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					                                April 24, 2010

                         Student Abstracts
                Oral Presentations: Classroom Building,
                    University of Wyoming Campus
                            1:00 – 5:30 PM

   Poster Presentations: Family Room, Wyoming Student Union
                          4:30 – 6:30 PM

                                 Program Acronyms:
NSF EPSCoR: National Science Foundation Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive

               INBRE: IDeA Networks for Biomedical Research Excellence

                WySTEP: Wyoming Science Teacher Education Program
Governor’s proclamation on separate page
The University of Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day would not be possible without the contributions
of many people and programs. We are especially grateful to the following:

                                         Working Group

Steve Boss, Coe Library                              Shawna McBride, Wyoming NASA Space Grant
Angela Faxon, Office of Research and Economic        and Science Posse
   Development                                       Baillie Miller, College of Engineering and
Carol Frost, Office of Research and Economic           Applied Science
   Development                                       Tami Morse McGill, Coe Library
Andy Hansen, College of Engineering and              Dennis Moser, Coe Library
   Applied Science                                   Thyra Page, College of Engineering and Applied
Duncan Harris, UW Honors Program                        Science
Pam Henderson, School of Energy Resources            Susan Stoddard, McNair Scholars Program
Barbara Kissack, Wyoming EPSCoR                      Zackie Salmon, McNair Scholars Program
Randy Lewis, Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                      R. Scott Seville, UW/Casper College/INBRE
Richard Matlock, Wyoming EPSCoR                      Michele Turner, Wyoming NASA Space Grant

                              Moderators for the Oral Presentations

         William Anderson                                      R. Scott Seville
         Robert Corcoran                                       Susanne Smaglik
         Carol Frost                                           Mark Stayton
         Ruben Gamboa                                          Joseph Stepans
         H. Gordon Harris                                      Emily Stewart
         Lynne Ipina                                           Anne Sylvester
         Enette Larson Meyer                                   Patricia Taylor
         Stanislaw Legowski                                    Glaucia Texieria
         Jamie LeJambre                                        Brian Towler
         Shawna McBride                                        David Walrath
         Kathleen McKinney

                                     Engineering Judges

Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
          David A. Bell, Associate Professor, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering,
             University of Wyoming
          John E. Meyers, Adjunct Professor, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering,
             University of Wyoming
          Chuck Ross, Frontier Oil Corporation
          Sean Ukele, TryHydro Corporation
          Rob Whipple, Frontier Oil Corporation
    Electrical and Computer Engineering
                Mark J. Balas, Professor and Head of Electrical and Computer Engineering
                       Department at UW
                Irena W. Stange, Institute for Telecommunication Sciences, US Department of
                       Commerce (NTIA), Boulder, Colorado
                Barry A. Mather, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
                Andrew A. Catellier, Institute for Telecommunication Sciences, US Department of
                       Commerce (NTIA), Boulder, Colorado

    Mechanical Engineering
             Don Smith – Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering. Laramie
             George Twitchll, Consulting Engineer
                Ben Howe, IDES, Inc., Laramie, WY

                                    Special Staff and Technical Support

                                        Katey Bierman, UW Student
                                    Cassidy Bolin, UW Honors Program
                             Malinda Nichols Daniel, Wyoming EPSCoR/SRAP
                       Tyler Christopherson, Instructional Technology, Client Support
                        Nicholas Gurbhoo, Instructional Technology, Client Support

                                               Special Thanks

                      Adrienne Zeller and Robert Perea, Events Office, Wyoming Union
                        Michael Marsh and the staff of the UW Custodial Department
                             Michael Kottenstette and the staff of UW Catering
                            John Scozzafava and the staff of the UW Copy Center


Research Day is sponsored by the UW Offices of Research, Student Affairs, and Academic Affairs; by the A&S
Summer Independent Study Program, the College of Agriculture, the College of Engineering, the College of
Health Sciences, UW Honors Program, the McNair Scholars Program, and the Wyoming NASA Space Grant

Also it is supported in part by Wyoming INBRE that is funded by a grant (P20RR016474) from the National
Center for Research Resources and also by Wyoming EPSCoR funded by a National Science Foundation
grant, (EPS – 0447681). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors/participants/organizers and
does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Center for Research Resources or the National
Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation.

       Most important, we thank all of the students and their faculty mentors.
    Students participating in Wyoming Research Day represent the very best and
      brightest of UW and the Community Colleges. Without the support and
 encouragement of dedicated UW and Community College faculty these exceptional
 students would not have the opportunity to do independent research in such a wide
                      array of exciting areas…we thank you!
 An Exploratory Study Assessing Sex Education and Preparing Students for Sexual Situations
                        Molly Adami, Jessie Leone, & Alyssa Newcomb
                                  Dr. Kathleen McKinney
                                 Department of Social Work
                                  University of Wyoming
                                      Oral Presentation
Department of Social Work                                                     Buffalo, WY
                                                                             La Crosse,WI

        Sex education is important for people in Wyoming as there is a teen pregnancy rate of 77 per
1,000 young women, and a sexually transmitted infection (STI) rate of 24 per 1,000 people.
Furthermore, 47% of high school students report having sex before graduating1. Thus, one wonders if
students receive adequate education to prevent teenage pregnancy and contraction of STIs. This
research aims to explore how prepared Wyoming female students are to handle sexual situations as a
result of their high school sex education. University of Wyoming freshman female students who
attended a Wyoming public high school and graduated no earlier than spring 2009 were chosen to
participate. The independent variables are the scores obtained on The Index of Reproductive and
Contraceptive Knowledge and the Contraceptive Self-Efficacy Test. These scores will indicate
whether students are prepared for sexual situations, preparedness being the dependant variable. Two
assessments will be administered voluntarily via an online survey that will be emailed to each
participant. We expect to find that students are not well prepared for sexual situations by scoring
below 85% on the Index of Reproductive and Contraceptive Knowledge and in the “low” range on
the Contraceptive Self-Efficacy Tests.

                 Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass into Liquid Fuels
  Mohammed Alhomoud ,Nayeli Mena-Tellez, Saad Alqarni, Mark Bentley, Jessica Masters, and
                      Malithi Wickramathilaka with Dr. H. Gordon Harris
                             Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
                                   University of Wyoming
                                      Oral Presenation
Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering                              Laramie, WY

       Diminishing petroleum reserves and growing concerns about global climate change
necessitate the development of fuel production based on renewable resources, such as biomass-
derived carbohydrates. Currently, biomass provides the only viable renewable alternative for liquid
transportation fuel. Unlike nuclear and wind applications, and for the most part solar resources,
biomass is capable of being converted into a liquid form. Unfortunately, the progress in developing
new technologies for producing liquid fuels has been slow in developing. In early 2006, Virent
BioForming discovered that mono-oxygenated species such as alcohols, ketones, and aldehydes can
be converted to non-oxygenated hydrocarbons in a continuous process using conventional catalytic
condensation and hydrotreating techniques. Virent has now advanced the integration of aqueous
phase reforming (APR) with these conventional catalytic processes to convert water soluble
carbohydrates to renewable liquid fuels having the same volumetric energy value as fossil fuel
derived liquid fuels. The process involves: (1) biomass hydrolysis and pretreatment, (2)

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                      Page 1
hydrogenation, (3) reforming, (4) condensation, and (5) gas/liquid/liquid separation. Our group is
investigating the technical and economic feasibility of the Virent process.

                 Adsorption/Crystallization Para-Xylene Purification Process
Ahmed Alkulaif , Clark Anderson, Jessica Schlicting, Henock Shibeshi, and Mahjed Almufadda with
                                      Dr. H. Gordon Harris
                             Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
                                    Univeristy of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering                                         Laramie, WY

       Several technologies exist for recovering para-xylene from mixtures also containing its
isomers and similar hydrocarbons, including ortho-xylene, meta-xylene and ethylbenzene.
Adsorption-based and crystallization-based methods are commonly used in industry. Individually,
these two processes can produce 99.6 to 99.8 wt% purity para-xylene very efficiently. However,
achieving purities of about 99.9 wt% is difficult and costly. Our group is exploring a hybrid process,
which combines adsorption and crystallization, in an effort to efficiently and economically yield the
industry requirement of 99.9wt% para-xylene. The overall process includes feeding mixed xylenes
and ethylbenzene and supplemental hydrogen to a ‘hot’ section, where isomerization reactions
convert non-desirable isomers to para-xylene, and the products are fractionated. Subsequently, the
increased fraction of para-xylene is selectively adsorbed in molecular sieves beds. Toluene is then
used to desorb and regenerate the adsorbent. The removed para-xylene rich stream is next treated in
the crystallization section, which utilizes propane refrigeration to cool and essentially freeze out the
99.9% pure para-xylene product. Apart from capital costs, the major expenses are utilities costs,
which are mitigated by heat integration throughout the process. The process appears to be an
improvement over conventional technology.

                   Biodiesel from Waste Vegetable Oil: a Modern Approach
 Nasser Aljassem, Lance Hubbard, Aziz Al Noaim, Nattha Sunpitaksaree, Stephen Ftaclas, and John
                                Dumke with Dr. H. Gordon Harris
                               Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
                                    Univeristy of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering                                         Laramie, WY

        Renewable fuels are a necessary part of our nation’s energy future; consequently, our group
was challenged to design a chemical plant to produce 100 million gallons of saleable biodiesel from
waste vegetable oil as the sole feed. In addition, the plant must also help reduce the impurities and
low gel-point problems found in conventional biodiesel. A general plant design was developed that
minimizes the waste and carbon footprint of biodiesel production, as well as increases the purity and
marketability of the end-product. The main biodiesel production section makes use of Axen’s
EsterFIP-H® catalyst and reactor design. Glycerin (the main byproduct of biodiesel production) is
cracked to methanol over a catalyst licensed by Isis Innovation® and used in the main biodiesel
production section. The combination of these two catalyst types gives an overall reaction pathway
that produces very small amounts of byproducts. The overall plant economics show a payback period
of about two years, and the process is profitable even without the aid of government incentives. This
plant type seems to be a very viable opportunity for recycling waste into fuel.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                         Page 2
 Hypertrophic Rat Hearts Transition From Hyper-functional to Hypo-functional Within One
                              Month of Severe Iron Deficiency
                    Kelsey Dockter, Alix Boynton, and Bethelhem Almaw
                                      with Dr. Bud Chew
                                     Biology Department
                           Western Wyoming Community College
                   Oral Presentation -- INBRE Community College Session

INBRE                                                                               Rock Springs, WY

        Background: Iron deficiency is known to induce cardiac hypertrophy (heart enlargement),
hypothesized to result from chronic sympathetic nervous system stimulation. Previous work (Dong et
al., 2005) demonstrated cardiac apoptosis from 12 weeks of iron deficiency, but little is known about
the ability of the heart to generate force at early stages of iron deficiency. We hypothesized that
chronic sympathetic stimulation from iron deficiency would result in an increase in left ventricular
pressure after two weeks, but a reduced ability to generate pressure after four weeks of iron
deficiency. Methods: Rats were placed on an iron deficient or iron replete diet for two or four weeks,
after which their hearts were excised and subjected to a Langendorff isolated heart protocol. Left
ventricular pressure was monitored by balloon catheter inserted through the left atrium, and flow was
adjusted stepwise from 10-18 ml•min-1 of perfusion solution to create Starling’s Law of The Heart
Curves. Results: Iron deficient hearts were shown to produce significantly increased left ventricular
pressure after two weeks, but significantly less after four weeks of iron deficiency. Conclusion:
Hypertrophic rat hearts transition from a hyper-functional pressure generation capacity to a hypo-
functional capacity as iron deficiency progresses.

                              Tow Load Indicator with LCD Display
                    Jordan Ellis & Tyler Ambrosino with Dr. Stanislaw Legowski
                        Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
                                       University of Wyoming
                                    Oral and Poster Presentation

Electrical and Computer Engineering                                                    Newcastle, WY
                                                                                         Casper, WY

       This device will be used to measure the tongue weight of a trailer, that is applied to the towing
vehicle. This system will take a weight measurement from a sensor and transmit this measurement
to an LCD display, that can be viewed by the driver. The Features include, user interface on the LCD
display to select vehicle weight class and compare it with the class of towing package equipped on
the vehicle. Based on the user selected weight class the sensor will measure the actual tongue weight
applied to the towing vehicle with an allowable tolerance of 10%. A manual override will be
available for aftermarket additions equipped on the vehicle. The manual override will allow the user
to adjust the threshold weight of the sensor. The analog signal from the sensor will be fed in an
analog to digital converter, and processed through a micro controller, which will feed the LCD
display. If the weight is exceeded the unit will alert the operator of overloading. This module will

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                         Page 3
run off of a 12 volt, which will be supplied by the vehicles 12 volt accessory socket, inside the
vehicle cab.

         A Journey Through Discovery: Exploring Primality in Modular Arithmetic
         Nicholas Anderson, Megan Funk, Robert Messerschmidt with Dr. Siguna Mueller
                                 Department of Mathematics
                                   University of Wyoming
                                     Oral Presentation

NSF, Department of Mathematics                                                         Laramie, WY
                                                                                      Cheyenne, WY

        From comparing prime to composite modulus to the analyzing the characteristics of certain
elements called "generators" our cohort is re-discovering the properties of modular arithmetic, along
with what applications this might have in regard to cryptography. During the Fall 2009 semester, our
cohort considered the impacts of using prime numbers as a modulus and then raising each number
smaller than our modulus to ranging exponents. This generated a small set of numbers varying in
size; thus being called "generators". This semester our research has taken into account composite
modulus, as well as the investigatory question of, "How can we find 'generators'"?

  Utilizing Landsat TM and Forest Service Aerial Survey Data for Mapping Mountain Pine
                   Beetle Outbreak in Medicine Bow National Forest, WY
                          Paul Arendt1 with Dr. Ramesh Sivanpillai2
                      1. Department of Geography; 2. Department of Botany
                                      Oral Presentation
WyomingView                                                                  Laramie, WY

        Ongoing mountain pine beetle infestation in the Rocky Mountain Region has resulted in
research for assessing their impact on vegetation. Beetles reproduce within the phloem, resulting in
disrupted water and nutrient transport that eventually killing the tree. Vast extent of dead and dying
trees pose fire hazard and can lead to economic and environmental damages in this region. The
United States Forest Service has been conducting aerial surveys to monitor the spread of this
epidemic. Satellite images are used for assessing the impact on vegetation conditions and analyzing
the patterns of spread. This study assessed vegetation damage in the Sierra Madre Mountains of the
Medicine Bow National Forest using Normalized Vegetation Difference Index (NDVI), Enhanced
Wetness Difference Index (EWDI), and vegetation indices such as straight ratios. Data collected
through aerial surveys were combined with Landsat images acquired during and prior to each survey
year. The magnitude of change in NDVI and other indices was compared across different elevation
ranges, and damage size categories.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 4
                          Wellbore Plugging Using Hydrated Bentonite
    Joel Dill, Tanner Messer, Adam Badura, Mitch Heimer, James Ringler with Dr. Brian Towler
                                Chemical & Petroleum Engineering
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Petroleum Engineering                                                             Wyoming & Canada

         Historically, the oil and gas industry has used cement to plug abandon wells. This has been
an effective procedure to capping unwanted wells. In the recent past several companies and
institutions have began to look at an alternative method to plugging these wells. This method
involves using bentonite clay, a very common material in oil & gas drilling. One of the major benefits
include the cut in costs, however a chief concern is the effects of saline solution on the integrity of
the bentonite plug.
         Hydrated bentonite was tested using a lab setup of four, 10'x4" stands of casing. Each casing
was filled with approximately 66" of bentonite and then hydrated using ranging salinity brine water.
The salinity ranged from fresh water to 50,000 ppm sodium chloride. The plugs were allow to
hydrate for a month, then pressure tested.
         It was found that hydrated bentonite holds pressure even better in higher salinity then in lower
salinity, diminishing the concern of bentonite performance in saline reservoir waters.
Research will continue to be conducted on the affects of salinity on bentonite. Experiments will also
test other industry concerns; the effects of crude oil and temperature on the integrity of the bentonite

      Variation of the 9.7 micron Silicate Absorption Feature with Extinction in the Dense
                                       Interstellar Medium
                               Megan M. Bagley with Dr. Jean Chiar
                               Department of Physics and Astronomy
                    University of Wyoming & Carl Sagan Center, SETI Institute
                                         Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                          Laramie, WY

        Dust in the interstellar medium is important to astronomers because it absorbs light from more
distant objects and because it provides the raw material from which planets form. One of the main
components of interstellar dust is silicates. Studies of the 9.7 micron silicate absorption feature have
been limited in the past by the effects of atmospheric absorption and by limited telescope sensitivity.
This project uses data from the Spitzer Space Telescope to make a systematic study of this silicate
feature over a range of extinctions in a single dense cloud, the Pipe Nebula. Infrared spectra of 31
stars are fit with reddened stellar photosphere models to divide out the contribution from background
stars and show only the silicate feature. An absorption profile of water ice is also fit to each source.
We plot the resulting optical depth of the 9.7 micron silicate feature against extinction and find that
there is less silicate absorption for a given amount of total extinction than is found in more diffuse
regions of the interstellar medium. The densest regions also show more silicate absorption at shorter

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                          Page 5
wavelengths. These differences are thought to be due to dust grain growth in the dense interstellar

    Automated Wood Briquette Feed System for a GARN® Wood Fired Hydronic Furnace
     Jared Baker, Jeffrey Baumann, Michael Leriger, Andrew Morrison, and Brandon Schulte
                            with Dr. Dennis Coon and Dr. David Walrath
                             Department of Mechanical Engineering
                                     University of Wyoming
                                  Oral and Poster Presentation

Department of Mechanical Engineering                           Jared Baker                Casper, WY
                                                            Jeffrey Baumann                Parker, CO
                                                             Michael Lerige              Houston, TX
                                                            Andrew Morrison               Gillette, WY
                                                              Brandon Schulte         Thermopolis, WY

       GARN® Wood Fired Hydronic Furnaces are currently used at the Ucross Foundation near
Ucross, Wyoming. These GARN® units burn wood to heat a water reservoir, which through a heat
exchanger, heats a water-glycol mixture then used to heat the Ucross Foundation buildings.
Currently the GARN® heaters must be manually loaded with split wood as often as every 90 minutes
to maintain a water temperature above 120˚F; otherwise a backup propane heating system starts. Our
senior design project involved designing an automated wood fuel feed system for the GARN®
furnaces which will drastically reduce the number of labor hours currently needed to stoke the stove.
This project includes a storage container for wood briquettes of various sizes which will
automatically be transported and launched into the GARN® combustion chamber through an
automated door. Our automated feed system will run unattended for the desired run time of 96 hours
while maintaining the water reservoir temperature above 120˚F to minimize or eliminate the use of
the backup propane heating system.

                         Isolation of Medical Social Workers in Wyoming
                           Mari Barber, Dionna Lanich, and Tessa Rangel
                                     with Dr. Kathleen McKinney
                                             Social Work
                                       University of Wyoming
                                          Oral Presentation

Department of Social Work                                                                Laramie, WY

        In Wyoming, many hospitals in rural areas may have limited access to social workers.
Feelings of isolation may affect medical social workers in the state, depending on their location,
caseload, collaboration with other professions and personal perceptions of their role. This isolation
has the potential to change the dynamics and mission of a medical social worker. Thus leading to the
question, if isolation is a factor, what support systems are available to them? In order to determine if
isolation is a factor data will be gathered and analyzed using surveys obtained from social workers
around the state of Wyoming. The expectation is that isolation could have an influence on the ability
to fulfill the role of a Wyoming social worker. It can be predicted that these findings will show
positive and negative results in that one social worker may feel a lack of support while another may
be content as the primary social worker in the area. This project will allow a better understanding of

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                         Page 6
medical social workers working in a rural state and their attitudes towards isolation. We will be able
to analyze how social workers view isolation in comparison to varying aspects of their role.

                      Design of a Compact and Lightweight Lunar Vehicle
          Charles Battisti, Anthony Garcia, Lori Sandberg, and Elizabeth VanHoosen with
                              Dr. David Walrath and Mr. Scott Morton
                               Department of Mechanical Engineering
                                      University of Wyoming
                                   Oral and Poster Presentations

Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium                                                    Laramie, WY
                                                                                     Pine Bluffs, WY
                                                                                          Albin, WY
                                                                                    Westminster, CO

        NASA proposed a competition to design, fabricate, and race a vehicle capable of traversing
difficult terrain, based on the original moon buggy, which was first used in 1971 by Apollo 15
astronauts. This challenge required participants to assemble a two-person human-powered vehicle
that was collapsible within a confined space, lightweight, maneuverable, and safe. Our moon buggy
placed the riders back-to-back with the front rider steering and both riders having the capability to
brake. As part of the NASA competition, two members of the team were required to carry the moon
buggy twenty feet; thus a lightweight vehicle was desired. This was accomplished using lightweight
steel tubing for the frame. To meet the space requirement a hinge mechanism was designed to allow
the moon buggy to collapse. Added safety features included were seat belts and maintaining a fifteen
inch ground clearance for the riders. A telescoping back axel was developed to increase stability of
the moon buggy since the NASA race track had varying terrain with up to thirty-degree inclines. Our
vehicle was designed to fit all NASA standards while also including innovations, which increased
speed, mobility, and maintained a lightweight structure.

                    BigStar Livestock Images, LLC: Business Building Blocks
                         Kassi Bauman with Greg Jordan and John Jackson
                                        Animal Science
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                      Laramie, WY

       BigStar Livestock Images, LLC is a livestock imaging company which provides photography
and video services for cattle producers and are used for marketing purposes. Bigstar’s clients raise
high quality, high value cattle and look for innovative ways to connect with buyers who will pay top
price. After being in business one year, owner Kassi Bauman undertook the job of preparing a
business plan to give the company a clear direction as it expands to offer design services, expand
imaging services, and explore new online solutions to help cattle producers market their stock.
BigStar entered into the University of Wyoming’s 2009-2010 10K Competition and is a finalist with
the business plan, which outlines the company’s plans for the financial future, expanding client base,
adding employees and growing into a successful business that serves clients nationwide.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 7
 Well-Being: A Comparison of Traditional and Nontraditional University of Wyoming Social
                                      Work Students
           Amy Baxter, Jude Haas, and Lauren Kilgore with Dr. Kathleen McKinney
                                  Division of Social Work
                                  University of Wyoming
                                     Oral Presentation

Division of Social Work                                                                  Saratoga, WY
                                                                                           Lander, WY
                                                                                        Torrington, WY

         This study will examine the differences in well-being reported by traditional and
nontraditional University of Wyoming social work undergraduate students. Measures will be taken
using a combination of wellness scales, as well as a demographics survey. The utilized scales include:
Index of Self-Esteem (ISE) scale; Provision of Social Relations (PSR) scale; Perceived Stress Scale
(PSS), the General Well-Being Scale (GWBS). Many variables may influence the well-being of a
student; therefore, this study will investigate factors such as demographics, perceived social support,
stress levels, and self-esteem. The results will indicate the interrelationship among these variables and
their impact on the well-being of traditional and nontraditional University of Wyoming social work
undergraduate students. It is expected that for traditional and nontraditional students, lower reported
levels of stress, as well as higher levels of self-esteem and perceived social support will be associated
with higher levels of overall well-being. Furthermore, it is expected that the nontraditional student
will report lower levels of well-being due to their increased roles and responsibilities than the
traditional student.

 Determining Sedimentary Sources and Environments: Applications in a Secondary Science
                            Chicory Bechtel with Carly York
                          Department of Secondary Education
                                University of Wyoming
                                   Oral Presentation
Wyoming NSF EPSCoR- WySTEP                                                 Camarillo, CA

        Sandstones record conditions under which sediment was deposited in the past. These
conditions reveal the environment of ancient landscapes. Key indicators of these conditions include
size, shape, and degree of sorting of the sediment. Sediment composition (i.e., the chemical makeup
of the sand grains) can reveal sediment sources, and bedforms (i.e., the structures of sedimentary
layers) provide additional clues about environment. We collected data on bedform structure and
grain size from exposures of Sego Sandstone in western Colorado. In the lab, we quantified degree
of sorting and mineral composition of sediment via microscopy of samples collected in the field. As
expected, based on previous studies, our analysis shows that the Sego was deposited in a tidally
influenced environment. Our study indicates that the source of the sand was quartz-rich. This
suggests the Sego was derived from the Sevier Orogeny, a mountain range that was being uplifted
nearby during the time of deposition. We developed an inquiry-based study of sedimentary
environments for 8th-9th grade students. In the classroom, students learned how sediments and
bedforms indicate depositional environments. In the field, they measured characteristics of a

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                          Page 8
Laramie-area sedimentary outcrop. Students analyzed data and synthesized results in the context of
classroom exercises.

      The role of tachykinin neurokinin 3 receptor within the nuclei of neurons in the
      paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and its properties of translocation
                                Sean Bell with Dr. Bill Flynn
                                  University of Wyoming
                                      Oral Presentation
Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                Casper, WY

        Tachykinin neurokinin 3 receptor (NK3R) is a G protein binding receptor (GPCR) widely
expressed within the magnocellular neurons of the supraoptic nuclei (SON) and the paraventricular
nuclei (PVN) of the hypothalamus. Furthermore, hyperosmolarity causes the release of the ligand
and the internalization of NK3R into the cytoplasm. Interestingly, NK3R was further trafficked into
the nucleus. Our goal is to determine the co-localization of NK3R with histone H4 within the
        Rats were given an (IG) load of 2 M NaCl, allowed to survive for 40 minutes and then
sacrificed. Immuno-electron microscopy was used to determine co-localization. Antibodies were used
against H4 or NK3R. Each antibody was visualized by administering a secondary antibody attached
to either a 6 nm or 15 nm gold bead.
        Interestingly, confocal microscopy showed NK3R was further transported into the nuclei of
hypothalamic neurons. We used double immuno- electron microscopy to determine if NK3R
associates with chromatin following transport into the nucleus. We found that NK3R were co-
localized with histone.
        The NK3R is unique in the tackykinin family in that it is the only receptor that is reported to
contain a nuclear localization sequence (NLS). Furthermore, no other GPCR has been shown to
interact with chromatin, in vivo, in an activity-dependent manner. The significance of the NK3Rs
translocation and its role within the nucleus is still being investigated.

                          Fly-Eye Sensor Automatic Calibration System
                              Jennifer Beman with Dr. Steven Barrett
                               Electrical and Computer Engineering
                                      University of Wyoming
                                        Poster Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                     Cheyenne, WY

        A sensor based on the eye of the common housefly is currently in development at the
University of Wyoming. An enhancement to this sensor involved developing a microcontroller based
system to automatically characterize the sensor. The sensor is currently equipped with 49 mechanical
potentiometers which must be adjusted by hand each time the sensor is used. The system that I
designed used a microcontroller and digital potentiometers to eliminate the need for hands on
characterization and contains memory for the positions of the potentiometers. This research included
redesigning parts of the sensor to be used with the calibration system and the development of a single
cartridge system for testing. The development of the calibration system is ongoing.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 9
      Casing Design for 13000’ test gas well in Dripping Rock field near Wamsutter, WY
   James Benson, Kristin Carter, Patrick Gardner, Aaron Bounds, Brandon Heiner with Dr. Brian
                                      Petroleum Engineering
                                      University of Wyoming
                                         Oral presentation

                                                                                          Laramie, WY

        Background: Casing a wellbore is an integral part of drilling and completing oil and gas
wells. In this project, a 13,000 foot test gas well in the Dripping Rock field near Wamsutter,
Wyoming was used as a model for the design project. Economic and safety concerns are two major
considerations for this design.
        Method: Using similar nearby wells and principles of drilling and completion engineering, a
recommendation for casing this well was created.
        Results: A complete casing program was created after considering three different preliminary
designs. The most viable is a two-string design using 7 ⅝” casing from surface to 10,500 feet and
finishing with 5 ½” casing in the target formation.
        Conclusion: Based on similar well casing programs in the area and the criteria learned for
drilling and completion engineering, it is felt that the design created is adequate while remaining

  Exploring the Relationship between Risk & Protective Factors and Substance use During
       Ashlee Redman, Denise LaJeunesse, Bonnie Blalock with Dr. Kathleen McKinney
                                       Social Work
                                  University of Wyoming
                                     Oral Presentation
Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                             Laramie, WY

        The focus of our study is to explore risk and protective factors involved with adolescent
substance use. The risk and protective factors that are highlighted in this study are peer relationships
and parental involvement. For the purpose of this study, adolescence is defined as children between
grades 6th-12th. Peer relationships are operationalized through direct and indirect contact while
parental involvement is operationalized through the adolescent’s general health as well as family
dynamics and the composite score of frequency of student’s parental academic and extra curricular
activity involvement. Information for this study was gathered through a secondary data source titled
Health Behavior in School Age Children 2001-2002 (#04372). Thousands of adolescents throughout
the United States and in several other countries completed surveys for the study of health behavior in
school age children. We anticipate finding a correlation between limited parental involvement and
adolescent substance use. In addition, we anticipate finding a correlation between negative or indirect
peer relationships and adolescent substance use. These factors identify the need to continue to explore
their relationship with adolescent substance use and may assist with the implementation of early
intervention/prevention programs.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 10
                        Older Adult Telemarketing Fraud Assessment
                   Emily Boal and Katie Lancaster with Dr. Kathleen McKinney
                                  Department of Social Work
                                    University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Department of Social Work                                                               Laramie, WY

        Older adults throughout the United States experience telemarketing fraud each year. Older
adults are significantly impacted after being victimized and likely will be unable to recover both
financially and psychologically. There is a need to identify common telemarketing strategies,
characteristics that make older adults vulnerable to telemarketing fraud and an effective intervention
to ensure that older adults do not continue to be victimized. Currently no research has been completed
to address these concerns. The goal of this research project is to answer the question of how to
determine what constructs are important to include while creating an assessment to test older adult’s
telemarketing knowledge. The assessment created is called the Older Adult Telemarketing Fraud
Assessment or OATFA. The OATFA will determine an effective way to measure older adults’
knowledge in recognizing, handling and reporting telemarketing fraud. The OATFA will be
distributed to older adults who utilize the services of the Central Wyoming Senior Center and the
Laramie County Senior Services. The OATFA will be handed out along with three other
questionnaires that include the SKEP, SVS and Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem scales. The correlation
between these questionnaires and assessments will be analyzed to develop a psychometrically sound
instrument to measure older adults’ knowledge on telemarketing fraud.

