Now showing items 1-20 of 36

    • Understanding Poverty: A Relational Approach

      Seale, Elizabeth (2024-04)
      Dr. Elizabeth Seale, from the Sociology department, delves into her latest publication, Understanding Poverty: A Relational Approach. In her presentation, Dr. Seale explores her motivations behind writing the book, elucidates various forms of poverty, examines poverty as a social relation, and addresses its implications. She sheds light on the pervasive misconceptions surrounding economic adversity and its origins, particularly emphasizing the daily struggles faced by those living in poverty.
    • Genetic Diversity of Rhyacophila fuscula in the upper Susquehanna River drainage basin

      Kletzel, Mackenzie (2023)
      Macroinvertebrates play an important role in freshwater streams (Luell 2020). Different macroinvertebrates have different tolerances to pollution. There are three main groups that these macroinvertebrates can be categorized into whether they have no tolerance for pollution, moderate pollution tolerance and tolerance to pollution (Luell 2020). These different tolerances allow us to use macroinvertebrates as bioindicators to infer the quality of the stream (Luell 2020; Ab Hamid and Md Rawi 2017). Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) are three orders of macroinvertebrates that are commonly used to assess stream quality (Moskova 2008). This work will focus on members of the order Trichoptera, or caddisflies. Rhyacophila is a genus in the family Rhyacophilidae. The genus can be found in North America, Asia, and Europe (Prather et al. 2001). Across North America there are 126 known species (Prather et al. 2001), 34 of which are present in eastern North America and approximately 19 can be found in New York (Prather et al. 2001). In the larval stage, they are aquatic and become terrestrial as adults. Larvae are found in cold freshwater streams with high levels of dissolved oxygen (Prather et al. 2001). Prather et al. (2001) stated that Rhyacophila are univoltine, meaning that they have one generation per year, although some species are known to have multiple cohorts in the stream at any one time (Manuel and Folsom 1982). In the Susquehanna River basin, Rhyacophila have been found, and are commonly encountered, by SUNY Oneonta classes. Manolo Benitez sampled Cripple Creek for a stream ecology course and morphologically identified the Rhyacophila collected as R. fuscula. The overall goal of this thesis research was to identify the most commonly encountered Rhyacophila species found in the upper Susquehanna River drainage basin and examine the population structure amongst 12 different populations.
    • The Red-Backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus) is an Effective Model Organism for a Variety of Biological Concepts

      Shaw, Bethany K. (2023-05)
      The red-backed salamander (RBS, Plethodon cinereus) is increasingly recognized as a model organism for a variety of biological subdisciplines, in part due to its ubiquity and abundance throughout northeastern North America (Fisher-Reid et al. 2021). These salamanders can be used for both field- and lab-based work as they are human-tolerant (Arenas et al. 2015). Some of the biological fields using RBS as a model organism include terrestrial ecology, amphibian ecology, evolutionary biology, regeneration, ecotoxicology, and animal behavior (Fisher-Reid et al. 2021). These salamanders are ecologically influential in forest ecosystems, where their biomass in some locations exceeds that of birds during peak breeding season and may be equal to that of all small mammals combined (Burton & Likens 1975). Of the eight most studied salamanders RBS is the only Plethodontid salamander; RBS is an important inclusion considering that more than half of all salamander species are part of the family Plethodontidae and many of the species are declining (Fisher-Reid et al. 2021). Because RBS are highly philopatric and abundant, studies of its population genetics have been used to ask biogeographic questions at a variety of spatial and temporal scale (Fisher-Reid et al. 2013, Cameron et al. 2017). In ecotoxicology, RBS have been used to study how military waste products and pesticides enter and affect terrestrial food webs (Johnson et al. 2004, 2007, 2010; Bazar et al. 2008, 2009, 2010). In animal behavior, RBS has been used to describe changes in territorial behavior based on food availability (Jaeger et al. 2016). Considering that amphibians are the most threatened vertebrate class due anthropogenic changes to their habitat, it is important that more amphibian model organisms are included in research so that we may understand them better with the aim to conserve them. This master’s research and thesis focuses on two ways in which we can use RBS as a model organism. Chapter 1 assesses the efficacy of marking RBS with Visual Implant Elastomer (VIE) for mark-recapture surveys. Understanding and implementing best practices for marking RBS or other small, terrestrial animals, can allow researchers to ask and more effectively test ecological questions which require accurate tracking of individuals over time. Chapter 2 describes how RBS tail regeneration can be impacted by different proportions of their tail being autotomized and the implications for a lengthy wound healing process.
    • A Survey on Audience Interests and Expectations for Planetarium Shows

