haase, psychology professor and director of the clinic.

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Professor Estep

Don Estep Part of Team Awarded NSF Grant to Improve Computer Modeling of Storm Surge During Hurricanes

After years of devastating storms along the U.S. coast, the National Science Foundation has awarded a team of researchers a three-year, $550,000 grant to develop more predictive computer models of the ocean, including the impact of storm surge during a hurricane. The award is shared by a team of investigators from Colorado State University, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Texas at Austin.

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Professors Henry and Stein

Retired Math Professor Gives Back to the CSU Professor Who Inspired Him

Myron S. Henry almost didn't get his doctoral degree at Colorado State University. He almost didn't teach as a professor or serve as an administrator at five major universities around the country. But thanks to some encouragement from CSU Emeritus Professor F. Max Stein, Henry not only obtained his advanced degrees, he had a long career in a field he loved.

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