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Poster session I

GÄVLE ROOM, THE GERBER CENTER
9:30-10:45 a.m.
Breakfast foods and beverages will be served during the morning poster session.

Adam Lydigsen-Grimes, Luther Grulke, Alexander Bergstrom, Tara Groen, Elaina Analitis, Dr. Patrick Crawford
Project advisor: Dr. Patrick Crawford, biochemistry
Isolation, Expression, and Characterization of a β–lactamase Produced by Meiothermus ruber

Poster #1

β-lactamase enzymes are the most significant contributor to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. The pharmaceutical industry’s response to antibiotic resistance has been to develop new antibiotics or β–lactamase inhibitors; these successes in the clinical setting require an understanding of the structure and function of the β–lactamases. A β–lactamase gene was identified in Meiothermus ruber, a thermophilic gram-negative bacterium, with a bright red carotenoid pigment. M. ruber genomic DNA was utilized to clone the β–lactamase gene into the plasmid pKT1. The pKT1 plasmid contains a β–lactamase selection gene, which could potentially obfuscate kinetic assay data. Therefore, the β–lactamase gene from M. ruber was then amplified by PCR, inserted into pET-26b (a protein-expression vector containing a Kanamycin resistance selection gene) and transformed into E. coli. Restriction digestion and sequencing were performed on the successful transformants to verify the presence and correct orientation of the M.ruber β–lactamase gene. Activity and substrate preference of the gene product was determined by growing the bacteria in the presence of various β–lactam antibiotics.  Preliminary tests suggest the M.ruber β–lactamase gene product can hydrolyze cephalosporin β–lactam antibiotics but not carbapenems. This result is supported by sequence comparison studies that suggest the gene product is a class C (AmpC-type) β–lactamase. Further experiments are required to understand the structure and function of the β–lactamase from M.ruber.


Valeria Melo, Dr. José Boquín, Josh Coduto
Project advisor: Dr. José Boquin, chemistry
Optimization of the Sonogashira Reaction for the Synthesis of AC1 Derivatives

Poster #2

Previous studies in the research lab of Dr. José Boquin at Augustana College have addressed TLR activation and have resulted in the synthesis of a small organic agonist (AC1) capable of activating a specific type of toll-like receptor, TLR7, that is found in humans. Preliminary biological results have identified AC1 as a potent TLR7 agonist. The activation of TLR7 by AC1 could potentially produce natural cytokines for the stimulation of an adaptive immune response. With the importance of this larger application in mind, this branch-off study focused on the optimization of AC1 synthesis via
the Sonogashira coupling of an aryl halide with a terminal alkyne. Variables such as type of solvent used, amount of solvent used,
type of reagents used, concentration of reagents, inert conditions and reaction time were modified. Seven variations of Sonogashira reactions were performed in which we identified THF as the ideal solvent for a tosylated AC1. The most successful Sonogashira reactions were reactions SC4-SC6, which increased reagent/catalyst concentration while decreasing the amount of solvent used. We also found that allowing the aryl halide and catalysts to stir for 30 minutes before the addition of the terminal alkyne and allowing the reaction to stir overnight afforded the best results. A nitrogen atmosphere was determined not necessary for the Sonogashira coupling reaction with the compounds of interest. These findings are steps forward for the optimization of the Sonogashira coupling reaction. It will be important, however, to look for ways to increase percent yield to above 50%, as well as explore new synthetic routes to tosylate AC1. The tosylation of AC1 will be imperative for controlling the functionality and biological activity of AC1 in future studies.

Christina Sauer
Project advisor: Dr. C. Kevin Geedey, biology
Microspora Competition for Sunlight

Poster #3

The focus of this project was to study the primary production of the filamentous green algae Microspora and its potential to inhibit its own photosynthesis as well as the potential for rooted aquatic plants to inhibit its photosynthesis. The spatial distribution of Microspora could be explained by this competition between organisms. To test this, I set up buoys in areas of rooted aquatic plants, Microspora mats and direct sunlight. The buoys held Biological Oxygen Demand bottles in which Microspora was held in-situ for net primary production measurements. Net primary production was defined as the difference between the final and the initial oxygen concentration in each bottle, and then expressed as a rate by dividing by the bottle volume and incubation time. The results showed statistically significant differences in net primary production of Microspora under mats of itself and beds of Potamogeton crispus. Net primary production was negative in both habitats, suggesting that Microspora net primary production is inhibited in both locations. Furthermore, the statistically significant results indicate that microhabitats within the pond favor different species.

