Gustavus Adolphus College

  Sigma Xi Research Symposium 2001 

Summary Schedule

Session 1: 1:30-3:15pm

Concurrent paper session 1A: Olin Hall, Room 220, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Chuck Niederriter, Chair

Read-resonator coupling for a read organ pipe

Jonathan Skovholt (advisor: Tom Huber)

As long as organs have been around, their inner workings have hardly been studied, for instance the read-resonator coupling.  The read-resonator coupling was observed by varying the air pressure in a vacuum system, lowering the affect of the resonator in the system.   A computer controlled wave driver or speaker drove the read while measurements of its frequency were performed with a lockin amplifier and optical positioning system.  Preliminary results will be presented. 

Jason Haaheim (advisor:  Chuck Niderriter (physics), Mark Kruger (psychology), Mark Lammers (music))  1:45 p.m.

Studies of musical technique require accurate measurement of motion in terms of distance, acceleration, and velocity.  Ultrasonic rangers have proven useful tools for these measurements.  Our experiments are part of a long term study to compare the physical techniques of trombone players from neophyte to professional.  In this paper, we will describe a new strategy for using an ultrasonic ranger to measure trombone slide motion during musical performance. 

Reaction Zones of Metamorphosed Ultramafic Rocks: Marble Mountain Terrane, Siskiyou County, California

Amy (Iverson) Horn (advisor:  James Welsh)   2:00 p.m.

The Marble Mountain terrane, which is situated within the Klamath Mountains of northern California, is considered an ophiolitic tectonic melange and consists of metasedimentary, metavolcanic, and metamorphosed ultramafic rocks.  The ultramafic rocks in the terrane are intruded by several mafic dikes.  Where the ultramafic and mafic rocks come into contact, a reaction occurs between them.  This research describes the mineralogical zonation through the contact area, from the ultramafic to mafic rock body. 

Determination of Photon Transport Mean Free Path Length by Total Transmission Measurement. 

Jonathan Skovholt (advisor:  Paul Saulnier)   2:15 p.m.

The transport mean free path length, l*, can be obtained by recording the total transmitted intensity as a function of sample thickness.  We have conducted measurements on several sphere sizes utilizing an integrating sphere.  Additionally we have developed a model to apply to the data.  Preliminary results will be presented.


Concurrent paper session 1B: Nobel Hall, Room 305, 1:30-3:00 p.m.

Cindy Johnson-Groh, Chair

Evaluating the Impact of Source Credibility on Eyewitness Memory

 Michael Henderson (advisor:  Jennifer Ackil)   1:30 p.m.

In an attempt to further evaluate the impact of the forced confabulation paradigm, this study was designed to determine what impact providing a warning that calls into question an interviewer's credibility would have on the individual's memory for false-items they had confabulated.   While the primary aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of source credibility on the confabulated false-event items, it also looked at how a warning impacts participant's confidence and true-event memory.

Relationships Between Leaf Scars and Roots in Genus Botrychium (moonworts)

Christopher Vaubel, Kristen Larson, Lisa Barajas, Marie Desaulniers  (advisor: Cindy Johnson-Groh)   1:45 p.m.

Botrychium, a genus of ferns, annually produce a single aboveground leaf. This leaf grows from the top of a vertical rhizome and following senescence leaves a scar.  Roots are produced between scars. Botrychium reportedly produce one root and one leaf per year. Roots and leaf scars of B. ascendens, B. lanceolatum, B. tunux, and B. yaaxodakeit were examined.  We discovered an average of 2.3 roots per interval, therefore a 2.3:1 ratio of roots to leaf scars.

A Morphological Investigation of Botrychuim Polyploids

Louisa Kempema and Lisa Smart (advisor:  Cindy Johnson-Groh)   2:00 p.m.

