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Student Research Examples - Fall 2014 Research and Scholarship Day
For more information on student research contact the faculty advisor.
Gene Expression in Macronutrient Pathways During Acute Ethanol Intoxication of Honey Bees
Hansal Jani, Biological and Allied Health Sciences
Honey Bees and humans share the behavior of self-administering alcohol. Previous research by our group shows that honey bees and humans exhibit similar behaviors while intoxicated: poor locomotor coordination, aggression, blood alcohol content time course, poor decision-making, and disrupted communication. Both the honey bee and human genomes have been sequenced, allowing us to investigate how gene expression changes macronutrient pathways in the bee brain during ethanol intoxication. In comparison, similar studies in humans would be unethical. This research has been sponsored by a Bloomsburg University Research and Scholarship Grant and has been submitted to the journal of Insects for possible publication.
Dr. John Hranitz and Dr. Charles Abramson (Oklahoma State University)
Factors Influencing Bird to Window Collisions on Bloomsburg University Campus
Martina Drew, Biological and Allied Health Sciences
My research project is to identify factors that may influence bird -window collisions on the Bloomsburg University campus. This project is part of an international collaboration with the Ecological Research as Education Network, and will also bring awareness of bird conservation needs to Bloomsburg University so that it can become a more bird friendly campus. This research was sponsored by an Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (URSCA) Grant.
Dr. Amber Pitt and Dr. Clay Corbin
The Historic Distribution of the Eastern Hellbender Salamander (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) in the Susquehanna Drainage of Pennsylvania
Sean Hartzell, Biological and Allied Health Sciences
The Eastern Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) is a large aquatic salamander which is imperiled due to a variety of anthropogenic factors. We compiled records of hellbenders within the greater Susquehanna River drainage in Pennsylvania in order to map out their historic range in Pennsylvania. This will provide a basis to compare current and future assessments of hellbender populations in the Susquehanna River drainage of Pennsylvania. This research was sponsored by a Bloomsburg University Research and Scholarship Grant.
Dr. Amber Pitt
Differential Methylation of GNG7 in Normal B6 Mouse Tissues
Jeffrey Dailey and Ali Hussain, Biological and Allied Health Sciences
Down regulation of GNG7 in humans has been observed in cancers including pancreatic, gastrointestinal, esophageal and head and neck tumors, however, epigenetic regulation of GNG7 has not been studied in normal mouse tissues to determine the role of methylation on its expression. This study explores the possibility that methylation in normal tissues has a tissue specific effect on expression. This research was sponsored by a Bloomsburg University Faculty Research and Scholarship Grant, and an Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (URSCA) Grant. This research was presented at the 17th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland in Baltimore on October 18, 2014 and won Second Place.
Dr. William Schwindinger
Effects of Temperature on the Levels of Heat Shock Protein 70 in Black Worms (Lumbriculus varriegatus)
Jacob Morton and Blake Shoemaker, Biological and Allied Health Sciences
This study investigates the cellular responses of black worms to heat stress. Black worms are an integral part of aquatic food chains and are useful as a bio indicator to assess the health of aquatic ecosystems. This research was sponsored by Cherokee Pharmaceuticals, a Bloomsburg University Collaborative Research Grant, and a Bloomsburg University Special Initiatives Grant. This research will be presented at the Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Biologists (CPUB) Meeting in Spring 2015.
Dr. John Hranitz and Dr. Cynthia Surmacz
Relative Population Density and Behavioral Time Budgets of Seaside Dragonlets (Erythodiplax Berenice) in Impaired and Intact Salt Marsh Habitats
Alan Newnham, Biological and Allied Health Sciences
Seaside dragonlets are a common and conspicuous species of salt marsh habitats of the east coast. The data collected found the same numbers of individuals per area in degraded and intact habitats. However, those in the degraded habitats are quiescent. Degraded habitats may serve as an ecological sink. This research was sponsored by the Chincoteague Bay Field Station in Wallops Island, Virginia.
Dr. Clay Corbin
A Profile of Metal Bioaccumulation in Selected Invertebrates From the Eastern and Western Shores of the Susquehanna River Near Hummel’s Wharf, Pennsylvania
Amanda Pritzlaff, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Patterns of metal accumulation within the tissues of invertebrates, which were collected from sites along a transect of the nearby Susquehanna River, were examined. River and environmental enthusiasts are especially suggested to come to this talk, as the bioaccumulation of metals within tissues can give us a long-term idea of the presence of these toxic substances in the environment. This research was sponsored by the Degenstein Foundation and an Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (URSCA) Grant. This research will be presented at the 249th American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting in Denver, Colorado in Spring 2015.
Dr. Christopher Hallen and Dr. Cynthia Venn
Water Quality Analysis of Fishing Creek; Has Fracking Impacted Bloomsburg’s Water Supply?
