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2019
Wednesday, April 17th
3:00 PM

A Comparative Analysis of HYSPLIT and AIRPACT to Estimate Wildland Fire Smoke Emissions for Public Health Applications

Maxwell Enger, University of Montana, Missoula
Deborah Ross, University of Montana, Missoula
Carl Spangrude, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The burning of biomass releases a variety of pollutants, but the most commonly monitored in terms of public health is PM2.5. Examining how wildfire specific PM2.5 is transported through the atmosphere is important because these particulates pose serious health risks. Many types of models exist to simulate the dispersal of wildfire smoke, but the Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model and the Air Indicator Report for Public Awareness and Community Tracking (AIRPACT) system can produce spatially explicit pollution transport simulations. This analysis will utilize PM2.5 as the species to compare the outputs of HYSPLIT and AIRPACT along with a readily available satellite dataset, and on-site measurements. Outputs will be assessed with respect to useful outputs for city and county managers concerned with the public health effects of wildfire smoke.

The Lolo Peak fire (Figure 1) was first detected on July 15, 2017 in a section of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, southwest of Lolo, Montana, ignited by a lightning strike. The fire was managed from its ignition, but due high temperatures, low relative humidity, high pre-existing tree mortality, gusty winds, and steep terrain the fire was able to spread rapidly and burn over 53,000 acres (InciWeb, 2017). Data from August 18, 2017 (Figure 2) will be examined for this comparison.

A Convolutional Neural Network to Trim Sequence Alignment Overextension

Jack Roddy

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

A key component of modern molecular biology is sequence annotation - labeling the contents of biological sequence. Annotation largely depends on identifying relationships between sequences through the use of sequence alignment. Modern methods for sequence alignment are remarkably good at recognizing when a substring of one sequence is related (aligns) to a substring of another sequence, but are also prone to a form of error known as alignment overextension, in which the alignment extends beyond the true bounds of relatedness. The impact of overextension is substantial - for example, in the annotation of transposable elements in the human genome, we have estimated that 2% of the annotated genome (~30 million nucleotides!) is the result of overextension. Current methods used to combat overextension are only somewhat effective, and can have the unintended consequence of reducing search sensitivity and over-trimming the alignment. We developed Machine Learning approaches to identify and trim overextended regions in sequence alignments. We benchmark the trimming using an artificial sequence dataset that mimics transposable elements inserted into simulated sequence alignment. Our results demonstrate a dramatic decrease in overextension with a minimal amount of over-trimming.

A Hydrogen-Bond Stabilized Mechanism for Oxygen Evolution in Photosystem II: A Proposed Computational Experiment

Christopher King, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The ability of plants to take in water and release oxygen into the atmosphere is crucial to the survival of life on Earth. During photosynthesis, water is oxidized to O2 (dioxygen) at the Oxygen Evolving Complex (OEC) of Photosystem II. Structurally, the OEC resembles a box with an open lid, consisting of metal atoms (four manganese and one calcium) bridged by oxygen atoms. The mechanism of action of this complex, however, is not well understood. Various mechanisms have been proposed in recent years to explain how the OEC oxidizes water to dioxygen, but all of these mechanisms contain gaps and require further attention. I believe I have come across a previously unconsidered feature of the OEC that is essential for its function.

The oxidation of water (that is, the loss of electrons from the water molecule, resulting in its transformation to dioxygen) occurs primarily through H2O's oxygen atom, where most of its electron density is located. The metal atoms of the OEC perform the oxidation. In the complex, each of these metal atoms is flanked by two oxygen atoms.. I noticed that these two oxygen atoms are perfectly positioned to serve as hydrogen-bonding “docking sites” for the two hydrogens in a water molecule while the metal atom interacts with the water molecule's central oxygen atom. It is my belief that this interaction could be necessary to stabilize the water molecule as it is being oxidized. If true, it is likely that this stabilizing interaction is required for efficient water oxidation at the OEC, which has tremendous implications for the development of renewable energy technology – specifically, that including oxo bridges in the structure of synthetic water oxidation catalysts is necessary to design an efficient energy source whose only by-product is molecular oxygen. In this study, principles of physical and inorganic chemistry are applied to currently proposed OEC mechanisms to determine which is most favorable; a computational experiment will then be designed which could probe whether hydrogen bonding at the oxo bridges increases the efficiency of the OEC.

A Software Pipeline for Analyzing Viral Sequences in Bacterial Genomes

Conner J. Copeland, University of Montana
Patrick Secor, University of Montana
Travis J. Wheeler, University of Montana

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic bacterium that can cause serious infections in individuals with compromised immune systems or conditions such as cystic fibrosis. Pseudomonas infections are known to become worse after the bacterial population in a patient has been infected by a group of prophages, a type of virus that insert its genetic sequence into its host’s genome. To help researchers investigate and understand why these viral sequences have this effect on Pseudomonas, we have developed a software pipeline that identifies and analyzes viral insertions into bacterial genomes. This pipeline searches Pseudomonas genomes against the sequences of 50 phages known to target the bacterium, recording the length of a match, its location in its host’s genome, and which strand it occurs on. In addition to gathering summary statistics, our software generates plots showing which portions of each virus are most often found inserted into Pseudomonas genomes; in these graphs, each viral genome is labeled with known protein families and domains. These gathered data will support understanding of prophage insertion patterns and correlation with virulence, possibly aiding in developing treatment regimes.