The genus Botrychium contains eleven diploid, thirteen tetraploid, and one hexaploid species. We investigated whether Botrychium polyploids are intermediate in morphological characters between parents or if they express hybrid vigor by comparing diploid parent morphology to tetraploid morphology. Metamorph was used to make these comparisons. Botrychium ascendens exhibits hybrid vigor, whereas Botrychium echo, Botrychuim gallicomontanum, and Botrychium pinnatum show morphological traits intermediate between their respective parents in the morphological traits measured.

Teenage Employment and Minimum Wage Effects

Jake Svard (advisor:  Larry Wohl)   2:15 p.m.

This paper examines the human capital teens gain as they choose to seek job training, education and both.  Teens can gain future earning power through either choice, but education brings a much higher return than job training.  The minimum wage affects the choices teens make, and to a large extent their future earnings potential.  In the existing system drastic changes occur every time the minimum is raised due to declining real value between changes.  If the minimum wage were tied to the cost of living index and raised annually, both teens and employers of teens could make much better decisions about working.

The Economic Value of Life

Rob Glover (advisor:  Larry Wohl)   2:30 p.m.

In cases involving injury or wrongful death, courts must decide on compensatory values for the victims.  How can we determine the value of life of an individual? I plan to explore the ways in which a finite value is placed on life by an individual.  Given that there is a finite value of human life, I will examine the system used for estimating the statistical value of life based on the probability of fatal injury.
Investigations of Nonlinear Ricatti Systems

Jon Miller (advisor:  Paul Saulnier)   2:45 p.m.

Many nonlinear ordinary differential equations can be represented as Ricatti systems.  Solutions can be gained by decoupling equations in systems from each other.  The Theory of Resultants may be used to determine the conditions for which decoupling is possible.  Investigations into this technique were begun for certain nonlinear ordinary differential equations.

Concurrent paper session 1C: Nobel Hall, Room 222, 2:30-3:15 p.m.

Bill Heidcamp, Chair

Investigation of Hyaluronic Acid Synthase Expression in Metastatic Melanoma

 Tim Wilson (advisor:  Bill Heidcamp)   2:30 p.m.

Regulation of CD44 function has been implicated in melanoma metastasis.  Hyaluronic Acid (HA), the chief ligand of CD44, is required for cell motility, and contributes to the metastatic phenotype of melanoma tumor cell lines.  In our study, we examined the mRNA expression of Hyaluronic Acid Synthase genes (HAS1, HAS2, and HAS3) in highly and weakly metastatic melanoma cell lines by relative RT-PCR, to determine the possible contribution of HAS to the metastatic phenotype of these cell lines.

A Temporal Discrimination Model Derived from Electrophysiological Data of The Big Brown Bat.

Timothy M. Sonbuchner (advisor: Mike Ferragamo)   2:45 p.m.

We have used electrophysiological data from the inferior colliculus and the auditory cortex to model the ability of the big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus, to discriminate temporal information.  The bat displays very accurate time discrimination but the individual cells have fairly imprecise temporal tuning.   Our model combines information from a large population of cells and performs about two orders of magnitude more accurately than individual cells..

The Effect of Has3 Over Expression on Mouse Melanoma Metastasis

Krista Wilhelmson (advisor:  William Heidcamp)   3:00 p.m.

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) over expression has been implicated in melanoma migration and metastasis. HA is synthesized by the hyaluronan synthases, Has1, Has2, and Has3. A B16 mouse melanoma cell line was transfected with a clone of the Has3 gene to over express Has3 and thus HA. Stably transfected cells were injected subcutaneously into mice to compare the tumorogenicity and the capacity to metastasize between the transfected cell line and a control cell line

Concurrent paper session 1D: Nobel Hall, Room 201, 1:30-3:15 p.m.

Larry Potts, Chair

Contact Angle Measurements

 Laura Owen (advisor: Larry Potts)   1:30 p.m.

To get a better understanding of the energetics that affect adsorption, adhesion and surface tension, a series of contact angles can be taken and studied. The contact angle is formed when the tension exhibited on a drop from the liquid itself, the solid that it's on, and vapor that surrounds it are in equilibrium. This contact angle is a benchmark for surface quality and can be taken using many different methods.

