Institutes & Centers

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Arkansas Archeological Survey

The Arkansas Archeological Survey is a research and public service organization charged by the legislature with statewide responsibility for conserving and investigating the state’s archeological heritage and with making information on this rich heritage available to all.

To this end it has an extensive publication and public relations program. With a staff of 40 (approximately half of whom are professional archeologists), it is recognized as one of the most effective state-supported archeological research organizations in the country. The survey’s coordinating office on the Fayetteville campus consists of the director, the state archeologist, computer services, editorial, graphics, and other support staff. There are also several research archeologists who carry out archeological investigations under contracts as required by law to protect the state’s archeological resources.

There are station archeologists at all 10 research stations around the state, including the Fayetteville campus, who are available for graduate guidance. The survey works closely with the university's Department of Anthropology in training students, cooperates with the state historic preservation officer and other state and federal agencies, and trains and assists citizen groups interested in archeological conservation.

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George Sabo, Director
Campus Address: ARAS 147


Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences

The Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences is a research institute of the University of Arkansas, created by faculty from six departments, including Biological Sciences, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Electrical Engineering, Geosciences, Mechanical Engineering, and Physics. Those departments, representing the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering, work closely with the Graduate School and the Honors College.

The center operates world-class research facilities and cutting-edge research projects. It houses the only university-based, large-scale planetary simulation chamber in the country along with major facilities for the analysis of extraterrestrial samples. Major research interests include the analysis of returned samples from space, the nature of Mars, and instrumentation for use in space. The center also operates a number of programs of interest to the university community, grade school teachers and students, and the public.

The space center administers master’s and doctoral degree programs in space and planetary science. These provide a unique integrative interdisciplinary education and research training based on a suite of core courses spread across the departments and specialist courses appropriate to the student’s specific interests. Professional development in communications, ethics and space policy is also included. Such training gives graduates a competitive edge in today’s space and planetary job market.

Additionally, the Departments of Biological Sciences, Geosciences and Physics offer space and planetary science as an option in their own graduate programs. Admission procedures are outlined on the space center Web site along with detailed information about the programs, the research areas, and current research projects.

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William Oliver, Director
Campus Address: MUSE 202


Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies 

The Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) focuses on application of geospatial technologies in research, teaching, and service. These technologies include geomatics, GIS, GPS, remote sensing, photogrammetry, geospatial software and systems design, interoperability, and large (multi-terabyte) geospatial databases.

Established in 1991, CAST is a unit of the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. CAST has a campus-wide focus, working with the departments of anthropology; architecture; crop, soil, and environmental science; biology; bioengineering; civil and industrial engineering; geosciences; entomology; and landscape architecture. Other partners include the Environmental Dynamics Program, the Arkansas Water Resources Center, Mullins Library, and the Arkansas Archeological Survey.

CAST has been selected as a Center of Excellence by many corporations, including the Intergraph Corporation, Trimble Navigation Inc., the Oracle Corporation, Definiens Imaging, Sun Microsystems, Spatial Acquis, and PCI Geomatics. These and other corporate sponsors have provided more than $22 million of in-kind support of the research teaching facilities of the center. The center has extensive hardware and software capabilities, including more than 100 high-performance workstations, multiple Linux, Windows XP and Solaris servers (combined seven terabyte of on-line disk), large-format plotters, mapping and survey-grade GPS, MSS instruments, spectroradiometers, terrestrial laser scanners, and an extensive inventory of software.

University of Arkansas undergraduate and graduate students have a wide range of geomatics courses available to them that utilize CAST faculties and laboratories. These courses, taken along with related courses in cartography, remote sensing, image interpretation, photogrammetry, surveying, and spatial statistics, provide the student with a range of career options. In addition to classroom instruction, CAST facilities are used by students in both undergraduate and graduate research projects. The internship program in Applied Spatial Information Technologies offers students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in geospatial technologies.

CAST staff are engaged in research projects in a wide range of areas. A few recent research projects focused on areas such as the creation of a seamless, on-line spatial data warehouse; K-12 GIS education; soil survey by remote sensing; land-use/land-cover identification; remote sensing for historic resources; natural resources wetlands analyses; multi-sensor remote sensing for historic resources; and predicting red oak borer populations.


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Jackson Cothren, Director
Campus Address: J.B. Hunt Center for Academic Excellence, Room 304


Center for Arkansas and Regional Studies 

The Center for Arkansas and Regional Studies (CARS) is a Fulbright College program dedicated to the documentation and preservation of middle America's history and culture. A multidisciplinary agency within the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, the Center for Arkansas and Regional Studies encourages research, publication, and dissemination of knowledge about life and culture in Arkansas and the surrounding region.

