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Research Poster Presentations

Center for Student Life–Gävle Room, 9:30-10:45 a.m.

Poster 2, Nick Alonso-Emanuel—Psychology: “Joke Cruelty and Appreciation in Regards to Empathy and Background Incongruity”
Project Advisor: Dr. Daniel Corts
Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate the roles of trait empathy and background incongruity in perceived joke appreciation and joke cruelty. The study suggests that those with high trait empathy will have a strong negative relationship. High background incongruity will also create a strong negative relationship between the two.

Poster 18, Diana Boudreau—Paleontology: “Osteohistology of Cryolophosaurus ellioti: Tempo and Mode of Growth
in a Large-bodied Polar Dinosaur”
Project Advisor: Dr. William Hammer
Description: The Early Jurassic theropod, Cryolophosaurus ellioti (Dinosauria: Theropoda), was discovered in 1991 in the Hanson Formation of Antarctica. To date, it is the most complete dinosaur skeleton found in Antarctica. Here we describe bone microstructure in some axial and appendicular bones of C. ellioti and discuss histological variance at the individual level. Examination of histological slides under a light microscope with polarizing lens reveals mild to strong presence of lines of arrested growth (LAGs) in three to five elements, indicating slowing growth. The femur, fibula and radius show signs of moderate to severe remodeling, diminishing the number of annual markers, whereas axial elements preserve more of the growth record. The number of LAGs missing due to remodeling were estimated by fitting sigmoidal growth curves to LAG circumference in PAST®. Based on these results, the estimated age of the C. ellioti holotype is roughly 16 years old. Of those 16, 11-13 growth marks were directly observed in thin section while up to five were inferred missing by PAST® calculations. Patterns of diminishing growth match other skeletal indicators of subadult status (e.g., closed, but visible neurocentral sutures in the vertebrae), but contrast with rapid bone deposition observed in the femur. Prevalence of woven bone between widely spaced LAGs in the femur, indicating ongoing rapid growth, differs from the lamellar bone between narrowing LAGs found in the axial elements indicating slowing growth. Regardless of the variations, these observations add to the evidence that C. ellioti represents the largest known Early Jurassic theropod.


Poster 19, Josh Brown—Biology and Religion: “Genetic Piety”
Project Advisor: Dr. Sean Georgi
Description: Our inquiry was formed during the discussion of a study involving a
serotonin transporter promoter (5-HTTLPR) polymorphism, which has been associated with spiritual acceptance. In the examined study (Nilsson et al. 2007), volunteering 16 to 19-year-old secondary school students in Sweden were investigated for the presence of the 5-HTTLPR gene, which contains an individual-dependent short and/or long allele variation. The shorter allele is correlated with less serotonin re-uptake activity, while the longer allele contrasts. To determine whether genotype had an effect on spirituality, the students in this study were administered Cloninger’s TCI, an inventory used for investigation of temperament and character traits. Their results showed a significant effect of genotype on spirituality only in males, with those having the long allele showing lower spirituality. In order to corroborate their findings, volunteering 18 to 21-year-old undergraduate students at Augustana were genotyped using buccal swab and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques. To assess levels of spirituality, we administered the TG-323 Spiritual Attitude Inventory from the U.S. Army. This poster will present the results of our study.


Poster 20, Annette Bugno, Jennifer Vanderpool, Timothy Michaels—Biology: “An investigation of one-component regulators in Myxococcus xanthus”
Project Advisor: Dr. Kimberly Murphy
Description: Myxococcus xanthus is a Gram-negative bacterium commonly found in soil that uses adventurous and social motility systems for gliding motility. When M. xanthus cells are unable to find sufficient nutrients, a complex developmental program is initiated that allows large groups of cells to begin building fruiting bodies. The multicellular behavior of development is an intensely studied area in M. xanthus biology. However, the role of one-component regulators in development has not been investigated. Therefore, the genes corresponding to one-component regulators within the M. xanthus genome were disrupted. Resulting mutants were assayed for motility and fruiting body development. Among the mutants tested, a small number showed defects in motility or fruiting body development.


Poster 35, Jordan Carey—Geology: “Effects of Basin Subsidence on Experimental Delta Sedimentation Patterns and Surface Morphology”
Project Advisor: Chris Paola, Dr. Jeffrey Strasser
Description: Tectonic subsidence has been recognized as an important factor affecting surficial patterns of delta morphology. However, the link between subsidence and its manifestation in surface morphology is still unclear. Fluvial systems actively undergoing subsidence have an uncanny ability to fill in the newly created space. The rate at which sediment is deposited is adjusted to the rate of subsidence, on average. Here we present an analysis of two experiments conducted using the Experimental EarthScape (XES) basin. The XES basin allows for the study of sedimentological and geomorphological characteristics under controlled conditions of sediment/water supply, base level, and subsidence rate and geometry. We observed transitional flow deposits (fan structures), channel mobility and depositional bar formation in response to two varying types of subsidence; XES-02 experienced passive margin style subsidence, while XES-10 underwent foreland style subsidence, both of which had temporally constant subsidence. We found that depositional bars and transitional flow deposits on the surface of the deltas gave us conflicting results with our hypothesis. However, an analysis of channel mobility seemed to account for the inverse correlation, with subsidence, in depositional bars and transitional flow deposits. We conclude that depositional features at the surface account for less of the net deposition than previously thought, while the large portion of deposition occurs in the areas where the channel is highly mobile. We show that, experimentally, varying types of subsidence geometries express themselves differently at the surface, and an understanding of surface process can provide insight to subsidence geometry.


Poster 11, Stuart Casarotto, Peter Draznik, Mark Hoffmann—Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science: “Real Time Visualization of Music Using Arduino”
Project Advisor: Dr. Tom Bengtson
Description: We will present our Arduino powered music visualizer. Over a two-year process, we engineered a way to visualize music in real time by means of signal processing techniques and a custom built LED matrix. Our presentation will focus on the process we took to reach our final product. We will also demonstrate the product and allow anyone to test his or her own music and see it visualized in real time. Additionally, we will be willing to talk in detail about any portion of the development process or final product. This project was completed under the direction of Dr. Bengtson and the Beling Scholarship Program.