Daniel Herrera
Project advisor: Stephanie Fuhr, biology
Foraging Efficiency and Learning in Capuchin Monkeys (Cebus capucinus)

Poster #4

Primates have relatively large brain-to-body ratios and spend a substantial period of their life in the juvenile development stage. Large brains suggest long juvenile stage, hypothesizing that primates require long juvenile periods to learn complicated foraging techniques. Critics of this hypothesis argue that foraging efficiency increases primarily as a function of increased muscle mass, not learning. We set out to determine if the juvenile period is in fact
used to learn complicated foraging techniques by examining food preferencing behavior in white faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capuchinus). Individuals of varying ages were observed as they selected fruits from attalea palm trees (attalea butyracea). Learning was tested by counting the number of times each individual touched, bit or dropped individual fruits before eating them. We found that individuals tested fruits less as they aged, indicating that individuals learned how to distinguish a desirable fruit from a non-desirable fruit over time. These results support the previously stated hypothesis and justify the long juvenile period in primates, offering insight to the evolutionary drivers of primate ecology.

McKenna Burns, Dan Herrera, Dr. Tierney Brosius, Dr. Tim Muir
Project advisor: Dr. Tim Muir, biology
Cold-Hardiness in North American Tiger Beetles

Poster #5

Insects in temperate or polar climates must display behaviors or physiological mechanisms to cope with low winter temperatures. Tiger beetles (Cicindelinae) range throughout North America,
and although their ecological role as insect predators has been heavily studied, almost nothing is known about their winter cold tolerance. For this reason, we measured three key indicators of
cold tolerance—chill tolerance, freeze tolerance and supercooling points—of adult Cicindela repanda and Cicindela limbalis during acclimation to winter. We also measured whole-body glycerol content and hemolymph osmolality. Our preliminary results suggest that both species are chill tolerant, but that they are not freeze tolerant. Significant lowering of the SCP was evident for C. repanda, with a median SCP of -9.0°C dropping to -11.2°C. Both species did accumulate modest glycerol; mean glycerol concentrations
of C. repanda and C. limbalis were measured at 0.9 μmol/g and 1.5 μmol/g in early fall and 1.0 μmol/g and 1.4 μmol/g by mid-January, respectively. This initial assessment of winter cold tolerance suggests that adult tiger beetles can survive low temperature in
the absence of internal ice formation and that the capacity of C. repanda to remain unfrozen increases in winter. The modest increase in glycerol content found in both species is too little for colligative cryoprotection, but it may protect the beetles from low-temperature injury in other ways. Further investigation is needed to better understand the overwintering microhabitat of the beetles and how
it may affect winter mortality.

Victoria Lason, Jessamine Finch
Project advisor: Jessamine Finch, Northwestern University
Defining the Germination Tolerance Range of Three Milkweeds (Asclepias spp.)

Poster #6

Our changing climate is growing as a major variable in plant science as it poses a marked impact upon early life stages of plants, including germination and seedling establishment. Both stages have recently been identified as a large potential bottleneck to plant recruitment under climate change, as seedlings will be more sensitive than mature individuals. As an important source of nectar for pollinators, and the obligate host plant for monarch butterflies, three species of milkweed were chosen to forecast species responses to variables, including heightened temperatures. Seeds from nine populations of each species were collected along a latitudinal gradient. Lab-based germination trials occurred in two light- and temperature-controlled incubators for a period of 32 days at 25/15°F, and for 36 days at 15/5°. After the incubation trials, viability tests were conducted upon non-germinated samples to check for dead or dormant seeds. Our results identified significant differences in milkweed germination among species, populations and regions, in response to simulated winter length and spring temperature changes throughout the Midwest of the United States. These findings have the potential to inform best practices in seed sourcing for restoration. Implementing optimal milkweed ecotypes decreases management time and cost—two major limiting factors in restoration.

Skylar Monahan, Morgan Anderson, Ryan Johnson
Project advisor: Dr. C. Kevin Geedey, biology and environmental studies
The Effects of Urbanization on Leaf Breakdown Rates in a Rock Island Watershed

Poster #7

The ability of streams to break down leaves is widely used as an indicator of a stream’s functional health. In typical assessments of stream health, structural factors such as pH, nutrients, turbidity, toxic chemicals, etc., are used to judge a stream’s health but functional indicators take into account the ability of streams to fulfil ecosystem services. In this study, we use leaf decomposition rates to assess the functional health of streams in an urban watershed in Rock Island, Ill. A previous study measured decomposition rates at six sites that were categorized by chloride levels. The current study assesses decomposition more broadly among 12 sites. The sites were characterized by similar levels of discharge, stream order, temperature and pH. Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and red oak (Quercus rubra) leaves were collected shortly after abscission and were then weighed, packaged in mesh bags (5g per bag), and deployed in situ for periods of two and four weeks. Mesh
bags were then removed, dried and weighed so mass loss and
leaf decomposition rate could be calculated. Preliminary findings suggest that decomposition rate at the fastest decomposing site
was roughly three times that of the lowest site. At two weeks, decomposition rates vary significantly across the watershed
(ANOVA, p < 0.001). Our previous findings suggested that differences in leaf decomposition rates were likely caused by lower levels of macroinvertebrate diversity associated with high chloride levels from urban stormwater runoff. In this study, we intend to correlate rates of decomposition to water quality parameters, including chloride, family biotic index, pH, nutrient levels and total suspended solids,
as well as other watershed characteristics, including upstream land use and the amount of near-stream impervious surfaces, to examine if these patterns hold across the watershed.