Assessment of Riparian Ecosystem Structure in Restored Reaches of Ninemile Creek

Klemensas Krasaitis, University of Montana, Missoula
Alyssum Ahler-mull, University of Montana, Missoula
Danielle Novotny, University of Montana, Missoula
Eamon Peterson, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Like many streams in the northern Rocky Mountains, Ninemile Creek in Western Montana was degraded by placer mining. This type of gold mining leaves a legacy of physical transformation to the stream, characterized by a highly incised and straightened river channel and loss of the floodplain. These changes to the physical structure lead to hydrology characterized by low-flows during much of the year punctuated by large pulses of water during spring snowmelt. This combination renders it an unsuitable habitat for many invertebrates, fish species, and mammals including beaver. Recently, several phases of restoration in the Ninemile Creek watershed led by Trout Unlimited (TU) have reintroduced sinuosity into several reaches of the stream while increasing floodplain interaction with the river channel. To speed recovery of the biotic component of this newly constructed floodplain ecosystem, TU has planted willows and used a native seed mix. Following restoration, TU has also observed beaver moving back into restored reaches and further enhancing ecosystem structure through dam building. To inform TU about the efficacy of their revegetation efforts in the restored areas of Ninemile Creek, we propose a riparian monitoring plan. This plan focuses on monitoring: vegetation composition using line point intercepts; the presence of beaver lodges, dams, and canals; and the accumulation of fine sediments in the floodplain soils. The effort will help TU adaptively manage their current and future restoration activities on the Ninemile Creek and other similar restoration projects.

Behavioral Impacts of Octopamine Release on a Global vs. Local Scale

Thomas Bisom
Elizabeth L. Catudio-Garrett
L. Sherer
Sarah J. Certel, University of Montana - Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Out -of-context aggression is being recognized more in disease and injury states. In the Certel Lab, we are using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism to understand the cellular mechanisms that regulate aggression, and we are particularly interested in the roles of neuromodulators, such as monoamines, in regulating aggression. Monoamines are released at synaptic sites via synaptic vesicles, but they are also released at extrasynaptic sites, such as the cell body, via large dense-core vesicles (LDCVs). In Drosophila, the monoamine octopamine (OA) is similar in structure and function to norepinephrine, and it is required for male aggression. In the current study, the relevance of OA release at the synapse in promoting Drosophila male aggression was tested, with the hypothesis that shifting release of OA away from the synapse to release on a widespread, global scale would impact aggression. To achieve this shift, OA was primarily released from LDCVs instead of synaptic vesicles, and this was accomplished through expression of a mutant Drosophila vesicular monoamine transporter (dVMAT), which involved a substitution of tyrosine 600 of dVMAT for alanine (Y600A dVMAT). Y600A dVMAT was expressed in OA neurons using the GAL4/UAS system, and aggressive behaviors measured were lunges and wing threats. Latency to lunge, which at large values can indicate decreased aggression, was also measured. Courtship, measured as a wing extension coupled to a secondary courting behavior, was also scored. No significant differences in courtship were observed between control and experimental flies, but compared to controls, experimental flies exhibited significant decreases in all of the measured aggressive behaviors. Also, latency to lunge was significantly increased in experimental flies. These results demonstrate that synaptic release of OA is required for male aggression, but synaptic release of OA from OA neurons is not required for courtship behaviors, suggesting important functional considerations for OA release sites.

Canis Lupus (Gray Wolf) Pup Survival in Yellowstone National Park

Anne Marie Jehle, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The aim of this study is to describe Canis lupus (gray wolf) pup survival rates throughout the summer months in Yellowstone National Park. Understanding pup survival has implications for trends in pack and population age structure, cooperative breeding ecology and other breeding tendencies, social hierarchies, and population fitness, among other elements of species-specific population ecology. A general understanding of trends in pup survival is also relevant to state and federal land that allow grey wolf harvest. Understanding such trends and survival ecology give managers and biologists the opportunity to evaluate grey wolf populations at a more comprehensive level and implement more effective management decisions. This study will analyze how pup survival rates vary temporally and spatially primarily throughout Yellowstone’s Northern Range. Data will be quantified using field notes from Yellowstone’s Wolf Project staff, focusing on the months May through September, and years 2009 through 2013. The data was originally collected and recorded from direct observation of wolves by Wolf Project staff and other diligent citizen scientists. Using this data, the study will ultimately quantify number of breeding wolf packs observed, total number of pups, and pup survival rates specific to each pack and population-wide. The report will also provide spatial information specific to Yellowstone regarding temporal trends in pup survival, resulting in a variety of visual maps.

Cardiovascular Responses to Woodsmoke During Exercise

Kesley A. Wood, University of Montana, Missoula
Selene Y. Tobin, University of Montana, Missoula
Toria L. Woodin, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Summers in the Rocky Mountain West are notorious for wildfires. By virtue of event frequency, inhalation of woodsmoke particulate matter (PM) may potentially impact cardiovascular health. While field based studies have provided some insights, well controlled lab studies that quantify cardiovascular function before and after smoke inhalation are the next step. In order to better understand the physiological effects, we examined autonomic-sensitive cardiovascular responses to exogenous particulate during exercise using lab simulated exposure to filtered woodsmoke (Western Larch dried to 15% water content). High heart rate variability (time difference between cardiac cycles in an ECG) and low pulse wave velocity (“PWV”, the speed at which a cardiac impulse is transmitted through arteries) are two metrics of cardiovascular autonomic control that are indicative of good health. Two exercise trials at 70% VO2max cycling for 45-minutes, with smoke (PM 2.5µm,“WS”at 250µg/m3) or without smoke (PM 2.5µm,“CON”at 0µg/m3) were performed with a randomized, cross-over design (n=5). WS and CON trials were separated by one week with significance occuring at p

Caregivers: Lost in the Rehabilitation Rush

Zoa Phillips, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Title: Caregivers: Lost in the Rehabilitation Rush

Purpose: The purpose of this retrospective analysis was to investigate the effect of counseling intervention on psychosocial well-being for caregivers of people with aphasia (PWA) in the context of an intensive comprehensive aphasia program (ICAP).

