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2022
Friday, April 22nd
3:00 PM

An Exploration in Museum Diversity and Inclusivity

Jaimie L. Davis

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Establishing equity in museum staffing will widen the range of potential visitors. By contrasting the way museums were in the past with the present, this exploration will outline diversity and inclusivity issues in the museum world. I will take the information I have gained from lectures and my own research and present an argument for museum inclusivity and diversity. Encouraging the general public and internal museum workers to consider diversity and inclusivity in museum studies is conducive to the overall success of the institution. In this independent study, I will explore diversity and inclusivity in the museum world. I will use two texts, The Inclusive Museum Letter and Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion in Museums, as well the supplementing Anthropology of Museology course taught by Professor Campbell, to support my argument. I will effectively describe the ways in which museums have evolved from a Eurocentric source and the implications of this development. Using census data, one can clearly see that the individuals who are hired in museums are overall unbalanced in diversity. This research is currently ongoing, however, preliminary findings indicate that there is a huge disconnect in museum staffing with regards to diversity in race and gender. Nascent analysis shows that the origin of museums began as a European construct tracing back to Greek and Roman times, and thus museums have primarily developed into patriarchal and white-dominated spaces. This research is important to our society, because America is a place of many stories. There are many stories from different people in distinct walks of life. In order to effectively convey those stories, the stewardship of these museum objects should be carried by more than one type of person.

Cough Desensitization Treatment: Combination of Desensitization and Cough Suppression

Sophia E. Tolbert, University of Montana, Missoula
Paige Morkid, University of Montana, Missoula
Jane Reyonlds, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Chronic cough (CC) is a cough that persists longer than 8 weeks. CC impacts 11% of Americans and 20% of those do not respond to standard medical treatment and are diagnosed with refractory chronic cough (RCC). Research shows that most of these patients suffer from RCC due to hypersensitivity of airway sensory nerves. The purpose of the current study is to gradually desensitize the nerves that regulate the cough reflex in patients with RCC through cough desensitization treatment (CDT). CDT combines repeated exposure to aerosolized capsaicin, a known cough stimulant found within chili peppers, in increasing doses while actively suppressing cough.

This study is a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Participants attend up to 12 treatment sessions where they are exposed to the active treatment or placebo. The treatment group receives progressive doses of aerosolized capsaicin, while actively suppressing their cough. The placebo group receives aerosolized saline and isn’t coached to suppress their cough. Outcome measures include (1) Leicester Cough Questionnaire (a validated patient-report measure), (2) urge-to-cough (UTC) testing (cough frequency and perceived UTC following exposure to various cough stimulants), (3) a visual-analogue scale of overall cough severity from 0 (no cough) to 100 (maximum cough), and (4) cough-reflex sensory testing. Seventeen participants (eight placebo, nine treatment) have completed the study. We anticipate an additional 1-3 participants will complete the study by UMCUR.

Our data thus far looks encouraging with the treatment group showing greater improvement than the placebo group on every measure. The 1-week posttest mean change in LCQ was 5.53 and 3.28 in the treatment and placebo groups, respectively. Mean reduction in VAS was 32.67 points and 8.75, respectively. Mean change in cough-reflex threshold was 1.12 and .12, respectively. Statistical analysis will be included in the final presentation.

Cultivating an Active Learning Environment in a Traditional and Community based Course

Sebastian James Driver Mr., The University Of Montana

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Learning Assistants (LAs) are undergraduate students who complete a course and return to assist instructors in creating an active learning environment. From multiple studies, pedological and active learning techniques improve student retention, exam scores, and student participation. During the fall semester of 2021, I was an LA for two introductory courses, Pre-Calculus (M151) and Introduction to Honors (HONR120). In M151, I tested new active learning activities like practice problems, whiteboard activities, and Desmos activities. M151 prepares students for calculus and advanced science courses by building on previous algebraic and geometric theorems to manipulate these processes. M151 is “traditional” because in other S.T.E.M. courses, students use equations, learn about theories, and expand on ideas. HONR120 is for first-year students and provides resources in the honors college. The primary purpose of HONR120 is building a community of Davidson Honors College students. LAs set up activities to get students engaged and work with their peers to achieve this.

