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 Edge of Africa
 Graduate student teaching...
 Grants awarded
 UF students invited to Nobel Laureates...
 Researcher dodges elephants, mudslides...
 Ph.D. mentors for 2004
 Giraffes get nutritional boost...
 Children don't know folk songs,...
 Internet infidelity
 Excavation finds clues of cultural...
 REACH out to students






Group Title: Excel: news for and about University of Florida graduate students
Title: Excel: news for and about University of Florida graduate students. Spring 2004.
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Title: Excel: news for and about University of Florida graduate students. Spring 2004.
Series Title: Excel: news for and about University of Florida graduate students
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Language: English
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Publisher: University of Florida Graduate School
Publication Date: Spring 2004
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Volume ID: VID00004
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Table of Contents
    Edge of Africa
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Graduate student teaching awards
        Page 6
    Grants awarded
        Page 7
    UF students invited to Nobel Laureates meeting
        Page 8
    Researcher dodges elephants, mudslides to track tigers
        Page 9
    Ph.D. mentors for 2004
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Giraffes get nutritional boost from UF-developed food
        Page 12
    Children don't know folk songs, threatening heritage
        Page 13
    Internet infidelity
        Page 14
    Excavation finds clues of cultural blending in Seminole Indian life
        Page 15
    REACH out to students
        Page 16
Full Text




News For & About
SUniversity of Florida
Graduate Students







Edge of




page 1


Tiger

Tracker
page 9





Forgetting

Folk Songs
page 1 3


A male hippo (Hippopotamus amphibious) lurks in the Atlantic
waves. The Gamba coastline is the only place this behavior
has been observed. The common forest tree frog (Leptopelis
notatus) clambers vertically up trunks with its "sticky" finger
pads -- reason for its use in magical rites to grant a goalkeeper
better catches.


MASTER'S STUDENT CARLTON WARD HAS COMBINED HIS LOVE OF THE
ENVIRONMENT AND PHOTOGRAPHY TO THE BENEFIT OF BOTH
An hour after sunset on his last night in the west African country of Gabon, UF
graduate student Carlton Ward took some final shots of a native hippopotamus bathing in
a freshwater lagoon and began packing his gear.
Ward had heard rumors that hippos around the area known as Gamba often swim in
the salty Atlantic ocean, but during his 10-week stay he had yet to witness the rare sight.
Suddenly, the hippo began lumbering across the sand toward the ocean 150 yards
ahead of Ward. He instinctively grabbed his Nikon camera and a 200 millimeter lens and
raced toward the animal as it made its way into the surf. As dusk turned to night, Ward
waded into the black water, and with the waves churning around his waist, brought the
camera to his eye just as the hippo stopped on a sand bar and turned around.


UNIVERSITY OF
FLORIDA


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EXCEL
11














The flash was just enough to silhouette the hippo's massive bulk and illuminate its
piercing yellow eyes. For Ward, the picture captures Gamba perfectly an African
hippo transcending its traditional environment. It's that image and others like it in a
book of his photographs published last fall that Ward hopes will convey to an
international audience the importance of preserving Gabon's unique environment.
An eighth-generation Floridian, Ward has always had an interest in the ecology
and history of Florida. While earning his bachelor's degree at Wake Forest University,
he studied biology and anthropology. He got is his first camera when he went to
study abroad in Australia.
"From that time, I've been pretty much obsessed with photography," he says. "But
I started turning toward environmental subjects because that's what my background
and training was in.
After graduation, Ward did an internship in the photography department at the
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, then honed his skills for two
years while traveling to places like the Peruvian Amazon and the Andes Mountains.
In fall of 2000, he returned to school. He chose UF's Natural Sciences Department
because of the strength of its master's program and his lifelong interest in Florida
ecology. The program allowed Ward to do his coursework and training in science,
but his thesis through another college. Ward chose the College of Journalism and
Communications, where he became the first UF graduate student to combine his
environmental studies with photojournalism.
"There obviously is a sub-field of environmental journalism," says Stephen
Humphrey, director of the School of Natural Resources and Environment. "Carlton's
photography is based on ecology at its intellectual core. This sort of journalism
requires a very good understanding of ecology experimentation and practice. His
journalistic view is grounded in the scientific field that he works with."
Although his passion for the environment was always present, a way to present his
pictures as stories didn't come naturally.
"The technical side of photography came fairly easily I have a fairly scientific
mind," Ward says. "But when I started my work at the University of Florida, I had a
portfolio with a lot of pretty pictures, but not so much journalism. And that's what I
was trying to learn and I'm still trying to learn; incorporating a story-telling journal-
istic approach with photography."
Ward's graduate advisor and committee chair, journalism Assistant Professor John
Kaplan, helped Ward evolve from nature photographer to photojournalist.
"When I first met Carlton, he had a strong grasp of science and the technical issues
of photography, but what he was lacking was a way to connect that with telling stories
and connecting with people. I think he has really worked to find that balance of
bringing those elements together and being an effective photographer," Kaplan says.
In the summer of 2001, Ward's Smithsonian internship paid off with an opportu-
nity to document the work of a team of Smithsonian scientists doing research in
Gabon.
"We wanted to have a photographer full time in order to create the first database
for this region and also, to have high-quality material to publish very quickly," says
Francisco Dallmeier, director of Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity Pro-
grams at the Smithsonian. "Carlton is very energetic and flexible and he makes it
happen. He was very valuable to our team."
Ward decided to turn the Gamba project into his thesis.


