               Stability of Motor Behavior Among Different Language Conditions
                             Elisabeth Boersma with Dr. Roger Steeve
                                    Communication Disorders
                                      University of Wyoming
                                         Oral presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                     Laramie, WY

        Purpose: This study examines the relationship between an individual’s language and motor
production abilities. Understanding the bidirectional influence between language and motor ability is
important for understanding basic theoretical processes underlying assessment and treatment
programs. This feasibility study examines whether physiologic measures can detect differences in
motor behavior among productions of high- and low-frequency words and their non-word, same
syllable, counterparts.
        Method: Participants produced ten repetitions of 8 high-frequency real-words and their 8
non-word counterparts, and 8 low-frequency real-words and their 8 non-word counterparts. The
dependent physiologic variables included the stability of aerodynamic energy and the stability of
intensity and frequency of the audio signal recorded during production of these speech samples.
Aerodynamic energy was captured using an oral/nasal mask attached to a pneumotachometer and
audio was recorded using a microphone. All three data streams were digitized onto a computer.
        Results: Statistical analysis will include a chi square comparison of high-frequency versus
low-frequency and real-words versus their non-word counterpart, for predicting degree of stability
among these dependent variables.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                      Page 11
        Conclusion: Results of the experimental design will be discussed.

                                     Haven the Video Game
               Travis Bolinger, Mathew Knapp, and Brian Pearce, with Ruben Gamboa
                                        Computer Science
                                      University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Computer Science Senior Design                                                          Aurora, CO

        Haven the Video Game was developed to complete a Senior Design course at the University
of Wyoming, with the goal of creating a game that would improve awareness of problems the world
is facing regarding environmental sustainability. Game development began with brainstorming for
ideas, designing and specifying game goals, and choosing a platform on which to create the game.
Development continued with the creation of a comprehensive design document and concluded with
the implementation of the game itself using Microsoft’s XNA Game Studio. The resulting game,
Haven, is a real-time simulation in which the player must build and maintain an environmentally
sustainable utopia by gathering resources and constructing a town, all while keeping the population
fed, happy, and educated.

 Water Geochemistry and Mineralization within a Microbial Filamentous Community of a 50-
                       52°C Hot Springs, Thermopolis, Wyoming

               Tracey Wilcox, Jeanie Cooper, Marietta Gopher, and Melisa Boodleman
                     with Dr. Suzanne M. Smaglik and Dr. Steven J. McAllister
                                  Department of Math & Science
                                     Central Wyoming College
                                        Poster presentation

INBRE                                                                                      Riverton, WY

         The 5 meter diameter Big Spring in Hot Springs State Park, Thermopolis, Wyoming, has a 1-
1.5-meterr outflow channel, 150 meters long to the first cooling pond. The average rate of flow is 14
million L/day at a temperature of 51-53oC, and is geologically controlled by an east-west trending
fault. Fourteen sites are placed at 10 meter intervals from the source spring, except were the channel
is dissected by the park road. The pH, temperature, and specific conductivity were measured, with an
electronic probe, at each site. Water samples were collected and analyzed for H2S on location.
Depending upon time and weather, phosphate, nitrate and silica were also measured on location or in
the laboratory soon afterward. Total dissolved solids, chloride, and CaMg-hardness were analyzed
in the lab. Our results indicate a remarkable stability in the chemistry of the hot spring and its outflow
over a two year period. Electron microscopy of biological samples taken from the hot spring and its
outflow revealed the presence of calcium carbonate crystals along with “cauliflower”-like structures
of putative mineral origin, embedded in the filamentous growth. Future research will focus on the
interplay of mineral chemistry and organisms composing the microbial filamentous community.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                          Page 12
                              Circadian Rhythms in Arabidopsis thaliana
                      Kassandra Brainard with Matthew Rubin, PhD Candidate
                                      Department of Biology
                                     University of Wyoming
                                      Oral with PowerPoint

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR - WySTEP                                                                 Casper, WY

        Circadian rhythms are indigenous patterns set by cues from the environment. For many
organisms, including Arabidopsis thaliana, it is not clear which traits are set by circadian rhythms, or
if the circadian rhythm has a direct correlation to the fitness of an organism. Matthew Rubin began
working on this uncertainty using special seeds infused with luciferase on a specific segment of
DNA. Using specific cameras, exact circadian rhythms were determined by how the plants lit up.
Many characteristics were also measured under natural settings to compare circadian rhythms to the
fitness of each individual plant. As a student in WySTEP, I was to integrate this research into some
aspect of the class I’m student teaching for. This information was infused into a DNA unit as a real
world experience of genetic engineering being done right now.

     Design Alternatives for the Upgrade of the Moffat Drinking Water Plant to 300 MGD
                             Brent Brouillard with Dr. David Bagley
                                 Department of Civil Engineering
                                    University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                         Loveland, CO

        The scope of the project was to design a water treatment plant (WTP) for Denver Water that
provides 300 million gallons per day (MGD) to the Denver area to meet future demands. The Moffat
treatment plant is at the end of its design life. The two options are 1) to upgrade the existing plant at
the current Moffat location to handle 300 MGD or 2) to build a new WTP at the Ralston Reservoir
site. The team designed a conventional treatment train for each site to evaluate which option to select.
The sites were compared based on criteria desired by Denver Water for the new plant including a net
present worth analysis of each alternative. A decision matrix was constructed to analyze the criteria
and net present worth based on weight and rank. The team ran out of time to complete the net present
worth and therefore could not make a final site recommendation.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                         Page 13
                     Devising a Successful Microfluidic Platform for ELISA
                            Elizabeth Brown with Dr. Debashis Dutta
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                      Douglas, WY

        Enzyme-Linked-ImmunoSorbent-Assay, also known as ELISA, is a biochemical technique
used to detect the presence of an antibody or antigen in a particular sample. The existing problem
with ELISA is that it presents two options: either the detection of a small concentration over a long
period of time, or the detection of a large concentration in a short period of time. Yet when combined
with the technology of microfluidics, ELISA is able to become more effective and efficient by
increasing the potential for the detection of low concentrations in a sample more quickly.
        My research project in the summer of 2009 focused on two objectives. First, I created a
microfluidic platform with a membrane interface. Secondly, by allowing an electrical charge to be
applied across the membrane interface, I was able to allow fluorescent reporter molecules to be
trapped at the membrane interface of the microfluidic chip, thus permitting substantially earlier
detection of a much smaller concentration of dye.
        Both project aims were successfully completed, which will allow for the possibility of further
research to continue in demonstrating ELISA onto a microfluidic platform.

                             Studying Organic Chemistry in Thailand
                               Jordan Calmes with Dr. Andrew Fitch
                                     Department of Chemistry
                                      University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                      Evanston, WY

        After working in a chemistry laboratory in Bangkok, Thailand, Jordan started writing about
the connections between academic research and the larger world. Her essays explore themes as
diverse as pharmaceutical development, scuba diving, and karmic theory. They attempt to explain
the reasons people undertake basic research and illustrate the importance and beauty of scientific
endeavors. The essays are written in a literary style and aimed at a general audience. The overall
goal of the project is to celebrate science through art.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                      Page 14
      Building an Experience: a UW-sponsored medical clinic in Agua Salada, Honduras
                   Lindsay Lozier Capron with Dr. Margaret Flanigan Skinner
                                    Zoology & Physiology
                                   University Of Wyoming
                                      Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                            Cody, WY

        Shoulder to Shoulder, founded by Jeff Heck in 1990, works to provide services and support
sustainable efforts to improve healthcare in rural Honduras. Over the past 20 years they have
acquired partnerships with academic institutions and other non-profit health facilities to further their
mission. Some partners have raised enough money to build clinics in rural areas of Honduras, which
they staff with students and professionals with the help of Shoulder to Shoulder. The University of
Wyoming has a strong relationship with Shoulder to Shoulder through our participation in past
medical brigades; that relationship would be strengthened by building a UW clinic in Agua Salada.
A UW-sponsored clinic would provide a symbiotic environment for learning, teaching, experience,
and care. Students pursuing Spanish, international relations, global and public health, nursing,
pharmacy, medicine, social work, and more, would have an opportunity to provide services to
Hondurans in need while honing their professional and pre-professional skills. The people of Agua
Salada would have access to quality care and education from the students and professionals staffing
the clinic on brigades. This project is intended to build support and a financial foundation to build a
clinic and open up more international opportunities for UW students.

 Rapid Virulence Annotation Screening of the Putative Pathogen Verrucomicrobium spinosum
                            Kristie Capson with Naomi L. Ward
                             Department of Molecular Biology
                                   University of Wyoming
                                     Oral presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                          Burns, WY

        Verrucomicrobium spinosum is a member of the verrucomicrobia, a bacterial group which is
very widespread in the environment, found in eutrophic ponds, lakes, soil habitats and the
gastrointestinal tract of humans. Despite this ubiquity, we know very little about the role of
verrucomicrobia in these environments. Sequencing of the V. spinosum genome revealed the presence
of putative pathogenesis genes, and V. spinosum has also been shown to be pathogenic in animal
infection models. However, the connection between the pathogenesis genes and the killing of the
animal infection models has not yet been demonstrated. We have used Rapid Virulence Annotation,
a functional genomic screen, to determine the specific genes in V spinosum that are toxic to amoebae.
V. spinosum genomic DNA was extracted, and used to construct a cosmid library in E.coli.
Individual cosmids (1,500) were then screened for gain of toxicity against amoebae. We identified 8
V. spinosum genome regions toxic to the amoebae, and are currently identifying the specific toxic
genes within these regions by transposon mutagenesis and re-screening. The results of our work will
provide some insight into mechanisms that may be used by V. spinosum to interact pathogenically
with a natural host.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 15
                       New Species of Braconid Wasp: Allorhogas minimus
                              Mary Centrella with Dr. Scott Shaw
                                    Department of Agriculture
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Paul Stock Award                                                                         Jackson, WY

        Allorhogas minimus is a new species of wasp from Costa Rica described because it provides
the first record of an Allorhogas species from fruit galls on Miconia longifolia (Melastomataceae),
and only the second record of an association of this genus with the plant family Melastonataceae.
Specimens were determined as subfamily Doryctinae and genus Allorhogas. Morphology and
sculpturing were described and specimens were measured and examined under magnification. Wings
were mounted on slide plates and described. A full description of the wasp was created and is in the
process of being published. We found that the species is most similar to Allorhogas ardisia, because
of similarities in coloration pattern, sculpturing of the head and the mesosoma and sternalus length.
Differences between the new species and ardisia are that the new species is darker in color, has
smaller body length, less antennomeres, distinctive and more varied sculpturing, less and more fused
wing veins, and smaller terga length and differential sculpturing. It is our hope that the discovery of
this new species may be a contribution to the research and discovery of possible weed biocontrol
agents for reducing populations of the velvet tree in the Pacific region.

           Science outreach in the elementary classroom: possibilities and challenges
                      Alex Chapin, Lindsay Roland with Dr. Ami Wangeline
                                      Department of Biology
                              Laramie County Community College
                                       Poster Presentation

INBRE                                                                              Cheyenne, WY

        There has been clear research that has shown that US students are lacking in science skills
compared to the rest of the world, it is also suggested that early intervention programs and early
exposure help students keep a continued interest in subjects throughout their educational career.
Additionally, elementary school teachers often have little to no background in science. During the
2009-2010 academic year, a group of college students from LCCC worked with two fourth grade
classes aiding in teaching different science concepts through experiments that would be difficult for
one teacher to complete due to high student/teacher ratios and lack of appropriate equipment.
Through the year the 4th graders have been both excited and engaged in science due to the college
group’s efforts. This experience has provided learning opportunities from early planning stages to in-
class execution that can help in developing successful outreach programs in the future.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 16
                         Personal Thunderstorm and Lightning Detector
                             Tyler Comte with Dr. Stanislaw Legowski
                         Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
                                      University of Wyoming
                                    Oral and Poster Presentation

Department of Electrical Engineering                                                      Beaverton, OR
Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium

        Lightning kills on average 58 people per year, greater than tornados and hurricanes. Because
lightning can strike further from a thunderhead than its sound can travel, a victim may never know
they are even at risk. With that, using a small handheld device that tracks not only the possibility of
lightning but also strikes in the area can save lives. My senior design projects aim is to produce a
lightning and thunderstorm early detection system that is small enough for mobile use. The device
consists of a lightning detection system that detects lightning more accurately and at a greater
distance than a human can. Also, a thunderstorm prediction system, which uses barometric pressure
and temperature trends, will help predict possible future storms. Using both these systems together,
the resulting project alerts the user of the current threat presented by the environment in terms of
thunderstorms and lightning. My device could potentially remove users from compromising
environmental situations by warning them well in advance.

                               Recidivism: Perception versus Reality
                               Charles Cordova with Dr. Scott Culhane
                                  Communication and Journalism
                                       University of Wyoming
                                        Poster presentation

UW McNair Scholars Program                                                                    Byron, WY

        According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, roughly half of all people released from prison
will return within three years (BJS). According to Researcher Peter Katel (2009) this revolving door
of recidivism cost taxpayers approximately 47 billion dollars in 2008. The objective of this study is to
seek possible explanations for current recidivism rates. This will be done by measuring public
perception of recidivism, then comparing that data with actual rates of recidivism using survey
research at the University of Wyoming and in Laramie Wyoming. We will be able to gauge if public
perception is above, below, or in-line with reality. If it is much higher than actual recidivism rates, we
argue that labeling theory is most applicable, as criminals are fulfilling societal expectations by going
back to prison. If perceptions of recidivism rates are lower then actual numbers, we can rule out
labeling as a main cause and focus our attention on other theories for explanations of criminal
recidivism. This study is important because our current system of dealing with recidivism is not
working. If we can pinpoint the cause of recidivism, we can save billions of dollars, and help lead
millions who have been through our prison system to productive lives.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                          Page 17
    The Influence of Female Hair Color on Physical Attraction and Intelligence Perceptions
                       Heather Core and Kayli Westling with Sandy Hsu
                                   Undergraduate Students
                                   University of Wyoming
                                      Oral Presentation

Department of Social Work                                                          Green River, WY

       The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of female hair color on male
perceptions of intelligence and beauty. A survey containing 30 pictures of women with various
physical attributes will be administered to 30 male students attending the University of Wyoming.
Each participant will be asked to rate the level of attraction and intelligence they perceive from the
women’s photographs. Results will be calculated based on the difference between the responses
given for 10 women who are pictured twice throughout the survey, once with blonde hair and again
with brunette.

                      Long-term Response of Small Mammal Communities
                            to the 1988 Huckleberry Mountain Fire
                        Wayne F. Cummings with Dr. Michael Scott Burt
                                University of Wyoming at Casper
                                        Oral Presentation

UW/National Park Service                                                                 Casper, WY

        Biologists have long been interested in the response of small mammals and their habitat
following natural disturbances. The Yellowstone-area fires of 1988 have provided opportunities to
study short and long term responses. This study continues investigations conducted in the 1990’s
following identical methodology at the same sites now 21 years post-fire. We live trapped 256
Clethrionomys gapperi (Red-backed Vole), 116 Peromyscus maniculatus (Deer Mouse), 44 Tamius
minimus (Least Chipmunk), 28 Zapus princeps (Western Jumping Mouse), two Microtus montanus
(Montane Vole) and 38 shrews (Sorex ssp.). These results support findings from other investigations
regarding the initial early dominance of P. maniculatus in burn areas and C. gapperi in control or
non-burn areas, and as time increases since the burn, differences between burn and control sites has
decreased. As expected calculated Shannon diversity indices (H’) in 2009 are higher for one of the
burn sites than in previous years as the habitat recovers to pre-burn conditions. For example, in 2009
H’ was 0.5796 for the EFB but only 0.2580 for 1991. However, for the WFB H’ was 0.43785 for
2009 compared to 0.5170 in 1991. We have also discovered an interesting twist regarding diversity
indices: recent burn and control communities indeed resemble one another more now than
immediately after the fire (as anticipated) but most notably when site aspect (east vs. west-facing
slopes) is taken into account.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                      Page 18
   Development of Magnetic Cell Isolation from Microbial Communities in Natural Samples
                           Quintin Davis with Dr. Naomi L. Ward
                                     Molecular Biology
                                   University of Wyoming
                                      Oral Presentation

NSF-EPSCoR                                                                            Cheyenne, WY

        The isolation of microorganisms from natural samples has been historically challenged due to
slow-growth microcolony formation strategies, obligate syntrophies and other difficulties. Even
sophisticated culture methods often exert unintended selective pressures on colony composition, as
well as being time consumptive. Techniques for the isolation of bacteria from diverse microbial
communities in natural samples via magnetic cell separation were investigated and developed. These
techniques employ paramagnetic microparticles coated with antibodies for specific cell capture.
These particles exhibit magnetism when subjected to a magnetic field but retain no residual
magnetism when the field is removed, making them ideal for the task. The project focuses on the
specific capture of paramagnetic microparticles with the intention of applying these techniques to the
detection of novel pathogenic potential in agricultural samples under varying stewardship practices.

                        Microfluidic Thermal Cycler with Electrowetting
                           Quintin Davis with Dr. Stanislaw Legowski
                              Electrical and Computer Engineering
                                     University of Wyoming
                                     Poster/Oral Presentation

NASA Space Grant Consortium                                                           Cheyenne, WY

        Electrowetting takes advantage of a relationship between the interfacial energetic equilibrium
of a conducting liquid and an electric field. Droplets can be actuated on a hydrophobic surface by
subjection to controlled electric fields, giving the phenomenon a useful application to microfluidic
solution of laboratory tasks. Many reactions in a molecular biology lab can be accomplished by
temperature cycling, including the famous Polymerase Chain Reaction. In this project a number of
surface treatments and morphologies were investigated as well as the control and switching of a
sufficiently high voltage to actuate droplets in a microfluidic machine for completion of thermal
cycling protocols in a biology laboratory.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                      Page 19
                             Firm Level Economic Impact of HIV/AIDS
        A focus on Sub-Saharan Business Strategies to Minimize the Impact of HIV/AIDS
                           Tesfaye G. Deboch with Dr. David Finnoff
                             Department of Economics and Finance
                                    University of Wyoming
                                       Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                              Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

       The firm level economic impact of HIV/AIDS on African businesses is difficult to measure
due to lack of research information. This paper presents both theoretical explanations of the impact
using some standard economic/mathematical models and practical research results in some selected
regions of the continent with higher HIV/AIDS prevalence rate. We use simple classical production
function to derive the negative impact of the epidemic on labor and capital productivity and wages.
To support the theoretical explanation of the impact on labor, practical study carried on tea pluckers
in Kenya that exhibits loss of productive efficiency due to HIV/AIDS-related mortality and morbidity
is presented. We also present factors that determine firms’ intervention to prevent the epidemic
and/or engage in pre-screening and argue that firm size and ratio of skilled workers to total number of
workers are crucial. In this paper, we argue that a firm’s decision to engage in prevention and
provision of treatment and healthcare to its employees should be viewed as an investment strategy
where the firm invests to avoid or minimize future costs it will incur otherwise.

 Development of a lipid peroxidation assay for filamentous fungi for cellular stress assessment
           Berthal J. Devilbiss, Joshua Sharpe, B.J. Troxell and Dr. Ami Wangeline
                                     Department of Biology
                             Laramie County Community College
                                      Poster Presentation

INBRE                                                                                  Cheyenne, WY

        The amount of lipid peroxidation in an organism has been found to be an indicator for cellular
stress. In filamentous fungi growth retardation and alteration of normal pigmentation can be used as
indicators of cellular stress, however more quantitative methods are desired as well as the ability to
detect stress when no morphological alterations are observed.          During the process of lipid
peroxidation polyunsaturated fatty acids decompose and malondaildehyde (MDA), a secondary end
product is produced. One method, the Thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances method (TBARS), in
which MDA is reacted with Thiobarbituric acid (TBA) producing a colorimetric product that can be
measured spectrophotometrically at 532 nm has been used extensively in plants but has issues with
interfering compounds that are also active at 532nm. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate
various modifications of the TBARS assay for use in stress evaluation in several genera of
filamentous fungi for comparison to other metabolic information such as antioxidant capacity and
phenolic content.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 20
                        A Look at College Student’s Nutritional Knowledge
                             Anna D’Hooge with Dr. Michael Liebman
                           Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
                                      University of Wyoming
                                   Oral and Poster Presentation

Senior Honors Project                                                                 Lakewood, CO

         Universities require all students to take the same basic courses, such as math, English, etc., so
that upon graduation, students will be well-rounded for their future lives. One of the required courses
is a physical education course that teaches students how to take care of their health, but this does not
include information about nutrition. Nutrition is the foundation to living a healthy life, but it too often
gets looked over. Since there is a plethora of information out there regarding “health foods,” students
need to receive correct information so they will better be able to live a healthy life. My senior honors
project will review literature that discusses the impact that nutrition courses have on students’ heath.
It will also look at how students at the University of Wyoming get there nutrition information and
compare it across the different majors. The evaluation of the data will show if there is a need for
required nutrition courses at the University of Wyoming.

                     An Experimental Verification of Polymer Microcracking
                               Amy DiRienzo, Dr. David Walrath
                             Department of Mechanical Engineering
                                    University of Wyoming
                                       Oral Presentation
EPSCoR                                                                                    Cheyenne, WY

        A graduate student, Seth Niesent, in the department of mechanical engineering has completed
his research on polymer failure due to submicrocracks in the material. He developed a constitutive
relationship based on kinetic theory and used this relationship to predict the strain response of
PMMA (Plexiglas). He compared his predictions to experimental data, but the data for the transverse
strain response were not available. The objective of my research was to collect the transverse strain
data to verify the prediction that the strain response can be explained by the accumulation of
submicrocracks. If successful, this failure criterion may be applicable to other polymers and fiber-
reinforced polymer composite materials.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                           Page 21
Evaluating dynamic assessment and processing-dependent procedures in the differentiation of
language difference and language disorder in culturally and linguistically diverse populations
                             Dakota Dye with Dr. Melissa Allen
                           Department of Communication Disorders
                                  University of Wyoming
                                     Oral Presentation

Honors Program                                                                             Cody, WY

        This investigation examined the use of dynamic assessment and processing-dependent
procedures in differentiating between language difference and language disorder in culturally and
linguistically diverse populations. The methods which this investigation focused on included test-
teach-retest and the use of a nonword repetition task. The results indicated that dynamic assessment
measures provided greater diagnostic classification accuracy than that of processing-dependent
measures, at least in terms of a nonword repetition task. These results suggest that dynamic
assessment is the best measure available to reduce the number of culturally and linguistically diverse
individuals who are incorrectly identified as language disordered.

                              Cowboy Racing SAE Mini Baja
Cody Dykman, Robert Spencer Garland, Jesse Ramer, Doug Romoth, Jesson Salyards, Corey Saner,
               Brett Schuler, Warren Starbuck, Josh Voorhees, Kyle Werkele
                        with Dr. Paul Dellenback, Mr. Scott Morton
                                  University of Wyoming
                                     Oral Presentation
                                                                                Laramie, WY

        Cowboy Racing designed, tested, and manufactured a single passenger, off-road vehicle to
compete at the national Society of Automotive Engineers Carolina Baja Competition in April 2010.
The vehicle is powered by a 10 horsepower Briggs and Stratton engine, mounted in a frame to
support driver, suspension and drive train. The cockpit accommodates a person that is six foot one
inches tall, and weighing approximately 180 pounds. The suspension design consists of four
independent articulating wheels. Front wheels are supported using unequal length double A-arms
and rear wheels are mounted with a modified trailing arm system. The drive train consists of a
primary and secondary clutch, also known as a Continuously Variable Transmission. Via an output
shaft, the CVT drives an Anaheim Automation planetary gear reduction system. The planetary
output shaft couples to the differential through a chain and sprocket. This project provided Cowboy
Racing with real-world design experience in project management, communication with machinists,
teamwork, and problem solving.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                      Page 22
      Effects of Neonatal Exposure to Progesterone on Testicular Morphology in the Rat
                           Linsay Edinger with Dr. Brenda Alexander
                                 Department of Animal Science
                                    University of Wyoming
                                      Poster Presentation

Department of Reproductive Physiology, Animal Science                                       Tully, NY

        Failure of Sertoli cells to mature has been proven to contribute to disorders of testicular
function through inability to express functions supporting spermatogenesis. The objective of this
experiment was to determine the effect of neonatal progesterone (P4) or progesterone receptor
antagonist (RU486) treatment on testicular morphology. Neonatal male pups received RU486, P4, or
vehicle (n = 7/group) postnatally d 1 - 5. Testes were collected, weighed, and preserved for
histological evaluation at 10.5 weeks. Growth was similar among treatment groups (P = 0.98), but
total testes weight was decreased in RU486 (P = 0.04) but not P4 (P = 0.69) males. Serum
concentrations of testosterone were similar (P > 0.05) among control and treated males.    Numbers
of Sertoli cells were evaluated in paraffin embedded hemotoxilyn/eosin stained sections. Variations
in Sertoli cell numbers will be used to compare testicular morphology. Testes morphology was
evaluated at 20x magnification in digitized images using Spot Advanced and Image J. A comparison
of Sertoli cell numbers between treatment groups will indicate the effect of P4 and RU486 on
testicular morphology. Changes in testes weight in absence of differences in serum concentrations of
testosterone may be reflected in numbers of Sertoli cell which may affect adult fertility.

Cloning, Expression, and Purification of Recombinant Yersinia enterocolitica 0:9 LcrV and its
Application In a Serologic Assay for Yersiniosis in Infected Elk
                           Whitney Ellsbury with Dr. Gerard Andrews
                                      Veterinary Sciences
                                     University of Wyoming
                                      Poster Presentation

Department of Veterinary Science                                                        Sundance, WY

        Brucellosisis is a zoonotic disease that causes abortion in domestic and wild ruminants. In
particular, the disease persists in free-ranging elk inhabiting the Greater Yellowstone Area. Serologic
surveillance in this host is difficult due to cross-reactivity associated with antibody to
lipopolysaccharide of Yersinia enterocolitica. Specificity of the current diagnostic assay may thus be
improved by employing the use of Yersinia-specific antigens as serologic targets to differentiate
between B. abortus and Y. enterocolitica infection. In this regard, previously cloned homologous
genes of lcrV and yopD from Y. pestis were expressed in E. coli. The recombinant proteins were
purified and immunoblotted against sera from elk experimentally infected with either Y.
enterocolitica or B. abortus. Analysis of pooled samples in a slot-blot immune-assay showed a clear
delineation in reactivity between animal groups infected with either pathogen. In a Western Blot
analysis of individual serum samples, 6/6 animals infected with Yersinia were cross-reactive to
Brucella LPS, but all reactive to the Yersinia-specific protein, LcrV, as well. In contrast, four
Brucella infected animals were all negative to the Yersinia-specific antigen (p=0.005). We conclude

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 23
that at least two Yersinia-specific antigens may be usable to delineate between animals infected with
either Yersinia or Brucella.