Poster 43, Hailee De Wild, Abigail Jones—Biology: “A Comparative Analysis of Groundwater, Surface Water and Surface Water with Rainwater Runoff”
Project Advisor: Dr. Kevin Geedey
Description: The study consisted of a comparative analysis of groundwater, surface water, and surface water containing a runoff event in four streams located in Rock Island and Moline. When comparing the three types of water, phosphorus, ammonia and nitrates were the nutrients that were looked at. Other parameters analysed were the pH, dissolved oxygen percent, salinity, total dissolved solids and conductivity. These parameters were used to hypothesize as to whether any pollution in the streams was coming from the ground or the surface environment.


Poster 31, Stephen Dempsey, Hunter Winstead— Chemistry: “Synthesis of Novel TLR-7 Agonists”
Project Advisor: Dr. José Boquín
Description: We were tasked with synthesizing novel chemical compounds that are biologically active on toll-like receptor 7. These compounds could hopefully be used in the treatment of many diseases. Our presentation will detail this synthesis, as well as some future goals for the project.


Poster 4, Erin Doty—Psychology: “Time Restraints on Perceptions of Fit in the Résumé Process”
Project Advisor: Dr. Daniel Corts
Description: Résumés can be considered one of the most important tools used during the initial stages of the hiring process for an available job. Hiring managers use résumés to make quick judgments about a candidate and his/her fit with the job, organization, and others persons in the work environment. These judgments are called perceptions of fit (PoF). The average time a hiring manager spends looking at a résumé is about 45 seconds (Arnulf, et al., 2010). This may not be enough time to make careful decisions about hiring a candidate; however, thin-slice research shows that quick reviews may be beneficial in focusing on what is most important for the job (Ambady, 2010). This study was conducted to see how time pressure and workload affect hiring decisions when looking through résumés. The following hypothesis was examined: With more time and less résumés, one will pay more attention to person-person (P-P) perception of fit, gaining more knowledge of the candidate as a whole. As time pressure and workload increase, one will pay more attention to work experience and person-job (P-J) fit. Bivariate correlations and a 2x3 mixed analysis of variance were conducted. Results showed significant correlations between person-job fit, person-organization fit and hiring recommendations, but no significant results for person-person fit. Also, participants in the heavy workload condition felt a greater sense of pressure under the time limit. Part of the hypothesis was supported. Even though the other correlations trended in the right direction, there were no significant differences.


Poster 21, Joshua Eisenberg—Biology: “Characterization of Transcription Factors Expressed During Chicken Retinal Development”
Project Advisor: Dr. Sean Georgi
Description: The retina is a light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eye. During the development of the retina, a group of multipotent progenitor cells give rise to seven different cell types. The aim of this study is to provide a preliminary characterization of the expression of the transcription factors NFIL3 and NCOA3 through the course of retinal development; two transcription factors that are known to be influenced by the addition of microRNA (Georgi and Reh 2010). Through the use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), I was able to examine the expression levels of the two genes throughout development, and hypothesize the role in which NFIL3 and NCOA3 play in the differentiation of the retinal cells.


Poster 45, Carlisle Evans Peck—Environmental Studies: ”“Over the River and Through the Woods”: An Analysis of Understory and Canopy Plant Diversity in Urban Riparian Forests”
Project Advisor: Dr. Michael Reisner
Description: As population growth explodes and urban areas expand, studying the ecology of urban areas has become increasingly important. Urban development can have disastrous effects on biodiversity, but urban landscapes also hold the potential to harbor and support valuable biodiversity. I studied the understory herbaceous plant and overstory tree canopy diversity of eight forested ravines in the small cities of Rock Island and Moline, Illinois, surrounded by a range of urban development intensity. Herbaceous understory communities were found to be dominated by early successional and invasive species. The quality and diversity of the herbaceous communities were negatively associated with increasing intensity of urbanization. Overall, the ravines are of moderate to minimal biodiversity significance. Given that urbanization was found to have a significant negative effect on native biodiversity, I suggest that the ravines and the surrounding neighborhoods be properly managed in order to improve the ecological and social well being of the Quad-Cities area. This includes removal of impervious surfaces, use of native species landscaping, and social awareness of the value of local forests.


Poster 5, Dr. S. Fenwick—Psychology: “Active and Collaborative Approaches in Core Classes”
Description:Statistics and Research Methods form the foundation of our developmental approach to the psychology curriculum. Student interest in these classes tends to be low as the topics are not inherently interesting. To engage students and improve motivation in these crucial areas, we have redesigned our classes to include 31 short- and long-term group projects while reducing lecture time. Activities incorporate self-explanation, distributed and interleaved practice, and collaboration. The goal is to ensure a uniform level of prior knowledge as students enter lab courses. Specific assignments are presented and evaluated.


Poster 9, Marcela Fitzpatrick, Melissa Gunlogson, Devon Pace, Cammie Ruhl—Neuroscience: “Effects of Religiosity and an Implicit Religious Prime on Behavioral and Physiological Responses to Moral Dilemmas”
Project Advisor: Dr. Ian Harrington
Description: Normative ethics offers two broad approaches to moral reasoning. The deontological approach is rule-based (e.g., “thou shalt not kill”), whereas the consequentialist approach involves assessing the likely outcomes of the options. In utilitarianism, for example, moral decisions are motivated by efforts to bring the greatest good to the greatest number of people. Moral dilemmas are known to differ in their ability to elicit emotional responses (Greene et al., 2001), and these responses are thought to influence moral reasoning (Damasio, 1996). Studies also have demonstrated that implicit religious primes can increase pro-social behavior (e.g., Shariff & Norenzayan, 2007). The goal of the present study was to determine whether an implicit religious prime would promote a more deontological approach to moral reasoning. We recorded behavioral responses, reaction times, and skin conductance responses (a proxy measure of sympathetic nervous system arousal) while participants responded to a number of moral and non-moral scenarios (Koenigs et al., 2007). For the first five minutes of the experiment, participants were asked to sort plastic beads by color under the pretense that it would allow them to “relax” before testing. Half of the participants sorted simple shapes (control), while the other half sorted crucifixes (religious prime). Participants also answered questions about their level of religiosity. We hypothesized that the religious prime would promote deontological reasoning and reduce emotional responsiveness. We also expected that the more religious participants would be less likely to endorse utilitarian decisions and faster to render their decisions overall. Data analyses are ongoing.


