A number of faculty searches that will add capacity in some key areas are well underway. Our searches for two physiologists and three microbiologists, attracted some exceptional candidates. We will bring a select group of them to campus within the next couple of months and I encourage everyone — faculty, staff and students — to engage them while they are here if the opportunity presents itself. This is a great place to live and work, and connecting with the CBS community makes that abundantly clear.
This fall, we launched the Petri Dish series of bio-themed, interdisciplinary conversations in downtown St. Paul. It attracted near capacity crowds eager to engage with a range of topics from the future of wilderness to new insights about the microbial world. The series returns February 1 with a discussion about how to address and adapt to global-scale environmental change. Hope to see you there!
We recently launched a search for a new director of our Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories. Director Dave Biesboer retires at the end of this year, so we are looking for an exceptional scientist and leader to take on this important role. It’s an amazing opportunity and I hope you will help spread the word.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, Craig Packer's UMN Lion Center is raising money for camera traps for a follow up to the wildly successful Snapshot Serengeti project. The new venture, called Snapshot Safari, will provide the same opportunity for the public to participate in identifying wildlife. Work is just getting started, but the project will eventually establish long-term camera-trap grids in up to 20 reserves in Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. If you are interested in supporting this work, you can make a contribution to their crowdfunding campaign.