Archive for Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Heard on the Hill: Lizard discovered by KU grad student makes top 10 list; KU psychology professor Gregory Simpson becomes new dean at Illinois State; new parking signs point way to orientation

June 7, 2011, 1:55 a.m. Updated June 7, 2011, 7:38 a.m.


Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University:

• A lizard discovered by a KU graduate student has earned a mention in Arizona State University’s International Institute for Species Exploration’s top 10 species finds for 2011.

KU graduate students Luke Welton and Cam Siler along with Rafe Brown, curator of herpetology at the Kansas Biodiversity Institute, helped discover and describe the Northern Sierra Madre Forest Monitor Lizard (Varanus bitatawa), which inhabits trees in the forests of the Northern Sierra Madre mountain range of Luzon in the Philippines.

And here’s its inclusion in the top 10 list.

Some of the other species listed are pretty interesting, too. I think my favorite is Darwin’s bark spider, a spider that spins webs “spanning rivers, streams and lakes” that are the largest webs known to science.

And it looks nice and friendly, too.

UPDATED: Initially, I gave the wrong credit to the folks who discovered this — thanks for those who pointed that out!

• And finally, here’s a Heard on the Hill goodbye and good luck to Greg Simpson, who has been named as the new College of Arts and Sciences dean at Illinois State University.

The KU psychology professor had previously served as KU’s interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences before Danny Anderson, the current dean, was named to that position in March 2010 after serving as KU’s interim provost.

Simpson was a finalist for the KU post as well.

• Driving around campus on Monday, I spotted some new signs pointing the way to parking for KU's new student orientation.

The signs were a collaboration between KU’s office of design and construction management and the office of new student orientation, said Donna Hultine, KU parking director.

The signs used existing temporary structures KU already had in place for football and basketball parking. she said.

David Johnston of the KU Alumni Association snapped a photo and posted it on his Twitter feed.

They went up on Friday, Hultine said, and they direct the way for new students.

There is a slight detour though, to be aware of, if you’re coming in and following the signs. You can’t get into the Kansas Union parking garage on the Mississippi Street side because of ongoing construction there. You’ll have to meander up the hill to Oread Avenue.

• It’s summer and lots of people are out of town on vacations or at conferences, so it’s probably a really bad time to break out the KU directory and ask a random person to submit tips for Heard on the Hill. But that hasn’t stopped me before. So, let’s try this, Marie-Alice L’Heureux, associate professor of architecture and urban planning. Tell me something I don’t already know at


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