Research News

Burnell Fischer (IUB), $173,206 from the U.S. Forest Service entitled the National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost Share Grant. Fischer’s project “Trees and People, A Two-Way Street” will extend research on tree-planting programs currently being done in Indianapolis to five other U.S. cities (Detroit, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Des Moines). The project will examine the direct effects of the tree-planting programs on tree survival and indirect effects of the tree-planting on the community organizations helping to implement the program. Fischer’s project was chosen, along with two others, out of 60 proposals to receive the grant. The organizations partnering in this project include the Alliance for Community Trees and the following community organizations: Greening of Detroit, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Inc., Forest ReLeaf of Missouri (St. Louis), Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (Philadelphia), Trees Atlanta, and Trees Forever (Des Moines).

Sheila Kennedy (IUPUI), and her colleague Tony Cox in the Kelley School of Business, $100,000 per year for three years to fund an IUPUI Signature Centers Initiative, the Center for Civic Literacy. Anecdotal and formal research shows that most Americans are illiterate about civics, which in turn makes them less engaged in democratic processes and unable to address societal issues. The Center seeks to correct this with a twofold mission: to increase scholarly and public understanding of the dimensions of our civic deficit and the effect that has on democratic decisionmaking and civil society; and to create a clearinghouse for best practices on how to address and correct the problem. This Center, the first of its kind in the U.S., is housed in the IU Public Policy Institute and will publish an online journal, convene a national conference, and conduct research projects that result in peer-reviewed journal articles. The center is due to attain IUPUI Signature Center status in 2015.

Sam Nunn (IUPUI), $350,000 from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute to support the 2012 Traffic Safety project. This work provides policymakers with the facts they need to address traffic-related issues. This is a long-standing partnership between the IU Center for Criminal Justice Research at the Public Policy Institute and the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. Findings are presented in a series of nine issue brief/fact sheets and the annual Indiana Crash Fact Book.

David Reingold (IUB), from the U.S. Corporation for National and Community Service. This grant funds the continuation of the SPEA VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) Fellows Program. The program began last year and offers SPEA graduate students the opportunity to work with organizations whose efforts address poverty alleviation. Students accepted into the SPEA VISTA Fellows Program receive many benefits, including a living stipend, class credit, and a professional learning experience. To date, the total value of support (cash and noncash) from the Corporation for National & Community Service is approximately $679,000. Selection of students into the program is administered by David Reingold (project director), Megan Siehl (project coordinator), and the Masters Program Office.

Thomas Simon (IUB), $20,000 in his recent award from the National Park Service to be used toward the project “Evaluation and Assessment of Sediment Toxicity and Coastal Dune Restoration at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.” The research will examine the health of Indiana Dunes’ ecosystem and how it is being influenced by the East Branch Little Calumet River, as well as the health concerns connected to recreation water use in the area. Simon will be working with E.P. Argyilan from IU Northwest’s Department of Geosciences on the project.

Phil Stevens (IUB), $297,325 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to be used for his three-year project, “Laboratory measurements of atmospheric peroxy radical reactions.” Stevens’s research will examine the chemical reactions of peroxy radicals, which contribute to the production of ozone and secondary aerosols in the atmosphere, the primary components of photochemical smog. Because of their importance to both issues of air quality and climate change, an accurate understanding of this chemistry is important for both the development of effective control strategies for the reduction of these pollutants, as well as accurate projections of their impact on future climate.

The Transportation Research Center and Ron Drahos, Tim Wildridge, Mark Gall, Eric Mitter, and Don Brice (IUB), $70,000 (potentially reaching $3 million) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The grant is for the project entitled “Special Crash Investigations,” which will establish an in-depth crash investigation team to examine traffic accidents of particular interest to the NHTSA. The investigative area covers 16 states within the central region of the country, and will examine pre-crash/at-crash/post-crash facts, and injuries. The effort mainly involves motor vehicle crashes, including busses and vehicles with the latest safety technologies, and will report on any potential safety-related issues found. The investigation will help the NHTSA reduce highway traffic accidents and improve highway safety.