Faculty Grants 2011-2012

The Jack Miller Center has awarded the College a grant to help with the expenses of Constitution Day events to be held at Middlebury this fall. This grant is the result of a proposal submitted by Keegan Callanan, a new member of the Political Science department, with the assistance of Murray Dry. The Jack Miller Center is “dedicated to enriching education in America’s founding principles and history.”

Ophelia Eglene (Political Science) has received two fellowships to pursue her research next year. In the fall, she has  a Visiting Scholar fellowship at the European Union Center of Excellence University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In the spring, she will be a Visiting Fellow at the Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI), Sciences Po in Paris. Her project is titled Non-Compliance with EU Environmental Law: A Case Study of 15 Court Cases.

Carrie Reed (Chinese) has received a Translation Grant from the PEN American Center for her translation of Youyang zazu 酉陽雜俎 (Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang), a ninth-century Chinese classical language miscellany by Duan Chengshi 段成式 (c. 800–863). This project will be the focus of her leave next year, and she estimates it will take about three years to complete the full project, which consists of a popular version without many annotations and a carefully annotated version. Carrie comments, “Duan was a close observer of his world, a lover of the strange and the foreign, an amateur ethnographer, and recorder of stories and lore of all kinds. He was unprejudiced in his sources, giving equal importance to every bit of information, whether from a slave, a monk, a civil servant or an imperial relative."

Will Amidon (Geology) has been awarded funding through the National Science Foundation's RUI mechanism for two years of research with collaborators at the University of California at Santa Barbara. The project, titled Reconstructing Mid-Miocene-to-Recent Paleo-Erosion Rates in the Eastern Andes, Northern Argentina, will involve five undergraduate researchers in investigating whether climate oscillations can be linked to changes in erosion rates over millions of years.

Frank Winkler (Physics) has received funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Chandra X-Ray Observatory General Observer Program for a project that involves collaborators from the Space Telescope Science Institute, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, North Carolina State University, and the RIKEN Institute in Japan. This project will involve a comprehensive study of the remnant of the supernova that occurred in 1006 C.E., generally believed to be the brightest stellar event in recorded human history. Through a series of observations from the Chandra Observatory extending for over 200 hours, Winkler and his colleagues expect to obtain beautifully detailed X-ray images of this supernova remnant, which they will use to study the debris from its explosion and the interaction with its environment.

Peter Nelson(Geography) has received funding through a cooperative agreement from the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support a research project titled High Cost Mortgage Lending in Rural America and the Great Recession. The goals of the project are to identify which rural communities and residents are most vulnerable to high-cost lending and examine how the foreclosure crisis has affected housing markets across rural America.

James Morrison (Political Science) has been awarded a fellowship to spend his leave next year at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. The main focus of his research will be a book project titled An Unholy Trinity: The Influence of John Locke, Adam Smith, and John Maynard Keynes on Britain’s Three Great Transformations. The project traces the processes by which these three key  intellectuals developed, saw adopted, and helped to implement their foreign economic policy strategies in Britain.

Elizabeth Morrison (Religion) has been selected to participate this summer in a faculty seminar at Transylvania University in Kentucky, funded by the University’s Bingham Program for Excellence in Teaching. The seminar, titled Twenty-first Century Liberal Education: A Contested Concept, will involve faculty from liberal arts colleges around the country. The award covers all costs of participation, including travel.

Mark Stefani (Psychology) has been awarded an R15 research grant through the National Institutes of Health’s AREA program. This grant will support collaborative work with Mark Spritzer (Biology) to investigate the role that the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) plays in impaired cognition in a rat model of schizophrenia. This grant includes funding for three undergraduate research assistants over the next three years and for laboratory staff, research supplies, and travel to conferences.

Linda White (Japanese Studies) has been awarded a Research grant from the Fulbright Scholar Program to spend her academic leave next year in Japan conducting ethnographic research in Tokyo with citizens and non-citizens, activists and others concerned about the key document for family and citizenship registration in Japan.  She will be affiliated with Nihon University in Tokyo.  Project title: Family, Name, Citizenship: The Postwar Household Registration System and the Formation of Identity in Contemporary Japan.

Jeff Howarth (Geography) has been awarded a fellowship from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation for a project titled Mapping Cook’s Narratives on Tahiti. He will spend one month during his 2012-2013 leave visiting Tahiti. The main objective of his project is to map information contained in the personal journals of Captain James Cook and his crew in order to visualize relationships between people and places that may not be discernible by reading. Based on this project, he plans to develop new teaching materials for his classes at Middlebury including Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems, Cartographic Design, and Geography of Islands.

Pete Ryan (Geology) has been awarded a fellowship from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation for a project titled International Perspectives on Environmental Geochemistry. He will spend two months during his 2012-2013 academic leave at the Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (Andalucian Institute of Earth Sciences) in Granada, Spain. The main purpose of his trip is to become immersed in cutting-edge research that he can apply to classes he teaches at Middlebury, particularly Environmental Geochemistry, and can use in advising  senior thesis research and other courses. 

Chris Klyza  (Political Science) has been awarded a fellowship from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation for a project titled Alaska: Conservation in the Final Frontier. He will travel to Alaska to experience and photograph its landscapes and to better understand the issues at stake there, especially on lands managed by the major federal land management agencies. This trip is designed to significantly enhance two courses that he teaches every year, Conservation and Environmental Policy and  Seminar on American Environmental Politics, as well as all his teaching of environmental studies.

