Gustavus 2003 Sigma Xi Research Symposium
Session B
Session C
Session D
Session E
Session Time Title   Presenters   Adviser dept. Abstract
A 2:00 Adverse effects of working conditions on Japanese social structure/family Andrew Kampa, Jared Phillips, Gina Sehnert, Deborah Tahlman, Londsay Wright Svjetlana Madzar ECON Some Japanese business practices have a negative impact on the Japanese social structure. These include lack of father figure in the family, long commutes, the need to socalize with business colleagues until late in the evening, etc. Furthermore, women are excluded from socializing which makes their plight for equality in the workforce increasingly difficult.
A 2:15 Japan, Inc. Nate Brase, Lacy Jensen, Daniel Plagens, Sonja Spande Svjetlana Madzar ECON The economic problems that first appeared in the 1990s have forced Japan to reevaluate its economic policies. The process of reform continues to be problematic for Japan due to many complex and interrelated factors. Specifically, we will look at peculiarities within the beraucratic system, role of the government in business, and the operation and role of the Bank of Japan. Finally, we will focus on the construction industry to illustrate some of the problems that arise from current policies and practices.
A 2:30 Business-related health trends in Japanese society Paul Severson, Luke Speltz, Jonathan Tripp Svjetlana Madzar ECON We analyze negative health trends resulting from the business practices in Japan, by looking at trends in stress-related illnesses among the Japanese business class, as well as the general attitude of the Japanese society towards these practices. We also compare the situation in Japan to that of other highly developed countries such as the U.S. and U.K.
A 2:45 Characteristic of the Japanes Auto Industry Bradley Arndt, Aymeline Chauvancy, Carlee Fox, Ethan Keller, Michael Spenningsby Svjetlana Madzar ECON We will compare the characteristics of auto industry between Japan, U.S., and France. We will look at the influence of culture as a determinant of the way the industry operates in each of the three countries. Finally, we will provide some insight into future trends in auto industry in Japan.
A 3:00 Changing gender roles in Japanese culture Laura Hickson, Christen Johnson, Jeffrey Lindstrom, Kim Lutz Svjetlana Madzar ECON Our presentation will cover a variety of challenges women face in the Japanese workplace. First, we will give a historical overview of events that led to the role women play in the corporate world today. Then, we will examine their current status, suign some statistical data and examples. We will also take an in-depth look at the current employment laws and their effectiveness in terms of protection and help extended to women.
B 1:30  Methylmercury bioaccumulation relating to food chain length in VNP Bjorn Gangeness Jeff Jeremiason CHEM There is significant methylmercury level variability among fish from lakes in remote Voyageurs National Park. Our hypothesis is that food-chain length and structure can account for some of these differences. Stable isotopes of C and N were recently analyzed in crayfish, year-one yellow perch, and northern pike from 4 lakes to assess trophic structure. Preliminary results from an extensive trophic structure analysis will be presented, relating mercury levels, gamefish, and trophic structure in Voyageurs National Park.
B 1:45 The Feasibility of Wind Power at Gustavus Amit Bohara Chuck Niederriter PHYS Very few people would disagree with the assessment that the hill on which Gustavus is located is a windy place.  But, is it feasible to use the energy in the wind to supply some of Gustavus’ power needs?  In an effort to answer this question, a feasibility study was begun two years ago.  Initially, data were taken by hand at nine locations on campus and automatically at one location.  During last summer, five permanent weather towers situated around various sites on campus were brought on line. The data gathered so far will be discussed and estimations on possible energy production will be presented and compared to campus usage.  In addition, installation, maintenance and other costs of the project will be discussed.
B 2:00 Analysis of DDT Levels in Tuna Abby Gambrel Jeff Jeremiason CHEM The overall objective of this research is to determine levels of DDT in tuna across a potential DDT deposition gradient. DDT is still used extensively around the Mediterranean Sea, yet has been banned in the United States since 1972. This talk will discuss the analytical procedure for determining DDT levels in fish.
B 2:15 Effect of Phenytoin on Phagocytosis by Tetrahymena Bethany Hirst John Lammert BIOL Microtubules contribute to phagocytosis by the protozoan Tetrahymena pyriformis. The anti-convulsant medicine phenytoin (PHT) affects the integrity of microtubules. This research investigated possible effects of PHT on phagocytosis by this ciliate. I followed the uptake of India ink particles by Tetrahymena incubated with increasing levels of PHT. The number of phagosomes containing India ink particles decreased significantly as PHT concentration increased. These results suggest that PHT affects phagocytosis by Tetrahymena cells.