Glorious Gabon


Nowhere else in Africa does intact
tropical rainforest still come right down
to the ocean like it does in Gabon, a
country of fewer than three million
people that still has 90 percent of its
tropical rainforest intact.
Bordering the Atlantic Ocean at the
Equator, Gabon is sandwiched between
the far-more-developed countries of the
Republic of the Congo and Equatorial
Guinea. Once a French colony, Gabon
gained independence in 1960 and now
governs as a republic. Although oil and
mineral reserves have made Gabon fairly
wealthy and allowed for the conserva-
tion of biodiversity, threats like de-
forestation and poaching are very real.
"You get this astonishing, rich
diversity of plants and animals that live
in the Congo Forest coming right down
to a tropical beach like you would see
in Florida and the Caribbean," Ward
says. "The combination of African
animals with a tropical coastal land-
scape, elephants that go on the sand,
hippos that go in the surf, chimpanzees
and gorillas that are in the forest close
by, there's nowhere in the world like
that because every other country in
equatorial Africa now has heavy coastal
development. Gamba, within Gabon, is
the most continuous expansive
undeveloped coastline and rainforest
left for Africa."


Gamba is a town in southwest
Gabon surrounded by an environmen-
tal district called the Gamba Complex
that is comprised of coastline, grass-
lands, lagoons, rivers, wetlands,
mountains and tropical rainforest. The
Gamba Project was developed in 1999
by the Smithsonian Institution
Monitoring and Assessment
Biodiversity Program with funding
from the Shell Foundation's Sustainable
Energy Program and Shell Gabon to
assess and monitor the biodiversity in
the Gamba Complex.
"I've been to
Gabon six times
since that first
time in July 2001
and it has evolved t
from a partially
paid internship to
a full contract
position with
them," Ward says.
"I've worked with
them to see the
value of using
imagery to
communicate what
they're doing to
the scientific
community as well
as the popular
audience."


Ward's photographic mission in
Gabon was to raise awareness both
domestically and internationally about
the biodiversity of the country's natural
environment. While much of his time
was spent documenting the plants and
animals the scientists brought to him,
Ward also sought out his own subjects,
using sophisticated camera traps to
capture large animals in their natural
environment a family of elephants
skirting the lush green jungle, wild
buffalo strolling along the beach against
a hazy blue fog and a startled leopard,
frozen in its tracks.


I


EXCEL
31


A herd of forest buffalo (Syncerus caffer) run across coastal
grasslands where they often emerge from the forest to graze.






ANNNNft.:










"Carlton has a rare combination of
intellect, scientific inquiry and ethic
vision," Kaplan says. "He has a good sense
of color and his pictures really come alive.
He's got a wonderful eye and I think his
potential is limitless."
Ward's work, much of which involves
new species never before photographed
alive, has already affected Gabon's citizens.
"I would give slide presentations locally
to the oil workers and different people and
they were always impressed by the diversity
of life in these forests," Ward says. "I want
to help people understand Gabon through
popular magazines, but equally important
is to raise awareness within Gabon and
inspire them to want to protect their
resources.

























77g.M









No hr ese iS *fic does inac toiarinfes t









Dallmeier would like to see more of
Ward's type ofphotojournalism in the
environmental world.
"There are so many hidden stories,"
the scientist says. "By the time they get to
the people, sometimes it's too late. A
physical description is a powerful tool in
order to influence decisions."
The Smithsonian Institution recently
published a book-length photo essay
about Gabon's biodiversity, titled The
Edge ofAfrica. Ward helped coordinate
the photography, layout and design, and
90 percent of the content is his photo-
graphs accompanied by captions.
Ultimately Ward wants to continue


the path of raising awareness about
environmental issues through photogra-
phy and find a doctoral program that
suits his goals.
"I love this idea of taking a project
and trying to become an expert in the
area and making a book out of it," he
says. "Gabon is a place where I'm able to
make a difference because I'm doing a lot
of things for the first time there and there
are not so many places left where you can
do things at least journalistically speak-
ing. I imagine I'll continue to go back to
Gabon over my lifetime, but only when I
find a story that needs to be told."


