|Thursday, April 27th|
Anne Yoncha, University of Montana, Missoula
UC Ballroom, Pod #3
9:00 AM - 9:15 AM
Science and the arts have long been understood as two opposing systems of thought involving logic and emotion. However, both disciplines rely on similar thought processes to create something new. Thus, thinking of science and the arts as counterparts is not only false but also eliminates the potential for interaction and generation of powerful outreach tools which use both logic and emotion.
Attempting Physical Contact with Geologic Time examines the cellular structure of plant stems as they transport water and how that structure is affected by drought stress, one of the main drivers of forest die-off worldwide. Under drought, plant stems experience high tension inside their vascular cells, also called tracheids, as a result of the polar bonding between water molecules and the demand of water by the dry atmosphere. This tension increases as water availability decreases. When this tension becomes too great, a plant cell can experience an embolism that disrupts water flow. After too many embolisms, the plant can no longer transport water. The art pieces in our project make these complex and microscopic processes visible and tangible in a new way. Viewers can literally walk around the work and examine it from multiple angles. The delicate physicality of this work evokes the strength and fragility of the natural systems upon which we depend.
In one piece, holes burned through layers of the fabric represent the hollow cavities through which water is transported in a two-year-old pine seedling. The fabric panels are suspended in groups from the ceiling and an image of a cross-section of the seedling is projected from both sides of the piece. Slivers of light from the projection snake through the holes in the layers of fabric, echoing the meandering path of water up a plant stem.
Another series stretches fabric taut over shaped panels that jut off the wall. By walking around the panels, viewers can see a vivid painting on the wall, almost hidden behind the surface of the white fabric. Embroidery on the taut silk evokes the structure of tracheid valves, but also is reminiscent of chromosomes and cellular reproduction. The measured, angular geometry of both the frames and the repeated embroidered valve motif is subverted by slight imperfections and irregularities in the stretched silk and the way it reflects color in unexpected ways. Two panels, human-height, are lifted at a precarious angle from the ground, suspended only by a weighted string. Walking behind those panels, which seem liable to fall at any moment, heightens the sense of tension, insecurity, and impermanence.
This intrusion of chaos within ordered patterns reflects our imperfect methods of collecting and interpreting data. While taking a cross-section of a stem may provide information on growth patterns, it also kills the plant. The functioning of plant cells and seeds are points of departure for these works, but the pieces are also meant to raise questions about how our current methods of discovering new information alter the natural state of organisms, obscuring as much as they reveal.
UC Ballroom, Pod #3
9:20 AM - 9:35 AM
Chelsea Karthauser, University of Montana, Missoula
UC Ballroom, Pod #3
9:40 AM - 9:55 AM
Moses J. Leavens
UC Ballroom, Pod #3
10:00 AM - 10:15 AM
It is well established that proteins spontaneously refold into their native structure, and this structure is important for function. The denatured (i.e. unfolded) state of a protein has been found to contain pockets of non-random structure, and this has provided clues to deciphering the protein folding code. Previous work with the four-helix bundle protein cytochrome c’ in Rhodopseudomonas palustris using histidine-heme loop formation thermodynamic methods revealed fold-specific deviations from random coil character in its denatured state ensemble. To examine the generality of this finding, we extend this work to a three-helix bundle polypeptide, the human DNA excision repair protein’s second ubiquitin-associated (UBA) domain, UBA(2). We use yeast iso-1-cytochrome c as a scaffold, fusing the UBA(2) domain to the N-terminus of iso-1-cytochrome c. Using site-directed mutagenesis, we have engineered the amino acid histidine into solvent accessible surface amino acid positions within UBA(2), creating eight single histidine variants. Isothermal equilibrium denaturation studies reveal that the fusion protein unfolds in a 3-state process, commencing with iso-1-cytochrome c followed by UBA(2). Thermodynamic stability experiments also demonstrate that the histidine positions in the UBA(2) domain strongly destabilize iso-1-cytochrome c. Furthermore, histidine-heme loop formation equilibria in the denatured state show lower apparent pKa’s compared to the pseudo-wild type variant, indicating significant interactions in the denatured state. Comparing the degree of deviation of loop stability versus loop size using the Jacobson-Stockmayer relationship, we observe significant deviation from random coil behavior in reverse turn sequences within the UBA(2) domain, in agreement with observations discovered in cytochrome c’. Kinetic experiments indicate that these reverse turns in UBA(2) are persisting in the denatured state. Therefore, reverse turn sequences are biasing the conformational search for these helix bundles, are important for setting up the overall structure of these proteins, and are critical in understanding the nature of the protein folding code. The significance of this work would be applied to treating protein misfolding diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Cystic fibrosis.