B 2:30 Investigations of Mycorrhizal Symbiosis in the Genus Botrychium Louisa Kempema and Lisa Smart Cindy Johnson-Groh BIOL Botrychium, a genus of rare ferns, is mycorrhizal. The gametophyte and juvenile sporophyte stages are subterranean and all these life cycle stages contain mycorrhizae. Little is known about the nature of this mycorrhizal infection. We conducted surveys of the frequency and degree of root infection of Botrychium virginium and Botrychium multifidum. Root samples were taken from different root positions and soil depths. Samples were taken from young and old roots, proximal and distal roots, and the rhizome at various depths. The roots were stained for mycorrhizae using trypan blue. The frequency of infection was observed using a microscope and tallied. Infection was determined by observing stained arbuscles, hyphae, and vesicles. The results of our study suggest that 100% of Botrychium roots are infected, with all roots having the same degree of infection.
B 2:45 Temporal and Spatial Microdistributions of Botrychium campestre Amanda B. Young Cindy Johnson-Groh BIOL The spatial distribution of aboveground Botrychium campestre, a rare prairie fern, can be determined by visual inspection. Population dynamics of the prairie moonwort Botrychium campestre, have been recorded for the past 16 years by Dr. Cindy Johnson-Groh. The density of plants in these populations has declined in the past six years. Aboveground Botrychium develop from belowground gemmae and spores into gametophytes that following fertilization develops into juvenile belowground sporophytes. This occurs belowground making detection of juvenile or dormant plants difficult except by collecting samples and extracting the underground structures. This is done through a technique of soil sifting and centrifugation. Soil samples were collected in the plots that previously had plants but experienced population declines recently. This allowed us to determine if there was still a viable underground structure bank. In most sites the underground structure bank was signifi cantly reduced but still present. We compared these results to the long-term demographic trends collected by Dr. Cindy Johnson-Groh and have concluded that “dead” zones observed in previous years probably also had significantly reduced but viable underground structure banks.
B 3:00 Effects of Habitat Disturbance on the Underground Distribution and Abundance of Botrychium mormo Aaron Crowell and Nathan Johnson Cindy Johnson-Groh BIOL Botrychium mormo, the goblin fern, is currently on the Minnesota list of threatened and endangered species. Found only in northern Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, the U.S. Forest Service lists B. mormo as a sensitive species for the Eastern Region. The distribution and abundance of B. mormo is of particular interest because of its rarity. Several threats to the health of B. mormo have been identified. Two critical threats are invasive earthworms and timber harvest. Most of the Botrychium life cycle is underground, including gametophytes and juvenile sporophytes. The density of underground structures is often greater than aboveground. We investigated the impact of timber harvest and earthworms on the underground structure bank (gametophytes and juvenile sporophytes) of B. mormo. Fifty soil samples were collected in six sites, two sites for each treatment: harvested, wormed, and undisturbed. These samples were sifted and centrifuged to extract underground structure s of Botrychium. We analyzed the abundance of underground structures relative to threats and found significant differences between harvested, worm invaded, and undisturbed sites. Worm invaded sites and harvested sites had significantly fewer underground structures, indicating a negative impact of these management actions on the populations of B. mormo.
C 2:30 Catalysis of a Chemisorption Reaction on a Aluminum Oxide Surface Joe Katzenmeyer Larry Potts CHEM A strong chemisorption reaction has been observed when aluminum oxide surfaces are exposed to a 0.1% solution of ODPA in chloroform. We have investigated several ways to catalyze this reaction including, micromolar amounts of acid, base, and polymerization initiator. Ultraviolet light and an experiment using ball bearings to disrupt the aluminum oxide surface were also used. The only affect observed was with the base (tetrabutylammonium hydroxide). Infrared data will be presented to support our conclusions.
