Mindexpo Abstracts 2015

Proposal Title: ESTABLISHING ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA ROOTS AS A BIOTIC MODEL TO IMPROVE UNDERSTANDING OF PSEUDOMONAS AERUGINOSA BIOFILM CHARACTERISTICS
Author: Taylor Ziegler
Additional Authors: Tessa Durham Brooks
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Tessa Durham Brooks
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Bacterial biofilms are attached, complex, microbial communities that are still not understood as well as their planktonic counterparts. Biofilms cost economies billions of dollars around the world each year and can cause severe infections in plants and animals, such as soft rot in plants or respiratory infections commonly seen in cystic fibrosis patients. These infections arise, in part, because of their tenacious adhesion to substrates and increased resistance to chemical agents compared to planktonic cells. In order to better understand biofilm interactions on biotic surfaces, a system of growing Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms on Arabidopsis thaliana roots on agar surfaces was developed. Biofilm growth was imaged using phase contrast microscopy and quantified utilizing basic image analysis techniques. Initial results suggest P. aeruginosa colonizes the roots within several days, developing into a stable, persistent biofilm. P. aeruginosa did not appear to have apparent pathogenic effects on A. thaliana at the seedling stage. A potential application of this model system will be to determine the effects of candidate antibiofilm agents and components of root exudates on biofilm growth and formation.
 
Proposal Title: AQUATIC PLANTS AND THEIR EFFECTS ON ACIDIFIED ENVIRONMENTS
Author: Riley Miller
Additional Authors: Ramesh Laungani
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Ramesh Laungani
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: Ocean acidification is a growing global issue that affects marine calcifies and stems from increased atmospheric CO2 levels. This project tested the ability of duckweed to effectively combat ocean acidification in an elevated CO2 environment by sequestering carbon in its biomass through photosynthesis. Through a newly constructed apparatus, this hypothesis was tested in a closed, manageable system where pH of the environmental water was measured before and after treatment. There was no significant difference in pH found between environments with and without duckweed. This result may be skewed through systematic error of 5,000+ ppm CO2 in the system, but may be a more viable project with more realistic CO2 levels.
 
Proposal Title: UNDERSTANDING PLASTICITY OF ROOT GRAVITROPISM IN ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA USING RNA-SEQ
Author: Ty Anderson
Additional Authors: Sean Johnson
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Tessa Durham Brooks
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Gravitropism is a crucial process in early seedling development in which plant organs orient and establish themselves within their environment. Previous studies have characterized the genes necessary for the early stages of the root gravitropic response, but little research has focused on later time points in this process. A previous study by Brooks et al. found that the root gravitropic response is remarkably plastic and that the majority of this plasticity occurs later in the response. These data along with another related study have led to the hypothesis that there are one or more pathways that must be activated in the later phase of the root gravitropic response. Thus, we believe there is good reason to perform a transcriptome study to characterize genes that are correlated with the response plasticity.  To achieve this aim, we collected Arabidopsis thaliana (wild-type) root tissue from six discreet conditions defined by seedling age (2 or 3 days) and seed size (212 - 250 m or 300 - 355 m) at two time points during the response. Samples were collected from each condition at their corresponding time point for RNA extraction. The RNA was then used to conduct RNA-Seq analysis to identify genes that are differentially expressed in each conditions and over time. Using these data, plasticity in known signaling elements of root gravitropism can be determined and new genes specifically active and plastic in their expression during the second phase of the response can be identified.
 
 
Proposal Title: THE EFFECTS OF NITROGEN RUNOFF ON OCEAN ACIDIFICATION
Author: Corinne Fuoco
Additional Authors: Ramesh Laungani
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Ramesh Laungani
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: As CO2 levels in the atmosphere are increasing from human burning of fossil fuels, ocean acidification is becoming a more pressing issue, effecting the ocean in multiple ways.  Additionally nutrient runoff is impacting functioning of aquatic systems.  This study looked at the combined effects of runoff nutrients and duckweed to test whether plants can sequester carbon dioxide in biomass thus reducing aquatic acidification. A system was constructed to simulate an aquatic environment under elevated CO2. Measurements of water pH and plant growth were recorded before and after the experiment was run. A smaller change in the pH of the water was ideal, meaning that the plants were up taking more of the CO2 and storing it in their biomass thus, slowing aquatic acidification. Nitrogen was the only nutrient that kept the water significantly less acidic than the other fertilizer treatments. This suggests that even though most aquatic environments are phosphorus limited, in the presence of excess nutrients, nitrogen can be a limiting nutrient and allow plants to slow ocean acidification.
 
Proposal Title: THE EFFECT OF CATTLE GRAZING AND INCREASED PRECIPITATION ON ABOVEGROUND PRODUCTIVITY IN A RAINFED PASTURE IN SOUTHWEST NEBRASKA
Author: Sydney Johnson
Additional Authors: Ramesh Laungani
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Ramesh Laungani
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Grazing pressures have resulted in both positive and negative changes for grassland community structure and functioning. As climate changes there are predicted changes in precipitation patterns that may cause alterations in rainfall amount and frequency. This study aims to examine which factor; grazing or additional precipitation has a greater impact on aboveground plant productivity. It remains unclear whether grazing or variant rainfall has a greater impact on plant productivity. It was hypothesized that grazing would have a greater impact on aboveground plant productivity while additional precipitation would not have as significant of an effect. We examined the impact of cattle grazing and increased precipitation on aboveground productivity in a rainfed pasture in southwest Nebraska. In order to see the impact of these two factors and whether they interacted we established plots open to grazing and plots fenced off from grazing, within those plots, elevated precipitation was added or not added. We found a significant interaction between grazing and watering, which led to finding a significant effect of grazing on watered plots. These findings give support as to why grazing has a greater impact on plant productivity. Grazing may then be regulated to increase plant productivity even with changing climate patterns.
 
Proposal Title: DHA SUPPLEMENTING DOES NOT SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE MALE RAT MEMORY
Author: Casarah Schutt
Additional Authors: Ramesh Laungani
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Ramesh Laungani
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Memory plays a vital role in the lives of all living organisms.  Memory provides the ability to recall experiences and learn from them.  Since memory is so important in organisms’ lives it can be detrimental when one suffers from memory loss.  This experiment was performed to examine the potential of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to improve laboratory rat memory.  Twelve rats were divided into two groups of six: control (no DHA) and DHA.  After four weeks of receiving the appropriate diet, a 2-object novel object recognition test was performed to measure the rats’ memory.  We compared the time spent exploring and comfort near the familiar object between the two groups after a 30 minutes and 24 hours retention time.  There were no significant differences found between the exploration or comfort times with either retention time.  This suggests that DHA did not have an affect on the rats’ memory in this study.
 
Proposal Title: A FIRST LOOK INTO NUTRIENT COMPOSITION OF FISHING SPIDER, DOLOMEDES TENEBROSUS USING 1-H NMR SPECTROSCOPY
Author: Lindsay Wilson
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Mark Wilson
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: Sexual cannibalism is not a new topic in behavioral biology. While rare across all taxa, it is common among many families of spiders and insects. Female sexual cannibalism occurs when a female consumes her mate before, during, or after copulation, benefiting the female with easy-to-capture nutrition while benefiting the male by increasing the chance of passing on his genes. One species of fishing spider, Dolomedes tenebrosus, benefits from this behavior in novel ways: not only do D. tenebrosus offspring have a higher chance of survival, they tend to be larger and more abundant when a female has eaten her mate post-copulation. Additionally, male D. tenebrosus spontaneously die after mating, sacrificing themselves to assist the female. These findings warrant the question: does something within the self-sacrificed male’s body increase fecundity and offspring size? Through using 1H-NMR spectroscopy, in this study we aim to identify metabolites of interest in male D. tenebrosus bodies to address this question. Preliminary results of this investigation will be discussed along with the next steps in the study.
 
Proposal Title: LITTER AMENDMENTS MAY IMPACT FLORAL TRAITS IN MIMULUS GUTTATUS
Author: Tyler Kuhfahl
Additional Authors: Ramesh Laungani
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Ramesh Laungani
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Plant litter has been seen to negatively impact growth in terrestrial plants.  It is unknown however, what impact litter has on floral traits.  If floral traits are negatively impacted, then the reproductive success in flowering plants could potentially be harmed by litter feedbacks.  Mimulus guttatus is a flowering plant that is native to grassland and wetland ecosystems in North America.  It is a widely studied flower in genetics due to the various floral traits that it displays, making it a viable plant to investigate litter feedbacks on floral traits.  To explore this question, we set up 40 pots of soil, 30 of which were treated with various plant litter types.  In each pot of soil, 10 M. guttatus seeds were planted and the growth and floral characteristics were observed and recorded daily.  We found that litter amendments had an impact on plant biomass, although whether it was negative or positive could not be determined.  Plant litter had a positive impact on flower count and on the height or “openness” of the flower.  The results could suggest that floral traits respond to plant litter.  This response could indicate a stress response, in which the plant attempts to generate more flowers with more open petals to expose pollen and increase reproductive success.
 
