UMBC’s Reem Hannun to co-lead urban air quality study with $5.5 million NOAA Climate Award

Emissions from household products are on the rise compared to emissions from combustion engines, but their effect on air quality is poorly understood. “So, if we want to have a better understanding of air quality, now and as climate continues to change, we really need to be able to understand how the chemistry changes with this new class of emissions,” says Reem Hannun. “It’s a new, interesting dynamic.” Continue reading UMBC’s Reem Hannun to co-lead urban air quality study with $5.5 million NOAA Climate Award

UMBC’s Yonathan Zohar to lead $10 million partnership to scale land-based salmon aquaculture

“The mission is to enable an innovative, effective, and sustainable U.S. Atlantic salmon production platform that will transform the U.S. food and aquaculture systems and secure and increase high-quality and affordable seafood production for the world,” Yonathan Zohar says. Continue reading UMBC’s Yonathan Zohar to lead $10 million partnership to scale land-based salmon aquaculture

UMBC to receive $10 million from NASA to support sun and space environment research

The new funding will “enable closer connections between NASA and universities, which simplifies sharing ideas and performing joint research and technology development,” Jan Merka says. He emphasizes, “Another significant benefit is connecting students with research opportunities and mentors in heliophysics.” Continue reading UMBC to receive $10 million from NASA to support sun and space environment research

two women outdoors

UMBC’s Mercedes Burns to explore spider glues and silks with new $900K NSF grant

Spider silks and glues are incredibly difficult to produce synthetically, but could have important medical or industrial applications. Mercedes Burns and Sarah Stellwagen will study sticky substances produced by other animals, which are “sticky like spider silk glues, but maybe their genetic architecture is easier for us to duplicate,” Burns says. Continue reading UMBC’s Mercedes Burns to explore spider glues and silks with new $900K NSF grant

UMBC graduates more Black students who go on to earn doctorates in natural sciences and engineering than any other U.S. college

“When we have greater diversity of representation, we also have greater diversity of information, knowledge, lived experience, and perspectives—each of which enhances discovery and innovation,” Freeman Hrabowski and Peter Henderson write. “When the science and engineering community looks like the United States, we find greater trust in and support for that community…” Continue reading UMBC graduates more Black students who go on to earn doctorates in natural sciences and engineering than any other U.S. college

a swirling white storm over ocean and islands

Hurricanes, well-being, and AI: START Awards set up UMBC researchers for success

Physicist Steve Guimond and collaborators have received a new $682,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to develop, run, and analyze complex hurricane models on supercomputers. However, Guimond might never have received the grant if he hadn’t received a UMBC Strategic Award for Research Transitions (START) first. A new cohort of START funding recipients begins their projects this summer. Continue reading Hurricanes, well-being, and AI: START Awards set up UMBC researchers for success

Major UMBC stream restoration will enhance ecosystems, stormwater management, and the community experience

“This project will not only create and enhance wetland and stream habitats and functions, it will also provide recreational enhancements such as walking trails with stream access and connection to other existing trails,” says Lenn Caron. “The restored stream will elevate UMBC’s aesthetic appeal and provide a pleasant natural environment for members of the campus and local community for recreation, exercise and watershed education.” Continue reading Major UMBC stream restoration will enhance ecosystems, stormwater management, and the community experience

Two scientists in protective suits stand next to a piece of equipment with a large lens

NASA, Dept. of Energy grant prestigious research awards to UMBC physics Ph.D. students

Noah Sienkiewicz, the NASA recipient, says UMBC’s partnerships with the agency helped set him up for success. “I’ve gotten to be more exposed to actual NASA work, and sit in meetings with NASA officials,” he says. “So, as far as the childhood dream of ‘I want to work for NASA,’ I feel like it’s been a great stepping stone to doing that.” Continue reading NASA, Dept. of Energy grant prestigious research awards to UMBC physics Ph.D. students

A large humanmade structure in space, with the edge of Earth visible in the background.