Raman Spectroscopy of dimethylaminonitrostilbene (DMANS)

Yong Soo Hoo  (advisor: Jonathan Smith)   1:45 p.m.

DMANS is investigated in various solvents to understand charge-transfer processes as a function of solvent.  In this experiment, we use a pulsed Nd:YAG laser coupled to a tunable dye laser to produce a range of wavelengths to study the system.  Resonance Raman and fluorescence spectrsocopy of DMANS and cis-stilbene allow investigation of the role of different vibrational modes in the dynamics of DMANS.

Friedel-Crafts Alkylation of Acenapthene with Different Lewis Acids

Chris Krug (advisor:  Brian O'Brien)   2:00 p.m.

The alkylation of acenapthene with tert-butyl chloride was carried out using two different solvents, Freon 113 (CF2ClCFCl2) and CS2, and several different Lewis acid catalysts, in an attempt to alter the distribution of tert-butylated products.  The catalysts investigated include chlorides of Fe(III), Al(III), Ga(III), Y(III), and In(III).  Analysis bygas chromatography yielded information about the product distribution from each catalytic system.  After choosing the most selective system, we reacted the product with permanganate to form the potassium carboxylate derived from oxidation of the benzylic carbons, followed by reaction with HCl to form the carboxylic acid and/or anhydride.  After further characterization of this product, we plan to esterify the anhydride using hafnium(IV) chloride as the catalyst.

Design and Construction of a Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer

Kelly Devine (advisor:  Jonathan Smith)   2:15 p.m.

The goal of this investigation was to design and build a Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer using the current vacuum chamber system in the chemistry Laser laboratory.  Mass Spectrometry is a way of characterizing molecules and determining their molecular weight.  In our design we used a novel method of ionizing molecules for mass detection.  This method, Desorption-Ionization on Porous Silicon (DIOS), is based on Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization (MALDI), and permits us to examine molecules without a typical matrix and without having to use laser wavelengths specific to a particular molecule. This technique also allows us to examine large mass molecules such as lysozyme which is difficult to get into the gas phase.

Synthesis of Primary Alkylphosphines by a Phospha-Gabriel Route

Philip Sass (advisor:  Brian O'Brien)   2:30 p.m.

The classic Gabriel synthesis of primary amines through alkylation of potassium phthalimide, followed by cleavage with hydrazine, has long been known as the preferred method for preparation of primary amines from alkyl halides. Here we describe a phosphorus analog of the Gabriel synthesis. Alkylphthaloylphosphines [1,2-C6H4 (CO)2P-R] or bisphthaloylphosphinoalkanes [C6H4(CO)2P-(CH2)n-P(CO)2C6H4] are readily prepared by reaction of cesium phthaloylphosphide [Cs+1,2-C6H4(CO)2P-] with alkyl halides. Cleavage of the phthaloylphosphines by phenylhydrazine (or hydrazine) produces N-phenylphthalhydrazide (or phthalhydrazide) and the corresponding primary alkylphosphine. Spectroscopic and chemical characterization of the phthaloylphosphines and primary alkylphosphines, as well as details of the synthetic procedures, will be presented.
Exploration of the Reactivity of Buckminsterfullerene with Bis(trifluoromethyl)iodophosphine

John Zupancich (advisor:  Brian O'Brien)   2:45 p.m.

An attempt has been made to react C60 with bis(trifluoromethyl)iodophosphine through radical addition. A mixture of trifluoromethylated phosphines was prepared by thermal reaction of trifluroiodomethane with phosphorus in an autoclave, and the desired (CF3)2PI was isolated through vacuum line fractionation.  The fullerene was reacted with an excess of (CF3)2PI in CS2 solvent under photolytic conditions. Preliminary analysis of the products by 19F, 31P, and 13C NMR will be discussed

The Chemisorption of Poly(N,N-bis-octadecylacrylamide) on an Aluminum Oxide Surface

Philip Sass (advisor:  Larry Potts)   3:00 p.m.