Proposal Title: COMPETITION BETWEEN B. INERMUS AND J. VIRGINIANA
Author: Colin Lauenroth
Additional Authors: Ramesh Laungani
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Ramesh Laungani
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Native grasslands are in danger of being controlled by invasive species. One of these species is Bromus inermus (smooth brome grass) which is an aggressive species of perennial grass. The other species is Juniperus virginiana (eastern red cedar tree) which has the potential to convert grasslands to a cedar forest in less than 40 years. The goal of this study was to determine how these two invasive species compete against each other for resources. J. virginiana was planted in established communities of B. inermus of low and high density. We found that there was a significant difference in the biomass of J. virginiana that grew in the high density B. inermus community as compared to the J. virginiana that grew in the low density B. inermus community. The lower density B. inermus communities produced J. virginiana with statistically greater biomasses. This result indicated that the density did have an effect on the competition between these species.  In order to test the below ground competition, half of the pots had the B.inermus leaves pulled back, so that the plants were only competing for below ground resources. We found that the total biomass of the J.virginiana was not significantly different in the pulled back pots as compared to non-pulled back pots indicating that the level of competition for above ground resources is not as high as the competition for below ground resources.
 
Proposal Title: DNA ISOLATION AND PROTEIN PURIFICATION OF THE CHCH DOMAIN OF THE NOVEL MITOCHONDRIAL PROTEIN CHCHD3
Author: Megan Perry
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Sharmin Sikich
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: ChChd3 is a novel protein potentially involved in reduction-oxidation pathways in the mitochondria. The protein consists of two domains: first, a larger domain of unknown function, and second, the focus of this research, a smaller coiled coil-helix coiled coil-helix (ChCh) domain, without which the protein will not localize to the mitochondria. The goal of this project was to isolate the ChCh domain DNA sequence from the pCMV vector and ligate it into the pGEX vector for eventual bacterial translation and purification of the protein via Glutathione S-transferase (GST) purification. Using custom primer design and PCR, the ChCh DNA fragment was isolated from pCMV and ligated into digested pGEX vector. E. Coli DH5⍺ cells were transformed with the ligated DNA for DNA purification and sent to GeneWiz (www.genewiz.com) for sequencing. The sequencing confirmed the presence of the ChCh domain in pGex, and the DNA was subsequently used to transform E. coli BL21-DE3 cells for protein expression and purification via GST protein purification. The purified protein is present in a concentration of .49 mg/ml, and is to be used in ongoing research in regards to metal binding and disulfide bond cleavage using circular dichroism.
 
Proposal Title: EFFECTS OF RESVERATROL ON HS578T HUMAN BREAST CANCER CELLS
Author: Zach Gokie
Additional Authors:  Kate Marley and Sharmin Sikich
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Sharmin Sikich
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Resveratrol is a natural compound found in red wine and a selection of plants and has recently received a lot of attention for its anti-carcinogenic effects. There have been many experiments conducted recently showing that the number of tumor cells significantly decline in vitro and in vivo and apoptosis is induced when cells are treated with resveratrol. In this study, we used human Hs578t breast cancer cells cultured in vitro to test the anti-cancer effects of resveratrol against tumorspheres formed by grouping of Hs578t breast cancer cells. Another goal of the experiment was to determine whether the breast cancer cells were dying due to the induction of apoptosis by resveratrol or by some other cause. Through three tumorsphere assays we tested the efficiency of resveratrol to decrease the number of tumorspheres in vitro at different concentrations and whether induction of apoptosis was present in a time-dependent manner. Experimentation using Caspase-Glo 3/7 (www.promega.com) was attempted in order to determine whether the cells were undergoing apoptosis. Concentrations of resveratrol varied from 0.045 mM, 0.09 mM, 0.18 mM, 0.36 mM, 0.72 mM and 1.45 mM of a 10 mM resveratrol stock suspended in ethanol. Results showed an obvious decrease in tumorsphere progression and number after 0.18 mM of added resveratrol. Statistical analysis to determine if these numbers are significant is upcoming.
 
Proposal Title: GENE EXPRESSION CHANGES IN BIOFILM DEVELOPMENT AND QUORUM SENSING INHIBITION
Author: Cole Morgan
Additional Authors: Tanner Clark
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Erin Doyle
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: Quorum sensing (QS) is a phenomenon that permits bacteria to chemically communicate with one another. QS enables cells to regulate many functions including biofilm formation, production of virulence factors, and adhesive proteins. A desirable goal is to develop a method by which QS of the pathogen would be inhibited without harm to the multicellular host, allowing the host immune system the opportunity to control the pathogen. Past research has shown garlic processed with rat liver enzyme to inhibit QS in Chromobacterium violaceum. It has been reported that aged garlic is a quorum sensing inhibitor in Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) and can contribute to clearing of PA pulmonary infections. The goal of this experiment is to compare the transcriptome between planktonic and biofilm cultures of PA in the presence or absence of a known quorum sensing inhibitor, aged garlic extract (AGE). Changes in gene expression in planktonic or biofilm cultures of PA in the presence or absence of garlic will be reported as detected by microarray analysis.
 
Proposal Title: PROGRAM DEVELOPED IN PROCESSING TO REDUCE AMINO ACID ALPHABET
Author: Alex Hamilton
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Sharmin Sikich
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: There are 20 naturally-occurring amino acids which are used as building blocks to make proteins.  Interestingly, proteins that have high degree of variation in amino acid sequence may still yield similarly folded protein structures.  Protein function is ultimately determined by protein structure, therefore it is possible that structures of proteins could be predicted based on the order of the properties of the amino acids, rather than the specific amino acid identity.  Processing, a java-based programming language, was used to write a program that will convert databases of protein sequences to reduced amino acid alphabets of as few as 10 representative residues.  For example, this can be achieved by grouping amino acids with similar physicochemical properties in order to reduce the amino acid residues from 20 down to 10.  The reduced database can be used in combination with BLAST sequence alignment to identify similar proteins based on the reduced amino acid alphabet and compare the results with the original 20-letter alphabet.
 
Proposal Title: CLIMATE CHANGE INDICATORS
Author: Dr. Ramesh Laungani
Additional Authors: Meghan Gaul
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Ramesh Laungani
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Human driven climate change has a major influence on all aspects of our biosphere, from the climate and precipitation to human health.  Understanding the multifaceted nature of climate change requires that the information not only be communicated through graphs and data, but also other forms that may be more accessible to the general public.  The Conservation Biology class and the Graphic Design classes collaborated this fall to create infographics about climate change, its impacts, and more specifically the indicators that are all around us that climate change is occurring due to human activity.  Three infographic posters are presented as an interpretation of data on climate change put out by the EPA.
 
Proposal Title: GENES INVOLVED IN BIOFILM FORMATION ARE REGULATED BY A SPECIFIC FACTOR OR SET OF FACTORS
Author: Nick Chapek
Additional Authors: Erin Doyle
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Erin Doyle
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Although the growth of gene expression analysis has led to increasing understanding of genes involved in biofilm development, the regulation of known biofilm-associated genes has not been well characterized.  In this study, we investigated promoters of Staphylococcus aureus genes known to be involved in biofilm formation to identify potential sigma factor binding sites.  This was accomplished by identifying biofilm-associated genes in the literature and analyzing their promoter sequences for conserved motifs.  Analysis was done using custom Python code to write specific sets of promoter sequences to FASTA formatted files.  Promoters were read into the tool MEME Suite to identify potential conserved sequences.  Results give evidence that identified conserved motifs between the sets of promoter sequences correspond to known sigma factor binding sites, suggesting that the identified biofilm-associated genes are regulated by one or more common sigma factors.
 
Proposal Title: INCREASED SPECIES DIVERSITY OF LARGE INSECTS CAUSED BY HIGHER TEMPERATURES IN THE ALDRICH PRAIRIE RESEARCH SITE
Author: MacKenzie Woodward
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Russ Souchek
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Insects are very crucial to ecosystem functions. Two insects that are very important to prairies like the ones we have in Nebraska are grasshoppers and pollinating insects. These insects play roles in pollination and nutrient cycling in ecosystems and are essential for a healthy environment. Temperatures in the central prairies of Nebraska range from very hot during the summer months and very cold during winter. The Aldrich Prairie Research site lies in this part of Nebraska. To see what kind of effects temperature has on species diversity of the Aldrich Prairie research site, insects were captured every other week and the temperature was recorded on those days. The Shannon Diversity Index was used to find the species diversity of insects. If a higher insect species diversity is found using the Shannon Diversity index, then that higher species diversity was caused by high temperatures in the Aldrich Prairie research site.
 