Allison Furr, Dr. C. Kevin Geedey
Project advisor: Dr. C. Kevin Geedey, biology
Deer Droppings as a Diverse Invertebrate Habitat

Poster #8

Performed at Augustana’s Green Wing Environmental Laboratory, this project studied the richness and diversity of soil invertebrates in two conditions—deer poop-enriched soil and surrounding soil. Soil invertebrates play an important role in soil quality which greatly affects ecosystems. The hypothesis of this study was that the diversity and richness would be higher in the poop-enriched soil samples. Soil samples were collected, Burlese funnels were used to collect the invertebrates, the invertebrates were examined under the microscope and were assigned to taxa. The number of taxa (richness) and the number of individuals in each taxa (Simpson’s diversity) were used to compare the two soil conditions of deer poop-enriched soil and surrounding soil.

Axl Eriksson, Dr. Gregory Domski
Project advisor: Dr. Gregory Domski, chemistry
Synthesis of Novel Chiral Pyridine-functionalized Imidazolium Salt: Proligand for Asymmetric Catalysis

Poster #9

This research is about how to synthesize an organic compound using the techniques used by the researchers behind the articles “Acid-Catalyzed ortho-alkylation of Anilines,” “Dicationic chelating N-heterocyclic carbene complexes of Palladium,” and “A Modified Procedure for the Synthesis of 1-Arylimidazoles and Palladium Complexes with Tridentate Pincer Bis-Carbene Ligands as Efficient Catalyst for C-C Coupling.” The series of reactions start with 1-tert- butyl-4-ethenylbenzene reacting with 2,4-dimethylaniline to form 2-[1-(4-tert-butylphenyl)ethyl]-4,6-dimethylaniline. This compound then reacts with 1-imidazole to form 1-{2,4-dimethyl-6-[1-(3-tert- butylphenyl)ethyl]phenyl}-1H-imidazole. React this with pyridine to form the final product. The lab part of this research is not yet complete, but two of the three reactions have been performed, and each product has been identified with HNMR. The most difficult reaction to perform was the one used in “Dicationic chelating N-heterocyclic carbene complexes of Palladium” (reaction 2) so the technique that was used in that research was replaced by a technique used in “A Modified Procedure for the Synthesis of 1-Arylimidazoles.”

Isaac Smith
Project advisors: Dr. Gregory Domski and Dr. Patrick Crawford, chemistry
Introduction to Zymurgy: Variations in Brewing

Poster #10

During the term, we have prepared five variations on an American Pale Ale recipe in order to study the impact of different dextrose contents on percent alcohol by volume, taste and consistency of the beer—as found through analytical methods and a tasting panel.

Sara Baugh
Project advisor: Dr. Jennifer Burnham, environmental studies and geography
Summer Precipitation Occurrence Effect on Two Passerine Species in Thule, Greenland

Poster #11

Climate change is occurring at a faster rate in the Arctic than the rest of the globe, causing temperature rises at twice the rate of the global average and increased summer precipitation in the form of rain. These precipitation events are predicted to affect migratory bird species that breed throughout the Arctic. Increased occurrence of heavy rainstorms indirectly affect bird populations by impacting distribution and abundance of food supply, and directly affect bird populations by increasing mortality rates of juveniles. Studies conducted on bird species throughout the Low Arctic regions have shown that it is not the total precipitation of a breeding season that results in juvenile bird mortality, but the occurrence of severe storms that result in significant precipitation in single weather events. To test for similar results in the High Arctic region, juvenile survival rates of snow buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis) and Lapland longspurs (Calcarius lapponicus) were recorded for the months of June through August between 2010 and 2016 in Thule, Greenland (76° N, 68° W). This was done using Potter traps and attaching numbered leg bands for identification. Results showed that heavy rain events, defined as being over seven millimeters, which occurred in June during the nest building/egg laying time frame and in July when nests were vulnerable, had lower rates of juvenile passerine species observation. The results were not as direct and significant as prior studies but still showed an overall negative impact of precipitation on passerine species in the High Arctic.

Barrie Chileen
Project advisors: Dr. Reuben Heine and Dr. Thomas Albright, environmental studies and geography
An Evaluation of Gridded Temperature Products and their Effectiveness in Modeling Small Scale Ambient Temperature

