Recent Submissions

  • The Impact of Water Infrastructure on Refugee Populations Globally

    Smith, Emma (2023)
    Often a scarcity of resources can be linked to migration, and access to water and its surrounding infrastructure has become increasingly scarce. Water deficits impact an area's agriculture, economy, and population. It acts as a push and pulls factor for migration. Looking at a lack of water and its infrastructure, one could start to understand migration patterns and explore water infrastructure's impact and significance on migration. The UN is aware of these issues and has provided access to safe water for areas with less access to water, but is this enough? Analysis shows that the continuing lack of water infrastructure impact migration and can shift the demographics of an area. The results show how these factors still significantly impact the refugee population and the movement of people in and out of certain areas. Improving the infrastructure for water would increase countries' economic growth and poverty reduction as well as increase overall global health.
  • Indigenous Communities and Water Pollution: A Case Study in Environmental Injustice

    Lascell, Wendy; Taylor, Mia (2022)
    Sustainable development goals are meant to be inclusive of all population groups. In the United States, Indigenous peoples have historically been discriminated against creating an environmental injustice. Access to clean water is a basic human right and there are long-term health effects that occur due to water pollution. Infrastructure failures in the United States contribute to the lack of access to clean water on Indigenous lands. This study examines the infrastructure failures and environmental pollution that led to the lack of access of clean water on Indigenous lands. Analysis of publicly available spatial data in GIS is expected to show a direct correlation between higher levels of water pollution and location of the Indigenous communities. These findings will likely show that there are higher levels of water pollution on Native American Reservations and consequent health effects. Examining GIS spatial data and creating a map pertaining to this issue will help create a visualization of these findings. Solving this wicked problem of environmental racism is challenging and sometimes seems insurmountable. This study will contribute a small brick in building a path of sustainable development for all people.
  • Air Quality and Environmental Injustice in Detroit, Michigan

    Lascell, Wendy; Kammer, Karen (2022)
    Detroit, Michigan suffers from environmental injustice of air quality, disproportionally burdening neighborhoods with lower income and/or higher numbers of minority populations. Higher rates of pollutants leads to higher rates of lung ailments (e.g. asthma) and brain development problems in children. Using GIS maps disparities in air quality are mapped across the city of Detroit. Factors analyzed include demographic data (i.e. income levels and racial data), air quality index numbers, and particulate matter less than 2.5 ug/m3 (PM2.5). Publicly sourced data was collected between January 2022 and March 2022 for several locations within the city of Detroit. The data was then averaged and mapped in GIS. Further analysis examines socioeconomic factors to identify patterns and correlations. Environmental injustice is an identified problem globally which needs to be addressed on a smaller scale to achieve sustainable development goals.
  • Assessing Environmental Injustice in Albany, New York

    Crawford, Kate (2022)
    Environmental justice is a key component of sustainability as it seeks to promote the fair and equitable distribution of environmental burdens and benefits for all people. Instances of environmental injustice are prevalent on a large scale throughout the United States. The city of Albany, New York is examined to identify environmental justice problems related to income-level and racial demographics using GIS mapping analysis and geostatistics. Expected findings include correlations between socioeconomic factors and environmental burdens. This research is important because it will contribute to evidence of large-scale trends existing on a smaller scale that are often overlooked. Research into environmental justice trends can illuminate and instigate change for historically neglected populations.
  • Sourcing the Sustainable Surfboard

    Brown, Colm (2022)
    The use of plastic materials to manufacture and maintain surfboards to maximize performance is an industry standard. To successfully produce and sell more sustainably-sourced surfboards, a cultural shift is required to steer away from the generally accepted standard practice. Sustainable Surf standards have been established which can minimize the impact of the surf industry on the environment. The sustainable production methods of 42 companies are analyzed using publicly available data. GIS mapping is used to analyze production data with location data, to determine distance between source of materials and the factories. Furthermore, more sustainable materials (resins and cores) used by sustainable surfboard companies are quantified. All of this information is joined to show overall impacts of the manufacturing processes. In order to make progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, all aspects of production must be examined and improved. This study contributes a small piece to the “industry innovation and infrastructure” sustainable development goal. By providing this type of data, consumers will be able to make informed decisions when they purchase a surfboard.
  • Sustainable Community Outreach: Hemlock Wooly Adelgid in NYS