      Stengler, A. Erik (International Planetarium Society, 2021)
      Identifying the public’s interests in astronomy topics helps planetariums create entertaining and impactful shows for their audience. During the creation process for a new show for SUNY Oneonta’s planetarium, a survey was conducted to gauge the public’s interests. A total of 109 participants filled out a digital survey that asked if they had previously attended a planetarium show, what topics interested them the most, and what they would want to learn about and see in a planetarium show. The survey showed that constellations and the Solar System remain popular choices and that beyond that, respondents´ choices may be strongly influenced by their previous exposure to astronomy topics.
    • What Have We Lost? Modeling Dam Impacts on American Shad Populations Through Their Native Range

      Zydlewski, Joseph; Stich, Daniel S.; Roy, Samuel; Bailey, Michael; Sheehan, Timothy; Sprankle, Kenneth (Frontiers, 2021-10)
      American shad (Alosa sapidissima) are native to the east coast of North America from the St. Johns River, Florida, to the St. Lawrence River region in Canada. Since the 1800s, dams have reduced access to spawning habitat. To assess the impact of dams, we estimated the historically accessed spawning habitat in coastal rivers (485,618 river segments with 21,113 current dams) based on (i) width, (ii) distance from seawater, and (iii) slope (to exclude natural barriers to migration) combined with local knowledge. Estimated habitat available prior to dam construction (2,752 km2) was 41% greater than current fully accessible habitat (1,639 km2). River-specific population models were developed using habitat estimates and latitudinally appropriate life history parameters (e.g., size at age, maturity, iteroparity). Estimated coast-wide annual production potential was 69.1 million spawners compared with a dammed scenario (41.8 million spawners). Even with optimistic fish passage performance assumed for all dams (even if passage is completely absent), the dam-imposed deficit was alleviated by fewer than 3 million spawners. We estimate that in rivers modeled without dams, 98,000 metric tons of marine sourced biomass and nutrients were annually delivered, 60% of which was retained through carcasses, gametes and metabolic waste. Damming is estimated to have reduced this by more than one third. Based on our results, dams represent a significant and acute constraint to the population and, with other human impacts, reduce the fishery potential and ecological services attributed to the species.
    • Considerations of variability and power for long-term monitoring of stream fish assemblages

      George, Scott D.; Stich, Daniel S.; Baldigo, Barry P. (Canadian Science Publishing, 2021-02)
      Little attention has been given to optimizing statistical power for monitoring stream fish assemblages. We explored the relationship between temporal variability and statistical power using 34 metrics from fish community data collected annually at six sites over 10 years via electrofishing. Metric variability differed by the life stage and group of species considered, use of abundance or mass data, and data standardization technique. Lower variability was associated with community data, abundance data, and time-based standardizations, while greater variability was associated with young-of- the-year data, mass data, and area-based standardizations. Simulation-based power analysis indicated metric choice, and to a lesser degree, monitoring design (annual, biennial, endpoints, or haphazard sampling) influenced power to detect change. Across a fixed number of surveys (N = 60), endpoints sampling performed best. The N needed to detect change was heavily dependent upon metric choice for all monitoring designs, with the most biologically specific metrics requiring greater N. Large savings in effort and resource expenditure can be obtained utilizing biologically relevant metrics that are robust to temporal noise within an appropriate sampling design.
    • fishStan: Hierarchical Bayesian models for fisheries

