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Changes at the Center

The Center for Earth and Environmental Science welcomed three new faces in 2016: Dr. Pierre-Andre Jacinthe (Director), Dr. Victoria Schmalhofer (Assistant Director), and Sam Ansaldi MaED (Education Specialist). Familiar faces are still to be found at the Center: Danielle Follette supervises the Edge of Field project, and Bob Barr continues as the Center's expert on fluvial erosion hazards.

The new faces at CEES: (left to right) Pierre-Andre Jacinthe, Victoria Schmalhofer, Sam Ansaldi.

 

Pierre-Andre Jacinthe assumed the role of Director of the Center for Earth and Environmental Science in January 2016. Pierre, a professor in the Department of Earth Sciences, earned his doctorate in Agronomy/Soil Biogeochemistry from the Ohio State University and held appointments at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies (postdoctoral researcher), the State University of Haiti (lecturer and laboratory manager), and the Ohio State University (postdoctoral researcher) before joining the faculty of IUPUI in 2004. Pierre's research interests include soil-atmosphere exchange of trace gases, nitrogen dynamics and water quality, carbon transport in overland flows and fates of eroded carbon, carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems, biogeochemistry of disturbed landscapes, and conservation tillage. When not playing in the dirt, Pierre enjoys woodworking and football (both types) - with respect to American football, Pierre is a Colt's fan, while for soccer, he follows the English Premiere League.

Pierre and his students collecting soil samples at Goose Pond.

 

Victoria Schmalhofer joined CEES in February 2016. She earned her doctorate in Ecology/Evolution from Rutgers University and has an extensive background in education and research. Prior to becoming the Center's Assistant Director, Victoria held appointments at DePauw University (visiting assistant professor), the University of Delaware (visiting assistant professor), Rutgers University (adjunct professor), and the Dayton Museum of Natural History (Biology Department). Victoria's research interests include biodiversity analysis, restoration ecology, predator-prey relationships, thermal ecology, and the intersection of physiological and community ecology. In other words, she likes to hang out in the field, pondering such questions as: how many different kinds of plants or animals occupy a particular place; how best to return altered/degraded habitats to a more natural/functional state; and how physical aspects of the environment, such as temperature, and biological aspects of the environment, such as the plant species present, affect the ways in which predators and their prey interact. Victoria freely admits to being an arachnophile, favoring spiders as her predator of choice for experimental work.

Jumping spider (Phidippus audax, male). Photo by VR Schmalhofer.

 

Sam Ansaldi became the Center's new Education Specialist in July 2016. Sam earned a bachelor's degree in Biology from Olivet College and a master's degree in Education from Michigan State University. He has considerable experience in education outreach and conservation, having worked at the Halton Region Conservation Authority (Ontario, Canada), the Toronto Zoo, Binder Park Zoo (Battlecreek, MI), Woldumar Nature Center (Lansing, MI), and the Beardsley Zoo (Bridgeport, CT). Sam is an avid outdoorsman with a love of nature and a fascination for all organisms within it. Born in southern Connecticut, and raised in the mountains of northeastern Vermont, he spent his youth exploring the hidden treasures of the countryside and developing a lifelong passion for the outside world. One of Sam's primary tasks will be to develop and expand the Center's Discovering the Science of the Environment program to incorporate modules on renewable energy.

Sam discovers that CEES owns a fish camera for underwater video viewing.

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