Poster 10, Melissa Granados—Psychology: “Mental Health Assessment: Evaluation Bias with Deaf Individuals”
Project Advisor: Dr. Daniel Corts
Description: Mental health evaluation in populations of deaf individuals has been lagging behind hearing populations for some time. Research shows that deaf patients leave their health-care providers without being asked about depressive symptoms, despite the paralleled symptoms expressed by hearing individuals. The purpose of this study was to examine whether attribution of depression favored hearing individuals in comparison to deaf individuals. Sixty-three participants aged 18 to 22 from a small liberal arts college were used in this study. An online survey was used to collect data and the data was analyzed using SPSS statistics software with a 2x2 analysis of variance. The results showed an insignificant interaction between judgment of symptoms and deafness. Despite a null hypothesis, further research on this issue is necessary in the future for treatment of mental health disorders in deaf individuals.


Poster 22, Amy Hicks—Biology: “What Affects Participation in Cancer Screenings”
Project Advisor: Dr. Dara Wegman-Geedey
Description: As a dual-degree B.A./B.S.N. student at Augustana College and Trinity College of Nursing and Health Sciences (TCON&HS), I completed a clinic-based Senior Inquiry project. During the summer between junior and senior year at Augustana, students in the B.A./B.S.N.program take the first course on basic nursing concepts, and then complete clinical hours at the hospital. In addition to the clinical experience provided through that course, I shadowed two professionals for a total of 60 hours—Mary Jo Bloominger, P.A., who works at a family practice clinic, and Carolene Robinson, R.N., who coordinates care for patients affected by breast cancer. As the prevalence of cancer has proven to be constant despite the advances of technology and research in today’s world, I became interested in what healthcare providers are doing at the forefront of the battle against cancer by examining means of prevention. In order to do this I created a survey to be distributed to members of the Quad-Cities community, as well as the Augustana College community, which questioned them about their experiences with cancer screenings. With Carolene Robinson, R.N., and Mary Jo Bloominger, P.A., I gained insight specifically in breast and cervical cancers, and the means of participation in the screens done for each.


Poster 14, Brittany Hite—Sociology: “Technology Etiquette and Social Interactions”
Project Advisor: Dr. Paul Croll
Description: Technology is everywhere. The increase, in recent years, of people owning personal devices also has led to the increased use of technology in situations where it hadn’t been used before. For example, technology is increasingly being used in classs, the workplace and social settings. The current young adult generation is at the age where they would have grown up as these technological advances were becoming the norm and were starting to be implemented in places such as schools and social settings. Therefore, they would have started to develop a different technological etiquette than generations before them had in place. My research focuses on the technology etiquette of current 18 to 22-year-olds. I want to find out what they believe is acceptable in public situations in regards to technology. My research tries to narrow down what this age group is willing to engage in while in a public setting and what they think is appropriate for others to engage in while in a public setting. I also will look at at the effect this change in technology etiquette has on social interactions, and how this increased ownership and use of technology affects the individual and society. There are some possibilities of trends that may come up due to the increased presence of technology in people’s lives. Sociologists have theorized about numerous potential suppositions, but now that we are more in the possible testing time frame, I will try to study some of them.


Poster 34, Keegan Horack, William Thompson, Byeong Han—Biology: “Decomposition of Aquatic and Terrestrial Invasive Species”
Project Advisor: Dr. Kevin Geedey
Description: A problem facing ecosystems today is the migration and habitation of invasive species of plants. The DATIS Project (Decomposition of Aquatic and Terrestrial Invasive Species) was developed to broaden our understanding of how decomposition rates of native plant species are affected by invasive species. The DATIS Project aims to identify the threshold of invasive species abundance necessary to affect ecosystem processes. The invasive species chosen to study was the Tree of Heaven or Ailanthus altissima Swingle. It comes from central China and has inhabited 30 states in the United States. The threat that Tree of Heaven poses is that it can rapidly overtake sites, replacing native plants. Being a prolific seeder and fast grower, it forms dense thickets blocking sunlight from reaching the plants under its cover. It also produces chemicals that harm other plant species’ ability to establish themselves in an area. The damaging affects of Tree of Heaven make it a good candidate to study in hopes that a solution will be found to control future invasions. The native species studied alongside Tree of Heaven was the Smooth Sumac or Rhus glabra. It is abundant in the United States and is extremely durable. Its ability to withstand competition and thrive in neglected sites makes Smooth Sumac a good species to study. We looked at how decomposition rates are affected when amounts of invasive species decomposing alongside native species are varied in order to determine the degree of invasive abundance necessary to affect the decomposition rates of native species.


Poster 44, Abigail Jones—Environmental Studies: “An Analysis of Groundwater Surface Water and Surface Water Containing A Runoff Event”
Project Advisor: Dr. Michael Reisner
Description: The research consisted of looking at groundwater surface water and surface water containing a runoff event. The aspects looked at in these three areas are phosphorus, ammonia, nitrate, dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids (TDS) and salinity levels. The samples were taken from four different streams in Rock Island and Moline. The different water types are compared within a stream and across streams to determine whether there are any trends.


Poster 23, Carrie Keahl, Matthew Shipon—Aquatic Biology: “Population and Diversity of Phytoplankton”
Project Advisor: Dr. Kevin Geedey
Description: The Augustana Slough is a great on-campus resource that allowed us to develop a research project from our previous knowledge in the aquatic biology Senior Inquiry. Although we are able to see that this slough is home to many organisms such as frogs, turtles and fish, we were more interested in looking at the microscopic organisms. We chose phytoplankton to research because we knew there are hundreds of species in the world and we were interested to see what the most popular species in our slough were. We developed this project to determine if there were any differences in phytoplankton abundance and species between the two distinct ends of the slough, the area near the main fountain, and the area near President Bahls’ house.


