The presentations shown here were presented by St. Norbert College at the Undergraduate Research Forum.
Previous research has indicated that anxiety can impair memory ability (Garibbo et al., 2019). Specifically, working memory capacity (Sari et al., 2017; Angelidis et al.,2019). Such impairment in memory may impede learning, which is consistent with some past research on undergraduate students: 33% of a sample of undergraduate nursing students reported that anxiety affected their learning and ability to perform (Beischel, 2013). In a general biology class, students with higher anxiety reported lower course grades (England et al., 2017). The adverse effect of anxiety on memory and learning may currently be compounded by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This may be especially true for more anxiety-sensitive students.
Precise organ development requires organized gene expression to generate a functional system. When this process fails, it often results in disease. The planarian excretory system is an excellent model for studying human kidney development disease due to shared cellular and molecular homology. Having the ability to regenerate organ systems, various molecular tools can be used to determine the significance of a particular gene to this development. Previously RNA seq identified approximately 80 genes with enriched expression in protonephridia. Using RNAi screening methods, these genes were knocked down, and planarians were cut to force protonephridia regeneration. Seven genes were found to be essential for normal excretory development and will be invested further to better understand the role these genes play in protonephridia regeneration.
The War of 1812 is a conflict that has received very little attention, but played a central role in shaping American Westward Expansion. Historical discussion of the War of 1812 often focuses on a relatively narrow section of the events of the War, such as the leadup to the war or a specific campaign within the war. This method of approaching the war is useful but leaves much to be desired. In this essay, I focused on the War of 1812 in the Northwest Territory, but extended the cause and effects of the war over a larger time frame, by synthesizing existing research on the subject to highlight the impact it had on U.S. relations with native tribal communities. This broadening of historical time frames has allowed us to view intricate webs of cause and effect between seemingly disparate events. I have also identified the role of the War of 1812 in creating a geo-political paradigm shift within the area around the Former Northwest Territory. The region shifted from a multi-polar power balance, with both the United States and British governments exerting influence over tribes within that region, to the United States having an almost complete monopoly on political power within the region. This shift can be seen as an overwhelmingly negative event for Native peoples in the region, who faced increasing mistreatment from the United States after the war. This method of analyzing the War of 1812 and its effects on a macro time frame thus allows us to show the conflicts’ importance and recenter the Native communities indigenous to the region that it most impacted. Specifically, we see the foundations laid for a shift towards more direct control of Indigenous populations by the United States government after the War of 1812, and the system of reservations function as an attempt to break up networks of inter-tribal solidarity by the American government.
Cyanobacteria, blue-green algae, produces and releases cyanotoxins during Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) that cause ecological, economic, and human and pet health concerns. The majority of cyanobacteria produce the neurotoxin beta-N-Methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA). Human exposure to BMAA may be an environmental cause of neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. The effect of BMAA on zooplankton has not been studied in depth. We investigated how ingestion of BMAA affects the reproductive and developmental behavior of Daphnia in the short- and long term. We hypothesized that different concentrations of BMAA will affect the behavior of Daphnia associated with development and reproduction. We predicted that Daphnia would grow slower and produce fewer offspring in higher concentrations of BMAA. Daphnia were exposed to BMAA concentrations (0, 1, 10, 50, 100, 200 and 300 g/L) for 96 hours at 22-240C with a 16:8 light-dark cycle. The number of survivors and the body length of Daphnia was measured at the end of the experiment. The data were analyzed using One way ANOVA, Kruskal-Wallis, and pairwise comparisons in SYSTAT 13. Results indicated that Daphnia survivorship declined as the concentration of BMAA increased and larger Daphnia had greater survival. The hypothesis was partially supported as Daphnia had lower survival in higher concentrations of BMAA. Our next step is to analyze long-term exposure data to fully test the hypothesis. More studies are needed to better understand the mechanism by which BMAA affects Daphnia development and reproduction.