UMBC’s Krizmanic, Cannady contribute to research that adds new wrinkle to understanding the origins of matter in the Milky Way

New research shows that certain elements arrive at Earth from distant parts of the galaxy in different ways. Learning more about how these elements move through the galaxy helps address a fundamental, lingering question in astrophysics: How is matter generated and distributed across the universe? Continue reading UMBC’s Krizmanic, Cannady contribute to research that adds new wrinkle to understanding the origins of matter in the Milky Way

UMBC to receive over $63 million in NASA renewal of CRESST II space science consortium

NASA has committed $178 million to extend support for the Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science & Technology II (CRESST II), a five-institution research consortium, through 2027. The consortium leverages resources at each institution to develop a diverse talent pipeline in space science and answer big questions about the universe. Continue reading UMBC to receive over $63 million in NASA renewal of CRESST II space science consortium

UMBC’s 2021 grads advance research with public impact—from disaster response to assistive tech

Students from across all three UMBC colleges are graduating this week having taken advantage of the unique undergraduate research opportunities and supportive mentorship UMBC offers. They’re poised to take their research to the next level and move on to new challenges through graduate school and careers. Continue reading UMBC’s 2021 grads advance research with public impact—from disaster response to assistive tech

UMBC’s Jordan Troutman to continue algorithmic fairness research as Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford

At UMBC, says Jordan Troutman, he’s had space to develop his authentic self and build confidence that he can do impactful work. “I think that’s the beauty of this school,” Troutman shares. “You can be whoever you want.” Now, he’s heading to Stanford for a Ph.D. in computer science. Continue reading UMBC’s Jordan Troutman to continue algorithmic fairness research as Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford

UMBC’s Anthony Johnson, pulse laser innovator, elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Being elected as a member of the Academy is one of the highest honors a scholar can receive. Founded in 1780, its members, who come from every field of study, “examine new ideas [and] address issues of importance to the nation and the world.” Anthony Johnson has spent his career dedicated equally to creative applications of ultrashort pulse lasers and to teaching and mentorship. Continue reading UMBC’s Anthony Johnson, pulse laser innovator, elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

UMBC’s Ryan Kramer confirms human-caused climate change with direct evidence for first time

Sixteen years of continuous data from NASA’s CERES mission confirm that humans’ role in climate change, indicated by a quantity known as the “radiative forcing,” is the driving factor pulling Earth’s energy budget out of balance. “As far as we can see, the long-term trend in the CERES record seems to be almost entirely accounted for by the radiative forcing,” Ryan Kramer says. Continue reading UMBC’s Ryan Kramer confirms human-caused climate change with direct evidence for first time

Meet “The Terminator”: UMBC-led research connects solar cycle with climate predictions in a new way

Understanding “the terminator” phenomenon may facilitate prediction of weather patterns such as La Niña and El Niño, which affect everything from the likelihood of severe hurricanes to the success of the growing season, several years in advance. The name was an easy choice, lead scientist Robert Leamon says. “It indicates the death of a solar cycle, and, because it’s predictable, it will, as always, ‘be back.’” Continue reading Meet “The Terminator”: UMBC-led research connects solar cycle with climate predictions in a new way

Kizzmekia Corbett ’08 talks to CNN about Meyerhoff Scholars, vaccine hesitancy

“Had I not been exposed to Dr. Hrabowski and the Meyerhoff Program…I’m not even so sure that I would be a scientist. It’s really about exposure and resources given to people,” Kizzmekia Corbett told CNN. In particular, encounters at UMBC that led her to double major in biological sciences and sociology uniquely prepared her for this moment. Continue reading Kizzmekia Corbett ’08 talks to CNN about Meyerhoff Scholars, vaccine hesitancy

UMBC’s Anthony Johnson honored for decades of research, mentorship, service

Anthony Johnson has received the Stephen D. Fantone Distinguished Service Award from the Optical Society. His long-term commitment to optics includes major research achievements, dedicated mentoring to students from all backgrounds, and leadership roles in several professional organizations. Continue reading UMBC’s Anthony Johnson honored for decades of research, mentorship, service