JESSICA GORDON


The Smithsonian

Institution recently

published a book-

length photo essay

about Gabon's

biodiversity, titled The

Edge of Africa.








Graduate Student

Teaching Awards
I


The Graduate Student Teaching Awards recognize UF's
top teaching assistants. TAs are nominated by their
departments and a faculty committee carefully reviews
each nominee's dossier. Each finalist's class is observed
by at least two members of the committee. Among the
recipients, one receives the Calvin A. VanderWerf Award,
established in memory of the dean of the College of
Liberal Arts and Sciences from 1971 to 1978. This year's
VanderWerf Award recipient is Sarah K. Wears from the
Department of Linguistics.


Sarah Wears has three goals in her teaching: transmit large amounts of quality
information, create scenarios in which students realize they are not passive
receptacles for knowledge but active discoverers of it, and continually improve
her teaching.
Wears says she regularly rehearses her lectures, refining them so she can
maximize the information she gives her students in a comprehensible way.
To ensure that her lectures stay current, Wears has developed a filing system
that tracks every topic she covers during a semester.
"When I find new information, whether a scholarly article or a newspaper
comic strip, I put it in the appropriate folder," Wears says.
To help students embrace the subject of linguistics, Wears first tries to get
them to recognize what they already know, then uses short, interactive tasks to
lead them to question or affirm that knowledge.
Finally, Wears constantly seeks to improve her teaching skills.
"Suggestions from supervisors and students alike guide me in refining my
style," Wears says. "Sometimes I change my philosophy then my teaching, other
times my teaching then my philosophy."
Linguistics department Chair Diana Boxer calls Wears "one of the most
talented teachers among us, putting to shame some of us who are much more
senior in this endeavor of higher education."


IGraduate Student Teaching Award Recipients


Rom Brafman, Psychology
Sarah Bray, Botany
Rebecca Brown, University Writing Program
Ryan Caserta, Exercise and Sport Sciences
Evelyn Chiang, Educational Psychology
Glenn Freeman, English
Charles Grapski, Political Science


Daniel Janes, Zoology
Steven Litner, Counselor Education
Erika Migues, Mathematics
Megan Norcia, English
Travis Park, Agricultural Education and Communication
Ericka Parra, Romance Languages and Literatures


EXCEL
16


I









Sigma Xi Chooses Two UF Grad Students

To Receive Prestigious Grants a


Sigma Xi, the scientific research
society, has selected two University of
Florida graduate students to receive
funding under its highly competitive
Grant In Aid of Research program.
Psychology doctoral student Sara Jill
Rotter and geology master's student
Sarah Davidson Newell were among
only 300 out of 1,300 applicants to
receive funding through the program.
Rotter intends to use her $800 grant
toward her research at UF's Cognition
& Aging Laboratory. The laboratory
conducts research on a wide range of
topics in memory, language, and aging.
"In general, we are interested in
exploring the typical changes that occur
with aging, disproving the myths of
aging, and finding practical solutions to
common age-related memory prob-
lems," Rotter says.
Newell was awarded the maximum


grant of $1,000 for her research on
historic changes in vegetation.
Working under geology Professor
David Hodell, Newell is studying core
samples from the bed of Lake Sacnab
in Guatemala to determine how vege-
tation in the region has changed over
the last 3,000 years.
Millennia of seeds and other organ-
ic material that blew onto the lake and
settled to the bottom are visible in
thousands of layers of sediment in the
2-inch diameter core samples. Re-
searchers can date the samples by their
relative location, like tree rings, and by
measuring carbon isotopes in them.
Through these samples, Newell is
constructing a more precise record of
changes in vegetation in the region.
Newell says a greater understanding
of the rate and process of reforestation
following the collapse of the ancient


Maya civilization may provide valuable
information for future forest manage-
ment in Guatemala and other tropical
regions.
CHRISTINE MARINELLI


Anthropology Doctoral Student Wins NSF Grant


A anthropology doctoral student
Ermitte St. Jacques has been
awarded an $11,846 Doctoral Disserta-
tion Research Improvement Grant from
the National Science Foundation to
continue her research on immigration
between Africa and Spain.
St. Jacques earned a bachelor's
degree in English and Spanish from
Emory University in 1994 and a
master's in Latin American Studies
from UF in 2001.