      Evaluating the Use and Effectiveness of Technology in Mathematics Classrooms
                            Erin Estes with Dr. Suzanne Young
                                   Secondary Education
                                  University of Wyoming
                                     Oral Presentation
UW Honor’s Program                                                              Lingle, WY

         Current research supports the claim that implementing technology into mathematics
classrooms increases students’ comprehension of various mathematical subjects. However, there are
a variety of opinions on whether particular types of technology are increasing procedural or
conceptual understandings of mathematics, or both. There is a need to consider why technology may
not be used in the classroom. The purpose of the study was to determine the effectiveness of using
technology in Wyoming high school mathematics education classrooms, and consider factors that
influence the integration of those same technologies.
         This study examined the usage of technology by Wyoming High School teachers to determine
the extent that technology aids in students’ understanding of mathematical concepts and procedures.
The survey assessed the degree to which the teachers use technology in their classrooms, what factors
led to the implementation of technologies, and the conceptual and procedural benefits they have seen
in their students.
         The results revealed that well over half of the teachers agreed that using technology aides in
conceptual understanding, fewer agreed that it helps with procedural understanding. Other results of
the survey suggest that funding, expertise, and professional development may be partial causes for
lack of technology in some Wyoming classrooms.

                        Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change on
       Wine Production in the Columbia Valley American Viticultural Area, Washington
                            Brett Fahrer with Dr. Jacqueline Shinker
                                   Department of Geography
                                    University of Wyoming
                                       Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                       Cheyenne, WY

         The application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in viticulture (the study of grapes
and there cultivation) is a growing field, where grape growers and researchers analyze everything
from the soil suitability of a potential vineyard site to monitoring harvest output over an entire region.
Climatological variables have a large impact on viticulture, and GIS has been recently applied to
monitor such phenomena as temperature and precipitation in viticultural areas. My research project
focuses on applying GIS to analyze future climate trends as they affect viticultural areas. I chose to
focus this study on the Columbia Valley American Viticultural Area in Washington because it is one
of the largest viticultural areas in the United States. By utilizing climate projection data from the
IPCC 4th Assessment Report, I compiled multiple precipitation and temperature scenarios over the
next 50 and 100 years for the Columbia Valley using ArcGIS software. These scenarios point to
rising temperatures and highly variable precipitation, which will lead to changes in types of grape
varieties grown in this area, the elimination of land suitable for viticulture, and the increased need for
irrigation infrastructure and water resources to support viticulture in this area.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                          Page 24
    Bullying in the Jr. High School: An Exploration of Faculty Experiences and Perceptions
            April Falzone, Janet Ross and Laneya Winney with Dr. Kathleen McKinney
                                     University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation

Division of Social Work                                                               Cheyenne WY
                                                                                        Grant, NE
        The purpose of this research is to explore how the teachers, staff, para professionals,
counselors, and social workers of Carey Jr. high school in Cheyenne, WY perceive the current anti-
bullying program being implemented. This study will explore whether there are differences in
opinions and or perceptions about bullying based on their experience working with students who
have been bullied or with implementing the anti-bullying program. The information provided in this
on-line survey will give us a contextual understanding of how the anti-bullying program is perceived
and what changes, if any, could be implemented to improve the climate of how Carey Jr. high
administration addresses bullying in their school.

 Cytoarchitectonic and Immunohistological Profile of GABAergic and Glutamatergic Neurons
                      in the Posterior Piriform Cortex in Fragile X Mice
                              Tyler Felton with Dr. Qian-Quan Sun
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                    Cheyenne, WY

        This study focused on the cytoarchitectonic and immunohistological differences in GABA-
releasing and Glutamate-releasing interneurons between Fmr1 knock-out (FMR1KO) and wild-type
(WT) mice in the posterior piriform cortex. Our results showed a robust reorganization of the
neocortical inhibitory and excitatory circuits in the FMR1KO mouse. The reorganization is
characterized by a significant reduction (15%, p<0.001) in the densities of GAD-67-postive cells,
while a significant increase of both GluR1 (9%, p<0.001) and GluR2 (20%, p<0.001) AMPA
receptor subunits was also observed. Additionally, there was a modest but significant increase in the
layer 2 total cell density in the FMR1KO mouse. These results provide the first report showing
significant alterations of both GABA-releasing and Glutamate-releasing interneurons in the posterior
piriform cortex in the mouse model of fragile X syndrome. Uncovering the changes in specific
GABAergic and Glutamatergic circuits could help elucidate the mechanisms underlying behavior
deficits of fragile X syndrome and autism.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                     Page 25
          Of Names and Nonsense: Play and Identity in the Works of Charles Dodgson
                      Katie Fields with Dr. Caroline McCracken-Flesher
                                    Department of English
                                   University of Wyoming
                                       Oral presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                     Cheyenne, WY

        The 19th-century author Charles Dodgson, better known as his persona Lewis Carroll, is
famous worldwide for his nonsense novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Many are aware of the
second Alice book, Through the Looking Glass, but his final novel Sylvie and Bruno has received far
less attention. The purpose of my study is to examine the reasons for Dodgson’s successes and
failures insofar as his development of comedy in each novel is concerned. Literary and comedic
theories, diaries and letters, biographies, and criticism of Dodgson’s works guide my analysis of his
        The reception of each of Dodgson’s works indicates the appeal of nonsense to an audience.
Less certainty about meaning allows for broader interpretation by a readership. This study
demonstrates how the imaginative and open nature of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the
uncertainty Alice experiences in her own identity creates a stronger comedy than the more motivated
Through the Looking Glass and finally how the didacticism of Sylvie and Bruno ensured its
obscurity. The significance of this study is its assertion that comedy’s success relies on
interpretability by a broad audience and that such interpretation is shaped by the identities of
character, author, and reader alike.

 Metabolic and Mechanical Energy Saving Mechanisms in Barefoot vs. Shod Human Running
                        Leslie Fischer with Dr. Matthew W. Bundle
                                  Kinesiology and Health
                                  University of Wyoming
                                Oral and Poster Presentation

UW Honors Program and Kinesiology and Health                                          Louisville, CO

        Many runners purchase expensive shoes with enhanced support believing that these shoes will
make them faster, and reduce the chance of developing a running related injury. However, shoes
with enhanced support have been shown to lead to more leg injuries and require more metabolic
energy than running barefoot. Here we will investigate the apparently paradoxical recent results of
Lieberman et al. (Nature, 2010) who found lower metabolic rates and a reduced potential for injury
among habitual barefoot runners. These results are paradoxical because previous investigations have
found that barefoot runners use greater muscle volumes and rates of force generation (1/Tc) compared
to shod runners; two muscular contractile properties that would be expected to raise, not lower, the
rates of muscle metabolism. To investigate the relationship between muscle function and metabolic
energy use during barefoot versus shod human running, we measured rates of oxygen uptake through
indirect calorimetry, volumes of active muscle via surface electromyography, and rates of force
production from foot-ground contact duration. Subjects completed duplicate running trials at four
speeds in three differing experimental conditions; traditional running shoes, barefoot, and a new shoe
designed to mimic the barefoot condition. We specifically predict that the lesser stance average

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                      Page 26
ground support forces required of barefoot running explains the increased running economy of the
barefoot condition.
  Monitoring Electromechanical Mode Shape with the Empirical Transfer Function Estimate
                                 Jim Follum with Dr. John Pierre
                               Electrical and Computer Engineering
                                      University of Wyoming
                                          Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                    Sundance, WY

        The worst power blackouts in America’s history have been due to the interaction of
generators in different areas. These interactions are known as electromechanical modes, and
possessing information about them is key to providing stability. This research evaluated the
Empirical Transfer Function Estimate’s (ETFE) ability to obtain this information.
        The ETFE method was applied to both a simulated system and real world data. Prony
analysis was conducted for comparison. Statistical data for each method was calculated, and results
of the application of each method to real world data were compared. In analyzing results, Prony
analysis proved more successful at accurately obtaining mode information from the modeled system.
Statistically, the two methods performed equally well. Overall, the quality of system information,
whether real world or simulated, obtained from each method was quite similar.
        From these results, it was determined that the ETFE method is a viable alternative to Prony
analysis. While the ETFE method less accurately obtains mode information, the difference is slight.
The advantages of the ETFE method in real world situations lead to the conclusion that it should
continue to be used to estimate mode information in America’s power grid.

                      Detecting Cross-Modal Thresholds of Simultaneity
                 Matthew Fournier with Dr. Pawan Sinha and Dr. Zoltan Fuzessery
                     Zoology/Physiology, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT
                                    University of Wyoming
                                    Oral/Poster Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                     Cheyenne, WY

        An important topic in experimental psychology concerns the detection of simultaneity. This is
defined a the ability to determine that two events have taken place at the same time even if the
information has arrived via more than one sensory input. Determination of human simultaneity
detection has important implications in vision because simultaneity indicates that two events might
have arisen from one object. This, in turn, helps to define grouping relationships in the real world.
For example, a sound associated with a movement helps us localize and identify sound sources. It is
also important to know when two events are not simultaneous. This determination allows us to make
temporal order judgments, which can help us form predictive relationships between events. This is
seen, for instance, in the learning of new words. If we were unable to predict that the syllable “for”
preceded “ess,” we would be unable to learn the word forestry. I have used computer programming in
MATLAB to assess different qualities of cross-modal simultaneity. Research shows certain
preference for sound to precede light, and can illuminate the separation needed to tell two sounds

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                      Page 27
                          Analysis of climatic conditions leading to low
                      streamflows in the headwaters of the Colorado River
                       Joshua A.E. Fredrickson with Dr. Jacqueline J. Shinker
                                     Department of Geography
                                      University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation

Wymoing NSF EPSCoR                                                                       Dubois, WY

        The purpose of my research was to examine the climatic variables associated with recent low
streamflows in the headwaters of the Green River in Wyoming. My objectives were: 1) identify years
with lower-than-normal streamflows and 2) examine and determine the climatic conditions that led to
low streamflows. The climatic variables examined for this study represent surface conditions,
atmospheric conditions, and precipitation mechanisms. I examined precipitation rate, temperature,
and specific humidity. I also looked at uplift mechanisms—vertical velocity—that enhance or
suppress precipitation. The methods I used for my project included: 1) the selection of low-flow years
from USGS streamflow data, 2) calculation of composite-anomaly values for low-flow years, 3)
creation of composite-anomaly maps of the selected variables for low-flow years, and 4) an analysis
and explanation of the composite anomalies.
        The recent lower-than-normal streamflows in the Green River are the result of varying surface
and atmospheric conditions and uplift mechanisms. In general, there was a lack of precipitation
during winter months and those dryer-than-normal conditions persisted through spring and into
summer/fall. During every season, when there was sufficient moisture available in the atmosphere to
allow for precipitation, sinking motions were dominant and suppressed precipitation; and when rising
motions were dominant there was not enough moisture in the atmosphere to allow for precipitation,
even though the mechanism was present.

                                      A Binary Exploration
                                Megan Funk with Dr. Siguna Mueller
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation
UW Honors Program                                                                Grand Junction, CO

        In this presentation, I will be exploring binary representation and its role in our usage of
technology. I will also delve into the properties of double-base representation and how it affects or
changes our ideas of simple binary representation. Along with the technical aspects of the project, I
will also provide some back story about binary representation, such as who discovered it and how the
discovery has furthered our understanding of certain applications in mathematics. At the end of my
project, I hope to understand how binary and double-base representation work and how they can
further our use of technology.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                      Page 28
        Glacial Recession in Cloud Peak Wilderness Area and the Effects on Streamflow
                              Mitchell Fyock with Dr. Carl Legleiter
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                         Arvada, CO

        For many rivers in the American Northwest, 50-80% of the annual streamflow is derived from
snowmelt predominantly from glaciers. Recent studies have shown that increasing temperatures have
caused glaciers to melt earlier in the year, as well as at a faster rate. This is significant because the
rate of snowmelt, as well as the date of the peak snow/water equivalent, determines a rivers available
water supply later in the water year. By comparing the average date of different rivers peak
streamflow to the average date of peak snow/water equivalent various gauging stations; a correlation
could be made between the two variables in order to obtain a general trend. The Cloud Peak Glacier
underwent seasonal variations, however, a trend was discovered linking earlier dates of peak
snow/water equivalent to earlier dates of peak streamflow. This implies that as temperatures
increase, the tendency for earlier peak streamflow is occurring. By examining the effects of
increased temperature on glacial recession, we can better understand its effects on river systems
supported by glacial meltwater.

              Rotationally Stabilized Multi-Sensor Package for a Sounding Rocket
                     Charles Galey, Peter Jay, Nicholas Roder, William Ryan
                                      with Dr. Paul Johnson
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

 Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium                             Charles Galey:         Laramie, WY
 Colorado Space Grant Consortium                                    Peter Jay:           Casper, WY
 NASA Wallops Flight Facility                                    Nicholas Roder:         Conifer, CO
 UW Mechanical Engineering Department                             William Ryan:         Saratoga, WY

       Colorado Space Grant Consortium (COSGC) and NASA offer Universities in the United
States affordable access to sub-orbital space flights. Wyo Galactic, composed of four Mechanical
Engineering students, continues UW involvement for a second year. The goals of Wyo Galactic were
to develop technologies and components for future UW experimenters to use as part of their test
packages. These experiment sub-systems included, a rotationally stabilized camera plate, GPS
tracking and logging of flight data, wireless recovery of test data.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                         Page 29
            Information Security Management System (ISMS) for the Small Business
                            Richard Gancze with Dr. Ruben Gamboa
                                      Computer Science
                                    University of Wyoming
                                      Oral Presentation
                                                                             Cheyenne, WY

        OCI has been practicing information security for many years. One challenge that OCI has is
how they implement an information security model that will protect confidential information and
adhere to the regulations (like HIPAA, SOX, etc.), customer contracts (that state we must adhere to
ISO 27001) and requirements from a parent company (who wants them to pass a SAS 70 audit). And
provide assurance of Information Security, Information Technology and control environments to
third parties.
        The Information Security Group at OCI has implemented a security model that is based on
information security regulations, industry standards and best practices (and is a reactive approach).
The organization reacts to new laws and regulations, customer contracts and requirements from the
parent company. For example when the Department of Health and Human Services issued an interim
final rule on Aug. 19, 2009, establishing standards for notification of breaches of unsecured protected
health information (PHI), OCI added security controls specific to HIPAA. By the time the
Information Security Group implements security controls for each specific regulation and
requirement they have multiple information security management systems (ISMS) to support.
        During the last two years OCI has completed or participated in 10 information security
        The objective is to develop an Information Security Management System (ISMS) for OCI
(Options and Choices, Inc.) which meets the business requirements.

                     University of Wyoming Army ROTC: Creating Leaders
                            Andrea Garfinkel with LTC Gavin Guidry
                                  Department of Military Science
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Department of Military Science                                                      Fort Collins, CO

        Although the members of the University of Wyoming Reserve Officer Training Corps
(ROTC) are enrolled as typical undergraduate students, their university experience includes an entire,
often insulated facet of education outside of the normal academic environment. The University of
Wyoming Cowboy Battalion represents a unique culture worth ethnographic education. The
researcher, with the oversight of certain cadre within the battalion, conducted a semester-long,
participant-observation study of the University of Wyoming ROTC. She concludes that although
students participate in regular academic classes and college activities, the education that Army ROTC
cadets receive specialized job training in an environment focused on building effective leaders and
creating a common singular identity of a soldier. In her ethnography, the researcher seeks to educate
the reader regarding the demographics of the Cowboy Battalion, including the values, beliefs, and
attitudes of ROTC participants, and give insight as to the life of a cadet.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 30
          The Effect of PBS on Dynamic Mechanical Behavior of Copolymer Networks
                           Robert Spencer Garland with Dr. Carl Frick
                                    Mechanical Engineering
                                    University of Wyoming
                                       Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                        Laramie, WY

        Shape-memory materials (smart materials) are classified as having the capability “to recover
to a predetermined and programmed shape after significant mechanical deformation in response” to
surrounding environmental forces (Yakacki). This research involved the fabrication, preparation, and
analysis of photopolymerizable shape-memory polymers (SMPs) that could be used in biomedical
        A Dynamic Mecanical Anlayzer (DMA) was used to test a variety of polymer compositions to
determine their Glass Transition Temperatures (Tg) and Storage Modulii. These properties are useful
to determine how polymers will behave under certain conditions. For example, maximum toughness
will occur at temperatures at or slightly below the Tg. Both dry and wet samples (soaked in
phosphate buffered saline, PBS) were tested to observe property changes under biological conditions.
Duplicate tests for each composition were necessary to make any reasonable conclusions about the
polymers’ thermomecanical properties.
        The most notable results show that the Tg decreased for wet samples. The more hydrophilic
(ability to absorb PBS) the sample, the greater the decrease in Tg. This is important because in
biomedical applications the toughness of SMPs is crucial to their performance. Through the results,
this research demonstrates that major changes in the mechanical properties of SMP’s occur when
used in biomedical applications.

                                           The Vampire
                               Sarah Gayman with Dr. Danielle Pafunda
                                       University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation
UW Honors Program                                                                            Cody, WY

         The vampire is a popular character throughout classical and contemporary literature and the
recent popularity of the Twilight series inspired me to research the vampire figure throughout
literature. I chose to explore literature featuring this character through a psychoanalytical
interpretation and focus on the Freudian interpretation of the uncanny. Although this project revolves
around literary research as opposed to scientific research I still followed a method when initiating this
project. I executed this thesis by reading a variety of poems, short stories, and novels about the
vampire, and then reading “The Uncanny” by Freud and applying the concepts within to the literature
I read staring vampires. As I investigated the vampire’s literary past and contemporary popularity I
argue that is the uncanny elements within the story of the vampire that ensure this characters
continuing popularity.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                         Page 31
                 Synthesis and Evaluation of anti-Nonspecific Binding Coating in
                            Microfluidic Devices for ELISA Bioassays
                                      Melissa J. Gelwicks with
                           Dr. Robert C. Corcoran and Dr. Debashis Dutta
                                       Chemistry Department
                                          Oral Presentation

INBRE                                                                                     Laramie, WY

        A common ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbant Assay) method for detection of
biomolecules utilizes antibody coatings on surfaces that bind specific antigens. An enzyme-antibody
conjugate that also binds to the antigen is then added, followed by a substrate that is converted by the
enzyme to a detectable product. The sensitivity and reliability of these assays may be significantly
reduced by the phenomenon of non-specific binding (NSB), in which the enzyme-antibody conjugate
binds not only to the target antigen (in a specific fashion), but also binds by hydrophobic and/or
hydrogen-bonding interactions to other species on the surface. The signal produced by such non-
specifically bound enzyme-antibody conjugates cannot be distinguished from that produced from the
antigen-antibody complex, and a misleadingly high level of signal results. My current research
involves development of a microfluidic version of ELISA, with a specific focus on methods for
decreasing signal from NSB. The semester began with fabrication of microfluidic devices. I then
successfully synthesized long hydrophilic molecules to bind with ELISA surfaces in order to reduce
NSB by steric exclusion. I have also tested molecules equipped with zwitterion head groups, which
are highly resistant to non-specific protein adsorption, with the intended result of reducing NSB.

                   Development of Functionalized Semipermeable Membranes
                                  for Microfluidic Separations
                                     Melissa J. Gelwicks with
                          Dr. Robert C. Corcoran and Dr. Debashis Dutta
                                      Chemistry Department
                                     University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF/EPSCoR                                                                        Laramie, WY

         Microfluidic devices, which can affect a complex series of separations using small sample
sizes, may fulfill a need for performing rapid, sensitive and efficient separations of biological
samples for medical diagnostics. Silica gel is typically used for separations, but is not appropriate for
very small-scale use; it tends to clog microscale channels, and silica membranes have been found to
fail catastrophically after short experimental use. This project focused on the development of
membranes that can be synthesized with varying permeabilities in order to perform size-based
separations. Ultimately, the goal will be to include functional groups in the membranes with
affinities for certain biological molecules. My work began with learning the techniques for
fabricating microfluidic devices having channels of varying depths. Polymerization of acrylamide
with amine-reactive monomers in situ in shallow regions of the devices was followed by reaction
with functionalized amines, and then sodium silicate to produce hybrid membranes including organic
molecules and silica. These hybrid membranes were tested for their abilities to trap small organic
molecules while allowing the passage of low molecular weight buffer molecules by introducing

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                         Page 32
buffered solutions of charged organic dyes that were then electrophoretically directed towards the

             Functions and Mutations of the Proapoptotic Protein bax in Yeast Cells
                            Renee Gittleson with Dr. Peter Thorsness
                               Department of Molecular Biology
                                   University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR and UW Honors Program                                                     Littleton, CO

           Recent research has shown there is a direct connection between the mitochondrial outer
membrane and the endoplasmic reticulum. In light of this information, the purpose of this research
project was to determine whether the proapoptotic protein bax uses this connection as a mechanism
of entry into the outer membrane of mitochondria. The major goal of this research effort is determine
if changes in the interaction of the mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) interaction will
affect, either positively or negatively, the activities of the bax protein. To determine this, a group of
mutations that affect the binding between the mitochondria and the ER were selected and were
crossed with bax producing yeast. Overall, the presence of mutations appeared to have little effect of
the activities of bax. The results supported the conclusion that the proapoptotic protein bax was not
affected by alterations to the mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum.

                     Terror in the Symbolic: Re-evaluating the Rubble of 9/11
                                Matthew Goetter with Dr. Harvey Hix
                                       English Department
                                      University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation

English Honor’s Thesis                                                                     Cheyenne, WY

        Abstract:Since language is not real, but in a Lacanian sense, a re-presentation, its ability to
create a reality is critically questionable. If it is the case that the real does not exist because it
precedes language and cannot be subject to languages’ symbolic construction, then we must
challenge those communications that claim the opposite. Specifically, the government-sponsored
media that depends upon the ability to convert ‘real events’ into symbolic currency, wasted in the
endless pursuit of fantastical desires. When the ‘skies are seeded with terror,’ it is the task of rational
people to divorce our reality from the real, to imagine the event prior to its symbolization, to
interrogate the event of its being. To talk about the consequences of 9/11 precisely demonstrates the
difference between the real and symbolic orders. One could consider the events of the day, or their
interpretation through ‘effects.‘ The primary symbol that will be examined in this paper is the
collapsing of the three WTC towers. Considering the terrorist event itself was a media spectacle, to
recognize the fiction of 9/11 is the task of this paper, to divorce the symbol, and its spectacular fiction
from its reality.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                           Page 33
            The Determination of the Subcellular Location of Spermidine Synthase
                          Kevin Grauberger with Dr. Mark Stayton
                                      Molecular Biology
                                   University of Wyoming
                                      Oral presentation

INBRE                                                                                 Mitchell, NE

        The Stayton lab has performed a genome-wide survey of the early responses of the mouse
heart transcriptome to acute myocardial infarction and reported a significant up-regulation in
transcripts related to arginase metabolism. These transcripts included arginase 1 (ARG1), arginase 2
(ARG2), ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), antizyme inhibitor (AZI), spermidine synthase (SPDS), and
spermidine-spermine N1-acetylase (SSAT). Two additional transcripts, spermine synthase (SPSY)
and polyamine oxidase (PAO) did not show an up regulation in response to AMI. Our goal was to
determine if the subcellular locations of SPDS, SSAT, PAO, and SPSY corresponded to the
intercalated disc as J Keele had shown for the initial enzymes ARG1, ODC, and AZI. Naïve mouse
hearts were harvested, frozen in optical cutting temperature media, and cryosectioned. For these
studies, we performed immunohistochemistry with antibodies to SPDS, SSAT, PAO, and SPSY, and
known subcellular markers for the intercalated disc (n-cadherin), smooth muscle (calponin-3), and
endothelial cells (MECA32). Our results show SPDS and SSAT to be localized with n-cadherin at
the intercalated discs of cardiomyocytes. SPSY and PAO were found to be localized in the smooth
muscle lining of the vasculature. Additionally, PAO appeared to be inter-nuclear and SSAT
associated with the outer nuclear membrane.

                                   Chronic Wasting Disease
                 Alicia Gray with Dr. Randy Lewis, Justin Jones, and Kelley Moss
                                        Molecular Biology
                                      University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                              Rock Springs, WY

        Chronic Wasting Disease is a transmissible spongiform ecephalopathy (TSE) or Prion disease
which causes neurological disease found in deer and elk that produces small lesions in the brains of
infected animals. Since this disease has yet to infect humans, it is an ideal model to use in the
laboratory for safety reasons. We could use the research we do on the disease and use it to help in
find more information on neurological diseases in humans. Through the use of surrogate protein
markers, biomarkers, for the disease, we can produce a CWD test that is as simple as a human
pregnancy test. This project will identify the DNA sequence for one of a library of biomarkers
discovered. Since we do not know what the exact deer genome looks like, we used a program to
synthesize degenerate primers based off human, bovine, mouse and rat DNA. With the primers, we
would use PCR to determine if the primers could amplify anything similar to our known mammalian
genes in the deer DNA. If our assumptions were right, we would be able to sequence short segments
of deer DNA that is similar to genomes that we already know of. Finally, having the complete deer
gene DNA sequence, we can identify the deer specific protein of interest.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                    Page 34
                Simulated RNA Interference in the T4 Bacteriophage Lytic Cycle
                             Jacob Greenlee with Dr. John Willford
                        Departments of Molecuar Biology & Microbiology
                                    University of Wyoming
                                       Oral Presentation

INBRE                                                                                    Powell, WY

       RNA interference pathways have shown promise in disrupting the translation of protein
products in eukaryotic cells and organisms. These studies have used siRNA or miRNA, but not
mRNA. Bacteria lack the genes to produce the RNAi enzymes found in eukaryotes. In this study, an
attempt to simulate an RNAi pathway in hopes of using E. coli as a model organism for mRNA viral
therapeutics was made. Part of the T4 K10 bacteriophage T-holin gene (~125kb) has been
successfully cloned into the pET expression vector. To disrupt viral mRNA and translation, a
complimentary clone needs to be generated and has yet to be accomplished. Initial controls have
demonstrated that the presence of the plasmid and pseudogene expression of the partial T-holin
mRNA do not interfere with viral replication.

       The Regulation of Apoptosis by the Mitochondria and the Endoplasmic Reticulum
                           Ryan Griesbach with Dr. Peter Thorsness
                              Department of Molecular Biology
                                    University of Wyoming
                                      Poster Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                      Laramie, WY

        Cells throughout biology maintain strict regulation of growth and cellular integrity through
the control of apoptosis, or planned cell death. For many years now, it has been known that the
mitochondria have played an integral role in the signaling pathway associated with apoptosis (Chen,
2009; Nigam et al., 2009). However, new evidence has arisen concerning several aspects of this
signaling pathway. First, it has been shown that cancer cells change the roles of mitochondrial
proteins in order to maintain mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and thus avoid starting the
apoptotic cascade that would otherwise take place. Recent studies have shown that by attacking the
protein necessary for maintaining the membrane potential, normal cell regulation would resume and
cancerous growth could be stopped. Likewise, new research has shown that the endoplasmic
reticulum (ER) might have some roles in the apoptosis signaling cascade (Wang et al., 2009). Here
we report that human versions of the transporter proteins used in maintaining ΔΨm by cancerous
cells can be inserted into Saccharomyces cerevisiae and thus tested for a chemical that could possibly
impede these proteins ability to function. Likewise, we have developed a procedure for determining
the mitochondrial-ER association in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and possible linkage by
mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM) proteins.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                      Page 35
          The Madwoman in the Movies: Hollywood’s Appropriation of Mental Illness
                         Lindsey Grubbs with Dr. Michelle Jarman
                                  Department of English
                                 University of Wyoming
                                    Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                        Cheyenne, WY

        From ancient Greek tragedy to Dexter, mental illness has long been a dominant theme in
popular culture. I investigate the way that mental illness has been positioned in our society by
discussing how Hollywood converted autobiographical accounts such as Girl, Interrupted into
sensational films, and in the process enforced stereotypes while denying the legitimacy of the voices
of people diagnosed as mentally ill. An important part of this discussion will be formulating an
understanding of the way that disability is a fluid concept that is rooted as much in social realities as
biological ones, and that popular culture is not only created by social perceptions, but in turn creates
new ones. Looking at the destructive elements that recur in many filmic representations of mental
illness is ultimately an important tool in restructuring our troubled cultural understanding of where
psychiatric difference fits.

