University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

News Bureau

TIP SHEET   Week of Nov. 15, 2004
Current topics of interest in higher education in western Wisconsin

Story Idea
James Phillips, UW-Eau Claire chemistry professor, received a Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. Phillips, one of nine 2004 recipients, was honored with a $60,000 award for his work in teaching, mentoring and research with undergraduates. One of the most scholarly active faculty in the department, he's received $400,000 in grants since 1998. He is on sabbatical, dividing his time between his campus lab and the Cramer Lab at the University of Minnesota. He is the second member of the chemistry department to receive the Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award. Jason Halfen won it in 2000. Fred King won a similar award in 1983 when the program was structured differently. Several other UW-Eau Claire faculty and students have received awards through the Dreyfus Foundation's prestigious awards programs. For more information, contact James Phillips at (715) 836-5399 or

Story Idea
Harry Jol, associate professor of geography, and two colleagues found evidence for "paleo super windstorms," which apparently raged for days and produced hurricane-force gales in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan. In a paper presented at the Geological Society of America, the scientists used images of erosion that the storms generated to argue that winds of up to 120 kilometers an hour came out of the northwest. Using ground-penetrating radar, they showed that wedges up to 400 meters wide were taken out of land lying in shallow water or near shore. A geological analysis shows that four super windstorms went through the area 2,000-8,000 years ago. It raises the question of what might happen if similar winds reappear. Researchers note that while much of the area is undeveloped, the Alberta oil sands extraction facilities were built in the region and may not resist hurricane-force winds. If what the scientists describe as "the equivalent in their time of a perfect storm" ever blew again, the scientists think it could mean hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage and the loss of 800,000 barrels of oil production a day. For details, contact Harry Jol at (715) 836-3472 or

Story Idea
UW-Eau Claire will host an Open Society Institute conference for exchange students Nov. 19-21. Attendees include 45 students from Central Asia and Eastern Europe who are studying in the U.S. Students will visit the DNR, Beaver Creek Reserve, Bolton Refuge, Feed My People, Community Table, St. Joseph's Food Pantry and Boys & Girls Club. Since 1996 UW-Eau Claire has hosted 5-10 students a year through the program, which helps educational/civic development in Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Romania and Serbia. For details, contact Karl Markgraf, director of the Center for International Education, at (715) 836-4411 or

Story Idea
The Human Diversity Expo is slated for 4-5:15 p.m. Nov. 18 in the Council Fire Room of Davies Center. About 130 students will present projects and documentaries relating to cultural diversity. Examples of project topics include runaways, Mexican workers; gender roles/single-sex dorms, the Hmong, and the Red Hat Society. For details, contact Cynthia Gray-Mash at (715) 836-5587 or

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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
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Updated: November 12, 2004