Mya McDaniel and Olivia Hanson
Long term biological studies spanning several years are rare but a key part in analyzing trends which may not be obvious in a single season of research. Here we examine data collected between 2017 and 2019 concerning small mammal populations dynamics at the St. Norbert College Field Station (De Pere, WI; Figure 1). Using a mark and recapture method, small mammals were measured and tagged to supply data representative of the populations residing around the field station. With this data, we determine how small mammal populations vary from year to year and respond to changes occurring in and around the ecosystem that the St. Norbert College Field Station offers. The main goal of this research project is to monitor the population dynamics and trends occurring over time. Through this work we aim to provide stakeholders with the necessary data to ensure proper conservation measures are taken
Hannah Peck and Emily Hirsch
The growth of gut bacteria is affected by signaling molecules of a host, especially stress hormones. In previous studies, a bacterium isolated from the zebra finch gut presumptively identified as a Pseudomonas showed a decreased growth rate in the presence of epinephrine. As the species of Pseudomonas was unknown, a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme was used to identify the specific bacterial strain. Sequencing data classified the bacteria as Pseudomonas putida, a gram-negative, rod shaped bacterium. This information provides a more complete understanding of bacteria involved in the communication within the brain-gut axis.
This android application is made for both the artistic and not-so-artistic alike. With the touch of your finger, you are able to add filters to your photo such as black and white. You have the choice of taking a photo, uploading a photo, or a blank canvas to use for creating your masterpiece. Once finished, the user can save this masterpiece to their gallery.
Hailey Sanders and Bonnie Raechal Beres
Red-shouldered hawks (Buteo lineatus) are medium-sized woodland hawks listed as threatened with extinction by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. These birds are threatened by the loss of ature habitats because mature forests are extremely valuable for commercial logging operations. Further threats include activities such as ATV riding and camping. Protected habitats are minimal and are also at risk. Hawks are extremely sensitive to disruption and because of these activities, the adult birds abandon the nest thus unsuccessfully raise their young, Figure 2. In this particular project, DNA was isolated from feathers found on the ground or in nests that are no longer inhabited. This allows for less disturbance to the habitats and is more effective than capturing and marking the bird itself because hawks are extremely
sensitive and smart. Given that male birds have two identical sex chromosomes (ZZ), whereas females are heterogametic (ZW), polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) primers were used to amplify homologous sections of two conserved chromohelicase-DNA-binding (CHD) genes, located on sex chromosomes of all birds. The primers P0, P2, and P8 (Han, J., 2009) were utilized to amplifiy the sex chromosomes. The ultimate goal of this work is to determine the genetic structure, relatedness, and nesting behavior of red-shouldered hawks in Northeast Wisconsin through the use of non-invasively collected feather DNA.
Mast and McAndrew (2011) reported that the violent lyrics in heavy metal music can increase aggressive behavior in male college students, as measured via the hot sauce allocation paradigm. We examined this effect on a more granular level by using three heavy metal songs by the same band (i.e., Disturbed): one with violent lyrics (i.e., Who Taught You How to Hate?), an instrumental version of the same song, and one of the band’s heavy metal songs with non-violent lyrics (i.e., The Light). We hypothesized that participants who listened to the lyrical version of the violent heavy metal piece would create a spicier salsa mix (ostensibly for the next participant in the study to taste) than participants in either of the two other conditions. We also extended upon Mast and McAndrew’s 2011 study by examining whether female college students would be affected by the violent lyrics in heavy metal music in a manner similar to that which had been reported for males. Twelve female and three male college students from a small private college in the Midwestern United States were randomly assigned to one of the three aforementioned music conditions. Two of our noteworthy findings were that our results approached significance with only 15 participants, F(2,12) = 3.391, p = .068, and that the students who listened to the song with non-violent lyrics added more hot sauce to a 39 gram cup of salsa (M = 5.0 g, s = 3.08) for the next participant to taste than the students who listened to the song with violent lyrics (M = 2.2 g, s = 1.30). (We used a Taylor food scale to determine how much hot sauce each participant had added to the 39 grams of salsa, after participants had been excused from the study.) We will discuss possible explanations for this seemingly counterintuitive result, including the degree of influence that each individual can have within smaller samples.