The center administers the interdisciplinary major in American Studies and sponsors lectures, seminars, conferences, radio programs, and international student exchanges. The center also produces workshops and audio and video documentary recordings, and works with Mullins Library to locate and collect Arkansiana and other regional materials. 

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Robert Cochran, Director
Campus Address: MAIN 506


Center for Communication and Media Research 

The Center for Communication and Media Research (CCMR) advances knowledge and supports scholarly and applied inquiry into the study of interpersonal, group, organizational, and media communication. The center sponsors outreach programs designed to help under-served populations, educational institutions, media companies, businesses, and non-profit organizations.

Multidisciplinary in nature, the center facilitates scholarship among allied disciplines such as journalism, law, business, political science, psychology, sociology, and computer science. Research topics include communication and advertising, dispute resolution, education, environmental concerns, family, health, information technology, legal concerns, life stages, media audiences, organizational concerns, politics, and religion.


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Robert H. Wicks, Director
Campus Address: KIMP 417


Center for Ethics in Journalism

The Center for Ethics in Journalism is connected to the School of Journalism and Strategic Media within the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas. The Center fosters the study and practice of the journalistic principles of accuracy, fairness, and service to the public in editorial/news; in broadcast, radio and television; and in advertising and public relations.

Each fall semester, a Visiting Distinguished Professor (VDP) of Ethics in Journalism joins the staff to share both current and new ideas and practices. The VDP lectures in university classes and works directly with students and professionals during seminars and panels later in the semester.

The Center also hosts several events and workshops during the year and as a service to the public archives those events with videos and images. Those events bring in national and local journalists to discuss current events that shape decision-making.

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Renette Smith McCargo, Assistant Director
Campus Address: KIMP 202


Center for Protein Structure and Function

The Center for Protein Structure and Function is an interdisciplinary unit for research and teaching within the departments of chemistry/biochemistry and biological sciences in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. The center raises funds from federal, state, and private sources and sponsors faculty- and student-initiated basic research on the folded structures of protein molecules, their dynamic properties, and their diverse functions in biological systems. The center has been awarded funding from the National Science Foundation, the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority, and the National Institutes of Health.

The Center supports multidisciplinary research projects involving over 30 faculty members and 50 graduate students in three different departments:

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Frank Millett, Director
Campus Address: CHEM 101


Center for Social Research

Since 1982 the Center for Social Research has provided research services to government agencies, communities and businesses. Located in the Department of Sociology, the center can conduct survey and public opinion research, impact assessment, evaluation and policy assessment. The center’s staff can provide assistance with research methodology and design, sampling, data collection and analysis.

The center’s professional staff has vast experience in virtually every aspect of social research. In addition, the center’s resources include computer-assisted telephone interviewing facilities; extensive archival data holdings, including online access to the archival holdings of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan; and, in-house statistical analysis.

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Casey Harris, Co-Director
Campus Address: MAIN 220



Patricia Herzog, Co-Director
Campus Address: MAIN 218


Community and Family Institute

The Community and Family Institute (CFI) in the Fulbright College of Arts and Science was created in 1997 to facilitate research on community and family issues/problems. With a specific focus on but not limited to Northwest Arkansas, CFI also engages in research relevant to all of Arkansas, national, and global issues. CFI conducts research in collaboration with community partners to promote a better understanding of community and family issues, with a focus on promoting social justice and equity in a diverse and multiethnic world. CFI supports community-based research partnerships on a wide range of topics including but not limited to: homelessness, health and public health, social capital, education/schools, crime and violence, family, and youth. The Institute can provide expertise and analytical support to non-profits, local governments, school districts, etc. that are interested in developing comprehensive research/evaluation programs and assessments.

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Kevin Fitzpatrick, Director
Campus Address: MAIN 211


Diane Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society

The Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society was established by an act of U. S. Congress in 2001, making it one of the rare research centers in the country to be established by congressional appropriation.  It was named in honor of Diane Divers Blair who taught in the Political Science department at the University of Arkansas for thirty years. Her career outside of teaching included extensive public service as chair of both the U. S. Corporation of Public Broadcasting and the Commission on Public Employee Rights.  She was also a founding member of the University of Arkansas Press. In 1992, she joined the Clinton presidential campaign as a senior researcher, after which she was appointed a guest scholar at the Brookings Institute. She returned in 1996 as a senior advisor on the Clinton re-election team. Diane D. Blair was a champion of interdisciplinary research and critical thinking, and she reached across the academic aisles often and with ease. The Blair Center reflects her academic model and strives to approach the study of the American South from a variety of angles, attempting to reveal the undercurrents of politics, history, and culture that have shaped the region over time. 