    Bailey, Jack (2022)
    Public and community outreach are effective tools for impacting public behavior surrounding sustainability issues. In this case, it is used for rallying people to counter the spread of invasive species. The Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, an insect native to Asia and now found as an invasive species in the American Northeast is no different. Feeding on the needles of the Eastern Hemlock tree, the insects are capable of killing an adult tree in as little as four years. Materials are created to educate the New York public about the dangers posed to the Eastern Hemlock by this infestation. People are provided the ability to accurately identify these insects and contact experts who can help. Products include poster and video presentations outlining the history of the infestation, methods of identification, and lines of communication to the proper authorities. This poster is presented at the SRCA conference to gauge interest and promote education amongst peers in the field. The video presentation is distributed via text and social media to spread awareness amongst students and residents of Otsego County alike. Based on other sustainability campaigns, the expected result is a heightened public awareness of the issues surrounding this environmental problem, and hopefully an increase in public engagement with those who are combating this infestation.
  • Light Pollution: A Spatial Analysis, SUNY Oneonta

    Azukas, Jacob (2022)
    Light pollution is a growing environmental problem which is often overlooked but has many adverse effects. The lighting systems on SUNY Oneonta’s campus present problems for the community such as limiting astronomical observations, altering ecosystem boundaries, and changing species behavior. Measurements of light pollution are obtained using a Unihedron Sky Quality Meter (SQM). The SQM measures darkness of the night sky in magnitudes per square arc second on a scale of 8 (most light pollution) to 23 (least light pollution). Survey sites were determined using stratified sampling from campus green spaces, student walkways, and parking lots. College camp is used as a control to compare the results of survey sites. To ensure accuracy and consistency of data, measurements are taken subsequent to the moon setting below the horizon and only on clear nights with little to no cloud coverage. As research progresses most parking lots and walkways are falling between 8 and 14 magnitudes, while green spaces range from 14 to 23. After finishing a survey the data is averaged with prior survey results and then uploaded to ARCMAP GIS layered with visual and spatial data for its corresponding location. The finished product serves as a base layer for future sustainability projects such as ecosystem monitoring, animal behavior and astronomical research.
  • A 14-year Survey of the Parasites of Yellow Perch from Canadarago and Otsego Lakes, New York

    Reyda, Florian; Silvester, Kimberly; Hidalgo, Adriana; Loscerbo, Alyssa; Salinas, Yanlee (2022)
    Over the past 14 years the SUNY Oneonta fish parasitology lab has conducted a survey of the parasites found in yellow perch (Perca flavescens) in Otsego and Canadarago lakes, with emphasis on winter sampling via ice fishing. Survey work has also been conducted during the summer months. For every fish examined, all components of the digestive system were examined for parasites, and in many samples, full necropsies, i.e., examinations of most of the body organs, were performed. Parasites that were collected were preserved and subsequently prepared as whole mount slides using conventional parasitological techniques, and then examined with a compound light microscope. Parasites were subsequently identified to genus or species based upon the reference literature. Following identifications of parasites, comparisons were made between the two lakes, which respectively represent oligotrophic and eutrophic water bodies. This project has been reported on in previous years by other students. The major contribution of our study is to increase the taxonomic level of precision of identifications from genus to species, in many instances. In this poster we report on and present images of multiple species of parasitic worms, including species of acanthocephalans (thorny headed worms), nematodes, trematodes (flukes), cestodes (tapeworms) and monogeneans, as well as some parasitic protozoans and leeches.
  • A New Species of Thorny-headed Worm (Acanthocephala: Neoechinorhynchus), a Parasite rom White Sucker (Catostomidae) from Oneida Lake

