Redefining the Classroom

College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences

Nancy Kirkpatrick, PhD
Nancy Kirkpatrick, PhD
Office: CRW 236B
Phone: (906) 635-2135
Fax: (906) 635-2266

Ms. Donna White
Academic Assistant

Mr. Roger Greil
Aquatic Lab Manager, ARL

Mr. Ben Southwell
Lab Manager


Welcome to the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences website. The College is home to four Schools that offer baccalaureate and associate programs in biology, chemistry, forensic chemistry, environmental sciences, fisheries & wildlife management, conservation biology, geology, exercise science, parks and recreation, athletic training, mathematics and computer science. Our highly trained faculty members in the College provide students with rigorous academic training that is blended with hands-on learning and applied real world research experience. I invite you to check out the individual Schools through the links below. You will find that our students use modern up-to-date equipment and operate state-of-the art instrumentation. Our mission statement reaffirms our commitment to students to help them develop their full potential as professionals in the natural and mathematical sciences. Better still, come see for yourself. Visit our beautiful campus, meet our faculty & staff, and sign up for a tour of our facilities. We are proud of our campus and would love to show you around.

Nancy Kirkpatrick,Ph.D.


Mission Statement

The mission of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences is to help students develop their potential as professionals in their respective fields. The College provides rigorous academic programs in an engaged, personal and supportive environment. Faculty members enhance student success and the future of the College through their teaching, scholarship and professional development; and act as role models in life-long learning and community service. We prepare graduates for advanced study and/or careers in disciplines crucial to the progress of our nation in the 21st Century. In addition to the major programs, the College provides courses for all University students that serve the national need for literacy in science and mathematics.


Presidents Council - State Universities of Michigan Distinguished Professor

Dr. Paul Kelso has been selected as one of the 2011 Presidents Council - State Universities of Michigan (PCSUM), Distinguished Professor of the Year recipients. The Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year program recognizes the outstanding contributions made by the faculty from Michigan’s public universities to the education of undergraduate students. This is the first time an LSSU faculty member has received this award.


  • Develop skills in analysis, critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making, and communication.
  • Prepare students for careers using their respective degrees and/or certificates.
  • Prepare students for graduate schools and professional schools.
  • Provide practical hands-on experiences in the field and with modern instruments and equipment.
  • Provide highly skilled professors who are also respected scholars.
  • Provide unique learning opportunities.

Senior Capstone Projects

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Robert Addington of Archbold, Ohio investigated the feasibility of creating a new citizen science program to age whitetail deer. His results from a questionnaire provided to local sportsmen and background work he completed showed that there is an interest in the program; however, a more defined program needs to be designed before more public support is observed. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources also provided insight into his efforts creating a new program and system details. This is important because it shows that there is support for a new system but significant time and effort will be required before more sportsmen become committed participants.

Jennifer Alexander of Sanford, MI tested the use of salmonid primers for amplifying the mitochondrial DNA of various species of fish in polymerase chain reactions. The primers used were found to be effective in amplifying the DNA of multiple species of salmonids. This study is important because in order for DNA to be studied, it must first be amplified and it must be known which primers are able to be used for that process.

Chloe Balanda of Big Rapids, Michigan investigated anemia and whether different training types, specifically basketball vs. cross country training, affected the percentage of anemia in female collegiate athletes of each group. Her results showed that both the basketball team and cross country team had very high percentages of anemic athletes within each team (11 out of 15 and 4 out of 6, respectively), though differences between the two teams due to training regimens were not significant. This research is important because anemia can have detrimental effects on any female athlete who strives to reach her full potential, and the results of this study can allow coaches to make necessary adjustments to training regiments and will help to determine if supplements (like iron) need to be added to athletes’ diets.

Ryan Baldwin of Blanchard, MI studied the effects of wave disturbances on aquatic insect communities in coastal wetlands of the St. Marys River to determine if certain communities are better adapted to withstand future disturbances. His results showed that under the disturbance simulated the communities are able to withstand future disturbances, regardless of the history of disturbances. This research is important because it provides a basis of what type of disturbance the communities can withstand.

Melissa S. Behrmann of Sault Ste. Marie, MI studied the change of development over time in the Ashmun Creek Watershed, located in Sault Ste. Marie, MI. The composition of the watershed has changed from mostly agricultural land in 1939 to mostly developed with no agriculture, few fields and some forest in 2010. This research is important because development and impervious surfaces specifically, can have a negative impact on a watershed. The aim of this study is to aid Mike Ripley, the Soo Watershed Association, and the Army Corps of Engineers in their assessment of the watershed and how to rehabilitate it.

Zachary Berry of Bath, Michigan evaluated the effects of environmental factors on Escherichia coli concentrations at four Chippewa County, Michigan beaches. Brimley State Park, Sherman Park, Sugar Island Township Park and Four Mile Beach are recreational swimming beaches monitored for harmful bacteria to protect the public health. A linear multiple regression analysis was conducted to determine the impact environmental conditions have on the Category I beach E. coli concentrations. These data suggest that chronic sources of pollution influenced by water temperature, turbidity, one day precipitation and two day precipitation uniquely explain E. coli concentrations at the four beaches. This research is important for beach managers to identify sources of pollution and develop effective management plans to keep beaches clean and public healthy.

Josh Cerasuolo of Comstock Park, MI assessed the fish populations using the Little Rapids area of the St. Marys River in order to determine if the area was in need of restoration. His results showed that the area was in fact in need of attention. The fish species utilizing the area were fish common of lentic habitats and desired sport fish were nearly absent. The habitat that was historically present in the area can be nearly restored by the reconstruction of the causeway blocking flow into the area. With the reconstruction of the causeway, the return of spawning habitat and forage in the area could possibly cause an increase in the sport fish population. This research is important because it can potentially cause a jump in the salmonid/sport fish populations in the St. Marys River and therefore creating an increase in tourism and revenue in the twin Saults.

Cody Besteman of Hudsonville, MI studied three methods of estimating population size of White-tailed deer at the Hiawatha Sportsman’s Club to assess the club’s current method of hunter surveys. His results revealed that each method differed in density estimates and should be used more as an index of the population rather than actually estimating density. These results are important to deer managers as herd monitoring is an essential part of management programs.

Jason Bojczyk of Waterford, MI studied the migration of Long-eared Owls in the evening at Whitefish Point and the factors influencing their migration. His results showed that Long-eared Owls had an average departure time of 40 minutes after sunset and they prefer to migrate on nights without wind or light winds out of the southeast. This research is important because virtually no data exists on the migration of large numbers of Long-eared Owls.

John Burman of Hudson, WI studied hybridization events between wolves and coyotes in the Eastern Upper Peninsula. His results showed that interbreeding has occurred in the region, but due to the limitations of the tests, could not show how often or if it is still occurring. This research is important when considered with the recent removal of grey wolves from the endangered species list and the possible dilution of their gene pool from coyotes.

Brittany Cousino of Monroe, Michigan assessed three primary sources of drinking water near Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan for water quality and inhibition of plaque development on teeth. Her results showed that fluoride is an active component in the inhibition of plaque on developing teeth. She also found that sources of drinking water that contained fluoride such as municipal water showed the most inhibition. This research is important to the public health as bottled water is being consumed more often due to the perception of its purity over other sources.

Angela Cena of St. Ignace, MI studied the canine and molar teeth of domestic cats to determine if there was a significant difference between their fracture strength. Her results showed that although there was a difference in the fracture rate of the two teeth types, it was not enough to conclude a significant statistical difference. This research is important to the field of dentistry because the rate at which varying teeth fracture and need repair could potentially lead to more detailed and efficient care plans for human and animal patients and their physicians.

Katelynn Cordero of Hudson MI, studied the habitat use requirements of wolves in the Great Lakes Region. She used the information gathered to develop a Habitat Suitability Index; which is a prediction of the relationship between the wolf and its habitat requirements. This Habitat Suitability Index will be used as an aid in managing the wolf populations within the region.

Selena Creed of Cheboygan, Michigan compared two auditory methods (passive vs. call-broadcast) used to survey avian species. The purpose of this study was to determine which method was most effective at detecting vocalizations from Michigan’s resident owl species. Her results showed an increase in barred owl vocalizations using the call-broadcast method and an overall increase in barred owl vocalizations during the late-breeding season. The results of this study are important to the research of nocturnal avian species and can be applied to programs monitoring species at a population level.

Caitlin Cullen of Utica, Michigan investigated a procedure that allowed for detecting the binary toxin produced by Clostridium difficile. C. difficile is typically hospital acquired, causing severe diarrheal disease which can be especially deadly to the elderly. Using the gene sequence for this toxin, this procedure allowed for easy detection of the toxin at low concentrations through quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). This protocol also allows for quantification of the toxin in a patient sample which can be used in fully understanding the binary toxin’s role in disease.