UMBC student research offers hope for critically endangered Bahama Oriole

On a low-lying island in the Caribbean, the future of the critically endangered Bahama Oriole just got a shade brighter. A new study co-led by Michael Rowley estimates that there are at least 10 times as many Bahama Orioles as scientists previously thought. Rowley’s results are the latest in a string of important discoveries led by undergraduates mentored by Kevin Omland. Continue reading UMBC student research offers hope for critically endangered Bahama Oriole

UMBC launches Biotech Boot Camp to train workers displaced by COVID-19 for in-demand jobs

While some industries have lost jobs during the pandemic, the biotech industry has seen explosive growth. This new program seeks to address a mismatch between available workers and available jobs. Setting people up to succeed in well-paying new jobs and simultaneously filling the gap in the biotech workforce “is a win-win that we’re really excited to be a part of,” Annica Wayman says. Continue reading UMBC launches Biotech Boot Camp to train workers displaced by COVID-19 for in-demand jobs

Quantum computing, but even faster? UMBC researchers explore the possibilities with new NSF grant

Quantum computers have the potential to revolutionize communications, cybersecurity, and more. But as Sebastian Deffner notes, “Even quantum computing has shortcomings.” Deffner and Nathan Myers will explore ways to work around some of quantum computing’s limits with a new NSF grant. And in the process, they just might redefine the fundamental laws of physics. Continue reading Quantum computing, but even faster? UMBC researchers explore the possibilities with new NSF grant

UMBC’s Translational Life Science Technology program wins Workforce Champion of the Year

UMBC’s newest undergraduate program has been recognized for its contributions to enhancing the regional biotech workforce. A partnership with Montgomery College, the program’s interdisciplinary approach prepares students for a wide range of biotech careers. Continue reading UMBC’s Translational Life Science Technology program wins Workforce Champion of the Year

UMBC’s newest biotech grads launch careers that will make a difference

UMBC’s Translational Life Science Technology degree is one of UMBC’s newest academic programs. The interdisciplinary program “is different from other majors,” says Titina Sirak ’20, “because you take a whole range of classes. It helps you open up your mind to different sides of biotech.” Continue reading UMBC’s newest biotech grads launch careers that will make a difference

Yonathan Zohar by a large fish tank

BARD Fund honors UMBC’s Yonathan Zohar for aquaculture research with $12B global economic impact

Yonathan Zohar has stayed in Baltimore for 30 years because the environment is conducive to research that has a positive societal impact. His early work enabled the growth of the aquaculture industry, and today he continues to develop ground-breaking sustainable, land-based aquaculture processes. Continue reading BARD Fund honors UMBC’s Yonathan Zohar for aquaculture research with $12B global economic impact

satellite image of clouds along a coastline

NASA awards UMBC team $1.4M to develop AI that improves how computers process climate data from satellites

“Now we have so much raw data. So how do we analyze it? How do we make it useful for the research community?” asks Jianwu Wang. As data archives balloon, the capabilities of artificial intelligence are rapidly increasing. There is also an urgent need to understand Earth’s systems as they shift due to climate change. All of these factors drove Wang and his collaborators to find ways to help researchers access satellite data much faster. Continue reading NASA awards UMBC team $1.4M to develop AI that improves how computers process climate data from satellites

UMBC receives $900K from Maryland E-nnovation Initiative Fund to bolster Sinha Professorship in Statistics

Professor Bimal Sinha, who founded UMBC’s statistics department in 1985, is a beloved and decorated faculty member who has helped transform UMBC into a national leader in statistics education. He’s also transformed the lives of countless students, some of whom have gone on to become leading statisticians around the globe. Continue reading UMBC receives $900K from Maryland E-nnovation Initiative Fund to bolster Sinha Professorship in Statistics

woman faculty member in front of glass wall and modern tables and chairs

UMBC’s Tara LeGates is first runner-up for prestigious international neurobiology prize

