• A New Parameterization for Ford Circles

      McGonagle, Annmarie (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2011)
      Lester Ford introduced Ford circles in 1938 in order to geometrically understand the approximation of an irrational number by rational numbers. We shall construct Ford circles by a recursive geometric procedure. The Ford circles also turn out to be parameterized by the rational numbers. We introduce a new parameterization of the set of Ford circles in terms of triples of relatively prime integers that satisfy a certain equation. This is interesting because we have developed a better approximation for irrational numbers between 0 and 1 and because our new parameterization generalizes to a higher dimension.
    • Group Environments and Visuospatial Attention in Patients with TBI

      Freedberg, Michael; Lynch, Joseph; Ryan, Jeanne (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2011)
      Maintaining the attention and focus of patients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a concern of many rehabilitation clinics that work with this population. The novel use of interactive video games to combat the problem of requiring attention to improve attention was utilized in the present study. It has been noted in several studies that video games can have a positive effect on one's focus and attention. The use of games such as Rockband and Guitar Hero have been observed to maintain the focus and attention of patients with TBI for prolonged periods of time. Additionally group environments have been observed to enhance the performance and focus of patients with TBI. Positive group environments are used often in clinics as a means of improving cognitive functioning. Patients with TBI and a control group (undergraduates of SUNY Plattsburgh) engaged in two one-hour sessions one month apart. During these sessions participants performed the task of playing Guitar Hero and completing the Trail Making Test (TMT), Symbols Digit Modalities Test (SDMT), and Paced Auditory Serial Assessment Test (PASAT). Each participant completed one session in the presence of a positive social environment and one control session (only an experimenter was present). A positive social environment was induced by utilizing positive feedback from trained confederates. Results provide evidence disfavoring the use of interactive video as a means of attention therapy. In contrast there is evidence to suggest that a positive social environment is a significant form of attention therapy.
    • A survey of northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis) limestone woodlands at Point au Roche State Park, New York

      Shearman, Timothy; Adams, Kenneth (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2011)
      Limestone woodlands are an ecological community type identified by the New York Natural Heritage Program. These communities are characterized by shallow soil over limestone bedrock. Two northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis) limestone woodland stands were surveyed in Point au Roche State Park (Clinton County), one at Middle Point and the other at Ram's Head. Both stands were dominated by white-cedar and both stands were essentially even-aged. The Ram's Head stand was determined to be the older of the two stands. The structure of these stands indicates that they were probably regenerated by a clearcut. Northern white-cedar survivorship was determined for the Middle Point stand based on snag density per diameter at base height (dbh) class. The northern white-cedars showed a "type II" survivorship curve, with relatively constant mortality rates between 26 and 79 years of age. Although northern white-cedar is a commercially valuable species, the white-cedar limestone woodlands at Point au Roche State Park should be protected for their ecological value.
    • An ecological and cultural review of the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae): Dreamtime - present

      Carroll, Rory; Martine, Christopher (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2011)
      Since the first humans arrived on the continent of Australia, they have been in a symbiotic dance with the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae). This member of the flightless ratite family is a testament to evolutionary adaptation and survival in harsh habitats. It has also played a key role in Aboriginal survival, as it is deeply rooted in Aboriginal mythology, culture, and medicine. The use of emu oil began with the Aborigines and its use is widespread today. The influence of the emu now reaches around the world. By virtue of its unique characteristics, the emu has been the subject of studies in contemporary evolutionary theory, phylogenetics, agriculture, and medicine.
    • Perspectives of Psychosomatic Medicine: An Integration of Psychoneuroimmunology and Epigenetics

      Kryza, Maria (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2011)
      After being subject to Descartes' fallacy for the past few centuries, it has now again been recognized that the mental state has an impact on health and disease, and it is becoming increasingly more evident that DNA alone does not predict health trajectories. Psychoneuroimmunology and epigenetics are two fields of science whose research supports those ideas. Psychoneuroimmunology aims to discover the mechanisms that connect our mind to the rest of our nervous, endocrine, and immune systems while epigenetics demonstrates that different environmental circumstances can produce different phenotypic outcomes that are unrelated to the actual DNA blueprint. An integration of the findings of those two fields may allow for a more accurate and complete understanding of individual health trajectories and may generate pathways to a more individualized treatment approach.
    • Methods for Determining New Biovolumes for Copepods and Cladocerans

      Binggeli, Casey; Waring, Allison; Mihuc, Timothy (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2011)
      Zooplankton are an important component of the food web in freshwater lake ecosystems. Despite there being an abundance of density data for zooplankton taxa in these lakes, there is very little information that exists about pelagic zooplankton biovolume or biomass in temperate lakes. Biovolume is a useful estimate of biomass energy because it determines how much space a species occupies. For this research, we developed new biovolume techniques for freshwater zooplankton based on body size and geometric shape. These techniques were applied to two groups of crustacean zooplankton, the copepods and the cladocerans. Copepod biovolume is broken into two formulas: the ellipsoid formula and the cone formula. For the cladocerans, two formulas were used: one for the Bosminidae family and one for Daphnidae family. Daphnia biovolume is composed of two formulas: the ellipsoid formula and the cylinder formula. The Bosminid family biovolume formula is the same as the ellipsoid formula. These new biovolume fomulas proved to be a useful measurement of zooplankton community structure when compared with density data.
    • Establishing records for Drosera (sundews) in Clinton County, NY

      Schelling, Lilly; May, Shane; Martine, Christopher (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2011)
      The focus of this study was to establish locality records and collect a herbarium specimen for the genus Drosera (sundew) in Clinton County, NY. Although there are suitable sites for Drosera in Clinton County there were no known herbarium records for the presence of the genus, according to the New York Flora Atlas. Two species, Drosera rotundifolia and Drosera intermedia, were hypothesized to be found in bog sites in Clinton County based on their range in the Northeast. Localities surveyed for Drosera presence included sites specified by the New York Natural Heritage Program (NYNHP) as previously having Drosera and sites of bog designation. Sites that have been recorded by the NYNHP as having Sarracenia purpurea presence were also searched, as this species is usually found growing alongside Drosera. Of the locations visited in this study, Drosera presence was only observed in two of the sites. Both locations were previously identified by the NYNHP as sites where Drosera was present. The first site, Stafford Rock, is a black spruce/ tamarack bog located on a sandstone pavement barren. This site was last visited by the NYNHP in 1991 and was classified as a healthy bog site in excellent condition. After observing this site, it seems the health of the bog is in question and will be compromised by overcrowding by woody vegetation. The second Drosera site, Mud Pond, is a tamarack/ dwarf shrub bog declared in 2005 by the NYNHP to be in excellent condition. Drosera individuals at this site are growing in a creeping sphagnum bed across the pond; which may prevent other species from moving into the Drosera habitat. Drosera rotundifolia was the only sundew species recorded.