Summer Staff Artfest opens with flute performance

June 22, 2011

The 2011 Summer Staff Artfest, sponsored by The Devils’ Workshop, will kick off on July 6 with a Native American flute concert by David Webb, retired assistant director of Facilities Management, from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. in Organ Hall.

Webb will play some of his 20 different flutes during the free concert. Webb has been playing the flute for 10 years, and he has collected flutes in a variety of keys and woods.

The Summer Staff Artfest features concerts and artists’ demonstrations, readings, and other events presented by ASU staff.

On July 7, also in Organ Hall, Artificial Red will perform. Artificial Red is a duo comprised of Native American artists Randy Kemp, Choctaw/Euchee/Muscogee Creek, and Dean Yazzie, Dine’/Navajo, who play Native American flute and acoustic guitar.

“Our music is a blend of original contemporary guitar arrangement with expressive flute responses, while intermittently fused with spoken word/poetry of Native American life, themes and views,” said Kemp, who is an environmental graphic designer senior for University Campus Signage. Yazzie is a technical support analyst associate in the University Technology Office - Data Center Operations.

July 20, will find University Carillonneur William Swayze giving a concert on ASU’s Symphonic Carillon, which was a gift to ASU from Associated Students of ASU in 1966. To see the carillon, go to the lower level of Old Main. To hear the concert, sit around the Memorial Union.

The program on July 21, will shift to Piper Writers House, where Barbara Huff, a research associate in psychology, will bring her dog Marie to show off their Rally-O program. Marie also will model a wardrobe of ensembles for such destinations as Catalina Island, the ballet, and the rodeo. Rally obedience, or Rally-O, as it’s popularly called, combines the characteristics of sports car racing, dog agility, and traditional obedience into a new fun sport. Huff designed and created much of Marie’s wardrobe.

On July 26, fused-glass artist Sharon Elliott will show her work at Piper Writers House. Elliott, a Systems Analyst for the University Technology Office, makes a variety of objects of glass, including bowls, ornaments and jewelry.

William Swayze will present a concert on grand piano and the Fritts Organ on July 27, titled “Specific Creativity!” He will perform the same music on both instruments, demonstrating how it changes from one instrument to the other.

The action shifts back to Organ Hall on Aug. 2, with a concert by vocalist Michele Lefevre, a program coordinator for BEST Learning Forever, a professional development program in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College; soprano Kristen LaRue, outreach program coordinator, sr., Department of English, accompanied by Marcia Henley, a staff member in the Access for Disability Accommodations unit at ADA Hayden Library, and ASU Archivist Rob Spindler, who sings and plays the guitar.

Lefevre, an ASU graduate, will perform “songs of summer,” including The Last Rose of Summer, arr. of traditional Irish folk song by Benjamin Britten; Summertime, from Porgy & Bess, music by George Gershwin, lyrics by DuBose Heyward; and Beau Soir, music by Claude Debussy, original poem by Paul Bourget. Lefevre currently performs with the McConnell Singers.

Spindler (A.K.A. Les Izmore) began singing publicly in choral groups at the age of 10. He’s a self taught multi-instrumentalist with abilities in guitar, bass, piano, drums and trumpet. He released the CD entitled “CSNY + 2” at his Five Saguaros Studio in Tempe.

LaRue completed her bachelor of music education degree at Montana State University and her master of music history and literature degree at ASU A self-professed musical theatre nut, Kristen has performed with several theatre troupes in the western U.S. over the past 15 years (credits include roles in Oklahoma!, A Chorus Line, Cabaret, Oliver!, Anything Goes, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and the operetta, The Old Maid and the Thief, among others). Kristen is also passionate about choral music, having sung most recently with the Carolyn Eynon Singers and ASU’s Early Music Chamber Choir. David Webb Download Full Image

Henley came to ASU in 1989 as a music major, and in 1991 began student employment in the Stacks unit at Hayden Library. She received her bachelor of Iinstrumental music education, but decided not to pursue a career in music, and instead continued on at the library Currently she also enjoys raising her two children and playing keyboard occasionally in her church worship band.

The Artfest concludes on Aug. 4, with a reading by Marshall Terrill, a member of the Public Affairs staff at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. Terrill is a veteran film, sports and music writer and the author of more than a dozen books, including best-selling biographies of Steve McQueen, Elvis Presley, and basketball legend "Pistol" Pete Maravich. Three of his books are in development to be made into movies.