  Vitamin D Status in Relation to Diet, Lifestyle Habits, Injury and Illness in College Athletes
                         Tanya Halliday with Dr. Enette Larson-Meyer
                Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Dietetics Program
                                    University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                             Stow, MA

        Background: Vitamin D deficiency is endemic in the general population; however, there is
much to be learned about vitamin D status in athletes. The purpose of this study was to assess the
prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in collegiate athletes and determine whether 25(OH)D
concentrations are related to vitamin D intake, sun exposure, body composition, and risk for athletic
        Methods: 25(OH)D concentrations were measured in 41 athletes throughout the academic
year. Dietary intake and lifestyle habits were assessed via questionnaire, bone density was measured
by DEXA and injury/illness were documented by athletic trainers.
        Results: 25(OH)D concentrations changed across time (p=0.001) and averaged 49.0±16.6,
30.5±9.4 and 41.9±14.6 ng/mL in the fall, winter and spring, respectively. Using 32 ng/mL as the
cutoff for insufficiency, 12.2%, 63.6% and 20.0% of athletes had insufficient status in the fall, winter
and spring, respectively. 25(OH)D concentrations in the spring (r=-0.40; p=0.048) and winter (r=-
0.33; p=0.065) were correlated with frequency of illness.
        Conclusion: Results suggest that collegiate athletes would benefit from supplementation
during the winter to prevent seasonal decreases in 25(OH)D concentrations. Results further suggest
that insufficient vitamin D status increases illness risk. Future research is needed to identify whether
25(OH)D status influences injury risk during.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                         Page 36
                                Rural Treatment Programs:
              Do Adolescent Youth Benefit from Treatment Programs Designed to
                        Reduce At-Risk Behaviors to Self and Others?
       Maggie McWilliams, Amanda Hamilton and Megan Kearl with Dr. Kathleen McKinney
                                        Social Work
                                   University of Wyoming
                                     Oral Presentation
Division of Social Work                                                     Laramie, WY

        The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of treatment programs used to
reduce behavior problems of residents at the Cathedral Home for Children over three consecutive
years beginning in July 2007 through January 2010 based on single-subject data sets used to identify
four different levels of behavior showing the reduction (or increase) of at-risk behavior. The risk
assessments show data at the 30 day/baseline and every six months following the initial assessment
on 40 residents. These secondary data sets represent performance measures such as Risk to Self, Risk
to Others and Property, Social and Adaptive Functioning, Substance Abuse Risk, Family Functioning
Risk, Social Skills and Total Risk. In addition to the factors used to determine the level of at-risk
behavior, components of the risk assessments will determine how the residents respond to treatment
classified as Treatment Resisters, Highly Distressed Treatment Resisters and Treatment Thrivers.
Charts of each consecutive year will indicate the change in behavior over time. We expect to find an
improvement in the behavior of residents who are considered at-risk as a result of the treatment
programs provided in the group homes, the crisis center and independent living facilities under the
Cathedral Home for Children’s care.

 Intervention Strategies for Prostitution: A Qualitative Analysis of the Efficacy of Intervention
                           Programs in Comparison to Incarceration.
                Chelsea Hampton and Vanessa Vaziri with Dr. Kathleen McKinney
                                    Department of Social Work
                                      University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation
Department of Social Work                                                             Laramie, WY

        Approximately 1 million women in North America are involved in prostitution, according to In addition to high rates of occurrence, cities spend millions of dollars on
prostitution control through law enforcement and incarceration efforts. Prostitution is a prevalent
social issue in America, which is often accompanied by incidences of abuse, exploitation and
incarceration. Additionally, there are high costs to incarceration and the revolving door of
        Throughout the course of our research we found extensive literature encompassing the history
of prostitution and causes of entering the trade, but we found no specific information on comparison
studies of intervention methods. There are many methods of intervention and prevention for this
issue, and these different avenues should be explored and investigated. Considering that incarceration
is a primary method for handling prostitution in the U.S. because of the nature of an illicit activity,
conducting an investigation which involves comparing the efficacy of this widely used strategy to
specific intervention programs seems logical and necessary. In turn, this study has the potential to

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 37
provide a solid foundation for new strides in the area of research on curbing prostitution and better
methodologies for intervention.

                  High Speed Treadmill with Force Measurement Capabilities
                                   McKruman Technologies
                      Jeremy Hanneman, Drew Krutak, and Eric McDonald
                        with Dr. Matthew Bundle and Dr. David Walrath
                                   Mechanical Engineering
                                    University of Wyoming
                                       Oral Presentation

Department of Mechanical Engineering                                                     Casper, WY
                                                                                         Lincoln, NE

        McKruman Technologies proposed a design of a high-speed treadmill for evaluating the
performance of Olympic-caliber athletes for use in the Kinesiology Department. The treadmill will
increase the amount of research they can conduct on world class athletes. For Dr. Bundle and the
department to carry out their research, certain devices and specifications were integrated into the
treadmill. These devices consisted of a high torque electric motor, a servo control of the electric
motor, multi-axis load cells, and safety equipment. The treadmill design is based on reading and
analyzing the forces athletes and animals exert on the bed of the treadmill in both the radial
directions. To reduce weight the motor was mounted separately from the bed via a flexible line shaft.
The bed was made out of a fiber glass and carbon fiber combination with the core being foam. The
bed was fastened to four AMTI-MC3A multi-axial load cells via a metal bonded plate. Teflon plates
were placed on top of the bed to reduce friction and metal brackets were screwed to the composite
frame and bed to allow for roller attachments and adjustments. Steel was used to construct a safety
frame surrounding the treadmill.

                      Antibacterial Activity of Bacteria from Rotting Wood
                               Joseph Hanson and Tran Nguyen with
                       Dr. Allan Childs, Dr. Steve Harbon, Dr. Elise Kimble
                                        Northwest College
                                        Poster Presentation

Wyoming INBRE                                                                         Greybull, WY
                                                                          Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

        This study was conducted to search for new bacterial species with antibacterial activity.
We chose to sample from decomposing wood because the wide range of available nutrients allowing
for higher competition, and also to test from an environment that harbors different bacteria than soil.
Samples of rotting wood were collected aseptically at a site near Yellowtail Reservoir. Bacteria
which grew aerobically were isolated and tested for ability to inhibit growth of Escherichia coli,
Pseudomonas aeruginosa and/or Staphylococcus aureus. Chromosomal DNA was extracted from the
bacteria and the 16S ribosomal RNA gene amplified by pcr. The pcr product was sequenced
commercially and a BLAST search done to provide a tentative identification of the bacterial isolates.
Among 22 isolates tested, 6 inhibited growth of E. coli, P. aeruginosa or S. aureus.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 38
                                          Fortis Manus
                   C. Harbers, B. Schabron, D. Mosiman, with Dr. David Walrath
                                      Mechanical Engineering
                                      University of Wyoming
                                        Poster Presentation

UW Engineering Fund for Enrichment                             C. Harbers          Kent, WA
Department of Mechanical Engineering                           B. Schabron         Laramie, WY
                                                               D. Mosiman          Laramie, WY

        Fortis Manus was designed to be a lower-cost but functional manipulator to emulate functions
of a normal human hand. Similar to the weight, size, and grip strength of a human hand, our
manipulator is the first step towards bringing dexterous robotic technology from the realm of
expensive research and development to a place where the practical foundations of an artificial hand
can be made available to a large audience. This lower cost implementation consists of a single thumb
and forefinger as well as an enlarged gripping phalange to take the place of the remaining three
fingers. Locomotion was achieved via a system of Kevlar cables that when under tension curl the
fingers in towards the palm. The phalanges, should the cables relax, would then return to their open
position when via a system of torsional springs located within the joints connecting the phalange
segments. Made of stainless steel and partially skinned in silicone rubber, the manipulator body is
designed to be corrosion resistant as well as sufficiently resilient to maintain a 100 pound grip force
each phalange tip.

   Petrographic and Geochronologic Analysis of the Albany Granite of the Medicine Bow
                           Mountains, Southeast Wyoming
                         Lauren Harrison with Dr. Arthur Snoke
                         Department of Geology and Geophysics
                                University of Wyoming
                                   Oral Presentation
Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                            Laramie, WY

        The Albany Granite pluton is one of several similar-looking bodies of granite in southeastern
Wyoming, classified simply as pink massive granites. Because of their similar petrology these
granites were all assumed to be correlative with the 1.4 Ga Sherman Granite in the Laramie
Mountains. However, a recent study dated the Albany Granite at ~1.75 Ga. This result called into
question the simplicity of the intrusive system in the area, deformation of the Albany Granite by the
Cheyenne belt shear system, and the relationship of the Albany Granite to its wall rock. These
questions will be answered in this study through field work, sample collection, rock preparation,
modal analysis, geochemical analysis, petrography, and radiometric dating. We hypothesize that the
dated 1.75 Ga rock is actually wall rock to the Albany Granite; the age of the Albany Granite is ~1.4
Ga; signs of solid state deformation in thin-sections is due to a source of deformation other than the
Cheyenne belt; and that the contact between Albany Granite and the wall rock interfingers.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 39
Alternatively, if the Albany Granite is 1.75 Ga, signs of solid state deformation could be attributable
to the Cheyenne belt. Work has been ongoing since July 2009 and will continue over the next year.

 Cold water maceration of extant bovid mandibles: implications for elemental composition,
                  stable isotopic analysis and timing of tooth eruptions
                       Paul R. Haselhorst with Dr. Mark T. Clementz
                          Department of Geology and Geophysics
                                  University of Wyoming
                                     Oral Presentation
Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                             Laramie, WY

        The dentition and crypts of extant bovid mandibles can be used for investigations into
palaeoclimates, palaeoecology and evolution thru elemental concentrations, stable isotopic analysis
and tooth eruption timing. The utilization of cold maceration (removal of flesh from bone) aides in
the removal of dentition and prepares the mandible for sectioning or radiography. Other maceration
techniques, hot water (“cooking”) and “bug box” (beetles and larvae in the genus Dermestes feed on
the flesh), work extremely well, however the hot water will reset the oxygen isotopes values and the
”bug box” is not practical for all researchers. For the cold water maceration technique the fleshed
mandibles were place in a five gallon bucket, cover with a solution consisting of tap water at
approximately 25ºC and two tablespoons of enzyme (alconox powder) to aide with degreasing. The
bucket was covered with a plastic lid to prevent evaporation and for the reduction of foul odors.
Three sets of mandibles from approximately one year old extant bovid were utilized and were
macerated using three different parameters: 1) water/enzyme solution changed every two days with
defleshing of mandible by hand occurring during each solution change; 2) water/enzyme solution
changed daily and no defleshing during water/enzyme solution change; 3) no changing water/enzyme
solution and no defleshing. The results indicated that parameter three achieved the fastest cold
maceration time at only eight days. Parameters one and two were longer with twenty-six days and
fifteen days respectively. However, the removal of blood vessels and fat from the mandibular cavity
varied from for all three sets of mandibles and the removal proved more difficult dependent upon the
crypt contained permanent dentition development and not of the time parameters.

                Self-Esteem of Adolescents Participating in a Peer Support Group
                  Nicole Haughton and Sonja Luckow with Dr. Kathleen McKinney
                                   Department of Social Work
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presenation
Division of Social Work                                                           Laramie, WY
                                                                                 Cheyenne, WY

        The study topic originates from findings that suggest low self-esteem in teenage students
correlates with poor school performance. It is anticipated that participating in a peer support group at
school will elevate self-esteem and therefore increase the likelihood students will improve their
school performance. The study examines the self-esteem of high school students who have been
identified as at-risk. All identified students who consent are given The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Test
prior to as well as after participation in a peer support group. Group participation is for the duration
of one academic semester. Pre and post group scores from the self-esteem survey will then be
compared to see if those scores show significant differences.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 40
        We anticipate that self-esteem scores for high school students will be higher after
participation in the peer support group. The implications of this study are that if a student is
identified as at-risk and/or struggling with academics, participation in a peer support group to boost
self-esteem may ultimately improve their school performance.

            Statistical Analysis of the Natural Gas Future Prices from 1995 – Present
                          Andrew P. Hauser with Dr. Frederic P. Sterbenz
                                 Economics and Finance Department
                                       University of Wyoming
                                         Poster Presentation

UW McNair Scholars Program                                                                 Jackson, WY

        This study will examine patterns of the trading price of natural gas futures from 1995 to the
present. The objective of this study is to determine trends and statistical properties in the natural gas
futures prices. To do our analysis, we will use natural gas market data that is available from the U.S.
Energy Information Administration. Our method includes using programs, such as MatLab, to
perform statistical analysis of the data and see what conclusions are apparent. This study of futures
prices is important to the understanding of the natural gas market.

                               Lucas Sequences in Primality Testing
                               Karl Heimbuck with Dr. Siguna Mueller
                                     Department of Mathematics
                                       University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR and UW Honors Program                                                  Guernsey, WY

         Prime or composite? This classification determines whether or not integers can be used in
digital security. One such way to begin testing an integers primality is with the Fermat test, which
says that if n is a prime number and a is an integer then an-1  1 mod n. However, the Fermat test in
itself is not solely sufficient as a primality test since there are composite numbers that also pass the
test. Thus, there is a need to look at alternative ways to test primality. Using Lucas numbers is one
such way. Given integers P and Q, a Lucas sequence is defined as the Un and Vn such that Un+1 = PUn
– QUn-1 and Vn+1 = PVn - QVn-1. Like the Fermat test, Lucas numbers exhibit certain characteristics for
prime numbers. This research looked at ways to combine the different Lucas characteristics not only
with each other but with the Fermat test in order to determine combinations which could be
advantageous in primality testing.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                         Page 41
                            Industrial Demand Management System
                        Thayer J. Hendrickson with Dr. Stanislaw Legowski
                                Electrical Engineering Department
                                     University of Wyoming
                                   Oral and Poster Presentation

                                                                                         Sheridan, WY

        This project is a system based on a coal strip mine that monitors power usage in order to
reduce peak demand of the facility and thereby save money and reduce overall stress on the power
grid. The system has two components: the first is the system as it relates to the coal mine in question
and all the information that is necessary to implement this system at the coal mine. The second
component is a scaled down model that imitates the loads present at the coal mine and follows a
schedule to control the loads in order to demonstrate the basic workings of the system. The system
works by monitoring real power and switching off resistive heat loads if the value goes too high. The
heat is then switched back on during periods of lower activity in order to keep the facilities at a
reasonable temperature. This system has the potential for substantial economic savings for the coal
mining facility.

              Development of a Low-Energy Consumption CO2 Separation Method
                               David Herr with Dr. Maohong Fan
                      Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
                                    University of Wyoming
                                      Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                     Cheyenne, WY

         The objective of the research is to use Na2CO3/FeOOH, a regenerable nanoporous solid
sorbent, for reducing the energy required to separate and capture at least 95% of post-combustion
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from power plants to less than 1,000 kJ/kg of captured CO2 at a cost below
$10/ton. The research focused on developing an environmentally friendly, widely available inorganic
compound-based solid sorbent for low-energy consumption CO2 separation. Na2CO3 was used since
it is cheaper than K2CO3 and more readily available. This is relevant because many technologies have
already been developed for the capture of CO2. In recent years, increasing interest has been shown in
using supported solid sorbents to improve the rate of CO2 capture while reducing the amount of
energy required by the process. The use of a nanoporous supporting material increases the sorption
capacity of the solid sorbent. The well-known wet impregnation method was used to prepare the
solid sorbent. The catalytic function of the support material (FeOOH) also improves desorption
kinetics. These characteristics could reduce the amount of energy required for separation to occur. It
was found that Na2CO3/FeOOH appears a promising alternative to K2CO3.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 42
                             Critical Air System Pressure Controller
                             Morgan Hespe with Dr. Stanislaw Legowski
                                       Electrical Engineering
                                      University of Wyoming
                                    Oral and Poster Presentation

EE Senior Design                                                                         Springview, NE

        The Critical Air System Pressure Controller is a type of industrial/commercial controller
designed to optimize performance and monitor operation of an air pressure system with two
compressors. In some critical systems, redundancy is a necessary characteristic of the system.
Because of this, critical air pressure systems often employ multiple compressors. This project uses a
microcontroller, associated circuits, and transducer to alternate compressor starts ensuring equal
starting wear on and run time for the motors. The controller optimizes performance by operating the
additional compressor when needed to increase system capacity and quicker recovery versus simple
alternating designs. Compressor operation is monitored to detect weak motors or mechanical failures
within the system. The control user can select system set points via dip switches. The corresponding
set points and current system pressure are displayed on seven-segment LED displays.

                      A Psychological Case Study of a Convicted Serial Killer
                                Sage Hilstad with Dr. Scott Culhane
                                          Criminal Justice
                                      University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                      Rock Springs, WY

        I began this research when I took a class where students could write to an imprisoned,
convicted serial killer as a class project. When the class ended, I continued the correspondence with
the subject. This particular project will detail the background of this individual convicted serial killer
which will include his childhood, adulthood, cases, and his ideas. It will also look at and evaluate
several psychological evaluations which the subject participated in. The evaluations that will be
examined include, but are not limited to, the MCMI-III (Millon™ Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III),
MMPI-2 (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory®-2), LPS (Levenson’s Psychopathy Scale),
AQ (Aggression Questionnaire), STAXI-2 (State-Trait Anger Inventory), SPR III-R12 (Self-report
Psychopathy-III), and the NAS-PI (Novaco Anger Scale and Provocation Inventory). Many of the
ending results of these evaluations indicated that the inmate conformed to average populations in
several aspects, but with some exceptions, such as depression, where he scored higher than average.
There appears to be little evidence for psychopathy, but some evidence to support antisocial
personality disorder. The evaluations also gave other insights into the psychology of the inmate, such
as anger tendencies.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                          Page 43
                        Charcoal Correlation to Drought and Forest Fires
                              Bryce Hinsch with Dr. Bryan Shuman
                                    Geology & Geophysics
                                    University of Wyoming
                                      Poster Presentation

UW McNair Scholars Program                                                                Douglas, WY

        Climate change over the past 15000 years has had significant impacts on forests and other
natural resources. An important area of study has been the effects of past droughts (some up to
several thoughts years long) on forest fires, their intensity, and their frequency. Current research has
examined the effects of solar variability and other factors on the drought history of the northeastern
United States. Several droughts around 5000 years ago caused a dramatic change in the forests of the
region, but much less is known about the role of wildfires in these changes. A potential area of
research would be centered on lake sediments from a pond in the Massoit National Wildlife Refuge
in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Fires in these forests generated charcoal, which washed into the pond
over time. By examining the amount of charcoal in a sediment core collected from the lake in 2009,
the history of fire at the site can be reconstructed and compared with the regional drought history.
The work entails separating the charcoal from the sediment in the core, and then counting the number
of charcoal fragments in different portions of the core.

  An Investigation of the Link between Adult Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia and Hunger
                 Melony Hinze and Kai-Ley Wilson with Dr. Kathleen McKinney
                                  Department of Social Work
                                    University of Wyoming
                                                                               Cheyenne, WY

        The objective of this study is to determine if there is a correlation between adult bi-polar
disorder and/or schizophrenia and instances of hunger or of cutting back of food. Many factors
contribute to the hardship of individuals with mental illness and hunger can be one of them. Hunger
is an occurrence that many individuals overlook in the United States. Secondary data is used from the
Inter-University Consortium Political and Social Research 20240 Collaborative Psychiatric
Epidemiology Surveys 2001-2003. We expect that a moderate link will exist between these
individuals with these DSM-IV diagnosed mental disorders and the occurrence of household
reduction of food.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 44
  Dissemination of Evidence-Based Practices for Anxiety Disorders in Wyoming: A Survey of
                                Practicing Psychotherapists
                           Leilani J. Hipol with Dr. Brett J. Deacon
                                  Department of Psychology
                                    University of Wyoming
                                      Poster Presentation

McNair Scholars                                                                          Laramie, WY

        This study will be conducted to quantify the extent to which psychotherapists, broadly
defined, in the state of Wyoming use evidence-based psychotherapy procedures in the treatment of
anxiety disorders. The objective of this study is to determine whether or not there is a markedly low
rate of utilization of evidence-based procedures in the treatment of patients with anxiety disorders as
previous studies have demonstrated. The first author will attempt to survey all currently practicing
psychotherapists in Wyoming. Participants will be contacted through their professional listings and
asked to participate in an interview for research purposes. If accepted, the standardized interview,
modeled after that of Freiheit, Vye, Swan and Cady (2004) will be conducted via phone or in person
depending on the location. The survey will ask respondents how often they use a variety of therapy
techniques, both evidence-based and otherwise in the treatment of patients with anxiety disorders.
Studying the dissemination of evidence-based techniques in psychotherapy is vital for the field of
psychology as this information may determine future action to further the use of evidence-based
procedures in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Evidence-based techniques are important to both
the well-being of clients and the legitimacy of practicing psychotherapists.

                       Epidemiological Factors Affecting Physical Activity
                               Anna Hirnyck with Dr. Ward Gates
                         Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                             Boise, ID

         Physical activity is an important aspect in the improvement of wellbeing and in the increase of
the number of years in a person’s life. Many factors affect the prevalence of physical activity among
certain groups of people and the prevalence of inactivity in other groups of people. These factors
include age, education level, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and gender of either a single individual
or a community that people are members of. My research focuses on each of these epidemiological
components that can result in the emergence of a physically active lifestyle or a more sedentary
lifestyle. It has been designed to help with the improvement of healthy behaviors among people. By
being able to determine high-risk epidemiological situations an individual or community is able to
target these factors and develop physical activity programs that deviate from settings that may
jeopardize a successful physical activity program.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 45
       An Integrated Approach to Secondary Oil Recovery & Simulation of Slattery South Field
                 John P. Nwafor, Rashid Khazipov, Farid Khazipov, and Lal Ram Hngak
                               with Dr. Brian Towler and Dr. Quan Qin.
                           Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Department
                                        University of Wyoming
                                     Oral and Poster Presentations

Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Department                                             Laramie,WY

        Considering the vast amount of oil accumulation present in the Slattery South Minnelusa `A`
reservoir, it is crucial to carry out simulation studies in order to gain a better understanding of the
reservoir properties and developmental uncertainties that exist when considering the selection of
injection wells and production wells required to simulate an optimal oil recovery activity such as
Waterflooding and EOR.
        In this work; to get reservoir properties, we investigated the reservoir porosity, water
saturation, oil saturation, thickness, depth, capillary pressure by analyzing the various well-logs
obtained from the 32 wells drilled in this field. However, with these data, reservoir models were built
using Petrel and Eclipse to obtain the current oil saturation and reservoir thickness map, which depict
that a lot of oil remains in the Central and North West part of reservoir. Besides, unrecovered oil
remains in the East, where relatively good porosity and permeability were ascertained.
        Cumulative oil production for the basic (with current conditions) and final models (water-
flooding and water-flooding with surfactant flooding) results indicate that final models exceed that of
the basic model. Consequently, it is shown that the model with waterflooding is the most profitable
investment and less expensive than that of the model with water-flooding and surfactant flooding.

                      Comparing Community Services Offered In Wyoming
                          Vincent Hochstatter with Dr. Michelle Jarman
                                   College of Health Sciences
                                    University of Wyoming
                                       Poster Presentation

McNair Scholars Program                                                                 Cheyenne,WY

        This study will examine community services offered to people who are homeless and to
people that are in financial and situational emergencies. The objective of the study is to identify and
compare the services offered in two or more communities in Wyoming. Our method will include a
questionnaire and an interview with directors of homeless shelters and agencies that serve people in
financial and situational emergencies. Data will be analyzed by comparing the number of services
offered, financial resources available to the agencies and identifying the source of funding for the
agencies. The importance of the study is to evaluate the possible need for increasing the number of
agencies and funding for community services in the state of Wyoming.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 46
                 Diazeniumdiolate and Sydnone-N-Oxide Energetic Compounds
                           Carla Holman with Navamoney Arulsamy
                                   Department of Chemistry
                                    University of Wyoming
                                      Poster Presentation

NASA EPSCoR Wyoming Space Grant                                                          Laramie, WY

        Stable high energy density materials (HEDM) are of great interest to NASA. HEDM’s are
viewed as suitable fuel for the single stage launching of jets into orbit. Nitrogen-rich molecules and
salts with high-energy properties are also considered “green fuels” as these materials release
environmentally safe N2 gas as the major combustion product. Diazeniumdiolate (RN2O2-) and
sydnone-N-oxide (RC2N2O2-) salts exhibit exothermic decomposition behavior similar to explosives
such as trinitrotoluene (TNT), nitroglycerine (NG) and pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN). We have
synthesized a series of aliphatic and aromatic compounds containing diazeniumdiolate and sydnone-
N-oxide substituents. Nitrous acid nitrosation of N-alkylhydroxylamines yields mono diazenium-
diolate products. Reactions of carboxylic esters with nitric oxide gas form both diazeniumdiolate and
sydnone      products.    Similar     reactions   with      aldoximes      (RCH=NOH)       yield     -
oximinoalkanediazeniumdioalte salts (RC(N2O2K)=NOH). IR, UV-Vis and NMR spectroscopic
techniques are employed for the characterization of the new products. Some of them are also
characterized by crystallographic data. Thermal behavior is determined by differential scanning
calorimetry. The data reveal that the thermal behavior of the salts can be tuned by the substitution of
appropriate hydrocarbon substituents.

 Assessment of the Role of Brucella abortus Type-V Auto-secreted Proteins in the Pathogenesis
                              and Host Immunity of Brucellosis
                            Alyssa Hornay with Dr. Gerard Andrews
                                  Department of Microbiology
                                     University of Wyoming
                                       Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                       Sheridan, WY

        Brucella abortus is the etiological agent of brucellosis in cattle and elk and is known to cause
abortion, sterility and decreased milk production. Two vaccines have previously been developed for
brucellosis. Immunization with strain 19, the first vaccine to be developed and used, is highly
reactogenic and not recommended for use in wildlife. The current vaccine strain, RB51, is able to
induce protection from natural brucellosis infection in cattle but not in wildlife. This study was
designed to evaluate a protein from B. abortus that may potentially make an excellent candidate for
induction of protective immunity and a possible subunit vaccine candidate. The gene product
encoded by aidA, an auto-secreted putative adhesin, has been found to be up-regulated during
infection, using a gene discovery method known as In-vivo Induced Antigen Technology (IVIAT).
Presently, aidA was amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and successfully transformed into
competent Escherichia coli cells using the pETBlue AccepTorVector. Induced expression of aidA
was analyzed by SDS-PAGE and Western blotting. Preliminary results indicated that the recombinant

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 47
protein levels were nominal and optimization methods to stably express the gene are currently being
developed. Once produced, if recombinant AidA is better able to induce protective immunity, it may
prove to be safer and more reliable than the current live attenuated platforms.

                        Tandem GPS system with Remote User Tracking
                     Brad Leppert and Eric Hudson with Dr. Stanislaw Legowski
                         Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
                                      University of Wyoming
                                    Oral and Poster Presentation

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering                                        Manassas, VA
                                                                                        Casper, WY

        Often, travelers and hunters find themselves in need of locating their partners in the field.
Sometimes exact positioning is not possible. Without communications equipment, exact positioning
is useless. Even With the ability to communicate over extended distances, relaying location
information is cumbersome and time-consuming. Our senior design project solves the issue of
knowing where one’s partner is. The system consists of two units that each use a global positioning
receiver, barometer and electronic compass to accurately calculate the user’s position and heading.
The system then uses 900MHz spread spectrum radios to relay each unit’s position to the other. A
distance and azimuth to the remote unit is then calculated and relayed to the user to enable each
person to know which direction, relative to themselves, their partner lies, and how far away they are.
The information is displayed in a simple fashion on a liquid crystal display and both units’ positions
are logged into and SD card for computer mapping.