She is currently in Spain conducting
research for her dissertation, titled
"The Implications of Social and
Economic Mobility for Transnational
West African Migrants in Spain."
Throughout her studies at the
University of Florida, St. Jacques has
worked through the Graduate School's
Office of Graduate Minority Programs
to help increase the number of students
from historically underrepresented
populations in higher education.
St. Jacques' research focuses on
whether immigrants with greater social
and economic mobility demonstrate a
wider range and greater frequency of
transnational activities.
"While migration and return
migration have a long history, our
contemporary world's inexpensive
communications and transportation
systems have allowed transnationalism
- the maintenance of current social


lives in two or more societies to
flourish," St. Jacques writes.
In the past two decades, immigration
of Africans to Spain has increased signif-
icantly, especially to urban areas such as
Barcelona. As African immigrants adapt
to the social environment of Spain, they
remain connected to their countries of
origin by sending money to support
relatives, visits to home, investments,
entrepreneurial ventures, and member-
ship in hometown associations, she says.
To understand the relationship
between integration and transnational
activities, St. Jacques is working with
Spanish collaborators to measure African
immigrants' level of incorporation in
Spain's economy; level of social adapta-
tion; the types of cross-border activities
African immigrants practice; and the fre-
quency of engagement in these activities.

JOSEPH KAYS


EXCEL
71










UF Students Invited To


Nobel Laureates Meeting



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graduate education a great deal."
White's research is on the development of sensitive and selective combustion gas
Sensors. His research is showing promise in understanding the fundamental gas-solid
mechanisms for this very important technology.
White is the first American student to participate in a joint doctoral program between
UF and the University of Rome.
"Briggs is extremely interested in international collaborations and through this program
will be performing graduate research at both universities, including a year at the University
of Rome," says his graduate advisor, materials science and engineering Professor Eric
Wachsman. "I sincerely believe he will further benefit in this regard through participating
in the Lindau program."
UF Vice President for Research Win Phillips, who nominated the two students, called
the meeting "a great opportunity for our students to meet and interact with creative
thinkers and world leaders in their field."
In addition to meeting with the Nobel Laureates, the participants will enjoy the
picturesque island city of Lindau, which is located at the eastern end of Lake Constance,
just north of the Swiss Alps. Located at the common border of Austria, Germany and
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J: .iv: K-.


EXCEL
18










Researcher Dodges Elephants,


Mudslides To Track Tigers


Of the estimated 7,000 tigers left in
the world, scientists know the least
about the roughly 2,000 thought to
remain in Southeast Asia.
Unstable or repressive political
conditions have long impeded Western
biologists trying to study tigers there.
Much of the big cats' habitat, mean-
while, consists of remote, extremely
wild rain forest that offers near-perfect
cover to the shy and elusive predators.
So tiger experts are hailing a new
study of the tiger population in
Malaysia as something of a landmark
in research and conservation of the
animals. The study, by recent Univer-
sity of Florida graduate Kae Kawanishi,
provides the first scientifically rigorous
estimate of a tiger population in
Malaysia and one of the first such
studies in the entire region. These
studies are important because they will
aid conservation efforts in an area
facing huge population and develop-
ment pressures, experts say.
The research "has greatly advanced
our understanding of the dynamics of
tigers and their prey and, for the first
time, given us a holistic picture of
tigers living in the rain forest," said
John Seidensticker, a research scientist
at the Smithsonian's National Zoologi-
cal Park in Washington, D.C., and
chairman of ExxonMobil's Save The
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Based on 61 photos of tigers taken by
self-activating cameras in Taman Negara
National Park, a 1,677-square-mile
protected area that is one of the largest
parks in Southeast Asia, Kawanishi used
population models to estimate that the
park supported a population of between
52 and 84 adult tigers. Equally signifi-
cant, she found no evidence of illegal
hunting or other human-induced threats
to the tigers.
"When you compare that result with
the threat to tiger populations in similar-
sized parks in other tiger ranges, Taman
Negara is unique and superb," said
Kawanishi, now a technical adviser for
research and conservation for the
Malaysian national park system.
But while her results are important,
the grueling, nearly three years that
Kawanashi endured in the rain forest also
highlight the huge challenges and sacri-
fices faced by many wildlife biologists.
Kawanishi, 35, who graduated in
December with her doctorate in wildlife
ecology and conservation, began her field
work in 1998 at Taman Negara. With
only one eight-mile road and few trails,
the park is among the world's wildest
regions.
Wildlife biologists trying to estimate
tiger populations and gauge their ranges
have long relied on their tracks or on
capturing the tigers and fitting them with
, id. I. I -- H i n i rl', m ethod
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valleys, Taman Negara's terrain made
setting up and monitoring the cameras a
mammoth, risky project.
Kawanishi and a support team of
several Malaysian assistants and rangers
set up some 150 camera traps on three
75-square-mile study sites. At two of the
sites, the team spent at least two days on
a boat just to reach base camp trips
that often included portaging over
shallow areas. The team then had to hike
several hours to reach each camera.
Hazards were numerous. For one
thing, the rain forest's mammoth trees
stand on thin, eroding soil and fre-
quently fall over, bringing down many
smaller trees and vegetation with them.
Researchers also had to watch out for
elephants and poisonous snakes, while
insects, leeches and other pests were a
constant annoyance.
The researchers sampled each of the
three sites for 11 months.
But their perseverance paid off. The
team wound up with thousands of
photos of reptiles, numerous birds and
mammals, including porcupines, wild
dogs, sun bears, elephants and mouse
deer. Among other potentially important
findings, Kawanishi said the team also
captured the first evidence of the rare
Storm's stork in the park and found that
all leopards (about 150 were photo-
graphed) are melanistic, or largely black,
because of a recessive gene. During her
time in the rain forest, Kawanishi never
saw a tiger but her 61 photos of the
animals were adequate for the study to
succeed.
AARON HOOVER


