Undergraduate Research

Oral Presentation Abstracts

Go here for Poster Session Abstracts.


MORNING SESSIONS

 

Constraining the Geomorphology of the Rico Dome in Southwestern Colorado with GIS and Field Studies

Sumner, Peter and Gonzales, David

Vallecito, 9:00

 

Faculty Mentor: Gonzales, David, Geosciences

 

The Rico dome in southwestern Colorado is an uplifted structural feature cored by a ca. 68 Ma pluton. The dome deforms the surrounding strata into a 15-mile-long and 12-mile-wide structure. It was previously thought that the longest dimension of the dome was oriented ~280° and that its geometry was directly tied to emplacement of the stock along east-west trending fault zones. In this investigation, the elevation, slope, and position data for several exposed stratigraphic contacts were employed along with GIS software to construct 3D models of the pre-erosional architecture of the dome. These results reveal new insight into the subsurface morphology and geomorphic controls on the Rico dome.

 

The digital models are derived from published geologic maps at 1:24,000. We first established points along several prominent geologic contacts within the study area and assigned elevation values to them using a 30 m elevation model. For each contact, Esri ArcGIS software was applied to build a 3D surface fitting between each point. The result is a series of digital 3D surfaces which represent the subsurface stratigraphy of the structure. Strike and dip measurements of strata at several stations throughout the study area were measured in the field to confirm the data presented on the geologic maps.

 

The results of this study show that the structure’s longest dimension is oriented ~218°, contrary to the originally suggested direction. Due to the discrepancy between this direction and the dominantly east-west striking faults, we argue that the faults were not dominant controls on the position and geometry of the dome. Results from this investigation invite a new interpretation of factors which could have influenced the dome’s formation. This opens the possibility of previously unexplored controls such as weak stratigraphic zones or deep, unexposed fractures.

 



Resistance, Brecht and Vegetables: A Costume Design Epic

Martin, Genoa

Vallecito, 9:15

 

Faculty Mentor: Meyer, Felicia , Theatre

 

The basis of this project was to create garments that represented the contradictions and motives of the characters from The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. The play is a parable for Hitler’s rise to power during WWII, but the social commentary can be applied to current events. The research for these costumes was extensive and included research on the 1930s, Brecht and Epic Theatre, organized crime and carnival barkers. The characters were represented through their costumes with color symbolism, costume changes and a mixture of different styles. Each garment was designed after research had been done, character analyses were created and the play had been thoroughly read several times. Once all this was done, costumes were built, bought, pulled and fitted to near perfection. The end results were unique costumes that were representative of the characters and filled with symbolism, contradictions and a hint of a corrupted vegetable trade.

 



Properties of Graph Products

Kane, Coleman and Thompson, Jonathon

Vallecito, 9:30

 

Faculty Mentor: Scull, Laura, Mathematics

 

A graph is a mathematical construction designed to encode connections between two vertices.  We will discuss the products of graphs.  More specifically, the matrix of a product graph and a result about when the product is connected.

 



Love Me Sober: Transforming Attachment Styles Through the Program of A.A

Price, Elan

Ballroom, 10:00

 

Faculty Mentor: Tidwell, Natasha, Psychology

 

This study looks at the relationship between attachment style and addiction/alcoholism through the lens of recovery and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Prior research has examined the relationship between attachment style and addiction and alcoholism. The current study assessed the attachment styles of 33 participants voluntarily recruited from A.A. meetings. A between subjects research design yielded significant results, showing that participants reported significantly higher attachment insecurity (i.e., anxiety, avoidance) toward their pre-sobriety relationships than participants reporting on post-sobriety relationships. These results may suggest that sobriety, particularly when achieved through the A.A. program, helps to transform an insecure attachment style to a more secure attachment style. Limitations and future directions will be discussed.