The purpose of this presentation is to show that integrating knowledge from “traditional” and community-based courses leads to better interactions. In HONR120, I created lesson plans showcasing discussions and opportunities for students to share their thoughts and projects. In pre-calculus, I integrated community-building practices by working with students individually and sitting down with them.Weekly meetings with Regina Souza and Dr. Tim Nichols helped develop class plans and ideas. Interacting with students allowed me to give feedback to both instructors, telling them about students’ struggles and ways to improve activities. Then, through a survey, I asked whether students were comfortable interacting with me, what activities helped them learn, what I effectively did, and what I could do better. My data showed that I provided a comfortable learning environment, addressed questions, explained strategies for problems, provided help with homework, and was easily approachable.

Facilitating Learning through Events

Jack W. Person, University of Montana

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Entertainment management is a field in which practical experiences and real-life situations are often the best teachers. As one of the inaugural Learning Assistants (LA) within the Entertainment Management (UMEM) certificate program, my responsibility was to enhance the students' understanding of the course materials in both BMGT 401 & 402, Event Management and Principles of Entertainment Management I, respectively. By working with small groups of students one at a time, asking open-ended questions to prompt critical thinking, and offering insight into how their events could run more efficiently, I believe that mission was accomplished. In BMGT 401, students were asked to raise $300 per team for the Montana Food Bank Network by hosting an event with no starting budget. When I took the course as a sophomore, my group raised $1,000 alone by using testimonial promotion - a record number of fundraised dollars to that point. I offered lots of advice and help along the way, and by the end of the six-week course, several groups had exceeded $2,000 and overall the class raised over $13,000 for the MFBN, and gained essential knowledge of event management that will be beneficial in future positions. In BMGT 402, most of the students worked on hosting Hasan Minhaj - a world-renowned comedian - in our very own Dennison Theater. As the LA and an employee for the UMEM Department, I acted as the runner and student producer. That means that I was in charge of all social media promotion, technical requirement supervision, Hasan’s green room setup day of show, and driving Hasan himself to and from the venue. In my capacity as the LA, I organized and conducted teams of ten for both load-in and load-out, while other students worked in the lobby taking tickets, ushering, etc. All students did an exemplary job, and we all learned a great deal from our experiences running real-life events.

Gestating at altitude: How do maternal physiology and evolutionary adaptation influence fetal growth?

Kirksey Cunningham, University of Montana, Missoula
Kate Wilsterman, Colorado State University - Fort Collins
Zac A. Cheviron, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Lowland mammals, including humans, experience an increased risk for fetal growth restriction (FGR) at high altitudes. FGR is associated with a range of adverse lifetime risks, including lower infant survival. Maternal physiology, such as cardiopulmonary function and nutrient provisioning, has been hypothesized to play an important role in driving altitude-dependent FGR, but strong associations between specific aspects of maternal physiology and FGR at altitude have been difficult to establish. One approach has been to study populations adapted to altitude; highland populations of humans, sheep, and deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) mitigate altitude-induced reductions in fetal growth and may thus offer insight into the relevant underlying physiology. We assessed the relationship between measures of maternal physiology and fetal growth outcomes using deer mice derived from highland-adapted and lowland populations that gestated under normoxia or hypobaric hypoxia. At late pregnancy, we measured fetal mass along with an array of physiological measures from dams (e.g., body and organ masses, and blood hematocrit and glucose). Using linear modeling, we assessed the relationships between maternal physiology and fetal growth phenotypes. To investigate the possibility that fetal growth is a function of many incremental changes in physiology, we compressed dimensionality of the maternal physiology data using PCA and then used the reduced dimensions in a linear modeling framework. The results from our study will add to our broader understanding of how maternal physiology shapes fetal growth, and they will help expand our understanding of the physiological systems that contribute to altitude adaptation across mammals.

High Condition Male Rhinoceros Beetles Transfer More Nutrients to Females During Mating, Contributing to Female Preference for Body Condition Rather than Body or Weapon Size

Morgan H. Radtke

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Males in many insect species transfer nutrients along with sperm in an enclosed package known as a spermatophore. Females utilize these spermatophores to increase their fecundity. However, not all males offer the same size spermatophore. This can drive female preference toward males who are able to provide the largest spermatophores. The largest males typically produce the largest spermatophore sizes, but this is not always the case. Adult insects with rigid exoskeletons may suffer drastic reductions in body condition that are not visible on the outside. In these taxa, females may select males in excellent physiological condition rather than simply choosing males with the largest body size.