Poster 36, Lauren Kirik—Geology: “Characterizing Hydrothermal Fluids of Post-Variscan Ore Deposits of the Abandoned Domus Nieddas Mine, Sardinia, Italy”
Project Advisor: Dr. Michael Wolf
Description: The geological evolution of Sardinia is characterized by numerous magmatic and hydrothermal mineralizing events, ranging in age from the sedimentation of the Cambrian Middle carbonate platform to Miocene Alpidic tectonic and magmatic activity. Earlier studies have pinpointed the types of ore bodies hosted and phases of fluid flow within the Lower Cambrian platform carbonates. However, few studies have focused on the mechanisms of hydrothermal fluid flow and possible sources of metallic cations In SW Sardinia; two types occur: Pre-Variscan and Post-Variscan ore deposits, with the former deformed with their host rocks by Variscan compressive tectonics, and the latter cutting into Variscan deformed lithotypes (Boni et al., 1996). Post-Variscan deposits can be further characterized into (a) skarn deposits, (b) high-to-low temperature veins, and (c) low-temperature paleokarst “Ricchi Argento” deposits (Boni, Muchez & Schnieder, 2002). Three hydrothermal fluid systems were derived using Pb, Sr and S isotopes. In this study, samples from the Domus Nieddas mine were collected from the main ore vein and surrounding host rock in a gradational sequence to best represent the interactions between the platform carbonates and mineralizing fluids. Analytical methods such as XRF major and trace elements analysis and SEM analysis are utilized to determine evidence of mineralogical alterations of surrounding host rock that offers insight into ore precipitating hydrothermal fluids and attempts to characterize what systems of fluids are throughout the area.


Poster 17, Brian Konecke—Experimental Petrology: “Solubility and Stability of Beryllium-silicates in Haplogranitic Melts”
Project Advisor: Dr. Michael Wolf
Description: Despite its low crustal abundance of ~2.8 ppm, beryllium is a major structural component for more than 90 minerals. In this study, an experimental petrological approach was employed to determine the solubility of beryl and stability within haplogranitic melts. Beryl saturation was evaluated using seven haplogranite compositions with varying concentrations of SiO2 (64-74%), F (0.02-2.57%), and ASI (0.84-1.25) (ASI= Al/Na+K). The haplogranites of varying compositions were mixed with 10 wt.% beryl and 10 wt.% H2O, then run at 900-950°C and 200 MPa (H2O) in a cold-seal apparatus. The average calculated BeO content of the haplogranite + beryl powder from 10 runs was ~1.3 wt. %. The glass products were analyzed using EMP and BSE imaging in order to delineate phase stabilities of bertrandite and beryl within the system. Bertrandite is the only stable Be-bearing mineral in six runs; no mineral phases are present in three runs. The crystallization of bertrandite and absence of beryl may be explained by either: 1) bertrandite is the only stable phase following the breakdown of beryl, or 2) relic beryl hydrated to bertrandite at relatively low temperatures (<300°C). Bertrandite commonly replaces beryl, with a sheet silicate taking up the aluminum, which correlates to an overall increase of Al2O3 (wt. %) and decrease of SiO2 (wt. %) within five of the six bertranditebearing glass products. Although bertrandite has surpassed beryl as the most important domestic source of beryllium, the beryl + bertrandite stability relations within the BeO-Al2O3-SiO2-H2O (BASH) system is not well understood.


Poster 3, Katie Kornaus—Humanities: “Commonly Experienced, Individually Endured: Finding Productive Components Within the Challenges of Culture Shock”
Project Advisor: Dr. David Crowe
Description: Culture shock, like “culture” itself, is an ambiguous term that is difficult to define, as it can comprise all sorts of different effects on different people, as well as varying levels of severity, symptoms and time-spans. Experts have attempted to define the term, to offer modes of preparation for culture shock, and to draw conclusions about this phenomenon, although relatively few empirical studies have been done on the subject. Also, as all different sorts of people go abroad for all sorts of different motives and lengths of time, it is evidently extremely difficult to be able to draw any generalized conclusion on culture shock, especially since people also may have different personalities, expectations of their host culture, levels of preparation, and sources of support. This project aims to come to terms with experts’ debates and definitions of culture shock, and its causes and effects. It also analyzes previous research on the subject, including my own study on Augustana students’ attitudes towards culture shock. Finally, I arrive at conclusions about how culture shock can positively challenge study-abroad students to productively cultivate newfound cultural consciousness and intellectual perception.


Poster 25, DJ Lawlor—Biology: “The Characterization of Elk4 and Jazf1 during Chicken Retinal Development”
Project Advisor: Dr. Sean Georgi
Description: During the development of the retina, progenitor cells are seen to proliferate and differentiate into seven distinct cell types in a certain order. The goal of this research was to investigate the genetics involved in the ability for the formation of these cell types. Based on previous research (Georgi and Reh, 2010), Dicer, an enzyme responsible for the production of microRNAs, was knocked out and lead to altered expressions of transcription factors, leaving the retina in an immature state. Here, two transcription factors, Elk4 and Jazf1, were selected and studied due to their raised expression when Dicer was knocked out in mice (La Torre et al., 2013). Using chicken retinas, PCR and sequencing of the DNA allow for the identification of the levels of expression and specific variant types present at different stages of development. The characterization of these genes can help understand how this individual cell types are signaled to differentiate.


Poster 24, Jessica Leifheit—Aquatic Biology: “Submerged Macrophytes as a Water Quality Indicator of the Mississippi River”
Project Advisor: Dr. Kevin Geedey
Description: Submerged aquatic macrophytes are crucial to aquatic ecosystems as a source of food and oxygen, as well as the role they serve in nutrient cycles. From this, they are used as a biological indicator of water quality. In the Mississippi River, submerged aquatic macrophytes thrive upstream of Pool 16 but are uncommon downstream. Two submerged macrophytes, Ceratophyllum demersum and Elodea canadensis, were placed in tanks with water from different river sources (pools 14, 15 and 16). Standard measurements of water quality, shoot length and biomass were measured as indicators for stress along with the herbicide, atrazine. Despite clear differences in water quality among treatments, there was no significant difference in plant growth. However, the non-significant results indicated that the plant species responded differently to the pool environments.


