Earth, Wind, and Fire asked and university experts and researchers made sure of it — there’s no forgetting the month of September at UNLV.
From an explosive Lake Mead volcanic ash discovery and moving the needle on space exploration to answering some of community members’ biggest questions on health, politics, and more, UNLV faculty members appeared in dozens of news stories.
Check out just a few in the latest installment of Newsmakers.
Volcanoes in the Valley
Sunken boats and human remains aren’t the only surprises to be revealed by record-low water levels at Lake Mead. Sedimentary rocks that hadn’t been visible since the Hoover Dam was built in the 1930s are now exposed along the constantly changing shoreline. And a UNLV study of the deposits has discovered that many of these rocks also contain ash from volcanoes as far away as Idaho, Wyoming, and California that rained down on Southern Nevada as many as 12 million years ago. Researchers with the UNLV College of Sciences’ Cryptotephra Laboratory for Archaeological and Geological Research explained why eruptions from faraway volcanoes can impact the health and safety of populations far away from the lava flow path.
University researchers highlighted their out-of-this-world discoveries.
- UNLV astrophysicist Bing Zhang participated in a study by an international team of scientists that revealed an evolving, magnetized environment and surprising source location for deep-space fast radio bursts – observations that defy current understanding.
Sky & Telescope, CNN, Space.com, Yahoo!, Earth.com, Science Alert, Radio Caracol
- Science Alert covered a new paper – by UNLV astronomers Anna Childs, Rebecca Martin, and Mario Livio – that sought to determine whether red dwarf systems had enough of the ingredients that we think kick-started life on Earth.
As the new K-12 academic year ramped up, UNLV experts offered insight on tensions that students and educators faced.
- Teacher union expert Brad Marianno was a popular source this month. He was featured in a USA Today story about a union that brought affirmative action into its layoff practices, Associated Press and The 19th News pieces about the Seattle teacher strike, and an article in The 74 Million about politics and rising teacher salaries.
- Psychology department chair Christopher Kearney discussed child school refusal with the Washington Post.
New Mind Find
An experimental Alzheimer's drug appeared to slow cognitive and functional decline in a large trial of patients in the early stages of the disease, and media outlets around the world called on Jeffrey Cummings — a renowned brain health researcher who leads UNLV’s Chambers-Grundy Center for Transformative Neuroscience — to lend context.
Just weeks before the 2022 midterm election, candidates are out in full force delivering stump speeches and running campaign ads. UNLV political observers helped offer context for voters.
- Why are so many candidates deciding they’re better off not debating? UNLV debate expert Jacob Thompson shed light via Governing and the Las Vegas Sun.
- Political science chair David Damore talked to Yahoo! about the future of Nevada Democrats’ Senate majority; the Las Vegas Review-Journal (twice) about poll numbers and the influence of Latino voters on election outcomes; and the Las Vegas Sun (twice) about abortion as an election issue and campaign ads. He also wrote a guest column for the Sun about Southern Nevada planning.
- Political scientist Dan Lee was featured in a USA Today story about the influence of political attacks on a GOP nomination win by former president Donald Trump. He also spoke with the Las Vegas Review-Journal about the races for Nevada senator and governor.
- KTNV-TV: ABC 13 interviewed political scientist John Tuman about the growing power of the Latino vote. Automotive World featured his comments in a story about the ability of Mexico’s vehicle manufacturing industry to match China’s.
- Political science professor Kenneth Miller chatted with MLive about political ads, the Nevada Current about the balancing act of elected officials carrying out duties while running for a different public office, and KNPR about polling.
- Rebecca Gill — a political scientist who specializes in gender bias research — spoke with the Reno Gazette-Journal and Nevada Current (twice, in addition to philosophy professor Amy Reed-Sandoval) about the political debate surrounding abortion.
- KLAS-TV: 8 News Now highlighted the UNLV Food Pantry’s work to aid students and employees in need.
- The UK-based Times Higher Education quoted Russian history expert Paul Werth in a story about the Ukraine crisis making a rapid appearance in U.S.-based university curricula.
- UNLV Athletics and student clubs are among entities that earned Las Vegas its “Ninth Island” moniker among Hawaiians, according to SFGate.
- The Las Vegas Review-Journal took a look at UNLV’s growth and transformation through the decades.
- The Las Vegas Sun covered a UNLV panel discussion on critical race theory.
- Lisa Durette, director of the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine’s Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program, earned a spot on the Nevada Business Magazine’s list of Healthcare Heroes.
- The Nevada Independent, PlayUSA, and Indian Gaming Magazine highlighted the hiring of two industry veterans to lead the William S. Boyd School of Law’s Indian gaming initiatives.
- Dating Advice recommended UNLV School of Music performances as a top spot for creative, fun, and budget-friendly outings.
- President Keith E. Whitfield penned an essay for the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities outlining the ways his digital AI counterpart is helping UNLV to better engage students.
- Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine professor Deborah Kuhls participated in several KNPR segments outlining ways the 1 October mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip affected survivors’ mental health, and inspired them — along with police and doctors — to turn to lives of advocacy. She spoke to Capital Public Radio and MedCity News about the future of mass shooting medical triage. And she was featured in a Desert Companion profile piece about her research.
- The Scientific American sought mineralogist Oliver Tschauner’s insights on the discovery of a rare diamond that suggests Earth’s mantle contains an ocean’s worth of water.
- Geophysicist Pamela C. Burnley spoke to Science News about the mineral olivine’s potential to trigger deep earthquakes.
- Futurity wrote about political scientist Jared Oestman’s research into Americans’ views on military intervention.
- Former pilot, airport historian, and Honors College professor Dan Bubb helped answer a Washington Post reader’s question about cutting the TSA line. He also spoke to the New York Post about airport hubs.
- The Wall Street Journal interviewed architecture professor Dak Kopec for a story about garden rooms.
- Science Magazine reported on a new study by psychology professor Kara A. Christensen examined the link between women facing food insecurity and food addiction.
- Literacy education expert Kenneth J. Varner helped the Christian Science Monitor convey the significance of children’s book “Goodnight Moon” and its 75th anniversary.
- Gender and sexuality studies expert Lynn Comella contributed comments to a Daily Beast story about Instagram’s ban of Pornhub and the impact on sex workers.
- Healthline interviewed nutritionist Samantha Coogan about meatless diets.
- Sport management professor Nancy Lough filled in KVVU-TV: Fox 5 viewers on ways the Las Vegas Aces’ championship win changes the local and national sports landscape. She also chimed in on a Las Vegas Review-Journal report on the key role of sports in Southern Nevada’s water conservation plans.
- English professor Timothy Erwin discussed the popularity of "Persuasion," a new film based on Jane Austen's early 19th century novel, with Voice of America.
- Psychologist Brenna Renn spoke to Insider about the benefits of older adults embracing new hobbies, such as posting on TikTok.
- Is TikTok the new Google? Social media expert Natalie Pennington spoke to USA Today about Gen Z’s favorite search engine.