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AAAS Southwestern and Rocky Mountain Division Convenes 31 March-4 April in Tulsa, Oklahoma

The annual meeting of the AAAS Southwestern and Rocky Mountain Division will explore a broad range of topics ranging from Western archaeology and the Great Plains’ changing ecology to stem cell research, novel uses for the MRI, and education, when it convenes 31 March to 4 April in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The meeting will offer a rich, multidisciplinary selection of lectures, symposia and other presentations, with sessions of interest for researchers, educators, students, and science aficionados. The meeting is open to the public, but registration is required for most events.

“Our 86th annual conference is going to have very diverse offerings, with a strong regional flavor,” said David Nash, executive director of the division. “This is an important conference regionally, and it’s important for students and young researchers, so there’s a real value in mixing local, national, and international issues. And we think it will really show off the exciting research going on at the University of Tulsa and the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa.”

The theme of the 2012 meeting is “Science & Technology at the Crossroads,” and it will be held over five full days at the University of Tulsa. It is a joint meeting with the university’s 15th annual Student Research Colloquium, which allows students to experience and participate in a scholarly conference with the highest professional standards, and the 10th Annual University of Oklahoma-Tulsa Research Forum.

The AAAS Southwestern and Rocky Mountain Division—SWARM, for short—has scheduled 20 symposia for the conference, plus at least 10 general sessions and a poster session with nearly 90 entries. There will be two plenary talks and the annual John Wesley Powell Memorial Lecture, which was inaugurated in 1929 in honor of the storied American geologist who led the first expedition down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

Laurence C. Smith

This year’s Powell lecture will feature Laurence C. Smith, professor and vice-chair of the Department of Geography at the University of California-Los Angeles, who traveled extensively in the northern latitudes to research his 2010 book, The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Our Northern Future.

Smith’s lecture will be held Sunday 1 April at 7:30 p.m., at the University of Tulsa’s Lorton Performance Center. It is free and open to the public.

Among the other highlights of the meeting:

Saturday 31 March

  • A symposium on novel MRI approaches for investigating depression and anxiety;
  • A symposium, “Science and Religion—Building Bridges, Dismantling Misconceptions”;
  • A plenary lecture by neuroscientist Judith Lauter, “A New Sociobiology for the 21st Century: Prenatal Hormones, Six Genders, and Brain-Based Social Roles.” Lauter is the author of the 2008 book, How is Your Brain like a Zebra? and director of the Human Neuroscience Laboratory at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas.

Sunday 1 April

  • A symposium on the use of global positioning systems (GPS) and other new technologies and techniques in archaeology;
  • A symposium on development of nanostructures for energy applications.

Monday 2 April

  • A symposium on information security;
  • An address by SWARM Division President Austin Cooney, associate professor at the Baylor College of Medicine, on stem cell research;
  • A symposium on increasing regional bioscience research capacity through outreach, cooperation, and internships;

Tuesday 3 April

  • A symposium on the expansion of cedar trees across the Great Plains;
  • A symposium on the endangered species of Oklahoma, including the interior least tern, the prairie mole cricket, and freshwater mussels;
  • A symposium, “Hope and Well-Being Among At-Risk Populations.”

Wednesday 4 April

  • A symposium on human physiological responses to exercise;
  • A symposium on the factors that shape the reaction of 3rd and 4th graders to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics subjects;
  • The SWARM awards banquet.

The AAAS Southwestern Division was founded in 1920; it expanded and its current name was adopted in 1953. It currently has about 14,000 members.

Members of AAAS are automatically considered SWARM Division members if they reside or work in Arizona; Colorado; Kansas; Montana, east of the Continental Divide; Nebraska; New Mexico; North Dakota; Oklahoma; South Dakota; Texas; and Wyoming; the Mexican states of Chihuahua; Coahuila; Nuevo Leon; and Sonora; and the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.


Get registration and program information for the 86th annual meeting of the AAAS Southwestern and Rocky Mountain (SWARM) Division.

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Learn more about AAAS’s four regional divisions: Southwest and Rocky Mountain, Pacific, Arctic and Caribbean.