    Reyda, Florian; Mendez, Gustavo (2022)
    This study is a result of extensive fish parasite survey work in North America with a heavy emphasis on water bodies in New York state. One objective was to assess the diversity of acanthocephalans which are also known as thorny-headed worms. My study specifically branched out of the bigger study when Dr. Reyda, other students and I encountered a new species of acanthocephalan from two localities in New York, Oneida Lake and Sandy Creek, an eastern tributary of Lake Ontario. This new species appears to be rare since it was only seen in a few white suckers out of over 150 examined in total. Permanent slides were made of the parasite which was then examined and measured using a light microscope. This made it possible to distinguish the new species from the many other species of Neoechinorhynchus in North America that parasitize fishes. This worm was distinguished from other species of Neoechinorhynchus in white sucker in its possession of an unusually large cement gland in males. Other comparisons are currently underway in the laboratory. The unique nature of this species is further supported by DNA sequence data of the large ribosomal subunit that was obtained in a separate, ongoing study. This project is still underway as further work is needed and more samples of the parasite are needed for it to be formally described as a new species. The significance of this work is to show that there are still new species of organisms waiting to be discovered throughout the United States.
  • A New Species of Thorny-headed Worm (Acanthocephala: Neoechinorhynchus), a Parasite from Two Species of Redhorse Fish (Catostomidae: suckers) in North America

    Reyda, Florian; Fleming, Morgan; Bulmer, Emily (2022)
    We encountered a new species of Neoechinorhynchus (Acanthocephala) during extensive fish parasite survey work in North America that focused on catostomid fishes (suckers). Among our samples of Moxostoma specimens from the Red River in Manitoba, Canada, the Kanawha River in West Virginia, and the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania we encountered specimens of genus Neoechinorhynchus inconsistent with previously known species. All fish utilized in this study were captured via boat electroshocking, and subsequently examined with a dissecting microscope for parasitic worms. All acanthocephalans encountered were stored in tap water and after ~24 hours switched to 70% ethanol. They were then stained and mounted onto slides with Canada Balsam and subsequently examined with a Leica DM 2500 microscope. Measurements of 9 male and 12 female specimens of this new species were then compared to available published data for other North America fish-parasitizing species of Neoechinorhynchus, and in some cases, to type specimens. This new species differs from all but six of the 30+ species of Neoechinorhynchus from the USA and Canada in its possession of body walls that are thicker dorsally than ventrally, and in having lemnisci that are markedly unequal in length. Although the new species is similar to N. buckneri, N. bullocki, N. carinatus, N. cristatus, N. prolixoides, and N. prolixus in terms of body wall thickness and lemnisci, it can be distinguished from each of those species based on hook lengths of anterior, middle, and posterior hooks on the proboscis. Our morphologically-based conclusion that that this species is distinct from each of those 6 species is corroborated by sequence data for the large ribosomal subunit obtained in another ongoing study. Our study calls attention to the potential for more discovery of novel species in North America.
  • Communicating Climate Change Impacts through Crochet

    Allen, Ashley; Hoyte, Brianna (2022)
    As climate change is causing an increase in natural hazard events across the United States, special attention must be paid to the impacts these events have on citizens, particularly those in marginalized or vulnerable communities. In New York, increases in extreme precipitation events in both winter and spring have the capacity to impact a wide range of citizens in different ways. I recognized the increasing frequency of these events through data review and comparison from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service. The aim of this project is to use crochet to understand and represent the difference in experience that different residents of New York face when dealing with natural hazards and disaster events related to climate change. In order to do this, I planned out an imperfectly mirrored scene of the aftermath of a disaster, while making sure to include many of the effects these precipitation events have on different socioeconomic communities. By using crochet to set the scene literally and figuratively, I can use my art to communicate the impacts of New York’s changing climate while also depicting environmental justice issues in a way that non-scientists can engage with and understand.
  • The Impact of Aquatic Invasive Mussels and Artificial Circulation Devices in Otsego Lake, NY

