e-Veritas Archive | September, 2016

UM and Community Partners Join MetroLab Network

The partnership between local governments and universities allows members to research, develop and deploy solutions to address challenges faced by urban areas.

UM News

UM, FIU< and Miami Dade College are joining Miami-Dade County and the Beaches in the new MetroLab Network consortium.

UM, FIU, and Miami Dade College are joining Miami-Dade County and the Beaches in the new MetroLab Network.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (September 30, 2016) – As Zika and other climate change-related diseases continue to be the focus of local departments of health, researchers and academics at the University of Miami maintain their focus on efforts to work collaboratively with local institutions as one of the newest members of the MetroLab Network.

As part of the Greater Miami and the Beaches Consortium, UM will partner with Miami-Dade County and the cities of Miami and Miami Beach, along with university partners Florida International University and Miami Dade College.

“The MetroLab Network partnership will provide the University with a stronger relationship to face the challenges affecting our cities,” said Jean-Pierre Bardet, dean of the UM College of Engineering. “This is the value of the interaction between cities and universities, to solve the challenging new issues of the 21st century.”

The consortium’s projects will focus on adaption to sea-level rise and coastal flooding, response to climate-related diseases, including Zika, and access to transportation and affordable housing.

“The MetroLab Network partnership is a great opportunity for us to establish robust collaborations that will ensure that the best available science is informing important community decisions in how we adapt to environmental challenges associated with climate change,” said Ben Kirtman, professor of atmospheric sciences at the Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science and director of the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies.

In a statement to the community, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Giménez stressed that the county will focus on three priorities, one of which is to develop specific programs and protocols to eliminate and address the impact of climate change-related diseases such as Zika.

“Miami-Dade County, Miami, and Miami Beach already have existing relationships and ongoing projects with our local universities, but through our participation in MetroLab Network, we will benefit from increased coordination between the three members of Greater Miami and the Beaches, the three local universities, and the members of MetroLab Network,” said Giménez.

Mario Stevenson, professor of medicine, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and director of the Institute of AIDS and Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Miller School of Medicine, will meet with the consortium’s city partners in early October to discuss the Zika project.

“Research universities have the physical and human resources to undertake the research and development of innovative projects at a lower cost. A partnership through the MetroLab Network allows us, as the University, to outline the purpose and process of collaborative research and provide solutions to the problems faced by our community,” he said.

The consortium also will work to identify technology-enabled solutions to another challenge of urbanization: affordable housing and transportation.

“Affordable housing is one of the most significant challenges facing Miami today, with over half of our households paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing,” said Robin Bachin, UM assistant provost for Civic and Community Engagement. “Already, UM’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement has partnered with FIU’s Metropolitan Center to create the South Florida Housing Studies Consortium, whose goal is to raise awareness about the challenges facing our housing market and craft solutions through policy and practice to overcome them.”

Bachin will continue to work closely with FIU and the Miami-Dade County Department of Public Housing and Community Development to enhance the relationships between the universities and local governments in order to ensure the best solutions for housing affordability in South Florida.

The MetroLab network now includes 40 partnerships between local governments and their university partners, focused on incorporating data, analytics, and innovation into local government programs. Members of the network research, develop, and deploy technologies and policy approaches to address challenges facing the nation’s urban areas. MetroLab Network was launched by 21 founding city-university pairings in September 2015 at the White House as part of the Obama Administration’s Smart Cities Initiative.

In addition to Greater Miami and the Beaches, UM, FIU, and Miami Dade College, new MetroLab Network members announced September 26 are:

City of Los Angeles – California State University, Los Angeles

City of San Francisco – University of California, Berkeley

University of Pittsburgh (joining existing City of Pittsburgh – Carnegie Mellon Partnership)

For more information on MetroLab Network visit www.metrolabnetwork.org.