Methods: Participants include eight patients with aphasia and their family caregivers who participated in the summer 2018 intensive comprehensive aphasia program (ICAP) at the University of Montana. Prior to and immediately following treatment, all participants underwent comprehensive cognitive-linguistic and psychosocial evaluation. The ICAP included 4.5 hours of treatment per day, 4 days per week, for 4 weeks. ICAP treatment included individual, group, and technology-based speech and language therapy sessions for PWAs. Family caregiver education sessions were provided once per week by speech-language pathologists, and family caregiver group counseling sessions occurred twice weekly by a licensed family counselor. Caregiver outcomes were measured by the Beck Depression Index, Second Edition (BBDI-2) and the Beck Hopeless Scale (BHS). Results and implications of these measures will be discussed.

Significance: The significance of this project is multifaceted. The ICAP treatment model is relatively unexamined, and the ICAP at the University of Montana is the only ICAP with an interdisciplinary collaboration between speech-language pathology and licensed family counseling to address caregiver outcomes. Caregivers need professional counseling to help them cope with the burdens of caregiving and to improve the communication between the caregiver and the PWA. Evidence suggests that caregivers who have peer support have improved psychosocial well-being and feel less socially isolated. By including the caregiver in the recovery process, professional counseling can help aid in the communication of the family cohort, creating an improved environment in which the person with aphasia can recover. Researching counseling outcomes will allow healthcare professionals to provide the highest quality of care for the family unit.

Communicative Quality of Life for Stroke Survivors with Aphasia who participated in an Intensive Aphasia Program (ICAP)

Abigail LeClair, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Title: Quality of Life in Stroke Survivors with Aphasia who Participate in an Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Program (ICAP)

Purpose: The purpose of this retrospective quantitative study is to investigate the impact that participation in an ICAP has on quality of life for stroke survivors with aphasia, as measured by the Assessment of Living with Aphasia (ALA) and the Communicative Participation Item Bank (CPIB).

Methods: Participants include eight stroke survivors with aphasia and their family caregivers who participated in the summer 2018 intensive comprehensive aphasia program (ICAP) at the University of Montana. Prior to and immediately following treatment, all participants underwent comprehensive cognitive-linguistic and psychosocial evaluation. The ICAP included 4.5 hours of treatment per day, 4 days per week, for 4 weeks. The ICAP treatment included individual, group, and technology-based speech, language and cognitive therapy sessions, recreational outings, and home programming. Family caregiver education sessions were provided once per week, and family caregiver group counseling sessions occurred twice weekly. To assess the impact of the ICAP on quality of life, pre- and post-treatment scores of the ALA and CPIB are currently being analyzed.

Significance: The significance of this project is multifaceted. The ICAP treatment model is relatively unexamined, with approximately 12-15 ICAPS existing worldwide. This ICAP is unique as it is the only ICAP with an interdisciplinary collaboration between speech-language pathologists and family counselors. Understanding how the ICAP influences quality of life for the stroke survivor with aphasia has significant implications for long-term recovery and well-being.

Developing Proportional Reasoning Through Gears Investigation

Colt J. Davidson, University of Montana

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The understanding of ratio and the ability to use proportional reasoning are essential to a middle school student’s future success in the fields of math and science. For a student to achieve proficiency in this domain, they must be introduced to a variety of interpretations of rational number concepts. It was my objective in this research to help understand if students can learn these concepts through the investigation of gears as a model for proportional relationships. This research attempted to answer two primary questions through an intervention. Does structured investigation of gear-pairs lead to students’ ability to abstract ratio settings? Does unstructured investigation of gear-pairing possibilities show evidence supporting students’ ability to analyze ratio settings in pursuit of a “best solution?” I used structured and unstructured activities in a real seventh-grade classroom to facilitate this investigation. During the initial investigation of gears, students used manipulatives to complete a guided worksheet exploring the relationships of how different gear pairs interact. This initial investigation of gears was completed over two days. Then the students were given an open-ended problem designed to test their understanding of ratio in a gear pair context. Students were asked to analyze a variety of different combinations of bicycle front chainrings and rear cassettes using tables, equations, and graphs. Based on their analysis, students were then asked to recommend a new drivetrain using qualitative proportional reasoning while citing quantitative contextual factors. After the intervention, an analysis was made of the classroom artifacts created by students during both stages of the gears investigation. The students demonstrated a strong preference for tabular and arithmetic presentations of data, and an overwhelming lack of graphical representations. The results of this research show that with specific modifications to the original task, this proportional context can help inform future classroom instruction on the topics of ratio and proportion.

Do Young Children Treat a Robot as Having Intentions and Being Culpable For Its Actions?

Rachele L. Barker
Allison Beall
Caitlin Ryan
Shelby Rosston
Dennis Schuster
Rachel L. Severson

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Previous research has found that infants view people, but not mechanical devices, as having intentions (Meltzoff, 1995). Yet, new technologies, such as smart speakers and social robots, are capable of projecting personas and mimicking human interactions, which may cause children to view them more as social agents rather than mere technological devices. Indeed, recent research suggests children treat robots as social others (Meltzoff et al., 2010), but only when robots interact in a socially-contingent manner. The current study examines whether children will view a social robot as having intentions and, in turn, hold it morally culpable.