UC Ballroom, Pod #3
10:20 AM - 10:35 AM
In recent years, critical geographers have examined how neoliberalism, or political economic ideology oriented to promote private property rights, maximize entrepreneurial freedom, and ensure free trade and unencumbered markets, has become increasingly intertwined with efforts to conserve biodiversity. One expression of the rise of neoliberal conservation is the development of privately protected areas (PPAs), or pieces of land purchased by wealthy individuals via the market for the purposes of conservation. Although literature on this topic is theoretically rich, empirical examinations of this type of conservation are few.
Due to its long and institutionalized engagement with neoliberalism since the 1970s, Chile presents a perfect context in which to study this phenomenon. Given its reduced role of the state in terms of conservation, the sanctity of private property rights and its powerful incentives for foreign investment, Chile has witnessed an explosion of PPAs in the past two decades. Two of the main drivers of this trend are Doug and Kris Tompkins, wealthy North Americans who made fortunes in the outdoor gear and garment industry. Working under the auspices of various NGOs, the Tompkins have purchased over 2.2 million acres in Southern Chile, making them one of the largest land owners in the region.
The Tompkins receive praise by some as selfless and visionary preservationists, and criticism by others as neocolonialists or land-grabbers. Their most recent project, Patagonia National Park (PNP) has been particularly controversial: what is now a North American style park formerly operated as a sheep ranch where many local residents earned their livelihoods. Removing fencing, eliminating grazing, and establishing tourism infrastructure are among the park’s main goals, and many locals have been outspokenly resistant to the changes in both land use and livelihood.
To understand the interaction between the global force of neoliberalism and changes in local reality around PNP, I take a discourse analysis approach. Through the study of discourse, or language, stories and images, this approach explores how different actors construct narratives surrounding PNP, and how language can be a tool for some groups to maintain power over others. To understand the role of discourse surrounding PNP, I conducted interviews with former ranchers who lost their jobs, former ranchers who now work for the park and park administrators. I also analyzed park websites, blogs, and videos in order to capture the park discourses that reach a global audience.
My research reveals two very distinct discourses. Many local residents expressed feelings of a loss of culture, erasure of history, domination by foreign elites, and frustration at the transformation of a working landscape to one of spectacle. Meanwhile, park discourses present two conflicting stories: one of saving a threatened landscape from destructive practices of the locals, and a second of a beautiful wilderness, Eden with altitude. Importantly, they present the park as the only option to conserve Patagonia. By close examination of discourse, my research suggests that park narratives obscure the political and economic nature of the project, and reinforce the hegemonic power of neoliberalism to transform local realities.
UC Ballroom, Pod #3
10:40 AM - 10:55 AM
Sexually-selected weapons have evolved to maximize individual reproductive success of males in polygynous breeding species that physically compete for access to mates. Yet, it remains poorly understood how secondary functions of weapons have also affected the evolution of specific traits. Here, we used 13 years of observational data from the long-term study of wolves and ungulates (e.g., elk, deer) in Yellowstone National Park to evaluate how the threat of predation by a widespread, coursing predator has influenced weapon traits (e.g., size, antler retention time). We specifically evaluated how the presence or absence of antlers during the period of antler casting (i.e., March) affected whether individual adult male elk were killed by wolves. Moreover, we also assessed how the predatory escalation of wolf-adult male elk encounters was affected by whether adult male elk had antlers. We place our results in a broad context by comparing the traits of weapons across ungulate species.
Wolves strongly selected for adult male elk that had cast their antlers. The likelihood that an adult male elk killed by wolves was a pedicle individual (i.e., had cast its antlers) was affected by day of the month, elk population abundance, its age, and its nutritional condition. Interestingly, we found that wolves selected for pedicle adult male elk despite these individuals being in better nutritional condition. This finding is fundamentally opposed to previous work describing how coursing predators such as wolves select for individuals in poorer nutritional condition. Our results suggest that sexually-selected weapons may also be critical predatory deterrents that enhance survival and improve lifetime reproductive success. As such, species most preferred by predators should retain antlers for a longer period of time, despite the energetic costs associated with longer retention. This hypothesis is supported by considering that elk (the most strongly selected for species by wolves in northern Yellowstone) retain their antlers for ~1.5 and 2.5 months longer than deer and moose, respectively. Ultimately, our results suggest that ecological forces such as predation may be an underappreciated selective force on the specific traits of sexually-selected animal weapons.