 



Lifestyle "Dirtbag" Climbers: Stepping Outside of a Comfortable Life and into a Community Built on Passion

Allen, Elaina

Vallecito, 10:00

 

Faculty Mentor: Kozak, David, Anthropology

 

There is little research regarding rock climbers who are referred to as "dirtbags". Contemporary lifestyle "dirtbag" climbers express similar attributes when compared to previous generations. Historically, a climbing "dirtbag" is not overly materialistic, does not have a job a majority of the year, and puts a premium of their time, money, and effort towards climbing. Today, however, these lifestyle climbers have altered the practice of “dirtbag” climbing by living out of their vehicles, working when they can throughout the year, and enjoying more material comforts. Through ethnographic research with thirteen climbers in Indian Creek, Utah I argue that today’s "dirtbag" climber expresses a Neoliberal, consumer-based ethos of consumption for comfort. These climbers also express their lifestyle as having a supporting community, where they can pursue their passion, and their personal journey. This work is important because it explores a unique subculture beyond an individual standpoint, and gets to the core of a community that has a lot to say about their lifestyle and environment around them.

 



Queering Homosexual Americanism: Race, Class, and Gender in US Gay Activism, 1940-1973

Voorhis, Breanna

Ballroom, 10:15

 

Faculty Mentor: Ferguson, Cody and Martin, Michael, History

 

The study of the history of gay activism is extensive. However, few historians have focused on racial, gender, and class minorities within the gay community and fewer have explored what being a part of these minorities meant concerning activism, citizenship, and identity. This research challenges the view that gay activists from 1940 through 1973 were part of a collective, homogenous group of white, cisgender men striving for the same goals.

 

This research utilizes interviews with individuals in the gay community to examine how these racial, gender, and class minorities changed the way in which gay activists identified themselves, organized, and protested. My project involved reviewing dozens of oral histories and comparing the stories captured in these histories affirms and contradicts representations of gay activism in gay magazines, books, and articles. My research recovers the agency of individual members of the gay community by exposing disparities between the published view of gay activists and the lived experience of the activists, and works to develop a heterogeneous view of the gay community.

 



Biomechanical Analysis of Ice Climbers' Performance

Blair, Dylan; Shippen, Morgan and Toma, Sean

Vallecito, 10:15

 

Faculty Mentor: Thompson, Melissa, Exercise Science

 

Mixed climbing is an outdoor sport of rising popularity. This unique style of climbing, similar to roped rock climbing, consists of ascending steep rock and ice features using two ice axes and crampons, while wearing a harness secured to a rope. Despite the growing popularity of ice climbing, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the relationship between ice climbers' biomechanics and performance. The purpose of this study was to conduct a biomechanical analysis of ice climbers during a mixed climbing competition to determine if advanced (bottom 50% finishers) and elite climbers (top 50% finishers) differed significantly in terms of Shoulder and Elbow Angles on 5 key holds, as well as Time Between Two Predetermined Points, and Number of Moves. In total 16 male and 8 female ice climbers (age = 36 + 6.2 years, weight = 69.1 + 9.6 kg, height = 176.5 + 8.8 cm) participated in this study. Video data was recorded during the competition and analysis software was used to analyze the video footage. Independent t-tests were used to examine differences between advanced and elite climbers, and a correlation matrix was used to assess the relationship between measured variables. We found significant differences between advanced vs. elite climbers for both Time Between Predetermined Holds and Number of Moves, as well as strong correlations between Elbow and Shoulder Angle for holds 1-4, and between Time Between Predetermined Holds and Number of Moves. These findings suggest that higher skill mixed climbers move more quickly and use less moves on route than lower skill mixed climbers.

 



Assessing the Programmed -1 Ribosomal Frameshifting (-1 PRF) Efficiency of Point Mutations Naturally Occurring Within the pro-pol Frameshift Site of HTLV-1

Dailey, Leandrew; Abrams, Tara; Banks, Terrance; Hamilton, Adam and Mouzakis, Kathryn

Ballroom, 10:30

 

Faculty Mentor: Mouzakis, Kathryn, Chemistry

 

Programmed -1 ribosomal frameshifting (-1 PRF) is a mechanism of viral infectivity that is capable of manipulating translational machinery in a host cell. The storage of genes in alternative reading frames enables viruses to store more genetic material within smaller genomes. -1 PRF utilizes complex viral RNA structures, occurring at areas in the genome referred to as a frameshift site, in order to acquire genes stored in alternative reading frames.  Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) contains two frameshift sites within its genome at the pro-pol and gag-pro gene interfaces. Here, we examined how various naturally occurring point mutations in the pro-pol frameshift site of HTLV-I alter the virus’ ability to promote -1 PRF. By inducing point mutations in the pro-pol frameshift site using site-directed mutagenesis and performing a dual-luciferase assay we discovered that   the set of nucleotides which wraps around the stem-loop in the pseudoknot may be of importance in the structural stability of   the pro-pol frameshift site. This project was performed in part, with various collaborators    inducing different point mutations in the pro-pol frameshift site. Collectively, this experiment provides information regarding the relationship between a virus’ ability to infect and viral RNA structure, since most retroviruses utilize -1 PRF. By fully understanding this relationship and the mechanism of -1 PRF we can potentially use it as a target for antiviral treatments.

