This week in brief

Monday, September 17

4:00 p.m. – LS meeting

Founders basement lounge

Tuesday, September 18

11:30 a.m. – Reflections

Ascension Chapel

8:00 p.m. – Cantare Due Recital

Wallenberg Hall

Wednesday, September 19

7:00 p.m. – Keynote address

St. Ambrose University's Rogalski Center

Thursday, September 20

10:30 a.m. – Convocation

Centennial Hall

7:00 p.m. – Book Collecting Basics

Centennial Hall, Art Gallery

Friday, September 21

3:30 p.m. – Conversations on Scholarship

College Center Board Room

Saturday, September 22

8:00 p.m. – OSA Event

Centennial Hall

Sunday, September 23

4:00 p.m. – QC Symphony

Centennial Hall














Volume 5, Issue 3 • September 17, 2007

Faculty News


geoGeology on the Mountain Top

For the sixth summer in a row, Jeff Strasser and Mike Wolf have led a group of incoming first-year students into the Rocky Mountains (and safely back again) to study geology right on the outcrop. For 2-½ weeks in August, 16 students survived the rigors of cramped vans, cold nights with snoring tent-mates, high-elevation hikes at “Wolf-speed,” Krusteaz pancakes a lá Strasser, ice-cold dips in mountain creeks and lakes, one rattlesnake, two quizzes, two 3-hour exams, and a final field project – all in order to study the wonders of the natural world. In addition to earning 3 credits of a lab science (GL105: Physical Geology in the Rocky Mountains), the students quickly learned about college-level work loads and professorial expectations, and many made friends-for-life in just days. What a way to begin college!


Anette Ejsing is giving the presentation, “Magic Lost: Truth, Morals, and Tragedy in The Prestige,” at the national, by-invitation-only, seminar, Faith, Film and the Intellectual Life , Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington, co-sponsored by Gonzaga University's Faith and Reason Institute and Whitworth University's Weyerhaeuser Center for Faith & Learning.

Abstract excerpt: Obsession with truth crushes the creative energy of magic. It misdirects the power of choice and creates relational, moral dramas that change human life from an adventure of personal fulfillment to a story of escalating tragedy. This, in any case, is how The Prestige relates truth, magic, moral choice, and personal fulfillment. Now set this in the context of philosophical ethics, more specifically the tension between metaethics and normative ethics, and contemporary moral inquiry gains new meaning. No longer must it surrender to either irrelevant theory or unreflective practice but can evaluate the complex experience of moral life in its entirety. With this background, The Prestige reminds us that evaluating the experience of moral life in its entirety requires submission to the magically creative power of truth. Wanting more leaves us with less. It will hinder meaningful reflection on the theoretical and practical significance of philosophical ethics in the pursuit of personal fulfillment. Moral inquiry loses meaning if it cannot help us understand how the drive toward personal fulfillment so often leads to human tragedy.


Bill Hammer finished his work as co-editor for the Proceedings of the Tenth International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences in August. The proceedings are now published on-line with a hardcover edition to follow in 4-6 months. Bill also had two papers published in the volume: one is titled "The Dinosaurs of the Early Jurassic Hanson Formation of the Central Transantarctic Mountains: Phylogenetic Review and Synthesis" and was co-authored with former Augustana student Nate Smith and others. The second paper is titled "Migration of Triassic Tetrapods to Antarctica " and was co-authored with another much older Augustana alum, Jim Collinson. Bill chaired a session at the symposium, which was held during the last week of August at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A paper Hammer submitted last spring to the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, "A Tritylodont postcanine from Antarctica," has been accepted for publication and will be published this fall.

In August, Bill was awarded a new grant for $100,022 from the National Science Foundation for his project entitled Continued Research on the Jurassic Vertebrate Fauna from the Beardmore Glacier Region, Antarctica .

Since the end of the last school year, Peter Kivisto has seen the following books, articles, and reviews published: 


Peter also gave talks at two conferences over the summer: 


Among the other things he has to report: 


On September 5th, Jason Koontz led a “Learn How to Identify Local Trees” workshop at Black Hawk State Historic Site for the University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalists and the public. Jason gave basic tree ID tips and led a hike along the trails at Black Hawk where he discussed the major tree species at the site. About 30 people attended, even with the rainy weather!


One of Sarah Lovern's recent publications, “Toxicity of nanoparticles in aquatic environments,” was featured on September 7 in Nanowerks , an online nanotech news source.