    Yokota, Kiyoko; Lord, Paul; Smith, Rylie; Kari Minissale; Stickney, Sierra (2022)
    Local watersheds have been infiltrated by aquatic invasive species (AIS), which are non-native organisms that may cause economic, public health, and recreational problems for community members. Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and quagga mussels (D. rostiformis bugensis) are AIS that have been found and reported in Otsego Lake within the last 15 years. Zebra and quagga mussels can have severe impacts on the overall ecology of the lake, therefore it is important to monitor their populations to determine what efforts need to be taken to mitigate their impacts. It is particularly critical to survey quagga mussels at this time, which are a recent invasion and have behaviors (deeper colonization and tolerance to cooler temperatures) that may allow them to have more severe effects on the dynamics within the lake. Additionally, Otsego Lake is subject to increasing use of shoreline de-icing devices, including agitators and bubblers, to protect docks and other structures. Our pilot study showed that an agitating de-icer pushed cold water deeper during cold snaps than in nearby ice-covered locations, which raised the concern for the overwintering benthic community structure. Existing literature suggests that the temperature and substrate preferences of quagga mussels may allow them to outcompete and displace zebra mussels over time. By surveying the population of both mussels, an analysis of the niche overlap between the two mussels can be conducted and predictions on their ecological relationship can be made. This project continues the work of Yokota Lab to survey the population, size, and age of these AIS in Otsego Lake, analyze the ecological dynamics between the two, and evaluate the impact that "de-icing" systems have on the lake’s benthic community. This presentation will represent the current methods used, the results collected, and the initial predictions made in regard to this project.
  • Potential Exposure to Cyanotoxins while Recreating, and Seasonally Dynamic Indicators of Microcystin Production

    Yokota, Kiyoko; Beale, Cole (2022)
    Cyanobacteria form harmful algal blooms (cHABs) and certain species can produce variable cyanotoxins, specifically the most common and toxic, Microcystin (MC) and its associated congeners. Cyanotoxins and MC in cHABs often reach concentrations that are deemed unsafe for human consumption and recreation. Recreational activities during cyanobacterial blooms can expose a person to a high cyanotoxin concentrations. I hypothesized that persons engaged in motorized recreational activities during cyanobacterial blooms will be exposed to measurable cyanotoxin concentrations without full-body immersion. I constructed a device to be towed behind a motorboat, and 10 sampling events occurred at Chautauqua Lake, a eutrophic lake with reoccurring cHABs. Splash collected contained 0.02 – 4.1 µg L⁻¹ of total microcystins (MC) by LC-MS/MS and was highly correlated to the lake surface concentration (R² = 0.95, p < 0.05). Surface MC was significantly correlated to the interaction of water temperature and Microcystis aeruginosa abundance (R² = 0.92, p < 0.05), over the traditionally used indicators total cyanobacterial abundance, chlorophyll a, and warm water. These results show certain recreational activities may expose a person to unsafe MC concentrations from splash contact alone, and limnological conditions surrounding MC production can vary between systems.
  • The Effects of Adverse Experiences on Education and Income: A Comparison of Cisgender and Transgender Communities

    Storrie, Christine L.; Kitissou, Kpoti; Laska, Alexa (2022)
    I assess the impact of adverse experiences on income and educational attainment and compare the results between cisgender and transgender communities. To estimate the relationship, I use data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) 2019 & 2020 surveys that include both optional modules for Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Scores, and Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity (SOGI). The calculations for the estimates are made through a probit model that conveys the marginal effects of adverse experiences on income yielded later in life, and highest level of education achieved. My expected results are that facing adverse experiences decreases overall income and educational attainment, and that being both transgender and abused further decreases income and education levels.
  • Analysis of Northwestern Montana Lakes Based on Transparency and Temperature

    Stich, Dan; Ingelfinger, Cynthia; Minissale, Kari (2022)
    Lakes exhibit physical, chemical, and biological differences in their responses to climate change. Water transparency and temperature trends have been established as indicators of the quality of lakes in local and regional studies. To better understand responses of lakes to large-scale climatological changes, lakes near Glacier National Park have been regularly monitored through the Northwest Montana Lakes Network since 1992. Citizen science volunteers measured Secchi disk depths and temperature in 47 lakes in Montana, USA, to assess water quality and the potential impacts of climate change on lakes between June and August from 1992 through 2021. We modeled seasonal and annual variability in measurements across years, and among months while accounting for lake-specific variation in seasonal and annual trends. Both Secchi disk depth and temperature changed significantly across all lakes during this period. Secchi disk depth increased significantly in five lakes, and temperature increased significantly within twenty-six lakes. Lakes that were colder on average displayed greater increases in temperature than warmer lakes, and lakes with lower-than-average Secchi depths increased in clarity more than clearer lakes. Future analyses will be conducted on nutrient data received from these lakes to formulate a comprehensive analysis of trophic shifts coincident with climate change.
  • A Preliminary Analysis of Freshwater Mussel Population Dynamics in Texas