Brian Curell of Clifford, Michigan examined the effects of disturbance frequency on the structure of aquatic insect communities in coastal wetlands of the St. Marys River. The study showed that the frequency of disturbances had no significant effect on abundance or number of species. This is important because it shows that aquatic invertebrate communities are adapted to high disturbance levels and the communities are unaffected by disturbances.

Sawyer Dawe of Mio Michigan informed homeowners on the importance of defensible space in the event of a wildfire. His public outreach showed property/homeowners the true meaning and importance of defensible space. Homeowners stated that they learned a lot of valuable information that could potentially save their property and home. This information is very important as wildfires are getting more intense every year and annually are destroying more and more homes. Homeowners need to be aware of how to make there home a safer place for themselves and safer for firefighters to protect in the event of a wildfire.

Stephen Dishman of Clinton Township, MI assessed how brochures can help to inform the public on the issue of controlling invasive Phragmites australis, a troublesome large plant found in wetland areas. The plant is detrimentental for wildlife, plants, and humans. The brochure was distributed at five locations in Macomb County and a corresponding survey was put online to determine if the brochure was effective in this goal. His results indicate that the brochure is an effective tool, but pricey. This research is important because the invasive plant continues to spread and proper control methods are the only way to reverse this problem.

Sarah Gallagher of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario studied the livers of waterfowl in order to determine the potential host species of the parasite causing swimmer’s itch within the Eastern Upper Peninsula. Waterfowl carcasses were donated by local hunters, the livers were removed, and then parasites were extracted and counted.  Four of seventeen species collected tested positive: mallards, hooded mergansers, buffleheads and wigeons. This research identified the most likely species of waterfowl in the Eastern U.P. that can transport swimmer’s itch. Further studies of other factors such as water body type and aquatic vegetation, will be useful in predicting future outbreaks of swimmer’s itch.

Harry Dittrich of Jackson, MI studied the changes in biodiversity of forests, wetlands, and lakes following the Duck Lake wildfire using one cubic foot samples. He found that forests suffer the greatest negative impact to biodiversity, but lakes and wetlands also suffered negative effects. This research will be useful to developing a better understanding of how wildfires affect ecosystems and manage implications.

Haleigh Edgar of Tecumseh, MI investigated the potential effects of reading on an E-book before bed. Her results showed that compared to paperback readers, E-book readers experienced delayed bedtimes, more sporadic brain wave frequencies, and decreased melatonin concentrations. This research is important because it supports the idea that the (LED)-backlit technology surrounding us may be causing negative effects to our bodies.

Kourtlyn Esslin of Pickford, MI studied parasites in equine herds of the Eastern Upper Peninsula to determine if there was a relationship between regular use and rotation of anthelmentics and parasite numbers. Her results showed that regularly worming horses resulted in significantly lower presence and numbers of parasites. This research demonstrates the importance of regular worming regimens for horse health.

Greg Fedirko of Linden Michigan studied the movements of bacteria in the water column and sediment at Brimley State Park in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He was looking to see if sediment could act as a reservoir and source (allowing growth and accumulation) for pathogenic bacteria that oftentimes results in closures of the beach at Brimley throughout the summer swimming season. His results showed that bacteria counts are most likely due to other sources of runoff and not fully from the sediment itself. This research is important because if the bacteria source can be identified, officials can take measures to attack the sources of contamination, thus resulting in safer swimming water.

David Ferris of Buchanan, MI studied the presence of parasitic roundworms in the intestine of raccoons. His results showed that the number of infections are low in Southwestern Michigan and is lower in early summer than in the fall. This research is important because the roundworm poses a potential health hazard to humans and many species of wildlife, and numbers of infections vary throughout the country.

Audrey Fradette of Cheboygan, MI studied the prevalence and dietary influence of Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA), a shortage of hemoglobin due to inadequate iron intake, in college students. Her results showed that IDA is not more prevalent in the college students tested than it is among the general population, but those who were anemic had noted nutritional deficiencies. This research is important because IDA can contribute to problems with concentration and feelings of physical weakness. This can cause problems in an environment such as college.

Stephanie Gaff of Grayling, Michigan investigated how introducing honey bees to an environment would affect the number of local pollinators present. Her results showed that over the duration of one summer, the number of all pollinators increased. The ratio of bees to other pollinators was much greater at the location where bees were introduced. This relationship shows that the bees that were introduced expressed dominance in relationship to other local pollinators.

Courtney Gaskell of Grand Rapids, MI studied the effects of caffeine on the observable behaviors of the Emerald shiner (Notropis atherinoides). Her goal was to determine a relationship between caffeine concentration and abnormal behaviors of that species. Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests were run and no significant difference was seen between caffeine concentration and fish behavior. Further research is important to assess the negative effects that contaminated wastewater may have on fish species and to see if different caffeine concentrations alter behavior.

John Griffioen of Portage, MI studied the prevalence of parasites in dogs that were owned and in dogs that were living in a shelter to determine if there were differences in the number and types of parasitic infections. His results showed that shelter animals were more heavily infected, and infected more often than dogs that live in a home and receive regular veterinary care. This research is important because domestic dogs could put their human caretakers at risk of acquiring certain parasites if they were infected.

Jacob Harm of Washington, MI conducted a survey of parasites of gray wolves in Michigan's Eastern Upper Peninsula. His results were compared to three similar studies conducted in the area. He found that areas where wolves had been locally extinct showed lower parasite densities than areas that had sustainable wolf populations. This study is important because it can help to understand parasite-host ecology.

Kevin Hinterman of Midland, MI investigated the fish community in tributary mouths of Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior to determine the diversity, abundance and age distribution of the community. His findings showed that tributary mouths host a very high diversity and abundance of both young of year and older fish. This research highlights the importance of tributary mouths to the fish community and the potential detrimental effects on fish populations if these areas are not preserved.

Tressa Hubbard of Harrison, Michigan developed and distributed a survey to evaluate whether wolf-human interactions and perceived risk associated with potential interactions influence the public’s opinion on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to remove the western Great Lakes gray wolf population from the Endangered Species Act. In doing her research, she found that 50% of the people who had felt wolves were a danger to the human population had not had any interactions with a wolf over the past two years, and only 24% of them had a negative encounter with a wolf over the past two years. This study is significant because it assists biologists in understanding public opinions of conservation and management of predator populations, as well as allowing them to see how much of an understanding the public has on the wolf population.

Tyler Jackson of Port Huron, MI examined the expression of two genes that are critical to an early life-stage and ocean entry in the native ranges of Atlantic and Coho Salmon in the Great Lakes. Findings of this study have optimized methods for further study of these genes in Great Lakes salmon, and suggest that saltwater specific genes are expressed in minute concentrations in both species in the Great Lakes.

Sarah Keetch of Oscoda, MI studied the concentration of the enzyme alpha-amylase in carnivores, omnivores and herbivores to determine if there was any significant difference between each species with a targeted diet. Her results were inconclusive because the assay used to detect the alpha-amylase was not able to reliably pick up the concentrations in carnivores or herbivores. It was expected that there would be the most alpha amylase in herbivores, than omnivores and carnivores with the least amount of the enzyme. This research is relevant because it is important to know how the species evolved in comparison, as well as maintaining proper diets.

Fred Kirby of Redford, MI studied the effects of introducing non-indigenous brown trout into a native brook trout stream in order to document the long-term changes on the native brook trout populations. His results showed that after the introduction of brown trout, brook trout populations declined to approximately 40% of their original population. The leading cause of this was determined to be that young-of-year brook trout numbers declined overtime due to a lack of habitat and food when in competition with brown trout. This research is important because it gives fisheries managers a better understanding on how to preserve, protect, and manage brook trout streams throughout Michigan.

Brittany Litchard of Cheboygan, MI investigated the presence of bacteria and their resistance to common antibiotics in powdered infant formula. Her results showed that bacteria were present in all four brands of powdered infant formula tested, and each bacterial colony showed resistance to at least one antibiotic. This research is important because it indicates that further testing may be needed to determine if pathogenic bacteria are present.

Joe Luttrell of Port Huron, MI, studied the invasive Round Goby to see if there was relationship between their densities and habitat type. Results indicated preferred habitats, and also displayed sites still dominated by the native Logperch. This research is important for habitat restoration efforts, which may try to prevent the spread of the Round Goby and protect native species by providing a haven for their natural reproduction.

Adam Mackey of Sault Ste. Marie, MI studied antibiotic resistance in Aeromonas bacteria. His objective was to determine if there were additional antibiotics that could be used to prevent the abundance of this species in river systems. His results showed that though there was effective susceptibility to antibiotics already tested in other research, new antibiotics were also tested that showed susceptibility as well that could not be found in present research. This research is important because both fish researchers and physicians are finding it more difficult to protect against infections using antibiotics.