 



History ReCycled: Looking at the Past to Change the Future

Walker, Kenneth

Vallecito, 10:30

 

Faculty Mentor: Holmes, Kay, Native American and Indigenous Studies

 

This study focused on the importance of understanding history to learn its lessons and create a better future. Concerning the United States' history of colonization, Euro-American perspectives control how history is told, and not told. This allows injustices toward Native Peoples to persist and mount. In addition to these obvious impacts, our society continues to deteriorate from the effects of its ignored, historical values. Digital storytelling utilizes accessible video technology to create a dynamic narrative that can help reverse this trend. It can be a powerful educational tool to convey an accurate telling of the past and present. In this study, three groups were each given a different delivery method on America’s history of colonization. One group watched a digital story, one read the transcript, and the third read a mainstream version of history. Participants’ attitudes and opinions about Native Peoples were then evaluated. Results indicated that the digital story used in this experiment needed further development to potentially affect actions. However, the study did indicate that White participants who were sensitive to Native issues were willing to ally. My continued study of digital storytelling has taught me to create more impactful stories that can heighten empathy and motivate change.

 



Development and Characterization of Electron Beam Lithography

Flynn, Christopher

Ballroom, 10:45

 

Faculty Mentor: Jessing, Jeff, Physics

 

In this research, the nano-fabrication unit process steps used for electron beam lithography were characterized and implemented for use at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. These process steps include spin coating, sputter coating, microscope optimization, electron beam exposure, and development. Process characterization and parameters have been researched although vary for different microscopes and types of electron sensitive resists. In this research, the parameter space and characterization of these process steps was investigated for a JEOL 7100FLV Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope. Optimal beam dosage was determined to achieve high resolution patterns. Line widths of 30 nm were achieved.

 

 



 Universality of the Beatles: An Analysis of Song Lyrics through the Film "Across the Universe"

Coulter, Katalene

Vallecito, 10:45

 

Faculty Mentor: Sotosky, Stacey, English

 

 Because Beatles lyrics can have such broad meanings, it allows listeners to take their lyrics and apply them to many other scenarios. I set out to prove that their lyrics are universal in concept, and therefore have very broad interpretations by their audiences, as well as longevity of artistry. First, the lyrics and the stories behind the writing of those lyrics will come under analysis. Then, through the lens of the film Across the Universe (2007), the polysemic nature of these lyrics will be investigated. The gap between the lyrical origins, and their interpreted meanings are the investigation of this paper.  

 



Sexual Dimorphism in the Proximal Phalanges of the Hand: Verification and synthesis of Logistic Regression analysis methods

Nobe, Ian

Vallecito, 11:00

 

Faculty Mentor: Mulhern, Dawn and Kozak, David, Anthropology

 

The human skeleton undergoes physical changes during sexual development that result in certain morphological differences between males and females. By measuring bones and their features, researchers can compare individual elements and establish methods for identifying and interpreting those data. The purpose of this study is to apply measurements of the proximal phalanges of the hand in humans to two previously developed multiple regression models so that it may be determined whether either may be applied to a forensic sample in the United States, as well as to calculate logistic regression equations using the data from the sample collected (58 individuals; 46 males, 12 females) from the Maxwell Museum in Albuquerque, NM, which would, I propose, provide greater accuracy for sex determination of skeletonized remains. It was found that, as expected, the model calculated using a sample from the United Kingdom achieved an accuracy of 91% on the right hand and 73% on the left hand when applied to the full sample collected from the Maxwell Museum. Whereas, the models calculated using a Thai population were rejected for use on a sample of mostly white individuals of European decent due to extreme male bias resulting in no individuals classified as females. The models calculated using the Maxwell Museum sample correctly classified as much as 90.2% of individuals with a minimum accuracy of 83.3%. The significance of these results provides rationale for further testing of the models calculated to confirm their validity of use in a forensic context.

