Student finds valuable learning experience both inside and outside classroom

April 22, 2013

When Jeanne (Juno) Schaser came to ASU two years ago as a transfer student from Eastern Arizona College, she was excited to be taking classes from some of the top photographers in the field, people whose work appeared in major museum collections around the world.

What she didn’t realize was that she would be learning as much outside the classroom as inside, through internships, work-study programs and capstone projects that stretched her abilities and helped her talent bloom. Download Full Image

Schaser originally applied and was accepted to both Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona, but chose ASU for its excellent photography program. She isn’t regretting her choice – the ASU School of Art was the only program in Arizona to rank in the top 25 on the 2014 U.S. News & World Report. 

As a double major in photography and museum studies, she works as an intern at the ASU Art Museum and also an editorial assistant in ASU Media Relations, and she has curated an exhibition of her own at ASU’s Step Gallery. This semester she’s also working at ASU’s Northlight Gallery, learning how to care for archived photographs as well as how to plan and coordinate exhibitions from the gallery's collection.

“I’ve gotten to pursue so many diverse opportunities, I don’t think I could have done this anywhere else but ASU,” Schaser says. “I’ve gotten hands-on experience at every place I’ve worked. I’ve tried out a lot of things and learned a lot of different components of what a career could offer.”

Transferring from Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher, Schaser was drawn to ASU by its top-notch faculty in photography, including Elizabeth (Betsy) Schneider, an associate professor in the School of Art who won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011.

“Professor Schneider is great, one of my favorite professors,” says Schaser. “She has such a great energy and is always willing to meet with you at any time and to look at your work and offer suggestions. I still meet with her, because I value her input so much.”

Another formative experience was taking a course on gallery exhibitions from faculty associate Peter Bugg. She was required to create a proposal for a gallery show, and with Bugg’s encouragement she submitted her exhibition proposal to a campus committee and was selected to curate a show at the Step Gallery.

Her show, “Crave: The Art of Dependency,” looked at the phenomenon of addiction through various media produced by different artists, about half of them students and the other half photographers in Northlight’s archive. It was a moving, personal show that also boosted Schaser’s resume.

“The exhibition was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done,” she says.

Schaser’s father gave her a camera when she was seven years old, and after seeing her delight with the hobby he bought her a digital camera a few years later. Fresh out of high school, she was doing freelance photography for the local newspaper, the Eastern Arizona Courier.

She says she loves the dynamic nature of photography, and the way it both records and interprets culture.

At ASU Media Relations she puts both her writing and artistic skills to work, helping edit the ASU News website, posting the weekly photo gallery and managing the ASU News Twitter account. She also has taken photos at ASU commencement ceremonies, an event she says is “really exciting, with a lot of different moving parts.”

Schaser will attend her own commencement on May 9 at Sun Devil Stadium, graduating cum laude. She has several internship offers this summer, including one from a museum in New York City, but she’s not sure what her next step will be.

“I’m excited that I have so many opportunities. I don’t have to run out and take the first job. I love it that my path isn’t set in stone.”

Algae testbed leaders look to solve national energy needs

April 22, 2013

Algae Testbed Public-Private Partnership (ATP3) members from across the nation descended upon the ASU Polytechnic campus April 15-18 to discuss strategies for advancing research and development of algae-based technologies for biofuels and other valuable co-products. 

Led by the Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI) at ASU, representatives from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, Cellana, Touchstone Research Laboratory, Valicor Renewables, California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Texas at Austin, and Commercial Algae Management have partnered to form ATP3. ATP3 aims to facilitate innovation, empower knowledge creation and accelerate growth of the emergent algal energy industry. Download Full Image

During the kickoff meeting, members of ATP3 strategized how to effectively meet the needs of testbed users across the world and collaboratively produce relevant data and standard analytical and production methods to inform algae-based solutions for the energy, carbon capture and scale-up needs of public and private markets.

“The ATP3 kickoff meeting gave all of the partners of ATP3 a chance to discuss how we will support public and private institutions in finding solutions to the nation's energy challenges,” said Gary Dirks, director of ATP3, and ASU LightWorks, the university initiative that pulls light-inspired research at ASU under one strategic framework. “Working together, we will push the envelope on algae-based sciences and produce usable, sustainable solutions to carbon capture and fuel needs – to name a few.”

The ATP3 project is made possible by a $15 million U.S. Department of Energy competitive grant from its Bioenergy Technologies Office. This funding allows ATP3 to support the operation of existing outdoor algae cultivation systems and produce algae that can be used for real-world solutions such as biofuel.

Partner testbed facilities are located in Arizona, Hawaii, California, Ohio and Georgia.

The ATP3 framework allows partners to work individually within their own institutions or collaboratively, to coordinate analytical and technical support from the larger ATP3 network.

“The framework we are creating at ATP3 is unprecedented,” said John McGowen, Portfolio Manager in ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development’s Project Management Office and Director of Operations and Program Management for ATP3. “By providing closely coordinated, harmonized and objective standards for algal production and biomass compositional analysis protocols across our network of testbed facilities, we will have the ability to reduce the uncertainties around biomass productivity, oil compositional quality and yields.  ATP3 will make these standardized and validated methods, as well as the high impact data from our long term cultivation feedstock trials accessible to the algal biofuels modeling and R&D community.”

The collaborative effort of ATP3 not only serves the group mission to accelerate algae-based research and development, but also helps partner agencies advance their own goals.

"Partnering with industry leaders through the ATP3 framework enables collaboration to more quickly solve underlying challenges in support of commercial algae technology solutions," said Lee Tonkovich, vice president of Research & Development at Heliae LLC, an algae technology company in Gilbert, Ariz.

The ATP3 meeting took place at AzCATI, a hub for research, testing, and commercialization of algae-based products at the Polytechnic Campus. AzCATI provides open test and evaluation facilities for the algae industry and research community. AzCATI is embedded within ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation and is part of the LightWorks initiative, supported by ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development.

For more information about ATP3 visit