Daniel Mockler of LaPorte, IN studied the transportation of energy and nutrients from tributaries to nearshore bay areas of Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior to determine if early life stage whitefishes are utilizing these resources and if so, where they are taking them up in the water column. His results showed that whitefishes are in fact utilizing these tributary resources in the nursing grounds of the nearshore areas, primarily at the bottom of the water column. Understanding tributary and nearshore energy and nutrient sources to whitefish can direct management efforts by identifying habitats and processes that are pertinent to whitefish recruitment and growth.

Joseph Oberski from Ida, Michigan, conducted study where he compered growth rate of ring-necked pheasant on two different commercial pheasant feeds alongside a natural diet. He did find a significant difference but it contradicted what was originally expected. This study could help people that raise pheasant, both personally and commercially to produce the best possible product.

Nicholas O’Neil of Brooklyn, MI investigated the relationship between the presence of Pacific salmon and wildlife behavior to determine if Michigan wildlife has begun to adapt to the presence of salmon carcasses along rivers. His findings suggest that wildlife along rivers with a salmon run may be anticipating the reoccurrence of this food source and taking advantage of it as an annual source of nutrition. This research is important because it supports the integration of an introduced species into Michigan’s wildlife ecosystems and management considerations.

Samantha Palmer of Elmira, MI studied the population effects of removing beech trees in areas with beech blight on resident bird species of Hiawatha Sportsman’s Club property. Her results showed that the removal of trees, and the resulting surge in understory growth, caused the bird species composition to shift from birds found in open forests to birds found in brushier habitats. With the spread of beech blight and the need for control increasing, it is important to see the effects that management efforts are having on local wildlife in order to determine future actions.

Jessica Phal of Alpena, MI studied the effects of the Aquatic Research Laboratory’s filtration system in Sault Sainte Marie, which is designed to reduce disease on Atlantic salmon stocks. Bacterial removal from the system at different sampling sites over seasonal changes was analyzed. Her results showed notable differences of bacterial removal between unfiltered and filtered river water. There were no significant differences of bacteria growth between the components of the filtration system. Her findings also showed that bacterial levels were at its highest peak during colder temperatures. In addition, she studied antibiotic resistance against certain bacteria from this filtration system. Chloramphenicol was the most effective antibiotic agent against the resulting bacteria. This research is important because these findings could be connected to Atlantic salmon diseases during the earlier stages of the Atlantic salmon growth and development. Further research should be conducted.

Troy Pine of Garden River, Ontario, Canada studied Lake Sturgeon reproduction in the Garden River by trying to determine if there was a correlation between larval drift density and temperature. His results showed that Lake Sturgeon are using the Garden River for reproduction. In total, 97 larval Lake Sturgeon were captured using D shaped larval drift nets. All larval Lake Sturgeon were captured in water temperatures between 16 °C and 19°C. This research is important because not only are Lake Sturgeon important culturally to First Nations people but they are also on the decline which is why it’s important to participate in management efforts to sustain future populations.

Zach Prause of Grand Rapids, MI studied the effects of using a buffering solution to modify the pH of Muskellunge eggs to improve fertilization success. When tested, eggs not treated with the buffering solution provided an average fertilization of approximately 18.8% while eggs treated with the buffering solution had an average fertilization from 57.3-70.5%. It was found that the use of a buffering solution while artificially spawning Muskellunge was very successful in increasing fertilization success. This research is important because it means buffering solutions can be used by other hatcheries to improve not only Muskellunge production but other fish with low fertilization rates as well.

Rusty Richardson of Dimondale, MI compared wild turkey winter roosting habits during extreme winter temperatures. His results showed that when a constant food source is available, roosting habits do not change regardless of temperature. This research is important to agencies looking to transplant turkeys north of their natural range in regions where severe winter weather is possible.

Nichol Sanabria of Kincheloe, MI studied the effects of modern music on short-term memory recall in college students by examining how different versions of the same song affected recall of lists of words. Her researched showed that there was a significant improvement in recall when using an instrumental version compared to the song with English lyrics. The importance of this research was to show that there were several factors that affected how music influenced short-term memory.

Abigail Schafer of Pewamo, MI studied the effects of season length on harvest rates of Canada geese in Michigan using band recovery data from the United States Geological Survey from 2003-2013. Her results showed that there was a trend in total goose returns and in goose returns per day; however, there was not a significant effect of season length on harvest rates of Canada geese in Michigan for the 2012-2013 hunting season. This research is important because it helps the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the United States Fish and Wildlife Society determine that there needs to be more management efforts put into effect to help reduce the growing population of Canada geese in Michigan.

Renee Schlak of Millersburg, MI assessed the educational outreach shortfalls within the Great Lakes Piping Plover conservation program. She created educational materials to supplement public misunderstanding of the Piping Plover Conservation Program. Renee worked closely with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to create a usable PowerPoint presentation, poster, and pocket field guide to facilitate increased public understanding of the Great Lakes Piping Plover Conservation Program.

Trisha Send of Suttons Bay, Michigan studied the effectiveness of four fungicides to determine if they were all needed to prevent a common fungal disease affecting sweet cherries. Her results showed that not all of the fungicides were needed in inhibiting American Brown Rot. These findings are important because cherry famers can limit their exposure to the fungicides and also save money.

Shelby Stempky of Cheboygan, Michigan examined the killing ability of the complement systems of the Atlantic salmon (Salmosalar) and human beings (Homo Sapiens) to see their affects on gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The bacteria in the human blood serum had a survival percentage of 19.19% for Staphylococcus epidermidis and 22.42% for Escherichia coli. The survival rate of both types of bacteria in Atlantic salmon exceeded the 100% survival rate set by the control data. We can conclude the human blood serum killed the bacteria more effectively and the Atlantic salmon serum displayed resistance towards the complement at 37?C.

Kaitlyn Stoltzfus of Muskegon, MI investigated the public interest in participating in a project designed to reduce the amount of trash by a local water supply in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. She used various outreach efforts in coordination with the Chippewa/Luce/Mackinac Conservation District to implement a cleanup event and encourage volunteer participation. This project served to reduce the gap in communication and understanding between the science community and the general public while eliminating some of the waste entering the local water supply.

Michael VanBuren of Rockwood, MI compiled data from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on the number of trappers pursuing American Martens and the amount of effort with which they did so. These were compared to bag limits, season length, and pelt prices to determine what factors motivate trappers. He found that pelt prices have no short term effect on the number of trappers or the effort with which they pursued martens. Season length did have an increasing effect on the number of trappers; however it did not increase the effort with which they did so. This research can be used to help determine the factors the motivate people to target Martens when trapping.

Blake Vandenberg of Grand Haven, MI studied the effects of improperly installed road-stream crossings on natural connectivity of stream ecosystems. His results showed that most parameters, such as water quality and habitat, showed no statistical differences when averaged throughout the study reaches. However, there were measureable localized effects near the road-stream crossing itself, that would suggest that changes did occur. This research is important because it will help minimize impacts of future road-stream improvements.

Emily Wonser of Erie, MI studied the feeding rates and diet of Purple Martin (Prognesubis) nestlings, in the Monroe County area. Purple Martins are aerial insectivores that migrate from South America to North America to breed over the summer months. Motion sensor cameras were used to capture footage of parents visiting the nesting compartment. In her study she found that the survival of Purple Martin nestlings was dependent on the diet they received before fledging. She identified dragonflies as an important food item to older nestlings. Her methods also demonstrated effective use of video for monitoring this species.

Josh Zuber of Montrose, MI studied the effects of river discharge on the condition of smallmouth bass in the Flint River. Preliminary results show an increase in lengths and weights of the fish as they age with no sign of poor health. This is important because the Flint River is popular among fisherman during the fishing season.

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Eric Becks & Frederick Jolin – Web Based Inventory
This project helped Campus Surplus create a web based inventory and sales system for tracking the items that go through Cold Storage, the on-campus surplus management group. The final software developed for this system will reside on the LSSU IT servers and will provide a method of tracking, managing, and selling LSSU's surplus inventory.

Jeffrey H. King – Numerical Analysis
This research project is an independent investigation into numerical analysis, the theory and practice of using computers to solve problems arising in the physical, biological, and engineering sciences. Using MATLAB as our environment for programming and visualization, we investigated models, issues and numerical methods in linear equations, interpolation, root finding, least squares, differentiation and integration, and differential equations.

Daniel Radke – Graphs, Computational Geometry, and Beta-Skeletons
Graph theory and Computational Geometry are two fields of discrete mathematics that have many practical applications, including, for example, problems in the areas of computer vision and virtual reality, The notion of a Beta-Skeleton is a sophisticated concept within the intersection of graph theory and computational geometry. This study will survey the basic foundations of graph theory and computation geometry. One goal is to appreciate the defining characteristics of a Beta-Skeleton as well as its significant applications. Ultimately, we would like to appreciate at least one of the open questions on Beta-Skeletons and possibly even make progress toward its solution.

