Science Newsletter

April 23 , 2007
Please direct all questions and comments to:
stippel@muskingum.edu
© 1999 Muskingum College.
All rights reserved. Disclaimer
Science Quotes
of the Week




No one should approach the temple of science with the soul of a money changer. 

Thomas Browne











Great scientific discoveries have been made by men seeking to verify quite erroneous theories about the nature of things.

Aldous Huxley, "Wordsworth in the Tropics"














Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind. 

Marston Bates









In this issue:

  • UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH AND SCHOLARSHIP WEEK
  • UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH AND SCHOLOARSHIP WEEK AWARD WINNERS
  • TEMPORARY JOB OPENINGS AT GEORGETOWN VINEYARDS
  • FBI RESEARCH LAB SEEKS VISITING SCIENTISTS IN STABLE ISOTOPE FORENSICS

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UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH AND SCHOLARSHIP WEEK

The Muskingum College Science Division and Psychology Department hosted its annual Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Week from Monday, April 16, through Friday, April 20, with a variety of lectures, activities, and demonstrations on campus.

The James Bradford Senior Colloquium took place on Monday, April 16, at 7 p.m. in room 336 and 343 of the Boyd Science Center, with a presentation of senior research by students from the Science Division and Psychology Department.

The Faculty Fine Arts Series at the College presented Gail Laux, executive director of the Ohio Bird Sanctuary, on Wednesday, April 18 at 3 p.m. Laux conducted a demonstration in the John Glenn gym with three birds of prey and lecture on the importance of preservation.

The Dr. Homer A. Anderson Lecture was held on Thursday, April 19, at 6:30 p.m. in 343 of Boyd Science Center. This year's lecture was delivered by Professor of Biology, Dr. Danny Ingold, the inaugural recipient of the Homer Anderson Distinguished Professorship of the Natural Sciences. His presentation, titled "Restoration Ecology at The Wilds: Unique Opportunities for Student/Faculty Research," chronicled his many years of work at The Wilds.

The Undergraduate Research Poster Session was held on Thursday, April 19, from 8 to 9 p.m. in the lobby of Boyd Science Center, and displayed presentations of research by students and faculty from the Science Division and Psychology Department. Students and faculty were present for questions.

To view abstracts from the Poster Session, please go to http://www.muskingum.edu/dept/science/downloads/Program20072.doc

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UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH AND SCHOLARSHIP WEEK AWARD WINNERS

2007 James Bradford Colloquium Award Recipients

Awards are determined by faculty evaluation and are funded through the
The Carolyn and Glenn Hodges Student Research Awards Fund.

The James Bradford Colloquium is a presentation of senior research from the biology, chemistry, geology, physics, mathematics, computer science, & psychology departments as well as interdisciplinary programs in molecular biology, environmental science, neuroscience, and conservation science.

1st  Place:
Lopa Paul, Department of Chemistry

Preparation and Behavioral Evaluation of Novel Analogues of Methylphenidate Hydrochloride”

The study explored methods to synthesize analogues of methylphenidate hydrochloride (Ritalin), a mild central nervous system stimulant, used in the treatment of >attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The objective is to determine how the structural modifications of the drug will affect its binding affinity to the receptor site, dopamine transporter (DAT), and thereby affect behavioral expressions.

2rd Place
Margot Kossmann, Neuroscience Program

Causal Relationships Between Serotonin and Eating Behavior in Rats: Implications in Eating Disorders

Along with genetic vulnerability, serotonin imbalances are likely responsible for the symptoms of anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. Animal models were developed to support this theory.  Serotonin levels were found to correlate negatively with food consumption, suggesting that increased serotonin and serotonin turnover could be responsible for the symptoms of anorexia.

3nd Place:
Jason Esselburn, Department of Geology

Ostracodes As Indicators of Hydrochemistry At a Reclaimed Surface Mine, The Wilds, Southeastern Ohio

Since 2005, an ongoing survey of the ostracode species in certain lakes and streams at The Wilds has indicated a trend with respect to water quality (specifically solute composition, pH, and total dissolved solids).  This study investigates both the ostracodes’ hydrochemical preferences and the trends in surface water quality as a result of the sequential reclamation of the surface mine that is now The Wilds.

 

2007 Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Week
Poster Session Award Winners

Awards are determined by faculty evaluation and are funded through the
The Carolyn and Glenn Hodges Student Research Awards Fund.

