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CBS News - February 26, 2003


Biennial Budget Update
Governor Tim Pawlenty’s proposal to cut $185 million from the University’s budget may be “as good as it gets,” according to the U’s Government Relations staff, who say legislators may be considering further cuts. Consequently, the U is urging faculty, staff, and supporters to ask legislative leaders to hold the line at the Governor's proposal.

  • How to find your legislator and members of key decision-making committees
  • Key points to make in your letter or if you visit your legislator
  • A sample letter from a U of M alumnus
  • CBS fact sheet: why it’s important to invest in biology plus facts and figures about CBS contributions to the state.

Advocacy Honor Roll
Please let the Dean’s Office know when you contact your legislator and we will add your name to the online Honor Roll. Just send an email to You don’t need to send a copy of your letter, just a note that you have contacted the governor or your legislator(s) by letter, phone, or in person. Also let us know if you have already made contact.

CBS Legislative Calling Night is April 15
The U has asked all colleges to help make calls to alumni urging them to ask their legislators to support the U. CBS will take a turn on Tuesday, April 15. Please join other CBS faculty, staff, and students in this effort. Calls from alumni to legislators on the U’s behalf do make a difference. Time commitment is approximately three hours; from 5 to 8 p.m. Training, talking points, and dinner will be provided. Calling nights are held at the UMAA offices in the McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak Street SE, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN. Please contact Peggy Rinard, to sign up.

Bruininks Inauguration and Founders Week
Robert Bruininks will be inaugurated as the University of Minnesota’s 15th president at 1 p.m. Friday, February 28, in Northrop Auditorium. Governor Tim Pawlenty and Regent Maureen Reed will present Bruininks with the symbols of University leadership: the mace and the medallion. The inauguration coincides with Founders Week, a celebration that marks the founding of the University 152 years ago.

Career and Internship Fair
The annual CBS Career and Internship Fair will take place Friday, February 28, from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the McNamara Alumni Center in Minneapolis. The fair offers something for everyone with a professional interest in the life sciences. CBS students and alumni will find information on the expansive range of professional options in all areas of biological sciences, related graduate and professional programs, and job and internship opportunities. Alumni volunteers will also host mock interviews, review resumes, and share job search strategies with students. For a listing of exhibitors, go to

McKnight Land Grant Professors for 2003-2005
Bill Gray, assistant professor of plant biology, and Paul Mermelstein, assistant professor of neuroscience, have been named McKnight Land-Grant Professors for 2003-2005. Gray conducts research on molecular mechanisms that enable auxin, a plant hormone, to control plant growth. Mermelstein’s research focuses on understanding how neurons integrate and respond to stimuli that trigger long-term changes in brain function. Recipients are chosen for significance of their research, clarity with which it is communicated to non-specialists, originality, imagination and innovation, potential for contribution to the discipline, quality of the scholarly publications, and potential for attracting outstanding students.

CBS alum Douglas DeMaster to receive top UM award
Douglas DeMaster, director of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, will receive a UM Outstanding Achievement Award on Thursday, March 6 at 4 p.m. in 155 Earle Brown Center. Following the presentation, he will give a lecture titled “The Life of a Wildlife Biologist in a Federal Regulatory Agency.” DeMaster is being recognized for his leadership in resolving important conservation issues and for his scientific achievements as a marine mammal biologist. All CBS faculty, staff, and students are invited. Contact CBS Alumni Relations at 624-4770 or

CBS Phone Directory
A searchable CBS phone directory is now online at on the CBS website, Just click on the link at the bottom of the home page to access. The directory was created by Jim Smith in Computing Services with assistance from Alaine Siniff, assistant to the dean. If you have questions or comments, please contact Computing Services at 5-6208 or Jim is in the process of creating other online information resources for the College.

National Academy of Sciences Lecture Series
National Academy of Sciences member, Brian Staskawicz, University of California, Berkeley, will present the NAS Lecturer Series' seminar: “Bacterial Proteins Conferring Disease Immunity in Plants” on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2003, at 10 a.m. in 335 Borlaug Hall. Grad students are invited to discuss ethics and the proper conduct of research with Staskawicz at 1-2 p.m. in 408 Hayes Hall.The workshop will be facilitated by Jeff Kahn, Director of the Center for Bioethics. Sponsored by the Center for Microbial and Plant Genomics.


David Redish, assistant professor of neuroscience, has been selected as an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow for 2003. The award will support an innovative research project on how interconnected neural systems in the striatum allow animals to learn and remember sequences. The striatum is a brain structure which is affected by diseases such as Parkinson's or Huntington's Disease. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a philanthropic nonprofit institution, was established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan, Jr., then President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation. The fellowships recognize promising young scientists and engineers from throughout the nation. Twenty-six Nobel Prize winners have received Sloan Fellowships.

Events & Seminars

February 27
“Signaling Mechanisms that Control Axon Guidance in Drosophila”
Davie Van Vactor, Harvard Medical School
Sponsored by GCD. Contact Scott Selleck, 624-4659.

February 27
"Valuing the Invaluable"
Paul Portney, President, Resources for the Future
7-9 p.m., Bell Museum of Natural History
Sponsored by the College of Natural Resources

March 5
4th Goldberg Lecture in Signal Transduction and Metabolism
“The Malonyl-CoA Hypothesis and the Regulation of Energy Metabolism”
M. Daniel Lane, Johns Hopkins University
4-5 p.m., 2-137 Jackson Hall
Sponsored by Minnesota Obesity Center, BMBB

March 6
Presentation of Outstanding Achievement Award to Douglas DeMaster,
Ph.D. '78 EEB, Director of Alaska Fisheries Science Center.
Lecture "Impossible Problems, Improbable Solutions: The Life of a Wildlife Biologist in a Federal Regulatory Agency" to follow.
4 p.m., 155 Earle Brown Center