           Isolation of an L-amino acid oxidase from Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix
                                     (Southern copperhead)
                               Nicholas Hudson with Dr. Rob Milne
                                   Division of Natural Sciences
                                         Sheridan College
                                        Poster Presentation
INBRE                                                                                Tatum, TX

         Snake venom is a source of biological study for its ability to induce apoptosis, platelet
aggregation, hemorrhage, and edema. L-amino acid oxidases (LAAOs) are components of snake
venom that can induce apoptosis, and they are under extensive review for cancer therapy. These
LAAOs act on L-amino acid substrates to generate an excess amount of hydrogen peroxide placing
the cell under severe oxidative stress, leading to the induction of apoptosis via the intrinsic pathway.
         Isolation of an LAAO from Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix snake venom was accomplished
with a combination of size exclusion and ion exchange chromatographies. The molecular weight of
the LAAO was determined using SDS-PAGE. Preliminary data for the purified LAAO will be
presented as well as ideas focusing toward the effects of LAAO coupled with heat shock therapy on
cells in vitro.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 48
   Serosurvey of a Rural Human Population for the Presence of West Nile Virus Antibodies
                 James R. Hutchison with Carol Cooper and Steven J. McAllister
                               Department of Math and Science
                                  Central Wyoming College
                                     Poster Presentation

INBRE                                                                                    Lander, WY

        West Nile Virus (WNV) is an RNA arbovirus in the family Flaviviridae. While birds are the
primary reservoir for the virus, humans can be a dead end host. In Wyoming, the Culex tarsalis
mosquito acts as the primary vector. Most human infections are asymptomatic. In less than 1% of
infections, however, severe symptoms including paralysis, meningitis, encephalitis, and death may
occur. Fremont County is a hot spot of WNV with 69% of all human cases in Wyoming reported in
2006. Our study proposes to conduct a serosurvey of the human population of Fremont County to
determine the number of people exposed to WNV. Sera will be tested using commercially available
IgG and IgM antibody kits.

                Creep Behavior of Hexply 8552 Prepregnated Fiberglass-Epoxy
                              Eric Jensen with Dr. David Walrath
                                    Mechanical Engineering
                                    University of Wyoming
                                      Poster Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                      Douglas, WY

        It has been shown that fiberglass will deform over time under a constant stress. However,
different fiberglass weaves and resins react differently under the same conditions. For these reasons
Hexply 8552 prepregnated fiberglass-epoxy was studied to determine creep behavior. Test
specimens were created and then subjected to 20, 40, 50, 75, and 100 ksi tensile stresses. Each stress
was applied for ten minutes, and then removed for ten minutes, and then the next stress was applied.
Strain was measured using an extensometer. The results showed minimal creep behavior. This
suggests that the measurement resolution was not high enough to accurately measure creep behavior
in that amount of time. To try to extend the testing time specimens were subjected to a 20 ksi stress
for one hour and then given an hour to rest and recover at 25, 50, and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The
intent was to use the time-temperature superposition principle to create a master curve.
Unfortunately, the measurement resolution was still insufficient. So a new shunt calibration system
was created to increase measurement resolution and it was concluded that more long term tests are
needed to find a relationship between stress, time under load, and deformation.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                      Page 49
          Western Feminism in Connection with Regional Feminism present in Egypt
                           Ann Johnson with Dr. Marianne Kamp
                                Women Studies Department
                                 University of Wyoming
                                   Poster Presentation

McNair Program                                                                             Lyman, WY

        This study will examine whether western feminism has influenced regional feminism in
Egypt, and if so, in what ways. It is hypothesized that western feminism has influenced Egyptian
feminism in negative and positive ways depending on the expressed perspective of the individuals
and literature being analyzed. For example, some might feel that western feminism places Egyptian
women in a “victims” category, and therefore, rejects it as model of feminism in Egypt. Others might
feel that western feminism gives them a framework to build upon in developing their movements.
Methods will include identifying Egyptian feminist websites, blogs, and literature to analyze. Then a
historical literature review on Egyptian feminism will be compared with western feminist literature
review. Subsequently, data gathered on current Egyptian women movements, through viewing
Egyptian feminist websites and blogs, will be used to illustrate Egyptian feminists’ rejection or
acceptance of western feminism. Data will also be analyzed by identifying and comparing common
themes related to the ideological objectives of western and Egyptian feminist movements, and by
comparing Egyptian and Western methods of promoting their movements. This examination will be
significant because it will expand the knowledge base of feminism and how this discipline relates and
differs across regions.

                               Study of the Effects of Wind Power
                    To Establish Fatigue Design Criteria for High-Mast Poles
                              Rebecca Johnson with Dr. Jay Puckett
                                        Civil Engineering
                                     University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR and
NASA Space Grant Program                                                                   Arvada, CO

        Traffic signal poles and high-mast poles are used by transportation agencies to control and
illuminate intersections; their structural design is governed by national specifications. Unfortunately,
these flexible structures are susceptible to vibration from wind which leads to fatigue cracking near
the welds. Recent changes to the requirements have called for expensive member size increases.
However, for areas that have no problems with failures, such increases may be unnecessary and
        In a previous study conducted by the University of Wyoming, fatigue cracking of traffic
signal poles was determined to be directly related to the average wind speed. However, high-mast
data did not indicate the same behavior. The goal of this research is to gain a more complete
understanding of the relation between wind speed and high-mast pole cracking through both the
collection of more data and wind load modeling. It is hypothesized that the cracking is related not to

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 50
the wind speed, but rather the wind that causes vortices to be shed at frequencies near a resonance.
Through a database that will be created and a wind modeling sheet, it will be possible to make further
recommendations to better predict where high-mast poles must be designed to be particularly fatigue

                        Autoimmune Disease: An Unmet Clinical Challenge
                              Lauren Johnson with Dr.Pamela Langer
                                       Molecular Biology
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                           Rawlins, WY

        There is much to be said about the field of immunology, both in regards to what is known and
in regards to what is yet to be understood. Together, 80 autoimmune diseases affect 20% of the
population, and they remain among the leading causes of death in young and middle-aged women in
the United States. The chronic nature of these disorders has created a major impact in terms of
medical costs and the quality of life of affected individuals. The purpose of this study is to discuss the
general mechanisms of autoimmunity and to take a close look at three common autoimmune
disorders: septic arthritis, narcolepsy, and ankylosing spondylitis, including biochemical mechanisms,
clinical features, and treatment for each. Whereas current treatment for autoimmune disease is based
largely on symptom management, current research is taking a new direction that is more closely
directed at the primary cause of autoimmunity, indicating that gene therapy may someday achieve
long term, regulated expression in the control of autoimmune disease.

    Mapping Changes in Asian Migratory Locust Habitat in Central Asia using Moderate
                                  Resolution Landsat Imagery
        Matthew T. Jolivet with Drs. Ramesh Sivanpillai2 and Alexandre V. Latchininsky3
    1. Department of Plant Sciences, 2. Department of Botany, and 3. Department of Renewable
                                 Resources/Entomology Division
                                         Oral Presentation

UMAC                                                                             Colorado Springs, CO

     Locusts outbreaks can result in massive crop losses and environmental disasters impacting
individual farmers to entire countries. Several national and international agencies are tasked with
managing locust population through chemical and biological treatments. Updated information on
vegetation condition is essential for assessing the risk of locust outbreak. The Amudarya River
Delta, located south of the Aral Sea, is one of the major habitats of the Asian Migratory locust
(AML). Reeds (Phramites Australis), the major vegetation found in the delta, are the primary food
source of AML. The surface area of the Aral Sea has receded since the 1950s due to diversion of
water from Amudarya River. This shrinking Aral Sea has increased the area available for reeds to
grow. Plant Protection Services personnel need periodic information about reed distribution and
growth for planning management activities. Using Landsat images acquired in 1986, 1998 and 2008
this research mapped the expansion of reed beds and quantified the changes. We quantified the
spatial extent and magnitude of changes in the delta. Our results will provide valuable insights to
Plant Protection Agency personnel about the increasing risks posed by these expanding habitats.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                          Page 51
              Design Aides for Concrete Masonry Members Under Out-of-Plane Loads
                                Angela Jones with Dr. Jennifer Tanner
                                 Civil and Architectural Engineering
                                       University of Wyoming
                                          Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                   Casper, WY

       In the structural design of concrete masonry buildings, out-of-plane loads are of significant
importance. Allowable Stress Design (ASD) and Strength Design (SD) are the two methods
described by masonry codes to adequately design for out-of-plane loads. Within these two methods of
analysis, there are instances that require more complicated computations. Several typical masonry
wall building set ups were evaluated using ASD and SD column and T-beam design methods for
single wythe 6”, 8”, 10”, and 12” masonry block walls. These walls were evaluated with steel spacing
at 24”and 48” with #4, #5, and #6 rebar sizes.
        Partially grouted masonry walls were evaluated using ASD and SD column, T-beam, and I-
beam design methods for single wythe 6”, 8”, 10”, and 12” masonry block walls. The partially
grouted walls were evaluated using the same spacing and rebar sizes as those used for solid grouted
examples. In some partially grouted masonry walls, the stress block becomes larger than half of the
masonry block. T-beam and I-beam analyses were used to evaluate these specific instances. Solid
grouted out-of-plane evaluation methods were compared to partially grouted out-of-plane evaluation
methods to determine whether more than a ten percent difference was present.

       Testing and Reviewing the Effects of Different Clasts of Fine Aggregates on the Bond of
                                  Traditional Mortar to AAC
                               Angela Jones with Dr. Jennifer Tanner
                                 Civil and Architectural Engineering
                                       University of Wyoming
                                          Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                     Casper, WY

        Aerated Autoclaved Concrete (AAC) is a precast building material that has been in use for
roughly 70 years. Aside from structural support AAC offers significant advantages over alternative
building materials including a low environmental impact, high fire rating, excellent acoustic
properties, as well as high thermal efficiency.
        Because AAC is a precast building material, either regular cement mortar joints or thin bed
mortar joints are implemented to bond the segments together. Thus, this method of construction
requires high bond shear strength. Due to the transfer of lateral loads in a building, a critical
connection occurs at the connection of a grouted bond beam and a floor slab.
        This study aimed at testing the effect of different clasts of fine aggregate on bond shear
strength in AAC construction. Since the grouted bond beam and floor slab connection is a significant
connection, a direct shear test was used to emulate the loading conditions experienced in this
condition. The direct shear test was performed on AAC units of varying grades and grouted with
cement mortar mixed comprised of either rounded or angular sand.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                    Page 52
              Corporate Social Responsibility in International Business Operations
                            Kaitlyn Jordan with Dr. Terri Rittenburg
                      Department of Marketing and International Business
                                    University of Wyoming
                                       Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                       Scottsbluff, NE

        Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an issue that has become very popular among the
business world. CSR is known as the concern of, and reply to, issues beyond legal, technical, and
economic requirements of the organization. This requires that a firm be held accountable for any of
its actions that affect its stakeholders. A corporation’s stakeholders are considered all people,
communities, and environments that are affected by an organization’s actions and objectives. The
purpose of this study is to identify the affect that Corporate Social Responsibility has on global
operations. This study determines the factors that make up CSR, explores the role multi-national
enterprises play in global influence, establishes the harmful effects of not practicing CSR in
international operations, and investigates popular American corporations’ international consumer
social responsibility policies. The methods used were secondary research methods including internet,
books, and journal articles. Finally, the conclusion drawn from this research proves that practicing
CSR abroad is truly beneficial in all business transactions. Businesses that do not promote Corporate
Social Responsibility practices not only harm the future of their organization, but can truly damage a
community, the environment, and all social groups involved.

  Disparity between Mental Health Services and Needs in the Hispanic Catholic Community
                           Jami Jorgensen with Dr. Sarah Strauss
                               Department of Anthropology
                                  University of Wyoming
                                    Poster Presentation

McNair Scholars                                                                           Laramie, WY

        This study will examine how the Hispanic Catholic community associated with the St.
Lawrence O’Toole Catholic Church in Laramie Wyoming approaches mental health issues. Survey
methods and personal interviews will be used to identify the perceptions of this community in terms
of how they perceive mental illness, the mental health industry, and their access to mental health
resources. Specifically, this study shall identify factors contributing to discrepancies between needs
and services offered to the Hispanic Catholic community for mental health issues. The study will also
address cultural factors that shape Hispanic attitudes toward mental health and access to services. The
hypothesis of this research project is that lacking proficiency in English and self-identification within
the Hispanic subcultures create further disparity in perceptions of accessing mental health services
and the efficiency of services obtained as measured by a seven point likert scale. These data will be
further correlated with location and transportation as mediating factors in accessing mental health
services. This information could be used to develop mental health services that meet Hispanic needs
and to elaborate methods for identifying discrepancies between services and other populations.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                         Page 53
                    Electrical Characterization of Semiconductor Nanowire Devices
                               Kristy Katein-Taylor with Dr. Wenyong Wang
                                   Department of Physics and Astronomy
                                          University of Wyoming
                                            Poster Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR and NASA Space Grant                                        Colorado Springs, CO

        The study of the physical characteristics of nanowire devices has become increasingly
important in recent years. In2O3 and ZnO nanowire devices have a broad spectrum of applications,
such as in gas sensors, photodectors, and transistors, and can even be used to produce nanowire based
solar cells. These solar cells allow for more efficient and radiation-resistant equipment, an
observation which is of significant interest to NASA research. This research project allowed an
undergraduate student to study these semiconducting nanowire devices in detail, as well as provided
an opportunity for this student to become familiar with the lab equipment and new physical
principles. The student formed electrical characterizations of the nanowire devices, and used the
measurements taken to formulate the key parameters of the devices, such as the carrier concentrations
and charge mobility. Both of these characteristics contribute to the overall functionality of the
device, and can be studied to determine how best to construct equipment which would be able to use
nanowire devices. The student also studied the noise parameters of the nanowire devices, which
again contributes to the functionality of the device.

           The Effects of Running and Walking on Hormonal Regulators of Appetite
                           Swathi Katta with Dr. Enette Larson Meyer
                            Department of Family Consumer Science
                                    University of Wyoming
                                       Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                      Laramie, WY

        Obesity is a current epidemic in the United States with no medical treatment. Over 3.8 million
Americans weigh over 300 pounds and the affects of obesity in the United State is increasing. The
primary cause of obesity is energy imbalance. Obese people tend to consume well over the
recommended amount of calories and tend to participate in minimal physical activity. Obesity has
negative consequences on person’s physical being but also affects social, academic, mental and
psychological well being. One of the avenues to help the affects of obesity is to study appetite and
hunger. Two of the important hormones used in hunger regulation are ghrelin and leptin. These were
two hormones that were recognized however, the main area of study was to understand the affect of
the chemical compound lactic acid. The affects of lactic acid on human subjects and how it correlated
with hunger were studied. We tested a certain population of walkers and runners to come in and
exercise and rest. With each test day we would take blood samples and analyze the affect of lactate
on hunger and hunger ratings. I hypothesis with the increase concentrations of lactic acid while
exercising, hunger rates will decrease dramatically.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                      Page 54
             A Study of the Reaction Kinetics between Triclosan and Free Chlorine
                              Using the Technique of Colorimetry
                  Brianna N. Kilpatrick, Mihyun Hong, Phuc Dang Lam Nguyen,
                               Dr. Qing Du, and Dr. Rich Laidlaw
                                     Department of Chemistry
                              Laramie County Community College
                                        Poster Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                     Cheyenne, WY
                                                                                Pohang, South Korea
                                                                                Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

        The compound, 5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol, also commonly known as Triclosan,
is added as an antibacterial agent to many personal hygiene and household cleaning products.
However, previous research has shown that Triclosan reacts readily with the chlorine typically found
in household tap water and pool water. Previous research has also indicated that not only does the
reaction with chlorine reduce the efficacy of the antibacterial function of Triclosan, but also produces
carcinogenic compounds, including chloroform and 2,4,6-trichlorophenol. The main purpose of our
research was to study the kinetics of the Triclosan/chlorine reaction and determine the rate law. The
kinetics were studied using a DPD colorimetric method and reactions were performed at ambient
room temperature and in a pH range of 6-7. The rate law was determined to be Rate =
k[Cl2][Triclosan]3/2, which indicates a first-order dependence on the chlorine concentration and three-
halves order dependence on the Triclosan concentration. Our research also indicated that for a one-
to-one concentration ratio of Triclosan and chlorine, the chlorine was completely used up in less than
thirty minutes of reaction time, thereby indicating a decrease in the effectiveness of the antimicrobial
capabilities of both the chlorine and the Triclosan.

                      Antibacterial Activity of Bacteria from Rotting Wood
                                 Timothy Knapp and Julia Mercado
                     with Dr. Allan Childs, Dr. Steve Harbron, Dr. Elise Kimble
                                        Chemistry, Biology
                                         Northwest College
                                         Oral Presentation

Wyoming INBRE                                                                              Cody, WY
                                                                                         Worland, WY

        This study was conducted to search for new bacterial species with antibacterial activity. We
chose to isolate bacteria from a rotting log because it is a highly competitive environment which
should exhibit organisms with highly evolved survival mechanisms, such as inhibiting growth of
other bacteria.
        Samples of rotting wood were collected aseptically at a site near Yellowtail Reservoir.
Bacteria which grew aerobically were isolated and tested for ability to inhibit growth of Escherichia
coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and/or Staphylococcus aureus. Chromosomal DNA was extracted
from the bacteria and the 16S ribosomal RNA gene amplified by pcr. The pcr product was sequenced
commercially and a BLAST search done to provide a tentative identification of the bacterial isolates.
Among 20 isolates tested, 3 inhibited growth of E. coli, P. aeruginosa or S. aureus.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 55
                       False First Impressions: A Defense of Lydia Bennet
                                 Aubrey Knight with Dr. Eric Nye
                                       English Department
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral presentation

English Honors                                                                         Cheyenne, WY

        My presentation is a defense of the character Lydia Bennet in Jane Austen’s novel Pride and
Prejudice. I compare her to her ostensibly more admirable sister, Elizabeth Bennet. Typically, readers
dislike Lydia because she is vilified both by the other characters and the narrator. However, if we
closely compare the two sisters, we realize that they actually have far more in common than we
would initially be inclined to suspect.
        After outlining their similarities, I attempt to explain why readers usually perceive them in
such opposite ways by examining their differences. Surprisingly, none of the substantial differences
between Lydia and Elizabeth hold up under scrutiny; we find that some of the negative traits for
which Lydia is despised are actually present in Elizabeth’s character. We are thus left with a
conundrum: Why do we see them so differently when they are not so different? The answer seems to
be because people within the novel tell us that this is what we should think.
        What we can learn from this analysis is that first impressions are not to be relied upon. We
must always seek to question the judgments we form of others, regardless of whether they are
positive or negative.

        Correlating Views Between Parent and Child on Sibling with Down’s syndrome
                             Kelsi Krueger with mentor Jill Senner
                                   Communication Disorders
                                    University of Wyoming
                                      Oral Presentation

(University of Wyoming Honor’s Program, EPSCoR)                                         Sheridan, WY

        This case study deals with the correlation of perspective between a parent and a typical eleven
year old female sibling of a child with Down’s syndrome. The study was conducted using the Sibling
Need and Involvement Profile, an instrument with five areas: Awareness, Feelings, Having Fun,
Helping, and Advocacy. It is common that good communication between parents and children leads
to a higher correlation of perspectives between the two on the subject of another sibling. This study
is unique in that it is based upon an adopted younger sibling with Down’s syndrome which changes
the family dynamics and levels of communication. It is taken into account that the older sibling had a
say in the adoption of the younger one. Also taken into account is the marital status of the parents,
another sibling living at home, and genders of the three siblings.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 56
                                  Finite Fields and Elliptic Curves
                   Scott Lair, Matthew Ledbetter, Patrick Lewallen with Chris Hall
                                       University of Wyoming
                                          Oral Presentation

NSF                                                                                  Rock Springs, WY

        An equation in two variables can have infinitely many real solutions. The resulting geometric
object is one-dimensional, i.e. a curve. If we replace the real numbers with a finite field, then there
are only finitely many solutions. We consider a special class of curves known as elliptic curves and
study the number of solutions as we vary both the finite field and curve. In this talk we will define
finite fields with prime order and describe the counting problems we considered.

                                A Self-Adjusting Audio Equalizer
                               Scott Lair with Dr. Stanislaw Legowski
                                       Electrical Engineering
                                       University of Wyoming
                                    Oral and Poster Presentations

EE Senior Design                                                                     Rock Springs, WY

        One goal of an audio equalizer is to adjust an audio signal to compensate for the acoustics of
the speakers playing the signal as well as the room in which the signal is played. Certain frequency
bands are amplified while others are attenuated, so that any damping of the sound in the room is
‘equalized’ and, ideally, the frequency response of the audio system in combination with the room is
flat. The system achieves this by measuring the power of a calibration tone in each frequency band
and comparing to it a measurement taken by a microphone. It then adjusts each band accordingly in
an effort to produce a flat frequency response, saving and reporting the settings to the user.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 57
                    Spectroscopic Analysis: Deoxyribonucleosides and DNA
                             Maria Lambousis with Dr. Milan Balaz
                                   Department of Chemistry
                                    University of Wyoming
                                       Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                Cheyenne, WY

        Chirality plays a primary role in nature and has immense importance in the chemical
processes of all living organism, since most biomolecules (DNA, proteins, sugars) are chiral. Chiral
molecules have the ability to rotate polarized light, which can be measured using circular dichroism
spectroscopy, among other methods. In order to illustrate the multiple types of chirality, DNA was
used as a study molecule. DNA is arguably the most important biomolecule, coding for the genetic
composition of most organisms. Thus, it is highly desirable to gain a good understanding of DNA
structure and properties. DNA is built of chiral nucleosides (sugar-based building blocks), and the
stereochemistry of the DNA building blocks influences the DNA secondary structure.
        Three spectroscopic experiments were conducted to ensure the full understanding of chirality.
The first experiment demonstrated the chirality of the DNA nucleosides, by studying the D and L
enantiomers. The second experiment studied how the chirality of the building blocks influences the
secondary structure (helicity) of the DNA duplex, by comparing left- and right-handed B-DNA and
Z-DNA helices, respectively. In the third experiment, the importance of chirality in DNA binding and
recognition was illustrated using a non-chiral cationic water-soluble porphyrin.

                                         Moral Courage
                            Mattie Lapaseotes with Dr. Penne Ainsworth
                                      University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation

        Ethical reasoning and moral courage are two very important characteristics of members of the
accounting profession. However, realization of and behaving with ethical reasoning and moral
courage are two distinct concepts. There are many famous figures throughout history who have
exhibited ethical reasoning and moral courage including Susan B. Anthony. Studying the life of this
morally courageous individual, much can be learned and even applied to the accounting profession.
Specifically, certain decisions and behaviors made by Anthony can be generally applied to many
situations and provide examples of ethical and moral decision making and behavior. Although recent
scandals have shed a negative light on the accounting profession, it is up to the present and future
generations of those in the accounting field to act in an ethical and morally courageous manner in
order to rebuild and continue to build trust in and respect towards the accounting profession.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                     Page 58
            Variation of Web Bounded Shear Reinforcement on Internal Steel Stress
                               Alex Larkin with Dr. Charles Dolan
                         Department of Civil & Architectural Engineering
                                    University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                           Bend, OR

        A four-point iosipescu shear test is used to evaluate the effects of CFRP reinforcement on
crack width development as well as the effect on the internal steel reinforcement. The test program
indicates that the steel reinforcement yields following cracking in a concrete beam test specimen
containing a No. 3 29,000 ksi yield strength reinforcing bar. Typically, the specimens when loaded
will produce a steel strain around 45 percent of the yield strain prior to the failure between the CFRP
and the concrete face. Through this research, it can be assumed the steel will yield with the additional
CFRP attached to the concrete face for additional shear reinforcement. This research takes a further
approach by establishing an estimation of the maximum amount of CFRP that can be utilized as shear
reinforcement while the internal steel reinforcement still yields. The results are found by testing
several specimens where the CFRP varies in size while the internal steel reinforcement is held

                 Integrated Composite Interface for Load Bearing Applications
                           Adam Larsen, Dean Rose, and Luke Walker
                            with Dr. Carl Frick and Dr. David Walrath
                             Department of Mechanical Engineering
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kennon Products, Inc., UW                            Lander, WY
Honors Program                                                                             Casper, WY
                                                                                           Wilson, WY

        Composite Materials are often used in load bearing structures to save weight. These materials
also have desirable environmental stability and corrosion resistance characteristics invaluable to the
marine industry. A lightweight composite material-to-metal interface for lifting a boat presents
unique challenges. Current lifting attachments for manufactured boats are heavy and often result in
failure at the hull interface. A composite lifting attachment was designed, manufactured and tested
for use on boats and constructed within guidelines for the U.S. Navy. All tested features were
constructed to simulate lifting a boat of the same size commonly used by the U.S. Navy. The lifting
attachment was assembled out of carbon-fiber reinforced epoxy for high stiffness, high strength and
low density characteristics. Finite element models using ABAQUS were used to design the part and
mechanical tests were conducted to verify results. This composite lifting attachment reduces weight
and meets marine safety requirements.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 59
       Effect of Growth Conditions on Expression of the Type III Secretion System In
                                Verrucomicrobium spinosum
                              Gavin Lawlis with Dr. Naomi Ward
                                     Molecular Biology
                                   University of Wyoming
                                     Poster Presentation
INBRE Transition Scholar Program                                                 Casper, WY

        Type III secretion systems (T3SS), one of six known types of secretion systems in bacteria,
are known for their role in secreting toxic proteins into host cells causing disease. Their expression is
frequently affected by environmental conditions such as temperature and calcium availability.
Genome sequencing and annotation of Verrucomicrobium spinosum, a member of the PVC
(Planctomycetes-Verrucomicrobia-Chlamydia superphylum), revealed genes encoding all of the
required components of a T3SS. The functions mediated by this novel T3SS are currently under
investigation. To better understand how the V. spinosum T3SS is expressed under different
conditions, we performed quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) of selected predicted
T3SS genes. We used a range of environmental conditions, including different temperatures, sugar
substrates, and NaCl concentrations. Growth curves were constructed via spectrophotometric
measurements of cell densities. mRNA was extracted from different culture time points and specific
PCR primers were then used to selectively and quantitatively amplify genes encoding different T3SS
components. By looking at the different expression levels of the T3SS genes, the data will give
insight as to how the T3SS may be regulated under different environmental conditions.

      Tree and sagebrush density and its influence on snow accumulation at a the lower forest
              Ernest Lawson, Daniel Rodolphe Schlaepfer and William K. Lauenroth
                                      Botany Department
                                    University of Wyoming
                                       Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                        Kinnear, WY

        Vegetation feedbacks governing snow accumulation across forest boundaries are inadequately
investigated. Some studies have assessed snow dynamics at the cold and wet upper treeline; however,
different processes and interactions may be significant at the water-limited lower forest boundary.
During 12 weeks, from January to March, I took weekly snow depth and density measurements at 33
points along three 50-m transects across a sagebrush-forest boundary. Additionally, I estimated tree
and shrub density. The study area covered an ecotone consisting of big sagebrush and lodgepole pine
communities in the Medicine Bow Mtn.
        During the snow accumulation phase, snow was deeper in the sagebrush than in the forest.
Snow depth in the forest was reduced by a high density of trees and by tall trees. Snow density
increased with time, but was not affected by vegetation type. Since snow depth was greater, snow
water content was higher in the sagebrush than in the forest. Snowmelt started in the sagebrush at the
end of February, whereas in the forest it was delayed.
        Because warmer winter temperatures predicted under climate change will have a large
influence on snowpack, it is important to understand the competitive characteristics of vegetation and
how these relate to differences in snow accumulation and melt at the lower forest boundary.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                         Page 60
                                       Branding Wyoming
                              Abigail Lewis with Dr. Stacey M. Baker
                                        College of Business
                                      University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                     Cheyenne, WY

      Recently the Wyoming state legislature unanimously passed “The Code of the West” based on
a book by a Wall Street investor, James Owen, from Texas, called “Cowboy Ethics. The code
perpetrates an image of a strong, independent, cowboy state. But how can a state like Wyoming
afford to revel in the nostalgia of the untamed Wild West while pushing forward in the rapidly
industrialized and increasingly globalized world? How can we compete economically and how can
we encourage young people to remain in Wyoming, without addressing this paradox?
      In “Branding Wyoming” I will research industries and state-supported concepts that perpetrate
this Wyoming myth, such as ranching, while examining potential industries, like wind energy, that
could help Wyoming succeed economically. In my conclusion, I will demonstrate why it is prominent
to market Wyoming in a way that attracts profitable business and young demographics.
      Background (including the reason for the research).
      Methods, Results and Conclusion.