Proposal Title: MEASURING AMOUNTS OF P. AERUGINOSA BIOFILM ON SHORT-WEAR AND EXTENDED-WEAR CONTACT LENSES AFTER NORMAL PERIODS OF WEAR
Author: Logan Berggren
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Erin Doyle
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: Contact lenses enable a more natural field of view compared to glasses for the wearer and are therefore very popular. Daily lenses are worn for up to 24 hours and then discarded and extended-wear lenses can be worn for roughly 30 days and can be slept in every night. Complications can occur due to the misuse of lenses, improper cleaning, and wearing the lenses longer than the recommended time period. These complications can lead to bacterial growth and bacterial infections. If left untreated, the bacteria growth take the form of a biofilm which is more difficult to treat. We hypothesized that more biofilm will grow on extended-wear contacts than daily-wear contacts after 24 hours, but more colonies will grow on daily-wear contacts after 34 days. To test our hypothesis, we inoculated daily and extended-wear contacts with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and quantified the amount of biofilm growth after 24 hours and 34 days using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The results showed that there was more biofilm growth on extended-wear lenses after 24 hours and more growth on daily-wear lenses after 34 days.
 
Proposal Title: DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROTEIN BARS VS PROTEIN POWDERS TO ENHANCE MUSLCE BUILDING
Author: Whitney Hinn
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Russ Souchek
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Protein supplements have become more popular with today’s athletes or anyone trying to gain muscle. Protein supplements could be used to replace meals, enhance weight gain, promote weight loss or improve athletic performance.  Protein helps support muscle so that the body uses carbohydrates and fats for energy, this helps form a strong and tone body. One kind of protein supplement is muscle gain. Muscle gain is produced by Advocare. Muscle gain is a powder based protein. Another type of protein supplement comes as a bar which is the AdvoBar. The question is which type of protein supplement will have more of an affect if taken by itself. Will a  protein bar have more of an effect on muscle gain  or will a protein powder have more muscle gain. Nine female softball players volunteered for power and strength study. Three females were then assigned to a protein powder.  Another three females were assigned to protein bar. Finally, the last three females were assigned not to take any supplements at all, they were the control group for this study. Each group then performed the same workout plan three days a week for seven weeks. Each participant’s weight, height, BMI, and Body fat percentage were recorded during week one and week seven.
 
Proposal Title: DETERMINING THE EFFECT OF MANGOSTEEN ON RELAXATION
Author: Amber Alvarez
Additional Authors: Ramesh Laungani
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Ramesh Laungani
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Mangosteen is a fruit that is produced in Southeast Asia that has been used for different health benefits such as increasing self-appraisal, treating skin infections, and acting as a preventative agent for metabolic syndrome. In 2004, a company called VEMMA came out with an original product in which mangosteen is a main ingredient. The launch of their energy drink line, Verve, came out a few years later due to the need for a healthy energy drink alternative. Most other energy drinks, including Monster and Red Bull, contain high levels of caffeine, taurine, and artificial sugars and have been related to cases of nausea, chest pains, hypertension, and agitation. The goal of this study was to determine if mangosteen powder would act as a relaxing agent. This was done with the use of 12 lab rats and a pull-up test that determines muscle relaxation. Six control rats were fed one milliliter of soymilk for eight days while seven rats were fed a one milliliter of solution with soymilk and 0.07392 grams of mangosteen powder for eight days. The rat pull-up test was performed and timed 20 minutes, 40 minutes, 60 minutes, and 24 hours after the ingestion of either solution for eight days. The data collected would then be analyzed to determine if mangosteen caused relaxation in the rats and if other factors such as time after ingestion and metabolic rate would affect the results.
 
Proposal Title: EFFECTS OF (-)-EPICATECHIN ON HS578T BREAST CANCER TUMORSPHERE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
Author: Lisa Poppe
Additional Authors: Kate Marley
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Kate Marley
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: Several dietary compounds, such as epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG) in green tea and resveratrol in red wine, have demonstrated chemopreventive effects, or the ability to prevent or slow the development of cancer.  This study sought to investigate the effects of (-)-epicatechin, a major component of cocoa with a structure similar to that of EGCG, on the growth and development of Hs578t breast cell tumorspheres. Tumorsphere assays isolate the treatment to cancer stem cells, which are the main targets for chemopreventive agents. While no significant difference was seen in the number of tumorspheres able to grow under epicatechin treatment compared to controls, morphological changes were observed. Treated tumorspheres appeared smaller in size, more irregular in shape, and less cohesive. 
 
Proposal Title: SURVIVAL OF PINUS BANKSIANA AFTER EXPOSURE OF ROOTS TO CINNAMIC ACID
Author: Sheldon Garcia
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Brad Elder
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Climate change due to increasing atmospheric carbon levels has been a problem for many years and is yet to be solved. Trees are known to sequester large amounts of carbon in their wood, which contains three general components: cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Lignin is composed of the most carbon out of the three, which makes degradation more difficult for decomposers and slows carbon from releasing back into the atmosphere. Cinnamic acid (CA) is an autotoxin naturally released into the soil from roots of certain plants or from the leaching of certain leaves. This chemical has been observed to increase lignin content in certain plants, but has never been tested on trees. Trees were used as the subject due to the large quantities of lignin they are capable of containing compared to other types of plants. 
Jack Pine trees (Pinus banksiana) were used for the reason that the pine species tend to prefer more acidic soil, providing a greater chance of survival. Trees received either a root or needle treatment of cinnamic acid. Treatment concentrations included 0.0 mM CA (control), 0.1mM CA, 0.2 mM CA, 0.3 mM CA. Cross sections were taken from the main stem of each tree and stained to microscopically estimate any differences in lignin content. Survival of trees in both the 0.2mM CA and 0.3mM CA root treatments was unexpected and the most impressive result discovered. Lignin content could not be visually determined due to the variability of the microscopic observations of cross-sections.
 
Proposal Title: WILDLAND FIREFIGHTERS HESITANCY TO CHANGE BOOTS
Author: Riley Johnson
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Brad Elder
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: Wildland firefighters have historically worn logger style boots. While these boots are durable and can last for many years, they have many drawbacks. For instance, they are 33% heavier than regulation lightweight boots, have a significantly longer break-in time, typically injure the wearer, and increase the rate of fatigue for firefighters. Due to these negatives, our original goal was to work in collaboration with wildland firefighters to create a new boot. However, we found a hesitancy to change to lightweight boots for a multitude of reasons including brand loyalty. A survey was created to determine why wildland firefighters choose the boots that they do. We found that 41% of firefighters are reluctant to change brands or styles despite the fact that 83% recognize that heavier gear is directly related to fatigue and bad decision making on the fireline, 93% were injured by their boots, and 90% have never tried other styles. Additionally, 83% do not understand the difference between weight on their feet and weight on their back or that high-top regulation boots actually do not provide ankle support (95% thought they provided adequate support). Unlike other firefighting gear, brand and style loyalty exists. And this exists in spite of known dangers and injuries these boots create for firefighters. We conclude that this issue is a gap of knowledge and the unwillingness to accept the fallacies in their thinking.
 
 
Proposal Title: COMPARISON OF GENOME ARCHITECTURES OF KNOWN MYCOBACTERIOPHAGES GIVES CLUSTER ASSIGNMENTS TO NOVEL MYCOBACTERIOPHAGES
Author: Renee Mandock
Additional Authors: Erin Doyle
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Erin Doyle
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Mycobacteriophages are viruses that infect mycobacterium. They have a large amount of diversity amongst their genomes. It is estimated that only a small percentage of existing mycobacteriophages have been isolated in the lab. Of these a smaller percentage has had their genomes sequenced, characterized and assigned to a cluster. When a novel phage genome is annotated it is sorted into a group along with other phages that have similar characteristics in their genomes and in the range of host that they infect. Annotation software, like DNA Master, is used to look at the genomes and assign functions to the genes that are encoded. Novel phage KRPa and BC4 were both found on Doane University’s campus in Crete, NE by freshmen Biology students. KRPa has a genome length of 50,865 bp and of the 90 genes only 33 have a known function. BC4’s genome is 49,056 bp in length and of the 80 genes only 25 have a known function. Based on their genome annotations and the comparison to other already sorted phage, both novel phage were assigned to Cluster A.
 