 



Sleep and psychological well-being of collegiate athletes

Bedonie, Rudessa; Dambly, Renae and Sanchez, Alicia

Ballroom, 11:15

 

Faculty Mentor: Iwasaki, Susumu, Exercise Science

 

Sleep is essential for maintaining proper cognitive function. Previous research found that sleep duration and energy intake were associated with increased negative mood when sleep patterns were disrupted or inconsistent (Taub, 1973; Taheri, 2012). Not much research has been conducted among collegiate athletes. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of sleep quality, subjective vitality, and mindfulness of collegiate athletes. In-season and off-season 57 college athletes volunteered to complete a survey that measures sleep quantity, timing, and quality (Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index, Buysse, et al., 1989; M=.78, SD=.40), subjective vitality (Subjective Vitality Scale; Ryan & Frederick, 1997; M=4.41 , SD=1.10 ) and mindfulness (Cognitive Affective Mindfulness Scale-Revised; Feldman, et al., 2007; M=2.80, SD=.43). Significant correlations were found between sleep quality to subjective vitality and mindfulness (p<.05). Overall, results suggest when athletes report comfortability in sleeping space, they report heightened awareness, acceptance of things they cannot change, being more focused, and more energy. The findings indicate that collegiate athletes need to maintain a sleep schedule of consistent sleep time and sleep quantity to achieve a healthy psychological well-being. Another area for future research would be to add exercise intensity as an interested variable along with sleep quality, subjective vitality, and mindfulness.

 



Bad Design

Bangs, George

Vallecito, 11:15

 

Faculty Mentor: Booth, Paul, Art and Design

 

The public is more design literate than at any point in recent history, largely due to the internets pervasively slick user interfaces. But these friendly facades hide ethical dilemmas and abuses of power that are affecting the haplessly unaware public on a daily basis. This talk summarizes speeches and essays by technologists, futurists, and personally affected citizens to create a more comprehensive definition of what 'good design' needs to be for a more educated and ethical online world.

 



Who Killed The World? : An Ecofeminist Critque of The Mad Max Franchise

Karr, Merkin

Ballroom, 11:30

 

Faculty Mentor: Fullmer, Shawn, English

 

Ecofeminist critiques focus on the intersectionality between the ways in which women, nature, and "the other" are commodified and oppressed. The goal of this research is to create a clear understanding of ecofeminism and one of its ideologies: the logic of dominance. Research of previous ecofeminist work and previous literary critiques on the Mad Max franchise frame this research. Methods of analysis used were ecofeminism and more specifically the theory of the logic of dominance. This argues that the Mad Max franchise is an example of the logic of dominance, which believes that alienation of self leads to domination and creation of "the other". This research looks at the ways in which women, water, animals, and earth are increasingly commodified throughout the films and how they act as “the other”. It analyzes the ways in which the Mad Max character increasingly becomes alienated from society throughout the films. The purpose of this research is to give an accurate ecofeminist critique of the Mad Max franchise.

 



A Comparison of Geochemical and Helium Isotope Signatures of Thermal Fluids, Rico and Dunton Springs, San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Burch, Sara; Holt, Ben; Whyte, Colin; Crossey, Laura; Karlstrom, Karl; Darrah, Tom and Gonzales, David

Vallecito, 11:30

 

Faculty Mentor: Gonzales, David, Geosciences

 

The western San Juan Mountains are home to a regional geothermal system, distinguished by numerous thermal springs. Previous studies revealed that thermal waters at Rico and Dunton had distinct geochemical signatures, despite their close proximity and similar host-rock plumbing. In this study, water geochemistry and helium-gas isotopes at the two sites were compared to identify spatial trends, and further understand source variations and fluid circulation. These data reveal distinctions in fluid sources and mantle-gas contributions, and offer insight into the complex regional “plumbing” system of the thermal springs.