                       Creativity in Adaption: Where the Wild Things Are
                              Eric Lihammar with Dr. Caskey Russell
                                      University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program

        Where is place for wildness in our world? In Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are,
first published in 1963, the character Max creates a space in the confines of his bedroom where being
wild is not shunned but celebrated. In 2009 director Spike Jonze produced a film production of the
book. The purpose of this study is to examine the thematic and visual adaptations involved in
converting a story from one medium to another. With the original children’s tale offering 10 total
sentences over 37 pages, this was no easy task. The original themes of the book: wildness, anarchy,
the responsibilities of a king, a child’s land of escape - have been turned inside out. Spike Jonze
produces a more adult, complicated vision, one that offers no easy answers to these issues and instead
asks more questions. Control and accountability have surfaced as the thematic forefront of this
children’s story. The land of wild things is no longer a location that Max can dominate and leave at
his leisure. Instead it is a place which he can barely contain; a land where his human characteristics
ultimately come to mark him as, unlike the book, not the wildest thing of all.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                      Page 61
                  Investigation of Noise in Amplifiers Operating in Gain Compression
                             Chepchumba Soti Limo with Dr. Eva Ferre-Pikal
                           Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
                                          University of Wyoming
                                             Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                            Nairobi

        Noise is a phenomenon that has been investigated for very many years. Most of these
investigations have been made with an aim of finding ways to reduce it. My research is no different.
It is aimed at looking at how changing the values of certain circuit components affect the noise that
amplifiers operating in gain compression inject into the already noisy signal being amplified. There
are two types of noise. Amplitude noise and phase noise. Because of time, the scope of this research
has been limited to studying only phase noise.
        So far, I have managed to do all the necessary calculation and also the simulated them in the
computer, in order to have a rough idea of what I am to expect once I take measurements. The hardest
part and the most time consuming part of the research is building the circuit. After which we will take
measurements which will be analyzed.
        The simulated results are yet to be analyzed, interpreted and then a conclusion will be drawn
based on the findings and the simulated results.

   Characterization and Assessment of Fouling Resistant Membrane Surfaces for Water and
                                    Wastewater Treatment
                   Kigen Kimng’ochoi Arap Limo with Dr. Jonathan A. Brant
                              Civil and Architectural Engineering
                                    University of Wyoming
                                       Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                    Nairobi, Kenya

        This project evaluated the abilities of two new nanostructured surface coatings, diamond-like
carbon (DLC) and hydroxyapatite (HA) for mitigating the deposition and adsorption of proteins to
ceramic membrane surfaces (i.e., membrane fouling) by altering the surface energetics. Membrane
properties known to influence membrane fouling; surface roughness, pore geometry, and
hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity were studied. Membrane performance was evaluated in terms of
decline in permeate flux with time.
 Durapore® membranes designed to have low protein binding capabilities were used as baseline
comparisons. Bovine serum albumin (BSA) was used as the model protein. BSA properties, charge
and particle size, were also investigated and used to determine interaction energies including Lifshitz-
van der Waals, electrostatic and acid-base interactions. Force-plots based on the extended Derjaguin-
Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (XDLVO) theory were then generated.
        Compared to the unmodified alumina anodisk, HA surface coating reduced the amount of
protein fouling (less flux decline). The DLC surface coating resulted in a higher rate of protein
fouling relative to the unmodified anodisk membrane. Durapore® membranes exhibited the least
protein fouling. The hydrophilic Durapore® and HA coated membranes exhibited an overall
repulsive interaction with the model colloid BSA. The relatively hydrophobic DLC had an overall
attractive interaction with BSA.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 62
                                       Penguin Blocks
                 Chad McRann, Justin Loyd, Sean O’Neill with Dr. Ruben Gamboa
                               Department of Computer Science
                                    University of Wyoming
                                       Oral Presentation

Department of Computer Science                                                           Laramie, WY

        Microsoft has made game development accessible to independent developers with their
development of XNA in conjunction with C#. Using these tools we have created an interactive 3-D
puzzle game. We focused greatly on user interaction, game play, and graphics to make Penguin
Blocks as enjoyable and challenging as possible. XNA allows for the use of high end graphical
textures created via other programs such as Adobe Photoshop. This convenience allows for each
individual developer to place their personal strengths into the game development process. Penguin
Blocks requires the user to push ice blocks around a map in order to create a path which traverses the
span of the map. While creating the path the user must avoid obstacles present within the map.
Some maps contain very complicated puzzles, forcing the user to carefully plan movements in

Translating evolutionary biology field research into an inquiry-based experience for the middle
                                        school classroom
                               Lauren Lucas with Zach Gompert
                                      Secondary Education
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR -WySTEP                                                                Laramie, WY

        Collaboration between scientists and teachers can provide science students with a more
authentic science education. During the summer of 2009, evolutionary biologist Zach Gompert and I
studied the processes responsible for the origin of species. Specifically, we tested whether two
recently diverged butterfly species were partially isolated (i.e., hybridized less frequently) because of
differences in host-plant use and preference. We found that populations of each butterfly species
generally used different host plants and females generally preferred to lay eggs on their native host
plants. This suggests female host plant preference contributes to reproductive isolation between these
butterfly species.. This field research was translated into an open inquiry project that I implemented
in a 7th grade science classroom during an adaptation unit in the spring of 2010. Small groups of
students developed testable questions regarding butterflies’ adaptation to host plants. Students were
given Pieris rapae butterfly eggs and a choice of potential host plants: cabbage, brussels sprouts, and
broccoli. Students successfully collected data and made scientific claims supported by their data.
Although I found aspects of student group work challenging, I will implement and expand upon this
inquiry project in the future.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                         Page 63
             A Physiological Perspective on the Continuum of Sexuality and Gender
                          Stephanie Lyden with Dr. Margaret Flannigan
                              Department of Zoology and Physiology
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                            Casper, WY

        Sexuality and gender are often identified using exclusive definitions such as heterosexual or
homosexual, male or female, XX or XY and symbols such as ♂ or ♀, which create expectations that
humans should fall into one of these categories. In contrast, there is a fluid continuum of sexual
orientation due to biological causation. This project researched primary literature, refereed journals,
and other scholarly articles related to this topic in order to evaluate the physiological basis for this
continuum. A discussion of fetal environment and different endocrinological cascades serve as a
foundation to explain how certain derivations from typical fetal development can influence sex
characteristics and personal perception. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia, different presentations of
hypogonadism, and different anatomical markers of sexual differentiation are explained.
Additionally, some background information about the psychology of a mythical norm and the
historical development of sexuality is integrated into this paper to give a well-rounded understanding
of the societal constructs and opinions that exist today.

    Machine Learning System to Learn what Users Find Attractive in On-line Photographs
                     Christopher MacLellan with Dr. Jeffery Van Baalen
                                    Computer Science
                                  University of Wyoming
                                    Oral Presentation

                                                                                              Phoenix, AZ

      In this presentation I will present a machine learning system that learns what computer users
find attractive in profile images (containing frontal face shots) from the web. Once the system is
trained to a given user it will then be able to predict that user's future attractiveness rating (on a scale
of 1-10) of profile images from the web. This technology has numerous applications, one example
being On-line dating websites that would be able to match couples that would find each others
images attractive in addition to just profile matching.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                            Page 64
                Scheme Theorem Proving For Pedagogical Purposes With ACL2
                        Christopher MacLellan and Melissa Wiederrecht
                                   With Dr. Ruben Gamboa
                                      Computer Science
                                    University of Wyoming
                                      Oral Presentation

Senior Design Presentation                                                                 Phoenix, AZ
                                                                                           Douglas, WY

            Beginning programming students could benefit very much from having more feedback
about their programs as the work than the standard syntax checking. It would be very useful if they
could have an immediate proof of logical correctness or feedback as to where their logic is faulty. As
a first step toward the ultimate goal of having this built in Scheme, we built an interpreter for the Dr.
Scheme Beginning Student Language in ACL2 and proved many theorems in ACL2 about the
correctness of programs written in our interpreter. This helps us to see some of the ways of thinking
about Scheme proofs that can greatly assist when it comes to building the prover in Scheme.

                             PESB: Physics Engine for Soft Bodies
                    Brandon Payne and Thomas Marnell with Dr. Ruben Gamboa
                                Department of Computer Science
                                     University of Wyoming
                                       Oral Presentation

Department of Computer Science                                                                Cody, WY
                                                                                            Casper, WY

        Three dimensional physics engines are used to simulate natural reactions in a computing
environment. Most physics engines use rigid body structures and preprocessing to calculate
collisions and motion. These rigid body calculations mean that the objects do not deform. A soft
body engine assumes the opposite: that the bodies will change shape in response to pressure and
forces. This requires that each individual object be broken down into many more manageable pieces.
These smaller pieces allow for more precise collision detection and reaction to the collisions. Because
of the manipulation of the smaller pieces the objects are able to obtain a ripple affect as each
individual piece moves separately from the pieces around it. For this project, the physics calculations
are processed in real time, rather than preprocessed. The engine is also designed to easily be used by
rigid body engines to calculate the soft body interactions. In this way the engine can easily be used
as a stand alone physics engine or incorporated into existing projects.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                         Page 65
    Self-Similarity in the Heartbeat Time Series of Healthy Cardiac Systems in Mice
                                    Aylin S Márquez with
                                 Eric Moorhouse and Jun Ren
                                 Department of Mathematics
                                   University of Wyoming
                                      Oral Presentation
McNair Scholars Program                                                      Samsun, Türkiye

         This study examined whether fractal dynamics in physiology may explain hidden information
in physiologic time series and provide new approaches to monitor cardiac disease. It was
hypothesized that self-similarity, which was displayed in fractal geometry, was observed in the
cardiac interbeat series. Our method used physiologic data and readings from a dynamical self-test to
illustrate the output of healthy cardiac systems. These illustrations of healthy systems were compared
with fractal geometry. The applications of fractals were analyzed using open-source data and
algorithms such as the Detrended Fluctuation Analysis (DFA) Algorithm. It was concluded that self-
similarity was displayed in the healthy heart rate, and the DFA analysis was able to detect irregularity
in a disease model. This study potentially could be used to enhance understanding and predicting
possible applications of fractal dynamics to a variety of biomedical problems.

                        Ballet Folklorico: A Cultural Form of Expression
                       Trisha Venisa-Alicia Martinez with Dr. Cecilia Aragon
                        Department of Chicano Studies and Theatre & Dance
                                      University of Wyoming
                                        Poster Presentation

McNair Scholars                                                                         Cheyenne, WY

        Historically, the traditional Mexican dances of Ballet Folklorico are viewed as a performing
event, something to be witnessed in the moment of time in which the event occurs. There are very
few scholarly studies that look at Mexican Ballet Folklorico as a regional cultural phenomenon in a
specific social context. This research investigates the origins of Mexican Ballet Folklorico, and the
variety of dance techniques and styles that are influenced by regional flair. Data for this study of
Mexican Ballet Folklorico will be gathered by utilizeing literature reviews, interviews with Ballet
Folklorico dancers, attendance at Folklorico dance performances, and participation in Folklorico
workshops. I argue that Mexican Ballet Folklorico is traditional and stagnant in its form of cultural
arts expression. Ballet Folklorico reinforces historical narration, establishes cultural exchange among
communities, and constructs ethnic identity through culture, song, music, and language. It is of
paramount importance to add new knowledge as the growing interest of Mexican Ballet Folklorico
expands and travels throughout the Americas.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 66
                               DNA Biosensors Using Morpholino Oligos
                                Josh McConnell with Dr. Patrick Johnson
                            Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
                                         University of Wyoming
                                      Oral and Poster Presentation

Wyoming Space Grant Consortium                                                         Laramie, WY

        Advancements in Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) have made devices capable
of sensing a particular sequence of DNA in minutes. Applications of these devices include rapid
identification of disease, possibly before symptoms arise, and the detection of biological agents. If
practical use of such sensors is executed many false diagnoses can be avoided given the device is
used for medical purposes and can ensure an efficient response to a biological attack. One of the
factors limiting the sensitivity of DNA sensing devices is the high buffer concentration required,
which contributes to noise in SERS spectra. A strong buffer concentration is necessary because the
negative charge of the DNA probe and target DNA needs to be sufficiently screened in order for
bonding, and thus detection of the target DNA, to occur. Theoretically, the use of morpholinos,
uncharged DNA analogues, would allow for the use of a low salt concentration buffer, eliminating
much of the noise associated with high salt concentrations. In our study, the effectiveness of
morpholino oligomers as signaling and tethering probes under various buffer concentrations was
examined using Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation. In addition, the enhancements of gold
or silver nanoparticle-coated silica substrates were quantified using SERS spectroscopy.

      Monoclonal Antibody Production Against Synthetic Peptides Representing PrPc and
                              Recombinant Prion Proteins (rPrP)
  Kaitlin McDaniel with Dr. Everett Lee Belden Microbiology and Matthew Hille, M.S. Candidate
                                       Veterinary Sciences
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

McNair Scholars Program                                                                  Powell, WY
Wyoming NSF EPSCoR

        Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy that is endemic
to the Southern Wyoming/Northern Colorado area. In a previous study, we produced monoclonal
antibodies against synthetic peptide sequences representing PrPc 225F (phenylalanine at position 225)
and 225S (serine at position 225) prion peptides and screened by ELISA for reactivity to synthetic
PrPc. ELISA and Western blot results confirmed that antibodies were produced against the synthetic
peptide, but did not distinguish between the two alleles. Next, we produced monoclonal antibodies
against recombinant prion proteins that express the same dimorphism as the synthetic peptides.
ELISA screening is underway to determine the specificity of the monoclonal antibodies. This
furthers research on prion biology by allowing genotype determination of tissues and the examination
of cellular expression differences that may occur between the two mule deer genotypes and
susceptibility to CWD.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                     Page 67
         The Organization and Influence of Perception on Speech Motor Behaviors
                           Jessica McKee with Dr. Roger Steeve
                                 Communication Disorders
                                  University of Wyoming
                                    Oral Presentation
Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                         Douglas, WY

        This study was done to determine the articulatory differences among American-English and
Mexican- Spanish speakers. The project offered a better understanding of how motor behavior can
change for the language that is being produced, and how the production of a language can be
influenced by how it is perceived. Sixteen participants were involved: eight monolingual, American-
English speaking adults and eight bilingual Mexican-Spanish speaking adults. All participants
produced speech samples which were recorded and analyzed to determine motor behavior
differences. Results showed significant articulatory differences among the two groups. Bilingual,
Mexican-Spanish speakers produced shorter sounds with shorter duration measures while
monolingual, American-English speakers used longer gestures with longer duration measures. When
analyzing the data, it was found that the perception of the language the participant heard greatly
influenced how the speaker produced the language. Motor behaviors did change across speakers, and
the perception of a language influenced the production.

        Theories of Intelligence and Academic Self-Efficacy in American Indian Youth
                              Kevin McWain with Dr. Walter Scott
                                   Department of Psychology
                                     University of Wyoming
                                      Poster Presentation

McNair Scholars                                                                       Laramie, WY

        This study will examine possible direct and indirect relationships between theory of
intelligence, goal orientation and depressive symptoms in American Indian (AI) youth. The sample
will include 197 American Indian youth attending grades 7-12 on reservations in the northern plains
of the U.S. and Alaska. This study will use self-report surveys, collected as part of a longitudinal
study, to measure theory of intelligence, goal orientation, and depressive symptoms. It is
hypothesized that an incremental theory of intelligence and a learning goal orientation will be
negatively correlated with depressive symptoms. In addition, goal orientation is predicted to
moderate the relation between theory of intelligence and depressive symptoms. If goal orientation
moderates the relation between theories of intelligence and depression, this implies that depression
can be changed by altering theories of intelligence to include learning goals and this can be used in
intervention programs for populations at high-risk for depression.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                     Page 68
     The effect phenotypic plasticity on the invasion success of the New Zealand mudsnail
                             Arla M.A. Mistica with Dr. Amy Krist
                                     Zoology and Physiology
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                     Wheatland, WY

        Invasive species are the second greatest threat to all biodiversity, yet along with aquatic
systems, they have been understudied. Dr. Amy Krist and I investigated the effect of phenotypic
plasticity on the successful invasion of an exotic snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, or the New
Zealand mudsnail. Phenotypic plasticity is the response of a species to different environmental
conditions based on its genotype. It can help invasion success if an exotic species can have higher
fitness than the native species in a stressful environment, increase fitness better than the native
species as the environment becomes favorable, or do both. In our experiment, we manipulated the
amount of phosphorus (growth factor) and density to create stressful and favorable environments and
examined the effect on snails’ growth rate (fitness). We hypothesized that P. antipodarum with
access to more phosphorus and low density would grow rapidly and reproduce at a higher rate. We
found that the snails grew faster as the environment becomes favorable and reproduction is dependent
upon size. The ability of P. antipodarum to increase its growth rate in favorable conditions suggests
that phenotypic plasticity may aid in invasion success. This knowledge can help us determine if other
exotic species have the potential to become invasive.

                       Police Interaction with Victims of Domestic Violence
                                 Sean Moran with Dr. Donna Barnes
                                       University of Wyoming
                                         Poster Presentation

Independent Research                                                                      Gillette, WY

        This research project focused on the differing interactions between police officers and victims
of domestic violence. The objective of the study was twofold. The first objective was to determine
which interactions breed the most positive short-term and long-term outcomes for the victims The
second objective was to analyze the effects of negative interactions on the victims overall well-being.
The method employed in the study was the reading and analysis of three peer reviewed journal
articles. Analysis included comparing results which indicate what police-victim interactions may be
viewed as positive or negative, as well as the victim outcomes related to each interaction. The results
of the review suggest that a social support model breeds the most positive outcomes for the victims
while negative actions such as victim arrest isolate the victim and may lead to further trauma.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 69
                                       The Gunpowder Plot
                              Rebecca Morley with Dr. David Messenger
                                      University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                            Fairfax, VA

        On November 5, 1605 Guy Fawkes was discovered in a cellar underneath Parliament, ready
to blow the pile of gunpowder kegs and logs. He was propelled into the public consciousness, and is
today the only one remembered. The Gunpowder had a total of thirteen conspirators, in which Guy
Fawkes was just the munitions expert. There was also the whistleblower, the head of state, and the
intended victims, most notably King James I, all of whom have fallen to the sidelines. This paper
looks at the plot in its entirety, including the religious divisions that started in the reign of Henry VIII
and following through to the trial of the Plotters who lived to be tried. The point of this study was to
gain a better understanding of the Gunpowder Plot and to remember the rest of the participants as
well as Guy Fawkes.

  Optimizing Fecal Sample Preparation to Determine Presence of Chronic Wasting Disease in
                                     White Tail Deer
                            Aya Murakami with Dr. Ted R. John
                                    Molecular Biology
                                  University of Wyoming
                                     Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                      Yokohama, Japan

        Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a prion disease that affects cervids (deer, elk, and moose).
A prion disease is characterized by the accumulation of a misfolded isoform of the prion protein and
is invariably fatal to the host. Currently, diagnosis of CWD can be done only with post mortem
testing of animal tissues or recto-anal mucosa associated lymphoid tissue (RAMALT) analysis, by
the direct detection of prion protein. The purpose of this project is to develop a fecal test for CWD
biomarkers to enable us to have a simple ante mortem test. Gentle feces surface extraction was
performed to obtain the proteins present in the mucous layer surrounding a deer pellet. Western blots
with decreased background were observed when extraction was done in fresh buffer with appropriate
amount of protease inhibitors. Background noise decreased as extraction time was shortened and the
shaking became gentler; whereas, the concentration of primary and secondary antibodies had less
effect on over all background. Good progress has been made toward perfecting fecal extraction to
detect biomarkers for CWD.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                            Page 70
  Correlations Between Students’ Popularity and Levels of Overt and Relational Aggression
           Amanda Robbins-Lilley and Giovanni Napolitano with Dr. Kathleen McKinney
                                   Division of Social Work
                                    University of Wyoming
                                       Oral Presentation
Division of Social Work                                                          Laramie, WY
                                                                              Kansas City, KS

        This study is examining the correlations between students’ popularity and levels of overt and
relational aggression using a secondary data analysis of research conducted by Mayeux, L., and
Cillessen, A. in 2008 titled, “It's not just being popular, it's knowing it, too: The role of self-
perceptions of status in the associations between peer status and aggression”. Mayeux and
Cillessen’s study consisted of 845 participants, grades 7th-9th, who completed surveys that examined
correlations between popularity and aggression. The purpose of this study is to examine the variables
and possible correlations in samples from Mayeux and Cillessen’s data. Variables examined include
sex, most popular, least popular, overt aggression and relational aggression, aggression1 (Ignores
others), and aggression2 (Keeps others from being in their group). The hypothesis of this research is
that high levels of popularity will be highly associated with frequent incidences of aggression and
within that association, male participants will exhibit more overt aggression and female participants
will display more relational aggression. The researchers predict that the study will concur with their
hypothesis and show a positive correlation between high levels of popularity and more frequent

 The Effects of an Invasive Snail (Melanoides Tuberculata) on Native Invertebrate Abundance
                                          and Diversity
                  Trista E. Niekum with Erin R. Hotchkiss2, and Robert O. Hall3
         Earth System Science, 2Program in Ecology, 3Department of Zoology & Physiology
                                     University of Wyoming

        Invasive species can often displace native species in an ecosystem by competing for the same
resources. Melanoides tuberculata, an exotic gastropod snail native to Asia, has invaded and
established a population in Kelly Warm Springs, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Invasive
populations of Melanoides are closely linked with the aquarium trade and are limited to warm fresh
waters. Benthic macroinvertebrates were sampled pre- and post-invasion from six random sites along
a 500 meter reach. Invertebrates known to be in the stream at present include: Chironomidae,
Trichoptera, Helicopsychidae Cheumatopsyche, Helicopsychidae helicopsyche, Planorbidae, Byralus
Torquis parvus, Physidae, Lymnaeidae Fossaria, Caenidae, Hyallela azteca, and Oligiochaeta.
Preliminary data suggests there has been a decline in the density and biomass of native invertebrates
since the Melanoides invasion after 2001. By 2007, Melanoides biomass was 58 g AFDM m-2. By
comparison, the biomass of HyallelaI was 1 g AFDM m-2 in 2007 and the biomass of Chironomidae
was 0.3 g AFDM m-2 in 2007. Hayllela and Chironomidae biomass decreased by approximately 6%
and 31%, respectively, from 2001 to 2007. This decline in non-Melanoides invertebrate biomass is
likely to impact all other parts of the stream food web.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                      Page 71
                                 Growing Up in a Fantasy World
                              Kathleen Nolan with Dr. Barbara Chatton
                                      University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program, McNair Scholars Program                                                    Erie, CO

        In most Young Adult books, the driving idea is growth from childhood to adulthood. Authors
like Tamora Pierce, Terry Pratchett, and J.K. Rowling all explore that theme in unique ways through
the fantasy genre. Their main characters are also all girls, at least in the books chosen for this paper.
They are all obviously special and go through many trials as they grow up and learn where they fit in
their worlds. While these trials are fantastical, real young girls are able to relate to and understand
them better in that fictive context. The characters show that life is never easy and is full of difficult
choices. Young girls are also able to see characters their age making those choices and accepting
responsibility for them.
        This presentation summarizes Pierce’s The Immortals series, Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching
series, and Rowling’s Harry Potter series. It explores how these authors show their characters
growing up and becoming adults. These novels give young girls something that is difficult to find in
the real world – strong role models their age becoming independent young women who don’t
necessarily conform to everything everyone else expects of them.

               Exploring the Use of Microexpressions in Market Research
                         Erin Percival with Dr. Kent Drummond
                       Department of Management and Marketing
                                 University of Wyoming
                                    Oral Presentation
Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                          Gillette, WY

        One of the major criticisms of modern market research is that it lacks creativity, and rarely
gets the consumer to express their true feelings. By applying the study of microexpressions in market
research, it may be possible to provide marketers with a new form of accessing consumer’s raw,
unfiltered emotions. A microexpression is a facial expression that lasts less than a quarter of a
second, and is a display of one, or a combination of forty-three distinct muscle movements that have
been identified in the human face. Currently the study of microexpressions is being utilized in
emotion research and criminal justice. By applying the study of microexpressions in an
interdisciplinary fashion, drawing on the fields of marketing and psychology, it is possible to access
information that was previously thought to be unattainable or unreliable at best; the genuine reactions
of consumers. When attempting to apply the use of microexpressions in a contemporary market
research setting, however, other technologies are more cost-effective and scalable.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                         Page 72
                             Remote Water Monitoring System Model
                             Ashan Perera with Dr. Stanislaw Legowski
                               Electrical and Computer Engineering
                                      University of Wyoming
                                   Oral and Poster Presentations

                                                                                        Laramie, WY

        Western Research Institute in Laramie, UW is currently working on developing advanced
water purification and water sampling techniques. This institute treats water mine sites with several
monitoring wells at a site in remote locations. In order to collect data from water wells they are
required to pull samples from each well routinely. A system capable of remotely monitoring water
quality would be very useful in carrying out their daily research. The primary goal of this design is to
monitor water quality wirelessly in remote areas and store the data for future use in research. Some of
the required specifications for this system are mobile capability, low maintenance, renewable power
source, and low cost.

                 The incorporation of the deuterium isotopic value of rainwater
                       in the tissues of producers and primary consumers
                         Jacob M. Peters with Dr. Carlos Martinez del Rio
                                      Zoology and Physiology
                                       University of Wyoming
                                          Oral presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                         Buffalo, WY

        Ecologists use a variety of extrinsic markers (such as bands and radio transmitters) to track
the movements of migratory birds with limited success. One alternative technique utilizes an intrinsic
marker, the hydrogen isotope composition (D) of bird tissues. Flight feathers are molted and
regrown during the summer months and are therefore assumed to incorporate the D value of local
precipitation of the area in which they were grown. Controlled feeding experiments, however, have
shown that only ~20% of the hydrogen in a feather is derived from ingested drinking water, with the
remainder sourced from diet. To learn more about how hydrogen isotopes are incorporated into food
webs, we grew cabbage plants using water with differing D values. We then subjected each plant to
a primary consumer (caterpillars) to characterize how D values are transferred across links in food
webs. Isotopic analysis of both primary producer and consumer will determine if and how much the
precipitation deuterium levels differ from those of a bird’s diet. This information may be used to
evaluate the accuracy of this tracking method, an essential step toward understanding the ecology of
migratory birds.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 73
                  Caspase-3 activity inhibition in selenophilic filamentous fungi
                        Hannah Postma, Dan Wu with Dr. Ami Wangeline
                                      Department of Biology
                              Laramie County Community College
                                        Poster Presentation

INBRE                                                                                 Cheyenne, WY

        Apoptosis is the process of programmed cell death that occurs in organisms. In the cell
metabolic process, apoptotic imbalance can lead to many diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer's
disease. Caspase-3 is a member of the interleukin-1b converting enzyme (ICE) family of cysteine
proteases and several reports suggest that Caspase-3 is a fundamental component of the apoptotic
signaling cascade. Our research used the CASPASE-3 Assay Kit for Drug Discovery (BioMol) to
detect inhibition of activity of Caspase-3 by providing a substrate that is cleaved by caspase-3
producing a colorimetrically active product. Inhibition capacity was determined in total extracts from
several of genera of selenophilic filamentous fungi cultured with and without Se. Absorbency was
recorded over time, and the slopes were analyzed to determine activity while using a provided
inhibitor and a non-inhibited control. Extracts from Absidia (zygomycota) and Fusarium
(ascomycota) were both found to have high inhibition against the caspase-3 enzyme regardless of
growth conditions and extraction method, where as inhibitory impact of other extracts seemed to
correlate with extraction method. These inhibitors have the potential to impact apoptotic events when
cell death is incorrectly triggered due to disease and we will attempt to elucidate the specific
compounds in future studies.