Male rhinoceros beetles use their iconic “pitchfork” horns in battles with rival males over feeding territories. Once a male beetle has won a territory he will court females using stridulatory song and trembling dances. For years females were assumed to be passive in the courtship process because males who are able to win territories usually have the largest body size and the longest horns. However, it is now clear that females routinely reject males, including large males with long horns. We suspect that hours of repeated battles can exhaust males, depleting their energy reserves and thus their body condition. If poor condition males transfer smaller spermatophores, then females may be using courtship to select mating partners based on their body condition. Here I tested a critical prediction of this hypothesis. I restricted food intake for a subset of males and compared the spermatophore sizes of 25 nutrient-stressed and 25 well-fed males. I observed and filmed male courtships and then froze females immediately after mating for dissection. Spermatophore sizes significantly smaller in starved males, confirming that male short-term body condition does affect the amount of nutrients a male transfers to a female during mating. Female insects continue to amaze us with the sophistication of their mate choices, and this study reminds us that it isn’t always all about body or weapon size.

High-Mountain Hazards in the Indian Himalaya: An Assessment of the Causes and Effects of the Chamoli Flood in 2021

Christina Maria Salzmann

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

On 7 February 2021, a cascade of events severely impacted the mountainous river valleys in India’s northwestern District of Chamoli. A bedrock failure beneath a hanging glacier on Ronti Peak released an ice rock avalanche, which in turn resulted in a flood. Widespread devastation, complete destruction of two hydropower projects and more than 200 fatalities were the outcome. The purpose of this study was to assess some of the causes and effects of the flood. I used Planet© satellite imagery to assess potential causes and visualize the extent of the disaster. Using two high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), I created a DEM of Difference Map (DoD) to calculate the ice rock avalanche detachment volume and to visualize surface changes in the affected area. In order to analyze the sources of the flood water, I gathered the mean temperature and compared it to the 30-Year Climate Normal. Further, I analyzed the precipitation recordings on the days prior to the flood to assess the origin of the flood water. My study revealed that the winter of 2020/2021 was warmer than average, yet the precipitation prior to the disaster seemed to have had minimal impact on the flood water source. The precipitation event did not significantly contribute to the flood water, but could have been a trigger of the bedrock failure, as it can take a few days for water to infiltrate through the ice and rock. The frequency and magnitude of natural hazards will most likely increase in the upcoming decades in response, but not limited to, weather patterns, environmental degradation and population growth. Hence, establishing an understanding of the physical processes but also taking into consideration the socio-environmental aspects in mountainous regions is crucial to prepare and decrease the risks of future hazards.

Ion Channel Screen Reveals a Role for SERCA in Brain Tumor Growth

Hannah Madison Christman, The University Of Montana

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Ion channels are essential for neural function, playing a variety of necessary cellular roles including excitability, maintaining ion gradients, and volume control. Recently it has emerged that neural precursors, also known as neural stem cell progenitors, may be affected by channelopathies indicating a critical role of ion channels in neural development. Additionally, various cancers are known to increase expression of ion channels to further progression. Using the model system Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) I tested the effect of reduced ion channel expression of several select channel types by utilizing RNAi knockdown technology in a brain tumor model. By reducing ion channels in this highly proliferative model, I identified channels that affected tumor growth and may also influence normal neural stem cell development. Larval brain volumes were analyzed and compared to a control; large changes in brain volume indicated increased or decreased proliferation. From this screen, I identified that a knockdown of SERCA (sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ATPase) caused a significant decrease in brain volume in the Drosophila tumor model. These results indicate that SERCA channels hold a prominent role in brain tumor proliferation and likely influence neural development. SERCA may be a potential treatment target for cancer and neural pathologies.

Measuring Dose and Teaching Moment Cues in Speech Sound Disorder

Zoe G. Sullivan, University of Montana, Missoula
Abby Marshall, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Speech sound disorder (SSD) occurs when children have difficulties saying sounds appropriately and need specialized instruction by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) to be understood. The best treatment approach is not always known to SLPs due to the individual needs of a client and the effects of different elements within interventions. By researching teaching strategies and dose in therapy, we can explore procedures that result in better outcomes and speed the learning process (Baker et al., 2018). Thus, the purpose of this research is to describe and quantify the elements that occurred within treatment of SSD to answer: How can we measure (a) dose and (b) modalities of cues in speech therapy? The participants included two boys aged 6;2 and 3;8 with SSD who were observed via video recording during speech sound treatment. A coding scheme was developed to track dosage and the different types of cues used in each therapy session; both were counted in one-minute increments. Quantifying dosage consisted of tallying the prompts given by the clinician, the client's response, and whether the client responded correctly or incorrectly. Documenting modalities of cues consisted of tallying multiple forms of cues given by the clinician: pause, verbal model, pointing, visual cue, prolongation/segmentation, tactile, and instruction. The results for dosage and modalities of cues will be presented across participants and sessions, and the clinical implications will be discussed. This research is clinically significant because increasing our understanding of treatment elements that occur within sessions may inform our understanding of treatment outcomes and help speech-language pathologists design more effective therapies.