Kaleb Schweiger & Casey Krolewicz- Virtualization of ServersThis project’s focus was to virtualize multiple servers for the School of Mathematics and Computer Science at Lake Superior State University. This server had to serve as personal servers for the faculty, live web servers, and a game server for the students that would only be up at certain times. Throughout the process, the team served as administrators of the server and kept it up and running with minimal down time.

Danielle Stark - Development of iOS Application
This project was to make an iOS app for the Admissions Office at Lake Superior State University. Currently, students that are interested in LSSU have to fill out a Request for Information (RFI) card. This mobile app will make it more convenient for the student and the Admissions Office. It will gather students' information, create a comma-separated value (CSV) report, and email it to the Admissions Office.

Nikita Toth – SIM Center ApplicationThe Simulation Center requested an application be written to allow for checking of patient and medication information before administration, as would be done in a professional setting. A WASP Scanner, purchased by the department, will provide input during simulation. The application will alert if the medication is not to be administered, or will note in green if the medication is correct. A database contains all patient, medication, and user information.

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Nicole Bringleson; “Determining Petroleum Hydrocarbon Contamination in Ashmun Creek”
Along Ashmun Creek in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, there are many gas stations located near the creek that could be potential danger for the environment. Water samples were collected from the creek at 10 different collection sites and analyzed using purge and trap GC/MS. Petroleum hydrocarbons were identified through comparison to volatile organic standards. At several of the collection sites, benzene was found and quantified.

Allissa Haney; “Purification and Crystallization of Biphenyl Dioxygenase Enzyme (BphAE)”
Polychlorinated bipheyls (PCBs) are a persistent environmental contaminant. In order to better understand and improve bioremediation processes for this pollutant, studies of the enzymes involved are being conducted. In this work, methods were developed to purify and crystallize one of the enzymes (BphAE) involved in the biodegradation pathways for PCBs to facilitate further research into this enzymes structure and function.

Alex Nisbet; “Cloning Insert into pET Vector”
Green Fluorescent protein (GFP) is a common tag used for biochemical studies including polymerase chain reactions (PCR) and site-directed mutinogenesis. The gene for GFP was inserted into the pET28a vector in an attempt to create a new plasmid containing both the GFP gene and a histidine tag to facilitate purification. The methods and results of these processes will be discussed.

Cassandra Shepherd;  “Effects of Variated Mathematical Education on Student Achievement”
Some studies have shown improvements in student learning when mathematics and science concepts are integrated in the classroom. Science concepts were incorporated into daily mathematics lessons during an eight week summer program for upper elementary students. Pre- and post-program testing data was utilized probe for improvements in mathematics and science content knowledge relative to students outside this program.

Matt Regal; “Investigations of a Correlation Between April Drought Conditions and Winter Wheat Crop Yields in South Central Kansas”
Drought is a major concern for the agriculture industry. Utilizing GIS methods, the correlation between drought conditions during the flowering developmental stage and crop yields in winter wheat grown in south central Kansas is investigated.

Adam Point; “Development of an Effective and Economical Selective Pressurized Liquid Extraction Method for Quantifying Organic Contaminant in Fish Tissue”
Polybrominated compounds and pharmaceuticals are contaminants of growing concern to the Great Lakes ecosystem. In this study, preliminary development of analytical methods to quantify organic contaminants in fish tissue was begun. Further development of these methods could enable monitoring of these contaminants and their potential impacts on aquatic organisms.

Brandon Curtis; “Uranium Contamination in Groundwater and Wells Within the Sault Sainte Marie Area”
Uranium is a radioactive element that is harmful to human health at low concentrations and can be naturally found in certain geologic formations. One such formation is the Jacobsville sandstone found in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. With sandstones such as this often tapped as aquifers for household wells, the presence of Jacobsville sandstone in the eastern UP is investigated as a possible concern for uranium contamination in well waters in the Sault Ste. Marie area.

Alisha Dewey; “Drought Planning Affecting Michigan Agriculture”
Agriculture is a significant industry in the state of Michigan. While irrigation can be used to mitigate the effects of drought on the agriculture industry, international agreements regarding Great Lakes waters and the related watershed limit the availability of these water sources. As such, identification of areas most likely to be adversely affected by drought conditions could be used to guide drought mitigation plans. This study utilizes GIS techniques to identify climate and geographic zones within Michigan that may be areas of greatest concern and focal points for mitigation efforts.

Rebecca Schewe; “Soil Analysis Investigation of Metal Mobility in the Munuscong Watershed”
The Munuscong watershed feeds into the St. Mary’s River connecting Lake Superior and Lake Huron. Investigations of trace metal mobility and concentration in this watershed were performed using trace metal sequential analysis. The fate and transport of these species is also discussed, including their potential toxicity.

Joey Sterritt; “The Annulation of Various Imidazolines With an Amino Acid”
In order to determine the impact of inductive effects on the annulation of an amino acid with an imidazoline species, synthesis of several new compounds was undertaken. Substituents were chosen that were not in direct conjugation with the imidazoline unit. These methods could then potentially be used to connect fluorescent handles to imidazolines, as well as to produce new compounds with potential applications as pharmaceuticals or antibacterial agents.

Kami Shields; “Which is a Healthier Sugar Substitute: Aspartame or High-Fructose Corn Syrup”
A number of sugar substitutes are available and found in food products. Two particularly common sugar substitutes are aspartame and high-fructose corn syrup. This literature review examines the benefits and the dangers of each of these products.

Abby VanSumeren; “The Effect of Hormonal Contraceptives on Women with Factor V Leiden Thrombophilia”
A variety of hormonal contraceptive options are available for women. While many of the potential risks are widely known, additional risks exist for those with Factor V Leiden Thrombophilia, a condition that predisposes the individual to blood clots. Analysis of the literature examines the additional risks posed by common hormonal contraceptives for individuals with this specific condition.

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Nick Arend of Stevensville, MI studied the digestive rates of eggs in round goby stomachs to determine the rate that they become unidentifiable. Round gobies are an invasive species that feed on native fishes eggs in the Great Lakes. His results showed that round gobies do not chew their eggs, but swallow them whole. After five hours of digestion an egg shell was still identifiable. This research is important because current digestion studies on round gobies do not prove they eat egg; but there is visual evidence that round gobies do eat eggs. Results from this study can be used to create a standard sampling procedure on round goby diets to detect the presence of eggs.

Trevor Asperger of Grass Lake, MI, studied the effects of tumors on the health of suckers spawning in the Rifle River near Omer MI, as well as the correlation between fish age and tumor incidence. His results showed no significant difference between the health of fish with and without tumors. A slight correlation between age and tumor incidence was found. This research is important because fishermen who consume these fish should be aware of the exposure of the fish to environmental toxins and carcinogens.

Erika Beyer of Holland, Michigan created two biological outreach programs for children pre-K – 3rdgrade at the Howard Miller Public Library in Zeeland, Michigan in collaboration with their summer reading program.  Endangered canines and Great Lakes invasive or non-native species were the topics of the presentations.  By working with a library, a diverse group of children attended each program.  Fifteen children attended each program. She found that engaging a student’s desire to learn through reading helped to initially excite the children in the topic of each program.  This research is important because biological education is important for people who aren’t exposed to biology and other sciences on a regular basis.

Monica Brandt of Hillman, Michigan has interned with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to investigate Operation Windbreak. Operation Windbreak is a multi- agency group that installs vegetative windbreaks along the local highways to prevent the blowing and drifting of snow. She observed local success rates on previously planted-sites. To do this, she evaluated the survivability rate of each site, and concluded that the majority of the sites will need future maintenance work including weed control, and replanting select sections of the windbreak.  Monica’s study is important in developing a more effective method of monitoring each study-site and quantifying vegetation survivability.

Michael Caputo of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, investigated the protective benefits of the antioxidant vitamin C against ultraviolet (UV) light, the most prevalent environmental carcinogen. Results of this experiment suggested that human skin cells treated with vitamin C were better protected against UV light-induced DNA damage. This study, along with a host of others, supports the consumption of a wide variety of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables as a strategy to help prevent disease and cancer.

Jordan Christie of Bath, Michigan evaluated the effects of environmental factors on Escherichia coli concentrations at four Chippewa County, Michigan beaches. Brimley State Park, Sherman Park, Sugar Island Township Park and Four Mile Beach are recreational swimming beaches monitored for harmful bacteria to protect the public health. A linear multiple regression analysis was conducted to determine the impact environmental conditions have on the Category I beach E. coli concentrations. These data suggest that chronic sources of pollution influenced by water temperature, turbidity, one day precipitation and two day precipitation uniquely explain E. coli concentrations at the four beaches. This research is important for beach managers to identify sources of pollution and develop effective management plans to keep beaches clean and public healthy.