All events held from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. Additional events will be added throughout the summer. for the latest schedule, visit"> />

Anyone interested in performing, discussion their art, reading, talking about gardening, or any other art form, can contact Judith Smith, jps">">, (480) 965-4821, to get on the calendar.

Fulbright scholar takes ecological theory to Andean heights

June 22, 2011

For 2011 Fulbright awardee James Elser, Argentina’s soaring, glacier-laden peaks, ancient cultures, and criollo horses offer a spectacular backdrop for this region’s biggest draw: access to the “last unpolluted aquatic ecosystems on Earth.”

An ecologist with Arizona State University, Elser and colleague Esteban Balseiro of the Universidad Nacional del Comahue will partner and study 30 to 50 alpine lakes close to San Carlos de Barliloche in Argentinian Patagonia. Climbing 3,000 to more than 10,000 feet, the duo will characterize regional lake nutrient chemistry and examine the lakes’ planktonic inhabitants. Alpine lake in Patagonia, Argentina Download Full Image

“Esteban Balseiro has been performing some of the first comprehensive studies of this kind in this region and together we will extend his excellent work,” says Elser. “Studying nutrient limitation and plankton in lakes that are not yet influenced by human activities, even in their airsheds, makes Patagonia likely the best place in the world to establish a baseline for understanding lake nutrient supplies in as close to ‘ancestral,’ pre-development conditions as possible.”

Elser has pioneered the study of ecological stoichiometry, the examination of the balance of energy and chemical elements – most especially carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus – in ecosystems. Stoichiometric theory is becoming increasingly important in light of the multiple, and disproportionate, ways that humans are altering Earth’s biogeochemical cycles, Elser says.

For example, a study by Elser and his colleagues, published in the journal Science in 2009, showed that reactive nitrogen in the air stream, elevated by urbanization and agricultural intensification, literally rains down on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems thought outside the touch of humans. The impacts his team documented were much greater than previously recognized, shifting the fundamental ecology of alpine lakes in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and in seemingly pristine watersheds in Norway and Sweden. Such findings make studying Patagonia’s lakes doubly important, Elser says, in view of the predicted population expansion and increased industrial and agricultural activity expected in South America in the coming decades.

“While nitrogen deposition impacts on terrestrial systems have been well studied, we are just learning how or if such human-induced nitrogen shifts affect biodiversity in aquatic systems,” Elser says.

How energy and materials flow in ecosystems, and how the ratio of key elements drive ecological dynamics, also underlies Elser’s focus on another element: phosphorus and its impact globally as a key component of fertilizer. Phosphorus helped fueled the “Green Revolution” in agriculture; however, scientists are beginning to note that quantities and qualities of this mined resources are limited, and that the bulk of the world’s supply resides in Morocco. And while more than 40 countries experienced food riots in 2008 due to rising food prices – due in part to a 700-percent spike in phosphorus fertilizer costs – phosphorus is commonly overused in the developed world, with run-off from agricultural areas tied to algal blooms and expanding oceanic dead zones in coastal areas.

In response to his and other scientists’ concerns, Elser, a professor in the School of Life Sciences in ASU’s College of Liberals Arts and Sciences, founded the ASU Sustainable Phosphorus Initiative at ASU in 2010 with colleagues Dan Childers, a professor with ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability, and Mark Edwards, a professor with the W.P. Carey School of Business. The initiative spurred the launch of the international Sustainable Phosphorus Summit in 2011, coordinated by ASU doctoral student Jessica Corman, which brought together more than 100 scientists, engineers, teachers, students and entrepreneurs to discuss how to recycle, reclaim, reuse and more sustainably manage this limited resource.

South America is one of the regions of the world that has limited access to high grade phosphorus mines, and whose growing population means a heightened reliance on imported fertilizer for food. While experts cannot agree on the magnitude of the world’s reserves, Elser hopes to share the concerns raised at the summit to increase awareness among colleagues and policy-makers in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay.

“This Fulbright award opens new doors for me. It means meeting new colleagues and engaging in research with Dr. Balseiro that I couldn’t have done anywhere else in the world,” says Elser. “Who knows? Patagonia’s aquatic habitats may be one last place to glimpse how lakes function without human perturbation, an essential baseline if we want to understand the impacts of human activities on water resources and create better outcomes for our future.”

Margaret Coulombe

Director, Executive Communications, Office of the University Provost