Omnibus funding to boost research programs at USD The University of South Dakota will receive more than $2.1 million in funding thanks to the passage of the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act. The South Dakota Oral History Center Digital Preservation Project will receive $409,000 to engage graduate students in creating a working digital resource to preserve more than 5,400 interviews from the Northern Great Plains from the 1860s to present day. The South Dakota Catalysis Group, in the second year of a three-year project, will be granted $1,046,650 to conduct research on advanced catalytic materials for solar energy utilization, specifically, hydrogen production and hydrogen fuel cells. Projects that will receive partial funding from Omnibus include the Research, Education and Economic Development (REED) Network ($381,000) to bring an advanced high speed research network to USD's three main sites (Vermillion campus, the Health Science Center in Sioux Falls and University Center/GEAR Center in Sioux Falls) and connect them to high speed national research and education networks; and the core imaging facility ($285,000) in the Graduate Education and Applied Research (GEAR) Center, opening in Sioux Falls this spring. According to Laura Jenski, vice president for research at USD, funding for these projects is crucial as the university advances its growing national competiveness in alternative energy and biomedical research, instruction and public service. "We're grateful to Senators (Tim) Johnson and (John) Thune, and Representative (Stephanie) Herseth Sandlin, for their avid support of our programs at USD," she said. "Financial support of technology and instrumentation helps South Dakota stay competitive in today's technology-based economy and contributes to the nation's broader economic infrastructure." The FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act was signed by President Barack Obama on March 11 to fund government operations and programs for fiscal year 2009. More than $400 billion was appropriated after passage by both the House of Representatives and the United States Senate. Detailed information regarding the bill can be found at www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-1105. For more information about the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at USD, please visit www.usd.edu/oorsch/ or call (605) 677-5730.