 

Average pH and temperature values vary across the study area: Rico (6.58, 46.5˚ C), Dunton (6.82, 42.7˚ C), and Paradise Spring (6.42, 37.0˚ C). Total dissolved solids (TDS) are highest at Paradise Spring (6,756 ppm) compared to Rico (3,426 ppm) and Dunton (2,669 ppm). R/Ra values range from 5.43 to 4.09 at Rico, 2.70 to 2.52 at Dunton, and 2.33 at Paradise Spring. These data hint that either that: 1) different proportions of mantle gases are contributed to the emissions; 2) there are different degrees of near-surface mixing; or 3) both mechanisms are involved.

 

Thermal spring samples at Rico and Dunton are characterized by high concentrations of HCO3. Rico samples have relatively higher concentrations of SO4, Ca, Na, K, and Mg compared to Dunton sites; the latter is distinguished by slightly elevated Cl. Samples taken at Paradise Spring are characterized by high concentrations of Na (1947 ppm), K (327 ppm), and Cl (3,407 ppm), and elevated Li (11 ppm).

 

Our results indicate different mantle contributions to gases in the Rico-Dunton thermal springs with an overall decrease to the west. Distinctive geochemical signatures in fluid geochemistry reveal that sources and fluid-rock interactions vary between Rico and Dunton springs though the causes of these variations are not uniquely constrained by major-element chemistry. Water-rock interactions coupled with mixing are evaluated as processes to explain the differences.

 



Daxgyet Maxlaxaala: Halaayt - Ts'myen identity through a contemporary lens

Castle, Brandon

Ballroom, 11:45

 

Faculty Mentor: Fine-Dare, Kathy, Gender and Women's Studies

 

On the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America, two distinct Ts’msyen (Tsimshian) communities referred to as Metlakatla face the challenges of protecting their cultural resources in a globalizing world. In this critical analysis of two Native villages in Alaska and British Columbia, historical and cultural impacts will be analyzed and compared in order to accurately describe the current conditions of cultural heritage management of the Coast Tsimshian populations. Considerations for these two geographically isolated communities include the political, economic, and cultural frameworks of broader Tsimshian culture. Research methods and sources include the analysis of Indigenous literature on Northwest Coast heritage, Tsimshian ethnographic descriptions, Tsimshian interdisciplinary studies, Northwest Coast spirituality, museum repatriation, and cultural heritage film documentaries. I will uncover the major contributions that Tsimshian scholarship has produced in regard to cultural revitalization by looking through a conceptual, gendered lens on traditions and reviewing the scholarly works of Tsimshian cultural anthropologist Dr. Robin R.R. Gray along with art historian Dr. Mique'l Dangeli. This research seeks to answer the follow questions: What are the efforts in place to ensure cultural revitalization in both Metlakatla communities post-colonization and how do they vary from one another based on American and Canadian platforms for Indigenous people to develop their identities as sovereign nations? It is hoped that this research will bring light to fruitful, decolonizing philosophies and the solidarity amongst Tsimshian people separated by colonial influence.

 



SAE Aero Collegiate Competition 2018

Endersbe, Elizabeth; Helvoigt, Rachael; Orona, Cordero; Ruzycki, Ryan; Spore, Kelby and Swanson, Johnny

Vallecito, 11:45

 

Faculty Mentor: Leahy, Devin, Engineering

 

Each year, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) hosts a yearly collegiate Aero competition that requires engineering teams to design and build a remote piloted airplane. The goal of this design competition is to give undergraduate students experience in aircraft design while also exposing them to real-world challenges. Students are motivated to create an aircraft that excels in performance and stability to be competitive with other collegiate teams.

The primary challenge for this competition was to carry as much weight as possible on a 1000 Watt power limit. Therefore, the task of maximizing payload played an immense factor in narrowing down the design. This drove the team to select geometries, materials, and a configuration to optimize structural weight efficiency, and generate as much lift as possible at the slow flight speeds expected at the competition. This design process will be discussed, as well as performance data from the completed airplane.

 



AFTERNOON SESSIONS

How Personable Are You to Mindfulness?

