University of Vermont

‘UVM in the News’ Highlights Research, Global Outreach and Student Initiatives

The New York Times, Forbes and The Economist are among the many high-profile publications in the latest edition of UVM in the News that feature UVM faculty, students and projects that are making a difference globally and locally. The work of Dr. Kristen DeStigter, associate professor and vice chair of radiology, helping to bring ultrasound technology to rural Africa in an effort to prevent infant and maternal deaths; the trek to Greenland by geology professor Paul Bierman and his team to collect data on climate change; UVM’s summit teaching people from around the world possibilities for alternative food systems – these are just a few of the media stories that illustrate the range and impact of UVM scholarship.

A few other excerpts from the most recent publication:

The Hidden Power of Whale Poop

This Wired article examines not just the impressive scale of whale scat (a recent aerial photo showed a deposit that appeared to be as long as a full-grown blue whale itself), but, as marine biologist Joe Roman's work shows, the enormous benefits it has on the nutrient and carbon cycles of the ocean. Read the story at

Study Finds Simple Way to Predict Behavior: Just Ask Users

In new research by complex systems experts Josh Bongard and Paul Hines, professors in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, the pair found that crowdsourcing could not only result in accurate predictive models of behavior, but that the wisdom of the crowds could be used effectively to determine interesting new areas of study that could potentially "accelerate the process of scientific discovery," according to Kurzweil, one of several specialty media covering the story, along with Tech Crunch and ACM Tech News, that are influential among engineers and computer scientists. Read more at

Innovation Spawned at UVM Bringing New Ways of Learning to the Blind

The Burlington Free Press interviews recent UVM graduate Joshua Coffee about his revolutionary eraser for the tactile chalkboard used by thousands of blind Americans. Coffee, along with mechanical engineering professors Michael Rosen and Michael Coleman, and with assistance from UVM's technology commercialization program, founded E.A.S.Y. LLC (Engineering to Assist and Support You) to design and distribute a flashlight-sized heater which can be used to melt and thus re-smooth the previously single-use tactile chalkboards used by the blind since the 1950s. Read the story at

Solar Panels on the Barn Roof

It was a UVM student initiative, writes the Burlington Free Press, that led to the university's latest renewable energy project, the installation of 134 solar panels on the roof of the Spear Street research farm. The project was proposed by Rachel Cadwallader-Staub '10, who helped write the grant as an undergrad. The project, according to sustainability director Gioia Thompson, should, with the grant funding, contributions from student fees and applicable solar credits, allow UVM to repay its initial investment in ten years. It is, the paper quotes Tom Vogelmann, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, "what a land-grant institution is all about." Read the story at

See past issues of UVM in the News.