UC Ballroom, Pod #3
1:05 PM - 1:20 PM
Purpose – This study aimed to design a framework for identifying rare plant habitats at the landscape scale using fine-resolution remotely sensed products to try to capture complex ecological relationships between plant species with limited distribution and their environment. Using the Maximum Entropy algorithm (MaxEnt), relationships to and between each environmental variable were quantified for each species in the Blackfoot Swan Landscape Restoration Project (BSLRP) in western Montana. This project is part of a greater vegetation assessment for BSLRP that utilizes remotely sensed raster products for planning and management purposes. It may also serve as a framework for other resources and projects to assess risk, prioritize work, and provide additional information on species distribution and ecology. Methods – The five rare plant species studied in this analysis were common camas (Camassia quamash), clustered lady’s-slipper (Cypripedium fasciculatum), western pearlflower (Heterocodon rariflorum), Howell’s gumweed (Grindelia howellii), and crested shieldfern (Dryopteris cristata). Known occurrence data for these five species were taken from multiple state and federal databases and assessed for taxonomic and locational accuracy. Environmental covariates hypothesized to affect plant distribution included elevation, topographic wetness index, solar insolation, precipitation, landcover, and geology. This analysis tested the efficacy of LiDAR-derived canopy cover to improve prediction accuracy for the crested shieldfern. Species occurrence data and environmental covariates were used as input into the MaxEnt algorithm, which produced a potential distribution map for each species. The accuracy of the predicted distribution maps were assessed by field sampling ten 210 m transects for each species.Originality – Typically rare plant populations are spatially represented as polygons in state and federal databases. However, MaxEnt requires occurrence data to be in point form. Species Distribution Models (SDM) traditionally address this problem by taking the center of a polygon feature and representing it as a single point. This methodology can be ecologically misleading since it fails to acknowledge the environmental gradient found across a plant population. This analysis addressed this by placing a proportional number of points randomly within the boundary of each polygon. Results – The field surveying identified 11 new populations of common camas and 2 new populations of crested shieldfern. Comparison between predictions based upon centroids versus distributed points yielded an improved AUC and reduced standard deviation. The LiDAR data defined a narrower niche and had improved AUC and lower standard deviation but did not lower assessed accuracy for crested shieldfern. Overall accuracy for the predictions ranged from 26% to 69%. Significance – Rare plant management is contingent on understanding species distribution across the area of interest. For many rare plants, there is little knowledge on distribution or ecology. Additionally, field studies designed to collect more information on rare plants are both time and labor intensive. SDM studies are one way for resource managers to identify potential habitat for rare species before going into the field. They can use this information to prioritize field surveys and inform management decisions. Concomitantly, SDM studies provide a wealth of information on species’ environmental associations and can be used to further understand species ecology.
UC Ballroom, Pod #3
1:25 PM - 1:40 PM
Music is intrinsic for communities to maintain and transmit their culture; it also serves as a specific kind of embodied knowledge. Music is not limited to the sound or text, rather is constructed through complex processes which has multiple subjects to it. This paper is the first part of a larger project, here a theoretical model has been developed for understanding music as cultural heritage. This paper serves as a call for newer ways of thinking and rethinking how ‘music’ as well as other oral traditions are conceptualized and understood within the field of cultural management.
The theoretical model developed here is interdisciplinary in nature drawing not only from the discourses within the fields of anthropology and cultural heritage but also draws substantially from the fields of ethnomusicology and linguistics. This model emphasizes that to gain an insight into the role of music in a culture; every musical piece needs to be understood within the soundscapes (Faudree 2012) in which they are created, situated and performed. This then intrinsically calls for the need to understand song texts as ‘oral-performatives’ (Hess 2015). This framework also calls for a need to understand affective aspect which is captured in the indexical meaning of that piece (Turino 2008) which is informed by both aspects i.e. the performer and the audience. It is only when all these three broad aspects of the musical piece is considered that the embodied meaning of music for that culture is truly captured.
