Bruin Notes

Rare Ethiopian Gospels


A collector of Ethiopian manuscripts has donated another rare book to the George Fox Evangelical Seminary. The one-of-a- kind document is a handwritten copy of the four Gospels that once belonged to Empress Zewditu, who ruled Ethiopia from 1916 to 1930.

Seminary Professor Steve Delamarter unveiled the book on May 16 at the Portland Center Library for a small but highly enthusiastic crowd.

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As the director of the Ethiopian Manuscript Imaging Project, Delamarter has tracked down more than 900 volumes and digitized them to keep Ethiopia's history intact. Last year, Delamarter returned to Ethiopia a Psalter once owned by Emperor Menilek II. The people celebrated the preservation of their culture. This September, Delamarter will take 40 seminary students to Africa and deliver the four Gospels manuscript to the pope of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Watch a video interview with Professor Delamarter about the four Gospels manuscript.

NASA grant allows biology professor to conduct climate research

A $180,000 grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is helping fund biology professor Don Powers' role on a research project designed to shed light on climate change.

Powers is part of a four-member team conducting a four-year study, "Combining Remote-Sensing and Biological Data to Predict the Consequences of Climate Change on Hummingbird Diversity." The project, which received $1.4 million from NASA, entails the study of hummingbird populations for the purpose of determining how these populations respond to climate change in specified locales of North and South America.

According to the proposal, hummingbirds provide an ideal system for evaluating the effects nasa-program of environmental changes on biological diversity because hummingbirds are highly sensitive to climate and weather and are pioneer indicators of climate change.

With an additional contribution from George Fox, Powers will receive $250,000 for his role as the project's physiologist. He will be responsible for measuring (and advising the measurement of) physiological parameters associated with hummingbird energetics. Essentially, he will monitor energy expenditure in the birds – and determine if changes in foraging habits and migratory patterns impact their daily energetic costs. The research includes use of a thermal imaging camera to analyze their nighttime metabolic rate.

His research will involve trips to the southwest United States, Mexico and South America for data collection. The grant also allows him to employ the help of undergraduate biology students on the trips. Powers said the research grant is the largest ever given to the school's biology department.

"This speaks to George Fox's commitment to academic scholarship," said Powers, who has more than 30 years experience studying hummingbird physiology. "Research like this is part of the development of the science program here at George Fox. As a scientist, it's my job to be out in the field and doing the science that I teach. Many science textbooks are five years out of date when they get published. That makes this kind of research and our work in the field critical if we are to teach cutting-edge science in our classrooms."

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