Josh Cerasuolo of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario assessed patient satisfaction related to specialty healthcare by surveying the general public in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan & Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. He compared the two cities to see if there were significant differences in patient satisfaction between Canadians and Americans living in a rural community. His results indicated a contrast in satisfaction between patients of the border town communities; individuals surveyed from Sault, Michigan were more satisfied with their experiences involving specialty healthcare. This research is important to determine which system (private or public) could better serve an isolated rural community with specialty health care services based on patient perception.

Courtney Cochran of Sitka, Alaska compared the incidence rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea infection in Chippewa County, Michigan and the District of Algoma, Canada from 2002 - 2011. Both chlamydia and gonorrhea have high infection numbers not only in the United States, but globally as well. The average age of infection for both areas was consistent with the CDC average STI infection range of 20 – 24. The highest peak for Algoma was in 2009 with 3.5 infected individuals per 1,000.  The highest peak for Chippewa was in 2011 with 2.5 individuals per 1,000. The purpose of this study was to observe and better understand disease incidence in similar geographic locations.

Hannah Connor of Brighton, MI estimated the prevalence of the cat parasite Toxoplasma gondii in Chippewa County by testing the cats at a local animal shelter. People can contractthis parasite from their cat’s litter boxes. Healthy individuals do not show symptoms. However, people with weakened immune symptoms can suffer from inflammation in the brain and vision problems. If a pregnant woman becomes infected, it can be transferred to the child and result in birth defects. The results of her study showed that approximately one in three cats are infected with this parasite. There was no major difference in the infection rate between previously ownedand stray cats. This is significant for pet owners because people can become infected withT. gondiifrom their cats.

Joselyn Coullard of Brimley, MI studied the effect of Crest Whitestrips on the strength of human teeth. While tooth-whitening is the number one requested cosmetic procedure today, it can cause considerable damage to the teeth. Her results showed that the whitened teeth fractured more easily than non-whitened teeth. This research is important because many people today use tooth-bleaching products such as Crest Whitestrips and should be aware of its harmful effects.

Brittany Cousino of Monroe, Michigan assessed three primary sources of drinking water near Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan for water quality and inhibition of plaque development on teeth. Her results showed that fluoride is an active component in the inhibition of plaque on developing teeth. She also found that sources of drinking water that contained fluoride such as municipal water showed the most inhibition. This research is important to the public health as bottled water is being consumed more often due to the perception of its purity over other sources.

Caryn Crane of Flint, MI evaluated local food use in the restaurants of Sault Ste. Marie for a Food Hub Initiative through the Michigan State University Extension Office.  This program is looking at starting an online ordering service called the U.P. Food Exchange and implementing a Food Hub location in the Sault Ste. Marie area.  The Food Hub would allow farmers to store and distribute fresh local produce in larger quantities to restaurants and institutions of the Eastern Upper Peninsula.  She found that the restaurants are positively responsive to the imitative and would like to participate in incorporating more local foods into their menu.  This program is economically important to the community because it can keep goods and services local.

Jennifer Deater of Mancelona, MI studied the responses of Common Ravens to different vocalizations and if there was a preference for predator calls or a prey distress call. She did this by testing the two different calls in the Hiawatha National Forest where both ravens and coyotes responded to both recordings.  Her results showed that scavengers used vocalizations to locate possible food sources, but there was not enough data to conclude that one vocalization was preferred over another. This research can help biologists determine the presence of scavengers in an area as well as gain a better understanding of interspecies behavior.

Ashley Denome of Escanaba, MI, studied the relationship between cholesterol-reducing medications and vitamin D levels using patient medical records at War Memorial Hospital and Lakeview Internal Medicine located in Sault Ste Marie, MI.  Her results showed that these medications had no effect on vitamin D levels in patients.  Since cholesterol is needed to make vitamin D, this study was important for understanding factors that could reduce the amount of this vital molecule in the human body.

Sara Dimick of Rogers City, Michigan investigated round goby energy content across the Great Lakes.  Round gobies are non-native fish that invaded the Great Lakes in the 1990’s. They cause harm by outcompeting and preying on native species. In recent years, round gobies are being consumed by native top predators such as lake trout, and water snakes.  The goal of this study is to determine both the average round goby energy content and the variability in energy content across locations and seasons. Results showed that round gobies’ energy content varies among the Great Lakes, and varies with season. This information is essential for predicting growth of round goby predators and for understanding food-web linkages in the Great Lakes.

Matthew Elya of Harbor Springs, MI studied how migratory fishes contribute nutrients during spawning runs in Great Lakes streams. Nutrients stimulate the growth of algae which is the base of stream food webs. Historically, only native fish species provided nutrients to streams during their spawning runs; however, introduced fish species now also contribute nutrients to streams during their spawning runs. As a result, stream food webs may be changing. This project compared the amount of nutrients provided to Great Lakes streams by a native species, white suckers, and an introduced species, Chinook salmon, which will ultimately expand our knowledge of their impact on Great Lakes streams.

Tiffany Escherich of Dafter, MI studied the influence of human disturbance on the nesting success of piping plovers in the Great Lakes.  The piping plover is an endangered shorebird that has been the focus of management efforts over the past 20+ years.  Her results showed that there was no significant difference between the successes of birds that nested in high human disturbance areas versus low human disturbance areas.  However, Piping Plovers did show a greater tendency to nest near areas of relatively low human disturbance.  This research is important to assist managers in determining how many people to employ to monitor each nest site during the breeding season.  These management efforts aid in increasing the success of the Piping Plover’s population recovery efforts.

Logan French, of Columbus Michigan, assisted with gathering information to apply for a funding application through the Environmental Protection Agency. The funding will be used to develop a watershed management plan for the Waishkey River watershed which is done through a ten step program that supports assessment, monitoring and improvement of the water quality in the Waishkey River watershed. Rainfall and snowmelt runoff deliver pollutants across the landscape and deposit them in downstream water bodies. Data was collected to develop background information on the Waishkey River in order to have a better understanding of the current state of the watershed. This experiential learning project was important for developing a plan that would be beneficial to reduce degradation within the Waishkey River watershed.

Sarah Gallagher of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario studied the livers of waterfowl in order to determine the potential host species of the parasite causing swimmer’s itch within the Eastern Upper Peninsula. Waterfowl carcasses were donated by local hunters, the livers were removed, and then parasites were extracted and counted.  Four of seventeen species collected tested positive: mallards, hooded mergansers, buffleheads and wigeons. This research identified the most likely species of waterfowl in the Eastern U.P. that can transport swimmer’s itch. Further studies of other factors such as water body type and aquatic vegetation, will be useful in predicting future outbreaks of swimmer’s itch.

Glenn Galle of Cedar Springs, MI investigated the antifungal effects of five common kitchen spices to determine if they could possibly stop fungal growth on food products and thus prevent food waste.  His study found that all five of the spices tested had an antifungal effect on yeast but only a couple of spices had an effect on the mold used.  This is significant because by adding spices to a variety of foods it may prevent billions of dollars in food loss. 

Jason Gostiaux of Royal Oak, MI studied changes in growth and size structure of the yellow perch population in Cranberry Lake within the Hiawatha Sportsmen’s Club.  Manipulations were previously done in order to establish a better environment for larger (≥ 8 in.) yellow perch by introducing predator fish and lime.  His results showed that within five years the yellow perch did not respond their growth rate did not consistently increase.  These findings are important because there are few examples of the effects of whole-lake manipulations.  At the same time these results help the Sportsmen’s Club manage this lake by updating the members about the current status of the yellow perch population in Cranberry Lake.

Nichole Johnson of Armada, MI studied the effects of Acetaminophen, a common compound found in various pain killers, on a species of water flea (Daphnia magna). Her experiment observed heart rhythm, mortality, reproduction rate and the number of eggs produced by the organisms. The results showed dramatic decrease in the heart rate. The medication concentrations would have eventually been lethal if the medication dosage had continued to be increased. The research is important because it tells us the effects of improper over the counter medication disposal on water systems and its effects on aquatic life.

John Kilponen of Ann Arbor, MI studied the effects of Striped Maple (Acer Pennsylvanicum) removal on habitat use by White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on Hiawatha Sportsman’s Club land. His results showed that removal of an undesirable species of tree can create access to habitat that was previously inaccessible to White-tailed deer. Also, as sivicultural practices change the forest mosaic certain guidelines can alter the regrowth of the habitats. This research is important for people managing land for both forestry practices and wildlife habitat.

Tyler Lorenzo of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario designed DNA primers to test for ND-1 mutations in human mitochondria. His results showed that he was successful in designing these DNA primers which will allow future Lake Superior State University students to use them in researching his original idea. This research is important because ND-1 mutations are known to cause a wide variety of diseases which hopefully can be prevented with further studies.

Mark Martin of Custer, MI assessed what habitat alterations made by beavers to the environment influenced river otter habitat selection. Results of the study indicated no sympatry between river otters and beavers was found at Pendills Creek. The data that was collected is instead being used to assess habitat alterations (dams, lodges, etc.) made by beavers in areas they do occupy and comparing that to areas they have not made alterations to yet. 