Monitoring and Managing Carbonate Chemistry in a Marine Model Ecosystem.

Devyn "Gabrilla" Cameron, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Note: This project was done during an internship with the Montana Space Grant Consortium, hosted by Flathead Valley Community College. The project is ongoing.

The purpose of this work was to better characterize the carbon and carbonate cycles of marine systems. Due to increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the world’s oceans are both warming and acidifying. This rapid change in marine systems demands researches to investigate how these changes will affect the ocean and the variety of life within them. Saltwater tanks are frequently used as model ecosystems, but are notoriously and fundamentally difficult to control parameters, which may lead to unreproducible research.

Characterizing the carbon and carbonate cycles within a closed system can counteract issues within closed systems, and lead to more accurate research. Specific goals were as follows: control temperature, salinity, and pH to narrow and natural parameters, provide necessary components for calcification by managing alkalinity and calcium levels, characterize and quantify dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) types in the model ecosystem over time, track and equilibrate the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (p(CO2)). Only when the system is understood and controlled, may it be manipulated in meaningful ways.

A previously established saltwater tank was used for this research. Lighting, heaters, and circulation pumps were set to mimic conditions of the pacific ocean near Mo’orea. Carbon dioxide and sodium hydroxide injection systems were designed and implemented to control pH. Alkalinity, calcium content, salinity, magnesium, and phosphate were tested regularly and adjusted as needed. Data was gathered over the course of 2.5 months and analyzed for consistency that reflect natural conditions.

Adapting to a changing world requires scientific inquiry and ingenuity, to overcome issues that may be presented. An essential element for any research is a system that can be monitored and quantified. It is my hope that my previous and future research in this field can counteract the negative impacts of climate change, and provide a healthy ocean for generations to come.

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Contamination from Ski Wax in Western Montana Snowpack

Justin Reid Hotaling, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are defined by the EPA as fluorinated synthetic chemicals that are commonly used in industry and household items. PFAS have been shown to cause a variety of health issues, ranging from decreased birth weights to an increased risk of cancer. PFAS have a persistent impact on the environment due to their decay rate of a few thousand years. PFAS are ideal substances for enhancing ski wax due to their hydrophobic properties and inherent ability to impregnate ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE). PFAS-containing ski waxes are now banned from ski racing by the Federation of International Skiing (FIS), yet these regulations have been difficult to enforce. PFAS wax is still available to recreational skiers.

Waxes are periodically applied to the bases of skis to provide hydrophobic glide over snow. However, little is known about the fate of these chemicals once they are scraped onto the snow from a ski. In this study, the PFAS chemical composition in popular ski waxes are compared to the PFAS composition in snow near Missoula, Montana: Montana Snowbowl ski area, a less frequently skied area, Marshall Mountain, and Wallace Creek- a non-skied area.

I assessed the relationship between skier frequency and PFAS contamination in the local watershed by comparing areas where ski wax is prevalent to areas where there is less. PFAS composition in the snowpack and ski waxes were determined via liquid chromatography (LC) and mass spectrometry (MS). The composition of PFAS in the snow revealed if the PFAS from ski wax had contaminated local water supplies. PFAS compounds consistent with the ski wax samples were found in all three sample locations. However, there was no relationship between skier frequency and PFAS pollution discovered by this research. These results speak to the prevalence of PFAS pollution within the greater Missoula ecosystem.

Preparing Students who Stutter for Life After Graduation

Zayna Fairhart, University of Montana, Missoula
Sami Siems, University of Montana, Missoula
Bridget Johnson, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Title: Preparing Students who Stutter for Life After Graduation

Purpose: The purpose of this national survey is to collect data on current high school-based speech-language pathologists’ (SLPs) practices when developing individualized transition plans (ITPs) for students who stutter (SWS).

Methods: An anonymous survey was distributed nationally to high school-based SLPs via Qualtrics. Descriptive statistics will be used to summarize participant demographics, training/education of ITP practices, characteristics of ITP practices, and their self-efficacy in guiding the ITP process with SWS. Qualitative content analysis will be used to identify major themes in the sample ITP goals that SLPs provide on the survey.

