Oral Presentations: UC 327


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Wednesday, April 17th
9:40 AM

Infection with bacteriophage impacts the evolution of antibiotic resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Jacob E. Cohen, University of Montana, Missoula

UC 327

9:40 AM - 10:00 AM

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a pathogenic bacterium commonly found in hospital acquired infections. P. aeruginosa infections often evolve antibiotic resistance. It is known that clinical isolates from P. aeruginosa infections contain high concentrations of filamentous Pf bacteriophage. We hypothesize that P. aeruginosa infections that are infected with Pf phage will have greater resistance to antibiotics. This is because Pf phage are known to be negatively charged, while commonly used aminoglycoside antibiotics such as tobramycin are positively charged. Thus, the negatively charged phage attracts the positively charged antibiotics and draws the antibiotic away from the bacteria, allowing them to survive. To test this hypothesis, we will grow P. aeruginosa in a vertical container holding layered LB, each with a tenfold increase in Tobramycin concentration. We will compare the ability of cultures with and without phage infections to evolve antibiotic resistance and grow into the regions of the tube with antibiotics. We expect the cultures containing Pf phage to grow into antibiotic layers at a greater speed due to the shielding effects of the Tobramycin. Understanding the interactions between infectious phage and antibiotics will allow more effective use of antibiotics as a treatment against P. aeruginosa infections in patients.

10:00 AM

The Causes and Conduct of the Conflict between Iran and Israel and Its Effects on Palestine and Syria

Allison Pennell

UC 327

10:00 AM - 10:20 AM

In this paper. I examine three main questions. First, why are Iran and Israel in conflict with one another over the existence of Israel and the independence of Palestine? Second, how and why has this conflict spread into Syria and grown to involve the United States and Russia. Third, how has the conflict affected the Palestinian and Syrian people? To answer these questions, I applied and used historical data and the policies of each state to test two theories in the field of international relations. The first theory, constructivism, argues that the conflict has arisen over religious and cultural differences between the peoples of Israel and Iran. While this is definitely a contributing factor, based on leader statements and other policies, I conclude that the second theory, and driving reason for this conflict is best explained by structural realism. Structural realism explains that because the international system is anarchic, a states' need to survive and prosper forces them into competition and conflict with those they view as the most dominant threat to their security. Moreover, it explains why Iran and Israel are vying for power in the region, and thus in conflict over the Palestinians and using Syria as a sort of proxy battleground, which leads to the involvement of their respective allies in the United States and Russia. This paper and research are important as both Iran and Israel are significant states in international politics and the outcome of this conflict would affect not only these two states and the international political climate, but a great number of people whose lives are at risk.

10:20 AM

An Old Man's Eulogy, a Young Republic's Hymn: Weimar Patriotism and the Murder of Walther Rathenau

Ronan Meehan Kennedy, University of Montana

UC 327

10:20 AM - 10:40 AM

On June 27, 1922, the state funeral procession of Walther Rathenau, the German foreign minister, made its way through the Brandenburg Gate down Unter Den Linden, the famous Berlin avenue that Berlin’s sympathetic crowds now filled. Three days earlier, anti-semitic terrorists had publicly murdered Rathenau in an attempt to derail the Weimar Republic, the democratic government that succeeded the fallen German empire. In numerous local newspapers, writers eulogized Rathenau, but also expressed their support for the democratic, worldly values the republic embodied. Germans expected the Berlin press to voice its support, but they were surprised by the coverage the provincial press organs afforded Rathenau’s death. Before his death, Baden, a Catholic, Alemannic speaking region in the southwest, had only covered the fallout of the First World War and local news; after Rathenau’s death, the Baden press’s stories, coverage, and writing now reflected political identification with the republican system. Therefore, Rathenau’s death marked a distinct turning-point in the manner in which Baden newspapers covered political and cultural life in Germany and the world. Through research in German of Baden’s Weimar-era newspapers and of secondary literature, this paper explores the turning point or “Wendepunkt” and the birth of “Weimar Patriotism,” that is, political identification with the Weimar Republic and embrace of its cosmopolitan, classically liberal values. Through analyzing the fallout of Rathenau’s death on a micro-historical level, this paper posits that Rathenau’s death created social traction for Weimar Patriotism in all of Germany and brought the country to mobilize in favor of the republic, reconciling democracy and “Germanness” and therefore legitimizing the republic. It also addresses the ultimate lesson that Weimar’s fall does not reflect lack of support or an unfeasible system; rather Weimar’s fall exhibits a haunting lesson regarding the consequences of a growing belief in inevitability.