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Order Regalia for December Commencement by October 14

The University of Miami invites all faculty members to participate in the December 2016 Commencement Ceremony as part of the academic procession. The ceremony will be held in the Convocation Center on Thursday, December 15 at 10 a.m., for degrees granted from all schools and colleges, as follows:

  • School of Architecture
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • School of Business Administration
  • School of Communication
  • School of Education and Human Development
  • College of Engineering
  • Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
  • Miller School of Medicine (non-M.D. degrees)
  • School of Law
  • Frost School of Music
  • School of Nursing and Health Studies



Visit www.miami.edu/capandgown to order your regalia and R.S.V.P. by Friday, October 14. If you are attending as a doctoral advisor, please e-mail commencement@miami.edu. If you need further information regarding commencement, call 305-284-1824 or email commencement@miami.edu.



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

5 p.m. – Miller School of Medicine Ceremony

Thursday, May 11, 2017

1 p.m. – Graduate Degree Ceremony

(All graduate degrees, all schools and colleges except School of Law and Miller School of Medicine M.D. degrees)

5 p.m. – School of Law

Friday, May 12, 2017

Undergraduate Degree Ceremonies

8:30 a.m. – Arts and Sciences and Continuing and International Studies

1:00 p.m. – Architecture, Communication, Education and Human Development, Marine and Atmospheric Science, Music, and Nursing and Health Studies

5 p.m. – Business and Engineering



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After 46 Years in the Registrar’s Office, Carolyn Scott Retires

Carolyn Scott at her retirement party

Carolyn Scott was the center of attention–and celebration–at her retirement party last week.

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (September 29, 2016) – The process to register for a class took days. At the beginning of each semester, thousands of students would cram into Brockway Lecture Hall at the University of Miami’s Richter Library, holding class schedules while waiting in lines that sometimes stretched out the door.

“If a student came up to a table with a class such as English 101 on her schedule, she’d get a corresponding card that she’d walk through several other steps until she was officially registered,” Carolyn Scott recalls of the class registration ritual that was the norm at UM back in the early 1970s. “It was laborious,” she says.

If anyone should know it is Scott, a Georgia-born mother of two who started as a file clerk in UM’s Office of the Registrar in May of 1970, only two weeks after she arrived in Miami looking for a job, and has worked there ever since—46 years all told.

Now, after nearly five decades at the U, Scott is retiring, taking with her a storehouse of treasured memories.

“Everything was done by paper when I started,” says Scott, a senior program coordinator. “But like everything in life, things changed—fast.”

From typewriters to telex machines to computers, Scott has been witness to the evolution in tools used in the course registration process at UM, and all during that time she’s performed just about every duty in her office.

“She’s been such a source of knowledge, not just technical knowledge on how to do things, but she knows almost everybody at the University,” says University Registrar Karen Beckett, who hadn’t even been born when Scott started working at UM. “She’s always been adept at telling me what we did, why we did it, and how it had evolved.”

With the rise of computers and online registration, the registration evolutionary process meant Scott and her coworkers would see fewer and fewer students over the years. “Now, they pretty much register on their own,” says Scott. “Today we only see them when they have a problem that needs to be resolved.”

But there were still records to maintain, which always kept Scott busy.

An avid Hurricane sports fan, she also worked closely with the Department of Athletics in the NCAA certification process of student-athletes, ensuring they had signed up for the required number of classes and credits for each semester. Ray Bellamy, the first African-American to earn an athletic scholarship at UM; Bernie Kosar, the national championship-winning quarterback; and Ray Lewis, the legendary Hurricanes linebacker who would go on to win two NFL Super Bowl titles, are just some of the former student-athletes Scott recalls helping.

If there’s one thing she would have done differently during her UM career, “I would have continued my education here,” she says. “I was a single mother of two, and it was difficult.”

But knowing that through the registration process she’s helped thousands of students earn their college degrees, Scott feels a certain measure of academic success.

“I was just there to help,” she says, “and I enjoyed it.”