Originality: Like all other students who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), SWS must have an Individualized Transition Plan (ITP) incorporated into their IEP by their 16th birthday. An ITP consists of three primary transition domains that help prepare students for life after school: postsecondary education/training, employment, and independent living/community engagement. While ITPs are typically developed with input by a team of school-based professionals (e.g., special education coordinator, special education teachers, resource specialists, etc.), for many SWS, speech-language intervention is the only special service they receive at school, making the school based SLP solely responsible for ITP development. Despite this substantial responsibility, there are currently no data available regarding SLPs’ current practices in preparing students who stutter for life after high school graduation, nor have any guidelines or best practices been published.

Significance: Results of this study will provide preliminary data of current SLP practices in developing ITPs for SWS. These data will help researchers identify 1) potential gaps in service delivery, 2) SLPs’ level of confidence in developing ITP goals for their SWS, and 3) what informs SLPs’ ITP goal development.

Update: The survey was initially distributed on February 1, 2022 and will remain open for responses until July 1, 2022. Responses are currently being recorded and analyzed.

Social Motivation in Juvenile & Adolescent Degus: Effects of Separation & Isolation on Behaviors

Kendra Kuehn
Heather Warner
Amber Thatcher

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Octodon Degus is a highly social species, members of which seem to interact constructively even when they are strangers. In most species, juveniles and adolescents play with one another, possibly because they are curious and seek social interactions. Our lab previously did a study on the effects of separation and isolation on adult degus. We found that there was significantly more interaction after a period of separation or isolation compared to the control. We were interested in how separating or isolating the animals would affect juvenile and adolescent degus, play behavior, and how play behavior patterns may differ from interaction patterns observed in the adults. To do this we isolated or separated the degus then brought them back together and analyzed their interactions. Isolating the degus entailed placing them in two individual cages for 24 hours. After 24 hours they were placed together in an observational box for 20 minutes and it was recorded. When separating the animals, the cagemate pairs were separated and housed with different siblings for 24 hours. The videos were scored for five interaction types. We found that patterns of behavior after isolation versus separation are not the same as what was observed in the adults. In juveniles, no significant difference in interaction levels were seen between the separation, isolation, and control (1 minute isolation) groups. However, we found that juveniles interacted more with strangers compared to familiar cagemates after isolation. The adolescent degus showed a trend for more interactions in the isolation condition, particularly compared with control. Surprisingly, in neither group were degus found to play with one-another, in contrast with observations we have made in other species (e.g., rats). Overall, interaction patterns differ between juvenile, adolescent, and adult degus; however, this is not due to play behavior as we originally expected.

Surface Effects of herbicides on Wild Grasslands near Missoula

Wendell Elliott

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

As noxious weeds and our efforts to control them become more consequential, it’s important we expand our understanding of how herbicides affect the ecosystem. It’s well understood that vegetation is a control of landforms just as landforms are a control of vegetation (Osterkamp, Hupp, and Stoffel 2012, 23-36). Herbicides have a significant effect on plant life -- it follows that herbicides would have some effect on the landscape. The objective of this study is to learn about how herbicides affect plant cover and surface features. The study site –The National Wildlife Federation Winter Elk Range near Missoula- is a grassy hillside and serves as a proxy for many semi-arid grasslands in the northwest. The method will be a binary survey on sites with and without a history of herbicide treatment. The survey will include qualitative data from field observations conducted by the author and leverage available Lidar data, precipitation data, historical images, and data from land managers.

Sustainability Education at the University of Montana

Zoe M. Transtrum, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Sustainability education has become increasingly important to prepare the next generation of professionals to address immense challenges such as climate change. Institutions of higher education play a critical role in developing student understanding and views of sustainability through their curricula, specifically in the three pillars of sustainability: ecology, economy, and society. This research paper explores sustainability education at the University of Montana to answer the following questions: (1) To what extent do sustainability-focused and sustainability-inclusive courses at UM include themes or concepts from all three pillars of sustainability; (2) Do courses at the University of Montana impact student understanding, beliefs, attitudes, and intentions about sustainability; and (3) From among the small group of sustainability courses sampled, are students’ understanding, beliefs, attitudes, or intentions impacted by course content? The study collected data in three phases. First, the research examined UM’s 2021 Sustainability Tracking and Assessment Report (STARS) to analyze the distribution of the three pillars across courses. Second, the study assessed curricula from three sustainability courses. Lastly, a survey was administered to students in those three courses at the beginning and end of the fall 2021 semester to measure student understanding, beliefs, attitudes, and intentions. Findings showed that only 18% of course descriptions incorporated all three dimensions of sustainability and curricula varied in topics and activities. The survey results revealed that most students held sustainability beliefs prior to the course which stayed consistent over time. Student understanding and attitudes varied and had the biggest changes from beginning to end of the semester. Currently, there is no standardized assessment tool for examining sustainability curricula internationally or at UM, which made the research process nuanced and difficult. This research suggest that UM needs a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to develop an updated and common framework to guide and assess curricula development so that aspects of sustainability teaching are consistent across campus.

