Faculty & Staff

Programs, events and resources for UNI Faculty and Staff.

A look into the past to foresee the future

The Biogeochemical Evolution of the Atmosphere (BETA) Project, funded through a STEM grant from the Iowa Space Grant Consortium, is not just about the past and the present; it is ultimately about the future.
“We are in a period of rapid climate change today and we spend a lot of time thinking about what might happen in the future,” says Dr. Alexa Sedlacek, an Assistant Professor of Geology at the Department of Earth Science and one of the co-advisors of the BETA Project.

Restoring the prairie “yard by yard,” year after year

Once upon a time, in not so distant a past, tallgrass prairie covered parts of 14 states in the Midwest, including about 85% of Iowa. Tall grasses, with stalks up to 10 feet high and roots up to 12 feet below the surface, covered much of the landscape, with wildflowers such as prairie violet, pale purple coneflower, false sunflower, and white prairie clover adding a medley of colors. There would be bison, elk, and deer grazing on the grass, which stimulated the growth of the grass and many other prairie plants.

Unraveling the enigma of life in universe

When he enrolled in Purdue University for his doctoral studies, after graduating from the University of Kansas in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Dr. Joshua Sebree hoped to study meteorites. There was one problem, though: the faculty member working on meteorites was not accepting any new students.
Fortunately, there was another professor who was using physical and organic chemistry methods to study gases in the atmosphere of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.

FIRST Robotics Competition comes to UNI

Mark your calendar. March 24-26, 2016. The UNI campus will be abuzz with robots as the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Iowa Regional  gets under way at the McLeod Center and the UNI Dome.


FRC won’t be quite like Real Steel, the 2011 Hollywood science-fiction sports drama starring Hugh Jackman. No, there will be no Atom and Zeus fighting it out in the boxing ring.


However, there will be robots trying to breach their opponents’ defense and capture their towers.


Looking at life through evolution lens

Nicole Hindman has always had a passion for learning about animals, plants, and insects. When in high school, she first learned about the Theory of Evolution; it gave her “a lens to appreciate life at a deeper level.” The decision to major in biology, with an emphasis on ecology and evolution, was thus easy to make.
The decision to enroll in the University of Northern Iowa wasn’t too difficult, either. She found the atmosphere “very welcoming” when she visited UNI.

Dream defined in diversity

It all started with a couple of short and simple questions: Who decides what we get and what we do not get?
“I have always been a curvy girl,” says Keyaira Phillips. “So, before it was ‘in’ to be curvy, I had the hardest time finding in Waterloo/Cedar Falls areas a selection of clothes that were trendy and cute, and that fit.”
Of course, Phillips did not know then that “there were actual buyers and teams that pick out clothing assortments and that what was available varied per locations/regions.” However, she knew one thing for sure.

Mastering the Multi-player

For elementary and secondary education students across the country, summer is typically a time to hit up the pool for an afternoon of swimming, participate in summer reading programs at their local library or venture away from home on a family vacation. For many students in the Cedar Valley, though, a part of this past summer was spent on UNI’s campus participating in a UNI STEM Summer Camp. Of the hundreds of kids who participated this summer, though, one of them hails from a little farther south; Florida to be exact.

Iowa Academy of Science

Sitting on campus, right across University Ave. from central campus, is a hidden treasure in the state of Iowa. Tucked away in the Biology Research Complex on the Southwest corner of College Street and University Avenue is the Iowa Academy of Science. Founded in 1875, the Academy provides a venue for scientists & engineers in the state to meet and share their research.

Meeting the Needs of Students

A common question heard from undergraduate students today is “What is the point?” From questioning their parents to questioning an instructor, students today seek validity in what they are spending their time doing. Students want to know that what they are spending their time on in the classroom is worthwhile and not just a time filler to get to the end of the semester.

Transferring with Ease

Each year, hundreds of students transfer to the University of Northern Iowa to continue their education at this institution. In fact, this year alone, 978 students made the decision to transfer after previously completing coursework at a different college or university. In 2013, Benjamin Nettleton decided that UNI was the right fit for him and made the transition to life at a 4-year college after completing his associate’s degree at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) in Mason City, Iowa.


US Education Laws and Regulations - Resources and Information

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) takes effect in the 2017-2018 Academic year.  This law makes changes to the national, state, and local roles of accountability, funding, and programs in K-12 education and thus also has implementations for teacher prep and coninuing education.  The resources listed below provide background on ESSA and recommendations from national science, mathematics, technology, engineering and education organizations about ESSA implementation.

Comparing ESSA to NCLB

ESSA & STEM Overview

Resources and Recommendations from National Organizations with Regard to STEM Education

Iowa's ESSA Plan

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The University of Northern Iowa is a Core Institution of the Iowa Space Grant Consortium.  ISGC supports NASA's mission by stimulating research, education, and outreach throughout Iowa.  UNI students, faculty and staff - learn about ISGC funding opportunities.