Poster #12

The use of gridded temperature products is becoming increasingly prevalent in ecological research due to their accessibility, low
cost, and spatial and temporal coverage. While a few studies have compared gridded products with each other and with weather station data, little research exists that attempts to verify the accuracy of these gridded products on finer spatial scales in field settings. In this study, we use two networks of temperature sensors to evaluate the effectiveness of these widely used gridded products in modeling ambient temperatures and compare tradeoffs between spatial and temporal resolution of gridded products. We deployed 65 temperature sensors in radiation shields (Holden 2013) at the Kofa wildlife refuge in Southwestern Arizona and 80 sensors on the Snake Range of Eastern Nevada. From 2014 to 2015, the sensors recorded hourly temperatures. We then compared the sensor-collected temperatures against three widely used gridded temperature products that have varying spatial and temporal resolutions: NLDAS 10 km at hourly intervals, PRISM 4 km at daily intervals and Daymet 1 km at daily intervals. To compare the daily products, it was necessary to interpolate hourly values from daily minima and maxima. To do this, two methods of hourly interpolation (a cosine fit with variable sunrise and the Chillr package in R) were compared against sensor readings. We find that gridded products provide strong overall fits with sampled datasets but have a tendency to underestimate maxima and overestimate minima. Studies involving processes that are sensitive extremes and threshold
based indices may be negatively affected by these biases. Of the gridded products used, Daymet was the most accurate at capturing Tmax and hourly temperatures (average R2 > 0.90), while NLDAS was the least accurate (R2 = 0.70). While this suggests that the benefits of finer spatial resolution may outweigh the benefits of finer temporal resolution, other factors unrelated to resolution, such as topographic homogeneity across pixels, may have contributed to the differences among products.

Erienne Davis
Project advisor: Dr. Reuben Heine, geography and environmental studies
Mississippi River Floodplain Sedimentation: Distribution and Change in Pool 18

Poster #13

Overbank deposition and sedimentation have been identified as key processes for fluvial geomorphology and river sediment budgets. In the UMR valley, islands and floodplain surfaces have been shown to be aggrading by about 5mm/yr but little is known about: (1) the spatial distribution of the sedimentation, (2) factors that influence sedimentation distribution or (3) the impact that these sediments have on floodplain habitats and forest conditions. This study utilizes large-scale historic (1937) and modern (2011) topographic data to map and explain sedimentation patterns in a 1.4-km long reach of the Mississippi River in Pool 18. Sedimentation was modeled across the study area using the DEM of difference (DoD) method which mathematically compares gridded elevation to compute changes in elevation over time. For the Pool 18 study area, we compared: (1) historic topographic data based on 1937 Plane Table Maps with (2) modern elevation data from 2011 LiDAR to create a sedimentation depth map. Using the DoD surface and other spatial data, this study: (1) maps and describes the spatial patterns of sedimentation between 1937 and 2011 and (2) tests for correlations between the depth of deposition with other hydrodynamic variables found in the literature. The DoD surface reveals a heterogeneous and complex spatial pattern of sedimentation with some areas accumulating as much as 4.1 meters of sediment in the 74 years (55.4 mm/
year). Overall, the island and low floodplain surfaces increased in elevation by 0.92 meters (12.4 mm/year). A visual assessment of the sedimentation patterns shows that highest levels of sedimentation have taken place along stable, non-eroding shorelines while lower rates are found in locations farther from active channels. The highest rates of sedimentation were found in areas with wing dams (engineered, channel-training structures). In these areas, new natural levees have replaced low sandbar surfaces, resulting in
the high sedimentation depths. The interior areas of Huron Island received the lowest amounts of sediment accumulating ~0.3 meters of sediment in 74 years (4.1 mm/year). This study also tested for spatial correlations between sedimentation depth and potential explanatory variables, including: (1) distance to active channel and (2) relative elevations in 1937 and 2011. A significant negative coefficient was detected between “sedimentation depth” and “distance to channel” while the “1937 elevation” also yielded a significant
and negative correlation coefficient. These findings are in broad agreement with previous studies and have implications for UMR sediment budgeting, habitat assessments and forest management.

Erin Runde
Project advisor: Dr. Christopher Strunk, geography
Lost City of Kilbourn: An Evolution of Tourism in Wisconsin Dells, WI

Poster #14

Once a small town perched at the Dells of the Wisconsin River, Kilbourn City transformed itself from a small logging community into a tourist destination known worldwide as Wisconsin Dells. For more than 70 years, tourism in the Dells focused on the natural beauty of the Wisconsin River with its pine forest and sandstone formations. As trends in tourism changed, planners rushed to keep visitors coming and repackaged itself into the “Waterpark Capitol of the World,” where glimpses of the recreational water of the Wisconsin River is seen only in glimpses. Sanborn maps, photographs and advertisements have created a dialogue of development and change of the downtown’s tourist center for more than five generations. Using these primary sources, I focus on how has the sense of place adapted to what it is today and where is it going in the future.