EXCEL
91









Ph.D. Mentors for 2004

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EX, E-i_
110






























Agricultural and biological engineer-
ing Professor Wendy Graham believes it
is extremely important for graduate
advisors to create an academic environ-
ment that encourages trust, integrity
and mutual respect.
"A 'safe-place' must be established
where professors can admit they do not
have all the answers, and students can
admit that their ideas may have been
wrong, or their experiments have
failed," Graham says.
One former student says Graham
possesses an "emotional intelligence"
that allows her to tap into her graduate
students' motivations and fears so that
she can compassionately lead them to
their goal.
"Wendy showed me how to lead a
team, how to coach others and how to
be a mentor," the student writes. "The
lessons in leadership that I learned from
her continue to inspire me today."
College of Agriculture Dean Jimmy
Cheek calls Graham "a true mentor,
encouraging her students, helping pro-
vide structure and focus, making them
more organized and clearer thinkers."
"Participating in the graduate
education process that creates an
energetic, enthusiastic, intellectually-
curious new generation of scientists
renews my belief in the continuing
progress of knowledge, as well as
enthusiasm for my own pursuit of
knowledge," Graham says.


Psychology Professor Brian Iwata's
goal is to prepare graduate student for
careers in which they will make
significant contributions to their
chosen field of interest. He clearly is
achieving that goal.
A decade ago, the American
Psychological Association established
the B.F Skinner Award, given annually
to the most accomplished young
researcher in the field of behavior
analysis. Psychology Professor Brian
Iwata's former students have received
the award five times.
"I silently thank Brian for each
contribution I have been able to make
to our field," writes one former
student.
Iwata believes a successful academic-
research career requires mastery in the
areas of research, teaching, and
program development.
"My general approach to mentoring
therefore involves creating an environ-
ment that provides repeated opportuni-
ties to develop a high degree of
competence and independence in each
of these three areas," he says.
"Brian is not just a distinguished
researcher, though he is most assuredly
that, nor is he just a distinguished
classroom teacher, though he is most
assuredly that as well," writes one
colleague. "He is also the finest doc-
toral dissertation advisor and mentor in
the Department of Psychology."


Kenneth O encourages his graduate
students to learn to communicate their
research findings effectively, whether it's
in the classroom or the board room.
"Good communication skills are a
must for success in the engineering
world," says O, a professor of electrical
and computer engineering, who
requires all of his students to give
weekly updates on their research and
semi-annual presentations. "Critiques of
these presentations in a group setting
are used to improve presentation skills."
"I think one of the things that Ken
does effectively is stress the need for ex-
cellent communication skills," writes one
colleague. "This is often an area of ne-
glect in the engineering curriculum, but
it is a vital area for success in industry."
"The time spent in Dr. O's research
group gave me a solid foundation upon
which to launch my career," writes one
former student. "I have the chance to
work daily with engineers trained at
top-tier schools like MIT, Stanford, UC
Berkeley and Cal Tech. My observation
is that Dr. O's group is every bit as good
as those at these other schools."
O says the goal of the doctoral
program should be to nurture and to
transform students into researchers and
scientists whom he can call colleagues.
"Seeing former students succeed and
knowing that I have played a small role
in it are the most satisfying part of
being a professor," O says.


