A lot of our students' education happens outside the walls of a classroom.
[ \ a..s because in addicion co regular class work, an imegcal
part of the School of Social Work's curriculum is hands-on
Each year our students are placed in over 125 agencies in over 30
counties throughour the state. Whether they're working in a
police department, a hospital, a school, a family health center or
a social service agency, our students put the skills they learn in
the classroom to work in the real world. It's good training for
them, and it's good help for the people of North Carolina.
In fact, if our students' time is worth just eight dollars an hour,
collectively they are donating over a million dollars of service to
North Carolinians each year.
It might seem like a lot to require. But the better prepared
our students are today, the better social workers they will be
For more information about the School of Social Work and how
you can support our programs, please call (919) 962-6469 or visit
our website at http://ssw.unc.edu.
Ii School of Social Work . University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
J arlllorylFebrllary 2002
Nosema, which is contagious.
"There should be competition
between the parasites because they have
opposing needs. VVolbachia can't be too
deadly if it needs the mother to stay alive,
but that's not necessarily true with
While he started his first experiments
in November, Harcombe plans to measure
the species' competition by looking at
how quickly or slowly the parasites repro-
duce. "Parasites may react to the competi-
tion by either altering their reproduction
rates, or suppressing the reproduction rates
of their competitor," he said.
And because Nosema is known to
reduce the number of eggs a female can
lay, Harcombe also will look at the bee-
tles' reproduction rates to see how the
parasites interact with their hosts.
Harcombe also plans to examine the
ways that parasites affect the behavior of
their hosts. Flour beetles are cannibalistic,
which has nutritional advantages but also
is a method for acquiring harmful para-
sites. "If my parasites could alter the canni-
balistic tendencies of the beetles, they
could exert some control over the number
ofparasites that they must compete with."
While Harcombe is responsible for
conducting his own research, he receives
support and guidance from Pfennig and
George Harper, a biology graduate stu-
dent. "Working with George has been
great because he has really treated me as a
peer;' Harcombe said. "He has had a little
more time than most professors, so we
have been able to collaborate and truly
work together to come up with solutions
when problems arise."
After completing his research and the-
sis and graduating in May, Harcol11.be
hopes to continue studying VVolbachia. He
applied for a scholarship through the Ful-
bright Association to travel to Australia
and work with Ary Hollinan, a professor
at La Trobe University who studies the
parasite. The two met at the Evolution
2001 conference in Knoxville, Tenn., last
summer, where Harcombe presented his
research on snake mimicry and predation.
The Office of Undergraduate R esearch
provided the funds for Harcombe to
make the journey.
"There are a lot ofpeople doing some
incredible things here," he said.