C 2:45 A Study in Netropsin Binding to Aminopurine sequences of DNA Christina L. Diller, Sri Sai Sowmya Gandham, Kirsten C.S. Hall J.M. Smith CHEM Netropsin is a naturally occurring antibiotic that obtains pharmacological activity from its ability to bind DNA. As a result of this DNA-binding capability, there has been great interest in netropsin and several of its analogs for use in treatment of a variety of diseases, including several forms of cancer. The ability of netropsin to bind to and quench fluorescence of 2-aminopurine was studied. Fluorescence spectroscopy was used to experimentally measure the fluorescent emission of 4.8 uM 2-aminopurine in solutions containing 0 uM, 5.0 uM, 9.9 uM, 14.9 uM and 19.9 uM netropsin. The maximum intensity of emission was recorded for each trial, and these values were used to calculate a rate constant for netropsin binding. An average kq of 3.12*1011M-1s-1 was found. In addition, netropsin binding to 10-base pair ds-DNA oligos containing fluorescent 2-aminopurine was observed using similar conditions. Binding of netropsin was less apparent in these studies. Current goals include monitoring binding of netropsin to ss-DNA oligos.
C 3:00 Demystifying the Jordan-Oneota Contact: Evidence from the Blue Earth Joe Beer Russel Shapiro GEOL  The Blue Earth Siltstone occurs throughout most of Southern Minnesota but is only found in outcrop near St. Peter and Mankato at the contact between the Jordan and Oneota formations. The interpretation of this contact and the origin of the Blue Earth has varied widely throughout the past century. Sedimetologic and microfossil analysis of the Blue Earth provides evidence of a marine transgression representing a conformable transition between the Jordan and Oneota formations.
D 4:00 Using Radial Distribution Functions to Study Swarms in Nature Amit Bohara Paul Saulnier PHYS Patterns are pervasive in nature and its study is especially critical to scientists studying various swarms in nature. Using radial distribution functions and pair-correlation functions, we provide an effective means of modeling swarm interaction. These functions and analytic technique have been coded into user-friendly software and its successful applications to theoretical swarms  will be shown. Future research plans to apply this technique to real life interacting swarms will be discussed as well
D 4:15 Soil Properties of Botrychium Habitats Katherine Hansen Cindy Johnson-Groh BIOL The genus Botrychium (moonworts) is a group of rare ferns found in a variety of habitats. Most of the moonwort’s life stages are subterranean and persist through a symbiotic relationship with a mycorrhizal fungus. Given their wide range of habitats Botrychium are difficult to find and census. Their small size (10 cm), annual dormancy, and subterranean life history compound this difficulty. Botrychium are able to thrive in sandy to sandy loam soil and require high levels of both calcium and magnesium. However, essentially nothing had previously been quantified with regard to soil characteristics of Botrychium communities. The goal of this study was to collect empirical evidence of the soil properties of areas supporting Botrychium. Fifty-eight soil samples were collected from ten different habitats containing one to several species of Botrychium in Minnesota, Alaska, Oregon, and California. These samples were process ed for organic composition, pH, mineral composition, and cation exchange capacity. Botrychium soil habitats range in pH from 5.0 to 8 and in organic matter from 0.1% to 37.4%. These soils contain an average of 915.5 ppm of calcium and 140.4 ppm of magnesium. These results will allow field researchers to more accurately predict where Botrychium may be located.
D 4:30 Ants as Indicators of Restoration Success in Southern Minnesota Tallgrass Prairies Phil Graeve and Monica Paulson Pamela Kittelson BIOL We compared ant abundance and richness within and among three grassland communities of varying plant diversity in southern Minnesota. We asked to what extent ants can be used as indicators of restoration success. We collected a total of 7,950 individuals in 12 species and found that prairies with high floral diversity had the highest ant diversity. Interestingly Arboretum lawn had higher abundance and richness than the restored Arboretum prairie. Overall, there appears to be a relationship between ant and plant diversity among the study sites.
D 4:45 Conservation and Restoration of Prairie Ecosystems Monica Paulson Pamela Kittelson BIOL Species interactions are important to understand in restoration and conservation efforts. I focused on relocation and reintroduction of the Black-tailed prairie dog near Ft. Pierre South Dakota. The Black-tailed prairie dog is the primary food source for the Black-footed ferret and must be present in colonies spanning 1000 acres to successfully reintroduce Black-footed ferrets. One thousand prairie dogs were live trapped and removed from unwanted areas. These prairie dogs were quarantined for 14 days to insure that they were plague free and transferred to release cages onsite. Populations of 60 to 70 individuals were released at each relocation site and closely monitored.