      Stich, Daniel S.; Erickson, Richard A.; Hebert, Jillian L. (Journal of Open Source Software, 2022-03)
      Fisheries managers and ecologists use statistical models to estimate population-level relations and demographic rates (e.g., length-maturity curves, growth curves, and mortality rates). These relations and rates provide insight into populations and inputs for other models. For example, growth curves may vary across lakes showing fish populations differ due to management actions or underlying environmental conditions. A fisheries manager could use this information to set lake-specific harvest limits or an ecologist could use this information to test scientific hypotheses about fish populations. The above example also demonstrates how populations exist within hierarchical structures where sub-populations may be nested within a meta-population. More generally, these hierarchical structures may be both biological (e.g., different lakes or river pools) and statistical (e.g., correlated error structures). Currently, limited options exist for fitting these hierarchical models and people seeking to use them often must program their own implementations. Furthermore, many fisheries managers and researchers may not have Bayesian programming skills, but many can use interactive languages such as R. Additionally, programs such as JAGS often require long run times (e.g., hours if not days) to fit hierarchical models and programs such as Stan can be more difficult to program because it is a compiled language. We created fishStan to share hierarchical models for fisheries and ecology in an easy-to-use R package.
    • The Evil Corporation Trope: An Analysis of Popular Science-Fiction Films

      Poerio, Michael A. (2022)
      Popular culture in general, and movies in particular, are one of the major influences on the public’s perception of science, and therefore on the level of trust audiences feel inclined to put in science. The science communication community has made great progress in achieving that the portrayal of scientists in movies does better justice to the diverse reality of scientific research, moving away from the stereotype of the old white male scientist. This has been achieved through constructive collaborations like the National Academy of Science’s Science and Entertainment Exchange. However, a prevalent trope, which we call “The Evil Corporation Trope”, has been repeatedly used in science-fiction films. Following David Kirby’s framework of cinema as a “virtual witnessing technology” that allows publics to immerse themselves in possible futures or inaccessible realities and experience what their perceptions and reactions would be, we present an analysis of this trope in several major science-fiction films, spanning nearly forty-years of cinema. If the reality that audiences virtually witness in these blockbuster movies systematically portrays science or tech companies as the antagonist and the source of all evil – is it surprising that trust in science is heavily undermined when it is such big corporations who, for example, develop and distribute the covid vaccines, or vaccines in general? My analysis includes the identification of patterns found within films using this trope, including corporations in these movies with ties to the military, and abuses of artificial intelligence.
    • Strategies for Conducting Post-Culture-of-Poverty Research on Poverty, Meaning, and Behavior

      Seale, Elizabeth (Springer, 2020)
      Sociologists widely agree that poverty is the effect of structural factors; however, understanding the ways in which poverty is experienced and constructed with reference to culture remains a compelling area of scholarship. In a society where culture of poverty ideas retain popularity, attributing meanings and behavior to people in poverty is complicated and contentious. Many scholars adroitly navigate these waters, but we lack clear guidelines on how to examine the behavior and perceptions of people in poverty without misrepresenting and potentially stigmatizing research subjects. I argue that to avoid problems of overgeneralization and what I call “unacknowledged comparison,” we must engage with multiple points of observation and empirical comparisons. In addition, it makes sense to center sets of circumstances that affect behavior rather than generalizing the behavior or the culture that influences that behavior. Finally, I argue that the unit of analysis should be at the relational level rather than the individual level. The implications of failing to attend to these issues include continued misunderstanding of and unwarranted stigmatization of people in poverty.
    • What Is the SUNY Oneonta Faculty Fellows Program?

      Aucoin, Brendan; Bishop, Jacqueline S. (Bruscella); Fall, Leigh; Montoya, Maria (2021)
      The Faculty Fellows (previously called Administrative Fellows) Program is a pilot program in Academic Affairs that addresses faculty leadership, institutional needs, and collaboration. It provides professional development opportunities for those who are considering administrative roles, by developing focused projects. The projects are addressing SUNY Oneonta’s mission critical goals in experiential learning, student engagement and retention, and inclusivity/diversity. The faculty fellows are an interdisciplinary team that strengthen the roles and offices of the academic deans and library director by integrating the academic schools/units. The 2021-2022 cohort includes Brendan Aucoin (Milne Library), Jacqueline (Bruscella) Bishop (Communication and Media), Leigh M. Fall (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences), and Maria Cristina Montoya (Foreign Languages and Literatures). Brendan is working on a series of projects related to highlighting SUNY Oneonta research and scholarship in the Milne Library. Among these are the development of the Library Special Researcher program for students and creating more opportunities to showcase faculty scholarship in the library. Jackie is working on a series of interrelated initiatives centered on experiential learning. Through cross-campus collaborations. Jackie's project seeks to a) increase access to on-campus and local internship opportunities, b) improve student, faculty, and site-supervisor understanding and use of Handshake, and c) strengthen career readiness programming for students, particularly those studying in the liberal arts. Leigh is working on two projects for the School of Sciences. One project is researching mechanisms of how interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary courses and research happens within the school, highlighting potential barriers and opportunities. The other project is researching past and current STEM experiential learning opportunities to help faculty provide productive experiences for students. MC is working on three projects: first the internationalization of the School of EHESS, including a focus on Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) as a platform; second, developing the curricula and partnerships for the Bilingual Education graduate program; third, diverse faculty retention.
    • Promoting Recruitment, Opportunity, Diversity, Inclusion and Growth (PRODiG) at SUNY Oneonta