“I’m really interested in how the brain integrates a lot of different kinds of information to regulate complex behaviors, such as seeking rewards,” LeGates says. Her findings published in Nature, and her lab’s continuing work, pave the way for new treatments for disorders such as addiction and depression. Continue reading UMBC’s Tara LeGates is first runner-up for prestigious international neurobiology prize

Goldfinch at a backyard birdfeeder

UMBC engages Howard Community College students with environmental science—online and in their own backyards

“My goal for the students was to capture what I think is the most important part of scientific research—curiosity through observation,” Chris Hawn says. By training their eyes and learning to see in new ways, Hawn says, “People were making discoveries literally inside their houses, or on a walk, or in their yard. It was really wonderful to see that transformation.” Continue reading UMBC engages Howard Community College students with environmental science—online and in their own backyards

Man standing in front of biology mural

UMBC’s Daniel Lobo receives $1.9 million NIH grant to explore genetic control of development and regeneration

Salamanders regenerate their tails. Sea stars regenerate their arms. Most species of planaria, a type of flatworm, can regenerate everything from their brains to their digestive organs. But if you lose part of a finger in a shop class accident, or while chopping vegetables for dinner, you’re out of luck—for now. “Why can the worm do it, and we cannot?” asks Daniel Lobo, assistant professor of biological sciences. That’s not really the question, though, he explains. Continue reading UMBC’s Daniel Lobo receives $1.9 million NIH grant to explore genetic control of development and regeneration

Man and woman in field research attire stand next to and inside a concrete tunnel at a research site.

Bedrock to treetops: NSF awards $4.8M to urban environment study led by UMBC’s Claire Welty

UMBC is leading an eight-institution effort to improve our understanding of Earth’s critical zone (from bedrock to treetops) in urban contexts. Most critical zone research happens in more pristine wilderness areas, because the added effects of urban processes make the research more complicated. But, Welty says, “that’s the most interesting part.” Continue reading Bedrock to treetops: NSF awards $4.8M to urban environment study led by UMBC’s Claire Welty

UMBC study reveals gender bias in bird song research and impact of women on science

“I believe this paper is a great example of how diversity expands the type of research scientists are doing,” says Casey Haines ’19. “A diverse pool of researchers may result in new questions being asked and new approaches to answering those questions. I would love to see this type of research applied in other areas of STEM.” Continue reading UMBC study reveals gender bias in bird song research and impact of women on science

UMBC’s Meghan Grenier receives top NROTC teaching honor from the U.S. Navy

The UMBC midshipmen “are an impressive group of individuals who will go on to serve as excellent Navy and Marine Corps officers,” Meghan Grenier says. “I hope what they have learned from me and the NROTC program will … prepare them for the challenges of leadership in our Navy.” Continue reading UMBC’s Meghan Grenier receives top NROTC teaching honor from the U.S. Navy

UMBC develops future STEM teachers, researchers through pilot program pairing high school and college students

Now one of the high school participants, Kimani Reed, is starting at UMBC this fall. “The warm welcome I felt when I walked through the doors on the first day already made UMBC feel like home,” she says. Continue reading UMBC develops future STEM teachers, researchers through pilot program pairing high school and college students

Mantis shrimp eyes get even wilder: UMBC team finds twice the expected number of light-detecting proteins

“One of the reasons I love science is that we took this animal with an exceptional visual system, and it’s become even more complex,” Megan Porter says. “Every level that we look at adds another layer of complexity to how the visual system is working.” Continue reading Mantis shrimp eyes get even wilder: UMBC team finds twice the expected number of light-detecting proteins

Campus building near pond

UMBC mathematician Kathleen Hoffman receives new grants to improve HIV modeling

The improved models of disease spread Kathleen Hoffman and colleagues are working toward will help governments and non-profits get “the biggest bang for [their] buck in terms of resource allocation,” Kathleen Hoffman says. Where these groups should focus their time, energy, and money is “the kind of question this kind of work can usually answer.” Continue reading UMBC mathematician Kathleen Hoffman receives new grants to improve HIV modeling