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  • July 6th, 2021

BEST BETS

UA RECEIVES STUDY ABROAD AWARD TO STUDY WATER ACCESS, QUALITY – UA is part of a collaboration to study water access and quality in Alabama and internationally while supporting study abroad exchange throughout the Americas. UA, along with Tuskegee University and the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia, will investigate water quality, access, expansion and cultural diversity in Alabama and Barranquilla, Colombia. The collaboration was one of 10 that received funding through the 100K Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund competition sponsored by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and Colombian Institute of Educational Loans and Studies Abroad, or ICETEX. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu.  

UA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY HOSTS “SHARK MONTH” LEADING HUNTS FOR ANCIENT ALABAMA SHARK TEETH The landlocked Alabama Black Belt isn’t where someone would expect to find fossilized shark teeth, but that’s where Alabama Museum of Natural History shark hunters are leading the state’s only day-long, public, shark teeth excursions from July 10 to Aug. 6. With Discovery’s 33rd annual Shark Week starting July 11, UA’s timing in celebrating Alabama’s own fascinating shark history couldn’t be better. But what are ancient shark teeth doing in central and west Alabama? Dr. John Friel, director of the Alabama Museum of Natural History, said hunts for the fossilized teeth of extinct shark species are possible because this part of Alabama was underwater during the Cretaceous Period when global sea levels reached their highest point in the entire geological record — more than 850 feet above present-day levels. For more information, contact Jamon Smith, UA Strategic Communications, at jamon.smith@ua.edu.

UA RECEIVES GRANT TO ATTRACT UNDERREPRESENTED STUDENTS TO NURSING PROFESSION – Dr. Robin Bartlett, associate dean for research with UA’s Capstone College of Nursing, and her team have received a $1.2 million Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the NIH for their project, Health Sciences & Technology Academy-Alabama, or HSTA-AL. The goal of HSTA-AL is to build a pipeline for underrepresented students to the field of nursing, teaching them to become change agents in their communities. “Our nation is in dire need for more nurses, particularly nurse scientists, nurse faculty and RNs from rural areas and diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds,” said Bartlett. “To change this dynamic, we must encourage students from underrepresented populations to enter the field of nursing before they graduate from high school.”  For more information, contact Rosemary Russell Kirby, UA Capstone College of Nursing, at rurussell@ua.edu 

UA RESEARCH PROJECTS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS – Several research projects on campus are seeking participants this summer, with some offering small payments or clinical-grade health information for those willing to take the time to participate. The goal of the projects have a wide range and include improving tornado warnings to understanding how children develop helping behaviors. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA communications, adam.jones@ua.edu

MOUNDVILLE’S SATURDAY IN THE PARK RETURNS – UA’s Moundville Archaeological Park’s Saturday in the Park returns this summer to provide a series of demonstrations and presentations related to Native American culture, archaeology, natural history, sustainable gardening and more. The July 10 event will feature hoop dancing with Lyndon Alec and traditional drumming with the Southern Pine Drum Group. Saturday in the Park takes place each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit the Moundville Archaeological Park website. 

CURRENT COMMENT

THAT HEALTHY TAN? NO SUCH THING – While many Americans look forward to the summer months as a time to work on their tan, the summer sun can be harmful to your skin. “Tanning is a form of skin damage,” said Dr. Alan Blum, professor and Gerald Leon Wallace, MD, Endowed Chair in Family Medicine at UA. “It’s the skin reacting to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, which, like x-rays, can cause cancer. To help prevent skin cancer, wrinkles and age spots caused by the sun’s radiation, consider engaging in outdoor activities before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m., wear a hat with a wide brim and apply a water-resistant sunscreen with a sun-protective factor (SPF) of 30 or higher to sun-exposed areas often. Just keep in mind that no sunscreen can block 100% of the sun’s dangerous rays. And parents should be mindful that children have more sensitive skin than adults. Indoor activities during mid-day hours in summer are safer and healthier.” To schedule an interview, contact Blum at ablum@ua.edu.

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The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.