Whichelo, Madeleine and Santos, Ava

Ballroom, 2:30

 

Faculty Mentor: Santos, Ava, Psychology

 

The purpose of this study is to explore the extent to which mindfulness can impact the recollection of correct details after listening to a memorable story, where a mildly stress-inducing stimulus is introduced halfway through the audio clip. Concepts of dichotic listening, mindfulness, and personality types are explored in an effort to uncover the relationship that mindfulness has with personality types and with working memory performance. The results showed that there was a significant effect of mindfulness on the number of correct details recalled from the audio clip. Participants in the mindfulness condition recalled more correct details compared to participants in the control condition. There was no interaction between mindfulness and personality type with respect to the number of correctly recalled details, and there was no effect of personality type on the number of correctly recalled details. There are two possible limitations to this study: a significant percentage of the target population may have prior experience with mindfulness, and the target population may lack diversity for personality types. However, the significant effect of mindfulness on the number of correctly recalled details can contribute to the body of literature that supports the practice and implementation of mindfulness.

 



It's All Part of the Process

Clark, Kennedy

Vallecito, 2:30

 

Faculty Mentor: Booth, Paul, Art and Design

 

I will be presenting on my intricate and unique process of design and illustration. This presentation begins with my beginnings as an artist specializing in photorealistic art, to discovering my niche in the graphic design/illustration realm and utilizing my different assets and skills within. I highlight my work and present the final designs, which begin as many preliminary sketches, to the complete design. My work upholds the integrity and thoughtfulness of handmade designs, while obtaining professional looking results. It's all part of my unique process!

 



No Room at the Table: Food and the Shaping of an American Identity, 1890-1920

Guerrero, Allyson

Ballroom, 2:45

 

Faculty Mentor: Ferguson, Cody; Fine-Dare, Kathy and Gulliford, Andrew, History

 

At the turn of the twentieth century, American foodways underwent dramatic changes reflecting middle class anxieties about the radical shifts occurring in American urban society. The emergent white-collar middle-class attempted to construct a unique class identity amid immigration, industrialization, changing urban demographics, and shifting constructions of gender roles. Believing such external pressures to be diluting and destabilizing to the moral identity of the United States, middle-class social reformers took aim at American foodways as a powerful vehicle through which they could reach and transform and society. "No Room at the Table" examines cookbooks, household manuals, and racial hygiene texts to identify the middle-class’s specific anxieties regarding their changing social environment, reveal evolving middle-class ideologies, and the mechanisms reformers employed to impress these ideologies upon Americans. The middle-class utilized foodways to form, reinforce, and propagate their own distinct class identity and social hierarchy.

 



Quantifying Collisional Energies within an Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer by LabView Simulation

 

Seaney, Kyser; Grubb, Michael and Cole, Callie

Vallecito, 2:45

 

Faculty Mentor: Grubb, Michael and Cole, Callie, Chemistry

 

The energetics involved in chemical reactions and the bond energies of ions are of fundamental importance to the field of chemistry.  Conventional methods of collision induced dissociation (CID) within an ion trap mass spectrometer provide invaluable structural information on the ions in question.  However, the energy imparted on the ions following repeated collisions with buffer gas often remains ambiguous and unexplored. These energies are often simply represented by a unitless quantity (such as normalized collisional energy, NCE %) instead of an absolute energy unit. In an effort to clarify this ambiguity, we herein present a LabView simulation combined with mass spectrometry experiments which will allow both experimentalists and theoretical chemists alike to develop a more intuitive understanding of the collision energetics within an ion trap mass spectrometer. An experimental calibration of collision energy is conducted by performing CID on a series of ions with well-known bond energies. Next, a LabView simulation is implemented and compared to the experiemtnal observations to test its accuracy. The simuliation is developed through the derivation of the  two dimensional position equations from the Mathieu potential differential equations, which are subsequently solved through Velocity Verlet step integration. The collisional energy distributions may be quantified from the velocity distributions of the simulated ion trajectories. For further verification of both the experimental method and simulation, each were checked against previously published energy metrics. Herein, an efficient method for understanding the collision energetics within an ion trap mass spectrometer during CID is presented.        

 



Indigenous Invisibility in Interactive Media

Stubbs, Bryan

Ballroom, 3:00

 

Faculty Mentor: Holmes, Kay, Native American and Indigenous Studies

 

Games are an important part of how we learn.  As babies our parents play peek-a-boo with us.  As toddlers our world is surrounded by toys for our imagination to create games. For children in our culture, there are two games we know how to play almost inherently, Cowboys & Indians and Cops and Robbers.  For many video games, this remains a tired trope.  As our electronic devices have become more prevalent, so too do the games we play on them, yet there remains a glaring lack of representation for Indigenous cultures in the video game industry.  Indigenous Peoples have had a history of content in video games, it is most often in the forms of racist stereotypes.  The goal of my research was to examine the invisibility of indigenous worldview and methodology in the interactive media that attempt to distort Indigenous epistemologies within Western interpretation of Indigenous Peoples and Culture.  In my study I examine a few of the more damaging tropes interactive media have used across mediums such as live play, board games and video games to continue to render Indigenous Peoples invisible.  Indigenous Nation can uses interactive media as a tool to decolonize. 