Proposal Title: A COMPARISON OF ALLICIN AND AGED GARLIC EXTRACT ON THE REDUCTION OF BIOFILM FORMATION IN PSEUDOMONAS AERUGINOSA
Author: Emily Bindl
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Barb Clement
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: The objective of this study was to compare different components of garlic, allicin and aged garlic, to see which caused a larger reduction in biofilm growth in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Bacterial infections are a huge problem in hospitals because they are becoming resistant to antibiotics, so it would be valuable to find new ways to kill these biofilms, such as using garlic. Garlic has already been shown to have antimicrobial properties but no singular component has been yet been identified as the cause. This study used a drip flow reaction chamber to grow consistent biofilms on a microscope slide over a 24 hour period, fed by tryptic soy broth at a flow rate of 2 ml/min. Before placing the slide in the chamber, Pseudomonas aeruginosa was pipetted into a petri dish with TSB so that the cells could initially attach to the pre-weighed, pre-dried slide. To compare allicin and aged garlic extract, the biofilms were initially grown on a microscope slide and then fed with either allicin or aged garlic extract in TSB once in the chamber. After 24 hours the slide is removed, dried in an oven, and weighed. Initial results indicated that the mean untreated biofilm weighed 0 .0117 grams and the mean AGE-treated biofilm weighed 0.0085 grams. Results with allicin-treated biofilms are pending.
 
 
Proposal Title: A STUDY ON THE EFFECT OF BACTERIOPHAGE ON  BIOFILM INTEGRITY USING CRYSTAL VIOLET STAINING
Author: Glen Thomas
Additional Authors: Barb Clement
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Barb Clement
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Bacteriophage (phage) are viruses which infect bacteria and can help remove bacterial infections, a process called phage therapy. Biofilms are communities of bacteria encased by extracellular polymeric substances which provide the bacterial community with additional antibiotic resistance. Phage, with their stringent level of specificity for a bacterial host, have been proposed as a method for circumventing antibiotic resistance. The use and research of phage on biofilms is still expanding, although there is still a lack of understanding about the effects of phage on multispecies biofilms. This project was aimed at developing methods for studying Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Mycobacterium smegmatis biofilms infected with their respective phage. The Pseudomonas and Mycobacterium phage were isolated from local soil samples using methods adapted from HHMI’s SEA-PHAGES program, and Escherichia phage T-1 was used. Biofilms were grown in 96 well plates for 24 hours. Growth was measured by staining the well plates with 0.1% crystal violet stain then analyzing for visible light absorbance at 570nm using a Cary 50 spectrometer. Higher absorbance correlates to more biofilm growth, and it was expected that decreased absorbance would be seen in wells where phage were introduced. The optimization of this method took much longer than expected, and several single species trials had un-expected results. As a result multispecies biofilms were not tested.
 
Proposal Title: DETERMINATION OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DISHWASHER, UV RADIATION, AND BOILING WATER ON THE REMOVAL OF BACTERIA FROM CHILDRENS’ PACIFIERS
Author: Julie Els
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Barb Clement
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: There are a number of controversial topics when it comes to taking care of a child. One in particular is the use of a pacifier. Which kind should they buy? What is the proper way to clean them? The purpose of this experiment was compare means of disinfecting a child’s pacifier. Pacifiers have a number of benefits but are also linked to specific health issues if bacteria are not eliminated. Three different types of cleaning methods were used: boiling water (which is the oldest method in the book but still used today), UV light (which simulates a newer device called the Pipila), and the dishwasher (which is the most convenient method for parents). New pacifiers were distributed to and collected from, a small number of children between the ages of six and twelve months. Every four days the children were given a new pacifier, half were made up of latex material and half of silicone. The pacifiers were then taken back to the lab at Doane University for disinfection and testing. Half of the pacifier was swabbed for 30 seconds with a sterile swab and placed into different dilutions of Tryptic Soy Broth. The dilutions containing the bacteria were then plated onto Tryptic Soy Agar plates and incubated for 48 hours at 37 degrees Celsius. One of the three cleaning methods was performed on the pacifier and then the same swabbing and plating techniques were done on the other half of the item. After the second incubation, the bacteria were counted and recorded. A factorial ANOVA was run in R Commander to compare the number of bacteria on the half of the pacifier that did not undergo a cleaning method to the half that did. All three cleaning methods were also compared with each other along with the amount of bacteria removed between the two different types of pacifiers. The results show that there was only one statistical significant difference (P < 0.05), that the dishwasher and boiling water methods removed fewer bacteria on the silicone pacifiers when compared to everything else, indicating that material was a factor, although not significant. However, all methods removed a significant amount of bacteria, so the more convenient method for the parents seems to be best.
 
Proposal Title: MUTATION OF THE NOVEL PROTEIN CHCHD6
Author: Ryan Harris
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Sharmin Sikich
Field of study: Biology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: ChChd6 is a protein that is mainly involved in the structure of the mitochondrial cristae in cells. The protein is made up of two distinct domains: a large domain of unknown function, and a smaller domain, which is the main aspect of this research, the coiled coil-helix coiled coil-helix domain (ChCh). The ChChdomain contains four cysteine residues that are predicted to form disulfide bonds in the domain.  The purpose of this research was to mutate the ChCh domain in a manner to remove disulfide bonds created by cysteine amino acids and to transfect it into a living human breast cancer cell (Hs578t). Using custom primers, PCR, and the QuikChange Lightning mutation kit (Agilent Technologies), it was possible to successfully mutate the cysteines on the protein. Mutation was confirmed when sent in for sequencing to GeneWiz (www.genewiz.com). An unexpected result was found when the first cysteine was mutated to a proline instead of an alanine. A second cysteine was successfully mutated into an alanine. The mutated protein is now being used to transfect into the Hs578t human breast cancer cells, which will then be analyzed using microscopy.            

Chemistry

Proposal Title: CONSTRUCTING COLORIMETRIC ASSAYS FOR DETECHIP USING INKJET PRINTING.
Author: Jordyn Atwater
Additional Authors: Raychelle Burks
Andrea Holmes
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Andrea Holmes
Field of study: Chemistry
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: DETECHIP, short for detection chip, is a chemical micro-array that produces color and fluorescence changes when treated with analytes. DETECHIP uses specific dyes that react with analytes that can be monitored via image analysis. This system has been be used to identify narcotics and drugs of abuse. While this system is highly successful for identification of several analytes, the cost of the chemical microarrays when prepared via piezoelectric printing methods is high. The cost was $5,000 to print 100 arrays deposited on polymeric membranes, which means that one array costs $50.  Since our research requires many hundreds of arrays for testing, we developed a new printing method for our arrays to reduce the cost. We explored inkjet printing as the deposition technique for DETECHIP sensors. Inkjet printers can be purchased at most office supplies stores and cost anywhere from $100 to $500 per printer.  The DETECHIP formulations for printing were based on the manufacturer’s ink formulation. Two different printers, Brother MFC-J870dw and Canon MG5520, were evaluated for our purposes. The Brother MFC-J879dw was effective for our purposes, due to non-compatibility with printing solution. However, the Canon MG5520 printer proved successful for reproducible printing of our sensors on membranes and was therefore chosen for further development. We will show that we consistently printed chemical DETECHIP solutions on solid supports, similar in print quality to commercial ink solutions. This indicates that a new cost-efficient system for printing DETECHIP arrays can be achieved through inkjet printing. Next, DETCHIP will be evaluated with image analysis to assure inter and intra-array consistency of the arrays spots. Eventually, a hand held scanner, such as a smart phone, would allow for quick testing of drugs, antibiotics, poisons, toxins, and more._x000D_
 
 
Proposal Title: INVESTIGATING THE IMPACT OF PHOSPHITE FERTILIZATION ON CALCIUM UPTAKE IN PLANTS
Author: Laura Stringfellow
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Mark V. Wilson
Field of study: Chemistry
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Calcium has several important functions within plants, specifically affecting cell wall strength and fruit quality.  The strength and quality of these fruiting plants are directly affected by the amount of soluble calcium available as plants struggle to uptake insoluble calcium in the surrounding soil.  Calcium uptake in Solanum lycopersicum and its correlation to phosphite fertilizers will be measured by o-cresolphthalein complexone method and analysis by UV/Vis. Results of this study will be discussed in terms of the influence of calcium phosphite fertilizers on calcium uptake.
 