We have found that poly(N-N-bis-octadecylacrylamide) readily chemisorbs from chloroform solutions onto amorphous aluminum oxide surfaces.  We will present evidence from transmission and p-polarized reflectance infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) studies and photoelectron spectroscopy (PES) that indicates that hydrolysis of polymer amide side chains occur at the solution-metal oxide interface, with the resulting acid-base chemisorption of acrylate pendant groups, formation of an adherent plastic layer, and loss of octadecylamine to solution.  The plastic layer survives several washings with clean chloroform, as well as washings with deionized water.  Considerable roughening of the shiny metallic aluminum surface occurs, along with mobilization of aluminum oxide and hydroxide into the plastic coating.

Poster Session       Nobel Hall Lobby      3:15-4:00 p.m.

Jonathan Smith, Chair

Synthesis of Anapear (methyl octa-1,4-dienoate)

Kyle Allen  (advisor:  Gretchen Hofmeister and Brian A. O'Brien)

Aliphatic esters have long been associated with fruity odors.  We attempted to synthesize a compound popular in modern perfumery using the ortho ester Claisen rearrangment.  The synthesis is presented here along with an in-depth NMR study of the purified product. 

A study of the charge transfer state of DMABN

Beau Barker  (advisor:  Jonathan Smith)

The compound under investigation in this study is dimethylaminobenzonitrile (DMABN). It is known that DMABN has a charge transfer state, but it is not clear as to how DMABN achieves this state. It is thought that DMABN goes into its charged transfer state when the amino group on the bottom of the compound twists out of plane and loses its alignment with the other parts of the Pi electronic structure. DMABN may become encapsulated in the constrained cavity of beta-cycodextrin. Because of this, it makes it harder for DMABN to go into the charge transfer state by twisting its amino group. The ground, electronically excited, and the charge transfer state can be studied using fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy.

Phototactic behaviors of the marine crustacean Mysidium gracile with respect to light quality

Andrew Hamp  (advisor: Nancy Butler)

Light quality and intensity influence the behavior and distribution of many planktonic organisms, including the mysid shrimp Mysidium gracile. Mysids form aggregations during the day and disperse at night, suggesting that light may play an important role in mediating swarm formation. Here we present the results of a study investigating the phototactic response of Mysidium gracile on an offshore coral reef in Discovery Bay, Jamaica.  

Grass and forb diversity, percent cover and biomass trends in two restoration prairies

Nicole Barondeau, Leslie Brandt, Phil Graeve, Amber Krahmer, Ginger Lindgren, and Monica Paulson (advisor:  Pamela Kittelson)

We measured grass and forb diversity in burned, mowed and control plots at two restoration prairies.

Two species of grass dominated Arboretum plots whereas 7 species of grass were censused at Kasota. 

Forb species richness, percent cover and biomass was significantly higher at Kasota Prairie than the Arboretum. 

At both sites, burned and mowed treatments resulted in greater forb species richness and percent cover than control treatments,

but treatments did not significantly influence biomass.

 Synthesis of Undecavertol

Keely Johnson (advisor:  Gretchen Hofmeister and Brian A. O'Brien)

Undecavertol, a violet, leafy-smelling alcohol used in the perfume industry, was synthesized under anhydrous conditions from pentylmagnesium bromide and 2-pentene-2-ol.  The final product was analyzed with 1HNMR, HETCOR, COSY, and 13CNMR, leading to the conclusion that Undecavertol has a trans formation around its double bond.


Inhibition of Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha Release by Phenytoin

Andy Dufresne (advisor:  John Lammert)  

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of joints leading to degradation and resorption of cartilage and bone. High levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) have been found in joint fluid of RA patients and implicated in the disease process.  The anti-convulsant drug phenytoin has been shown to alleviate symptoms of RA, and is also known to cause alterations in the immune system.  Macrophage-like cells from the murine cell line RAW 264.7 were treated in vitro with phenytoin and assayed for TNF-a release.  Our data indicate reduction of TNF-a release in cells treated with phenytoin.