EXCEL
111

































Giraffes Get Nutritional Boost From

UF-Developed Food


Everyone knows they have long necks,
intelligent faces and soulful brown eyes.
But apparently giraffes also have a sweet
tooth.
So say two University of Florida
researchers, who have developed a new
feed specifically for giraffes in zoos -
where, for decades, the African animals
have been ordering from a menu
designed for cows and horses.
"A lot of effort goes into keeping
exotic animals healthy while they're
under human care, but there's still a lot
we don't know about their nutritional
needs," said Celeste Kearney, a graduate
student at UF's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences who is doing the
research for her doctoral dissertation.
With the help of staff at Busch
Gardens in Tampa where 15 giraffes
live in an open-air habitat Kearney
and her adviser, Associate Professor Mary
Beth Hall, are testing a new feed that's
closer in nutritional content to the food
giraffes find in the wild.
Interim results indicate the long-
necked animals are getting a nutritional
boost from the new feed. The researchers
report healthy weight gains in some of


them, and blood samples from some
showed improved levels of nutrients. The
feed may even help giraffes produce
more milk to feed their young calves, the
researchers said.
"We have data to show that this feed
makes a difference, including changes in
the giraffes' behavior," Hall said.
She said the giraffes seem to like the
new feed, which is sweeter and contains
a different type of fiber than the alfalfa-
and-grain diet zoos have traditionally
offered giraffes.
Kearney came up with the idea of a
new feed while working as a giraffe
keeper at the Tampa attraction.
"I was amazed at the diversity of
animals we dealt with every day,"
Kearney said. "In agriculture, you really
only work with a few species that are
fairly similar. At a zoo, things get a lot
more complicated."
One thing at the gardens was simple:
Many of the herbivorous animals were
being fed a hay-and-grain diet similar to
the fare typically offered to farm live-
stock. The world's tallest animals didn't
seem to have any trouble with that diet,
but Kearney wondered if they might be


even healthier if offered something more
like the food they eat in the wild.
Figuring out the contents of a wild
giraffe's diet wasn't easy. Giraffes are
natural browsers, eating leaves off nearly
100 different kinds of trees. To find out
what the animals eat in a day of browsing
the savannah, Kearney consulted
nutritionists at the Bronx Zoo in New
York City, who had done research on
other African browsing animals.
Using that information, Kearney and
Hall came up with a feed that has a
different blend of carbohydrates than are
found in traditional hay-and-grain feed,
including more sugars.
In February 2002, workers at the
Tampa attraction began offering the feed
to some of their giraffes, and Kearney
and Hall began studying the results.
Their research may be a first: While
zookeepers have occasionally experi-
mented with new food items for giraffes,
Kearney and Hall say they know of no
statistically viable feeding studies done
previously. With only a small number of
giraffes under human care, the research-
ers said, it's rare to find a population
large enough to support a study.
Kearney and Hall believe the giraffes
on the new feed are healthier, based on
data they've collected from blood tests.
It's a little tougher to show that the
giraffes actually prefer the new food to
their earlier diet. That requires a grasp of
giraffe body language.
"Ears can be a pretty good indicator
of how a giraffe is feeling," Kearney said.
"If a giraffe is upset, for instance, the ears
go forward and the eyebrows go up."
So far, their keepers said, the feed
hasn't caused any raised eyebrows among
the giraffes.

TIM LOCKETTE


EXCEL
112

















Children Don't Know Folk Songs, Threatening Heritage


Children in the United States aren't
singing the songs of their heritage, an
omission that puts the nation in
jeopardy of losing a long-standing and
rich part of its identity, a new Univer-
sity of Florida study suggests.
A recent nationwide survey found
school music programs are allowing
generations-old lullabies, and historical
children's and folk songs to be ignored,
with some teachers replacing them with
the latest pop hits.
Today's school kids are more likely
to know the lyrics to popular songs,
such as Britney Spears' "Oops! ... I Did it
Again" or "Lose Yourself" by Eminem,
than to "Mary Had a Little Lamb" or
"Old MacDonald Had a Farm," said
Marilyn Ward, who did the research for
her doctoral dissertation in music.
"The study found that, overall, the
vast majority of young people could not
sing patriotic, folk and children's songs
because teachers who teach them at all
frequently don't go over the songs enough
for students to learn them," she said.
Ward surveyed 4,000 music teachers
nationwide from elementary to high
school in the summer and early fall of
2002 about how much they taught and
how well their students knew by
memory 100 well-known songs
considered representative of the
American heritage.
Research has shown these songs not
only help children learn about impor-
tant events but also allow them to more
closely relate to the hardships and joys
of their grandparents and ancestors by
stepping into their shoes, Ward said.
To create a list of 100 representative
songs, Ward distributed written surveys