Rather than understanding music as a static piece of performance; this model provides the space to understand music as a dynamic piece of heritage which is in the constant process of evolution and meaning-making. This model demonstrates the limits of the current interpretation of music as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. This paper also brings to attention the urgent need on the translation of this comprehensive understanding into practice, by drawing attention to the limits of cultural resource management (CRM) practice in translating the cultural heritage of music within the value framework model. Thereby, contributing substantially to the further the discourse in alternative management practices of intangible heritages such as music.
Wuri Prima Kusumastuti, University of Montana
UC Ballroom, Pod #3
1:45 PM - 2:00 PM
Defense critical language learner generally focus on communicative competence instead of linguistics competence due to their responsibility of collaborating with native speaker to solve a problem in the target country. Thus, it is expected for military people to be able to not only speak the language but also understanding the culture and values in target country to avoid misunderstanding between both party. However, they usually have limited time to attend the language class due to the urgency of their job. Thus, we believe that it is important to start emerging both language and culture since the very beginning of their language level. In short, employing authentic material since beginning level is important to this kind of circumstances.
A mix design is developed to see if authentic material influence the motivation and performance of students from military background in learning Indonesian language. It is also used to see if difference level of competence influence the students performance in understanding authentic material. The population of the study is the military students who takes Indonesian language class as their electives defense critical language. While the sample is using a convenience sample, Military students who are registered in Indonesian Class at the University of Montana. The data analysis will be done through paired sample t-tes, two ways anova with Tukey's Post Hoc and Wilcoxon signed rank test to test the research hypothesis.
The expected result would be authentic material will gives better understanding on the target language or not as well as gives more motivation for students to learn about the language and future further. The key point of activities that are provided to employ authentic material is intended to make students feel relaxed and comfortable to discuss the content of language. The students should have space to express their ideas in meaningful and communicative tasks and activities. This will ensure that students are doing something with a purpose in their mind. Some activities that I found quite challenging for students to immerse the language from authentic material include information-gathering activities (students searched information from the article and video news) and opinion sharing activities (activities in which students compare values, opinions, or beliefs such as delivering the opinion based on their own major and relating their opinion with the new information given) (Richard, 2006). This kind of activity is intended to give students more topic to talk about in oral proficiency interview. So that, they can achieve certain level of speaking proficiency.
Nikki Manning, The University of Montana
UC Ballroom, Pod #3
2:05 PM - 2:20 PM
In 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration initiated a federal program to record structures of historic interest in the United States. Not only was the Historic American Building Survey (HABS) part of Roosevelt’s “New Deal” to create jobs; it was the first real recognition of historic preservation prior to the federal 1935 Historic Sites Act and the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. HABS established national standards for documentation of historic structures including physical history of a property, its historical context, and architectural information. The most challenging aspects of documentation are the plan and elevation maps and the detailed photography required by these standards. While change is slow in coming, new technology promises more efficient ways for recording historic structures. An interdisciplinary survey team applied both old and new recording methods at a historic property in Downtown Missoula prior to deconstruction. With an upswing in demolition and development throughout the country, cultural resources are disappearing at an alarming rate and detailed documentation is quickly becoming the new preservation.
Zachary M. McCarthy
UC Ballroom, Pod #3
2:25 PM - 2:40 PM
Throwing injuries in baseball are increasing amongst major league baseball pitchers. Injuries to the shoulder complex and elbow ligamentous structures are increasing. Variables including pitch count, pitch type, throwing style, and duration of the game have all been “linked” to potential injury. Noticing the realtionship between these variables and injuries can lead to an upward trend in the decrease of throwing injuries.
Nhan T. Nguyen, University of Montana - Missoula
UC Ballroom, Pod #3
2:45 PM - 3:00 PM
A graph is a general mathematical structure that displays connections between different objects. The vertices of the graph represent the objects and an edge between two vertices represents a connection between them. Graphs are used to represent a wide variety of structures; anything from the facebook network, a molecule or even map designs. Graph theory has been applied to a diverse collection of problems in mathematics, physics, biology and more. In this talk we discuss the basics of Ramsey Theory for graphs and use graph theory to answer the question: How many people must you invite to a party so that there is a group of three that all know each other or there is a group of three that all don’t? Then we will discuss generalizations of this ramsey problem and an anti-ramsey problem on the hypercube.