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October 13, 2009
UD Receives Grant from Dubuque Racing Association

The University of Dubuque has received a $10,000 grant from the Dubuque Racing Association to purchase a 2001 Chevy Tahoe for the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences (DNAS).

Field studies are an integral part of the University's environmental-science program. Students need to regularly travel off- campus to study plants and animals in their native habitat. Beginning in their first environmental science class at UD, students spend significant time at nearby nature preserves, parks, and streams, obtaining practical experience with sampling and field work. By the end of their sophomore year, many are ready to begin their own research projects or assist junior-and senior-level students. These projects involve pulling our two work boats, transporting traps for turtles, rodents, and flying squirrels, moving lumber and materials, and generally supporting the research projects as needed - the purchase of the Tahoe designated DNAS vehicle will assist students in continuing to continue this work.

Dale Easley, chair of the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences commented, "UD students like doing science, not just listening to faculty talk about it. We get off campus to field sites as often as possible, and we can't do it without vehicles. We are very grateful to the DRA for the grant support which furthers our field study."

This gift from the Dubuque Racing Association supports student's off-campus research projects which benefits the larger Dubuque community and region. For example, Dubuque's early history was dominated by lead mining. Concerns about lead linger today, and DNAS students have undertaken soil and water sampling in the area. One of those students now works for the City of Dubuque, taking soil and water samples. Another works for an area environmental consulting firm. A second major issue for Iowa is nutrients from agriculture impacting water quality. All of our UD's environmental -science students are trained in water sampling, including testing for nutrients. The research they undertake helps to determine baseline water quality in the region and to identify "hot spots" - sources of contamination. The DRA grant guarantees the continuation of such research.