to 223 men and women aged 62 and
older who grew up in 44 states as well
as 30 elementary music specialists at
top universities as ranked by U.S. News
& World Report. She then sent written
surveys to 4,000 general music teachers
listed by the National Association for
Music Education 80 in each state -
asking how many of their students
could sing these songs from memory.
Based on how much time they had
spent teaching each song, the teachers
- 1,792 of whom responded were
asked to rate this knowledge using one
of five measures: practically all, most,
some, few or practically none.
Most of the teachers said that few
students would be able to sing the
songs and that they had
spent little time teaching
them. Folk songs were the
most neglected, followed
by children's and patriotic
songs.


"Although Americans say that the
singing of folk songs and songs of our
heritage is important, we are teaching
very few of them in the schools," said
UF music Professor Russell Robinson,
who supervised the study. "Perhaps this
research will alert educators and parents
that what we say we want for our young
people is not necessarily what we're
teaching."
Marilyn Ward

CATHY KEEN


I

I

5


EXCEL
131















Internet Infidelity


Oh, what a tangled Web is weaved as
rapidly growing numbers of married
people sneak into Internet chat rooms
for romantic or sexual thrills they think
they aren't getting from their spouses, a
new University of Florida study finds.
"Never before has the dating world
been so handy for married men and
women looking for a fling," said Beatriz
Avila Mileham, who conducted the
research for her doctoral dissertation in
counselor education at UE "With cyber-
sex, there is no longer any need for secret
trips to obscure motels. An online liaison
may even take place in the same room
with one's spouse."
Counseling organizations report chat
rooms are the fastest-rising cause of
relationship breakdowns, and the
problem only stands to get worse as
today's population of Internet users,
estimated at 649 million worldwide,
continues to grow, Mileham said.
"The Internet will soon become the
most common form of infidelity, if it
isn't already," she said.
In 2002, Mileham conducted in-


depth online interviews with 76 men
and 10 women, ages 25 to 66, who used
Yahoo's "Married and Flirting" or
Microsoft's "Married But Flirting,"
Internet chat rooms geared specifically
for married people. The study's partici-
pants, who represented every state,
included stay-at-home mothers,
construction workers, engineers, nurses
and presidents of large corporations.
Some went online for a quick "sex
fix," while others established more mean-
ingful connections where they talked
about personal problems, marital issues
and things like that, Mileham said.
The vast majority said they loved
their spouses but sought an erotic
encounter online because of boredom, a
partner's lack of sexual interest or the
need for variety and fun, Mileham said.
"The No. 1 complaint from men was
lack of sex in the marriage," Mileham
said. "Many of them said their wife was
so involved in childrearing that she
wasn't interested in having sex."
Because there is no touching involved
in online chat conversations, married


people often rationalize their behavior
as harmless fun, Mileham said. Eighty-
three percent of the study's participants
said they did not consider themselves to
be cheating, and the remaining 17 per-
cent deemed it a "weak" form of infidel-
ity that was easily justifiable, she said.
Other research has shown, however,
that most spouses feel as betrayed,
angry and hurt by online infidelity as
they would if skin-to-skin adultery had
taken place, she said.
The UF study found an escalating
quality to these online contacts. Many
reported that what started as innocent,
friendly exchanges progressed quickly to
strong desires for sexual relationships,
she said.
Twenty-six of the 86 study partici-
pants went on to meet the person with
whom they had been engaged in an
online relationship, and of these, all but
two ended up having a real-life affair.
One 66-year-old man ended up having
13 affairs this way, she said.


CATHY KEEN


Robotic Road Race


UF engineering graduate students Tom
Galluzzo, on radio, and Chad Tobler, in car, were
part of a team that developed a robotic car to
compete in a race from Los Angeles to Las Vegas
sponsored by the federal Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. The UF
car was among 15 vehicles that qualified for the
DARPA Grand Challenge. Since none of the
qualifiers completed the course to win the $1
million prize, DARPA raised it to $2 million for
next year's competition.