 



An Exploration of Virulence in Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis

Orluk, Julia and Kulesza, Caroline

Vallecito, 3:00

 

Faculty Mentor: Kulesza, Caroline, Biology

 

C. pseudotuberculosis is the causative agent of Caseous Lymphadenitis, an infectious disease of small ruminants causing significant economic loss in the wool, meat, and milk industries. The disease is characterized by draining abscesses of necrotic tissue in the lymphatic system, visceral organs, and lungs. To date, the only treatment is to quarantine and cull affected individuals. Therefore, there is a pressing need for new treatment options, which begins with the discovery of potential pharmaceutical targets of C. pseudotuberculosis.

 

I hypothesize that the mycolic acid found in the cell walls of C. pseudotuberculosis, much like that of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is a potent virulence factor that allows replication within host macrophages to occur and chronic infection to develop. As a vital cell wall component, inhibition of mycolic acid will increase cell permeability thereby resulting in death. Known tuberculosis drugs isoniazid and its structural analog ethionamide disrupt the synthetic pathway that produces mycolic acid in M. tuberculosis. I propose that this pathway is conserved between M. tuberculosis and C. pseudotuberculosis, and therefore anti-tuberculosis drugs will be effective in inhibiting growth of the latter. I have found evidence to support this claim by exploring the sensitivity of C. pseudotuberculosis to anti-tuberculosis drugs in vitro and “in vivo” within macrophages.

 

 



While My Sitar Gently Weeps

Suina, Justice

Vallecito, 3:30

 

Faculty Mentor: Ginger, Kerry, Music

 

The rising social conflicts generated by the Vietnam War during the 1960s set the stage for the growth of social movements such as Counter Culture and its many branches, which were fueled by the angst of the youth and the protest songs of the era. Through self-expression and introspection, the world's disenchanted populace tried to make sense of such a chaotic environment by any means necessary. These agitated thinkers, many of whom belonged to the concentrated youth-culture centers in the United States and Western Europe, rejected cultural excesses like war, materialism, and class conflict, turning instead to revolutionary peace messages. The Beatles were among the many creative artists who sought to find solace through the embrace of culturally peaceful outlooks, and they aimed to synthesize these outlooks into a language that the world could understand: music. Faced with the task of addressing such a dynamic and driven audience, the Beatles brought to the world stage an impression of Indian culture through Western modality, looking east for relief from the stresses of Western culture. With the release of their classic album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967, and songs like "Within you Without you," the Beatles introduced their manifesto of peace and personal introspection to the world, driven by lyrical and musical content inspired by the culture of India. Whether or not the band, or the audience, truly understood the teachings of this distant land, the lessons of peace and prosperity were a means of spreading a lasting and positive message to an audience in need of reassurance.

 



The Northern Pocket Gopher is an Ecosystem Engineer in the Mountains of Colorado 

Hanshaw, Derek

Vallecito, 3:45

 

Faculty Mentor: Steltzer, Heidi, Biology

 

Microtopographic disturbances by fossorial mammals alter the landscape in which they exist. One such creature, the northern pocket gopher, is pervasive throughout the mountains and plains of the western United States and is commonly considered an agricultural pest. However, a multitude of studies have shown that pocket gophers are agents of diversification in natural communities. Gopher activity is never a strictly negative or positive force, as the consequences of their existence within an ecosystem are based on regional variation in soil structure and plant community. Here I seek to determine the influence of the northern pocket gopher on its habitat using hydrologic, soil, and plant community variables in the East River watershed of Central Colorado. I determined that mound creation increases the rate of water infiltration into the soil, decreases soil fertility, and decreases total plant biomass while increasing possible germination sites for pioneer plant species. Gophers clearly have localized effects on their habitat, but determining the extent and severity of this influence on the scale of an entire watershed requires further investigation.