               Holocene Aridity and Prolonged Drought in the Rocky Mountains
                              Paul Pribyl with Dr. Byran Shuman
                                   Geology and Geophysics
                                    University of Wyoming
                                      Poster Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR

        Throughout the United States, an increasing concern has been the availability and allocation
of water. Much of the Southwest depends on river systems that are recharged annually in the Rocky
Mountains and with increasing evidence for global climate change, which may produce large
hydrologic shifts, there is an increasing need to understand the full range of previous hydrologic
variability in order to make accurate predictions of future variability. Here evidence for past lake
level changes shows severe aridity at the headwaters of the Snake-Columbia, Missouri-Mississippi,
and Green-Colorado Rivers in the Rocky Mountains, as well as, at the headwaters of the North Platte
River. In the first region, severe aridity existed between 9 ka (thousand years before CE 1950) and 3
ka, >11.3 ka, and 1.8-1.2 ka. In the head waters of the North Platte River, there was severe aridity
during the Younger Dryas period, ~12.4 -11.3 ka, which may indicate a period when there was
complete desiccation of the North Platte River.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                      Page 74
                               Wyoming and the Code of the West
                                Liz Rader with Dr. Peter K. Simpson
                         Department of Political Science and Honors Program
                                      University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation

Department of Political Science and UW Honors Program                                   Cheyenne, WY

        A code of conduct put into words and passed into law started as a film based on a book by Jim
Owen called Cowboy Ethics, Code of the West. The book and the film (shown at UW) propose that
ethics and integrity, as exemplified by the citizens and traditional “cowboys” across the west, could
be adopted by any person in any place. I was invited participate in investigating this project and by
contacting Legislators, the Wyoming Business Council, representatives of Jonah Bank, and other
Wyoming business owners, along with the author of the book, this project proved to be highly
        The purpose of the research is to identify if ethical practices in business have a place in state
statute. If Wyoming lives by a “cowboy code,” the project asks if this code should become law and
how the cultural significance of a cowboy image impacts Wyoming today. Information gathered has
given the “Code of the West” project momentum and the research developed helped its passage as the
Official State Code at the 2010 Wyoming Legislative Budget Session. Exploring the impact of this
passage has raised questions of practicality and sustainability for such law in Wyoming.

                 Cherokee Rose Plaza: A Mixed-Use Development in Atlanta, GA
                            Gregory Ranft with Dr. Anthony Denzer
                         Civil and Architectural Engineering Department
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                       Ringwood, NJ

        This project was for ARE-4600, Architectural Design II, which is the senior design course in
the architectural engineering program. All of the design was completed with a partner in the class,
Nick Ramirez, and then expanded on for my Senior Honors Project. Site requirements such as the
location in Atlanta and square footage requirements for office, residential, retail, and hotel space were
given, and the design process was started from scratch. Various preliminary concepts were
considered, tried, and rejected before the final basic design was chosen, which consisted of four
separate structures, the tallest of which is 750 feet, for each purpose on site. The buildings were
linked through architectural and aesthetic details. The result was a final, nearly complete, basic
design which met all requirements and vastly increased our knowledge of the design process.
Through our numerous attempts and failures, including a nearly complete design that we had to
reject, we learned design principles, practical but obstructive considerations that go into all design,
and above all, teamwork and collaboration.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                         Page 75
                  Oral Health Care in Patients with Severe Mental Illness in Wyoming
                             Carole Lee Reeves with Dr. Christine McKibbin
                                       Department of Psychology
                                        University of Wyoming
                                           Poster presentation

Independent Research                                                               Sergeant Bluff, IA

        Individuals with Serious Mental Illnesses (SMI) have higher rates of mortality and shorter life
expectancy (i.e., about 25-30 fewer years of life) than the general population. Death due to coronary
heart disease (CHD) is the largest contributor to the increased mortality rate in this population. Oral
health is particularly important because medical links have been found between CHD and poor oral
health (Matevosyan, 2009). Oral health remains a low priority when treating SMI patients
(Matevosyan, 2009). The overall objective of this research is to conduct semi-structured interviews
focused on oral health in Wyoming’s SMI population. This study will address, from the patients’
perspective, the state of their oral health, oral health care needs, barriers, and, if possible issues
related to provider interactions. As with any semi-structured interview, the participant will be the
guide in the discussion. A total of 10 men and 10 women will be invited to participate in a 90-minute
semi-structured interview. The interview will be audio-taped and transcribed within one week of the
interview.      .

  Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid Alleviates High-Fat Diet-Induced Cardiomyocyte Contractile
                                      Kacy Richmond with
                                     Subat Turdi and Jun Ren
Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Center for Cardiovascular Research and Alternative Medicine,
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

INBRE                                                                                Woodbridge, NJ

         Background: Obesity is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In this study,
we observed the effects of tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA), a known endoplasmic reticulum
stress (ER stress) inhibitor, on high-fat diet-induced cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction in mice.
Methods: 3- to 4-month-old C57 mice were fed a low- or high-fat for 20 weeks. High fat-fed mice
were subdivided into 2 groups and treated either with TUDCA (300mg/ or natural saline
for 15 days prior to the assessment of contractile parameters of isolated ventricular cardiomyocytes
including peak cell shortening (PS), time-to-PS (TPS), time-to-90% re-lengthening (TR90) and
maximal velocities of shortening and re-lengthening (±dL/dt). Results: High-fat diet depressed PS,
±dL/dt and TR90 compared to the low-fat diet. Interestingly, TUDCA treatment alleviated the
depression of PS and ±dL/dt but not TR90. Conclusion: TUDCA may have potential therapeutic
implications in treating obesity-induced cardiac dysfunction via a mechanism involving reduced ER
stress in the cardiomyocytes, which warrants further studies.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 76
                   The Confidence Table as an Improvement in Classification
                  Angela Schanke and Jennifer Weatherford with Dr. Steve Bieber
                                      Statistics Department
                                    University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR: WySTEP                                                          Pueblo West, CO

        Discriminant analysis was developed by R. A. Fisher in 1936, where he classified three
varieties of iris plants based on physical features. To create his classification table, the posterior
probabilities of each outcome are calculated and are somewhere between zero and one. These
decimals are rounded to the nearest whole number. A confidence table does not do this rounding, but
maintains the decimals to calculate how likely it is for an event to happen. We created random data
to test whether the confidence table is more accurate than the classification table. We used groups of
two, three, four, and five and found discrepancy of about ten to fifteen percent between the tables.
Rounding the probabilities gave the illusion of having more accurate results. To further test our
hypothesis, we used real data from a political survey. Over a thousand people were surveyed on
thirty issues. The average bias was about eleven percent between the tables, with the confidence
table being more accurate. Though there was some bias in the confidence table, it was likely the
result of computer algorithms finding patterns that do not exist. In general, it was much more reliable
than the classification table for predicting outcomes.

               3-D Education: Biological Anthropology Explored Virtually
                          Sandra Schmidt with Dr. James Ahern
                               Anthropology Department
                                 University of Wyoming
                                    Oral Presentation
UW Honors Program                                                                      Box Elder, SD

        Technology is an everyday presence in the lives of people everywhere and the field of
anthropology is no different. With all of the current and future advances in this area a new 3-D way
to conduct biological anthropology has emerged. Using inexpensive software, a web-cam and some
manual labor, human cranial remains can be recreated and manipulated on the screen. My senior
project is focused on how such technology could be used in a classroom setting, specifically college
level biological anthropology labs, but the same technology could be used in high schools and
museums as well. Students participating in the lab would be able to scan cranial remains into the
program, manipulate the image, even fuse images to one another and work with various
measurements in order to determine such factors as sex and general population of the individual. The
measurements taken would allow for the use of key methodologies while reinforcing the importance
of major landmarks on the crania. Implementing this research would allow biological anthropology
students to explore a new area of the field while continuing to learn the basics.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 77
                       UW Student Radio Establishes “A Look Around”
                    Rachel Schmidt and Tara Sweeney with Dr. George Gladney
                         Department of Communications and Journalism
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                          Albin, WY
                                                                                         Worland, WY

        Rachel Schmidt had absolutely no experience with radio broadcasting, but when she was
offered a chance to host a show for the new ASUW Student Station, she couldn’t pass up the
opportunity! She and Tara Sweeney (her equally inexperienced roommate and fellow Junior in UW’s
Honors Program) put their heads together and fleshed out plans for an hour long show entitled, ‘A
Look Around: An International Hour focused on events, people, and cultures from around the globe.”
        Beginning in January of the Spring 2010 semester and wrapping up in late April, A Look
Around aired twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays at 4pm at Influenced by their
courses of study, the co-hosts made it the mission of their program to seek out and relate international
current events and histories. They interviewed several foreign students and faculty, as well as those
native to the US who had travelled abroad. Additionally, they conveyed aspects of culture –
music/films, religion, and social justice issues. Much was discovered of world politics,
entertainment, and antiquity (and the role of the U.S.), as well as the technicalities of news

                  Experimental Validation of Transient State Heat Transfer in a
                                    Residential Attic Space
                            Brandon Schulte with Dr. Ahmed Megri
                        Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering
                                    University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                  Thermopolis, WY

        Various housing studies have shown that one quarter of a household’s energy is lost through
the attic (Andrews, 1996), (Geer et al. 1998). Accurate modeling of a household attic can lead to a
better understanding of the physical phenomena that occurs, which can lead to more efficient
household mechanical systems. In this experiment, thermocouples were placed at various locations
inside a household, its attic, and outside and used to measure temperatures in these areas in order to
evaluate the heat loss. The wind speed and direction was recorded in intervals throughout the
duration of the experiment. Using the data collected experimentally in the household, our objective is
to use these results to validate a theoretical household attic model developed by Dr. Ahmed Megri
(Megri et al., 2008).

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 78
Medication Errors in a Retail Pharmacy: The Role of Pharmacist-provided Patient Counseling
                          Matthew Schulz with Dr. Carol Kobulnicky
                                    School of Pharmacy
                                   University of Wyoming
                                     Oral Presentation
UW Honors Program                                                            Cheyenne, WY

        Medication errors are a growing problem amongst retail community pharmacies in the United
States. The purpose of this research is to identify potential causes and solutions to this problem and,
thereby, prevent medication errors. The act of counseling, as required by law, could prevent many if
not most medication errors when conducted properly. This investigation looked at case reports of
about 20 different incidents involving a medication error by a pharmacist that reached a patient, and
were reported to the Wyoming State Board of Pharmacy. By analyzing each case and compiling a
spreadsheet, certain trends were identified and potential solutions were found. Proper pharmacist-
provided counseling was not given in 17/19 cases. In conclusion, proper patient counseling on
pharmaceuticals will prevent medication errors in a retail pharmacy setting. The impact of this study
is the potential benefit it would provide to future pharmacists, current pharmacists, and patients by
improving health outcomes.

                   Spectroscopic detection of Z-DNA in short oligonucleotides
                          Murtaza Shabbir-Hussain with Dr. Milan Balaz
                                    Department of Chemistry
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                Colombo, Sri Lanka

        The structure of right-handed double helical DNA was discovered in 1953 by James D.
Watson and Francis Crick. DNA is known to exist in many possible conformations that include A-
DNA, B-DNA, C-DNA, D-DNA and Z-DNA. The right-handed B-DNA is the predominant form in
biological systems. The B-to-Z-DNA conformation transition is well studied process by which the
right-handed duplex turns into a left handed helix known as Z-DNA (zig-zag DNA). Z-DNA exists as
a higher energy state of the canonical B-DNA. Recent studies suggest that Z-DNA plays a role in
replication and transcription processes.
Our research explored the potential of charged porphyrins as bimolecular recognition tools of short
Z-DNA oligonucleotides. We used a short self-complementary oligonucleotide 5’-(dCdG)12-3’ for
our studies. Selected concentrations of NiCl2 and MgCl2 were used to induce the left-handed Z-DNA
form. Following induction, anionic water-soluble tetrasulfonated metalloporphyrins, namely NiTPPS,
ZnTPPS, CuTPPS and MnTPPS were used in UV-vis and circular dichroism binding experiments.
We will present the spectroscopic recognition of the Z-DNA using the nickel(II) porphyrin.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 79
Assessing the Suitability of Landsat Satellite Data for Distinguishing Cheatgrass Infested Sites
                                     in Douglas, Wyoming
                       Karley R. Shepperson1 with Dr. Ramesh Sivanpillai2
                 1. Departments of Renewable Resources; 2. Department of Botany
                                        Oral Presentation
WyomingView                                                                        Midwest, WY

        Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is an invasive species that is threatening the rangelands of the
Western US. By greening earlier in the season, Cheatgrass uses soil moisture that is normally
available for native vegetation and poses fire hazards by drying in the middle of the growing season.
Land management agencies are tasked with controlling Cheatgrass and mapping their distribution is
essential for their management. Remotely sensed images are used for mapping vegetation condition
however application of this technology poses some challenges for mapping Cheatgrass in Wyoming.
This project assessed the suitability of Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper images for distinguishing
Cheatgrass infested sites from those consisting of native vegetation. Satellite images acquired from
April through August 2006 were evaluated to early season Landsat images for separating Cheatgrass
from native vegetation based on their spectral reflectance. Sites from two privately managed ranches
located 27 miles north of Casper were analyzed in this study. Spectral reflectance in the April and
May Landsat images could be used for identifying Cheatgrass infested sites. However there is some
overlap between reflectance from riparian vegetation and Cheatgrass which will require additional
image processing to improve map accuracy.

     Phosphate adsorption on binary mixtures of ferrihydrite and calcite: Implications for
                         phosphorus bioavailability in alkaline soils
                            Henock T. Shibeshi and Nidhi Khare
                            Department of Chemical Engineering
                                  University of Wyoming
                                     Oral Presentation

Geology and Geophysics                                                                   Laramie, WY

        It is well known that plants require phosphorus for their growth and that most soils are
deficient in phosphorus. This is because plants can take up phosphorus only as dissolved
orthophosphate; however, dissolved phosphate in soils is rapidly immobilized by Fe, Al, and Ca
minerals due to its high affinity for these minerals. In alkaline soils, phosphate bioavailability is
mainly controlled by adsorption/desorption from Fe-oxyhydroxide and calcite minerals. Ferrihydrite
is a poorly crystalline analog of Fe- oxyhydroxide minerals in soils. Binary mixtures of ferrihydrite
and calcite can therefore serve as effective analogs of phosphate mineral sorbents in alkaline soils. In
this study, we investigate phosphate adsorption in single mineral systems of ferrihydrite, calcite and
1:1 by mass ferrihydrite-calcite mixtures as a function of pH (8, 9.5). Our goal is to understand the
role of mineral interactive effects on phosphate adsorption in binary mixtures. We present here a
comparison of results from wet chemical experiments on phosphate adsorption in single-mineral
systems with phosphate adsorption in binary mixtures. This research is pertinent to soil fertility, and
biogeochemical cycling of phosphorus. Similar approaches as used in this research could provide
valuable insights for nutrient bioavailability and remediation of contaminants in natural systems.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 80
       Fire and Vegetation history of the Pine Forest Range, NV over the past 4,000 years
                             Robert Shriver with Dr. Tom Minckley
                                      Department of Botany
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

WSGC                                                                                       Olathe, KS

         Pollen and macroscopic charcoal found within lake sediments provide an opportunity to
explore vegetation and fire history on time scales beyond what is available from historical or
dendrological sources. This temporal breadth can offer great insight into the interactions between
climate, vegetation, and fire. Using this approach, we examined the fire and vegetation history of the
limber pine forests in the Pine Forest Range, NV. This record spans the past 4,000 years and shows
vegetation consisting predominantly of open pine forests and sagebrush, with a slight increase in
relative pine abundance near 3,000 cal yr BP. Fire frequency is lowest from 4,000 cal yr BP to
~3,500 cal yr BP with 2-3 fires/ 500 yrs. At ~ 3,500 cal yr BP fire frequency increases with some
variability to 4 fires/ 500 yrs. This persists until 1000 cal yr BP when fire frequency rapidly increases
to upwards of 5 fires/ 500 years. Our results suggests that vegetation changes may have lagged the
initial increase in fire activity, but that later opening of the forest may have been maintained by
increasing fire activity.

           A Balancing Act: A Discussion of Gender Roles within Wiccan Ritual
                        Elizabeth Shuler with Dr. Quincy Newell
                                 Psychology Department
                                 University of Wyoming
                                    Oral Presentation
UW Honors Program                                                                             Cody, WY

        This presentation argues that the liminal space of Wiccan ritual modifies practitioners’ gender
roles by inscribing both masculine and feminine roles upon the individual to create balance. Under
Victor Turner’s theory of liminality ritual becomes a function of society that helps fulfill a social
need to be outside normal social processes, including gender roles. Ritual is a way of stepping outside
of normal time and space to create and live the ideal, if only for a moment, that is nearly impossible
to realize in everyday life. Every aspect of Wiccan ritual is aimed towards enacting and embodying
balance and unity, even the altar and the circle itself. As the priest and priestess enact the divine
coupling in order to instruct and guide the other participants, the solitary practitioner enacts this
coupling of masculine and feminine within himself to create a gender role that is outside of the
normal understanding of gender, one that is divine. The modified gender role that comes out of the
liminal space as it meets with the concept of balance is a representation of unity, of wholeness, which
is so pervasive in Wicca.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                         Page 81
                  Effect of the GnRH Agonist, Deslorelin, on the Prolactin Axis
                                 Jennifer Smith with Donal Skinner
                                Department of Zoology & Physiology
                                      University of Wyoming
                                         Poster Presentation
INBRE                                                                                    Casper, WY

        Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists have become increasingly important as
anti-fertility agents in the veterinary field over the past decade, proving a successful alternative to
surgical sterilization in domestic and captive animals. Although previous GnRH agonists used in
reproductive management demonstrated several shortcomings, deslorelin, a relatively new GnRH
agonist, has overcome many of these problems and has successfully suppressed reproduction in
numerous species, including domestic dogs, cats, wild canids, felids and cattle. Approximately 135-
day old Sprague-Dawley rats were used. Animals received 1 of 2 treatments for 6 weeks: a 1.1mg
deslorelin implant alone or a sham implant insertion. Both the percentage of prolactin cells and the
total number of cells differed insignificantly between treatment groups (P>0.05). These results
disagree with our hypothesis that the known decrease in FSH-immunoreactive cells during treatment
would affect the lactotrope population. It is possible, however, that lactotropes depend on LH rather
than FSH cells. Thus, further research into the relationship between lactotropes and gonadotropes
during treatment with GnRH agonists is required.

 Phenotypic and Genotypic Characterization of Antibiotic Resistance Integrons in Salmonella
                                enterica serovar Newport
                           Raymond Soto with Dr. John Willford
                     Departments of Molecular Biology & Microbiology
                                  University of Wyoming
                                     Oral Presentation

INBRE Undergraduate Research Award Program,                                               Powell, WY
Wyoming NSF EPSCoR, & McNair Scholars Program

        Numerous recent outbreaks of Salmonella enterica have been found to be resistant to multiple
antibiotics, which only exacerbate an already serious infection. Integrons, which are mobile DNA
elements, have been found in previous studies to contribute to antibiotic resistance. Two consistently
observed integrons (1.0 kb and 1.2 kb) were cloned and introduced into an antibiotic sensitive strain
of Escherichia coli. Upon phenotypic characterization, the 1.0 kb integron was found to confer
resistance to streptomycin. Genotypic characterization supported this finding with the presence of the
aaD1 gene in the integron cassette. The 1.2kb integron was unable to be phenotypically
characterized, but genotypic characterization showed the presence of potential antibiotic resistance
genes. The 1.8 kb integron has yet to be successfully cloned. This characterization demonstrated that
these integrons contribute to the antibiotic resistance profile observed in the Salmonella enterica.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 82
   The Impact of the National Historic Preservation Act on Archaeological Field Methods in
                           Cynthia Squarcia with Dr. Danny Walker
                                   University of Wyoming
                                       Oral Presentation

McNair Scholars                                                             Red Feather Lakes, CO

        Nearly 50% of Wyoming is managed in the public interest by Federal agencies. This, coupled
with the substantial amount of energy development conducted in the state, has led to the
predominance of so-called Public Archaeology in Wyoming over pure academic research. There is
more contract archaeology conducted to comply with provisions of the National Historic Preservation
Act (NHPA) on Wyoming’s Federal land than in any other state. I examined archaeological field
methods over a 132 year time span, and investigated what impact the NHPA has had on
archaeological field and research methods in Wyoming. We have come a long way from early
studies where researchers in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s were working blind because of a lack of
general knowledge and often no specific methodology to where we are today: still working blind
with a lack of knowledge about the sites and cultures we are investigating, why we are investigating
them and often what methodology should be used.

           A Whole New World: How Disney Has Transformed the “Tween” Market
                       Sheryl-Ann F. Stake with Dr. Kent Drummond
                                 University of Wyoming
                                     Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                            Osan Air Force Base, South Korea

       The Walt Disney Company has established itself throughout the generations as a dynasty in
the entertainment industry. Through its marketing efforts, Disney has transformed multiple
generations’ desires from wanting to become the next Princess Jasmine to wanting to become the
next Britney Spears.
       This project will demonstrate how Disney has transformed its marketing efforts from the
princess angle to the rock star angle and will show how Disney is performing such efforts today,
especially through Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana, Disney’s most recent creation.
       By using first-hand observations, interviews with prominent figures in the entertainment
industry and research, I will show how Disney does, in fact, create the industry standards and make
the “tween” market yearn for more of whatever Disney is producing.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                     Page 83
      A Step Toward Flexible Dosing: Chemical Stability of Clopidogrel in Various Aqueous
                  Jennifer Steiner with Dr. Glaucia Teixeira and Dr. Kurt Dolence
                                       Pharmacy Department
                                       University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation
Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                Billings, MT
UW Honors Program

        Clopidogrel is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the
treatment of conditions such as coronary syndromes, stroke, arterial disease and coronary stent
treatment. The objective of this study was to evaluate the decomposition of three compounded oral
clopidogrel mixtures, prepared by combining crushed clopidogrel tablets with apple juice, sugar free
(SF) syrup, and sterile water, USP, using High Performance Liquid chromatography (HPLC). All
drug mixtures were stored at refrigerator and room temperature and were tested after storage time-
periods of 0, 7, 14, 21, and 28 days. At the end of the study (day 28) clopidogrel concentration in all
mixtures, except the refrigerated clopidogrel-apple juice sample, continued within ±10% of their
respective average initial concentrations. During our research we observed that while pipetting 0.1 ml
samples of freshly vortexed clopidogrel-water and clopidogrel-apple juice mixtures, the undissolved
powder settled too rapidly, causing inconsistent results for clopidogrel concentration. As a practical
conclusion to this study, we would suggest to health care providers to compound clopidogrel as an
oral liquid using only viscous solvents such as SF syrup or another pharmaceutical-grade suspending
medium to ensure consistent dispersion of the powder and measurement of reliable doses.

              Musca domestica Based Machine Vision Sensor; a Continuing Project
                               Rob Streeter with Dr. Steve Barrett
                              Electrical and Computer Engineering
                                     University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                      Saratoga, WY

         Much research on the Musca domestica machine vision sensor has already been conducted at
the University of Wyoming. This on-going project is working to increase the capabilities and the
ruggedness of the sensor, and characterize the sensor behavior. The sensor illustrates a number of
superior qualities when compared to standard vision sensors.
         I worked to implement light filtering techniques and long-range sensing capabilities. The
light filtering seeks to remove ambient light and reduce noise in the sensor signal. This design was
tested and works very well. The long-range objective tests seek to verify sensor function through a
telescope. Further tests will be required to provide conclusive long-range data.
         My research led to a better sensor platform, and utilized advanced, time-saving assembly
techniques. This continuing project allows for graduate research upon the completion of my
undergraduate degree in May 2011. My contribution to the project was beneficial and ground-
breaking, however the project is far from completion and future involvement would only aid more.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 84
Reconstructing the Past: Using stable isotopes from cactus spines to reconstruct past climate in
                                        South America
                            Samantha Stutz with Dr. Dave Williams
                                    University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR and UW Honors Program                                            Los Alamos, NM

        The Altiplano in Bolivia lacks instrumental weather records with sufficient spatial and
temporal resolution to understand changes in the pattern and intensity of El Niño Southern
Oscillation (ENSO). We evaluated the potential for the long-lived columnar cactus Echinopsis
atacamensis to record changes in precipitation and climate.
        For this study a single, central spine was collected and then analyzed for its δ18O and δ13C
isotopic ratios. In addition, five spines were collected from different heights and analyzed for their
radiocarbon (14C) content to calibrate growth rate and determine the age of the cactus.
        The δ18O values ranged from 30‰ to 59‰ reflecting substantial intra- and inter-annual
variation of precipitation (lower δ18O values) and transpiration (higher δ18O values). The δ13C values
ranged from -7‰ to -11‰, illustrating strict night only CO2 uptake, opposed to carbon fixation
during both the day and night. The majority of the spine series showed similar trends between δ18O
and δ13C both in magnitude and direction. These data suggest that both isotopes are directly related
to cactus physiology and do not vary independently. To further understand the link between water
availability and cactus physiology; data with known lake water levels were incorporated. These data
suggest that cactus spines provide an indirect record of climate and may be an appropriate tool for
historic climate reconstruction.

  Enhancing the Customer Experience in Local Bookstores through Customer Experience
                               Management Techniques
                        Jennifer Syvertson with Dr. Stacey Baker
                 Communication & Journalism, Management & Marketing
                                 University of Wyoming
                                    Oral Presentation
UW Honors Program                                                          Casper, WY

        In today’s market, we are moving away from just products and services to an experience
economy. For businesses to survive, the focus needs to move to the consumer. This is becoming
increasingly important in the bookstore industry. One technique businesses use is customer
experience management (CEM). The purpose and philosophy behind customer experience
management is to strategically manage the consumer’s entire experience with a product or company
from beginning to end. This is different from traditional forms of management and marketing because
with CEM you always put the customer first, allowing businesses to build relationships and engage
consumers with a product or company.
         My research investigates how consumers interact with books through various touch points
that a bookstore provides. I interviewed individuals who consumed and valued books in their life;
then observed consumers within bookstores and online. The purpose of this research is to explain
how looking at the experiential world of the consumer, local bookstores can develop a strategic plan
for achieving a customer focus for the benefit of its consumers. Based on the research and
observations, I constructed a customer experience management plan local bookstores can use to
enhance its consumer’s experiences.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                      Page 85
         Exploring the Generalized Polygon to Increase the Size of Large Girth Graphs
                           T. Arthur Terlep with Dr. Jason Williford
                                    University of Wyoming
                                      Poster Presentation

McNair Scholars                                                                          Elkhart, IN

       This project is an attempt to make progress on the problem of creating graphs with large size
and relatively large given girth and any given order. We have upper bounds on the size of these
graphs, but we are unable to find constructive lower bounds which match the asymptotics of the
upper bounds for given order and girth (with the exception of girth 3, 4, 6, 10). Previous work by
Lazebnik, Ustimenko and Woldar developed a series of graphs which are the best known
constructions for solving the problem. Within this, they used a particular Lie algebra generated by a
Cartan matrix derived from a generalized polygon. Our work will start by examining the other
possible Cartan matrix which is currently unexplored and derive a Lie algebra associated with this.
We will use this Lie algebra to look at the associated incidence structures from the perspective of
systems of equations over finite fields and attempt to generate new lower bounds on the problem by
generating these new graphs computationally.

                                   Nash Equilibria Mappings
                               Arthur Terlep with Dr. Peter Polyakov
                                    Department of Mathematics
                                      University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                        Elkhart IN

        This project was originally designed to study the relations between differential geometry and
basic game theory, that is, how games are related to space in which they are played. We discovered
that by examining particular surjective strategy maps and special payoff maps between games that
Nash Equilibria are invariant under a “redistribution” of the payoff. More generally, we derived and
proved a simple theorem which claimed that this map preserves all Nash Equilibria as a subset of the
new game. We did this by drawing the digraph interpretation of the mapping matrix. We also
established a loose correspondence between the rank payoff mapping matrix and the number of “sets”
of exchanges. We also found that our stipulations on the mapping allowed the number of sharing sets
to diminish and did not allow them to increase. Further research would study the implications of the
theorem for larger games and potentially create a more generalized version while considering the
forms that these “sets” take.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                     Page 86
                                      Browning on the Plains
                                  Kaitlynn Terry with Dr. Eric Nye
                                       Department of English
                                       University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation
UW Honors Program                                                                       Sheridan, WY

       My research paper is an exploration of the poet Robert Browning’s popularity in the Western
United States and more particularly Laramie, Wyoming. The paper argues that Browning’s use of
universality endeared him to the readers of the American West as they sought to understand
themselves and other Western settlers. As a Wyoming native, I maintain an avid interest in the
development of the American West and various plains communities. Dr. Eric Nye helped me to
synthesize my interest in the Victorian poet Robert Browning, my interest in Wyoming, and the
settlement of the West by pointing out the existence of the Browning Club in Laramie. Members of
the Laramie Browning Club were elite members of the Laramie community and included Mrs. N.E.
Corthell, Professor and Mrs. E.E. Slossen, and Professor and Mrs. W.C. Knight. The group held bi-
weekly meetings from 1895 to 1908. This paper utilizes research from the Wyoming Newspaper
Project and American Heritage Center archives to illustrate the influence of the work of Robert
Browning upon the Laramie community, via the Browning Club, during this thirteen-year period.