      Allen, Tracy; Tiapo, Bernadette (2021)
      This presentation will describe SUNY Oneonta’s PRODiG program, demonstrate program success, and spotlight PRODiG faculty. The purpose of PRODiG is to increase the representation of historically underrepresented faculty at SUNY, including underrepresented minority (URM) faculty and women faculty of all races in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields (WSTEM). PRODiG is envisioned as part of our broader campus diversity and inclusion initiatives. In our second year of participation, SUNY Oneonta formalized a strong working committee, the PRODiG Steering Committee, with the charge to move forward action items toward our goals to: increase representation of URM/WSTEM faculty through hiring and retention; enhance the pipeline of URM/WSTEM students pursuing and entering graduate school and URM/WSTEM graduates to academic careers; and improve the campus climate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. To date, SUNY has approved four PRODIG Faculty at SUNY Oneonta: Cohort I (2019-2020) - Dr. Angela Migues, Chemistry & Biochemistry, and Dr. Elio Santos, Psychology; Cohort II (2020-2021) - Dr. Kimberly Cossey, Chemistry & Biochemistry, and Dr. Valerie Rapson, Physics & Astronomy; and one PRODiG Pre/Post-Doctoral Fellow - Dr. Casey Coomes, Biology. In addition to Co-Chairs Tracy Allen and Bernadette Tiapo, members of the PRODiG Steering Committee include Kelly Gallagher (Chemistry & Biochemistry), Tracy Hartwell (Human Resources), Shahin Kachwala (Women’s & Gender Studies), Kathy Meeker (Grants Development Office), Diana Moller (College Assistance Migrant Program), Joshua Nelson (Institutional Assessment), Rhea Nowak (Faculty Center), Andrew Stammel (Student Development), and Napoleon Tipao (Academic Affairs).
    • Reproduction across the Four Fields of Anthropology

      Han, Sallie; Betsinger, Tracy K.; Rudzik, Alanna E. F. (2021)
      The Routledge Handbook of Anthropology and Reproduction is a comprehensive overview of the topics, approaches, and trajectories in the anthropological study of human reproduction. The book—which will be available in print and as an e-book in November 2021—brings together work from across the discipline of anthropology, with contributions by scholars in archaeological, biological, linguistic, and sociocultural anthropology. A significant theme of the Handbook, which is co-edited by Han and Dr. Cecília Tomori (Johns Hopkins University), is the need to engage in conversations across the subdisciplines of anthropology. Featured in the volume are chapters on the bioarchaeology of reproduction (Betsinger), the sociolinguistics of pregnancy (Han), and the culture and biology of human infant sleep (Rudzik).
    • Immune-Mediated Repair and Regeneration of the Nervous System