Three- and 5-year-olds (N=128 planned) were randomly assigned to one of four conditions that differed by agent: socially-contingent robot, non-contingent robot, human, and control (no agent). The procedure included two ordered tasks. In the Dumbbell Task (Meltzoff, 1995), participants observed a video of the agent attempting (but failing) to pull apart a dumbbell, such that their hand slipped off the end. The participant was then given the dumbbell. If children understood the agent as intentional (i.e., agent was trying to pull the dumbbell apart), they should imitate the intended action (pulling the dumbbell apart). The Tower Task sought to assess participants’ judgments of the agent’s culpability. Participants viewed a video of the agent observing a person building a block tower, after which the agent knocked over the tower (without clear intent). Participants judged whether it was alright to knock over the tower, whether the agent should get in trouble, and if the action was done intentionally.

The proposed study will contribute to an emerging body of research on whether children conceive of personified robots as pieces of technology, as social others, or as somewhere in-between (e.g., New Ontological Category hypothesis; Severson & Carlson, 2010), and the moral consequences of doing so.

Effects of water availability on the germination of native and exotic forbs

Beau R. Jennings, The University Of Montana
Mandy L. Slate, University of Montana, Missoula
Dean E. Pearson, The University of Montana

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Native and Exotic Forbes Germination Response to Drought Stress

Beau R. Jennings, Mandy L. Slate, Dean E. Pearson

Abstract

The shifting climate of the western North American grasslands is forecasted to continue the trend of decreased annual rainfall and longer phases of rain-free windows in times where rainfall has been previously abundant. This understanding has inspired many studies on how ecosystems will respond to these changes. One of the key factors in the shaping of the ecosystem is the availability of precipitation in the spring, which will limit plant recruitment and seedling survival for the dryland ecosystem. Furthermore, seedling’s ability to establish themselves prior to hot dry summers is a key attribute to ensuring success in survival and reproduction. Yet, the expansion of exotic over native species in dryland ecosystems suggests that some exotic plants have traits that allow them to succeed at a higher success rate than native plants. Specifically, understanding the germination tendencies of exotic and native forbes will allow better predictions to be made on the future shaping of these ecosystems.

We conducted an experiment in a lab comparing germination percentages and rates of germination for multiple species of native and exotic grassland forbs under different levels of water availability. The experiment was conducted in a growth chamber where temperature, lighting, and humidity were kept as constant variables. The specimens were placed in petri dishes on top of filter paper, and each petri dish lid had three ⅛” holes to allow some evaporation. We hydrated seeds with either 2ml and 3ml daily or every other day. Specimens were examined daily in order to record germination promptly. We will present a comparison of Germination synchrony, germinability, time to germination, germination t50, and germination range between native and exotic forbes species, and discuss how these findings may be used to better understand the processes in which exotic plants are able to overtake plants in their native habitats.

Familiarity affects interaction: social behavior differences in pairs of stranger and cagemate degus

Stephen F. Cooke

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The brains of social animals are adapted to form new relationships. Studying this has been difficult because we lack measures for relationship learning. To address this, we studied pairs of stranger degus, a rodent native to Chile, to see how their behaviors changed while learning about each other. Degus are a highly social animal making them a valuable research model. In this experiment we monitored behavior in same sex dyads of degus (male and female) to identify interaction patterns as they learn about one-another. Degus were separated for 24 hours prior to 20 minute pairing sessions. Dyads were paired 5 times with strangers and 5 times with cagemates over 20-30 days. After this, the degus were paired with a different stranger for 1-3 sessions to control for non-specific behavioral changes over time. Sessions were then coded for agonistic, investigative, and affiliative interactions. Preliminary data shows that stranger degus spend more time interacting than cagemates. The increased interactions in strangers were selective for certain types of behaviors, particularly agonistic interactions. This may indicate that interaction promotes relationship learning; agonistic interaction specifically, may help “negotiate” new relationships. We also found that males interacted more with both strangers and cagemates than females. These may be predominantly agonistic interactions, suggesting a strong motivation in males to be aggressively competitive. Most stranger-cagemate differences did not change over 5 exposures, although 24 hour pairing with the stranger (in females) appeared to reduce agonistic interactions. This could imply that establishing “in group” relationships requires extended exposure periods. In males, rear-sniffing appeared to decrease over days, but this is true of both strangers and cagemates. These results support our hypothesis by confirming differences in degus’ interactions based on familiarity and offer a first step toward investigating plasticity of social memory systems in the brain.

Identifying causes of unregulated cell proliferation and changes body length in Caenorhabditis elegans

Mikaya H. Terzo

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The regulation of cell divisions is an essential process that contributes to the normal growth and division as well as the prevention of tumor formation. The decision to enter mitosis is mediated by a network of proteins which effect the cyclin B–Cdk1 complex. After noticing a potential increase in length of fbf-2;cyb-2.1(h) worms, we started to investigate the relationship between abnormal somatic cell proliferation and hyperactive cyb-2.1.

Similar findings in research on C. elegans transcription factor, rnt-1, (Nimmo, Antebi, and Woolard 2005), lead to our hypothesis that over-production of CYB-2.1 could increase the rate of cell entry into mitosis leading to extra cell divisions and cell hyperplasia (unregulated cell proliferation). This hypothesis will be tested on multiple strains including a negative control wild-type N2 worms, cyb-2.1(h), fbf-2;cyb-2.1(wild type) worms, and fbf-2;cyb-2.1(h) worms.