Poster 37, Cesar Lira—Geology: “Phosphorus Levels in a Gravel-Hill Prairie are Remnants of Fertilizer Runoff from Condominiums Uphill”
Project Advisor: Dr. Jeffrey Strasser
Description: Tallgrass prairies have been reintroduced to some urban areas of the Midwest, partially in an effort to capture runoff and pollution. This project tests the effects of an urban prairie in northern Illinois by analyzing shallow soil samples. The Harlem Hills Prairie in Winnebago County, Illinois, is a 53-acre gravel-hill prairie surrounded by residential and light commercial neighborhoods. The study area lies down-gradient of residential condominiums, and it is assumed that nutrients and pavement runoff are washed into this system from several directions. Five 6-8 inch cores were taken from the prairie along a 159 m transect, decreasing in elevation from 257 m to 247 m. Soil pH varied from 6.4-7.4. Potassium concentrations peaked at 176 ppm, about 66.5 m down-gradient from the turf lawns, with an average value on the study area of 122.4 ppm. Phosphorus levels peaked at 17 ppm, about 104.2 m down-gradient from the turf lawns, with an average value of 5.4 ppm. Nitrogen tests are forthcoming. Preliminary results suggest a slug of nutrients between 66.5 and 104.2 m from the prairie boundary. This slug may have been transported by surface runoff and subsequent infiltration. The fact that the most down-gradient samples have lower nutrients reflects eventual capture of the nutrients by the prairie system. Complicating factors, including variable near-surface hydrogeological and microbial properties of the soils and variable vegetation, require further study.


Poster 42, Alexis McAdams—Geology: “Exploring the Relationship Between Megathrust Earthquakes and Intraplate Stress Fields in Japanese Subduction Zones”
Project Advisor: Dr. Michael Wolf
Description: The principal forces acting on subducting plates are slab-pull and bending/unbending, which generate the stress field and earthquakes within the plate. The focal mechanisms of intraplate earthquakes reveal the orientation of the stress field within the slab. Astiz et al. (1988) and Lay et al. (1989) observed differences in the focal mechanisms of intermediate-depth earthquakes before and after large underthrusting events. Before megathrust events, intermediate-depth earthquakes tended to be tensional. In contrast, immediately after megathrust earthquakes, intermediatedepth events tended to have compressional mechanisms and/ or to occur at a decreased rate. This change in seismic behavior following a megathrust event may reflect a transient change in stress orientation within the subducting plate. We revisit this observation with expanded datasets and new methods to calculate the orientation of the stress field. Following previous research on the Nazca slab subducting under South America, we apply the same methods to the Japan Trench subduction system. We utilize focal mechanism data from the global Centroid Moment Tensor project and the Full Range Seismograph Network of Japan of Mw>4.7 and Mw>3.5 respectively. Using these records, we invert the focal mechanisms to calculate the stress field in each cell. We damp stress variations between adjacent cells to minimize the complexity of the model and only keep changes required by the data (Hardebeck 34 and Michael, 2006). Comparison of the calculated stress orientations and relative magnitudes of the stress axes provide clues to the nature of the interaction between


Poster 38, Darrick McCarthy—Geology: “Geochemical Analyses of the Clay/Silt Sediment of a Small Stream System That Has Been Subject to Overflow From a Sewage Treatment Plant”
Project Advisor: Dr. Michael Wolf
Description: In Paddock Lake, Wis., the local water treatment facility dispatches its overflow into a small stream that then drains into a State-protected swamp. This stream flows for approximately one mile through six residential properties. The water is a result of exceeding the capacity of the facility, mainly due to large rain events and spring thaw, and may be inadequately treated or not treated at all. This poses the problem that the overflow has potential to contain heavy metals, including: antimony (firearm refuse, batteries, ceramics), arsenic (treated wood), barium (paint pigment), bismuth (paint, makeup), cadmium (brazing, soldering, electroplated parts), lead (old toys, paint), mercury (thermometers, medicines), nickel (cigarettes, diesel, food waste), tin (rubber), and others. The sources for these heavy metals can be found in the surrounding area, within the stream, and in water runoff that the treatment plant may be discharging. The sources also may not come from the plant itself, but from the residents that live along the stream. Evidence of dumping, garbage disposal and personal drain tiles are found draining into this stream. The threat of bodily waste, fecal matter, and other household wastes may also be prevalent and pose a health issue.


Poster 46, Cody Moss and Sean Considine—Biology: "The Relationship Between Mussel Diversity and Sediment Type In Relation To Invasive Species Prevalence" 
Project Advisor: Dr. Kevin Geedey
Description:  This study evaluated the effects of sediment types upon the density and diversity of native and invasive mussel populations. Collection sites along the Mississippi River were investigated for mussel density and diversity using systematic sampling. These sites consisted of distinct sediment types within a spectrum of sand, silt and clay combinations. Additionally, sediment was collected for analysis utilizing a dry and wet sieving method. Three sediment types were prominent in the collection sites: silty sand, sandy silt, and silt. Upon examination, it was found that silty sand provides the greatest overall richness of mussels. Mussel density differed within silty sand sediment categories (p=.032), as well as sediment sandy silt, compared to silty sand (greater proportional of silt to sand) (p=.05). Our results suggest that within the collection sites, invasive and native mussels' prefer a silty sand sediment type. 


Poster 26, Dr. Kimberly Murphy—Biology: “Genetic Analysis of American Toad Dispersal in Restored Wetlands of Winnebago County, Iowa”
Description: Nearly all wetlands have been destroyed in Northern Iowa, and restoration of these wetlands is vital to amphibian populations. Between 2000 and 2009, clusters of wetlands were restored in Winnebago County, Iowa. We are studying how toads and frogs are dispersing across agricultural landscapes to the restored wetlands. This helps gauge the effectiveness of the wetland restorations. Information collected in our study can be applied to rare species of concern and help land managers design future wetland restorations.