Ian Barrow  (History) has been awarded a fellowship from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation for a project titled In the Footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi. He will travel to three areas of South Asia, each of which exemplifies on or more of the major confrontations in Gandhi’s life. What he learns about how Gandhi and his actions are remembered will help him revamp the course he teaches on Gandhi.

John Spackman  (Philosophy) has been awarded a grant to participate in a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute titled Investigating Consciousness: Buddhist and Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives, which will be held at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. During the institute, John’s goal is to develop more fully a Buddhist-inspired view of the relation between the mental and the physical that he has been working on over the past few years, what he has called "neutral non-dualism."

Kareem Khalifa (Philosophy) has been awarded a grant to participate in a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute titled Experimental Philosophy, which will be held at the University of Arizona.  He will be learning how to use experimental methods to explore philosophical questions concerning the nature of knowledge, understanding, and explanation.

Helen Young (Biology) has been awarded a Research grant from the Fulbright Scholar Program to spend April through July in Scotland during her academic leave in 2013. She will be based at the University of Stirling, where she will collaborate with a colleague on pollination projects involving raspberries, bumblebees, and citizen science. Her research is titled, Exploring and promoting landscape features associated with bee pollinators in Scotland.

Andrea Lloyd (Biology) and colleagues involved in the Bonanza Creek Long Term Ecological Research site in Alaska have received funding from the National Science Foundation for a project titled Regional Consequences of Changing Climate-Disturbance Interactions for the Resilience of Alaska’s Boreal Forest. The project is part of the NSF-LTER program, which provides ongoing support of basic scientific research and monitoring in key ecosystems around the U.S.   The grant will enable Andi and one undergraduate research assistant to study how climate change and disturbance by insect herbivores are affecting productivity in the forests of central Alaska.

The National Science Foundation has awarded a Major Research Instrumentation grant to Middlebury College for acquisition of an integrated system of instrumentation to be used in lake-studies research conducted by faculty and students. Under the direction of geology professors Patricia Manley and Thomas Manley, this grant will fund purchase of a multi-beam sonar system and an acoustic Doppler current profiler. This equipment will be mounted on the College’s new research vessel, currently under construction, but can be transferrable for use by other vessels in the region. This new system will expand the range of research and curricular projects on Lake Champlain, involving other members of the geology department as well as faculty in biology and environmental chemistry

Susan Watson (Physics) and collaborators at Harvard University have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Physics at the Information Frontier (PIF) program to conduct research in the field of quantum information processing, in which the unusual features of quantum physics are harnessed to allow the rapid encoding and manipulation of information. The team of researchers will exploit the unique properties of carbon nanotubes, which are themselves newly understood and are a forefront area of fundamental physics, to create and investigate quantum bits – the fundamental building blocks of quantum computation. Over the course of three years, at least 6 undergraduates will be involved in this research effort. Project title: Carbon-based long-coherence quantum bit.

Vermont Genetics Network grants for Research in the Biomedical Sciences
Middlebury College is one of the baccalaureate partner institutions participating in a major grant from the National Institutes of Health to the University of Vermont. This grant continues the Vermont Genetics Network support that has been a significant source of funding for faculty and student research in the past decade. The following faculty members received individual grants from this program to support their research this year:

Michelle McCauley (Psychology) New project grant to adapt and test the effectiveness of a forensic interview protocol for use as a pediatric dietary interview (title: The Adapting the Cognitive Interview for Pediatric Health Interviews). The grant provides funding for summer and academic-year effort from June 2011-May 2012, including academic leave salary, and stipends for two undergraduate research students.

Mark Spritzer (Biology) Renewal of support for ongoing research related to adult neurogenesis and spatial cognition (title: Effects of prolactin and sexual experience on adult neurogenesis in male rats). The grant provides funding for summer and academic-year effort from June 2011-May 2012 and includes a stipend for one undergraduate student.

Mark Stefani (Psychology) Renewal of support for ongoing research that seeks to understand whether abnormalities in the balance between neural excitation and inhibition underlie the memory and decision-making problems associated with schizophrenia (title: The role of GABAergic signaling in schizophrenia-related cognitive disorders). The grant provides funding for summer and academic-year effort from June 2011-May 2012 and includes a stipend for one undergraduate student.

Middlebury College has received a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support an Emeritus Fellowship for Michael Katz, Professor Emeritus of Russian and East European Studies. The grant will allow Professor Katz to prepare an annotated edition of three interrelated works of fiction from the Tolstoy family, accompanied by selected excerpts from the principals’ personal letters, diaries, and notebooks. When complete, the volume will be an indispensable resource for understanding the debate over sexual morality in late 19th – early 20th century Russia.

Neil Waters (Professor Emeritus of History) has been awarded a fellowship from the Associated Kyoto Program to teach and conduct research in Japan during Fall 2012. He will teach a course titled " The History of Pre-Modern Japan" for the AKP program at Doshisha University and will work on a research project titled, Recycling Morality: the Life and Afterlives of Japan's Peasant Sage, Ninomiya Sontoku.