Investigating the Role of Oxidative Stress in Mediating Excitotoxicity Following in vitro Ischemic/Reperfusion Insult

Isabella Sturgeon, University of Montana
Moira Shea, University of Montana

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death annually in the United States, resulting in nearly 130,000 deaths per year. Ischemic stroke is the most common form of stroke and occurs when a blood vessel leading to the brain is blocked. This blockage leads to deprivation of oxygen and nutrients to brain tissue, resulting in a phenomenon known as delayed neuronal death (DND). In the hippocampus, a region susceptible to DND, there is high expression of glutamatergic AMPA receptors (AMPARs). The majority of AMPARs expressed in the hippocampus contain an edited form of the GluA2 (Q607R) subunit, and therefore are Ca2+-impermeable. Following oxygen-glucose deprivation/reperfusion (OGD/R), the GluA2 AMPAR subunit is internalized and subsequently degraded, leading to an increase in GluA2-lacking AMPARs that are Ca2+-permeable. The subsequent increase in intracellular calcium, mediated by Ca2+-permeable AMPARs following OGD/R, plays a key role in DND. Following OGD/R, there is an increase in the production of superoxide radicals. We hypothesize that OGD/R-induced internalization of GluA1 and GluA2 AMPAR subunits is mediated through a superoxide mechanism. SNB-19, a human astroglioma cell line, and SH-SY5Y, a human neuroblastoma cell line, were transiently transfected with GluA1/2 and different Rab proteins (Rab5, Rab7, or Rab11) to investigate the role of superoxide radicals in mediating OGD/R-induced GluA1 and GluA2 AMPAR subunit internalization and degradation. Following OGD/R-5 mins, there is a significant increase in the colocalization of the GluA1 and GluA2 subunits with Rab5, indicating the AMPAR subunits are undergoing internalization. GluA2 is also observed colocalizing with Rab7 following OGD/R-15 minutes, indicating that this subunit is being targeted for degradation. Treatment with MnTMPyP, a superoxide scavenger, ameliorated the internalization of GluA1 and GluA2, and the degradation of the GluA2 subunit following OGD/R. Our findings have shown that superoxide radicals play a vital role in the internalization of the GluA1 and GluA2 AMPAR subunits, and the degradation of the GluA2 AMPAR subunit.

Language Contributions to Early Word Reading Success

Kelsey Johnson, University of Montana, Missoula
Janis Nelson, University of Montana, Missoula
Sarah Floyd, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Literacy success depends on various language components such as, morphological awareness, phonological awareness, and orthographic knowledge. Morphological awareness is the ability to recognize and manipulate morphemes, the smallest meaningful parts of language. Phonological awareness is the ability to identify and manipulate speech sounds and sound patterns. Orthographic knowledge is the ability to store and recall written forms of words. Currently, morphological awareness is not taught until later elementary and middle school years despite emerging evidence that morphological awareness develops before the onset of formal reading instruction. Evidence also suggests that morphological awareness intervention may boost literacy skills for children with typical and disordered reading abilities, such as dyslexia. In this study, we will examine independent contributions of various language components, such as morphological awareness, to word-reading abilities in young school-age children. We hypothesize that morphological awareness, phonological awareness, and orthographic knowledge independently contribute to word-reading skills in early elementary school children. Additionally, we expect to find a potential facilitation effect of phonological awareness through morphological awareness on learning new words. In our study, 78 typically developing first-grade children completed a dynamic assessment of morphological awareness and were administered a battery of language and literacy assessments. We will examine the results for correlations or mediating factors.

Modeling Surface Mass Load Displacements in the Western US

Cody T. Norberg, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The surface of the Earth is under constant stress from a variety of mass loads. Surface mass loads, such as oceans, atmosphere, glaciers, seasonal snowpack, and ground water reservoirs, exert forces on the surface of the Earth, causing elastic crustal deformation. Surface mass loads migrate across the Earth’s surface on a range of time scales from daily to several thousand years. Horizontal and vertical displacement responses of the Earth can be recorded using Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers. Modeling and removing surface-mass loading signals, which are present in all GPS time series, can reduce the variance in these time series. My research project focuses on using the python-based software program LoadDef to accurately compute displacement responses of the Earth’s surface to surface mass loads. The modeled mass load responses are compared to the observed GPS displacement responses measured by the Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO), and then removed to determine the relative contributions of each loading source at each station in the PBO network throughout the Western US. These contributions are mapped and colored based on value contribution.

Currently, we have already shown that atmospheric mass loading (ATML) contributes a large portion to GPS time series in the western US. Contributions vary spatially with distance from the ocean, with over 25% RMS reduction for stations 1000 km inland from the coast versus about 12% contribution within 100 km of the coast. We are collaborating with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to better constrain snow and water storage in the western US from GPS using our daily estimates of ATML. ATML models can be used to correct GPS time series for atmospheric loading effects. GPS data is also important in understanding plate motions at subduction zones. Subduction zones are capable of causing some of the most destructive earthquakes on Earth. By improving the ability to characterize loading deformation in GPS time series, we can improve the ability to monitor tectonic deformation.