Courtney Chouinard
Project advisors: Dr. Jeffrey Strasser and Dr. Michael Wolf, geology
Elemental Contamination of an Ancient Copper Mine in Killarney National Park, Killarney, Ireland

Poster #15

Ross Island Copper Mine, located in Killarney National Park, Killarney, Ireland, is known for archeological artifacts of copper from the Bronze Age. Copper production surged in the late 1700s and
into the mid-1800s. Copper veins were found in the Mississippian- aged limestone bedrock, along with chalcopyrite and tennantite
ore. Eventually, mine shafts were filled in, waste piles were moved or disposed of, and trees were planted. Little remediation has been done since the original work in 1912. The purpose of this study
is to investigate the levels of contamination in the soil and water
in and around mine sites. Twelve water samples and four soil samples were studied. The water samples were analyzed in an XRF spectrometer for S and Cu. Soil samples, mostly of a sand or silt texture, were pressed into pellets for XRF analyses of S, Pb, Cu and Zn. Water samples had low concentrations of both Cu and S (ppm, respectively). Much higher concentrations of S and heavy metals were observed in soil samples, with maximum concentrations of S >134,000 ppm, Zn >63,000 ppm, Pb >62,000 ppm and Cu >17,000 ppm. These high levels may be of concern, although leaching of these metals will probably not adversely affect local aquifers or wells because of dilution in nearby Lough Leane. There is no immediate threat to humans from contaminated soil, though the health of some plant species could be compromised, especially with high levels of Pb and Zn.

Diney Osman
Project advisor: Dr. Lena R. Hann, public health
Approaches To Case File Management at World Relief, a Resettlement Agency for Vulnerable Populations

Poster #16

The purpose of this Senior Inquiry project was to provide a formal recommendation for case file management at World Relief in Moline, Ill. Case file management systems help agencies organize and retrieve their records quickly in order to focus on unique client needs. World Relief works mostly with refugees who have fled
their home countries because of fear of persecution. Many of these individuals have experienced trauma and have mental problems as a result. The agency needs to make sure that every client receives the appropriate treatment. This project helped the agency keep client files organized and provided clear procedures for staff to follow. This project examined similar organizations’ methods of filing to inform the new evidence-based system for World Relief. This will help the resettlement agency keep better track of its case files and provide more efficient and impactful service to clients.


Jacob Piske
Project advisor: Dr. Jeffrey Strasser, geology
Nutrient Variations of Six Surface Water Bodies in McHenry County, IL

Poster #17

This research analyzes water quality from several ponds in McHenry County, Ill., with a goal of developing an understanding of pollution sources and temporal variations in concentrations of nitrate, potassium, phosphorus, chlorine and sodium. During the past 25 years, the population of McHenry County has grown rapidly, with residential developments expanding into former farmlands. Yet, the county remains heavily agricultural, with roughly 60% of the surface area used for agricultural purposes. Concentrations of NO3-, P+, K+, Cl- and Na+ were analyzed from six sites: two in subdivisions, two in farmland and two near major highways. Data were collected once a week from June through July, and twice during November 2016. Data were collected using two methods: the first method involved
a color change test to test for NO3- and Cl- using 5 mL samples. The second method tested for dissolved Na+, K+ and P+ by pipetting water samples onto filter papers that were subsequently dried and analyzed using XRF spectroscopy. High concentrations of NO3- and Cl- were 13.2 ppm and 0.4 ppm, respectively, with EPA limits of 10 ppm and 250 ppm, respectively. High concentrations of Na+, P+ and K+ were 215 ppm, 181 ppm and 345 ppm of K+, respectively, with EPA limits of 20 ppm for Na+, 0.05 ppm for P+ and no limit for K+. With NO3-, Na+ and P+ being over the EPA limit during the testing period, there is cause for concern for downstream pollution, as well as pollution of aquifers that recharge locally.

Jessa Rizzo
Project advisors: Dr. Michael Wolf and Dr. Jeffrey Strasser, geology
The Color and Clarity of Feldspars: Experiments in Heat Treating

Poster #18

The purpose of this study is twofold: (1) to determine the effects
of heat treating on feldspars and, thus, the effects on aesthetic value; and (2) to determine if the hues of amazonite correlate to the concentrations of Pb and water in the mineral. Four different types of feldspars were heat treated: heliolite, hecatolite, bytownite and peach hecatolite. In each experiment, part of the original sample was left unheated for comparison. Samples of the four minerals were heated in a muffle furnace to different temperatures (400-
600 °C) and for different durations (30 min.-1 hr.). The heat-treated samples ended up having a lighter color compared to the non-
heat treated samples. When the samples were heated at higher temperatures for a longer duration, the samples experienced loss in color, and cloudiness increased. The second part of this study focused on amazonite, a variety of microcline with a characteristic blue/green color. The amazonite samples were crushed up and analyzed using XRF spectroscopy. Results from the colorization of microcline have yielded similar outcomes to previous research by others (Rein et al., 2006), with no apparent correlation between hue and Pb content. Therefore, the lead content in the samples had no effect on the hue. Rather, samples with high concentrations of water showed an apparent correlation between color intensity and the amount of lead present. The Pb concentration shows no correlation to hue, but the Pb content does correlate with color intensity if there is also high concentrations of water.

John Malone
Project advisor: Dr. Michael Wolf, geology
Structure of the Southern Margin of the Big Horn Batholith, Wyoming: A Major Archean Shear Zone?