Phototacic Behavoirs of Daphnia and Calaniod Copepods to Various Light Wavelegnths

Mandy Ortenblad and Nadine Lysiak (advisor:  Nancy Butler)

Phototaxis plays an important role in freshwater ecosystems by orienting animals towards food or away from prdators. 

We investigated the phototactic response of Daphnia and calaniod copepods, both in the field and in situ.

While field mechanisms did suggest an effect of light qualit on plankton behavior, the results were not clear cut. 

However, subsequent laboratory results indicated distinct species specific responses to different wavelengths.

 Phenytoin and regeneration in Hydra

Rachel Turzynski (advisor:  John M. Lammert)

Several studies have confirmed the positive effect

of phenytoin (PHT) on the acceleration of wound healing.

PHT is typically used for the treatment of epileptic seizures.

Evidence of gum overgrowth as a side effect suggested a

potential wound healing feature of PHT. PHT was added

to partially dissected Hydra, an aquatic invertebrate,

to observe any increase in the rate of regeneration.

Our data indicate no increase in the rate of regeneration

associated with the addition of PHT to Hydra.



Session 2: 4:00-5:00pm

Concurrent paper session 2A: Olin Hall, Room 220, 4:00-4:30 p.m.

Keith Carlson, Chair

A Microstructure Analysis of Shear Zones near Granite Falls, MN

Ryan Erickson (advisor:  Jim Welsh) 4:00 p.m.

A microscopic study was conducted on a series of brittle-ductile shear zones that occur in Precambrian metagabbros near Granite Falls, MN.  While the orientation of the shear zones is known, the shear movement has not been previously determined. Orientated samples were collected from the shear zone and the microstructures were analyzed to determine the shear movement.  Preliminary conclusions indicate shear movement to be oblique-normal, with a sinistral sense of strike slip.

A stratigraphic and Sedimentological Study of the Minnesota Valley Minerals Cretaceous Clay Mine near Courtland, Minnesota

Gregory D. Joslin (advisor:  Keith J. Carlson) 4:15 p.m.

A stratigraphic and sedimentological study was conducted in the Minnesota Valley Minerals (MVM) Cretaceous clay mine near Courtland, Minnesota. The eight data sections described there were used to divide the Cretaceous strata into three distinct units.  These units represent a discontinous sequence of deposition in which basal unit 1 represents tidally influenced sedimentation.  Units 2 and 3 unconformably overlie unit 1 and represent fluvially dominated facies.

Sound Distribution Of An Organ Pipe

Concurrent paper session 2B: Nobel Hall, Room 305, 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Larry Wohl, Chair

An Analysis of Rising Wage Inequality

Erik Diekrager (advisor:  Larry Wohl) 4:00 p.m.

The United States experienced a significant rise in wage inequality during the 1980's. Institutional factors such as de-unionization and a stagnant minimum wage accounted for part of the problem. In addition, globalization, immigration, education, and technology also impacted the changing wage structure. This paper will examine these causes, along with the social and economic problems arising from wage inequality in the past two decades

The Future of Labor Unions

Jeremy Ahlgren  (advisor:  Larry Wohl) 4:15 p.m.

Historically unions have been an institution that helped to define America. Since the mid 1950 s though, union membership has been on the decline. Now with a seemingly anti-union White House and still declining membership rolls, unions seem to be in trouble. Some insist that unions will survive and that union membership will expand to new fields, such as medicine and computer work. Something along those lines will have to happen, as the new trend toward global markets expands and traditional union jobs become more and more scarce.

Unemployment in Less Developed Countries

Nana Benhene Prempeh (advisor:  Larry Wohl)   4:30 p.m.