    Stich, Daniel; Guerrero, Brandon (2022)
    Freshwater mussels are among the most widespread riverine fauna in North America, constituting 50% or more of benthic biomass, but also one of the most imperiled. Although most of the 300 species in North American are poorly characterized, estimates of population parameters and detection probabilities from existing studies can be used to design monitoring programs that balance effort and statistical rigor. We used existing estimates of survival and detection probabilities within a simulation framework to assess minimum monitoring design requirements (numbers of sites and individuals) for analyzing freshwater mussel populations using mark-recapture methods. The simulations indicated that both the number of individuals available, and number of sampling occasions had potential to affect accuracy and precision of resultant estimates. Accuracy of survival estimates generally increased with increasing number of individuals until about 300 individuals and likewise increased with increasing number of sampling occasions until error was minimized at about 30 occasions. Precision similarly increased until a minimum of 250 individuals or 50 occasions. Future simulations will incorporate additional complexities and help guide management and research efforts. This will include exploration of robust design approaches incorporating both primary and secondary (replicate) sampling events for better estimation within shorter time frames.
  • Healthcare Practitioner Use of Nutrition-Related Resources

    Riddle, Emily; Kennedy, Caroline; Snow, Cassandra (2022)
    Introduction. Healthcare practitioners should regularly use evidence-based resources to inform ethical health care practice decisions. In nutrition, lack of consistent use of evidence-based resources is likely to lead to differences in messaging among healthcare professionals and subsequent increases in public confusion and mistrust in nutritional science. The frequency with which registered dietitians (RDNs) and non-RDN practitioners use evidence-based resources when providing patient care is unknown. In addition, the confidence and trust RDNs and non-RDNs have in the nutrition-related resources they use is unknown. Objectives. 1) To determine the confidence RDNs and non-RDNs have in their ability to find and use evidence-based resources, 2) to determine the level of trust RDNs and non-RDNs have in the sources of nutrition information they use, 3) to compare the nutrition-related resources RDNs and non-RDNs use when providing nutrition education to patients/clients. Methods. An exploratory, online, cross sectional study was conducted with a convenience sample of 91 practitioners. The 15-question survey was tested for face validity. Recruitment occurred via email and through local and state-wide professional organization list-serves. Differences in resources used, confidence, and trust between RDNs and non-RDNs were determined using Chi-Square tests (p<0.05) using SPSS. Results. Fifty-one percent of respondents were RDNs and 46% of respondents were non-RDNs. RDNs felt significantly more confident than non-RDNs in their ability to find (p<0.01) and use (p<0.01) evidence-based information. There was no significant difference in the level of trust RDNs or non-RDNs had in the sources of nutrition information they use. More than 60% of RDNs and more than 70% of non-RDNs reported being unfamiliar with or never using multiple resources for evidence-based nutrition information, including Cochrane, Nutrition Evidence Systematic Reviews, and Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition. RDNs did use the evidence-based Evidence Analysis Library more frequently than non-RDNs (P<0.01). Conclusions. The majority of RDNs and a third of non-RDNs felt a high level of confidence in their ability to find and provide evidence-based nutrition information. However, both RDNs and non-RDNs reported being unfamiliar with or never using multiple resources for evidence-based nutrition information.
  • Utilizing Instagram to Strategically Plan, Execute, and Build a Brand Image for an Academic Program