Proposal Title: INVESTIGATING STRUCTURE CHANGE OF OSTEOCALCIN IN CROWDED ENVIRONMENTS USING UV/VIS SPECTROSCOPY AND INTRINSIC FLUORESCENCE
Author: Krystal Lozier
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Erin Wilson
Field of study: Chemistry
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: Osteocalcin is a noncollagenous protein found in bone postulated to regulate mineral growth in bone by binding directly to the mineral surface, hydroxyapatite, facilitated through calcium binding interactions. While osteocalcin folds to form a compact structure with three alpha-helices in the presence of calcium, it is unknown if it is folded in the crowded environment of bone matrix. In the following experiment second derivative UV/Vis spectroscopy and intrinsic fluorescence are utilized to explore changes in the tertiary structure of osteocalcin under crowded conditions to model bone matrix using sol-gel, Ficoll-70 and TMAO as crowding agents. Intrinsic fluorescence and UV/Vis spectra of aromatic amino acids in osteocalcin were obtained with and without calcium. Addition of calcium causes a blue shift for fluorescence and peak position change observed in the UV absorbance spectra. This establishes a baseline for further studies in crowding agents.
Proposal Title: THE HIT SCALE: A NEW LOOK AT HOW COUNTRIES WITH HUMAN TRAFFICKING ARE SCALED
Author: Kevin Gunter
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Jennifer Bossard
Field of study: Economics
Session Type: Oral
Abstract:  The Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report is an annual report issued by the United States’ Department of State.  It includes a three tier system that rates countries based on the human trafficking problem within the country.  The TIF Report is valuable in providing a measure of human trafficking within a country.  However, I believe the information in the report is insufficient to adequately measure the human trafficking problem as a whole and overlooks several key variables. As a result, I decided to create my own scale called the Humans in Trafficking Scale (HIT Scale). This scale uses eleven different ratings, instead of the TIP Report’s three. It takes into account the TIP Report’s rating plus five other variables that help determine the best rating for each country. For example, it includes the poverty rate to indicate the economic status of the country which can lead to higher prostitution, and willingness to want to change their current status. It also includes the number of years that a country has been in a tier, the type of trafficking such as sex trafficking or labor trafficking, and the average Tier ranking of the bordering countries. I believe the HIT Scale allows us better understand the severity of human trafficking within each country much quickly than the TIP Report.
 
Proposal Title: A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON THE GREEK FINANCIAL CRISIS
Author: Conor McCann
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Les Manns
Field of study: Economics
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: Trust is a necessary element of society that helps countries maintain strong institutions to support economic stability. Trust is a critical element in a society that desires to have well-functioning institutions which, in turn, help build commitment among the citizenry. Commitment ensures effort and effort is essential for success (Hosmer, 1994). My paper examines the level of trust existing in Greek society today, as well as internal and external conditions that created the Greek Financial Crisis. I will also examine why current solutions proposed by the European Union do not address the underlying issues in Greece and do not hold all parties accountable for their actions in creating the crisis. Lastly, my paper will discuss alternative solutions to the crisis beyond that currently proposed by the European Union.  I hypothesize that the lack of trust in Greece created an environment where the crisis was inevitable and Greece will not experience economic success in the future until the lack of trust issue is effectively addressed.             

English

Proposal Title: OBSERVING A CORRUPT SOCIETY: FOUCAULDIAN SURVEILLANCE IN MELVILLE’S WHITE-JACKET
Author: Alex Dawson
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Brad Johnson
Field of study: English
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: Herman Melville’s novel White-Jacket provides a critique of both U.S. naval system and structure during the nineteenth century, a period of time punctuated by penal reform in which Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon was viewed as the ultimate penitentiary. By drawing parallels between the lives of crew members on board the vessel the Neversink and those of convicts in a penitentiary, and by critiquing the system of surveillance on board the Neversink, the narrator White-Jacket argues for the reformation of the disciplinary structure inherent within naval society. As the ship is a microcosm for society in general, White-Jacket in turn advocates for the reformation of society, and thus provides an argument for the requirements of surveillance within a model community. However, his argument is misguided, for the solution he seems to suggest, one of absolute surveillance, does not satisfy his circumstantially hypocritical views. A society in which everyone is continually surveilled imposes severe restrictions on individual freedom, but one in which there is insufficient surveillance results in chaos. Melville thus uses White-Jacket to illustrate the difficulties of enforcing disciplinary power and to convey skepticism about the institutionalization of power in general. This technique is explored by viewing White-Jacket through a Foucauldian lens of surveillance.            

Environmental Science

Proposal Title: THE STRIPED HERMIT CRAB, CLIBANARIUS VITTATUS, MAY HAVE COLOR VISION
Author: Kelsie Skala
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Russ Souchek
Field of study: Environmental Science
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Striped hermit crabs, Clibanarius vittatus, were tested to see if they can detect the difference between the colors red and blue. This was done using four aquarium tanks; one wrapped with white construction paper (control), one wrapped with blue construction paper, and the third wrapped with red construction paper with four hermit crabs in each.  The fourth tank was the testing tank which had a grid on the bottom to help demonstrate the “decision” from the hermit crabs. Using an independent t-test, results showed that there was no significant difference between what color tank the hermit crab came from and which color the decision was.
 
Proposal Title: NESTING PIPING PLOVER’S FIRST RESPONSE TO PREDATORS
Author: Kyle Gaston
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Russ Souchek
Field of study: Environmental Science
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Piping plovers are an endangered bird, which require biologists to locate the piping plovers and their nests to record their nest success. When locating piping plover’s nests, the piping plovers pretend to be wounded and try to lead the predator away from the nest in attempts to protect the nest. In this experiment, the direction the piping plover leaves the nest was determined to save the biologist time by limiting amount of area needed to be searched for the nest. To determine the direction the piping plover leaves the nest, the nest, it was approached parallel to the shoreline. The direction the piping plover left the nest was recorded. The results show that piping plovers run off the nest in unequal proportions and the directions off the nest did not vary from different levels of approaches. The piping plovers went off the nest away from the predator 70% of the time. This suggests piping plovers leave the nest in the same direction relative to the predator, which tends to be away from the predators. This allows biologist to locate the nests, which tends to be between the piping plover and biologist, saving time to allow more nests to be located.
 
Proposal Title: EFFECT OF SIMULATED ACID RAIN (SAR) ON CORN AND BEAN PLANTS
Author: Aaron Tulley
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Russ Souchek
Field of study: Environmental Science
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Acid rain is a major environmental problem that affects ecosystems all over the world. Acid rain is particularly damaging to streams, lakes, forested areas, and the plants and animals that inhabit these areas. Generally speaking, the term “acid rain” is used to describe the atmospheric deposition of all wet and dry substances that cause acidification. This acidification is characterized by higher than normal amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids. This higher concentration level can be caused by natural sources such as volcanoes. The levels can also rise due to artificial, or man-made sources, such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emitted from fossil fuel combustion. 
Much research has been done related to the effects of acid rain on benthic animals, birds, and plant life. However, little information is available related to effects on soybean and corn plants. This research determined the effects of different concentrations of SAR on plant height, biomass, and chlorophyll content on two of the most prominent crops in Nebraska, corn and soybeans. An artificial environment was created in a TerrAqua bottle ecosystem and tests were run in this artificial ecosystem assuming that the effects would be similar to that of a real ecosystem. Sulfur dioxide was introduced by burning sulfur powder in the columns. The sulfur dioxide then combined with the water condensing off of the top layer of the ecosystem to simulate acid rain. Tests for height and biomass show a significant effect on the plants. Further research includes studies of changes in chlorophyll content.
Proposal Title: THE HOMESTEAD ACT OF 1862: GERMANS FROM RUSSIA AND THEIR DESCENT TO THE UNITED STATES DUE TO ADVERTISING AND PROPAGANDA
Author: Sara Umland
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Kim Jarvis
Field of study: History
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Double immigrants by the time they reached Ellis Island in New York Harbor, Germans from Russia had already adapted once to a new culture, heritage and language. Their journey to their new homeland is one filled with a rich history of people who belonged on two different soils but brought each one together; forming their own new land in the Western United States. The Homestead Act of 1862 allowed for Germans from Russia to come to the United States but it was the advertising and propaganda promoting the golden 160 acres that truly brought these people to the Western United States.
Proposal Title: WEIGHT, BODY IMAGE, AND POLICY
Author: Honors
Additional Authors: Taylor Anderson, Dan Corrigan, Alex Dawson, Aileen Gelb, Benjamin Lawrence, Brandon Rossell, Courtney Schnabel, Ramsay Shuck, Laura Stringfellow, Lindsay Wilson, Jenna Woitaszewski, and Jacob Wollam
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Tim Hill
Field of study: Honors
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: To what extent are questions of weight and body image based in biological realities versus being constructed by societal expectations? What are the impacts of media and public policy on our health and our image of ourselves? Do our bodies’ own evolutionary imperatives work against our abilities to maintain a healthy body? We attempt to answer these questions through a multidisciplinary review of literature and data. We conclude by suggesting ways in which Americans may help themselves live healthier and less body-obsessed lives.            

