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2009 Janet Andersen Lecture Award Winners

Congratulations Professors Jacobel and Yasukawa! As the 2009 Janet Andersen Award winners, Robert Jacobel and Ken Yasukawa will be two of the keynote speakers at this fall's two Undergraduate Research Symposia at Washington University and The University of Chicago.  Each of them will also receive a $300 honorarium.

Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science

Robert Jacobel, PhD
Professor of Physics
St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN

Professor Jacobel was selected for the 2009 Janet Andersen Award in the Physical Sciences. Robert Jacobel has been a faculty member at St. Olaf since 1976 and he currently is The Grace A. Whittier Endowed Professor of Science at St. Olaf College. The following few paragraphs are taken from the letter of nomination submitted by one of his colleagues at St. Olaf. 

 "Robert Jacobel has been especially active in working with and mentoring student researchers. His and his students research consists of geophysical studies of glaciers and ice sheets utilizing ice-penetrating radar and satellite imagery to focus on questions relating to the response of ice masses to climate change. Bob’s students have been involved in all aspects of this research over the years – construction of the specialized radar equipment, gathering data in a variety of locations, and interpreting this data to draw conclusions about climatic ice mass changes. This work has been recently and currently supported by the National Science Foundation with research projects in Antarctica, Alaska, Greenland, Sweden, and the state of Washington. In honor of his work on Antarctic glaciers Bob has a section of the research site named after him. Much of the student involvement has been during the summer; Bob has had from three to five students working with him each summer.

With the research interests that he has, it’s no surprise that Bob Jacobel teaches in both the physics department and the environmental studies department. He has been very active in bringing visiting lecturers on the general topic of climate change. In the physics department his teaching has focused mainly on upperclass physics major courses, particularly ones centering heavily on laboratory experiences."

Biological Sciences and Psychology

Ken Yasukawa, PhD
Professor of Biology
Beloit College, Beloit, WI

Professor Yasukawa was selected for the 2009 Janet Andersen Award in the Biological Sciences. The following few paragraphs are taken from the letter of nomination submitted by his colleagues at Beloit.

"He has just completed his twenty-ninth year at Beloit College and he is simply one of the most superb teachers and researchers on campus. His productivity as a scholar is nothing short of amazing given the heavy teaching, advising, committee work, and journal editing that he also carries. Ken's research is not only published in quality journals; he has secured a continuous flow of grant support which he has used to support our undergraduates as co-investigators.

For nearly 3 decades at Beloit College, Ken has supervised students in original research on red-winged blackbird at Rockefeller University and then at the Nature Conservancy’s Newark Road Prairie that Beloit College stewards. These mentoring efforts have helped many of these students to enter quality graduate schools with prestigious fellowships, to often present at the Midstates Consortium for Mathematics and Science annual research symposium, to co-author primary research papers in peer-reviewed journals (bibliography attached), and to receive grants to support their work (both through Beloit College and externally).

Because we knew Janet Andersen personally and of her special concern for mathematical rigor in biology, we believe that Ken is an excellent candidate in the early phase of the award in her honor. Ken uses mathematics extensively in his research and teaching. He uses differential equations, game theory, matrix algebra, graph theory, as well as extensive multivariate statistics in his own research. His courses in Biometrics and Population Biology receive tremendous praise from his students for the depth of learning they achieve."