Movement patterns of Westslope Cutthroat Trout populations in isolated headwater streams of Montana

Michael J. Krummel

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

A long-held belief regarding stream-resident salmonid populations is that fish are predominately sedentary, termed the restricted movement paradigm. The existing literature has addressed whether fish are mobile and undergo long-range movements, or are sedentary and remain in small (20-50 m) reaches of the stream, or a combination of both. The restricted movement paradigm suggests resident salmonid populations are sedentary, however, limited studies exist on the restricted movement paradigm with respect to small, isolated riverine salmonid populations. We tested the restricted movement paradigm in four isolated Westslope Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi )populations on the east side of the continental divide in Montana in the summers of 2017 and 2018. We conducted a mark/recapture study using electrofishing and recorded the stream segment fish were captured, using a 40-m resolution per stream reach. We will calculate the mean and variability in fish movements to determine if these populations align with the restricted movement paradigm. Movement distributions will be compared for short-term (seasonal) versus long-term (annual) movement. Additionally, we will examine how individual fish length and fish density influences movement using generalized linear models. This study will give us a detailed understanding of the movement patterns of Westslope Cutthroat Trout in these isolated systems, something that has not been well-studied. Movement is a critical ecological and evolutionary process that can give us a better understanding of population dynamics. As our study streams are fragmented and fish are restricted to available habitat, limited movement within the isolated habitat could suggest further implications to the persistence of these valuable populations.

Noxious Weed Monitoring at the Rock Creek Confluence Site

Ira Moll, University of Montana, Missoula
Patrick Benson, University of Montana, Missoula
Jordan Barnes, University of Montana, Missoula
Mike Nonemacher, University of Montana, Missoula
Katie Andrews, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Disturbances such as fire, flooding, and compaction are important in determining and maintaining the diversity and composition of plant assemblages in ecosystems. While they can have a stabilizing effect, they can also open niches that can be exploited by noxious fast growing weeds. Controlling the abundance and spread of noxious weeds is a top priority for land managers, but can be challenging with limited resources. Therefore it is essential to establish a baseline to determine levels of weed encroachment. We have partnered with Five Valleys Land Trust (FVLT) to establish this baseline at their Rock Creek Confluence Property by using point line intercept and dry weight density methods. On site volunteer days will be organized after to do targeted hand pulling and planting. This approach should create a closer connection between the larger community and the Rock Creek Confluence property, while creating a system to evaluate the effectiveness of volunteer efforts.

Spatial Variation in Faunal Remains at 48PA551, a Middle Plains Archaic Period Archaeological Site in the Sunlight Basin, WY

Kaylen E. Gehrke, University of Montana

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The archaeological site, 48PA551, is located in the Sunlight Basin near Cody, Wyoming and dates to the Middle Plains Archaic period (about 4000 years ago). New research suggests that the site can shed a light onto people of the past and how they used their landscape. The previous inhabitants of this landscape left behind many faunal remains (animal bones) resulting from subsistence practices. In this project the faunal data will be analyzed to find spatial patterns and try to predict how certain areas of the site were being used. I spent 3 weeks this summer at this site digging up artifacts and learning various archeological survey techniques. I also had the chance to work in the faunal lab learning zoo-archaeological methods and analyzing the animal bones up close to identify element, taxa, cut marks, carnivore marks, and other taphonomic changes on the bone specimens. I will compile the faunal data to define activity areas associated with animal processing across the site. I will consider the context of the various high-density activity areas to determine which type of activities were performed in these spaces by the previous inhabitants. This project demonstrates how faunal analyses can help to reconstruct variation the uses of a landscape as related to subsistence practices.

THE EFFECT OF VENTED HELMETS ON HEAT STRESS DURING WILDLAND FIREFIGHTER SIMULATION

Skyler J. Hilden, University of Montana HHP

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Uncompensable heat from Wildland firefighter (WLFF) personal protective equipment decreases the physiological tolerance while exercising in the heat. Purpose: This study compares heat accumulation at simulated working conditions while wearing standard non-vented WLFF helmets (H) versus a vented helmet (VH). Method: Ten male subjects with VO2max of 59.8 ± 3.6 ml/kg/min completed two trials. Following a 10 minute acclimation period, subjects walked 180 minutes (at 3.5 mph, 5% grade) in a heat chamber (35℃ and 30% relative humidity) with three intervals of 50 minutes of exercise and 10 minutes rest followed by a work capacity test to exhaustion. Separated by two weeks, subjects randomly performed the opposing helmet trial. Each trial measured physiological strain index (PSI), visual analog scale (VAS), helmet temperature and relative humidity (Th, Rh), rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and heart rate (HR). Data was analyzed using a 2X6 repeated measures ANOVA. Results: All subjects finished all trials. Work capacity was significantly greater in VH (95.9±10.3 KJ H vs. 109.3±8.5 KJ VH). At the end of the 3 hour trial HR (146.8±17.2 bpm H, 144.3±17.9 bpm VH), PSI (6.08±1.45 H, 5.89±1.24 VH), RPE (14.2±1.7 H, 13.3±1.7 VH), Th (35.52±0.47°C H, 35.75±0.50°C VH), and Rh (45.6±5.1% H, 41.0±5.9% VH) showed a significant effect of time (p

Supported by the USFS (18-CR-11138100-005).

The Impact of an Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Program on Verbal Discourse in Stroke Survivors with Chronic Aphasia

Alyssa Kozlowski

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Purpose: The purpose of this retrospective quantitative research study was to analyze the influence of participation in an intensive comprehensive aphasia program on verbal discourse production in stroke survivors with chronic aphasia.

Methods: Participants include eight patients with aphasia and their family caregivers who participated in the summer 2018 intensive comprehensive aphasia program (ICAP) at the University of Montana. Prior to and immediately following treatment, all participants underwent a comprehensive cognitive-linguistic and psychosocial evaluation. The ICAP treatment included individual, group, and technology-based speech, language, and cognitive therapy sessions, recreational outings, and home programming. Family caregiver education sessions were provided once per week, and family caregiver group counseling sessions were provided twice weekly. To assess the impact of the ICAP on verbal discourse outcomes, the Spontaneous Speech subtest of the Western Aphasia Battery-Revised and correct information units (CIUs) are currently being analyzed.