10:40 AM

Prevalence of Extreme Discrimination Against LGBTQ+ High School Students in Rural Communities

Cara L. Grewell, University of Montana, Missoula

UC 327

10:40 AM - 11:00 AM

The purpose of this project was be to identify whether there are higher levels of extreme discrimination against LGBTQ+ youth in rural high schools based on sexual orientation and/or gender expression in comparison to urban high schools. Generally, as seen within the United States, smaller, rural communities tend to be comprised of primarily conservative families, so I sought to investigate if there is a correlation between rural communities and discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals.

To complete this research project, I analyzed existing data and literature regarding discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender expression, identifying data and personal stories specific to rural high school student experiences. The literature pointed to community poverty and educational attainment levels being better predictors of LGBTQ+ discrimination in a community than political ideology. However, this topic led me to finding a gap in the research that could inform a policy brief to be presented to education administrations or state legislators.

This project contributes to the field of Sociology by determining that more focus on rural high school anti-harassment policies can create a safer environment for all students considering that the practices in place are insufficient. My research findings allowed the finding of evidence that rural high school administrators can be more proactive in providing safe environments for their students who belong to the LGBTQ+ community.

1:40 PM

Evidence of Arthritis in a 92-Year-Old Female Cadaveric Specimen

Sydney Ladas, University of Montana, Missoula

UC 327

1:40 PM - 2:00 PM

Arthritis describes a group of chronic diseases that includes over 100 separate diagnoses, the pathologies of which affect primarily joints and surrounding joint tissue. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as soon as the year 2040, the number of U.S. adults diagnosed with arthritis will reach 78 million. Osteoarthritis, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common forms of arthritis; each can lead to permanent and debilitating joint damage, especially within aging populations. It is possible to find evidence of arthritic pathogenesis within the joints of living and cadaveric specimens alike. Here the joint health of a 92-year-old female cadaver is discussed. Several synovial joints of the cadaveric specimen were carefully dissected using both sharp and blunt dissection techniques. Joint cavities at various locations of the hands and feet were opened, and articular surfaces were examined and assessed for evidence of arthritic pathology. Unsurprisingly, signs of osteoarthritis were present in several joints; indications of gouty arthritis were evident in the foot. General loss of articular cartilage, hardening of articular surfaces, and osteophyte formation were noted. Approval to conduct this study was given by the Montana Body Donation Program at Montana State University, and University of Montana IRB approval was not required, as cadavers are not considered human subjects for research purposes. With the size of the aging population in the United States reaching an all-time high, diseases that affect this populace will come to the forefront of healthcare. It is projected that arthritis will affect 26% of American adults by the year 2040. Studying arthritis and its associated pathologies may help guide health care professionals in practical and effective treatment of the debilitating disease.

2:00 PM

Looking Past, Looking Forward: America's National Parks, Archaeology and Climate Change

Rachel Blumhardt

UC 327

2:00 PM - 2:20 PM

America’s National Parks are rich with cultural history, flora, fauna and some of nature’s most impressive landscapes. As climate change continues to accelerate, these parks and their cultural and natural resources are being threatened. In this project, I will present a colorful, informational powerpoint that concentrates on 4 specific parks: Yellowstone National Park, National Park of American Samoa, Glacier Bay National Park and Mesa Verde National Park. I will focus on the archaeology and cultural significance of these parks, while also examining the ways that climate change is putting these, and other associated assets of the parks, at risk. I will tie the past and present together, while also exploring the future, and discussing possible climate-induced implications and the risks they pose to the cultural heritage of these parks. The goal of this project is to be an educational resource for national park staff, and other concerned citizens. While there are currently resources on many of the aspects I will discuss in this booklet, they are not comprehensive and most do not connect the archaeologically and culturally significant features of the parks with the threats of climate change. This project draws upon information from various articles, books and personal experiences and seeks to connect these two interesting, relevant topics in a new, thought-provoking way.