Christopher Rosengrant, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Hydraulic fracturing has been known to release some unwanted materials into local water supplies. This study is meant to compare the current water quality of Little Fishing Creek to a previous study to see if the recent opening of a fracking pad has caused any long term differences for the drinking water in Bloomsburg. This research was sponsored by the Degenstein Foundation, and has been presented at the Susquehanna Undergraduate Research Symposium and the 9th Annual Susquehanna River Symposium.
Dr. Christopher Hallen
IRBManager Online Tutorial: How to Answer Questions Asked in the IRBManager
Hanna Jarsocrak, Ramesh Muthukumarana, Jordan Orzolek and Ryan Zimmerman
The IRB process is something that many students and faculty will experience during their time at Bloomsburg University. Our new tutorial was designed to help guide students and faculty through this new online process.
Dr. Timothy Phillips
Spectral Analysis of Cytochrome c, a Precursor in the Biochemical Pathway for Apoptosis
Kirk Jeffreys, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Cytochrome c plays a crucial role in the initiation of apoptosis. Apoptosis is activated by the release of cytochrome c from the inner mitochondrial membrane to the cytosol. Spectral analyses were used to characterize and examine cytochrome c localization under different cellular stressors. This research was sponsored by the Department of Biological and Allied Health Sciences at Bloomsburg University.
Dr. Michael Borland
A Pincer Supported Iron Compound for the Catalytic Dehydrogenation of Methanol
Jocelyn Legere, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Due to the unsustainable consumption of fossil fuels scientists are trying to find an alternate energy source. One source that can be taken advantage of is hydrogen due to the clean hydrogen combustion in a fuel cell, however, hydrogen is difficult to store and transport. Recently, a pincer-supported iron compound, in combination with a Lewis acid co-catalyst, has been shown to dehydrogenate organic liquids with very high turnover numbers. This research was presented at the National Leadership Alliance Symposium in Fall 2014.
Dr. Eric Hawrelak
A Quantitative Study of Incoming Poly-Alcohol and Isocyanate Samples Using Auto-Titration
Franklin Rodemer, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Isocyanate and polu-alcohol are two common reactants in the production of polyurethane foam having several applications in the auto industry. This summer study focused on these incoming raw materials from a quantitative standpoint via programmable auto-titration. This research was sponsored by Autoneum North America, Inc., and was presented to Autoneum in Fall 2014.
Dr. Mark Tapsak
Microsatellite DNA Analysis of Pacific Bluefin and Yellowfin Tuna
Shana Wagner, Chemistry and Biochemistry
This research will contribute to the existing knowledge of genetic differentiation not only between Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus) and Western Pacific Yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) populations but also more geographically localized populations. Knowledge of population genetics is essential for the long-term, sustainable management of these important food species. This research was presented at the Susquehanna Valley Undergraduate Research Symposium on August 5, 2014, and will also be presented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting and Exposition in Spring 2015. This research was sponsored by the Bloomsburg University Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and an Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (URSCA) Grant.
Dr. Michael Pugh
A Guy, a Beer, and a Dream: Utilizing Geographic Information Systems to Design Distribution Routes for Rusty Rail Brewing Company
Gessica Barry, Environmental, Geographical and Geological Sciences
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software is designed to be used by anyone to solve geographic problems. For example, in this project the class analyzed factors such as product wait, driving time, and wait time to model optimized delivery routes for a local business, the Rusty Rail Brewing Company.
Dr. Jeffrey Brunskill
A Geographical and Sociological Study of Parking Patterns in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
Anthony DiBiase, Environmental, Geographical and Geological Sciences
Some people feel that there is not enough parking in the downtown area in Bloomsburg. The goal of this study is to find out if existing parking is being used effectively and if additional parking is needed. This research was sponsored by the Bloomsburg University Foundation, and has been presented at the Pennsylvania GIS Conference in Spring 2014 as well as the Pennsylvania Geographical Society (PGS) Annual Meeting in Fall 2014 where it won the undergraduate paper completion.
Dr. Jeffrey Brunskill
Assessment of Changes in a Salt Marsh Near Wallops Island, Virginia, Following Hurricane Sandy and Irene
Matthew Mattesini, Environmental, Geographical and Geological Sciences
I am investigating whether shifts in salt marsh vegetation can be detected and quantified using satellite imagery and GIS. If so, this may provide an important tool to detect effects of both coastal storms and sea-level rise. This research was presented at the Atlantic Estuarine Research Society Meeting at Stockton College, New Jersey on October 31, 2014.
This research was sponsored by an Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (URSCA) Grant, and a Margin of Excellence Grant to Drs. Cynthia Venn and Jennifer Whisner. Dr. Michael Shepard, Dr. Cynthia Venn, and Dr. Jennifer Whisner
Exploration of the Subsurface Through Ground Penetrating Radar at Baptist Cemetery, Berwick, Pennsylvania
Aaron Pysher, Environmental, Geographical and Geological Sciences
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) uses the physical properties of electromagnetic waves and the ground to see under the subsurface without harming the ground. Using GPR is essential to exploring the subsurface for buried materials and finding things without disturbing the ground.