Significance: The ICAP treatment model is relatively unexamined, with approximately 12-15 ICAPs existing worldwide. Evidence suggests multilevel speech and language therapy that targets words, sentences, and connected speech improves verbal discourse for functional communication/conversation. Multilevel therapy is more beneficial in improving the person with aphasia’s overall language impairment compared to typical therapy that targets a single level of the client’s impairments (e.g., single word finding). Verb retraining and semantic and syntactic therapy are beneficial in strengthening sentence output and the complexity of sentences. As sentences get more complex, conversational skills improve. This makes it easier for persons with aphasia to return to prior level of activity, therefore reducing their feelings of isolation.

THE IMPACT OF PARTICIPATION IN AN INTENSIVE COMPREHENSIVE APHASIA PROGRAM (ICAP) ON DEPRESSION IN PATIENTS WITH APHASIA

Harley B. Kincheloe, University of Montana

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Title - The Impact of Participation in an Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Program (ICAP) on Depression in Patients with Aphasia.

Purpose - The purpose of this quantitative research study was to provide an objective, retrospective analysis of the impact of participating in an intensive comprehensive aphasia program (ICAP) on depression in persons with aphasia (PWA) as measured by one standardized measure, the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS).

Methods - Participants included eight stroke survivors with aphasia and their family caregivers who participated in the summer 2018 ICAP at the University of Montana. Prior to and immediately following treatment, all participants underwent comprehensive cognitive-linguistic and psychosocial evaluation. The ICAP included 4.5 hours of treatment per day, 4 days per week, for 4 weeks. The ICAP treatment included individual, group, and technology-based speech, language, and cognitive therapy sessions, recreational outings, and home programming. Family caregiver education sessions were provided once per week, and family caregiver group counseling sessions occurred twice weekly. Results of pre and post-treatment administration of the GDS and implications of those results will be discussed.

Significance - The significance of this project is multifaceted. The ICAP treatment model is relatively unexamined, with approximately 12-15 ICAPs existing worldwide. This ICAP is unique as it is the only ICAP with an interdisciplinary collaboration between speech-language pathology and counseling to address participant psychosocial well-being. Neglecting to treat depression and psychosocial well-being in PWA’s may slow recovery rates and hinder patient outcomes. Functional disabilities, such as depression, impact treatment outcomes and overall quality of life. The ICAP model encompasses the practice of treating the patient as a whole which may lessen the prevalence of depression and result in improved outcomes, both in rehabilitation and in PWA’s quality of life.

The Impact of Terrain and Other Factors on Wild Fires

Matthew L. Kingston, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Wild fires have become an annual concern in the United States, and despite the vast amount of resources and manpower used to combat the spread of wild fires, the success rate tends to vary. With this in mind, a research project has commenced which is primarily aimed at discovering the relationship between environmental factors and wild fire growth, or lack of growth. This research analyzes data available in the Google Earth Engine and includes geographical features such as roads and elevation. Using Google Earth Engine programs, the goal is to establish meaningful relationships between a fire’s growth and various environmental elements. The investigation will be largely focused on individual fires as a means to establish a correlation between the environmental factors and the development of wild fires. It is conceivable that a closer look at these different relationships will increase the understanding of how these factors can influence wild fires, and consequentially, lead to the use of improved strategies that will result in potentially higher success in the combating of future wild fires.

The Quest for Zero Waste

Trevor J. Finney, University of Montana
Melody Hollar, University of Montana

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Missoula’s waste stream is increasingly becoming a problem. Republic services – the primary landfill for the city – estimates that it will reach maximum capacity in just 62 years if current trends continue (Kidston 2018). This, and other concerns regarding the environmental impacts of a linear extraction-based economy, underscore the importance of Missoula’s efforts to reduce waste by 90% by 2050. Our research indicates several steps that may be taken to significantly reduce Missoula’s contribution to landfills, increase diversion to recycling and composting facilities, and encourage a local transition away from a linear economy.

We propose the following policies that demand minimal infrastructure: 1.) A tax on paper and plastic bags to encourage consumers to consider the real cost of the waste, improve equity, and reduce the amount of trash and paper bags sent to the landfill, 2.) Communication between the city and businesses on practices to reduce waste and facilitate business transition to low-waste alternatives, and 3.) Incentivization of bulk food shopping in grocery stores around Missoula to reduce waste associated with individual packaging. For long term planning, we propose the following solutions that require a change in infrastructure: 4.) Implementation of a bag-based Pay-As-You-Throw trash collection system that charges users based on the number of bags disposed of to incentivize and reward waste reduction, improve equity, and encourage consumers to consider the real cost of waste, 5.) Increase access and develop financial incentives for composting and recycling to encourage landfill diversion.

The Role of Male Flight Performance in the Evolution of Extreme Sexual Dimorphism in Leaf Insects

Lexi J. Klawitter, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

In many insect groups, males display a smaller size than their respective females. While selection of larger sizes through fecundity benefits is rather well understood in females of such systems, selection for smaller sizes in males through increased mobility is often evoked but rarely tested empirically. I studied the relationship between male body size and flight performance in males of the leaf insect Phyllium Philippinicum to determine if larger males indeed display reduced mobility. With graduate student Romain Boisseau, we recorded videos of 17 individuals flying in ultra slow motion and used Matlab to mark the head and the tail tip in each frame. Through these trajectories, we are able to measure velocity and body angle using R. Our results showed that smaller males had higher maneuverability, maximum vertical velocity, and mean stable velocity, thus demonstrating that they are better fliers than larger males.

