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UNL News Blog

UNL in the national news: July and August 2011

National media outlets featured and cited UNL sources on a number of topics in July and August. Appearances included:
The university’s July 1 entrance into the Big Ten Conference was covered extensively by media outlets across the nation, including the The Associated Press, USA TODAY, the Chicago Tribune, ESPN and hundreds of others.
Barbara Mayes Boustead, natural resources sciences, had her newly published research into Laura Ingalls Wilder’s accounts of the Midwest winter of 1880-1881 featured by USA TODAY on Aug. 21.
Kenneth Cassman, agronomy and agriculture, appeared on EarthSky about the challenge of doubling the world’s food production by 2050 to cope with a projected global population of nine billion. On July 26, he appeared on Radio Australia to discuss the same topic.
Wheeler Winston Dixon, film studies, was quoted Aug. 11 in a national Associated Press story about the era of paranoia that has influenced post-9/11 filmmaking. He also filmed an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on the same topic. On Aug. 17, he was quoted by the San Jose Mercury News about why “Star Wars” still pervades popular culture.
Gwendolyn Foster, film studies, was quoted July 2 by the Christian Science Monitor about whether Hollywood’s “star system” was slipping away.
Sherilyn Fritz, Earth and atmospheric sciences, had her research and current project in search of clues to the region’s climate history featured in The Jamestown Sun.
Brian Fuchs, climatology, was quoted extensively in a number of media outlets in July and August about persistent drought in the southern United States, including articles by The Atlantic, CNN and Reuters (refer to appearances by the National Drought Mitigation Center below for additional appearances).
Eileen Hebets, entomology, was quoted Aug. 8 by Fox News for a story about black widow spiders’ mate selection.
Roberto Lenton, incoming director of the Water For Food Institute, appeared nationwide Aug. 8 in Associated Press coverage of his appointment to the post.
The National Drought Mitigation Center at UNL was regularly cited throughout the summer on persistent drought in 14 southern states. In August, the NDMC’s announcement on the record-breaking levels of exceptional drought in the United States was widely covered by CNN, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, Reuters, the Weather Channel, and hundreds of other media outlets around the world. Additional coverage came from AFP, the Atlantic, Discovery News, and Yahoo! News.
Philip Schwadel, sociology, had his research on education’s effects on U.S. religiosity cited and featured by a number of national media outlets in early August, including USA TODAY, CNN, United Press International, The Daily Mail (UK), Inside Higher Ed, Discovery News and dozens of other broadcast, print and online media outlets around the nation.
Steve Spomer, entomology, was quoted in National Geographic on July 26 about efforts to save the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle.
John Stansbury, environmental engineering, was quoted extensively around the nation in July and August following the completion of his report estimating worst-case scenarios for a spill on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Appearances included the Guardian (UK), The Nation, USA TODAY and the Associated Press.
Susan Swearer, school psychology, was quoted in the Salt Lake Tribune on July 11 about stopping cyber-bullying in schools.
Eric Thompson and William Walstad, economics, appeared consistently in media outlets around the country in August to discuss the Bureau of Business Research’s and the Department of Economics’ new State Entrepreneurship Index, which ranked entrepreneurial activity in all 50 states. National coverage included articles from Inc., Bloomberg BusinessWeek, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo! News, The Orange County Register, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Philadelphia Inquirer and hundreds of other media outlets across the nation in the month of August. The rankings also were the subject of a nationally syndicated “First Business” TV segment, which appeared on more than a hundred newscasts in local markets around the country.
Frans von der Dunk, law, was quoted July 18 in a number of outlets, including, about the legal implications of the end of the space shuttle program.
Mike Wagner, political science, was quoted Aug. 11 in a national Associated Press story about Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning’s comments comparing welfare recipients to raccoons. On Aug. 18, he was quoted by USA TODAY about the enduring media allure of political town-hall meetings. On Aug. 29, he was quoted in a national Associated Press story about the caustic nature of the U.S. Senate race in Nebraska.
LaDonna Werth, extension, was quoted July 4 in a national Associated Press article about the stress caused by persistent flooding along the Missouri River.
Donald Wilhite, director of the School of Natural Resources, was quoted in the New York Times July 12 about the historical nature of drought in the South. On July 20, he appeared on The Takeaway with John Kockenberry and Celeste Headlee on WYNC-AM New York about the southern drought.
National media often work with University Communications to identify and connect with UNL sources for the purpose of including the university’s research, expertise and programming in published or broadcasted work. Faculty, administration, student and staff appearances in the national media are logged here.
To offer suggestions regarding potential national news stories or sources at UNL, contact me, National News Editor Steve Smith, at (402) 472-4226 or

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