James Miller of Woodhaven, MI studied a series of environmental and biological factors and how they affected variability in largemouth bass abundance (called recruitment) from year to year in Soldier Lake, near Raco, MI. This lake has a highly variable recruitment from every year. Factors that were chosen to explore this variability included warming rate, temperature variability, high winds, and the abundance of both yellow perch and largemouth bass. James’ results showed that both high winds and high abundance of largemouth bass from the previous year decreased following year’s recruitment. This research shows that the recruitment of the largemouth bass, a well-known game fish in the United States, is dependent on both climate and biological pressures.

Kathryn Mulka of Utica, MI, studied the production of poly 3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB), a biodegradable plastic synthesized by bacteria, and whether stress affect its production rate.  Using the bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides, her results showed that when cells are placed under both starvation and ultraviolet stressors, their production of PHB increases 3 fold.  This research is important because understanding how to induce PHB synthesis in bacteria can create a cheaper and more efficient way to manufacture biodegradable plastic.

Charolette Niezgoda of Alpena, MI studied the strains of Staphylococcus present on Lake Superior State University’s campus to find the relationship between gender and strain. Results showed both Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermis were present oncampus with no difference in number of cases between males and females. Inoculated S. aureus cells were inoculated and tested for antibiotic susceptibility with several beta-lactam antibiotics. Results showed no relationship in specific use of antibiotic but a significant difference in the susceptibility of each antibiotic treatment. This study is important as methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus is known as a superbug among many cultures. Its ability to resistant antibiotics and rapidly spread can be life-threatening in some infectious cases. These results could help Lake Superior State University reduce the likelihood of a large spread of infection by increasing knowledge of the bacteria and its resistance mechanisms.

Jimmy Osga of Frederic, MI studied the spatial distribution and aggregation patterns of adult sea lamprey in the St. Marys River. His results displayed various distribution patterns which seemed to depend on the spawning season of lamprey. The study also exhibited areas within the river in which specific, untreated, habitats were selected more frequently than others by sea lamprey throughout the summer months. This research is important to the future management and removal of a popular invasive species, in order to help conserve the Great Lakes food web.

Shanelle Pearse of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario studied the effect of capsaicin on the growth of Streptococcus gordonii, a bacterium of the human mouth. In other words, “can the active chemical compound in hot chili peppers inhibit the growth of a dangerous oral bacterium?” Streptococcus gordonii infections, if allowed to reach the blood stream can cause formation of blood clots, restriction of blood flow, and eventual acute congestive heart failure. Capsaicin not only generates the sensation of heat upon ingestion but also it is responsible for many of the peppers’ disease-fighting properties. This research is important because it would give facts and advice about a complex public health issue and also give the general public an easy, tasty way of promoting his/ her own health.

Scott Pekel of Holton, Michigan completed an Experiential Learning Project that involved planning and implementing an environmental restoration project adjacent to a motorsport trail within the Manistee National Forest.  The Cedar Creek motorsport trail had numerous locations that were experiencing severe erosion, and this led to terrestrial and aquatic habitat damage.  The project involved planning the project by writing a grant to obtain funding, finalizing budget figures, ordering materials and then building erosion control devices on site and installing them.  The erosion control devices, called water bars, function by retaining soil and letting water pass through.  This helps return the hillsides to a more natural state, and improves habitat in the project area.  Along with the implementation of the project for this year, future restoration sites were surveyed and a grant was written to fund project work for summer 2013.

Ashley Poehls of Baraga, MI studied the effects of ocean acidification on the growth rate, culture density, and cell size of a calcifying marine microalgae.  This algae contributes to many chemical and biological processes in the oceans, making it important to understand how it is being affected by our changing oceans. Her results showed a reduced growth rate and lower culture density with increasing acidity, as well as greater cell sizes in the higher acidity environment. In conjunction with other studies, this research will provide a better understanding of how ocean acidification will affect these calcifying primary producers and them any chemical and biological processes associated with them.

Kyle Marc Point of St. Clair Shores, MI looked at the diets of hunter harvested diving ducks and sea ducks in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  He found that ducks in this region ate a variety of plant and animal foods.  He did not find conclusive evidence that any ducks in the study consumed zebra or quagga mussels, which are invasive species.  This research is important because it is the only duck diet study that has been conducted in the eastern Upper Peninsula.  The results also differ from duck diet studies on the lower Great Lakes, where invasive zebra mussels are a common food source and a concern for waterfowl managers.

John Ransom of Traverse City, MI assessed the effects of non-native trout and salmon on native stream fish communities after a dam was removed in four Great Lake tributaries. His results showed that within five years of a dam removal non-native salmon made up a large proportion of the fish community upstream of the removed dam. Native brook trout populations decreased dramatically upstream of the removed dam and remain low in downstream reaches. This research is important because it shows that dams may be important for protecting native fishes from invasion of non-native species.

Jeffrey Salvin of Walker, Michigan studied northern pike movement after dam removal in the Potagannissing River. His results showed that northern pike were moving upstream successfully with the rock ramp system that is currently in place. The amount of adult northern pike moving upstream could suggest higher reproduction due to more spawning habitat being accessible. The increased amount of habitat could be a step toward increasing the low population. This research is important because northern pike is a popular fish species in the St. Marys River basin and northern pike populations have been decreasing in the system.       

Jared Stephen of Burton, MI analyzed the diets of yellow perch (Perca flavescens) and rainbow trout (Onchorhyncus mykiss) in Duke’s Lake, Chippewa County, Michigan, to assess the potential for competition over food resources. The results indicated the fishes are consuming and selecting the same prey organisms, and the potential for competition between rainbow trout and yellow perch is extremely high. Because Duke’s Lake is stocked with rainbow trout, this study demonstrates that the trout fishery may benefit from changes in lake-specific yellow perch regulations or possible removal of a portion of the yellow perch population.

Amanda Taylor of Byron Center, MI coordinated a large tagged monarch butterfly release at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids. Through this internship at Michigan Butterflies she was able to educate the public on monarch butterflies, the decline of the species, and steps to help keep the monarch population flourishing. By tagging monarchs it is possible to track them along migration routes and compare data from the release with known migration data to help determine what is effecting the monarch population.

Stefan Tucker of Belmont, MI studied a small population of Lake Sturgeon, a threatened species, within the St. Mary’s River. Little information is known about the reproductive success of Lake Sturgeon within the St. Mary’s River, and therefore population may be vulnerable to future threats. This project was the first attempt to capture larval Lake Sturgeon and document natural reproduction using egg mats and larval drift nets. Reproduction of Lake Sturgeon was not confirmed, but adult sturgeon activity was observed which demonstrates the need for further research on this population in the St. Mary’s River.

Jackie Wolfinger of Grass Lake, MI studied the effectiveness of brochures as a method of public outreach. Eastern Upper Peninsula anglers were surveyed on their knowledge of the use of certified disease-free bait after reading an educational brochure on the subject. Results showed that when a brochure is considered effective, it is also considered informative and easy to read and understand. Continued research on the effectiveness of brochures is important, because brochures are expensive to produce. Money spent on brochures could be used on other methods of outreach if brochures are ineffective at educating the public. 

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Ford Aldrich - Integration Testing - Hagerty Insurance, Traverse City
The focus of this project with the Hagerty Insurance Company was to build an automated testing suite to cover critical software components. This integration testing project began as an internship the previous summer and carried over throughout the school year. The result of the work was a large, flexible testing suite that gave Hagerty's quality assurance staff an efficient way to test core components of its software base.

Collin Baker - Mobile Software Development - Daifuku Webb, Osaka, Japan
The project was to develop a mobile application to work on smart phones via Bluetooth to replace an old, bulky pendant used for moving autonomously-guided vehicles manually.  The idea was not to be able to do it remotely, but simply eliminate the cost of the pendant. The project consisted of two stages: (1) Learn the Android Software Development Kit; (2) Develop a marketable application. The safe operation of the vehicle was critical.

Lisa Luton - PC Specialist - Sault Area Public Schools, Sault Ste. Marie, MI
The initial phase of the project was spent implementing an old assets database into a new system that also managed help desk tickets and asset users. Data was manipulated to fit specific templates that were to be uploaded into the new system. The remainder of the project was spent working in the technology office as a PC specialist. Hardware and software issues were repaired on laptops and desktop computers. Also, time was spent configuring printers, installing projectors, and repairing various technology problems that came up.

William J. Mattson – IT Intern - Info Services Dept., City of Sault Ste. Marie, MI The project consisted of working with a lead technical professional with the City of Sault Ste. Marie Information Services Department. Tasks involved shadowing an IT lead during the day-to-day to operations of the IS Department. Most of the assigned duties involved diagnosing and troubleshooting defective workstations and laptops, replacement of defective components as well as the installation of operating system software. The remainder of the project was spent completing an inventory of city-wide, IT-related equipment for the purpose of assessment by the city planners.