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Angie Maxwell, Director
Campus Address: MAIN 428


International Studies

An interdisciplinary unit within the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, International Studies encourages student and faculty research and scholarly analysis of foreign policy and international affairs. The program sponsors instructional activities, conferences, seminars, public events, and publications, including a major spring symposium on a significant topic in international affairs.

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Laurence Hare, Director
Campus Address: MAIN 511


Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering

The Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering is based in the Nanoscale Material Science and Engineering Building, opened in 2011 with the state-of-the-art equipment and clean rooms necessary for building materials one atom at a time. The institute provides an interdisciplinary team of researchers in the fields of physics, engineering, chemistry and biology whose mission, in part, is to develop businesses in Arkansas based on nanoscience and engineering.

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Gregory Salamo, Director
Campus Address: NANO 104


International Center for the Study of Early Asian and Middle Eastern Musics

The International Center for the Study of Early Asian and Middle Eastern Musics coordinates the international Tang Music Project and is linked with the Ancient Asian Music Preservation Project of the Library of Congress, a co-operation that includes internships at the Library and an acquisitions program. The Center also functions as the base for honors undergraduate and graduate training in historical ethnomusicology and related fields, specifically tailored toward early documented repertories of ritual- and art-music and present day performance practices in historically significant musical traditions of Asia and the Middle East. The recovery and bringing-to-life of Early Asian Musics in performance and the design of music-centered algorithms and their implementation in computer programs for editing and analysis of notated and orally-transmitted musics are central aspects of the Center's research and teaching activities. The Center works closely with the Asian Studies Program, the Department of History, the Department of Music, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, the Comparative Literature & Cultural Studies Program, and the King Fahd Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies in sponsoring lectures, seminars, concerts and workshops, and collaborates in the development of international scholarly and institutional links, and of student and performing-artist exchanges.

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Rembrandt Wolpert, Director
Campus Address: MAIN 503


King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies

The King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies is an academic and research unit in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. It is an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental area studies center that offers diverse cultural, intellectual, and educational opportunities for the University of Arkansas community. Its functions include the promotion of research and teaching in interdisciplinary Middle East studies and global Islamic studies.

Through the King Fahd Middle East Studies Program (MEST), the center offers an undergraduate major in Middle East Studies and supports graduate studies in Middle East-related departments and programs. Middle East studies majors of superior ability may apply for MEST scholarships to help fund their studies. The center also supports summer language study and research assistantships for graduate students and teaching and research by visiting scholars from affiliated universities and programs.

Through its core faculty, the center coordinates with university departments to offer a full range of Middle East courses, supports faculty research in Middle East and Islamic studies, engages in outreach activities, and supports an ambitious program of visiting speakers and workshops. The King Fahd Center currently maintains relationships with universities in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. The center also cooperates with the Aga Khan Humanities Program in Central Asia and the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C.

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Campus Address: MAIN 202


Statewide Mass Spectrometry Facility

The University of Arkansas Statewide Mass Spectrometry Facility is a state-of-the-art mass spectrometry resource established in 1999 through a combination of National Science Foundation and state funding. Its charge is to provide sophisticated mass spectrometry support for academic, government, and industrial researchers within Arkansas and nationally.

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Jackson O. Lay, Jr., Director
Campus Address: CHEM


Terrorism Research Center

The Terrorism Research Center (TRC) was created in 2003 to facilitate research on terrorism, extremist violence, and the effectiveness of intervention strategies.  The TRC plays an integral role in ongoing research to better understand the spatial and temporal patterns of terrorist activities.

The Center plays host to the American Terrorism Study (ATS), one of the nation's longest running research projects on terrorism in the United States. The project provides a comprehensive record of persons indicted in federal courts as a result of FBI "terrorism enterprise" investigations. Current research builds upon the ATS focusing on geospatial and temporal aspects of terrorist incident planning working towards refining and providing additional insights into the behavior of terrorist groups.

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Brent L. Smith, Director
Campus Address: MAIN 228


University of Arkansas Museum

The University Museum staff develop and maintain extensive collections totaling 7 million objects in the fields of archeology, ethnography, geology, history, and zoology. The collections are available for exhibition, research, education, and loan. 

University faculty may request loans of specimens for their classes, or arrange to bring their classes to the University Collections Facility for a visit. Specimens and their associated documentation are available for comparative and research purposes by faculty, qualified students, and visiting scholars. We also fulfill our public service and outreach mission through community engagement programs and loans to other institutions for exhibits.

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Mary Suter
Curator of Collections
Campus Address: MUSE