2:20 PM

Accountability in Education: Investigating Student Retention One-year-post Environmental Education Program

Bridget Creel

UC 327

2:20 PM - 2:40 PM

The Clark Fork Watershed Education Program's Restoration Education Program (REP) is a placebased science education curriculum that reaches 5th-8th grade students in the Clark Fork Watershed. The program is 1-week long, consisting of 4 classroom sessions and a daylong field trip and is individualized to classrooms throughout the watershed. The program has two main goals: (1) to help students become lifelong environmental stewards and (2) to help students gain a better understanding of the scientific process and the unique ecology of their watershed after a century of unregulated mining at its headwaters.

Historically, the program has tracked its success through pre-test/post-test evaluation. Students show significant improvements in knowledge of the ecological impacts of historic mining damage within their watershed and favorable shifts in attitude towards science and environmental stewardship.

Now, to investigate the long term impacts of REP we are assessing how Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) 6th grade students retain the knowledge gains and attitude shifts they showed in 5th grade post-tests. Retention research is key to keeping education programs accountable to their long-term goals and unfortunately, is rarely practiced. We will show the trend in knowledge and opinion shifts from 5th grade pre-tests to 5th grade post-tests to 6th grade retention tests. Additionally, to control for student development and general knowledge gains from 5th to 6th grade, we will compare the performance of MCPS 6th-graders with the performance of 6th grade students within the Clark Fork Watershed who did not receive REP in 5th grade.

Through this research, we will achieve two main goals specific to the program: ( 1) a tangible measure of the efficacy of REP on a long-term basis and (2) an opportunity to gain insight on how REP could be improved to increase knowledge retention. On a larger scale, through this retention research, we hope to provide insight into the long-term impacts of place-based environmental education.

2:40 PM

How are First Grade Children Learning to Spell?

Sarah Floyd, University of Montana, Missoula

UC 327

2:40 PM - 3:00 PM

Morphological awareness, the metalinguistic ability to understand, think about, and manipulate the parts of words that bear meaning, is important to literacy success for school-age children. Many professionals working in school settings subscribe to the stage theory oflanguage development. In the stage theory, children develop language by mastering skills before using new skills. These professionals use the stage theory to justify waiting until third grade before introducing morphological awareness. Recent evidence suggests that morphological awareness facilitates reading and writing skills in children as early as first grade with and without typical language development. This evidence does not align with the stage theory, but with the repertoire theory oflanguage development, in which children develop language by applying multiple linguistic skills at once. This project seeks to determine if first graders are using morphological awareness by examining the relationship between morphological awareness and spelling success in early school-age children. 78 children with typical language development abilities were provided an experimental morphological awareness assessment as well as spelling measures. A linguistic analysis of spelling, a tool to identify which skills children are using, was conducted. Currently, statistical analysis is underway and will include looking at correlations between spelling and morphological awareness skills. It is hypothesized that morphological awareness will significantly contribute to spelling, which would be in line with findings from other studies. Additionally, it is hypothesized that first grade children will use morphological awareness to spell, providing further support for the repertoire theory. Discussion will be presented regarding how language underpinnings help facilitate literacy success, specifically spelling, for young children.

4:00 PM

Research on Farey Recursion

Denise LaFontaine

UC 327

4:00 PM - 4:20 PM

Linear recursion, think Fibonacci numbers, can be thought of as recursion along a line. Farey recursion is a way to describe a collection of polynomials which are recursive on a tree instead. This is useful in applications to geometry, topology, and number theory. This is based on a famous triangulation of the plane called the Farey Graph. Our research has been done alongside Professor Eric Chesebro and Professor Kelly McKinnie with background gained from Allen Hatcher's book Topology of Numbers. Our presentation will describe the Farey Graph and its close cousin, the Stern-Brocot Diagram, which we use to make the Farey recursion definition. Some patterns we have found using computer programs revolve around a family of polynomials T(p/q), which are indexed by the rational numbers. We will describe these patterns and will prove they lead to a closed formula for the polynomials that correspond to numbers of the form 1 /n. Our presentation will finish with a discussion of the questions still being examined in our ongoing work. We hope to contribute to the field of topology with this research by connecting Farey Recursion to other known aspects of this field including Knot Theory and Jones polynomials.

