IdeaFest will feature Marine Explorer

IdeaFest will feature Marine Explorer A workshop on supporting and encouraging undergraduate research, a keynote lecture by marine explorer Sylvia Earle, and a keynote talk on human factors research will be featured at "IdeaFest: A Celebration of Undergraduate Research" April 13-14 on The University of South Dakota campus.

The aim of IdeaFest is to promote increased research opportunities and activities of undergraduate students at USD by fostering an appreciation of the role of student research in undergraduate curricula and by providing recognition of student accomplishments.

The Student Showcase, which will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, April 14, is the heart of IdeaFest. The Student Showcase will include oral presentations, poster session (noon to 1:30 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m.), exhibits and displays. A banquet, honoring student presenters, will be held at 6:30 p.m. April 14 in the Coyote Student Center.

For the first time, IdeaFest will offer a faculty/staff workshop titled "Encouraging and Supporting Research Across the Curriculum" from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 13. The workshop, featuring University of San Diego Professor Mitch Malachowski, is free and open to all USD faculty, administrators, graduate and undergraduate students. Malachowski will provide introductory comments followed by discussion in interactive breakout groups. Registration is required ( The workshop is sponsored by IdeaFest 2000, the USD Undergraduate Research Council and the Office of Research and Graduate Education.

Malachowski also will present a Brown Bag Lunch event titled "Student-Oriented Research: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," at 11:30 a.m. in the Coyote Student Center on April 14.

The keynote presentation by Earle, titled "Sustainable Seas: The Vision, The Reality," will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 13 in Farber Hall of Old Main. Her talk will be followed by a reception and book signing in the University Room of Old Main.

Earle is an oceanographer, marine botanist, ecologist and writer. A pioneering aquanaut and marine explorer, she made her first scuba dive at 17 and since has set the women's depth record for solo diving (1,000 meters/3,281 feet) and logged more than 6,000 diving hours�feats that garnered her moniker "Her Deepness." She has been named a "Hero for the Planet" by Time Magazine and is an Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society.

In 1966 Earle received her Ph.D from Duke. Her dissertation, "Phaeophyta of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico," created a sensation in the oceanographic community. Never before had a marine scientist made such a long and detailed first hand study of aquatic plant life. Since then she has made a lifelong project of cataloguing every species of plant that can be found in the Gulf of Mexico.

"I can still feel that leap of enthusiasm, and real joy, at the prospect of finally getting out to the beach, and running around. But probably the most important thing, to me, aside from just the freedom of it and the power of it, was the kind of creatures that you could see along the beach, that you can't find anywhere else," said Earle.

The second keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Peter Hancock, founder and director of the Human Factors Research Laboratory at the University of Minnesota. His current experimental work concerns the reactions of drivers in accident-likely conditions, a project that is enabled by the unique, linked-ground simulation facilities that he has created at the Human Factors Research Laboratory. Hancock's talk, "On the Nature of Work and the Work of Nature," begins at 8 p.m. April 14 in Farber Hall of Old Main. A reception will follow in the University Room.

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