      Duscher, Kristen; Chumpitazi, Christina; Watanabe, Junryo (2021)
      All animals have the ability to repair damaged or diseased tissues. The degree to which regeneration can occur can vary from some invertebrates and vertebrates regenerating entire limbs, to mammals which have a very restricted regenerative capacity. While damages to muscle, peripheral nerves, and, to a limited extent, liver initiates regenerative programs to restore function, the central nervous system (CNS) healing is largely incomplete. Rapid and efficient clearance of cellular debris is necessary for tissue regeneration to occur. Myelin debris can be found in the white matter tracts years after an injury to the CNS in both humans and primates. Myelin is a membrane outgrowth of glial cells that ensheath axons purpose of which is to allow fast saltatory conduction of action potential along the axon. Myelin sheath also has within it many proteins that are inhibitory for axon growth, presumably to prevent errant axon sprouting. The prolonged presence of myelin-associated inhibitors of axon regeneration is thought to be a major contributor to the failure of recovery after injury to the CNS. Myelin in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) also contains inhibitors of axon regeneration. In stark contrast to the CNS, injury to the PNS results in rapid clearance of myelin thereby making the environment permissive for axon regeneration. It has been demonstrated that endogenous antibodies are required for rapid and robust clearance of myelin debris after injury to the PNS. Endogenous antibodies enter the site of injury and bind myelin debris which recruits macrophages to rapidly phagocytose the debris. It was hypothesized that Th2 activated (alternatively activated) macrophages (or M2 macrophages) are playing a critical role in the clearance of myelin and other apoptotic debris in PNS injury. Perhaps, then, this might be another explanation why the PNS recovers and the CNS fails to recover after injury. This would have significant implications for people who suffer from spinal cord injuries.
    • Against all Odds: Experiential, Collaborative and Service Teaching during the Strange Days of Remote Instruction

      Stengler, A. Erik; Johnson, Mary (2021)
      The academic year 2020/21 presented serious challenges for teaching and learning. One of the major difficulties was to maintain the standards of experiential learning despite the switch to online/dual instruction modalities and the sudden withdrawal of funds that were already allocated, precisely when there was more need of them than ever in order to create alternative experiential learning opportunities. Despite these obstacles the Science Track courses of the Cooperstown Graduate Program managed to continue to provide the experiential learning projects that are part and parcel of their curriculum, with the added value of also maintaining and cultivating the collaborations with external institutions from our surrounding communities for whom these projects are an essential service, at a time when they most needed the support that CGP is well known to provide through service teaching. The projects include the design of activities for the Wings of Eagles Discovery Center in Horseheads, NY; research on public gardens on Otsego county for the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Cooperstown, NY; the creation of an audio guide to historic buildings and sites in Little Falls, NY for the Little Falls Historical Society; and the participation in an international educational collaboration to reproduce the measurement of the circumference of the Earth by the Greek polymath Erathostenes in the 3rd century BC. All these activities could be performed in compliance with all restrictions and limitations that were in effect at any given time; most of them were carried out outdoors. We present a brief summary of these projects and a status report of our plans to make the outputs of Science Track projects like these publicly available through a dedicated public online repository.
    • Dextral and Extensional Faults in the Iron Mountains, Southwest Virginia; Strain Variation in an Over-thickened Salient Wedge During Late Stage Alleghanian Collision

      Scharman, Mitchell (2021)
      Along strike strain variation related to the Alleghanian Orogeny are observed in the Iron Mountains, southwest Virginia, located in the transition between the Virginia salient and Tennessee recess. A regional scale dextral transpression fault—the E-W striking Byllesby-Falls fault system (BFFS)—is present across the Iron Mountains. Tectonic convergence direction during the later stages of the Alleghanian orogeny transitioned from an initial NW-directed transport phase to a WNW-directed transport phase (e.g. Wise, 2004). This change in tectonic transport direction introduced a lateral kinematic component into the structural corner of the orogen and was accommodated by formation of the BFFS during the later Alleghanian stage. Additionally, there are 2 populations of mesoscale normal faults observed in Iron Mountains: 1) faults orthogonal to BFFS with purely normal slip motion, and 2) faults parallel to the BFFS with either oblique normal slip or alternating between normal and dextral slip motion. The first normal slip fault population is appropriately oriented to accommodate tangential extension along the BFFS during oblique convergence in the structural corner. The second normal fault population may have formed to accommodate extension in response to an over-steepening orogenic wedge as it exceeded critical taper angle. However, this normal fault population also accommodated dextral motion within the salient wedge. These fault populations in the Iron Mountains indicate that extension and dextral transpression motion were simultaneously active components and record three-dimensional structural processes in the salient wedge during the last stage of Alleghanian collision.
    • Depth Perception in 2D Images