Poster #19

During the summer of 2016, a group of field assistants and I conducted reconnaissance field mapping in the headwaters of Paint Rock Creek in the Cloud Peak Wilderness of the Big Horn Mountains in north central Wyoming to constrain the lithologies and structure of the rocks present along the junction of two Precambrian-aged terranes. The northern part of the Bighorn uplift is composed
of the Big Horn Batholith, an “undeformed” composite granitic intrusion, whereas the central and southern area of the range exposes older quartzofeldspathic gneisses complexes as well as minor supracrustal rocks. This study aims to define the nature and extent of the UPRS. In particular, we want to verify if this contact
is indeed a laterally persistent shear zone, or alternatively, is it an intrusive contact between the Big Horn Batholith and the southern gneiss terrane. If this boundary is indeed a laterally persistent shear zone, it would be among the most significant tectonostratigraphic boundaries in the Wyoming Archean Province. The fundamental contributions of this project include a detailed geologic map of the study area as well as stereographical projection of the fabrics of both migmatite and granite.

Robert Martin
Project advisors: Dr. Jeffrey Strasser and Dr. Michael Wolf, geology
Geochemical and Thin Section Analysis of the Coal Creek Serpentinite

Poster #20

Serpentinite formation is associated with subduction zones where low to intermediate pressures and temperatures yield various polymorphs of serpentine. Serpentinite, in its purest form, forms through the metasomatism of pyroxene, olivine and water. The serpentine group polymorphs that are created at different pressures and temperatures form various minerals such as lizardite, antigorite and chrysotile. Serpentinization occurs through two processes: constant-volume and constant-chemical reactions. Constant-volume reactions (5Mg2SiO4 + 10H2O à 2Mg3Si2O5(OH4) + 4Mg2+ + 8(OH)
+ H4SiO4) require the loss of 4 magnesium ions in the reaction, which results in a consistent volume of reactants and products (Frost). Constant-chemical reactions (3Mg2Si2O4 + H4SiO4 + 2H2O
à 2Mg3Si2O5) require an extra addition of silica, which increases
the total volume of the resulting products in the reaction (Frost).
In order to interpret the probable parent rock and the conditions
of serpentinization, serpentinite samples were collected in the
Coal Creek Domain of the Llano Uplift in Gillespie County, Texas,
and examined in thin section and XRF spectroscopy. Through XRF spectroscopy, the results show high percentages of MgO and SiO2 and low amounts of CaO and Al2O3. The chemical compositions suggest that the parent rock is serpentinized harzburgite that consists of predominantly lizardite and cross-cutting chrysotile as verified through thin section analysis. The cross-cutting nature of the chrysotile suggests that this material formed at intermediate temperatures (300-400) that formed at depths of >50km (Schwartz et al., 2012)

Mark Lundine
Project advisor: Dr. Ranbir Kang, geology and applied mathematics
Channel Morphometry Analysis of Headwater Streams Using a Terrestrial Laser Scanner in Two Different Ecoregions

Poster #21

A stream’s channel morphology changes in response to
alterations in erosion and deposition rates, which are governed
by streamflow dynamics. These morphological changes can have highly consequential effects on the plant and aquatic life in and around the stream. Morphological studies on natural streams
can provide substantial insights into streamflow dynamics and sediment transportation, as well as suggest the best conservation practices for stream restoration projects. Past studies have used field measurements to measure bankfull width, bankfull depth
and bankfull cross-sectional areas (Harden et al., 2009; Lawlor, 2004). Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) allows for high resolution morphological surveying of fluvial environments. This study implements a Leica Scanstation C10 TLS (resolution of 4.5mm at 0-50m) in two streams from source to mouth to create a 3D point cloud environment. 360° photographs were also taken at each
scan site to be draped over the point clouds. The data was then imported into the point cloud processing software Cyclone, where each stream’s scans were registered using overlapping points and scanning targets from adjacent scans. Point cloud model-spaces were then created to extract morphological data on the two streams. The morphological data was analyzed in the statistical analysis software Minitab to find upstream and downstream trends, as well as to compare the two streams with each other.

Allison Pease
Project advisor: Dr. Michael Wolf, physics and geology
Sea Level Budget Along the East Coast of North America

Poster #22

We analyzed tide gauge data, taken from 1955 to 2015, from 29 locations along the east coast of North America, to aid in the completion of rate and acceleration sea-level budget. A well- documented period of sea-level acceleration began around 1990. The sea level rate (referenced to epoch 1985.0) and acceleration (post-1990) are spatially and temporally variable, due to various physical processes, each of which is also spatially and temporally variable. To determine the sea-level budgets for rate and acceleration, we considered several major contributors to sea-level change: ocean density and dynamics, glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), the inverted barometer effect, and mass change associated with the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) and the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS). The geographic variability in the budgets for sea-level rate is dominated by GIA. At some sites, GIA is the largest contributor
to the rate. The geographic variability in the budgets for sea-level acceleration is dominated by ocean dynamics and density and GIS mass loss. To achieve a reasonable fit, a scaling factor (admittance) for the combined contribution of ocean dynamics and density was estimated; this admittance may reflect the low spatial sampling of the GECCO2 model we used, or other problems in modeling coastal sea-level. The significant contributions of mass loss to the acceleration enable us to predict that, if such mass-loss continues or increases, the character of sea-level change on the North American east coast will change in the next 50–100 years.