4:20 PM

Effectiveness of Lure in Capturing Northern Bog Lemmings on Trail Cameras

Keely Benson

UC 327

4:20 PM - 4:40 PM

The Northern Bog Lemming (Synaptomys borealis) is a species being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act, so determining their presence is helpful for management. Northern bog lemmings are difficult to trap and when they are caught, experience high mortality rates; because of this it is difficult to determine presence/absence of this species. We used a non-invasive, trail camera method to look at the attractiveness of different lures for bog lemming surveys. Twelve cameras were placed in two different fens in western Montana. Under each trail camera we placed small, square 6 by 6- inch pieces of plywood with a metric ruler on the sides of the board for size reference of small mammals. We tested 6 different types oflure/scent (including muskrat) to see which lures have better detection rates. The 6lures were; muskrat lure (control), almond extract, vanilla extract, strawberry extract, clove oil, and lemongrass oil. Cameras were placed in each fen site for approximately three weeks and were checked every week. Our One-way ANOV A confirmed that there was a significant difference between lure types on bog lemming counts (F6,64 = 2.465, p = 0.033), such that almond extract had the highest detection rates (0.42 detections/night), which Tukey HSD post-hoc multiple comparisons revealed were significantly different than lemon grass and vanilla (0 detections/ night). Northern bog lemmings were confirmed in 7 different picture series in Finley Fen, five of which were on almond extract boards. No bog lemmings were detected in Meadow Creek Fen, although it was a known bog lemming site. The small detection rate for northern bog lemmings indicated that a larger sample size may be needed, or other lure types tested to definitively detect northern bog lemmings using trail cameras.

4:40 PM

Biotic and Abiotic Associations with Westslope Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) occurrences in the North Fork Flathead River in British Columbia, CA and northern Montana, USA under current and future climate scenarios.

Kadie Heinle, University of Montana, Missoula
Lisa Eby, University of Montana, Missoula
Clint Muhlfeld, USGS - Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, Glacier National Park
Vincent D'Angelo, USGS - Norther Rocky Mountain Science Center, Glacier National Park
Amber Steed, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks - Region 1
Andrew Whiteley, University of Montana, Missoula
Mark Hebblewhite, University of Montana, Missoula

UC 327

4:40 PM - 5:00 PM

Westslope Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi; hereafter WCT) is an economically and ecologically important trout subspecies in western North America. WCT populations are declining across much of their native range due to a number of threats such as habitat degradation and fragmentation, competition with non-native species, and climate change. Understanding how habitat characteristics (e.g., stream temperature) impact distributions of nonhybridized populations of WCT throughout relatively pristine ecosystems is needed to inform management and conservation efforts for WCT. We analyzed field habitat data, fish presence/absence data, and temperature predictions in a mixed effects logistic regression analysis of WCT presence throughout tributaries of the North Fork Flathead River in Montana, USA and British Columbia, CAN. We analyzed a host of biotic (Bull Trout – Salvelinus confluentus) and abiotic (average stream gradient, pool density, large woody debris density, and August mean stream temperature predictions) factors to see how they affected WCT presence throughout the study system. We compared models using a variety of metrics (e.g., Akaike Information Criterion). WCT were widespread throughout the 293 reaches analyzed (present in 69.3% of reaches). WCT presence was predicted by gradient, August mean stream temperature, and an interaction of pool density and Bull Trout. To predict future presences, we removed potential habitat for Bull Trout and WCT if it exceeded mean August temperatures of 14°C and 18°C, respectively. Given our negative reach scale associations of Bull Trout and WCT, we assumed that if Bull Trout were extirpated WCT would move into the reach if it did not exceed WCT thermal tolerances. Using this regression model and climate projections under both the moderate and extreme emissions scenarios, WCT presence is predicted to increase by 5.2% and 7.8% respectively in 2035 from current distributions. Thus, the North Fork Flathead River basis is predicted to continue to serve as a WCT stronghold, if other threats (e.g., conflict with non-native species) can be contained.