      Madden, David; Vandenplas, Devon; Baum, Jessica; Flug, Natalie; Garcia, Jonathan; Schumer, Benjamin; Maurno, Katherine; Staropoli, Mark; Tadbiri, Dina; Santos, Elio M. (2021)
      When near and far objects in two-dimensional images, are carefully aligned so that they appear to be interacting with each other, misperceived distance can lead to misperception of object size. This technique is usually referred to as forced perspective. We studied the depth perception of a small sample of college students who viewed forced perspective images and were asked to make judgements of size or the distance of objects. Some of the factors we examined included: familiar size, relative size, distance, knowledge of the metric system, binocular vision related symptoms, and the action and reactions in the pictures. Preliminary analysis showed that most participants were able to make accurate judgements of absolute size and distance, but not when asked to make comparisons of the relative size of two objects. Relative size seems to be one of the most compelling cues creating forced perspective images. Future work will include correlational analysis that can capture the relationship and strength of the each of the factors in this study.
    • The Importance of Spatial Skills for Workforce Relevant Geologic Interpretations

      Kreager, B. Zo (2021)
      Within academia and industry, spatial skills are essential for success as a student or expert in the geosciences. Little work has assessed the relationship between spatial skill and upper level undergraduate, graduate, or expert level geologic interpretations. This presentation will discuss results of a pre-post study that assess spatial skill and sequence stratigraphic interpretation. Additionally, the presentation will present how spatial skills may impact conceptual errors on interpretation tasks. This study had students complete a geologic task that contained a sequence stratigraphic diagram and a Wheeler diagram. The Sequence stratigraphic diagram is a depth vs. distance diagram of subsurface sediment. The Wheeler diagram and a spatiotemporal diagram representing time vs. distance and corresponds to the layers in the sequence stratigraphic diagram. The results show that mental folding and unfolding significantly predicted student interpretation scores for the complete task and each diagram. Item level analysis of students’ answers on the geologic task revealed a set of unique geologic conceptual errors, some of which are integral to students’ spatial understanding of the diagrams. One specific error will be featured in this presentation, students’ assumption that the lateral contact between rock units represents gaps in the rock record. This is a unique issue as this is geologically implausible, and that the representation of these contacts mimics introductory level representations of gaps in the rock record and students either are over-relying on the spatial skill of pattern matching or have major errors in their conceptual understanding. An essential aspect of this study is that it starts to explore student needs for interpreting spatiotemporal diagrams. Additionally, it is the first study within the geosciences to assess mental folding and unfolding, a skill used across geosciences and other STEM disciplines.
    • A New Automated Weather Station for SUNY Oneonta

      Karmosky, Christopher
      In August of 2021, a new weather station was installed on the roof of the Perna Science building at SUNY Oneonta. Daily weather records have been kept at SUNY Oneonta since the early 1980s including high and low temperature, precipitation, snowfall and snow depth. For much of this time we also have records for wind speed and direction, atmospheric pressure, humidity and solar radiation. The new weather station will help us continue this record well into the 2020s. These data have been used for a variety of student projects in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences as well as other departments across campus. Data are collected every five minutes and archived. At this time, data are updated to an internet dashboard every 10 minutes (hourly during the overnight period to save battery power) and anyone can examine data for the past month through the dashboard. Archived data can be obtained by submitting a request to Dr. Chris Karmosky at
    • A Partnership in the Resurrection and Ascension of an Open Access Journal through SUNY Create

      Jensen, Jennifer; Fall, Leigh; Brunstad, Keith; Beck, Ed (2021)
      New partnerships and technologies are creating opportunities for faculty to develop and share open access journals and other digital scholarship at SUNY Oneonta. Our college is investing in open resources in multiple ways, including by opening a new faculty librarian position in 2020 to support and extend open access and scholarly communications services on campus. At the same time, the SUNY system has elevated SUNY Create from a campus-level project (born at SUNY Oneonta and three other comprehensive colleges) to a system-wide platform for faculty and students to build their own open-source, web-enabled teaching, learning, and research materials in a supported environment. Two faculty members from the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences department are unearthing the potential of SUNY Create by reviving Northeast Geoscience, a regional open access journal with a history on our campus. In partnership with Milne Library’s Scholarly Communications Librarian and an Instructional Designer from the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center (TLTC), we are developing an open access journal site to host, manage, and display a newly accessible version of Northeast Geoscience journal.