Oral Presentations - Session 1A: UC 326


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Friday, April 17th
9:00 AM

Glacial Retreat in Glacier National Park: A Sample of Global Climate Change

Leah Lynch, University of Montana - Missoula

UC 326

9:00 AM - 9:20 AM

Glacier National Park used to hold 150 glaciers, and today that number has reduced to 25. Over the next 100 years it is believed the glaciers will continue to melt, leaving 0 glaciers by the projected year 2030. A melt rate and spatial distribution of glaciers has been predicted under two possible future climate scenarios. The two models include: carbon dioxide-induced global warming and a linear temperature extrapolation. Using these models, it allows for vegetation to be analyzed through soil moisture and increasing temperature to predict a future alpine landscape and future plant communities. Glacier National Park serves as a great example of the globe’s warming. With the national park having little pollutants and human activity over the whole park, it stands as an untouched piece. It simply has seen the results of the globe rising in temperature. In the time period from 1910-1980 the Earth raised by .45 degrees Celsius, this is when a large amount of glacier melting occurred. This period of time had an accelerated heat in the summer ultimately losing 73 percent of the glaciers. The impact that has already occurred is irreversible unless a similar climatic occurrence such as the Little Ice Age occurs. Beyond this situation, it must be understood how the loss of glaciers will influence other vegetation and plant communities. The scientific proof of global warming is occurring and glacier melting in Glacier National Park provides us with tangible proof that the rise in temperature has a great effect. Perhaps not immediately, but as represented in the article ice melting occurs on a decadal time period. This allows room each decade to better our green initiative and if the glaciers have not slowed in melting pace then we will be able to collect data to understand how the world will alter.

9:20 AM

Searching for Success in Asymmetrical Conflicts

James Papai, University of Montana - Missoula

UC 326

9:20 AM - 9:40 AM

As the threat of ISIS spreads in the Middle East and North Africa, the nations of the world find themselves involved in numerous asymmetric conflicts of both low and high intensity. Among the most noticeable counterinsurgency efforts involve the United States in Afghanistan and the Syrian government within their own civil war. Despite these prominent cases, this paper focuses on several different asymmetric, inter-state conflicts, which do not involve external actors and occurred during the period of 1998-2008. The purpose of doing so is to attempt at distinguishing the actual capabilities of the host government at conducting a counterinsurgency, not evaluate the ability of the United States or other Western nations. Drawing on government reports as well as other documentary and academic sources, this paper examines these conflicts, chosen at random from the databases of the World Bank and the Economist Intelligence Unit Index of Democracy, and sets them against the argument of the potential relationship between power and democracy to reveal if one element is better at producing a more successful counterinsurgency strategy than the other. This paper illustrates that each of the six different nations examined took differing approaches to their local insurgencies and each of these approaches met with differing levels of success. Finally, this paper was able to conclude that, while more research is needed before expansive policy recommendations can be produced; the Realist theory of international relations was able to accurately predict the capability of the weakest states. This paper ultimately encourages the further exploration of the lessons learned in these conflicts as a means to one day develop a more universally successful counterinsurgency strategy.

9:40 AM

Sexual Assault Reports to the Police: A Pilot Investigation of the Factors that Influence Victimization Reporting and Victim Perceptions of Police Responses

Hailey Powers, University of Montana - Missoula

UC 326

9:40 AM - 10:00 AM

The purpose of this thesis is to examine issues associated with the reporting of sexual assault victimization to the police and police responses to these reports. The information gathered will be used to inform best practices regarding future responses to these crimes by the Missoula Police Department (MPD) and other stakeholders. The information will also be used to inform a larger investigation that will take place after the pilot phase of the project ends. The methodology for this project included conducting a comprehensive literature review, the development of a victims' questionnaire and an advocates' questionnaire, a pretest, and is ultimately a pilot test of the developed surveys. My project is new to the city of Missoula, as a survey of sexual assault victims and police responses have not been conducted before. This project is also being completed in response to a formal request from the Department of Justice to the Missoula City Police Department. My project holds great significance for the Missoula community because it will be informing the MPD and detectives who are the initial point of contact on how to most effectively respond to reports of sexual assault, while creating a safe and positive environment for victims. The issue of sexual assault has gained a lot of attention, particularly in our community, very recently. This project speaks directly to the problem, and the ways our city and university, are working to implement more effective and comprehensive means of responding to victims who come forward. Using the information gathered in this project, future projects will be informed about the best methods of data collection and analysis, as well as implementation practices for victim service providers.