D 5:00 Sediment Record of a Fast-Flowing Glacier Lobe: Morphology of the Des Moines Lobe Till near Mankato, MN Adam Long Mark Johnson GEO The Des Moines Lobe of the Laurentide Ice Sheet was a fast-moving part of the ice sheet that advanced over Minnesota and into Iowa during the late Wisconsinan period of glaciation.  Advances of the Des Moines Lobe are known to be rapid, and although an ice stream or surging caused the glacier to move quickly, the mechanics of this rapid movement are still debatable.  A closer study of the sediment left behind may clarify this question.  By investigating the morphology of the till, evidence can be gathered to support a theory for how this lobe moved so quickly.
E 4:00 Coherence Length in Acoustic Interferometry Eric Nordberg Chuck Niederriter PHYS Interference can be an important tool in imaging through dispersive media. The coherence length of an incoming wave can be used to minimize or eliminate the contribution of multiply scattered radiation at the detector, making it possible to build an image.  With an optical source, like a laser, the coherence length is fixed by the properties of the source.  The coherence length of an acoustic source, however, can be controlled electronically, at least to some degree, by controlling the bandwidth of the source.  White noise was sent through a band-pass filter to create a signal with a relatively large bandwidth of 13.4 ± .4 kHz.  An interferogram was made and fit to a gaussian which yielded a half width at 1/e of 60 ± 3 mm and coherence length of 120 ± 6 mm.  This compares reasonably well to a theoretical coherence length (calculated from the bandwidth) of 102 ± 3mm.  This as well as results from other band-pass filters will be discussed.
E 4:15 Methods of Error Reduction in the Application Kater's Pendulum in Determing the Gravitational Constant Scott Ernst and Dave Kupka Steve Mellema PHYS The project focuses on the explication and application of various mechanical and electrical error reduction techniques used in the Kater's pendulum research. An initial apparatus was constructed with all the elements needed to probe the uncertainties associated with the system. After initial data collection and analysis, dominant sources of uncertainty were identified and strategies devised to minimize each uncertainty. The project has reached the end of the uncertainty minimization phase, and is now in preparation for final determination of the localalized gravitational constant.
E 4:30 Time-Resolved Photon Correlation Spectroscopy Robert Mark Paul Saulnier PHYS Time-Resolved Photon Correlation Spectroscopy (TRPCS) will be discussed. TRPCS is a technique that uses a pulsed laser system along with an electronic temporal gate to expand the limits of sample concentration that conventional Photon Correlation Spectroscopy (PCS) can successfully probe. In a TRPCS experiment, a laser pulse is incident on a sample and a specific portion of the output pulse is examined while all other (multiply scattered) light is rejected.
E 4:45 Finding Order In Chaos Chad Custer Thomas LoFaro MCS The forces on an ordinary horizontal mass-spring system can be completely described and using differential equations the position of the mass is known for any given time. However, the situation becomes much more complex when a barrier is introduced into the path of the mass. This presentation will explore this complex motion and present new information that may help to describe the motion.
E 5:00 Exploring and mitigating radio frequency interference due to a nearby FM radio station Sean Hosein Dennis Henry PHYS Electromagnetic interference can be caused by a variety of sources, including radio and TV stations, microwave ovens, and many common electrical devices. Equipment on and near the Gustavus Adolphus College campus has been experiencing electromagnetic interference from “River 105” KRBI-FM. Examples include tape decks, computer loudspeakers, microphones, and public address systems. My project was to identify and characterize interfering sources, and mitigating their effects through shielding, cable adjustments, ferrites, and capacitors.
POSTER 3:15-4:00 Encoding of Bio-Communication Signals: Electrophysiological and Computational Approaches Kimberly McArthur and Ben Novak Michael Ferragamo BIOL All organisms that utilize acoustic signals in conspecific communication must be able to extract salient features from the signal in the presence of background noise and competing signals. Neurons in the frog auditory midbrain (torus semicircularis) exhibit specific patterns of signal temporal selectivity and response adaptation that aid the frog in attending to signals of interest. In our lab, we use a combination of electrophysiological recording and computational modeling to characterize these properties of torus cells.