Information Science & Technology

Proposal Title: ITIL AND PROBLEM-SOLVING PROCESSES
Author: Matt Koranda
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Alec Engebretson
Field of study: Information Science & Technology
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: IT professionals are problem-solvers.  Although the problems themselves may vary greatly, the process used in solving those problems can be similar.  One such process is a framework used by students majoring in information systems at Doane University.  The framework, known as RADIS, solves problems by working through phases of recognizing, analyzing, designing, implementing and finally supporting the solutions to problems,   This project involved the use of the RADIS framework in solving two different problems.  One allowed me to work with a local business in Crete, Heath Sports.  The scope of the Heath Sports project required me to make minor updates to their website and create a video tutorial to teach the employees how to make the changes themselves. The other project gave me the opportunity to help the Doane Vice President of Technology, Mike Carpenter, implement a service catalog for Doane University.  During the Doane project I worked with Mike Carpenter to gather requirements, research service catalogs from other schools, create the catalog, and implement it. Although I was working on two different projects they both followed the same problem-solving process. The purpose of the projects was to gain problem-solving experience as well as experience working through the RADIS framework in a business setting.  This presentation will explore the problem-solving process I went through for both projects.
 
 
Proposal Title: USING WEBRTC FOR APPLICATIONS IN BROADCASTING
Author: Jay Grote
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Alec Engebretson
Field of study: Information Science & Technology
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: WebRTC stands for Web Real Time Communications. It is a set of application programming interfaces to allow web applications to establish peer-to-peer communications between client web browsers. From a practical standpoint, WebRTC can open up data channels between browsers to let programmers pass data between users. This data can be text, video, audio, or any other data. Understandably, the peer-to-peer nature of the connection allows for applications to scale without a significant investment in backend web infrastructure. This new technology can assist users like broadcasters who face challenges when trying to get a media feed back to the studio for transmission. In this presentation, I will discuss the specifications, design, and implementation issues of a web application that illustrates the potential of WebRTC in broadcast options. I will demonstrate the application, notion the ease of operate it. Finally, I will discuss the cost savings that users from all perspectives will gain.
 
Proposal Title: LETS BUILD A QUADCOPTER
Author: Jake Krueger
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Alec Engebretson
Field of study: Information Science & Technology
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: For the senior seminar project requirement of my Computer Science major, I had to successfully complete a project that demonstrated and challenged the skills I have developed while taking classes at Doane. I chose to build a drone known as a quadcopter. Having no previous knowledge of quadcopters or remote controlled vehicles, this project challenged my ability to learn a new concept. Having the ability to independently learn and apply new things in the ever changing world of IT is a mandatory skill to possess. In order to build a quadcopter, I first had to understand how they functioned and all the components that were required for them to operate. Developing an understanding for each part and the compatibility among parts was crucial for having a working product at the end. The project also required me to customize software to fit the requirements of the different components of the quadcopter. This project not only challenged my ability to learn something new but also challenged my problem solving skills as I ran into many issues along the way. After the quadcopter was built fine tuning was required to optimize its performance. This project helped confirm the confidence I have within my skills and abilities to independently learn new complex concepts and solve any problems that may arise in the process.  My presentation will highlight my experience in designing and implementing my drone.  A demonstration will also be given.
 
Proposal Title: IPHONE APPLICATION
Author: Landon Young
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Alec Engebretson
Field of study: Information Science & Technology
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: My senior project was one that was equal parts learning and development. My task was to learn a new language, become familiar with a new integrated development environment, develop an application based on a tutorial, and then extend the functionality of the application with my own original ideas. I chose to pursue learning objective-C and what is required to design and develop an iPhone application from the ground up using Xcode. I worked through a provided tutorial by Apple and ended up with a fully functional to-do list iPhone Application.  My presentation will provide information on objective-C, Xcode, the application created from the tutorial, and the extensions I added.  I will also demonstrate my application.
 
Proposal Title: AN OBSERVATION ON THE CROSS-OVER OF OBJECT-ORIENTED PROGRAMMING KNOWLEDGE
Author: Mitch Chohon
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Alec Engebretson
Field of study: Information Science & Technology
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: Object-oriented programming has existed since the 1960’s in LISP and Algol, but was formally introduced in the 1970’s with the Smalltalk language, the backbone to the Xerox PARC. This presentation serves as a basis to demonstrate the ties between all object-oriented languages in their ability to transfer experience from one language into another. To learn and compare a number of different object-oriented languages, a simple driving game was written in a familiar language and then ported into three unfamiliar object-oriented languages.
 
Proposal Title: HERD MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Author: Bret Pospisil
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Alec Engebretson
Field of study: Information Science & Technology
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: Managing cattle the traditional way is becoming a thing of the past.  This conventional approach, which consists of using pen and paper to store information, is no longer the most efficient means in keeping track of cattle.  A Herd Management System (HMS) that allows farmers and ranchers to easily manage their herd is becoming a much more effective method for cattleman.  The HMS developed as a result of this project is an example of how implementing such a system can simplify a farmer’s formerly mundane task.  It enables cattleman to easily create, read, update, and delete information about cattle that is stored within a database.  This presentation will explore many of the necessary pieces involved in developing a HMS to give developers a deeper understanding on how to create this dynamic application.  Specifically presented will be the requirements of an HMS; design considerations for an HMS to meet those requirements; and a demonstration of how the design can be implemented resulting in a functional HMS.            

Leadership

Proposal Title: THE PEOPLE’S PRINCESS: DIANA PRINCESS OF WALES
Author: Brooke Ludemann
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Carrie Lovelace Petr
Field of study: Leadership
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: The face of British royalty was forever changed by the servant leadership exhibited by Princess Diana. Her dedication to serving people across the world made her a leader idolized by women spanning far outside the United Kingdom. Even in the face of adversity caused by obsessive paparazzi and her failing marriage, Diana’s love for others and service prevailed. This poster presentation will showcase her servant leadership and influence that brought awareness to AIDS research and poverty, among her many other service endeavors. Today, younger generations only know Diana because of her beautiful portraits and tragic death, however there is much more to her story. By examining her personality, leadership approach, and dedication to particular social injustices, this presentation will better illustrate why Diana is considered a highly influential woman leader. Her legacy is one that all royals will forever be compared to, because she created an image that the people admired and adored. She shaped the future of servant leadership from celebrities or people in power, and her influence will continue to impact the general population’s expectations of their leaders for years to come.
 
Proposal Title: DANIELLE WEISBERG & CARLY ZAKIN; THE SKIMM. LADIES LEADING A NEW APPROACH TO NEWS.
Author: Taylor Ruzicka
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Carrie Lovelace Petr
Field of study: Leadership
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: In our society today there are many different hats that are to be worn by the average person. Switching our hats multiple times during the day leaves only a few hours or even minutes for a person to sit down and read the newspaper. In 2015 it’s important for those in society to have an opportunity to catch up on what’s going on in the world around them. This is where two young female journalists were given the opportunity to change the way we read the news forever by creating a daily email named: The Skimm. Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin have taken the lead in the news world and created a short and sweet email for the average busy person. These emails, that come Monday through Friday, are full of simple, unbiased synopses of important world events that include links and added puns or humor. Weisberg and Zakin’s hard work and innovation has made The Skimm take the lead in the news world. TheSkimm hit 500,000 followers just two years later after it’s birth in 2012 and is still gaining more subscribers.
 
Proposal Title: THE KING OF THE HIGH C’S
Author: Taylor Anderson
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Carrie Lovelace Petr
Field of study: Leadership
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Luciano Pavarotti, 12 October 1935 – 6 September 2007, was Italy’s leading operatic tenor until the time of his death  in 2007.  Due to his impeccable voice he was given the nickname, The King of the High C’s.  He is most famous for his roles in Aida, Rigoletto, La Boheme, La Traviata, Madama Butterfly, Il Trovatore, and Turandot.  Even though he is most notably known for his singing, he was a generous philanthropist who started music charities for young students; he even gave private singing lessons in his home.  He was a world-renowned equestrian expert and organized a professional show jumping competition, The Pavarotti International.  To give back to the communities that gave him so much, Pavarotti created the now world-famous charity concert, Pavarotti and Friends.  He brought together musical artists from around the world and helped to raise millions of dollars for medical, vocational, and educational initiatives across the world.  This man is a leader everyone should know.
 