10:00 AM

University of Montana's Native Plant Landscaping: Interpretation and a Proposal for Future Educational Strategies

Jonathan M. Nelson, University of Montana - Missoula

UC 326

10:00 AM - 10:20 AM

The manipulation and interpretation of landscape reflects the attitudes, values and knowledge of the people within a particular cultural context. Of the many potential educational applications for the native plant landscaping on the University of Montana campus, I am proposing a strategy for educating students, the campus, and the community about native plants and local ecology in a way which appropriately reflects the historical relations of Native American cultures with local plant communities. The Payne Center for Native American Studies is the site of extensive native plant landscaping which is currently underused for education and lacking clear, appropriate and intentional directions for maintenance and interpretation. The Payne Center landscaping is one of several proposed service learning sites for the developing Native Plant Internship Program, and while the cross disciplinary potential of the program provides a context for various types of discussion, the strategy proposed for this particular site is developed around semiotic and rhetorical analysis of the landscape as a social or cultural construction. I am proposing that internship students tend the Payne Center native landscaping in a manner which highlight local Native American cultural relevancies and aesthetic qualities, while also working to develop interpretive and educational materials which guide the interpretive and educational experience of visitors, such as signs with written information about the cultural and ecological characteristics of the plants, as well as quick response (QR) codes which link smart phones and tablets to related website content which students compile about the plants from this and other Native Plant Internship Program learning sites.

10:20 AM

Women's Voices for the Earth: A Discourse Analysis of Gendered, Environmental Media Advocacy

Marit Olson, University of Montana - Missoula

UC 326

10:20 AM - 10:40 AM

Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE), a Missoula based, nationally recognized non-profit, empowers women to advocate against toxic chemicals that cause individual and community health hazards. There is little analysis of the intersection of women’s and environmental subjugation and how these intersections influence women’s environmental organizations. My research examines the influence of ecofeminist ideology, as framed by Karen Warren’s ecofeminist and class analysis, in WVE’s online discourse, primarily social media. To do so I apply a Foucaultian discourse analysis to WVE’s online publications, and compare that to an analysis of the online presence of Toxics Action Center, a non-gendered activist group with a similar mission. Preliminary results show a connection between ecofeminist ideology and how these organizations address the issue of toxins. Through this analysis I hope to understand the role women’s perspectives play in environmental advocacy groups, and how a shared experience of oppression can motivate advocacy work.

10:40 AM

NCAA Enforcement and its Impact on College Football Winning Percentage

Gavin Hagfors, University of Montana - Missoula

UC 326

10:40 AM - 11:00 AM

The NCAA (or National Collegiate Athletic Association) regulates college sports in the United States. Due to its regulation of input costs (through scholarship and recruiting limits) and output, it is widely regarded as a cartel amongst economists. Although several authors have studied the NCAA as a reference to cartel behavior, very few (if any) have analyzed the impact of NCAA enforcement on the teams it oversees. In any cartel, there is an incentive to cheat on rules put in place to gain market share from other members of the cartel. The NCAA is no different, as each team could easily pay student athletes beyond the scholarship limit, gain better athletes, and win more games. It is up to the NCAA to discourage this behavior through punishments for teams caught cheating. To gain a further understanding of cartel behavior, it is important to ask whether these punishments are effective in deterring the cheaters. I plan on statistically analyzing the impact of NCAA punishments on college football teams' winning percentages using a difference in difference regression model. I will be able to estimate the impact of NCAA enforcement on a team's winning percentage and extrapolate this into whether or not the NCAA is effectively punishing teams who break the rules.

11:00 AM

Do Families Inspire?

Joel Davison, University of Montana - Missoula

UC 326

11:00 AM - 11:20 AM

Does having children or being married inspire an artist to create more valuable works? This question stemmed from a recent article which suggests that when artists travel, they create more valuable art. After researching how having children or being married affects professions similar to artists, either in work process or wage type (like published researchers or the self-employed), it seems there is a connection. I then decided to apply economic models (ordinary least squares and fixed effects) to evaluate art with regard to artists' families. I gathered biographical data regarding artists, corresponding art auctions from 2013, and connected them on a yearly basis to determine if they were married or had at least one child when the piece of art was completed. After performing several regressions, while correcting for other variables like size or medium used, I found evidence of a relationship. While in most of the regressions, both the child and marriage variables were insignificant, when using female interaction variables, both having a child and being married were found to be significant. The results suggest that for female artists being married or having a child is detrimental to the price of their art. It is important to note that the quantity of art produced was not measured, but the value art buyers were willing to pay in 2013. In addition to the family variables, I also included broad categorical variables of what each piece of art depicted as its subject, and found that together, these variables were jointly significant. While this was not the primary question, finding that these results were so strong was surprising. My study suggests that having a family may negatively affect the value of a female artist’s work, and that subject choice may influence the price of art. This study was completed in May 2014.