Monthly Update From the Vice Provost for Research and Economic Development


Maritime Transportation Center Receives Additional $923,700 Grant For Waterway Research

Researchers at the University of Arkansas help transportation officials assess the condition of levees and are developing a multimodal supply-chain system to support secure and resilient inland waterways. Photo by Russell Cothren, University of Arkansas

The Maritime Transportation Research and Education Center, known as MarTREC, a consortium of researchers focused on maritime and multimodal transportation research, has received $923,700 from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The funding is an additional grant – the center has received a total of $3,740,000 since 2013 – to support research and programs through September 2018.

Based at the University of Arkansas, MarTREC is a consortium of researchers at the University of Arkansas, Jackson State University, Louisiana State University and the University of New Orleans.

“MarTREC researchers will continue to work on vital projects that will improve and sustain navigable waterways and help build the communities that serve and rely on these waterways,” said center Director Heather Nachtmann, a professor of industrial engineering at the U of A.

The consortium’s researchers are nationally recognized experts in maritime and multimodal logistics, which integrates trucking, rail and barge carriers.




Spring Edition of Research Frontiers Features Caves, Cancer and the Ozarks

One of only six speleophysicists in the world, geosciences Professor Matt Covington combines physics and geology to study karst and the life of water underground.. His research is highlighted in the spring issue of Research Frontiers. Photo by Matt Reynolds, University of Arkansas

The new issue of Research Frontiers includes stories on the secret life of water, lessons from Frank Lloyd Wright, cancer-fighting data and efforts to cure the formidable stomach flu.

In Hydrology from the Inside Out, assistant professor Matt Covington searches for answers to how caves and karst topography interact with water sources.

Robin Soster, assistant professor in the Walton College of Business, explains the psychology of spending your last dollar in Everything is Relative.

In Data: A New Weapon Against Breast Cancer, industrial engineering professor Shengfan Zhang cracked the code on conflicting cancer screening requirements through her use of data mining and statistical modeling.

Building Art chronicles work by students and faculty of the Fay Jones School of Architecture in studying and preparing for Frank Lloyd Wright's Bachman Wilson House to move to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Preserving Ozark Voices highlights the newly digitized collection of Ozark voices, vernacular, folklore and folk songs as a chronicle of a field of study.

And student researcher Sebastine Arthur works to Flush Out the Facts about the stomach flu in his search for a cure.



Historian Awarded NIH Grant to Write Book On Russian Smoking Culture

The National Institutes of Health has awarded University of Arkansas historian Tricia Starks a $121,250 grant to continue her research of the history of smoking in Russia. Photo by Matt Reynolds, University of Arkansas

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Tricia Starks, an associate professor of history, a $121,250 grant to complete the researching and writing of her book, Cigarettes and Soviets: The Culture of Tobacco Use in Modern Russia

The grant came through a program aimed at supporting scholarly works of value to U.S. health professionals, public health officials, biomedical researchers and historians of the health sciences.

About 400,000 Russians die from smoking-related illnesses each year – more than two times the number of smoking-related deaths per capita in the United States.

The Russian government enacted significant anti-tobacco legislation almost two years ago, including indoor smoking bans in most public buildings and launching education campaigns, but many residents push back against the laws.

“The Soviets were the first government in the world to attempt a national attack on tobacco use in 1920, but they failed,” Starks said. “The resurrection of anti-tobacco initiatives in the 1970s also collapsed. As a result, Russian smoking is a major public health problem.”

Research Office Awards Arts and Humanities Seed Funding to Faculty

Random Access Memories, Marc Mitchell, 2013-2014. Courtesy of the artist

The Office of Vice Provost for Research and Economic Development at the University of Arkansas has awarded five faculty research grants through its Arts and Humanities Seed Funding Program.

Those selected for the $5,000 grants and their departments are: Freddy Dominguez, history; Toni Jensen, English; Marc Mitchell, art; Martin Nedbal, music; and Daniel Sutherland, history.

Dominguez will use his grant to travel to Spain to conduct research for his book, Between Saint and Sinner: The Nun of Lisbon and the Politics of Sanctity in Early Modern Europe. Jensen will use her grant to travel to Pennsylvania and Texas, where she will conduct interviews for her novel, Last Seen.

Mitchell will use his grant to create autobiographical multimedia paintings as part of an project titled Painting, Walking, Texting: The Role of Autobiographical Digital Data in Visual Art. Nedbal will use his grant to travel to Austria to conduct research for a book that explores the complexities of German-language adaptations of Mozart’s Italian comic operas.

Sutherland will use his grant to travel to the United Kingdom to conduct research on his book, Whistler’s Mother: No Ordinary Life.





Vice Provost for Research and Economic Development
205 Administration Building
1 University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701

The Office of Vice Provost for Research and Economic Development has added several electronic distribution lists relating to subjects of interest to the University of Arkansas research community. More information about the types of lists and registering for them can be found here.

The following is a sampling of the top grants awarded to faculty and staff in May, with the principal investigator, the award amount and the sponsor. An asterisk (*) indicates the continuation of a previous award.

  • Lindsay S. Ham, $201,043, National Institutes of Health
  • Christian Z. Goering, $100,000, National Writing Project
  • Janie Hipp, $75,000, Cherokee Nation
  • Shengfan Zhang, $46,115, Center for Engineering Logistics and Distribution
  • Mary A. Wyandt-Hiebert, $37,223, Arkansas Commission on Child Abuse, Rape, and Domestic Violence

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