Proposal Title: ANGELA DAVIS: TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADER
Author: Rachel Overbeck
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Carrie Lovelace Petr
Field of study: Leadership
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Angela Y Davis: author, teacher, and activist was the center of a powerful movement in the 1960s and 70s. A member of the Communist Party and an activist for prison reform, her impassioned speeches and political ideologies made many white Americans, including Ronald Reagan and J Edgar Hoover, her enemies. False charges brought against Angela landed her on the top of the FBIs Most Wanted list. She used her imprisonment and trial to further the cause she was passionate about and sparked a global movement. From a young age Angela Davis has been a transformational servant leader and continues advocating for oppressed peoples today.
 
Proposal Title: LEADERSHIP THROUGH LOVE
Author: McKehna Thiem
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Carrie Lovelace Petr
Field of study: Leadership
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Eleanor Stern was born in a Christ centered home. She loved her family, friends, and most importantly loved to serve the Lord. After meeting the love of her life, Paul Stern, she devoted her life to standing next to him in all of his wild adventures. Together they raised a family while traveling around from country to country as missionaries, spending most of their time in Africa.  At a young age, Eleanor knew that she wanted to be a mother to not only her biological children, but also children who are orphans. This dream of hers did not come true until she started an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya at the young age of seventy-five. The way this woman loves, cares, and shows her passion is outstanding. 
 
Proposal Title: CHRISTY TURLINGTON BURNS: A LEADER EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW.
Author: Kayleigh Erskine
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Carrie Lovelace Petr
Field of study: Leadership
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Christy Turlington Burns is a leader everyone should know. She is known for her modeling career, but she has done much more than that. Christy Turlington Burns has dedicated her life to nonprofit work and to helping to improve conditions for mothers around the world.  She is also an anti-smoking activist. She founded a nonprofit organization called Every Mother Counts, which operates around the mission of making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, regardless of their location. In addition, she directed and produced a documentary to bring attention to poor maternal health conditions around the world. Currently, Christy is on the Harvard Medical School Global Health Council, and is an advisor to the Harvard School of Public Health Board of Dean’s Advisors. Christy is a wonderful example of someone using their fame and publicity for the greater good.
 
Proposal Title: AILEEN HERNANDEZ AND HER IMPACT ON WOMEN’S EQUALITY
Author: Sierra Turpin
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Carrie Lovelace Petr
Field of study: Leadership
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Aileen Hernandez is one of the many influential leaders whose name has not had the privilege to  become household knowledge. This presentation is aimed to educate others on her accomplishments and describe the ways in which she has had a significant impact on the women’s equality movement. From her work with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission(EEOC) to her participation in the National Organization for Women(NOW) activist group, Hernandez spent her life working towards creating equal opportunities and compensations for women.
 
Proposal Title: OPRAH WINFREY
Author: Hannah Dostal
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Carrie Lovelace Petr
Field of study: Leadership
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: My research addresses the leadership qualities of Oprah Winfrey, and her inspiring mission to build schools for girls in the country of South Africa. In 2007, Oprah founded the Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. Oprah’s mission to build this school was to provide girls who come from impoverished backgrounds with a chance to use their leadership skills and make a difference in the world. She continued to work towards her vision until she accomplished her goals. Oprah was inspired to build this Academy by her humble beginnings and disadvantaged backgrounds. Because of this experience, Oprah had dreamed of helping girls and inspiring them to conquer adversity and become strong leaders.            

 

Mathematics

Proposal Title: AN ANALYSIS OF THE CARD GAME 31-DERFUL
Author: Emily Alfs
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Kris Williams
Field of study: Mathematics
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: Similar to Sudoku, 31-derful is a game where the player tries to place values into certain positions to win the game. 31-derful is also similar to magic square in that to win the game, the rows and columns must all sum to the same value. To win 31-derful, the player must place cards from a standard deck of playing cards into a five by five grid with each row and column summing to 31. Cards are worth their face value except for face cards, which are all worth ten and aces are worth eleven. We started research on a smaller two by two grid. We modified the sum rule to allow each row and column to the same value, not just 31. One unique solution exists in the case of the two by two grid. Research was then scaled up to the three by three case using two suits. We found that there are 358 unique solutions (up to symmetry). Each grid falls into one of five distinct categories. Algorithms were generated so that any player can win any three by three game. We then continued research to the four by four case and found that there are 251,212 unique games.
 
Proposal Title: LINGO
Author: Lauren Taylor
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Kris Williams
Field of study: Mathematics
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: Lingo is a five-letter word guessing game played with two teams.  The team in control has to guess a five-letter word in five chances.  The first letter of the word is given.  Once a word is guessed, players will know if any of the letters in the guessed word are in the actual word, either in the correct position or incorrect position, or not in the word at all.  The goal of my research is to create an algorithm for guessing words that generates the lowest number of guesses in the worst-case scenario.  I have created an algorithm for guessing the correct word in the minimal number of guesses.  My algorithm for two-letter words at worst will require 12 guesses and on average uses approximately 5.84 guesses.  My algorithm for three-letter words at worst will require 12 guesses and on average uses approximately 5.73 guesses. 
 
Proposal Title: PRISONER’S DILEMMA WITH THE DOANE STUDENT POPULATION
Author: Brandy Singleton
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Kris Williams
Field of study: Mathematics
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: The Prisoner’s Dilemma is an example of a game in game theory in which two people are presented with a difficult decision. The Prisoner’s Dilemma seeks to explain why the two individuals might not cooperate, even though the best outcome would be to cooperate. Two experiments were created, the ‘standard’ and ‘all-or-nothing’, in order to analyze the degree of cooperation for the Doane student body. Many demographics were analyzed including gender, class standing, home state, and major. Statistical tests were done for each individual test and then tests were done between tests to see the difference in cooperation. A University of Iowa study was done to test the level of cooperation between male and females, and the results showed that females were more likely to cooperate. The all-or-nothing experiment was similar to the University of Iowa study, which showed that females were also more likely to cooperate than males.            

Philosophy

Proposal Title: WHY WE DON’T HAVE FREE MAIL (AND WHY IT DOESN’T MATTER)
Author: Hannah Bauer
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Patrick Monaghan
Field of study: Philosophy
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: My thesis will briefly explain determinism, specifically hard determinism, and why the truth of it does not allow for the existence of free will. I will then examine the consequences for society that follow if we accept that there is no free will, and therefore no moral responsibility. I will discuss Derek Pereboom’s views on the subject and our possibilities for understanding criminal behavior and morality in general in light of a lack of free will by looking at a series of models: Utilitarianism, retributivism, Pereboom’s quarantine model, and the Hobbesian state of nature. Ultimately, I will discuss why, if we are not morally responsible, Hobbesianism is true. However, I will conclude that as a pragmatic matter, we should conduct ourselves as a society as though we are morally responsible for our actions in order to avoid living in the state of nature.             

Physics

Proposal Title: BUILDING AND USING A CLUSTER FOR HIGH THROUGHPUT COMPUTING
Author: Ramsay Shuck
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Chris Wentworth
Field of study: Physics
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Solving many of the problems in contemporary science and engineering requires significant computational resources.  When the computational problem can be broken up into pieces that can be executed in parallel, a computer cluster can be used to complete the computational job more quickly than a single computer.  In this investigation, we constructed a 12 node Beowulf cluster and installed the Rocks Cluster management software to produce an environment for high throughput computing.  We initially experimented with Cobbler cluster management software before deciding that Rocks Cluster management software was easier to use and better suited for our high throughput computing purposes.  We utilized our cluster to test several different computational programs by submitting them to the cluster using Condor high throughput computing software.  Further work on the Cluster has focused on configuring it in a manner that it allows it to run programs written in the programming languages C, Java, and Python.  This has required the implementation of different tools such as Canopy to make the programs compatible with the cluster software.  The results of the research demonstrated the cluster’s ability to quickly run complex computational programs.
 
Proposal Title: HORIZONTAL NOCK TRAVEL OF A COMPOUND BOW
Author: Grant Reckling
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Susan Enders
Field of study: Physics
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: A compound bow is said to be a precise machine, consisting of spring loaded limbs with a string and cams/pulleys, which make it highly efficient. Bows have to have balanced forces when they are being shot, otherwise it can compromise its accuracy significantly. The top pulley on a compound bow is called the idler on a single cam bow. It can be adjusted for cam lean to help balance the forces, especially the horizontal forces on the arrow when being released. If there are large horizontal forces it could result in high stresses on the arrow. The arrow consists of the point, shaft, fletching, and the nock which touches the string when shot. The stress could in turn either deflect the arrow sideways when being shot or it could break the arrow. Bows should be tuned and developed to reduce horizontal nock travel so that bows are more consistent. In my research I developed an apparatus to investigate the horizontal deflection of compound bows in action. The setup enables the determination of horizontal displacement using high-speed camera recording. My results show that t the nock could travel more than ¾” horizontally when being shot. This is a significant deviation from the expectation, where a horizontal deflection in a bow should be either zero or as close to zero as possible.
 
