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April 7 , 2008
Science Newsletter Logo

Muskingum College Home Page

Please direct questions and comments to:

In this issue:

  • Math Candidate Presentation
  • Birding Internship
  • Environmental Educator Temporary Position

Science Quotes

  • "If I could remember the names of all these particles, I'd be a botanist."— Albert Einstein
  • "If your result needs a statistician then you should design a better experiment."— Ernest Rutherford
  • "Statistics: The only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions."— Evan Esar, Esar's Comic Dictionary

  • Science Students: Plan to attend the Undergraduate Research Banquet on April 24! Check your email for details.
    Looking for a summer job? Go to "The Job Seeker"!
    Need help with your career plans? Sign up with MentorNet. It's free!

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    Math Candidate Presentation

    Everyone is invited to here Girija Nair-Hart, math position candidate, on Thursday, April 10 at 10:30 a.n. in SC 105.


    "The Concept of Limits--A Review"

    I understand that the Math program at Muskingum is designed “to portray mathematics as a universal language of creative and critical thought and to meet the needs of those who intend to teach, to do graduate work in mathematics, and to pursue careers which rely substantially upon mathematics.” Undeniably, Calculus has a central role in mathematics, and it provides a powerful tool in solving a wide variety of practical problems in Accounting, Astronomy, Engineering, Meteorology, Medicine, etc.

    While the ideas of Calculus were originally developed in India, China, Greece, and Persia, the modern principles of Calculus were developed in Europe during the 17th century when Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz initiated elaborating on the work of earlier mathematicians. In the modern world Calculus was developed to solve two main problems, both of which rest mainly on the foundation of limits: the problem of finding tangent to curves, and the problem of finding areas under curves. Limits allow us to solve problems that cannot be solely solved by algebra.

    The concept of limits is one of the most complex ideas in mathematics, especially from the perspective of teaching and learning (Tall, 1981; Szydlik, 2000; Roh, 2005; Juter, 2006). This presentation will focus on the definition of limits, its numeric and geometric interpretations, and the development of some of the “algebraic rules” that aid the computation of limits. In addition, I will briefly discuss some of the pertinent empirical research findings on student difficulties associated with the learning of the limit concept and its instructional implications.

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    Birding Internship

    BIRDING INTERN: A temporary, full-time position. Pay: $8.25 hourly. Dates: May 21 - September 15 (flexible for students), 2008.

    Location: Mono Lake Committee, Lee Vining, California.

    Qual: Basic knowledge of birds and field identification through experience and/or education. Strong communications skills—both written and verbal. Strong work ethic, positive attitude, and team player approach. Desire to learn more about how a successful non-profit operates. Ability to be flexible under a changing schedule. Desire to interpret natural history and environmental water issues for the public. Desire to understand and solve environmental problems from a solution-oriented perspective. An ability to quickly understand complicated natural history and California water issues. A car is required for work related travel (mileage is reimbursed), and a good driving record is required. Final hiring is contingent on approval of driving record.

    Duties: The Birding Intern position is similar to the Mono Lake Committee Intern positions, but has a special emphasis on leading interpretive bird walks, researching bird and birding issues, and assisting with the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua. The Birding Intern works closely with 5 other Interns who assist with Mono Lake Committee interpretive education programs, staff the busy Information Center & Bookstore, and work in the Mono Lake Committee office to help carry out smooth and effective work in the areas of education, communication, policy, membership and overall operations. The Birding Intern’s duties are roughly divided between 35% time in the field leading programs, 35% staffing the Information Center & Bookstore, and 30% working in the office. Some work time may include assisting with bird research in the Mono Basin. Subscribing Mono Lake Committee memberships and renewals is an important part of staffing the Information Center & Bookstore. This position is ideal for those wanting to further their interpretive and communication skills and gain experience in environmental, non-profit work. Specifics: Lead weekly morning bird walks along the northwest shore of Mono Lake. Provide interpretive and environmental education programs at Mono Lake including guiding interpretive canoe tours on Mono Lake. Staff the Information Center & Bookstore counter, providing information and answering questions for visitors, and subscribing members for the Mono Lake Committee. Duties on the front counter also include handling retail sales, stocking shelves, and keeping up store appearance. Answer phones, fulfill information requests via phone, mail and email, process new Mono Lake Committee memberships, and other office tasks as needed to support successful office operations. Coordinate with a local network of organizations and individuals interested in birds and birding. Assist with the coordination and implementation of California gull research on Mono Lake in late May, early July, and mid-August. Research and develop materials and programs designed to promote birding as recreation in the Mono Basin. Assist with the Mono Lake Fall Shorebird Count, and the annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua. Other duties as assigned based on skills, interest, initiative and organization needs.

    Appl: Go to website for application instructions.

    Contact: Erika Obedzinski, Office Director, Mono Lake Committee, PO Box 29, Lee Vining, CA 93541. Ph: 760-647-6595, Fax: 760-647-6377, Email: Website:

    Filing Date: 04/30/08.

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    Environmental Educator Temporary Position

    ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATOR: A temporary, full-time position. Pay: $3,394.85 living allowance; $1,250 education award. Dates:  June 1 - August 22, 2008.

    Location: North Branch Nature Center, Montpelier, Vermont.

    Qual: Some teaching experience and strong public speaking skills; high comfort level working outside with groups; general knowledge of New England natural history; ability to work independently and as part of a team; strong organizational skills and work ethic; self-starter with strong initiative and follow through; strong knowledge of word processing; experience with desktop publishing a plus; enthusiasm for working with students in grades K-12; a Bachelor’s degree in education, natural resources, or a related field; willingness to comply with federal regulations requiring us to do a background criminal check on AmeriCorps members working with children.

    Duties: Our AmeriCorps member will help with an array of diverse projects and programs. This is a quarter time position, but because of the service period, it will be essentially full time for 3 months. The primary responsibility of the AmeriCorps member will be to co-develop, coordinate, and teach summer day camps. There will also be opportunities to teach natural history programs to children and visitors; participate in the first Montpelier BioBlitz; help lead nature walks & programs; complete administrative and other tasks as needed.

    Appl: Applications are downloadable from website:

    Contact: Chip Darmstadt, Executive Director, North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, VT 05404. Ph: 802-229-6206, Fax: 802-229-6206, Email: Website:

    Filing Date: 04/25/08.

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