Tracking Rodent Social Interactions Using Machine Learning

Isaac K. Robinson, University of Montana
Travis J. Wheeler, University of Montana
Nathan Insel, University of Montana

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

We have developed a video-annotation pipeline that can be used to automatically track the movement of particularly social rodents (Degus) during interactive behavior. Using open source software (DeepLabCut), our approach requires methodical training of DeepLabCut neural networks, along with custom post-processing scripts to ensure continuity of the annotation of individual Degus. This tracking work is the first phase in a larger effort to automatically classify and label behaviors observed in video recordings of Degu interactions. Such behavioral annotation will influence our understanding of social behavior in general, with possible long-term impacts on diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder and other mental health conditions.

Transgenerational Sterility in fbf-1 and rrf-1 Mutant Caenorhabditis elegans

Ella B. Baumgarten, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The interaction between RNAs and RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) is an important topic in studies of gene expression. Our lab is interested in fbf-1, a gene that encodes an RBP that maintains stem cell proliferation and differentiation, and rrf-1, a gene that encodes an RNA-polymerase that generates small regulatory RNAs. These RNAs have been proposed to contribute to the function of FBF genes, but this hypothesis remains controversial in the field. Through previous lab research, we suspected that at 24°C, a strain of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) with rrf-1 and fbf-1 mutations becomes sterile over the course of multiple generations. Due to this finding, we decided to investigate if the rate at which rrf-1 and fbf-1 mutant C. elegans become sterile at 24°C changes based on how the mutant is produced. We use the model organism C. elegans because many of the proteins present in C. elegans have mammalian orthologs. We will generate the mutant strain in two ways. The first method is to produce a strain that has a fbf-1 deletion but maintains a wild type (WT) copy of rrf-1 through the use of a genetic balancer, a genetic tool that stabilizes a WT gene copy in heterozygotes. We hypothesize that the rrf-1 and fbf-1 mutant progeny of this strain will become sterile at over time at 24°C because the RRF-1-generated small RNAs they have inherited will be depleted each generation. The second method is to produce a strain that has an rrf-1 deletion but maintains a WT copy of fbf-1 using a genetic balancer. We hypothesize that the rrf-1 and fbf-1 mutant progeny will become sterile at 24°C immediately because they did not inherit RRF-1-generated small RNAs. Understanding the link between small regulatory RNAs and RBPs is important because their interaction is implicated in many human diseases, including cancer.

Uganda: Factors Affecting Low Vaccination Rates

Aubrey Mullins

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

According to the most recent available research, just over half of all Ugandan children are fully vaccinated. Every year more than 1 million child mortalities in developing countries are due to vaccine preventable diseases. Drawing on available studies and health reports, this paper examines the factors that contribute to low vaccination rates of Ugandan infants and children. It will also explore the current qualitative observations and experiences of Ugandan physicians in Iganga, Uganda regarding barriers that influence infant and child vaccination rates. Reviewing factors like maternal education, socioeconomic considerations, maternal health care utilization and availability, vaccination availability, and other cultural and public health related factors, this paper highlights the primary factors contributing to these low vaccination rates. Identifying the most significant factors contributing to low vaccination rates, this paper will present useful data for future public health strategies to increase Ugandan children vaccination rates, ultimately helping to decrease the number of infant and child mortalities.

Viewing the Chromosphere of the Sun in the Near Infrared Spectrum

Joseph Kelly

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The outermost layer of the sun, the chromosphere, cannot normally be seen due to the overwhelming brightness of the photosphere, the layer beneath it. However, in certain wavelengths of light, the chromosphere outshines the photosphere, meaning it can be seen when these wavelengths are selected for. One such wavelength of light is in the near infrared spectrum, centered around 670 nm. When the infrared filters are removed from regular cameras, they are able to see far enough into the infrared spectrum to detect light of these wavelengths. Unfortunately, the atmosphere absorbs most incoming radiation in the near infrared spectrum, meaning that one cannot measure light coming from the chromosphere from the ground. Instead, I affixed two cameras to a balloon, which was flown to 60,000 feet in elevation, high enough that the atmosphere no longer absorbed significant amounts of near infrared light. One camera took images in the visible spectrum, while the other filter out all light except that in the near infrared spectrum. Consequently, one camera took “normal” pictures of the sun while the other took pictures of the chromosphere of the sun. By comparing the images, the most apparent difference between them was in a phenomenon known as “limb darkening,” which is the effect where the edges of a star look darker than the center. This is caused by the light seen emanating from the center of a star being emitted from deeper within the star, where it is hotter and consequently brighter. While the visible-spectrum images displayed this effect in full, the near infrared images did not, as they were only viewing one layer of the sun.

Wets, Drys, and Hypocrites: Women and the Repeal of Prohibition

Kathleen Resch, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The main concern for both sides of the prohibition debate of the 1920s for women was the safety and well-being of Americans, but both sides offered different solutions. The WONPR advocated for the repeal of Prohibition and the WCTU sought better enforcement of Prohibition. Women flocked to the repeal movement in the 1920s and 1930s because Prohibition failed to live up to the expectations set by temperance groups prior to the ratification of the 18th Amendment. The crime rates were not lowered, people did not quit drinking, and the speakeasies were substituted for saloons. The idea that all women must support temperance frustrated many women, and they sought to end Prohibition through their recently gained political rights along with adapting rhetoric from the temperance movement, resulting in the end of Prohibition. Women who supported repeal were upset with the expectation to support one side of an issue just because it was expected of them as women. The repeal movement challenged the notion that all women supported prohibition and temperance.