Question: Is there a pattern in the feeding behavior of songbirds within species, will species cooperate to obtain food?
Hypothesis: There will be a difference in the feeding behaviors of song birds when cooperation is required.
Prediction: If there is a difference in feeding behavior of song birds across species when cooperation is required then fewer songbirds will be present.
Audrey Shreiner, Sophia King, Grace Beno, Will Donohue, Rebecca Jacques, Olivia Platz, Annicka Rabida, and Neale Tracy
The Senior Art Exhibition is the capstone experience for all Art majors. In these videos students reflect on their concepts, process, and techniques. The videos are filmed in the Bush Art Center Galleries, where the work is on display through May 5, 2021.
This project uses information coming from an eye tracking device mounted on the computer in order to determine where the user is looking, and where the mouse should be positioned on the screen. This, along with a method for the user to click on screen, allows a person to use a computer without the need for a mouse.
Erin Van Berkel
Health perceptions and intentions often diverge from recommended thresholds by race and diversity. A World Health Organization Quality of Life Survey-Brief was conducted in the summer of 2019 with citizens of Brown County. Over 1,000 surveys were completed, which included seven different races/ethnicities represented by participants. Two-sample t-tests were estimated to identify racial health disparities among single survey questions, but only one question showed racial disparity. However, when entire health domains were compared among races, health disparities were shown to exist among all health domains, which were physical, psychological, social, and environmental domains. The social domain was shown to be the largest racial/ethnic disparity. This analysis only focused on racial/ethnic disparities and more data is needed to understand what is driving the difference in health and well-being for people in Brown County.
Olivia Villarruel and Sara Van Cuyk
From slogans to new laws on both federal and state levels, the War on Drugs has been on the socio-political forefront for several decades. One nonpartisan staple of the War has been drug prevention education in primary and secondary schools across the United States. But to what extent do these initiatives shape participants’ behavior over the long term? This study examines drug prevention education and drug use among students at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. Specifically, we investigate the use of alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine. We administered a survey that included open- and closed-ended questions to 148 participants in order to gauge their experiences with drug education and their histories of drug use. We used the Pearson Chi-Square to analyze relationships between variables. Our findings show that students who had some form of prior drug and alcohol education in primary or secondary school were less likely to use marijuana and nicotine, whereas they were more likely to use alcohol. These results must be interpreted with caution, given a nonprobability sampling strategy. Still, our study suggests that drug prevention education may shape drug use behaviors for some substances more than others.
In our digitized world, there is an increasing need for image rendering. The purpose of this project was to create an application that converts pictures into images that resemble simple cartoons. User control over the colors was an important requirement. A bucket sorting algorithm in conjunction with K-means methodology was implemented to allow the user to choose the number of colors as well as the colors themselves. Other user input like choice of blurring effects and intensity or bucket range control will allow for some abstract images to be created.
Ellie Welsch and James Fitzwater
This project aims to gain a better understanding of the biodiversity of Contracaecum parasites from a variety of geographic locations and host fish species. The analysis of this biodiversity must be done through DNA sequencing of larval Contracaecum due to their lifecycle involving organisms at multiple trophic levels. The specific gene being amplified and compared is the 28s large ribosomal subunit gene which tends to be highly conserved among species. Sequence analysis is done using a BLAST search query in order to compare the new sequences to previously documented Contracaeum species’ sequences. Further work must be done including using multiple primers for greater concensus sequence validity and sequencing more samples.
