Academic Minute Podcast

The Academic Minute for 2023.05.29-2023.06.02

The Academic Minute from 5.29 – 6.02

Bhupal Shrestha University at Albany
Tracking Western Wildfire Smoke
Bhupal Shrestha, PhD, is a senior research support specialist at the New York State Mesonet at the University at Albany. He completed his MS and PhD in physics with research in atmospheric science at the University at Albany’s Atmospheric Sciences Research Center. Upon graduation in 2019, he began to work at the New York State Mesonet as a postdoctoral associate conducting research and developing products using the Mesonet’s Profiler Network for operational meteorology. His current research interests are in the areas of boundary layer meteorology, air quality, local wind systems and extreme weather events.

Brett Harris – University at Albany
Mental Health in Rural New York
Brett Harris, DrPH, is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University at Albany’s School of Public Health, a Senior Research Scientist at NORC at the University of Chicago, and President of the New York State Public Health Association. Dr. Harris is the lead author of “Mental Health in Rural New York: Findings and Implications of a Listening Tour with Residents and Professionals” as well as other publications focused on substance use, mental health, and suicide prevention. At NORC, Dr. Harris leads the suicide prevention portfolio and directs several federal and privately funded projects focused on rural communities, veterans, LGBTQIA+ youth, and other populations at increased risk for suicide.

Andrew Berglund – University at Albany
The Fight Against Myotonic Dystrophy
Dr. Berglund’s scientific career has revolved around understanding the role of RNA in biology. The focus of his research is on neuromuscular diseases with the goal of translating basic science into therapeutic strategies using a combination of biochemical, cellular, genomic and computational approaches. He is particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms of a common form of muscular dystrophy, myotonic dystrophy, with several personal connections to this devastating disease.

Marilyn Masson – University at Albany
Collapse of Ancient Mayan Capital Linked to Drought
Dr. Marilyn Masson is a historical anthropologist and archaeologist whose current research projects focus on the archaeology of Colonial encounters in Yucatan, Mexico, and Albany, New York. Her research generally focuses on the archaeology of the majority, particularly the study of daily life, social diversity, and household economies of ordinary people in urban as well as rural settings. In Mexico, she collaborates with an international team of researchers and local assistants. They have worked in and around the late Pre-Columbian (Postclassic) capital city of Mayapan since 2001 and have recently expanded to regional investigations of changing settlement and demographic patterns through time that attest to cycles of climatic crisis, resilience, and societal reconstitution. This team has also begun research in the Colonial period at two remote, rural Maya mission towns of sixteenth-century date.

Rabi Musah – University at Albany
Combating Lack of Diversity in STEM
Dr. Rabi Musah is a Professor at the University at Albany in the Chemistry Department. She is also the Associate Vice Provost for the Center for Achievement, Retention and Student Success (CARSS) and the Learning Commons, as well as the Director of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) – Driving Change EXCEL in STEM program. This initiative aims to create an inclusive, equitable, just, caring, and reaffirming campus culture that empowers all students to excel in their chosen pursuits, and is built upon sustainable strategies that can be readily replicated and applied to increase engagement and retention of students taking STEM courses.


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