                    Green River Basin Pumped-Storage Hydropower Facility
                     Nancy Thoman and David Kemper with Dr. Fred Ogden
                        Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering
                                    University of Wyoming
                                       Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                      Riverton, WY
                                                                                          Crete, NE

        The purpose of this project is to examine the possibility of building a hydroelectric pumped-
storage power facility in the Green River Basin of Wyoming for the production of sustainable
“green” energy. A pumped-storage hydropower facility uses off-peak power to pump water uphill for
use during peak power periods. Water is released through a turbine during peak power periods
producing electricity. The difference in cost of off-peak and peak electricity prices can vary greatly
thus making a pumped-storage hydropower facility a profitable project. The integrated design of the
facility was based on available sites and an in-depth economic analysis. Viva Naughton Reservoir
was selected as the location of the facility, and a comprehensive design was completed taking into
account engineering design, economy, impact on the environment, and sustainability. The use of
wind turbines was incorporated into the project design to eliminating the need to buy the power
needed to pump the water uphill. The use of a hybrid wind-hydro power facility allows for the use of
two of Wyoming’s natural resources for the production of sustainable, eco-friendly energy, meeting
the Nation’s growing need for electricity.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                      Page 87
                         APJ Silencing Attenuates Apoptosis in H9c2 cells
                  Ellen Thompson, Asli F. Ceylan with Jun Ren and Sreejayan Nair
                                       School of Pharmacy
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                     Cheyenne, WY

        Obesity-related cardiovascular diseases have reached epidemic proportions in the United
States. Studies have shown obesity may lead to hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy and compromised
ventricular function. Apelin is a recently discovered protein involved in regulating cardiovascular,
gastrointestinal and immune infections as well as in embryonic cardiovascular development and fluid
homeostasis. It may prove therapeutic in preventing obesity-related diseases. This project aims to
describe the signaling pathways involving apelin receptors (APJ) in insulin resistant mouse myocytes.
Neonatal rat cardiac myocytes (H9c2 cells) were cultured and then insulin resistance was invoked by
treatment with palmitic acid in both the presence and absence of APJ for varying time periods. The
extent of phosphorylation and the concentration of proteins involved in the endoplasmic reticulum
(ER) stress and apoptotic pathways were determined by Western blot analysis. Palmitic acid induced
programmed cell death via ER stress. The absence of APJ improved cell survival. These results
reveal that APJ plays an important role in palmitic acid induced apoptosis in H9c2 cells.

  Testing for the Time Dependent Transition from a Rates Across Sites Model to a Covarion
                                Model of Protein Evolution
                           Makayla Tisdell with Dr. David Liberles
                             Department of Molecular Biology
                                  University of Wyoming
                                     Oral Presentation

INBRE Undergraduate Student Research Grant                                                 Plevna, MT

        Protein-coding gene sequences typically evolve constrained by the requirements for a protein
to fold into its three dimensional structure. These constraints can dictate evolutionary rates at
different sites, where residues in the hydrophobic core of a protein typically evolve more slowly than
those on the surface. The exceptions to this are surface residues involved directly in functions of the
protein such as binding, which are also conserved. A gamma distribution of rates across sites is
typically used to describe the process of protein evolution in what is called the rates across sites
model. It has been proposed that this model is violated when the function of a protein changes. It has
alternatively been proposed that protein structure leads to violations of the gamma distribution over
increasing evolutionary time. I hypothesized that the rate of the transition is fold-dependent and that
different protein folds will move from an RAS model to a Covarion model at different rates. In
preliminary analysis, an equal rates rather than a RAS model was supported which suggests the
energy function used in the evaluation of protein folding should be modified before further analysis.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 88
    Nutrient Restriction from Early to Midgestation in the Cow Increases Adipocyte Size of
                                     Offspring at Slaughter
                            Claire Tousley and Dr. Stephen Paul Ford
                                         Animal Science
                                     University of Wyoming
                                       Poster Presentation

Paul Stock Undergraduate Work Study Award                                            St. Anthony, ID
INBRE Undergraduate Student Research Grant Award

         Forage quality decreases in late summer due to decreased precipitation in the Western United
States, leading beef producers to take advantage of higher forage quality by calving in early spring.
However, this means many beef cows undergo periods of undernutrition in early to mid-gestation,
when maternal nutrition is critical for normal fetal development, and has long term effects on
offspring health and performance. Multiparous cows were placed into a control (C), nutrient
restricted (NR) or nutrient restricted + protein (NRP) group from 45 d after AI until d 185. Offspring
were weaned at 210 d, backgrounded and placed in a feedlot. At slaughter, selected organ weights
and carcass characteristics were determined. Adipose tissue from selected depots were collected,
fixed in paraffin, and adipocyte diameters determined by image analysis. There was no significant
difference in BW or BCS between C, NRP, and NR cows at 45 dG, but BW and BCS of NR cows
were reduced at 185 d. There were no significant treatment differences in live weight, carcass
characteristics or organ weights of steers and heifers at slaughter. In contrast, average adipocyte
diameters of NR offspring increased in finished animals, possibly contributing to altered adiposity
and metabolism in later life.

Dietary differences between male and female river otters: evaluation with non-invasive genetic
                            Marci Trana with Dr. Merav Ben-David
                            Department of Zoology and Physiology
                                   University of Wyoming
                                 Oral and Poster Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                           Wilton, IA

        Several studies have shown that there are vast differences in dispersal, space use, social
interactions and foraging habits between male and female coastal river otters (Lontra canadensis).
Such differences have significant effects on the dynamics of otter populations and gene flow.
Because male otters travel long distances in search for fish schools, they may be less affected by local
conditions, such as oil contamination. In contrast, females, who are more sedentary and spend time
close to dens and young, may be more susceptible to such adverse conditions. Because adult female
survival is the most important factor affecting population persistence, evaluation of sex ratio and
dietary differences between the sexes may shed light on the status of this component of the
population. We used DNA analyses to determine the sex of 261 fecal samples collected in Prince
William Sound, Alaska, in 2006. Those samples that were successfully sexed and contained
identifiable prey remains were sent to Pacific ID for diet analyses. Here we report our results on sex
ratio and dietary differences between the sexes and discuss their meaning for the persistence of the

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 89
     Characterization of the Cell Envelope Protein, NlpA, from Francisella tularensis, and
                      Assessment of its Role in Tularemia Pathogenesis
                             Brittany Treat with Dr. Gerry Andrews
                               Department of Veterinary Science
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                  Encampment, WY

        The causative agent of tularemia (“rabbit fever”) is Francisella tularensis. Previous
experiments identified several conserved genes up-regulated during infection “in vivo-induced
conserved sequences”, (IVICS) in other facultative intracellular pathogens. A search through NCBI
Genbank revealed that one such IVICS, NlpA was identified in F. tularensis, and its counterpart in
Escherichia coli is a known virulence factor. Thus NlpA in F. tularensis could be relevant to the in
vivo survival of this pathogen. Using nlpA-specific primers, three 1475 bp PCR amplification
products were generated from F. tularensis ssp tularensis, ssp holartica, and ssp novicida and
inserted into pET-46 Ek/LIC vector, followed by transformation into E. coli competent cells. To
confirm insertions, restriction digests were performed. All transformants failed to stably express
recombinant product. The coding sequences of the ortholog identified in all three Francisella sub-
species were subsequently found to be approximately twice the size in comparison to two other
facultative intracellular pathogens (Yersinia pestis and Brucella abortus). Further sequence analysis
revealed that an overlapping upstream open reading frame may be interfering with NlpA expression
during induction. Experiments to sub-clone the separate ORFs are currently underway. Ultimately,
characterization of this gene and it’s product in F. tularensis could clarify its role in pathogenesis.

                                Perception of Emotion in Autism
                               Margeaux Walker with Dr. David Estes
                                    Department of Psychology
                                     University of Wyoming
                                        Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                      Cheyenne, WY

        It is a common misconception that those who have autism do not have feelings like everyone
else. Individuals with autism have emotions, but are much less able to read another’s body language
and facial expressions than non-autistic people. This is partly due to the diminished capacity to see
other people as persons like themselves. The present investigation aims to explore the core
hypotheses surrounding why those with autism perceive emotion differently than non-autistic people.
The way individuals with autism react to incoming stimuli is often in an uncomfortable manner. One
reason for this is because a person with an autistic brain is unable to assign meaning to sensations.
Therefore, every social interaction a person with autism encounters is affected. Recent literature
studying empathy and emotional face recognition will also be discussed. As a treatment, research has
found individuals with autism recognize and learn emotions more effectively over a course of months
using interactive multimedia. Examining the theories of perceptual impairments will lead to a better
understanding to those with autistic behavior and to the disorder overall.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 90
                               Triaxial Braid Composite Modeling
                                Luke Walker with Dr. Mark Garnich
                               Department of Mechanical Engineering
                                      University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation

NASA Space Grant Consortium                                                                 Wilson, WY

        A trend toward the use of fibrous composite materials is being made due to some of their
inherent properties. The most notable being the high strength and stiffness to weigh ratio. To safely
and accurately use these materials in design it is necessary to fully understand their behavior. As the
orientation of the fibers gets more complex the behavior becomes more complicated. Research was
aimed at coming up with an accurate method to predict failure in complex weaves. A triaxial braided
composite was chosen to work with because there had already been extensive experimental research
that defined the material behavior. The finite element method was employed using computer software
to model the weave and look at the stresses. These stresses are then used to predict failure and
compare with experimental data and properties of unidirectional composites. The weave was
separated into different sub-domains until the experimental data matched the failure predictions.
Fully understanding the failure of woven textile composites will allow for them to be used with
confidence in many more applications and take full advantage of their material properties.

Determining the Impact of Pivotal Actors in the Confirmation of Supreme Court Nominations
                            Caitlin Wallace with Dr. AJ Barghothi
                               Department of Political Science
                                    University of Wyoming
                                      Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                        Cape May, NJ

        The power and importance of the US Supreme Court is found to flow throughout the veins of
the Constitution. Due to the nature of importance and the significance of the Court, the nominees
must be chosen quite carefully. From the creation of the docket to the writing of the majority opinion,
each separate aspect of the Court is affected by the individuals chosen to serve and because of this;
great attention must be paid to their selection. As outlined in Article II, Section I of the US
Constitution, the president shall nominate and with the advice and consent of the senate confirm
Supreme Court justices. Although each Senator casts only one vote for confirmation, several models
exist and are examined herein in which key Senators are outlined as heavily impacting the
confirmation of a particular justice. Through examination of confirmation statistics in addition to four
actor-centered models (two committee based and two party based), this study examines which
individuals involved in the nomination/confirmation stages are most pivotal in the process and extent
of their impact. Which pivotal actor in the Senate best predicts a successful confirmation of nominees
to the US Supreme Court?

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 91
                                  Energy Saving Power Window
                             Ivo Wambeke with Dr.Stanislaw Legowski
                                Electrical and Computer Engineering
                                       University of Wyoming
                                   Oral and Poster Presentations

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                       Deaver ,WY

         Energy to heat or cool a home is significant. Many people in the summer time open their
window in the morning and close the shades in the afternoon to cool maintain the temperature of their
home. The inverse is the same in the winter time, open when it is warmer out and keeping the shades
open during the day.
         The purpose of the power window is to automatically open or close to save energy, and at the
same time be safe. The window will work by user setting summer or winter mode, time control
override switch, manual disengage or engage. It will open if no smoke is detected, no water is
detected, carbon monoxide is detect or if temperature is more ideal outside. The window detects to
see how far open and closed it and if closed will lock. The window will store just enough energy that
if the power goes out while the window is open it will close itself and when the power comes back on
it will check conditions to see if ideal again.

           CO Oxidation over Au Supported on CexM1-xO2 Mixed Oxides (M=Ti, Zr)
                               Cheng Wan with Dr. Jing Zhou
                                 Department of Chemistry
                                  University of Wyoming
                                     Oral Presentation

Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                                  Shanghai, China

         Gold supported on ceria can show high catalytic activity for CO oxidation. CeO2 plays as an
oxygen buffer with its strong ability of storing and releasing oxygen. However, CeO2’s poor thermal
stability makes itself not be a good enough catalytic material. Our job is to prepare CexM1-xO2 (M=Ti,
Zr) mixed oxides with various value of x (x=4/5, 2/3, 1/2) to enhance the catalysts’ thermal stability
by doping M into CeO2. Moreover, research shows that Au/CexM1-xO2 can increase the reactivity of
CO oxidation tested by temperature programmed reduction (TPR). Mixed oxides are synthesized by
sol-gel method and Au/CexM1-xO2 is prepared by deposition-precipitation (DP) method at PH 7 in
this research. X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and scanning
electron microscope (SEM) are used to characterize the catalysts.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                      Page 92
     A Mathematical Model for HIV Focusing on High Risk Populations in Yunnan, China
                           Brian Weinfurtner with Rongsong Lui
                                Department of Mathematics
                                 University of Wyoming
                                    Oral Presentation

NSF EPSCoR                                                                                Littleton, CO

        HIV/AIDS has been a major epidemic problem in all corners of the globe. Nearly every
culture around the world is affected by it in one way or another. In order to help control its far
reaching implications, we need to first understand how it propagates throughout a population. To do
this I developed a mathematical model using some well founded methods in Epidemiology, SIR
based compartmental models. I also wanted to focus on how high risk populations, such as injecting
drug users and sex workers, affect the rest of the populations.
        In order to fully develop my model I had to narrow my attention to a specific population. I
decided to look at Yunnan, China because the disease in that region is still young, and it is possible to
really see how this disease develops. I have developed a system of equations that relate the different
sub-populations of the area. Using these equations I have been working on altering specific
parameters, which would represent selected control strategies, and seeing how those changes effect
the population as time progresses. My work can be used to help policy makers easily visualize where
to properly allocate their resources.

         Desire and Coercion: An Analysis of Rape Fantasy in the Erotica of Anaїs Nin
                                      Caitlin Wheatley
                                    With Cynthia Hartung
                                 Psychology/Honors Program
                                   University of Wyoming
                                      Oral Presentation

Honors Program                                                               Casper, Wyoming

         In the 1940s, Anaїs Nin wrote short erotic stories that she composed for a private collector
who paid her by the page. Nin often depicted sex graphically as painful that at times even included
disfiguring mutilation. Her signature erotic situation is one in which a woman must be convinced
against her will to discover the sexual fulfillment she resists; the woman must come to appreciate sex
through force, this is the essence of the rape fantasy. This paper provides excerpts from Little Birds to
illustrate Nin’s usage and description of female rape fantasy as erotic.
         Rape fantasies are psychological enigmas that pose conceptual challenges; they are difficult
for psychologists to understand because it seems deeply contradictory for women to fantasize about
an experience that in reality would be traumatizing. There are three kinds of rape fantasies, erotic,
aversive, and erotic-aversive. These three types of rape fantasies are defined by five characteristics
that determine which category a given fantasy fits into, type of consent, physical attractiveness of the
perpetrator, relation to the perpetrator, motivation of the perpetrator, and level of physical/verbal
violence. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the psychological basis and reward of rape fantasies
through current research and theory and to investigate why these types of fantasies make Nin’s
erotica successful.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                         Page 93
           First Use and Relapse Factors in Methamphetamine Abuse in Rural States
                               Jason White with Dr. Anne Bowen
                                   Department of Psychology
                                    University of Wyoming
                                     Presentation and Poster

Department of Psychology                                                                    Evanston, WY
        Background: Methamphetamine has been the major problem drug in Wyoming since 1990.
The reasons people use methamphetamine are quite varied and rural states may have unique factors
associated with stimulant use and relapse after treatment . Qualitative interviews of recovering
methamphetamine users in Wyoming were performed in an attempt to better understand what factors
are unique to this and other rural states in the treatment of methamphetamine addiction. Methods:
Interviews were coded by the researchers to look at common themes in “first use” of
methamphetamine as well as reasons for relapsing. These themes included individual, family, peer,
community, work/school, and cultural factors. Results: The majority of respondents indicated that
family and peer influences played the largest role in their first use of methamphetamine. However,
individual factors were indicated to be the primary influence for relapse, most commonly seen as the
use of methamphetamine as a coping factor. Culture did not appear to play a role in
methamphetamine use in Wyoming. Conclusion: There are factors unique to rural states that may
make use of methamphetamine and other substances harder to discontinue. Implications of these
findings for treatment of substance addiction in rural states and for future research are discussed.

   Discovering Crucial Components of the ESRE Network: a Novel Stress-Response System
                          Morgan Wichelhaus with Dr. David Fay
                                    Molecular Biology
                                 University of Wyoming
                                    Poster presentation

Wyoming INBRE                                                                             Lander, WY

        Pleiotropic response to various environmental stresses distinguishes the ESRE (ethanol and
stress response element) stress-response network from other stress systems. Along with this
distinction, the degree of evolutionary conservation makes the ESRE network a novel and significant
pathway to study. The objective of our research is to 1) identify the transcription factor that binds
directly to the conserved ESRE motif (TCTGCGTCTCT) and 2) identify other components of the
ESRE network. Efforts to identify the ESRE binding protein, or EBP, are currently underway at the
time of abstract submission. Our approach includes C. elegans RNAi screens and yeast one-hybrid
screens. Worms carrying a 3xESRE::GFP construct and fed a potential EBP RNAi clone will show
reduced fluorescence when compared to unfed controls under stress conditions. In yeast one-hybrid
screens, a 3xESRE::lacZ reporter construct will show activation upon binding with a likely EBP
transcription factor fused with the gal4 activation domain. Future research will seek to identify other
regulatory genes through additional RNAi screens and/or forward genetic screens. The elucidation of
the EBP and other ESRE network components will further our understanding of the molecular
mechanisms behind stress-response, and may provide targets for new pharmaceuticals and medical

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 94
  A Literature Review Related to Initiatives Fighting Childhood Obesity: The Dietitian’s Role
                          Jamie Wilder with Dr. Enette Larson-Meyer
                    Department of Family and Consumer Sciences: Dietetics
                                    University of Wyoming
                                       Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                            Cody, WY.

        The issue of childhood obesity is a complicated, multifaceted problem that faces many of
today’s adolescents. As of 2009, it has been recommended by the U.S. Preventative Services Task
Force that children six years or older be screened for overweight and obesity using body mass index
percentiles. A thorough review of literature related to initiatives fighting childhood obesity was
completed in order to identify and draw a conclusion about the role the dietitian plays in helping to
prevent and/or treat childhood obesity. It has been recognized that it will take a comprehensive,
group approach that includes health professionals such as pediatricians, dietitians, and counseling
specialists trained to implement lifestyle changes in children and their families in order to help treat
pediatric overweight and obesity. It is recommended that today’s dietitian use evidence-based
research provided by the American Dietetic Association in order to take part in the group effort to
screen, assess, and treat pediatric overweight and obesity.

   Extended vs. Condensed: Determination of Mitochondrial Compartment Structure in
                               Saccharomyces cerevisiae
                         Kassandra Willingham, Peter Thorsness
                           Department of Molecular Biology
                                University of Wyoming
                                   Oral Presentation
Wyoming NSF EPSCoR                                                    Rock Springs, WY

        Mitochondria are organelles that produce ATP, and are also responsible for signaling and cell
death. Wild-type yeast mitochondria exhibit extended mitochondrial structure, described as long and
tubular networks. Induction of mutations into these cells causes a percentage to exhibit condensed
mitochondrial compartments that can be described as “blobby” under a microscope. The purpose of
this experiment is to decide whether or not mitochondrial structure of a given daughter cell is
dependent on structure of the mother cell.
        Two strains of yeast were studied, one with an mdm33∆, and the other strain with a gem1∆.
To test the hypothesis, we used the idea that an isolated colony has arisen from one single cell, the
“mother cell,” and therefore the percentage of extended vs. condensed mitochondrial structure was
counted from a heavy smear (representing the mother cell) and in 10 colonies isolated from this
smear. These distributions were examined using mitochondrial targeted GFP.
        Upon counting the structures of the “mother cells”, and 10 colonies arisen from this cell, it
was determined that the distribution of morphology is quite variable, with 40-66% extended, and 34-
57% condensed.
        Because the distribution is so variable, we need to further focus on the issues associated with
the assay, such as the brightness of the GFP, and perhaps continue with more counts in order to
obtain a more balanced distribution.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                        Page 95
  Green Building in Wyoming: A More Affordable Approach to a More Sustainable Lifestyle
                        Amber L. Wilson with Dr. Anthony Denzer
                           Environment and Natural Resources
                                 University of Wyoming
                                   Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                     Green River, WY

        For many who consider the prospect of adopting sustainable living practices, especially when
it comes to sustainable building, the perceived cost and sometimes lack of direction for taking on
such a project can be daunting. The goal of this research project has been to explore the various
options for sustainable building, particularly in the state of Wyoming, and to deliver a set of clear and
effective recommendations for homeowners and builders. This list of recommendations was created
after reviewing several journal articles concerning studies done on the costs, benefits, and methods of
sustainable building practices as well as consulting with an experienced homebuilder in Sweetwater
County. The effectiveness of different design methods in Wyoming’s climate, along with costs of
materials and estimated returns on initial investments were compared to develop this set of
recommendations. Also included in the research, was a general cost comparison between standard
and sustainable homes of the same size. The hope is that with clearly stated recommendations and
comparisons, those thinking about stepping into the realm of sustainable living may do so with a clear
understanding of what they are doing and why, and without the often deterring need to perform
extensive research on the topic themselves.

                                Serving Homeless LGBTQ Youth
                           Barbara Woontner with Dr. Kathleen McKinney
                                   Family and Consumer Sciences
                                      University of Wyoming
                                         Oral Presentation

UW Honors Program                                                                           Denver, CO

        The need for programs that address homeless LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender,
and Questioning) youth is uncontested; twenty to forty percent of homeless youth are LGBTQ and
adolescents who identify as LGBTQ run away from home twice as often as their heterosexual peers
(Ray, 2006). Despite this need, best practice for working with homeless LGBTQ youth has not been
well articulated. This review of the literature brings together best practice for working with homeless
youth and best practice for working with LGBTQ youth to describe a program that specifically
targets this unique population. Suggestions for urban and rural programs are discussed.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                         Page 96
                  Social Stress in Female Sprague-Dawley Rats: Open Field
                               Zachary Yaple with Dr. Gail Leedy
                                     Dept. of Neuroscience
                                     University of Wyoming
                                       Oral Presentation
Independent Study                                              Ipswich, Suffolk, United Kingdom

        Social stress has been shown to affect development of certain psychological disorders,
especially depression. For the purpose of the etiology of depression, experimenters attempt to use
non-human animals to encounter behavioral changes in open field cage experiments. Using this
behavioral technique in female Sprague-Dawley rats, researchers are able to show behavioral
alterations that support the idea that females experience chronic stress, via depression from social

 Anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction: role of NADPH oxidase
                       Xuejun Yu1, Machender R Kandadi1, and Jun Ren1,
                                Department of Health Sciences
                                   University of Wyoming
                                 Oral and Poster Presentation

EPSCoR and Department of Health Sciences                                               Xi’an, China

         Anthrax infections are frequently associated with severe and often irreversible cardiovascular
complications, suggesting that the toxins generated from Bacillus anthracis, namely lethal toxin and
edema toxin may possess pernicious cardiovascular effects. Lethal toxin has been shown to reduce
ejection fraction, trigger diastolic dysfunction, and suppress contractility in the hearts and the
underlying mechanisms were not explored.
         Hypothesis: Here the present study we hypothesis that anthrax lethal toxin induces
cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction by excess superoxide production.
         Methods and Materials: Cardiomyocytes isolated from C57bl/6J mice were treated with
anthrax lethal toxin (5-50nM) either in presence or absence of NADPH oxidase inhibitor.
Cardiomyocyte contractile function including peak shortening (PS), time-to-PS (TPS), time-to-90%
relengthening (TR90), maximal velocity of shortening/relengthening (+/- dL/dt) and intracellular Ca2+
rise (rise in fura-2 fluorescent intensity) were assessed. We have also assessed superoxide levels
using fluorescence microscopy and SERCA2a and Phospholamban protein expression by western
         Results: Anthrax Lethal toxin depressed cardiomyocytes peak shortening, maximal velocity of
shortening/relengthening and prolonged TR90 in concentration dependent manner. Lethal toxin has
also increased cardiomyocyte calcium decay rate. Lethal toxin has induced superoxide production in
isolated cardiomyocyte. Pretreatment with apocynin a known NADPH oxidase inhibitor has inhibited
superoxide production and rescued cardiomyocytes contractile function. These results show that
anthrax infection induces cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction by inducing superoxide production.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                       Page 97
            Latinos in Rural Areas: College and the Experience of Self-Identification
                             Mariana Zaragoza with Dr. Angela Jaime
                                      College of Education
                                     University of Wyoming
                                       Poster Presentation

McNair Scholars                                                                           Saratoga, WY

        The objective of this study is to focus on the experiences of Latino/as’ from rural areas in
Wyoming who are in college and their perception of their self identification as a Latino/a. A
narrative inquiry approach and informal interviews will be conducted to gain a clearer understanding
of these students’ experience of living in a predominantly white rural area. A second focus will be on
my own experience as a Latina growing up in a predominantly white rural area with little Latino/a
cultural influence and my transition to college where there was more influence from this culture.
Additionally, attention will be given to the development of re-evaluating my own self identification
due to the shift in cultural influences. The importance of this study is to raise awareness of
challenges faced by students when they transition from their rural, white environment into a college
community with more Latino/a cultural influence.

                          Religion in the American Classroom:
            The Transition from Religious Training to Teaching about Religion
                                    Grete Zimmerman
                                 With Dr. Quincy Newell
                  Secondary Social Studies Education and Political Science
                                 University of Wyoming
                                     Oral Presentation
UW Honors Program                                                            Laramie, WY

         Education in the United States has long been important for concerned citizens, parents, and
legislators. The United States is also purportedly founded on the ideals of religious freedom and
tolerance. Education and religion have long been connected to each other, a fact which has caused
much consternation in recent decades. Religious education was once an expected component of
public education in the United States. Over time, the public school system has become increasingly
secular because of the growing numbers of immigrants of different faiths and the increasing support
of public schools by state and federal governments. This paper explores the transition from public
schools as places for religious instruction to places where students learn about the historical influence
of religion. I use the National Council for the Social Studies Standards and Supreme Court majority
opinions curtailing religious practices in public schools to argue that religion does belong in social
studies classrooms in American public schools. Religion is central to conflicts and movements
throughout American history, and ignoring the impact of religion on history creates gaps in student
understanding. Accompanying the paper is a collection of lesson plans that incorporate religion into
the study of American history at the secondary level.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                         Page 98
      Intensity of Infection and Time of Day in the Red Back Vole, Clethrionomys gapperi
                           Rebecca M. Zook with Dr. Michael Scott Burt
                                     Life Science Department
                              University of Wyoming/ Casper College
                                        Poster Presentation

IDeA Networks for Biomedical Excellence (INBRE)                                      Casper, WY

        Little is known about the intensity of endoparasite infection of small mammals much less the
species of Eimeria (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) in many wild rodents. Eimeria is a diverse genus and
the majority of mammals surveyed to date harbor at least one species. Given that standard field
methodologies often have fecal samples collected from potential hosts when live traps are checked
early in the morning, the presence of some Eimeria may go undetected if the parasites are shed later
in the day. To determine if there is a relationship between time of day and intensity of infection
(measured by the number of Eimeria/pellet) we collected fecal samples from live-trapped southern
red-backed voles (Clethrionomys gapperi) from Grand Teton National Park. Live specimens were
taken from the field and held for 24 hours, during which pellets were obtained an average of every 8
hours. Pellets were stored in 2% potassium dichromate until sporulation could take place. Of the 51
voles sampled, 19 were infected with Eimeria. Measurements of the sporulated oocysts indicate the
species E. Clethrionomyis present in the red backed vole. Though sample size is low, correlation
analysis reveals no relationship between time of day and intensity of infection.

Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day 2010                                                    Page 99

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