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Friday, April 12th
9:00 AM

The Effectiveness of a Letter-Writing Activity on Self-Reported Body Dissatisfaction

Julie Oldfield, University of Montana - Missoula

UC 330

9:00 AM - 9:20 AM

Body dissatisfaction (BD) has significant, negative impacts on general well being, and is a strong predictor of disordered eating behavior and eating disorders. BD, particularly in Western cultures, has become a nearly universal experience. Despite the fact that BD is extremely prevalent, there are few interventions designed specifically for the treatment of BD. Letter writing activities have become popular, both in clinical use and in popular media. However, to date, no research has been conducted to determine the effectiveness of letter writing activities for the treatment of BD. A handful of studies have examined the effectiveness of expressive writing, a paradigm closely related to letter writing, the results of which were inconclusive. This study seeks to examine the effectiveness of a letter-writing activity on self-reported BD in a community sample of college students.

64 male and female participants will be recruited from Introduction to Psychology classes, and will receive class credit for their participation (data collection is ongoing at the time of this submission). Participants will be randomly assigned to the experimental or control condition. Both groups will complete the Body Esteem Scale (BES; Franzoi & Shields, 1984), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RES; Rosenberg, 1965), and one of two letter-writing activities. Then they will re-complete the BES and RES. Finally, they will complete a short questionnaire in which they rate the emotionality of the experience. At a one-month follow-up, participants will re-complete the BES and RES. Experimental group participants will be instructed to write a letter to their body; whereas, control group participants will be asked to respond to a non-BD related prompt. The results of this study will provide useful information about the efficacy of letter writing interventions for BD among college students. In addition, the results may be used to inform clinical practice and community public health interventions.

9:20 AM

Perspectives of the Western Montana Grower's Cooperative: A Supplementary Case Study of Food Producers in Western Montana

David Wise, University of Montana - Missoula

UC 330

9:20 AM - 9:40 AM

The Western Montana Growers Cooperative (WMGC) is a coalition of growers in Western Montana whose goal is to provide the region with fresh, quality products from farms. An original study was conducted by graduate students in the fall of 2012 to understand the role of WMGC producers, staff, and customers in the local and regional food system. In this study, students focusing on the producers only interviewed the top fifteen Co-op members by sales based on the desire to learn specifically about the Co-op’s best producer assets. Original producer interviews contained fourteen open ended questions which sought to understand individual and collective producer dynamics. In my follow up research, I conducted ten additional qualitative interviews with producer members who were not included in the original sample and gained a unique perspective from individuals who had received less research attention. Other than small changes to secondary probing questions, I used the original fourteen questions in my interviews so that results could be compared between the different groups. By comparing the results of the additional interviews with results from the Co-op as a whole, I sought to understand whether or not the perspectives of producers who sell less to the Co-op differ from perspectives of the top fifteen producers. My research reveals important theoretical and practical differences between the Co-op producer-members and will help the Co-op in the future as it continues to grow and adapt to the diverse needs of members and in an effort to fulfill its role in the local and regional food system.

10:00 AM

Atomic Structure Determinations for Neutron-Capture Elemental Ions

Allison B. Mueller, University of Montana - Missoula

UC 330

10:00 AM - 10:20 AM

Neutron-capture (n-capture) elements are formed when the nucleus of a particular element absorbs a neutron, leaving the nucleus in highly excited and unstable state. This excited nucleus then decays in one of several possible pathways which can ultimately produce a new element where the number of protons has increased by one. These elements have recently been detected for the first time in astrophysical objects, so their chemical evolution is largely unknown. Determining the abundance of n-capture elements in astrophysical objects would facilitate a deeper understanding of the chemical evolution of the Universe. To further study these elements, information regarding the “energy-dependent photoionization cross-sections” for each element is necessary. These cross sections are a measure of the probability that an electron will be ejected from the atom after it absorbs a high energy photon. Data has been collected at the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for several atomic species, including Rb+ and Br2+, analysis of which are the emphases of this research project. One important goal of the analysis is to identify the complex auto-ionization resonance features of the spectrum. When these resonances are closely related, they can form what is known as a Rydberg series, which is a series of peaks that decrease in height from low to high energy and can function as a highly accurate probe of the energy levels of the atom. Each series’ energy is a function of quantum mechanical restrictions and multiple physical variables. By adjusting the many variables in the computer program Origin, precise series identifications for Rb+ and Br2+ were obtained.

10:20 AM

Modeling stream temperature to assess methods of managing the impacts of climate change and land use

Todd Blythe, University of Montana - Missoula

UC 330

10:20 AM - 10:40 AM

Warming due to climate change is expected to alter temperature in aquatic habitats but the degree, rate of change, and ecological effects are likely to be system specific. In addition, mitigation of these effects through water and land use management is also likely to be system specific. I analyzed factors controlling temperature in small streams (< 100 cfs) using SSTEMP, a USGS stream temperature model. I gathered field data on Gold Creek, a tributary of the upper-Clark Fork, for three study reaches and used the measurements to calibrate/validate the model. I used the model’s built in sensitivity analysis to identify the most temperature sensitive parameters. I then constructed a hypothetical baseline stream and manipulated the most sensitive parameters to assess their affects on the baseline temperature. I found that the model is adequate for short term studies along short reaches for a stream like Gold Creek. Hence, the model could be useful for assessing the implications of proposed management strategies for regulating stream temperature, but, not for complex, long term temperature studies. I found that there are various feedbacks, according to the model, between air temperature and other parameters. Discharge and stream shade are the most effective parameters for regulating mean daily water temperature. Stream shade and associated insulating effects are more efficient at regulating daily maximum and minimum temperatures. Depending on the stream, other parameters may be more important for regulating temperature. Management strategies should consider streams independently based on their environmental characteristics, biological communities, and existing impairments. These results suggest that less impacted streams may naturally resist climate change effects better than impaired streams. However, less impacted streams will have less ability to respond to mitigation strategies.

10:40 AM

Potential treatment of Parkinson and Schizophrenia/anxiety using isoxazolo[3,4-d]pyridazinones selective for mGluR 2 and 4

Christina Gates, University of Montana - Missoula

UC 330

10:40 AM - 11:00 AM

The seven transmembrane superfamily (7TM,or G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) is one of the largest superfamilies in the human genome, and with approximately 30% of marketed drugs targeting the 7TMs, this class of proteins is among the most successful among therapeutic targets. Each has a binding site which is called a Venus flytrap domain due to its shape. Through this domain a response can be produced in the cell, and depending on the compound that bindings to it, the response can either be increased or decreased. Within this family there is a group called metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR) on which the isoxazolo[3,4-d]pyridazinones compounds that we created were tested and found to have activity at mGluR 4 and 2. Interactions at mGluR4 are important targets for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. When activated, mGluR4 helps to ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and may even slow progress of the disease. MGluR 2 is a target for anxiety, by helping to alleviate it. The other important aspect of the activity was that the compounds were only active at these receptors and not others and did not have overlap between them. This interaction may imply that the compounds may not be acting at the Venus flytrap domain but rather at another regulatory site, which is more selective. The compounds’ selectivity and activity will be optimized using a structure-based binding to the regulatory site as the working hypothesis. Based on this hypothesis more compounds were created via a new process to try to further access more binding regions in the receptor. Our progress on the new synthesis and biological evaluation will be described.