Poster 1, Mariana Noga—Theatre Arts: “Modernizing Theatre: “The Marriage of Figaro””
Project Advisor: Adam Parboosingh
Description: As a scenic artist, I researched painting techniques and staging conventions from 18th-century France. I then combined them with my modern painting techniques and knowledge to the painting of the Augustana theatre department’s fall play, “The Marriage of Figaro” by Beaumarchais. Working hand-in-hand with the designer, who designed a set that was similar to the staging from the era, we tried to recreate the experience that audience members would have had seeing the play in the 18th century. We used a series of backdrops to create the forced perspective view that was popularized after the Renaissance.


Poster 39, Matt Osman—Geology: “Manual and Acoustic Constraints on Ebullitive Methane Fluxes from Warming Subarctic Lakes”
Project Advisor: Dr. Michael Wolf
Description: Systematic difficulties in capturing the large spatial and temporal variability of ebullition (bubbling) has promoted a broad range of uncertainty in our understanding of the role of lakes as key emitters of atmospheric methane (CH4). With the projected warming and ongoing thawing of high-latitude frozen peatlands abundant in small lakes and ponds, there is an increasing need for methods that provide high-temporal resolution delineating precisely when and under what circumstances ebullitive fluxes occur. Employing the well-established Minnaert resonance formula as a reliable proxy for bubble volume, we designed a system of passive acoustic hydrophone sensors calibrated to continuously record ebullition from lakes at 160 kbits/sec. We present here the results of three summer field seasons (2011-2013) of acoustic and manual bubble flux measurements from three subarctic lakes situated in discontinuous permafrost regions of northern Sweden. Results show trends similar to prior lake measurements in the subarctic. We found wide variation in CH4 concentrations, spanning between 0.10 to 95.16%. Fluxes ranged from 0-279.72 mg CH4 m-2 d-1 and averaged 10.95 mg CH4 m-2 d-1 (n = 482) over the three-year period. High-resolution time series analysis of our measurements are compared alongside standard meteorological parameters such as atmospheric pressure, temperature, rainfall and wind speed/disturbance to infer dominant external forcings and thresholds on ebullition.


Poster 16, Chris Petlicki—Physics: “Optical Autocorrelator”
Project Advisor: Dr. James Van Howe
Description: Ultrafast lasers are important for applications such as information processing, environmental sensing, biomedical imaging, surgery, spectroscopy, threat detection and micromachining. In our ultrafast optics lab at Augustana, we build lasers that produce bursts of light that have durations of hundreds of femtoseconds or 1/0.0000000000001 seconds. That amount of time is more than 1,000 times faster than the separation of 4 G data. Because this is too fast to be measured with even the best state-of-the-art electronics, we use the laser light itself to make the measurement of the light burst (pulse) duration using second-order optical autocorrelation. This work describes the autocorrelator I built in order to measure the ultrashort pulses from a fiber laser in our lab. Autocorrelation traces show pulses of 700 fs.


Poster 6, Leesa Potthoff, Jessica Bacon, Jacqueline Kreiner—Elementary Education: “Kindergarten Number Sense Project”
Project Advisors: Dr. Mike Egan, Dr. Randy Hengst
Description: The Number Sense Project stems from Augustana’s partnership with Longfellow Elementary School in Rock Island. Each year, Augustana elementary education students collaborate with Longfellow’s kindergarten teachers and classes, as well as the Augustana education faculty, to conduct an active research project. The goals of this project are to provide kindergarten students with differentiated small group instruction and to enhance the Augustana teacher candidates’ understanding of developing number sense in kindergarteners. Throughout the duration of the Number 35 Sense Project, the Augustana teaching candidates have developed research questions on the topics of “adding on” and the best form of assessment for kindergarteners, which have been explored through their work with the Longfellow students. Pictures, videos, anecdotes and other findings are presented to give a peek into what goes on in a kindergarten math class.


Poster 24, Mason Robertson and John Bialek– Aquatic Biology: “Alkalinity and Dissolved Oxygen Relationships in Upper Mississippi Studies Center Watersheds”
Project Advisor: Dr. Kevin Geedey
Description: Significant increased river alkalinization has been observed in the eastern United States. Our main project goals were to (1) establish a relationship between alkalinity, pH and oxygen levels at local watershed sites, (2) compare them to eastern U.S. alkalinity trends, and (3) contribute to the Upper Mississippi Studies Center’s data on local watershed alkalinity in the Quad Cities and Moline area to help better sustain urban watersheds. Sustained low pH adversely affects aquatic organisms’ behavior, growth and reproduction. Our experimental research goal was to find a relationship between alkalinity and biochemical oxygen demand of the watershed sites. We found that local watershed alkalinity tended to decrease as pH increased, but headwater, ravine and confluence sites within watersheds had relatively stable alkalinities. Local watersheds thus did not follow the same trend seen in the eastern United States. We also found that alkalinity decreased as the concentration of dissolved oxygen decreased. Increased rates of river alkalinization in the eastern U.S. were found to be primarily caused by carbonate lithology, acid deposition and topography. We found similar patterns in local watersheds, with alkalinity being correlated with an increase in impervious surfaces, likely due to excess carbonate runoff from these materials. The biochemical oxygen demand was found to increase as the percent of impervious surfaces increased, possibly due to increased nutrient runoff into watersheds associated with greater amounts of impervious surfaces. Headwater sites had the highest biochemical oxygen demand, and this unexpected trend requires further investigation to determine possible causes.