Proposal Title: MORPHOLOGY OF VEGETAL FIBERS
Author: Chris Mauer
Additional Authors: Aurlie Bourdet
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Susan Enders
Field of study: Physics
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: This study explores the possibilities for analyzing Jatropha Curcas, a species of a flowering plant in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae, that is native to the American tropics. The goal of this study was to become familiar with the various microscopy techniques that are currently being used to study the structure of plants. These techniques encompass transmitted, reflected or polarized light microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, scanning or transmission electron microscopy, all of which have been refined in an attempt to maximize the quality of the received images. These images were then analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively with the aid of available software analyzing techniques, to develop an understanding of the structure of Jatropha Curcas.
 
Proposal Title: OPTICAL PROPERTIES OF NON-STOICHIOMETRIC ZNW04 THIN FILMS
Author: Zach Swanson
Additional Authors: M.J.  Wawiorka, B.R. Zink, and S.T. King
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Susan Enders
Field of study: Physics
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Zinc tungstate (ZnWO4) has recently gained much attention as a photoactive oxide with possible uses in photocatalysis, photovoltaics, and other optoelectronic device applications [1,2]. While numerous studies have focused on the fabrication and characterization of nanoscale structures of stoichiometric zinc tungstate, few have investigated the properties of zinc tungstate thin films. Fewer have explored the properties of non-stoichiometric zinc tungstate materials.  Having developed a fabrication method in which we may fabricate non-stoichiometric thin films of Zn1-xWxO4 (where x varies between 0 and 1) without the presence of minority species, it is necessary to examine the affect that such variation in stoichiometry has on the optical properties of the material.
In the current work we utilize variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry, with surface roughness and film thickness information gained from atomic force microscopy, to investigate the variation in the index of refraction and extinction coefficient of these non-stoichiometric films as a function of the Zn to W ratio. 
 
References:
[1] C. J. Spengler and S. O’Hara, Applied Optics, 3,1084-1085 (1964)
[2] J. Lin, J. Lin, and Y. Zhu, Inorg. Chem., 46, 8372−8378 (2007)
 
 
Proposal Title: AUTOMATED IMAGE ANALYSIS OF ARABIDOPSIS ROOT
Author: Frank Mignon
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Chris Wentworth
Field of study: Physics
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Computers are useful tools that can be used to automate calculations.  Automatic image analysis can be use computers with Python, an open source computer programming language.  The main objective of this study was to create a program that would automatically detect and analysis the root of the Arabidopsis plant.  The program needed to detect the root used intensity thresholding filters to extract the background and foreground of the image.  This helps for identifying the root from the whole image.  Calculating the midline of the root was used adding a algorithm to find the midline of the root.  The outline of the root can also be detected using the same method, but with an overlay.  The kinematics would then be calculated over a sequence of images.  Automation helps decrease human error and provides the data to be replicated.            

Political Science

Proposal Title: EEOC V. ABERCROMBIE
Author: Jacob Wollam
Additional Authors: Dakota Whisenhunt, Mala Lemay, Taylor Hayes, Cole Bodfield, Nathan Klein and Jon Thomas
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Wendy Hind
Field of study: Political Science
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: Poster Presentation regarding current Supreme Court case: EEOC v. Abercrombie and Fitch inc. participants will explain Court case and represent current Justices opinions in anticipation  of final opinion. For students, this case is not only timely but also relevant to college students, addressing issues of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.            

Psychology

Proposal Title: TOP PARENTING WEBSITES: A MIXED-METHOD ANALYSIS
Author: Gabe Garbin
Additional Authors: Karena Nyberg
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Natalie Homa
Field of study: Psychology
Session Type: Oral
Abstract: In 2010, almost 60% of the US population searched health information on the Internet (Zickuhr, 2010 as cited in Chung et al., 2012).  Research shows that expecting mothers use the Internet to learn about pediatric health issues and for advice or support from mothers in similar scenarios (Bernhardt & Felter, 2004).  Since most past research focuses on specific health and safety related information, the purpose of this research was to explore results from more topic areas. Using Google, the authors searched 111 key phrases or questions covering ten themes relevant for parents of infants through preschoolers.  Search terms were coded into five categories: Question-advice seeking, Question-Skill seeking, Question-Norm seeking, Personal statement, or Word phrase.  The top ten websites from each search were categorized into eight types of websites.  In addition, a content analysis was completed on the top ten websites across all searches. 
A series of ANOVAs revealed significant main effects of search theme on website type.  A series of ANOVAs revealed significant main effects of search term category on website type.  Similar to Bernhardt and Felter (2004), babycenter.com, parents.com and WebdMD.com were in the top ten websites.  The content analysis revealed that most of the websites had some amount of information either written or reviewed by an expert. Only two consistently provided references to support the information being presented (Mayoclinic.org and Healthychildren.org). 
Future research will look at parent’s knowledge of the various websites found in this study and their ability to distinguish between good and bad resources of information.             

Sociology

Proposal Title: THE EFFECT OF GENDER ON HOMOSEXUAL PREJUDICE
Author: Grace Kelly
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Kari Gentzler
Field of study: Sociology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: This research sought to determine if there are gender differences in prejudice towards homosexuals. In order to diminish discrimination on a whole, it is important to find out its sources and their reasonings. From prior research, trends appeared between how the sexes view homosexuality. My first hypothesis was that males were more likely to have prejudiced attitudes against homosexuals in general. Literature reviews indicated that the societal ideal of masculinity was threatened by homosexuality. My second hypothesis was that females are more likely to have positive attitudes toward male homosexuals. I used data from 227 students taking general and confidential surveys at a  small, midwestern, liberal arts college in 2005. The results of both hypotheses was a statistical significance to the 0.000 level and 0.05 level respectively. It can be concluded in this small sample that gender did have an effect on prejudice level toward homosexuals.
 
Proposal Title: RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION AS IT RELATES TO DEPRESSION AND SELF-CONFIDENCE
Author: Samantha Vallabhbhai
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Kari Gentzler
Field of study: Sociology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: The purpose of this research is to explain the effects of religious discrimination on depression and self-confidence. I hypothesized that discrimination based on religion is positively associated with depression. I also hypothesized that discrimination based on religion is negatively associated with self-confidence. Prior research finds that violence in a certain area heightens the feelings of discrimination felt by the people. Additionally,  previous discrimination increases the likelihood of being depressed. Finally, prior studies show that those who experience discrimination are more at risk for self-confidence problems. Using data from the Midlife in the United States II (MIDUS-II) study, I tested the association between religious discrimination and depressive symptoms and self-confidence. Religious discrimination was not statistically associated with depressive symptoms. However, it is negatively associated with self-confidence. Directions for future research will also be discussed.  
 
Proposal Title: PREDICTORS OF STRESS AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS:  EXAMINING DIFFERENCES BY GENDER AND CLASS RANK
Author: Katie Johnson
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Kari Gentzler
Field of study: Sociology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine risk factors for stress among college students, as college can be a very challenging time in young adults’ lives. Prior research shows that women are more likely than men to experience stress, and stress increases with age. Therefore, I was specifically interested in the differences in stress levels based on gender and class rank. The sample consisted of 255 undergraduate students from a small liberal arts college in the Midwest in 2006. I conducted one-way ANOVAs to test my hypotheses and found that stress varies by gender but not by class rank. Findings and implications of this research are discussed.
 
Proposal Title: THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF REALITY: DRUG USE
Author: Sean Ryan
Additional Authors:
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Nathan Erickson
Field of study: Sociology
Session Type: Poster
Abstract: The study looked into the effects that the social construction of reality played within society due to the misunderstandings that the social construction of reality plays with society on a daily basis.  The misinformed biases that come from the social construction and how it plays into the lives on society today were also tested.  We looked directly at marijuana in Nebraska; we got to see the misinformed biases come forth very easily due to marijuana in Nebraska being a “hot topic.”  Though the pilot study was done right here on a small liberal arts campus in Nebraska it was easy to see the misunderstood social construction of reality.  We hope to eventually broaden the study and possibly look at a much larger sample size to see if “The Social Construction of Reality” is a correlative study to the pilot.
 

 

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