POSTER 3:15-4:00 Synthesis of amino-terminal phenytoin derivatives for use in affinity chromatography Steven Backues Todd Swanson CHEM A derivative of phenytoin containing a five carbon linker with a terminal amino group was synthesized by a novel transimidation reaction. The derivative is suitable for use in preparing a phenytoin affinity column Work is ongoing on methods to produce other derivatives with linkers of different lengths and different attachments to the parent molecule.
POSTER 3:15-4:00 Magnetic Analysis of a Lake Tanganyika Sediment Core Joe Malkovich Mark Johnson GEOL A long-range paleomagnetic data set from Lake Tanganyika is used to construct paleosecular variation age models. Inclination records closely correlate to regional paleomagnetic records, and show linear age-depth relationships over ~25 ka and ~80 ka. PSV age models confirm a radiocarbon age model for core T97-52V. Core environmental magnetic data prove unsuitable for high-resolution paleoclimatological analyses of equatorial Africa due to the effects of reduction diagenesis. But coarse evidence for stadial-interstadial climatic transitions in the environmental magnetic proxies implies high-latitude processes have influenced equatorial interior African climates since early marine oxygen isotope stage four. The signature of stadial-interstadial climatic transitions further validates radiocarbon and paleosecular variation age models.
POSTER 3:15-4:00 Ichnofossils of the Cedar Mountain Formation and Their Paleoenvironmental Implications Emily Tremain Joe Carlson GEOL The Cedar Mountain Formation (Cretaceous, Albian) within Dinosaur National Monument (northeastern Utah) has garnered recent interest with the discovery of new vertebrate fossils. The close scrutiny of the vertebrates requires a thorough evaluation of the climate recorded by the formation. However, vertebrate fossils alone are poor indicators of paleoenvironmental conditions and detailed stratigraphic and sedimentologic studies cannot reveal every detail. Ichnofossils supply a more thorough description of local climatic, ecologic, and environmental conditions. Ichnofossils were discovered in three sediment facies within the Ruby Ranch Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation. Facies 1 is the basal carbonate unit. Lateral growth forms indicate that the unit remained near the surface during a period of stability. Additionally, the unit was likely lithified before plant roots reached it. Facies 2 consists of discontinuous carbonate units representing evaporative lakes. These units preserve a combination of rhizolith and arthropod burrows. Facies 3, deposited by sandy fluvial channels, contains primarily arthropod burrows and lateral trails. This poster describes the morphology and considers the environmental implications of the ichnofossils of each unit and the Cedar Mountain Formation within Dinosaur National Monument. This study supports previous environmental analyses indicating an arid environment interuptted by flashy, intense precipitation events.
POSTER 3:15-4:00 Inhibitory effect of phenytoin on growth of mouse tumor cells Jennifer Abrahamzon and Anthony Kouba John Lammert BIOL Phenytoin (PHT) is commonly prescribed for the treatment of seizure disorders. PHT blocks uptake of calcium ions, an important step in signaling for cell division. This research is directed toward investigating if PHT suppresses cell growth of mouse tumor cells, S49.1. PHT was found to inhibit growth of these T-cell lymphoma cells.
POSTER 3:15-4:00 Exercise Effects on Body Image And Accuracy Jamie Larson Mark Kruger PSYCH  This study assessed body satisfaction and accuracy of self- reported body mass among competitive, recreational, and non-exercisers. Discrepancies between actual body mass indexes (BMIs) and self-reported height- weight ratios, in addition to body image distortion measures determined qualitative and quantitative body mass accuracy statistics. Significant results were found for body satisfaction scores among recreational athletes, as well as differences in actual body composition and estimation of BMI.
POSTER 3:15-4:00 Lithological and Paleontological Descriptions of Units Related to the Sandersville Limestone Member of the Tobacco Road Sandstone, Coastal Plain, GA Jim Foote Joe Carlson GEOL The Sandersville Limestone is a section of the Tobacco Road Sandstone, a geologic unit located in eastern Georgia. Though the Sandersville is known to have been deposited in a marine environment during the late Eocene epoch, the unit's exact geological age and its relationship to neighboring units and to the shoreline of its time have not been properly determined. In this research, thin-section description, X-ray mineralogy, and paleontological analysis are used to resolve these questions.