Zachary Cook
Project advisor: Dr. Michael Wolf, geology
Heavy Metal Contamination Found in Water Sources Throughout Mainland China

Poster #23

Heavy metal contamination in water has been an environmental issue for decades. With the increase of industrialization, the amount of toxic emissions increases as well. In addition to multiple negative impacts on the environment, contaminated water can become a major health hazard for humans. China has had a rapid increase
in industrialization in recent decades that has led to an associated increase in pollution in the world’s second largest economy. In addition, an increasing population puts many at risk for health issues and pushes China to acknowledge and seek solutions to reduce its pollution. To gain a better understanding of the extent
of China’s contaminated water, 105 samples were gathered throughout 10 cities, each with different populations and geographic characteristics. Water samples were collected from natural sources, i.e. lakes, rivers, streams and rainwater puddles. Samples were not collected from tap water sources to avoid possible contamination leached from the pipes. Through X-ray spectroscopy, the water samples (dried onto microcarry filter papers) were analyzed for
lead and mercury. With these data, it is possible to determine correlations based on location. Concentrations of both metals in all locations were much lower than originally hypothesized, with the highest concentration peaking at only 14 ppm for lead and 8 ppm for mercury. However, locations with a smaller population and larger population densities were found to have the highest concentration of lead in their water. While low amounts of lead and mercury indicate an improvement on pollution released in China, any amount of lead and mercury found in the environment can be a potential health hazard for the citizens of China.

Sierra Kindley, Dr. Jeffrey Strasser, Dr. Michael Reisner, Dr. C. Kevin Geedey
Project advisors: Dr. Jeffrey Strasser, Dr. Michael Reisner, Dr. C. Kevin Geedey; geology and environmental studies
Environmental Geochemistry of Surface and Groundwater in Streams: The Study of an Urban Watershed in Rock Island, Illinois

Poster #24

The objective of this research project is to compare levels of arsenic (As), mercury (Hg), lead (Pb) and selenium (Se) in surface and alluvial groundwater in a highly urbanized watershed in Rock Island, Ill. The study consisted of 10 sampling sites located on tributaries characterized by some degree of remnant riparian forest zone. Piezometers were installed to a depth of 1m adjacent to the stream where access allowed. Surface and groundwater samples were collected biweekly during the months of June, July and August 2016. An X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (XRF) was used to test each sample individually for levels of As, Hg, Pb and Se. Levels of As were consistently the highest among the four tested metals, followed by Se, Pb and Hg. At the majority of the sites, levels of all four metals routinely exceeded both the acute and chronic aquatic life standards. There is no general pattern present between the amounts of metals in samples from neighboring sites within the watershed, nor is there a correlation between metal levels in the surface and groundwater samples collected from the same site. Preliminary analysis has found no relationship between surface and groundwater metal concentrations and known predictors of downstream water quality at the watershed level, including percent impervious surface and land use. Our findings suggest that metal concentrations are likely dependent on site-specific conditions and near-channel levels of disturbance. Future research will focus on quantifying these factors at each of the sampling sites to determine the factors that may cause elevated levels of certain metals at sites in the watershed.

Joseph Teresi
Project advisors: Dr. Michael Reisner and Dr. Jeffrey Strasser; geology and environmental studies
A Spatial Relationship Between Stream Slope Stability and Water Quality Within an Urban Watershed in Rock Island, Il

Poster #25

The consistently observed phenomenon of highly altered streams and degraded water quality draining urban areas across the United States is described as the urban stream syndrome. Rock Island, Ill., has a population of nearly 39,000 people, and houses industrial and logistical businesses amidst a city of aging infrastructure. Streams occupy ravines that have incised into the Quaternary loess plateau, flowing south toward the Rock River and north or west toward the Mississippi River. In an attempt to understand better the severity of Rock Island’s urban stream syndrome, this project analyzed stream slopes within the Rock Island watershed to categorize
their level of instability and differentiate more or less stable sites based on dimensional measurements of the stream, bank angle, etc. Bank stability scores were then compared to hazardous levels
of phosphates, chlorides, total suspended solids (TSS) and total dissolved solids (TDS), as well as stream discharge. Definitive results show that all sites within the watershed have TDS, TSS and phosphate levels well above the maximum contaminant levels set
by the EPA, while a majority of the sites had safe levels of chlorides. In general, water quality improves with distance downstream. Of the 20 sites studied in this highly urbanized watershed, nine ranked as having moderate instability while 11 had high instability. TDS, TSS and chlorides correlated reasonably well, in that high concentrations of each correlated positively with more unstable sites. Phosphates and stream discharge did not present patterns when compared to the stability ratings. Consequently, this rating system requires refinement to better distinguish stream slope stability. This project recommends that the City of Rock Island communicate to residents the importance of mitigation strategies to reduce bank erosion and water pollution. Rock Island and other communities need to work to lower urban pollutants draining into the Mississippi, given the hypoxic conditions and consequent ecological degradation observed downstream and in the Gulf of Mexico. Moreover, healthy urban aquatic ecosystems increase their aesthetic qualities while decreasing their environmental hazards.