The Effectiveness of Spiritual Wellness in the Classroom to Promote Resilience

Tori Horton, University of Montana, Missoula
Emma Normand, University of Montana, Missoula
Ben Smoot, University of Montana, Missoula

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The Effectiveness of Spiritual Wellness in the Classroom to Promote Resilience

*Tori Horton, Emma Normand, Ben Smoot

University of Montana, Missoula

Abstract

Spirituality is a crucial aspect of a child's development but is often overlooked and misinterpreted in school settings. The purpose of this research study is to examine teachers’ approaches and activities in the classroom to foster students’ spiritual wellness and mental health. The current study is part of a larger project examining educators’ perspectives of social-emotional learning (SEL) and spirituality in the public-school setting. SEL has been suggested to cultivate spirituality in children leading to overall wellness. Public school teachers (N =12) were recruited using snowball sampling and interviewed using Zoom. Using qualitative methodology, we analyzed public school teachers' perspectives on spirituality and approaches they used to support spiritual development in the classroom to promote resilience. Results revealed common themes related to yoga, nature, mindfulness, breathing exercises, and quiet time. Further, a recurring theme showed that participants expressed hesitancy and concern regarding potential pushback within the community related to teaching topics on spirituality. Several participants were able to link and identify similarities between both SEL and spirituality. Collaboration between teachers, administrators, and community members will help improve the integration of spirituality and support in the classroom for children.

The Future of Food Production at UM: Learning from the Past & Envisioning the Future of Campus Gardens

Elizabeth Todd

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The Future of Food Production at UM: Learning from the Past & Envisioning the Future of Campus Gardens

From 2010 to 2022, the Lommasson garden was a 3,600 square feet plot of land on the University of Montana’s campus in Missoula, Montana. The space produced mixed vegetables, herbs, native plants, a beehive, and seasonal duck occupants. It was used for educational purposes, internships, and employment, including 2-6 garden interns each year. In spring 2022, the garden was demolished to make room for a new campus dining hall and the start of a new student life center. Having a space centrally located on a college campus is a great way to promote healthy eating, teach students about food system sustainability (or unsustainability), and connect campus community members to their food. My research answers three questions related to campus food production and its social and educational impacts: (1) Given the loss of the Lommasson garden space, what can/should the future of on-campus food production look like?, (2) How will student engagement and education be designed to accommodate any new garden space?; and (3) In what ways can future on-campus food production and garden spaces consider equity and justice? From research on campus farms and gardens and surveys of UM affiliates, I will develop recommendations for the future of on-campus gardens To inform this recommendation, I will administer and analyze a survey of UM students and employees to assess how people felt about the old Lommasson garden and their thoughts about a new space. My analysis will include the practicality, budget, location of the garden, and use of technology in creating a new garden space on campus. Determining these aspects will be beneficial to UM’s campus to create a space for inclusion, equity, and community.

The Impacts of Saprotrophic Fungi On Crop Production

Candace "Andi" Wiedemann, University of Montana

UC South Ballroom

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The effects of saprophytic fungi on soil health have been observed extensively. As decomposers, these types of fungi are known to build soil by breaking down organic material through extracellular enzymatic activity, leading to an increase of available nutrients for local plants, including nitrogen, phosphorous, metals, and atmospheric carbon. Additional evidence suggests fungal activity can promote plant health by displaying antibacterial, antinematodal, and pesticidal properties in soils. With this research, I explore the relationship between fungi and crops in agricultural systems to better understand soil food web dynamics and soil health. I interviewed various farmers, mycologists, and soil biologists about the measurable impacts of edible fungi on the environment and their operations. Additionally, I collected qualitative reports from farmers describing outcomes from intercropping on small-scale vegetable productions. By transcribing interviews into scripts, I analyzed this data by assigning inductive codes to thematic words and phrases. The results will highlight anecdotal experiences of growers and identify gaps in knowledge.