EXCEL
114
















Excavation Finds Clues Of Cultural Blending In Seminole Indian Life


The remnants of an Indian village
destroyed by war almost two centuries
ago reveal the Seminoles were actually
blending into the American melting
pot before they were driven to the
swamps of South Florida, say Univer-
sity of Florida researchers.
In a search for clues to what life was
like for the Seminoles in the last North
Florida town they occupied, UF arch-
aeologists are finding diverse cultures
and ways of life and are investigating
the possibility of a surprising blend of
European and American Indian
architecture, said Jane Anne Blakney-
Bailey, a UF graduate student who is
conducting the research for her doc-
toral dissertation.
"The Seminoles are an excellent
study of what happens when multiple
cultures collide and how it affects the
traditions of all societies involved," she
said. "This has a lot of relevance today
because cultures are constantly forced
to interact with one another, some-
times peacefully and sometimes in
conflict."
"Very few Seminole towns have
ever been excavated in Florida," said
Jerald Milanich, an archaeologist at
UF's Florida Museum of Natural
History who is supervising Blakney-
Bailey's research. "We're interested in
what the archaeology can tell us,
because we've had to rely on historical
documents to tell us about the
Seminoles and their relations with the
Anglos at that time."
The excavations are taking place a
few miles south of Gainesville within
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park.
There, a team is unearthing Paynes
Town, which was occupied from the
1790s until 1812, when U.S. soldiers
killed 80-year-old "King" Payne, the


village's dynamic Seminole chief, in a
devastating attack documented histori-
cally in a colonel's diary.
So far, researchers have unearthed a
wide variety of artifacts from the site that
may help explain the merging of
different cultural influences, Blakney-
Bailey said. Different parts of ceramic
vessels, dozens of multicolored glass
beads, glass bottle fragments, lead
musket shot, a belt buckle and pieces of
silver jewelry are a few examples of the
materials found that likely were obtained
from Anglo traders, she said. More
traditional materials turned up, includ-
ing animal bones, seeds, Seminole
pottery and stone tools.
The Seminoles who lived at Paynes
Town were once part of the Lower Creek
Indians, inhabitants of the lower
Chattahoochee River Valley of southern
Alabama and Georgia, Blakney-Bailey
said. Some of the Lower Creeks migrated
into the Alachua Prairie in the mid-18th
century, while the majority stayed in
their native homeland, she said.
Although many aspects of the tradi-
tional Creek culture remained intact,
Seminole life was influenced by several
different cultures, Blakney-Bailey said.
The Seminoles exchanged ideas and
materials with other Indian tribes and
escaped black slaves, as well as with
Spanish, English and American settlers,
all of whom changed Seminole culture in
both subtle and dramatic ways, she said.


"Historical documents describe
Chief Payne as being a wealthy man,
owning over a thousand head of cattle
and living in an Anglo-style log cabin,"
she said. "We're searching for clues to
corroborate these descriptions and want
to learn how the rest of the town lived."
The UF team has found traces of a
burnt layer across a large area of the site
four inches to a foot below the surface
and are trying to determine if it
represents the town's burning, Blakney-
Bailey said. The find makes a compel-
ling case because the layer is present
immediately on top of Seminole
artifacts, indicating the burning event
occurred extremely close to Seminole
occupation of the town, she said.
The Paynes Town Seminoles and
American soldiers fought in several
military conflicts, and in the winter of
1812 the Americans set out to destroy
the town, Blakney-Bailey said.



CATHY KEEN


EXCEL
151








REACH Out To Students

The Doctoral Dissertation Advisor/Mentor Award winners featured in EXCEL represent the very
best graduate faculty at the University of Florida. As their personal statements indicate, they are
dedicated to advancing the interests of graduate students and improving the overall graduate enterprise.
Their dedication to a comprehensive approach to the many facets of graduate education can be
summarized by the acronym REACH.
A quality graduate program begins with outstanding faculty who develop contemporary curricula
focused on state-of-the art research and scholarship. The strength of our faculty and their programs
comes in large measure from the diverse ideas and backgrounds they bring to the university. Student
centered priorities of the faculty include the following:

R Recruitment of high-quality applicants to the university
E Enrollment of dedicated and diverse students into academic programs
A- Active retention of students through carefully developed programs
C Completion of the degree in a timely manner
H Help with job placement

Graduate student success is an essential component of the university's goal to be considered a top 10
public research institution. Practices designed to REACH out to graduate students will enhance our
teaching and research missions as well as address the State of Florida's commitment to educate and place
highly qualified graduates in education, business, government, and community and public service.


Kenneth J. Gerhardt, Ph.D.
Interim Dean





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