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School of Law Seeks Faculty for New Interdisciplinary Course on Race, Class, and Power

The School of Law is seeking faculty from across the University interested in teaching a session of a new spring 2017 interdisciplinary three-credit course on race, class, and power against the backdrop of Ferguson, Missouri, and the Black Lives Matter movement. The course, which is being coordinated by Osamudia James, vice dean and professor at the School of Law, is tentatively scheduled to meet once a week, on Thursdays at 3:30 p.m.

“We are interested in engaging the multiple lens through which Ferguson, the Black Lives Matter movement, and racial justice in the United States might be explored, including policing and criminal justice, comparative inquiry regarding race and identity, theories of social movements, political processes and democracy, education reform, urban politics, class and labor movements, health care and medicine, environmental justice, and sub-disciplines in the humanities,” said James.

Participating faculty need only commit to one class session, which will involve a three-hour teaching commitment in addition to providing the week’s reading materials. Assessment is conducted through a final paper and two short response papers, the grading of which will be evenly divided among participating faculty.

To participate, please email a paragraph, identifying the analytical lens or theme through which you would engage the course’s topic, by Tuesday, November 29 to Professor Osamudia James, Office of the Vice Dean, at ojames@law.miami.edu. For more information, call 305-284-5837.


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Study Reveals Earthquake Hazard

Special to UM News


These satellite images, obtained from the Envisat satellite, shows (left) the Western India plate boundary zone, which includes the Chaman fault and Kabul, and (right) a ground velocity field of the Ghazaband fault and Quetta.

MIAMI, Fla. (September 27, 2016) — Scientists at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science have revealed alarming conclusions about the earthquake hazard in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. The new study focused on two of the major faults in the region—the Chaman and Ghazaband faults.

“Typically earthquake hazard research is a result of extensive ground-based measurements,” said Heresh Fattahi, the study’s lead author and a Rosenstiel School alumnus. “These faults, however, are in a region where the political situation makes these ground-based measurements dangerous and virtually impossible.”

Using satellite data from 2004-2011 acquired by the European Space Agency satellite Envisat and through a technique called interferometry, the researchers were able to measure the relative motion of the ground and then model the movement of the underlying faults with an accuracy of just a few millimeters. Using data for a seven-year timeframe and employing time-series analysis techniques helped increase the confidence in their results.

The new study shows that the Ghazaband fault is accommodating more than half of the relative motion between the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates, which indicates that the fault accumulates stress, making the potential for a high-magnitude earthquake much higher than previously thought.

Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s Balochistan province located close to the Ghazaband Fault, lost nearly half of its population following a magnitude 7.7 earthquake in 1935.

“Quetta’s population of more than one million is in serious danger if an earthquake were to strike,” said Falk Amelung, a Rosenstiel School professor of geophysics and a coauthor of the study. “Earthquake-proof construction is vital in avoiding earthquake disasters. Quetta, as well as other cities in the region, is completely unprepared.”

The research team also studied the Chaman Fault, the largest fault in the region, running from southern Pakistan to north of Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital. This fault was thought to accommodate the lion’s share of the relative plate motion, but the satellite data reveal that it may account for only about one third of it. “We have to rethink the tectonics of the region,” said Amelung.

The researchers also found a creeping segment, where the rock masses slide against each other without accumulating any stress that would lead to earthquakes. The creeping fault extends for 340 kilometers (211 miles). “This is the longest creeping fault ever reported,” said Fattahi.

The slower-than-expected fault rate and the presence of the long creeping segment explain why the region has not, for over 500 years, experienced major earthquakes with fault ruptures from several tens to several hundreds of kilometers. However, scientists warn, this does not mean there is no hazard.

The study, titled “InSAR observations of strain accumulation and fault creep along the Chaman Fault system, Pakistan and Afghanistan,” by Fattahi and Amelung appeared in the August 22 issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters. NASA’s Earth Surface and Interior program and the National Science Foundation’s Tectonics Program funded the study.


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