Robert G. Smith – Research & IT Placement – War Memorial Hospital, Sault Ste. Marie, MI The first component of this project involved research. The manager of the hospital IT department had a variety of topics that need to be looked into in order to keep compliant with HIPPA. Some of the areas researched were cloud storage and computation, full disk encryption (both managed and unmanaged), thin clients and VMware Viewer implementations. The second component was aiding the staff of the IT department in mission-critical activities. Computers would be setup with software, updates, and user accounts, printers would be deployed, and equipment decommissioned.

Christian Tilmant - Piping Plover Website - LSSU, Sault Sainte Marie, MI
A web site,, was developed for the United States Fisheries and Wildlife Foundation. The lead founders of this organization wanted a site developed to highlight the Great Lakes Piping Plover, an endangered bird in Michigan. The site displays information and photos of the bird, what the researchers are doing to help protect it, as well as links to related websites. The site also has a blog to allow people to share their ideas and opinions on this endangered bird. A secure area was developed where the researchers can log in to share their data on a secure server.

Dan Walker - Software Engineering Internship - Direct Connex, LLC, Grand Rapids, MI Creating an updated version of a System Monitor product was the focus of this project. The first area of emphasis was to maintain backwards compatibility with the existing data files; the remainder of the project focused on using those data types to create a working 3D model of a factory. This allowed a user to monitor the workflow of the factory and be quickly notified of any issues.

Edward Kramer – Understanding the Fourier Transform
Fourier transforms are used for obtaining the frequency spectrum of a signal. For instance, in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, a molecule’s spin in a magnetic field is analyzed to discover its oscillation frequencies and draw conclusions about its chemical consistency. In this work, the basic definitions and elementary mathematical properties of the Fourier integral, used as the main theoretical tool in Fourier transform analysis, were studied, together with some applications of these properties in computing the Fourier integral of some functions perceived as time signals in order to discover their frequency spectra.

Alexander S. Payne: Optimization Models
Optimization uses mathematical models to make the best possible decisions.  Optimization models are widely used in design, manufacturing, and logistics.  In this project, we investigate optimization modeling, the use of the modeling language AMPL, and the use of AMPL, together with Excel, to build, solve, visualize, and analyze large optimization models. 

Collin Baker: Using Mobile Applications to Understand Modular Arithmetic Algorithms
Modular arithmetic plays an important role in a variety of modern applications, including cryptography and coding theory. In this project, we will research a number of fundamental algorithms from the area of modular arithmetic, and develop software applications for mobile devices that can be used to illustrate and explain these algorithms.

Joseph Reath: Economic Analysis of the Soo Locks
In this project, we focus on the relationship between the economy and the shipping through the Soo Locks. Using data collected from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, we analyze the relationship between net tonnage through the Soo Locks and various economic measures, including a variety of components of real GDP of the U.S. and of the states bordering the Great Lakes.

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Garrett Aderman; “Investigating the Use of QPCR: An Early Detection Method for Toxic Cyanobacterial Blooms”
Harmful algal blooms (HABs), including cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHABs), are a global phenomenon.  In the US, annual economic loss due to HABs was recently estimated at $82 million.  Furthermore, the consensus amongst the scientific community is that the frequency and duration of CHABs in freshwater systems will increase as a result of climate change and anthropogenic nutrient enrichment.  Due to the ability of some strains of CHAB genera to produce toxic compounds, larger and more sustained CHAB events will become an even greater threat to drinking water.  Of all the known cyantoxoins, one of the most ubiquitous is microcystin (MCY).  Humans are primarily exposed to cyantoxins through drinking water consumption and accidental ingestion of recreational water.  The increasing risk presented by these toxins requires health officials and utilities to improve their ability to track the occurrence and relative toxicity.  Current tracking methods do not distinguish between toxic and non-toxic strains.  Biochemical techniques for analyzing the toxins are showing considerable potential as they are relatively simple to run and low cost.  My goal was to develop a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) method to measure the amount of mcyE gene in a Lake Erie drinking water and compare the levels of the mcyE to toxin produced.  This is the first step to determining if the presence of mcyE of the mycrocystin synthestase gene cluster in Microcystits, Planktothrix and Anabaena cells can be used as the quantitative measurement in an early detection warning system for recreational and drinking waters.

Jessica Beaudry; “Bloodstain Pattern Analysis: A comparative Study between Spatter for Human and Porcine Blood”
The forensic investigation of violent crimes and deaths lead to one of the most significant and frequently encountered types of physical evidence, blood.  From the early discoveries and advances in technology, the field of forensics continues to grow, especially in the field of bloodstain pattern analysis (BPA).  It is necessary to devise experiments or controlled reproductions to continue the expansion of the BPA field.  Human blood can be extremely dangerous due to infectious diseases. There are a few safer alternatives to using human blood and they include using spatter training blood and porcine blood.  This study focuses on the comparison between human, porcine, Evident, and Sirchie spatter training blood.  The data strongly indicates that while porcine blood is comparable to human blood, Evident and Sirchie spatter training blood is not.

Josh Brown; “Synthesis of Multicyclic Products from Annulation Reaction of an Imadazoline and β-Hydroxy Carboxylic Acids”
Imidazolines are nitrogen containing hetercycles that can be found in natural products. They have unique properties particularly their ability to react with electrophiles and nucleophiles. If reacted with a molecule that contains both, imidazolines can undergo annulations to produce many interesting products. This study attempted to prepare a multicyclic product from the reaction of 1-benzyl-2-phenyl-2-imidazoline with salicyloyl chloride or salicylic acid under three different conditions to determine which was optimal. The first reaction is a two step process that uses salicyloyl chloride produced from salicylic acid. The salicyloyl chloride is then used in an annulations reaction with the imidazoline. Production of salicyloyl chloride by known methods failed. Conditions two and three attempted a similar annulations using the coupleing reagents BOP-Cl and EDC with salicylic acid and the imidazoline. These reagents work to bond the carboxylic acid to the imidazoline N and make the reaction one step. The EDC reaction failed to produce the right product, the BOP-Cl reaction appeared successful based on GCMS. However, during the purification the product was not able to be isolated.

Allen Good;  “A Summary of Inquiry in the Secondary Science Classroom”
Although forms of inquiry have been around since the early 1900s, the use and implementation of inquiry in the secondary science classroom before 2000 was limited (Quigley, 2011).  With the publishing of the National Science Education Standards in 1996, the discussion and use of inquiry grew (National Research Council, 1996).  In a national of constantly changing education pedagogies and practices, inquiry is discussed, yet implemented less and less (Drayton, 2002; Nadelson, 2009; Banerjee, 2011).  There are many published works that demonstrate how to use inquiry in one specific lab, but work needs to be done to insure the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills in the next generation of workers and thinkers.  

Kaitlin Hykel; “Determining Phthalate Concentrations in Children’s Toys by Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry”
The majority of plastic toys produced in today’s society come from foreign countries, with China being one of the leading manufacturers.  Plastic is composed of various synthetic organic compounds such as phthalates, but they can impose serious health effects especially to young children.  As a result, regulations have been put in place to monitor the use of these harmful compounds.  This study focuses on the extraction of phthalates from children’s toys to determine whether the concentrations are within the range of regulated phthalate use.

Josh Kuzimski; “Alternative Management of Anaerobic Landfill Bioreactors for Improved Energy Potential”
Converting municipal solid waste to usable energy is an emergent and growing method for modern waste management. Through microbial facilitation of methanogenesis, methane gas can be extracted from landfill bioreactors to yield a significant amount of usable energy. The hypothesis was that a sufficient addition of sodium acetate to a controlled bioreactor environment would promote larger growth of methanogenic microbes and subsequently promote a greater amount of methane relative to a control (Madigan et al, 2003). In order to simulate an anaerobic bioreactor environment, the method for the study took place in modular sections to cover the design, construction and operation of laboratory scale bioreactors. Upon completion of bioreactor engineering, the biological and chemical components were scrutinized to match ideal conditions of a landfill. Methanosarcina was the chosen genus of the methanogen family to seed the bioreactors, and a total elemental analysis of the waste source was analyzed to approximate methane yield. Over 557 hours, each bioreactor produced approximately 1.3 liters of biogas with less than 1% containing methane. Given analysis through gas chromatography, the bioreactors may have had stunted methane production do to presence of argon gas in the headspace and/or low C/N ratio of the waste. The presence of argon should have been replaced with nitrogen, and the waste source should have contained more carbon per nitrogen. The generation-3 design of constructed bioreactors was successful in containing all gasses, liquids, and solids internally, however did not produce enough methane biogas to accept or reject the hypothesis.