    Ramkumar, Bharath; Alberts, Samantha (2022)
    Do social media platforms, such as Instagram, provide a unique opportunity for college programs to connect with their students (prospective and current), faculty, and alumni? If so, what are the best practices that can guide the creation of an engaging Instagram page for an academic program in a university? These are the questions that the authors of this project sought out to answer. Most top universities in the country, both private and public, have Instagram accounts. These institutions utilize Instagram to create and maintain an image for their academic “brand” and to build long-term relationships with their followers. They even run separate pages for individual academic programs and that is what the authors of this project explored by creating an official Instagram page for SUNY Oneonta’s Fashion and Textiles program in the Human Ecology department. The purpose of the Fashion and Textiles Instagram page (@fashion_sunyoneonta) was to inform and connect with current students, faculty, alumni, and prospective students about all things Fashion and Textiles. To accomplish this, the student presenter of this project ran the page under the guidance of the faculty member in the program through an independent study course. The objective of this presentation is to share the strategy employed to develop a successful Fashion and Textiles Instagram page with the intention of providing a model for future students, faculty, or staff who may take over the operations of the page. This presentation is also intended to serve as a model for other academic programs that wish to set up and run an official Instagram account. In this presentation, the authors will go into detail on how they used programs such as Excel, and Canva to create and organize weekly posts for the Instagram page. The presentation will illustrate the effort that goes into planning each post, while showing various analytics and content, along with the mistakes that were made along the way. One major accomplishment of running this page was learning the proper communication skills it takes to run a social media account for an academic program. The page also prides itself on gaining 205 followers in just 13 months. The Fashion and Textiles page also has a certified account following the page, this account is Fantastic Fungi from the hit documentary on Netflix “Fantastic Fungi.” The evolution and accomplishments of the page in just a year had surpassed all expectations, but the greatest accomplishment has been being able to showcase how incredible the Fashion and Textile program, students and faculty at SUNY Oneonta really are. The approach and strategies behind these accomplishments will be discussed in this presentation.
  • Appreciate Theatre: A New, Open-source Textbook for SUNY Oneonta’s Introductory Theatre Course

    Pipino, Kiara; Canavan, Gillian (2022)
    Theatre Appreciation at SUNY Oneonta is a required course for theatre majors/minors but is also a popular course outside of the major, as it fills general education and liberal arts requirements. The curriculum of this course surveys the art of theatre, beginning with its ancient origins to modern day drama. The challenge with covering such a broad range of topics and time periods is finding a textbook that efficiently guides students through the course content. Kiara Pipino, a theatre professor at SUNY Oneonta has organized the creation of a new, open-source textbook entitled Appreciate Theatre to be used in our college as well as being made available for use in other educational institutions. Authors of this textbook include not only Professor Pipino, but additional members of the Theatre Department faculty as well as various theatre professionals and academics. When the textbook is used in the classroom, ideally, the fifteen chapters will each correlate to one week of course content. One of SUNY Oneonta’s theatre students, Gillian Canavan, has begun work as an editor, as well as searching for open-source photographs to include in the textbook. Photographs from SUNY Oneonta’s own theatrical productions will also be included with permission from student performers. The consideration of a student’s perspective in this process is intended to provide input on how to keep students engaged with the course content, especially those who are not specifically interested in the area of theatre. This will be done through the editing process as well as in a concluding chapter on the potential reasons fellow students should “Appreciate Theatre.” The goal of this textbook is to be made a widely accessible resource, and in order to do this, it is to be published on Pressbooks, an online platform that specializes in professional educational open-source content. The writing, editing, and publication of Appreciate Theatre is currently underway, and is planned to be available for use in the Fall 2022 semester.
  • The Development of Hominin Muscles of Mastication

    McGrath, Kate; Lyons, Jacob (2022)
    The temporalis muscle travels through the zygomatic arch, attaching the mandible to the cranium, and facilitating mandible elevation. This elevation is what constitutes the motion of chewing, or mastication. Hominins are primates belonging the same evolutionary line as modern humans, including species like Australopithecus afarensis, Homo neanderthalensis, and Ardipithecus ramidus. Stress upon the mastication musculature from the act of chewing can cause direct impacts on the bones of the skull, widening the space of the zygomatic arch or cheek bone, and forming a sagittal crest on top of the head. These stressors are often caused by diet and what the density or type of food the subject is consuming as well as the numbers of hours spent chewing per day. This project examines the size of the zygomatic arch, postorbital constriction, palate breadth, and molar size in order to gain a better understanding of the evolutionary development of modern human mastication and the diets of our ancestors. The general trend is a reduction in the robusticity of the masticatory system over time, coinciding with the adoption of cooking, greater incorporation of meat in the diet, and subsequent increase in brain size.

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