News briefs

A Portland State professor of geography edited a book about disappearing indigenous cultures and ethnic minorities in South and Central Asia, published earlier this year.

Book on global issues compiled by geography professor

A Portland State professor of geography edited a book about disappearing indigenous cultures and ethnic minorities in South and Central Asia, published earlier this year.

The book, “Disappearing Peoples? Indigenous Groups and Ethnic Minorities in South and Central Asia,” was edited by Barbara Brower and Barbara Rose Johnston. Brower helped organize a collection of writers, including some PSU faculty, who wrote about different issues such as globalization, war and global warming.

According to the book, these issues are destroying areas rich in culture and diversity.

“All this diversity is disappearing, because of globalization in the 21st century,” Brower said.

Brower began the project in 1999, after some concern finding a publisher. The book was released in May 2007 on Left Coast Press.

Norman Dunn

Burnside Bridge to open next week

The Burnside Bridge, which connects the east side of Portland to the city’s western downtown area, will remain closed after the project’s contractor needed additional time to replace part of the structure.

Multnomah County officials speculate that the bridge will be reopened sometime next week, and that there will be nighttime closures in addition to the daytime work on Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13. Pedestrian and bicycle access will remain open during most of the day.

The bridge is closed because a hinge that operates the 80-year-old bridge’s lift mechanism-operated when a large boat passes underneath the Burnside Bridge-is being replaced. The replacement is taking longer than anticipated because the contractor for the project, Advanced American Diving Services Inc., had to adjust their method of removing the current lift mechanism.

The replacement is part of a two-year, $9 million project to update several bridges crossing the Willamette River, all of which are maintained by Multnomah County.

Robert Seitzinger

Non-native crabs target of ecological project

Portland State professors Catherine deRivera and Mark Sytsma have received $63,000 from the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission for a project aimed at developing and implementing methods for trapping non-native green crabs on Oregon coasts.

Green crabs are of European origin, said Sytsma, and were introduced to the San Francisco Bay area in the 1990s. Since then, these crabs have been slowly migrating north and have begun to endanger Oregon’s marine life and ecosystems, Sytsma said.

The project money will be used to fund the actual process of catching and killing the green crabs in Bodega Bay, California.

“Bodega Bay is small enough that we can make an impact on the population,” said Sytsma. “Unfortunately, the green crabs are not good to eat, and so the goal becomes extinction.”

Eamon ffitch

Adjunct teacher creates short films

Charles Deemer, English adjunct professor at Portland State, has created a series of eight short films shot over the summer, entitled “Digital Summer 2007.”

Deemer shot the films, which ran from three to 19 minutes in length, with a mini-camcorder owned by his wife. Deemer, who is a screenwriter, said he decided he would use the camcorder as a creative tool with professional actors to make a DVD of shorts about storytelling through the lives of seniors.

Deemer is the artistic director of Small Screen Video, a production company focused on creating emotional video stories with small electronic equipment. He is also the editor of the Oregon Literary Review.

Carly Nairn

Physics professor studies cold fusion with grant money

John Dash, physics professor emeritus at Portland State, received a three-year grant of $100,000 from the New York Community Trust earlier this year to study cold fusion techniques. Cold fusion is a process of creating large amounts of nuclear energy through the manipulation of low energy levels.

Dash said he has been involved with cold fusion research for nearly 20 years. After a team of scientists at the University of Utah claimed that they could produce nuclear energy without the use of a large reactor, Dash said he was asked by Makoto Takeo, former chair of the Portland State Physics Department, to investigate the claims.

Dash is conducting his research with the aid of Dr. Jian Tian, dean of the College of Biological Science at China’s Changchun University of Science and Technology. Qiongshu Wang, who holds a master’s degree in material science and is an adjunct professor in the liberal arts and sciences department, will also assist in the research, Dash said.

Robert Seitzinger

Program to bring PSU students to public schools

Kyle Bray, Amy Spring, and Kevin Kecskes of the Center for Academic Excellence in Portland State’s Academic Affairs division, are the recipients of a $100,000 grant for “Educate, Dream, Give: Empower,” a program intended to develop civic engagement clubs at 10 schools throughout the Portland Public Schools System.

The program seeks to increase students’ academic success with higher percentages of low-income youths. Schools participating in the program were selected based on several factors, including “high percentages of youth of color, English language learners, and free/reduced lunch participants,” according to Oregon Campus Compact’s website.

Students enrolled in Student Leaders for Service, PSU’s part of the program, will work to develop mentorship skills in high school students from Marshall and Jefferson high schools. These students will, in turn, work with younger students at eight K-8 schools in North Portland and outer Southeast Portland.

Melinda Freeland