Poster 28, Christina Scribano—Biology: “The Relationship Between Environment Manipulation and Breast Cancer Cell Adhesion and Metastasis”
Project Advisor: Dr. Scott Gehler
Description: Tumor cell motility, or metastasis, is the cause of most cancer deaths. During metastasis, cells gain the ability to migrate and invade surrounding tissues. Cell adhesion, or the binding of a cell to its micro-environment, is a contributing factor to the metastatic ability of cancer cells, making it a relevant research topic. Collagen is a prominent molecule in the micro-environment of breast cancer cells to which the cells can attach. The collagen concentration found within the breast tissue of individuals with breast cancer can greatly impact the development and progression of the disease. We demonstrate that cellular adhesion is reduced at low collagen concentrations when compared to higher collagen concentrations. Moreover, we have shown that an intermediate collagen concentration promotes maximal cell migration, whereas low and high collagen concentrations result in reduced migration. A similar pattern was also observed upon examination of the cell spreading of breast cancer cells on varying concentrations of collagen. We then introduced nerve growth factor (NGF), a signaling molecule produced by malignant (but not normal) breast epithelial cells and a known enhancer of breast cancer cell metastasis. Preliminary data was obtained on the effects of this molecule on breast cancer cell behaviors in environments of differing collagen concentrations. Understanding the interactions of these molecules in vitro will lead to a better understanding of the complex breast cancer cell mechanisms in vivo.


Poster 12, Andy Shearouse—Computer Science, Communication Studies and User Interface Design: “Developing a Streamlined Responsive Web Design Framework”
Project Advisor: Doug Tschopp
Description: In this project, I conducted research into Internet usage trends and demographics, particularly in regards to the devices that are being used to view websites. Additional research was conducted to gather more information about best practices for developing mobile-friendly websites. The findings from this research were used to demonstrate that “responsive web design” poses a better solution to the complex problem of web traffic coming from many different device types. The project culminated in the development of a new, streamlined, responsive web-design framework.


Poster 7, Michelle Skowron—Psychology: “A Cognitive Behavioral Approach To Treating Alcoholism With Co- Occuring Conditions”
Project Advisor: Dr. Samuel Moreno
Description: My research question is “From a cognitive behavioral approach, what is its effectiveness in treating alcoholism with co-occuring conditions?” For my method, I gathered 20 hours of observations in a local substance abuse facility. Rock Island’s Trinity Health Medical Center has a wing dedicated to substance abuse patients. That wing is known as Riverside, and substance abuse programs take place Monday through Thursday for three hours a day. It is not a closed program, which means that new admitted patients can join at any time. It is a 12-week program that stresses zero tolerance for alcohol and other substances that were abused. My presentation is about the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in alcoholic patients with co-occcuring conditions.


Poster 41, Michael Spehlmann—Geology: “Per Plant Lead Uptake in Lemna minor (Duckweed)”
Project Advisor: Dr. Michael Wolf
Description: This study seeks to further examine the heavy metal bioremediation potential of a species of duckweed, Lemna minor. Previous research suggests that various species of aquatic plants including duckweed can accumulate heavy metals. However, these studies often examined the remediation potential at near neutral pH. In order to better understand the potential of duckweed species to be an effective bioremediation of heavy metals, it is necessary to test it in aqueous solutions of different levels of acidity. Ponded water contaminated by heavy metals often is highly acidic. Therefore, this study quantifies the amount of lead that Lemna minor is capable of uptaking in solutions of different acidities between pH of 5 and 8. Lemna minor cannot survive at pH levels outside this range. Initial tests have shown that Lemna minor, like other species of duckweed, can uptake lead from contaminated water. However, in order to understand the remediation potential of this species it is necessary to determine how acidity outside of its ideal, neutral condition affects the uptake of lead.


Poster 13, Sam Stewart—Neuroscience: “Dose-Dependent Effects of SDPN Administration on Anxiety in Mice”
Project Advisor: Dr. Ian Harrington
Description: Activation of estrogen receptor beta (ERβ) is commonly associated with diminished anxiety. As such, understanding the effects of this receptor may help further our understanding of anxiety and comorbid conditions, such as depression. R-diarylpropionitrile (SDPN) is a potent ERβ agonist. In this experiment, I observed the dose-dependent effects of SDPN administration on anxiety in mice via measuring their behavior using an elevated plus-maze test, as well as their plasma levels of corticosterone, a hormone that is associated with stress in mice. These mice were administered with differing doses (either 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 or 5.0 mg/kg) of SDPN over the course of a week. On the second-to-last day, the mice were placed in an elevated plus-maze, and their behavioral levels of anxiety were measured. On the last day, the mice were restrained for 30 minutes, then allowed to recover for 30 minutes, after which they were anesthetized and had 1 ml of blood extracted via cardiac puncture. The plasma was then sent for radioimmunoassay in order to measure corticosterone levels. While neither behavioral measures nor corticosterone measurement returned any significant results, presumably due to the age of the mice, a general linear trend was observed, suggesting that future studies may return significant data.


Poster 29, Kelsey Stockert and Mallory McLain—Biology: “Structure of the Forest at Collinson Ecological Preserve based on EREN Permanent Plots”
Project Advisor: Dr. Bohdan Dziadyk
Description: Collinson Ecological Preserve is a 37ha field station owned by Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. The preserve is a second growth, upland forest located on well-drained, rolling topography. In 2012, we established two permanent (20x20m) study plots as prescribed by the Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN). Tree density of the forest was 925 tree/ha. The average dominance of the most important species, Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra), was 0.82m2/ha for the two years (2012 and 2014) on the west plot. On the east plot, Red Oak (Quercus rubra) was the most important species based on average dominance (5.1m2/ha). The structure of the forest at Collinson Preserve is comparable to the upland forests found throughout the region.


Poster 40, Steven Ray Trent—Geology: “Hydrothermal Alteration of the Butler Hill Granite, St. Francois Mountains, Southeastern Missouri”
Project Advisor: Dr. Michael Wolf
Description: The St. Francois Mountains in southeastern Missouri reveal a roughly 900 km2 1.5 Ga igneous complex that shows signs of postemplacement alteration. This study focuses on a hydrothermal event affecting the Butler Hill granite near Fredericktown, Missouri, manifested by green boulder fragments within the largely red granite quarry. Although our sample boulder was not in place when taken, we know its approximate original location relative to a quarried-out hydrothermal vein, based on information from the quarry geologist. Our sample was divided into six lateral zones by visual inspection, each showing different stages of mineralization. Zone 1, the least altered, shows slightly altered feldspar and plagioclase, biotite/chlorite and quartz. Zone 2 shows progressive alteration of feldspar and plagioclase, typically unaltered microcline, and quartz. Zone 3 has substantially altered plagioclase, slightly altered microcline, biotite in solution pathways, and epidote in place of chlorite. Zone 4 shows pervasive alteration throughout, large quartz crystals, and epidote in interstitial areas. Zone 5 has smaller subhedral quartz crystals, plagioclase appears broken up, and epidote/opaque minerals are located in alteration routes. Zone 6 shows disseminated alteration throughout, excluding small anhedral quartz and (~3-4mm) vugs of calcite. The sample shows opaque minerals disappearing as the zones grade from slightly to significantly altered. X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) data shows trending oxide patterns from Zone 1 to Zone 6 indicative of hydrothermal alteration. Continued petrographic and SEM analyses will give further insight into the composition and source of the hydrothermal fluids that affected the original granite composition.