Michael Carlson, Dr. Cecilia Vogel
Project advisor: Dr. Cecilia Vogel, engineering physics
Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC) in Gasoline Powered Cars

Poster #26

The goal of this experiment was to determine which driving behaviors result in the highest fuel efficiency for a given trip. We collected data for speed (MPH), engine speed (RPM), engine power (Torque/LOD) and fuel consumption (MPG) using the ScanGauge II.


Peter Francissen, Dr. C. Kevin Geedey, Dr. Michael Reisner
Project advisors: Dr. C. Kevin Geedey, Dr. Michael Reisner; biology and environmental studies
The Effects of Urbanization on Nitrogen Processing in Urban Streams

Poster #27

Urban stream syndrome is described as the deterioration of
stream health in an urbanized watershed and is associated with the loss of ecosystem services, which in turn degrades downstream environments. One key symptom of the urban stream syndrome
is reduced processing of inorganic nitrogen. Previous research suggests that as urbanization increases and water quality decreases, the uptake length (Sw) of inorganic N increases. This indicates that the stream is increasing the export of N downstream compared to in situ incorporation of N into the ecosystem. We measured uptake length (Sw) of NO3, using a pulse addition method, along nine reaches located within an urban watershed in Rock Island, Ill., that drains into the Rock River. The sites were chosen to represent varying levels of urbanization throughout the watershed. We found evidence of significant nitrogen uptake along stretches at seven of the nine sites we tested, indicating some level of ecosystem services are still being performed in this watershed in spite of the urban setting. We also wanted to see if background concentrations of nutrients or pollutants impacted nitrogen uptake. We predicted that higher background pollutant levels would increase the uptake length; however we found no such correlation. Our key finding was evidence of N uptake occurring across an urban watershed, which differed from most research done on this topic.


Matthew Tuttle-Timm
Project advisor: Dr. Nathan Frank, physics
Resonances of 25,26F Atomic Nuclei

Poster #28

The structure of very unstable atomic nuclides are still not completely understood. The unstable atomic nuclides in this study emit a neutron, which requires determining the energy of decay
to better understand the structure. The energy of decay may be calculated from the energy and momentum of the remaining charged fragment and neutron. From the calculated decay energy, information about an isotope’s nuclear structure can be found. At the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory experiment,
a 27Ne ion beam hit a liquid deuterium target that resulted in many produced atomic nuclides. One of the isotopes produced was unstable 26F, formed by stripping a proton from the 27Ne beam. The unstable 26F decayed into 25F + n. Another nuclide produced was unstable 25F, formed by stripping a proton and neutron from the 27Ne beam. 25F further decayed into 24F + n. The energy of the decays of both 25F and 26F were calculated from data. This presentation will report on the current analysis and compare/ contrast these data to prior experimental results and theoretical calculations.


Luke Robinson
Project advisor: Dr. Forrest Stonedahl, applied mathematics
Unsupervised Machine Learning in Agent-Based Modeling

Poster #29

Agent-based models (ABMs) are used by researchers in a variety
of fields to model natural phenomena. In an ABM, a wide range of behaviors and outcomes can be observed based on the parameters of the model. In many cases, these behaviors can be categorized into discrete outcomes identifiable by human observers. Our goal was to use clustering algorithms to identify those outcomes from model output data. For this project, we used data from the NetLogo Wolf Sheep Predation model to explore and evaluate three clustering algorithms from Python’s scikit-learn package. If this task can be completed reliably by a computer, it will make the task of analyzing and understanding ABMs easier for human users.

Marlisa Barrett
Project advisors: Rebecca Zitzow and Quan Vi, communication and marketing
Photo Bureau Portfolio

Poster #30

This is a collection of photos taken for Augustana Photo Bureau throughout the school year.


Amanda Moore
Project advisors: Rebecca Zitzow and Quan Vi, communication and marketing
Photo Bureau Portfolio

Poster #31

This is a collection of photos taken for Augustana Photo Bureau throughout the school year.


Emma Stough
Project advisors: Rebecca Zitzow and Quan Vi, communication and marketing
Photo Bureau Portfolio

Poster #32

This is a collection of photos taken for Augustana Photo Bureau throughout the school year.

Allen Bertsche
Augie Abroad Photo Contest Ceremony

Poster Session 1 near fireplace outside Gävle Room, The Gerber Center

Each year Augustana celebrates its culture of study away through the Augie Abroad Photo Contest. Students are invited to submit photos taken as part of Augustana study away programs from the past year in four categories: architecture and design, culture and celebration, nature, and images of Augustana students. During Celebration of Learning, the winning photos are revealed and placed on display in The Gerber Center and Thomas Tredway Library. This year we will showcase an outstanding selection of photos from places and programs as diverse as Spain, Australia, India and from the Asia trip.