Domain of One’s Own is an initiative started at the University of Mary Washington to empower students, faculty, and staff by giving them a piece of the internet. Implemented at St. Norbert through Knight Domains, members of the SNC community are given their own domain (website) to customize using cPanel applications such as WordPress. The objective of the Domain of One’s Own research fellow was to develop a way to showcase the impact of Knight Domains by gathering examples from the SNC community.
Ball and Elsner (2017) indicate that the presence of a tattoo does not necessarily detract from a woman’s attractiveness. Photographs of 16 women and 14 men of varying degrees of attractiveness were presented twice: once without a tattoo and once with a tattoo that was photoshopped on, via a slideshow to five female and four male observers at a small liberal arts college in the Midwest. We asked observers to rate how attractive each model was overall as well as how attractive each model seemed to be socially, professionally, and romantically. Male and female observers saw female models as being more attractive on all of these dimensions, but their ratings of these dimensions for the male and female models interacted significantly, F(1.826, 12.78) = 7.718, p = .007. Follow-up analyses revealed that male observers’ ratings of the male and female models re. these dimensions did not interact and were less varied than those of female observers, whose judgments of the male and female models were not only more disparate but also interacted significantly across the different dimensions of attractiveness, F(1.424, 4.272) = 10.451, p = .026. Interestingly, female observers assigned lower attractiveness ratings than male observers to the male models and assigned higher attractiveness ratings than male observers to the female models.
From the first paragraph:
The goal of this wage study was to compare the salaries offered by the Cerebral Palsy Center to Green Bay market salaries. The Cerebral Palsy Center has thirty-eight positions that needed to be evaluated and compared with salaries offered in the Green Bay market. The study the CP Center conducted in 2013 comparing its specific positions’ salaries to the area was used as a reference. This helped to illustrate how much the market wage has changed and served as a basis to compare newly researched data. A variety of resources were used to find the specific positions listed by the CP Center. Depending on how specific the position was, the search was refined to the position requirements and location.
This research evaluates the effectiveness of the rural TRiO Upward Bound programs of Wisconsin, namely University of Stevens Point, University of Wisconsin Superior and Wausau Department of Public Instruction. This evaluation focuses on how effectively the programs assist low-income and first-generation potential college students in completing their high school education and enroll in postsecondary education. The sample consists of 149 senior students between the ages of 17 and 18 from the three Upward Bound programs previously indicated, who graduated between the years of 2008 and 2011. The results indicate that the three Upward Bound programs produced higher graduation rates and a greater college attendance rates than their target high schools. The data collected regarding low-income status of the high school seniors provided evidence showing that if the funding was available, a greater number of eligible students would be able to be served. In sum, this research finds that based on data collected from 149 senior students who are participants in the Upward Bound and on data from their high schools that the three Upward Bound programs of Wisconsin are indeed effective.
This project examined the current intent of undergraduate students here at St. Norbert College, specifically looking at where they intend to teach. It also examined how they would respond to financial incentives to join an urban education program and go and teach in a high-need school for three years.
Elizabeth R. Paitel, Gretchen Stutz, and Jonathan Carroll
The current study employed an impulse control decision-making task to investigate the effects of social context on decision-making in a sample of older adults (65+) and younger adults (18-22).
Corinna Martell, Camille Hanna, and Brandon Bauer
Scars of War: The Psychological and Physical Traumas of War Depicted through Art.
War is shattering, leaving behind gaping wounds in need of healing. Some require bandages, other wounds are psychological and not visible. Both leave a scar. These scars are an inevitable part of the human experience. The psychological and physical ramifications of war exist as long as strife pervades. This collection of works, depicting war from the French Revolution to present day Iraq, illustrates the scarring impact war has on the people and places within its grasp. New technology and art styles have transformed the way we see the world. We go from plate etchings in the earliest works to works responding to the impact of televised images during the Vietnam War, and photographs and abstract art responding to the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Regardless of what way artists choose to depict war, war remains heartbreaking, psychologically and physically destructive, leaving an imprint on the world around us.