NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY

DISCOVERY

FROM FOREST RESTORATION TO VALLEY FEVER STUDIES, NAU RESEARCHERS ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT DISSEMINATING THEIR WORK.

This translation of scientific information into public action or behavior modification is the intersection of research and public service, which is an NAU hallmark. A few examples demonstrating the commitment of NAU researchers to research and discovery directly impacting lives include:

  • An interdisciplinary team of researchers is creating a first-of-its-kind data map showing the intersection of U.S. food production, energy production and water supply to advance understanding, inform future policies and spur new technologies.
  • A tri-university (ASU, NAU and UA) research team, led by NAU, is developing an end-to-end cybersecurity solution that utilizes the complex physical properties of nanomaterials to provide unprecedented levels of cyber defense.
  • A disease ecologist uses population genetic tools to increase the sustainability and competitiveness of the U.S. cattle industry and to prevent cattle fever from becoming re-established in the United States..

The extent to which the knowledge generated by university faculty is recognized and referenced by their peers (through peer review and citation) is a strong indicator of the impact that the institution has in a given academic discipline. In 2015-2016, Northern Arizona University researchers surpassed their colleagues at our peer institutions in number of citations in the areas of ecology, environmental science, geosciences, microbiology, linguistics and forestry. NAU researchers are publishing in the most prestigious journals, such as Science, at a higher rate than any other time in the university’s history.

Another important mechanism for disseminating research outcomes is through technology transfer. Here again, NAU researchers are reaching historical heights. In FY 2016, NAU researchers disclosed 50 inventions, the most ever transacted in a single year, surpassing our Enterprise Plan goal — and FY 2015 disclosures — by 85 percent. Clearly, university researchers are innovative and engaged in research that has application to our daily lives. This is an important part of NAU’s research mission—to discover and generate new ideas and new knowledge in ways benefitting the citizens of Arizona.