Campus Scene


Researchers Discover Bats Use Tail Membrane to Provide Thrust

A team of UNC researchers used an institutional grant to buy a high-speed video camera and capture footage revealing that bats use their tail membrane to provide thrust during takeoff and flight. The unique movement of the tail above and below their bodies, indiscernible to the naked eye and previously undetected, is unlike that observed in any other flying vertebrate.

Biology Professor Rick Adams and his team of graduate students spent two years filming 100 bats and hundreds of hours digitizing and analyzing video before revealing their discovery of “Tail-Assisted-Flight-Thrust” in the prestigious scientific journal PLoS ONE in February.

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Music Professor Breaks Ground with Saxophones

Associate Professor of Music Andrew Dahlke, who’s trying to develop the saxophone as a classical music instrument, made a huge step toward his goal when he recently became the first musician to transcribe and professionally record a suite of solo cello music using four different types of saxophones.

Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello,” some of the most performed and recognizable solo compositions ever written for cello, have been transcribed and recorded using a variety of instruments, including a single style of saxophone, but Dahlke is the first musician to transcribe them and professionally record them using a soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophone.

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State Ed Department Selects Faculty for Program Evaluation

Five UNC faculty members have been selected by the Colorado Department of Education to develop, design and implement an evaluation system for five federal- and state-funded programs that include dropout prevention and student engagement.

Elysia Clemens (project director), Lisa Rue, Robyn Hess, Sonja Rizzolo and John Froiland were awarded the three-year, $179,178 contract to review current practices and provide a recommended framework for measuring outcomes of programs in CDE’s Dropout Prevention and Student Engagement Unit.

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Professor Andy Creekmore instructs students in his Archaeology Research Methods class on building a reusable mock excavation site for students in future classes to use.

Archaeology Collaborative Benefits Students

UNC and the Poudre Learning Center are combining resources and expertise to develop simulated field experiences that will give archaeology students additional opportunities to gain hands-on experience and build their skills.

UNC Anthropology major Adrien Hoff, who interns at the center, brought together Archaeology Professor Andy Creekmore and PLC director Ray Tschillard to plan and execute two projects on the interdisciplinary learning center’s 65 acres, west of Greeley, using grant funds from both institutions.

Reusable mock archaeological excavations feature planted replicas of artifacts from different time periods and will be re-excavated repeatedly. Students also will be trained on the center’s land to use geophysics research methods, such as ground-penetrating radar, that make it possible to identify and analyze archaeological remains without large-scale excavations.

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Fast Fact

Worldwide each night, bats combine to consume metric tons of insects and pests, including mosquitoes. Without bats, the cost to the food industry would amount to billions of dollars each year. Read more UNC News