Dr. Michael Shepard
The Validation of Multi-Frequency Bioimpedance Analyzers for the Assessment of Body Composition in Adults
Kayla McHale, Exercise Science
Understanding body composition: It’s more than just weight. This research was sponsored by an Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (URSCA) Grant and was presented at the 62nd Annual American College of Sports Medicine National Conference in Spring 2015.
Dr. Joseph Andreacci
Quad Graphic-Point Kiazen Events
Melissa Miller, Amanda Davis and Nam Dang, Instructional Technology
Exploring and understanding adult learning. How technology can elevate the learning experience.
Dr. Timothy Phillips
Difference Equations and the Class of Periodic Left Nested Radicals
Devyn Lesher, Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics
Since the time of the ancient Greeks, mathematicians have been fascinated with nested radicals. I will provide a variety of examples of left and right nested radicals as we present a brief history of this topic and illustrate its connection to difference equations. I will also provide the formal definition of a left and a right nested radical as I present several new results about the class of periodic left nested radicals. This research was sponsored by an Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (URSCA) Grant. This research has been presented at the American Mathematical Society (AMS) Meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina and at Bloomsburg University as a Mathematics and Computer Science Seminar this Fall. -- Research Paper
Dr. Chris Lynd
Arduino Liquid Volume Sensor
Sadan Mallhi, Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics
The goal is to create an automated liquid volume sensor. This sensor could be calibrated to any linear water container to show the current volume inside the container. Applications would consist of automated greenhouse setups, water reservoir tanks, petroleum filtration tanks, brewery’s, etc. This research has been sponsored by Bloomsburg University.
Dr. Samuel Gross
Identification of Values Associated with Excellence, Ethics, and Engagement in an Outpatient Hospital Work Environment
Caroline Toomey, Nursing
The purpose of this study was to understand staff members’ perceptions of their work in the Department of Urology at Geisinger Medical Center in terms of the essentials of Good Work, which include excellence, ethics, and engagement. Methods used in this study can be applied to studies in other professional settings by highlighting the potential of using the Appreciative Inquiry framework to identify values associated with excellence, ethics, and engagement in an individual’s work. This research was sponsored by the Bloomsburg University Honors Program and was presented at the Geisinger Nursing Research Conference, and the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference in Fall 2014.
Dr. Joan Miller
Music-based Interventions to Improve Behavior in Students
Abigail Brown, Nursing
This project investigates the concept of using music as a means to improve focus and behavior in classrooms. The use of music in this regard has the potential to benefit both teachers during their instruction and students of any age seeking to better self-regulate.
Dr. Mindi Miller
Construction of Zeeman Slower and Ultra High Vacuum System
Nicholas Hitcho and Joshua Halbfoerster, Physics and Engineering Technology
Laser cooling and trapping involves slowing down atoms to sub microkelvin temperatures using a counter-propagating laser beam, and trapping a cloud of atoms in a magneto optical trap. Future experiments in this lab will have applications in atomic clocks, quantum computing, and general physical understanding of quantum mechanical systems. This research was sponsored by an Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (URSCA) Grant. This research was presented at the Susquehanna Valley Undergraduate Research Symposium in Summer 2014, and at the American Physical Society Mid-Atlantic Conference at Penn State University, Pennsylvania in Fall 2014.
Dr. John Huckans
Tuning and Locking of a Diode Laser for a Magneto-Optical Trap
Rachel Livingston and Matthew Gift, Physics and Engineering Technology
Laser cooling is a frontier field of study in atomic physics which allows us to explore the quantum mechanical properties of atoms once they have been cooled to microkelvin temperatures. Our UltraColdBloom team has taken a ground-up approach to the construction of a functioning magneto-optical cloud within a vacuum system. The process of tuning and locking the diode lasers used for this experiment is one of endless opportunities this project provides for physics and engineering students to exercise their knowledge in optical, quantum, and atomic physics. This research was sponsored by an Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (URSCA) Grant. This research was presented at the Susquehanna Valley Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Summer 2014, and at the American Physical Society Mid-Atlantic Conference at Penn State University, Pennsylvania in Fall 2014.
Dr. Ju Xin and Dr. John Huckans
Working Toward a Kepler Pipeline
Michael Torch, Collin Shoop and Andrew Stacy, Physics and Engineering Technology
Analyzing data sets a common problem. In Kepler 1, NASA preprocessed data used by the Kepler Aster seismic Consortium (KASC) which studies variable stars in support of Kepler’s primary mission to find earth-like planets around other starts. In Kepler 2, funding for the preprocessing is no longer there. The KASC community is developing its own pipeline. We are working on our own unique contribution.
Dr. Nada Jevtic