Employment or work provides an individual with a form of income that enables him to partake in the most fundamental economic transactions of securing goods and services needed to ensure a decent standard of living. Over the past decades Less Developed Countries, particularly those of Sub-Saharan Africa, have experienced unprecedented levels of unemployment in its many forms. There are many factors in the underdeveloped economies of countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya that perpetuate this spiraling of joblessness and economic stagnation. These include the inability of certain government policies to effectively invest in human capital, the absence of job opportunities and the low levels of education and funding directed toward job training programs that serve as long term investments for these countries.  This paper seeks to look at these problems in depth and to consider policies these countries might adopt in order to improve the current trends of unemployment.

The Gorbachev Reforms and Labor Conditions in the Former Soviet Union

 Veronique Gronhovd (advisor:  Larry Wohl)    4:45 p.m.

 My objective in presenting this paper will be to attempt to clarify the reasoning behind the former Soviet Union deciding to institute the Gorbachev Reforms and the resultant effects of these reforms on labor conditions from a period between 1985-1991. Gorbachev delivered a report in which he favored economic renewal of the country, greater independence of enterprises, reduction of state order,and a democratic change in society. Gorbachev influenced the labor system in terms of worker wages, the participation in labor unions, and labor mobility in various industries throughout Russia.
 Concurrent paper session 2C: Nobel Hall, Room 222, 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Mike Ferragamo, Chair

Effects of Burn and Mow Treatments on Above-Ground Biomass and Nutrient Levels in Two Restored Tallgrass Prairies

Jim Eckberg (advisor:  Pamela Kittelson) 4:00 p.m.

I measured aboveground biomass and soil nutrients at two prairie restoration sites. Average grass biomass was significantly higher in the Arboretum (250g) than Kasota plots (~100g). The production of forbs at Kasota was ten times greater than Arboretum plots. Within Kasota, burn/mow treatments supported twice the forb production than control plots.  Phosphate, organic matter and potassium differed significantly between sites, whereas nitrate and pH were similar. However, treatments within each site had similar nutrient levels.

Domains, Conformations, and Choices in D-3-Phosphoglycerate Dehydrogenase

Don Berkholz  (advisor:  Ellis Bell) 4:15 p.m.

D-3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PGDH) is a homotetrameric enzyme that catalyzes the first reaction in the serine biosynthesis cycle.  There are three domains in each subunit, and the subunits are at an approximate 180 axis of symmetry across the interfaces (Al-Rabiee Regina, Zhang Yueping, and Grant Gregory A.  [1996] J. Biol. Chem. 271. 23235-23238).  The aim was to determine cofactor choice, conformational changes, serine inhibition, and subunit interactions and their effect on the mechanisms of catalysis and communication.  Kinetics experiments suggest a conformational difference between mammalian and prokaryotic PGDH.  Computational analyses supported allosteric regulation of flexible hinges between rigid domains (Al-Rabiee et al.).  Serine was found to inhibit denaturation by guanidine hydrochloride, suggesting added structural stability.

Underground Distribution and Density of Botrychium campestre

Anna Felkey, Katie Phillippe, Amanda B. Young  (advisor:  Cindy Johnson-Groh)   4:30 p.m.

        We studied the density and distribution of gemmae, roots and gametophytes of B. campestre in one meter of prairie sod. Soil was filtered through sieves with water to remove larger roots.  The sieved material was centrifuged in water and sucrose to isolate living underground structures that were identified under then microscope.  We found 21 plants distributed randomly in clusters.   We isolated 456 gemmae and 34 gametophytes mostly distributed near parent plants.

Inhibition of Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha Release by Phenytoin

Andy Dufresne (advisor:  John Lammert)    4:45 p.m.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of joints leading to degradation and resorption of cartilage and bone. High levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) have been found in joint fluid of RA patients and implicated in the disease process.  The anti-convulsant drug phenytoin has been shown to alleviate symptoms of RA, and is also known to cause alterations in the immune system.  Macrophage-like cells from the murine cell line RAW 264.7 were treated in vitro with phenytoin and assayed for TNF-a release.  Our data indicate reduction of TNF-a release in cells treated with phenytoin.