1st  Place:
Eliza Porter, Department of Biology

DETERMINATION OF PARELAPHOSTRONGYLUS TENUIS INFECTION AT THE WILDS BY DNA ANALYSIS

The meningeal worm Parelaphostrongylus tenuis can cause severe symptoms and death in many species of exotic ungulates.  In this experiment, fecal samples were collected from ungulates at the Wilds and analyzed for P. tenuis larvae using the Baermann technique.  Proper detection of carriers will be an important step in preventing parasite transmission to ungulates.

2rd Place
Jessica Shipe, Department of Psychology

MOTIVATIONAL INFLUENCES ON MOTOR LEARNING IN CHILDREN

Research has shown that children and adults alike use many different types of motivational processes to work through tasks.  The goal of the this research was to define different types of motivation and recognize these types of motivation in children within an experimental setting.  Results of such work could be used to understand which motivators are prevalent in children and which could be increased to help a child become more devoted to his or her tasks.

3nd Place:
Adam Cirone, Department of Biology

THE IMPACT OF VEGETATION STRUCTURE AND COMPOSITION ON GRASSLAND BIRD SPECIES DENSITY ON A RECLAIMED STRIP-MINE IN SOUTHEASTERN OHIO

Reclaimed strip-mines have been shown to provide suitable nesting habitat for a variety of grassland bird species.  The extent to which grasslands dominated by exotic grass species benefit grassland birds versus native grasslands as well as exotic grasslands encroached upon by exotic woody species is still in question.  Data from this research suggests that grassland plots lacking woody encroachment, whether dominated by exotic or native grass species, were beneficial to nesting grassland birds, while plots with woody encroachment were less attractive.

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TEMPORARY JOB OPENINGS AT GEORGETOWN VINEYARDS

There is an immediate need from Georgtown Vineyards for some people to work for a couple of weeks. They are bottling wine and need people to assist that are able to handle 50-pound wine cases during the work period. If you have an interest, contact Dr. Ray Rataiczak for further information. The contact must be made in person and not only by email.

Email: ray@muskingum.edu (to make initial contact)
Phone: 8236 (to make initial contact)
Office: Room 336, Boyd Science Center

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FBI RESEARCH LAB SEEKS VISITING SCIENTISTS IN STABLE ISOTOPE FORENSICS

REQUIREMENTS: Applicants should be U.S. citizens and be able to pass a full background investigation. (Non-US citizens will not granted clearances and thus will be more limited in what they can do in this position). Applicants should be current students or the recipient of a recent degree. Experience with forensics is unnecessary, but hands-on experience with IRMS is highly desirable.

WHAT THIS IS AND HOW TO APPLY:
There are opportunities for appointments of up to 3 years duration (awarded in one year increments) at the research unit of the FBI Lab in Quantico, Virginia. Appointments are sponsored through the ORISE program through which applications should be submitted. There is no official deadline for application, but we are seeking new candidates at the moment. I strongly suggest contacting me before submitting your application (see contact information below). I will be able to provide you with additional information about the nature of this position.

Please see these web sites for information about how to apply:
http://see.orau.org/

http://see.orau.org/ProgramDescription.aspx?Program=10063

http://www.fbijobs.gov/242.asp

We are seeking both post-doctoral researchers and people with BS or MS degrees. Compensation for post-doctoral fellows is EXCELLENT. But compensation for those with a BS is meager given the local cost of living.

The application process is very time consuming, because even after selection, applicants must undergo a background investigation. So applicants are encouraged to apply months in advance of your planned start date.

FACILITIES: The FBI lab has 2 modern stable isotope mass spectrometers with several peripherals (EA’s TCEA, multiflow, GC-C). Access to supporting analytical equipment in the research lab is superb (LC-MS, GC-MS of several varieties, FTIR, Ramen, ICP-MS, micro-XRF). The opportunity to use a range of state-of-the-art analytical equipment is one of best features of this program.

RESEARCH PROJECTS
Potential research is aimed at forensic and counterterrorism applications, but is broad in scope. To goal is to conduct research on applications of stable isotopes to support the FBI’s case working lab. Potential projects include, but are not limited to, the study of microorganisms, explosives, and industrially manufactured materials. Please contact me for more details.

Feel free to contact me (Libby Stern) for further information at (703)632-4625 or (703)928-0278 or LAStern@FBIAcademy.edu

Libby Stern, Staff member of the FBI Laboratory - Counterterrorism & Forensic Science Research Unit