Poster 15, Krista Watson—Exercise Science: “Fatigue Deleteriously Alters Muscle Activation Patterns during Landing and Cutting Tasks”
Project Advisor: Dr. Bob Tallitsch
Description: Fatigue may lead to improper landing neuromechanics, contributing to non-contact knee injury. Research has investigated effects of fatigue on landing kinematics and kinetics, but few studies have investigated effects on muscle activation. PURPOSE: Study the effects of fatigue on muscle activation during landing and cutting tasks. METHODS: 12 active college students (five female, seven male) performed three tasks: maximal vertical jump (VJ), single-leg landings (SL), and side-cuts (SC). Five trials of each were collected before (PRE) and after (POST) a four-minute fatigue circuit: forward sprints, backward sprints, side-step/vertical jumps (12.5m distance). SL and SC tasks included jumping forward onto the force plate, landing one legged and stabilizing or cutting laterally (45°). EMG electrodes were attached to thigh muscles (i.e., rectus femoris [RF], vastus medialis [VM], vastus lateralis [VL], medial hamstrings [MH], lateral hamstrings LH]). EMG data was rectified, band-pass filtered, smoothed, and normalized to maximal voluntary contraction obtained from manual muscle testing. Peak landing phase EMG averages were calculated for each muscle and task. PRE and POST averages were compared with t-tests (α = 0.05). RESULTS: VJ height decreased after exercise (6/12 subjects significant). With fatigue, muscle activations (%MVC) were greater for the VL and RF during SL. Also, trending towards lower muscle activation was the VL and RF during SC after fatigue. CONCLUSION: With fatigue, landing and cutting tasks were completed with greater RF and VL activation. Since greater VL activation is associated with greater knee valgus angles the observed changes in muscle activation may have deleterious effects on injury risk.


Poster 33, Grant Wick—Geology: “A Forensic Geoscience Approach of Comparing Evidence and Field Samples in Connection with a 23-Year-Old Missing Persons/Murder Cold Case”
Project Advisor: Dr. Michael Wolf
Description: When crimes are committed outside, soil and sediment evidence may be very useful in connecting criminals and objects to the crime scene. This investigation attempts to quantify soil samples taken in connection with an October, 1990, missing persons/murder case and match them to local surrounding areas based on soil characteristics. Two evidence soil samples were collected from behind the victim’s car wheel wells and hitch, a day after he was reported missing. Nine samples recently were collected from two sites of police 37 interest: six from a highland wooded area and three from a lowland floodplain. All soil samples were analyzed by multiple techniques for bulk mineralogy and grain size analysis. After optical study using a 3-90x magnifying microscope, sample splits were wet-sieved at 4 phi to separate the clay/silt fraction. Bulk mineralogy of the clay/silt fraction was determined through X-ray Diffraction (XRD) spectroscopy to compare to known glacial periods in the area and geologic history. Major, minor and trace element constituents of the clay/silt fraction were measured through X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy of both fused disk and pressed powder preparations. Organic matter embedded in the evidence mud also is being studied to help narrow down possible sites. The methods in this study will be used to assist police in their investigation by determining which (if any) of the field locations has more soil characteristic similarities to the evidence samples taken from the victim’s vehicle. Potential matches will be searched using cadaver dogs.


Poster 30, Trace Wingo, Justin Davidson and Sean Walker—Biology: “Structure of the Forest at Beling Ecological Preserve Using EREN Permanent Plot Protocol”
Project Advisor: Dr. Bohdan Dziadyk
Description: The Beling Ecological Preserve is a 40ha field station owned by Augustana College, located in Rock Island County, Ill. The preserve is located on a second growth lowland forest on level, seasonally saturated wetland soils. In 2012, we established two permanent (20X20m) study plots as prescribed by the Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN). The North Plot tree density of the forest was 575t/ha in 2012 and 2014. The South Plot tree density of the forest was 450t/ha in 2012 and 325t/ha in 2014. The dominance species is Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum). The average dominance in the North Plot is 2.36m2 and in the South Plot is 4.25m2. The changing dynamic of density and dominance is due to the harsh conditions of the environment.


Poster 30, Jennifer Wood—Biochemistry: “Expansion and Characterization of Autologous Natural Killer Cells from Patients with Lymphoma”
Project Advisor: Dr. Heidi Storl
Description: Human natural killer (NK) cells are a subset of peripheral blood lymphocytes that have therapeutic potential for a wide variety of cancers. However, NK cells in patients undergoing cancer treatment are significantly reduced in number in vivo and have impaired cytotoxic abilities. To determine if NK cell numbers and cytotoxicity from patients with lymphoma could be restored, NK cells from 4 patients with lymphoma were expanded ex vivo using a 21-day expansion method. After expansion, cytotoxic function was assessed against autologous lymphoma cell lines compared to that of expanded NK cells from 3 healthy donors using an antibody dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) assay. Phenotyping on day 21 indicated NK cell proliferation. The ADCC assay revealed that the cytotoxicity decreased as the effector: target cell ratio decreased and increased with the addition of the antibody Rituximab, but this increase gave under 30% cell lysis for all patient NK cells. These findings suggest that further research needs to be conducted to determine why allogeneic NK cells are more effective against autologous tumor cell lines than autologous NK cells.