Whittney Laderoute; “The Unique Properties of Sand: Its Use as Criminal Trace Evidence”
Sand was collected and analyzed from five beaches in the upper peninsula of Michigan: The Shallows, Brimley State Park, Point Iroquois, Big Pine and Pendill’s Creek.  Tests were undertaken in order to determine the reliability of sand as trace evidence in criminal investigations.  Size and visual comparisons were made using a compound light microscope and chemical composition was determined by using SEM-EDS analysis.  Results showed several size trends and SEM-EDS trends but gave no concrete evidence to suggest that the sand used in this experiment can be used as reliable trace evidence.  Further research is necessary to confirm or deny this. 

Christine Larkin; “Measurement of CI/LI Additive in Military Jet Fuel by Infrared Spectrometry”
The overall objective of this project was to evaluate the feasibility of utilizing infrared spectrometry to measure Corrosion Inhibitor/Lubricity Improver (CI/LI) additive in military fuels. Four methodologies were evaluated, but only one methodology was found to be somewhat effective. The Direct Sample, Direct Sample with Standard Addition, and Concentrated Sample methodologies were ineffective. The Concentrated Sample with Standard Addition methodology was effective at correlating concentration and transmittance or absorbance within a single additive brand, but the correlation was not universally applicable across all CI/LI additive brands. It was also found that the absorbance variance of blank fuel samples completely encompassed the measurements of fuel with additives in them. This indicates that the instrument would be unable to accurately assess the concentration of CI/LI additive in a fuel sample of unknown CI/LI concentration. For this technology to be feasible, a different calibration curve would be needed for each commercial additive brand that the Army uses and it would only be capable of measuring additive concentrations as additive is being added to fuel or for the verification of additive injection equipment.

Jordan Lechowicz; “Failing Infiltrator Chamber Septic Systems in Chippewa County”
The Chippewa County Health Department has been having an issue with chamber system septic drainage systems failing prematurely. These chambers serve the same purpose as the traditional pipe and stone drainage system but take up less space and don’t require the installation of stone, making them attractive to homeowners. To help find out why these chambers have been failing prematurely, homeowners were asked to take a survey outlining their basic water quality and usages. Homeowners were also asked to submit a tap water sample to be analyzed for ion concentration using ion chromatography. The survey results showed no negligence on the homeowner’s septic care, but the sample size may be too small for the survey to reveal any useful patterns. Ion analysis found that of the ions tested, all were found to be within the limits set by the health department for satisfactory water quality. More ions and a larger sample size are needed to better understand the problem faced by the Chippewa County Health Department.

Benjamin McPhail; “Analysis of 2,4-D in Sediment Samples Taken from Paradise Lake, MI”
Two organizations from Paradise Lake, concerned for the environmental quality of Paradise Lake, wanted to test a few methods to help control the population of Eurasian Milfoil to help promote continuing recreational activity in the lake.  Each organization had different ideals: one was for natural treatment, the other wanted to explore chemical treatment avenues.  One method chosen by the latter organization was chemical treatment using 2,4-Dichlorophenoxy Acetic Acid (2,4-D), a common pesticide, especially in agriculture.  To determine whether there was a risk to the lake or surrounding groundwater sources, sediment samples were collected and analyzed for the presence of 2,4-D.

Nathan Morrill; “Determination and Comparison of Ca:Zn and Ca:Fe Ratios in Conversion Coatings using SEM-EDS”
The purpose of this project was to determine optimum conditions for performing a surface analysis of conversion coatings using SEM-EDS in parallel to imaging.  The desired Ca:Zn ratios across several varying acceleration voltages were measured and compared to Ca:Fe ratios to observe if increased kV resulted in increased Fe detection and subsequently lowered to undetectable levels of desired analytes.

Elaina Murray; “Optimization of Salmon DNA as an Internal Standard for qPCR”
The Escherichia coli species is a human fecal contamination indicator and as such is used in beach monitoring efforts.  Quantifying E. Coli presence in local beach waters helps the health department determine if a beach should be closed. The current method of determination, Colilert, takes 18 hours to produce data.  Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR), which measure genetic DNA,  is also method used to quantify the number of E. Coli, but it can be done much faster than Colilert.  In order to standardize the qPCR results, an internal standard is included which is salmon DNA. This project goes through the process of optimizing the salmon standard curve.  Each of the components was modified and the resulting standard curve was analyzed for improvements; the primers and probe were purchased new and the concentrations were varied, the DNA was purchased new and the standard curve concentrations and dilution methods were varied, the DNA was cleaned with a Qiagen kit, and new master mix and bovine serum albumin were purchased and prepared.  We found that changes to the concentrations of primers and probe and cleaning the DNA showed an increase of optimization, and that changing the dilution methods had no effect of optimization.  A combination of the above modifications may be able to produce an optimized salmon DNA standard curve.

Michael Overbeek; “Asymmetric Synthesis Using Chiral Auxiliaries and Titanium Enolates”
Chiral auxiliary-mediated asymmetric aldol additions are an important method for asymmetric carbon-carbon bond formation.  Dr. Daveid A. Evans from Harvard University has developed the use of a boron enolate to allow for specific stereochemistry, often called an “Evan’s Aldol Reaction’.  The use of a titanium enolate, instead of a borony enolate, has been documented to create the opposite stereocenters when utilizing the Evan’s Aldol methodology.  This project describes an attempt to form an anti-Evans product with the addition of phenylacetaldehyde to R-(-)-4-Benzyl-3propionyl-2oxazolidinone. The use of an aldehyde substrate when utilizing a chiral titanium enolate has not been well documented in the literature. 

Ashley Ryckman; “Characterization of Yellow Pigments in Freshwater Flavobacteria”
The yellow color of Flavobacteria is due to the presence of carotenoids and flexirubin-type pigments. These complex chemical structures have shown to produce antioxidant properties, as well as antibacterial activity.  The KOH test and reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was used to characterize carotenoid and flexirubin pigment production in three strains of Flavorbacteria: FR 87, FR Y, and FR 93.  Optimization of pigment and separation was performed by quant-prep HPLC.  Separation of four pigment fractions from each strain was attained using semi-prep HPLC.  Antibacterial activity of the pigment fractions was tested using a MTT Assay.  Fexirubin biosynthesis genes, darA and darB, of related pigment producing Flavobacteria were used to compare flexirubin pigments in FR 87.  The three strains were determined to produce the carotenoid, Zeaxanthin.  FR 87 produced 13 flexirubin pigments, FR Y produced 14 flexirubin pigments and FR 93 produced 20 flexirubin-type pigments.  It was determined that compounds in all three strains demonstrated antibacterial activity.  The flexirubin biosynthesis gene, darA, is 89.9% similar to Flavobacterium johnsoniae, and 73.2% similar to Flavobacterium psychrophilum.

Rebecca Smrke; “Towards the Synthesis of a Guanidine-like Organocatalyst”
In the last decade, N-based heterocycles have surfaced as useful organocatalysts.  With strong Lewis basicity, a rigid structure that allows for strong resonance, and electronic distribution, these catalysts become useful in both medicinal and industrial chemistry purposes.  The desire to created new and unique cyclic guanidine catalysts has generated interest in this field.  We proposed to synthesize cyclic guanidine catalysts through a short three step process: (1) alkylation of a commercial imidazoline, (2) annulations with the use of a β-aminocarboxylic acid under dehydrating conditions, and (3) thermal elimination.  The first step, alkylation, was successfully completed.  In step 2, the annulations reaction, there is evidence that it may have proceeded, but more research is needed to verify the result.  As such, the final step of forming an organocatalyst, elimination, could not be completed.  In the future, the reaction will be optimized to yield the desired product.

Scott Sowers; “A Spatial Analysis of Greenhouse Gasses and Household Income”
Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by industries have been increasing at an exponential rate in the past century. As these emissions increase in number of sources, as well as amount of output, the impact on the environment becomes more significant. However, the United States relies heavily on industry for creation of new products, materials, and economic factors such as employment. Industries attract employment opportunities, which in return attract living accommodations. The basis of this project was to see if there is any spatial correlation between GHG emissions and income of households (within a county) of a GHG emitter. Using Geographical Information Science (GIS), we are able to search for a correlation between lower class households and amounts of GHG emissions. After processing the data, we are able to show that there is no trend in GHG emissions and the proximity to lower class households. Towards the end of the project, we were able to see an extremely slight trend of lower amounts of GHG emissions near upper class households. The project also provides the statistics, or any autocorrelation, of the data for significance testing to determine whether or not there is a probability of the relationship. The statistics provided will be the R2 value, regression, and correlation.

Amy Wyss; “Reflective Writing in organic chemistry”
Poor writing skills are negatively affecting both college readiness and communication in the workplace. Only 49.5% of students were deemed proficient writers on the 2011 Michigan Merit Exam, leading many educators to push for incorporation of writing into every classroom. To test if writing is an effective instructional strategy, this study integrated reflective writing into chemistry supplemental instruction and found a significant increase in students’ performances on tests and quizzes.