Video

Lauren Sanchez ‘11: Changes in Leaf Area Index (LAI) due to Ice Storm Damage at Harvard Forest

Discuss this project in MiddLab
Session: Slow Growth- MBH 216 at 10:45 a.m. from the Undergraduate Research Spring Symposium
Faculty Sponsor: Steve Trombulak, Biology
Major: Enviromental Studies and Biology
Research Support: US Department of Energy

Terrestrial ecosystems play an integral role in the global carbon balance, potentially functioning as carbon sinks that fluctuate through time and seasonal changes. The net ecosystem exchange of these ecosystems has been heavily studied at the Harvard Forest Environmental Measurements Site (HFEMS) and has shown an increase in carbon sequestration over the past two decades. My study was conducted to analyze various impacts of the ice storm that struck New England in December 2008 with respect to the forest carbon flux. Several methods, including the eddy covariance technique, measuring downed woody biomass, and determining leaf area index (LAI) values, were used to evaluate and quantify the ice storm impacts. Several significant relationships were found in changes in LAI values, highlighting the importance of these measurements and analyses. The implications of these results also emphasize the importance of these forest measurements, given their role in the global carbon cycle.

Anne Runkel ‘11: Environmentally Caused Chemical Constituent and Nutritional Variation in the Oilseed Crop Camelina sativa

Session: Slow Growth- MBH 216 at 10:25 am from the Undergraduate Research Spring Symposium
Faculty Sponsor: Helen Young, Biology
Major: Biology
Research Support: Priscilla (Kay) Beck ’52 Botany Fellowship

It is important to understand how crops will respond to climate change. Temperature, water availability, and insect predation influence crop yield and may also affect crop nutrients. Camelina sativa (camelina), an oilseed crop high in omega-3 fatty acids (FAs), grows best in cold climates of southwestern Canada and northwestern US. In this study, camelina seeds and leaf tissue were grown at different temperatures and analyzed for FAs; glucosinolate levels were also studied in leaf tissue. This study’s findings suggest that higher temperatures significantly reduce omega-3 FAs and glucosinolates in camelina. Humans evolved with a 1:1 dietary ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s; however, the average ratio today is 15:1 to 25:1 and contributes to health disorders around the world. Will higher temperatures imbalance the FA ratio further? Based on these findings in camelina, further research must determine if the nutritive value of major crops will also be altered by climate change. This research was conducted at Montana State University with assistance from Dr. David Sands and Dr. Alice Pilgeram.

Darcy Mullen ‘10: A New Way of Eating: Slow Food’s Contribution to a Shift in American Food Culture

Discuss this project in MiddLab
Session: Slow Growth- MBH 216 at 10:05 a.m. from the Undergraduate Research Spring Symposium
Faculty Sponsor: Sandra Carletti, Italian
Major: Italian

My research looks at the success of the Slow Food movement in the United States, and how it was a contributing factor to a mental shift from fast unhealthy food to local healthy ones in a portion of the population. The movement was started in Italy, and while support for the movement has grown at the grass roots level, new pro-fast food elements have become present in Italian politics. Since its arrival in 2000 to the United States, the movement encouraged a process of education that promotes an understanding of the food industry. This study focuses on the changes in the food culture that were spurred by the Slow Food movement and have led to educational programs across the country and how this compares to Italy’s current situation.

Chris Free ‘10: The Population-level Impact of Density-dependent Seedling Mortality of Big-leaf Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla)

Discuss this project in MiddLab
Session: Slow Growth- MBH 216 at 9:45 a.m. from the Undergraduate Research Spring Symposium
Faculty Sponsor: Matt Landis, Biology
Major: Environmental Studies/Biology
Research Support: Senior Work Fund

A high mortality of seeds and seedlings has been documented in areas of high conspecific adult density as a result of increased predation and disease. Although this phenomenon has received significant attention in the scientific literature, the long-term evolutionary and ecological impact of density-dependent seedling mortality remains poorly understood. The purpose of the present study is to determine the population-level impact of density-dependent seedling mortality on heavily exploited big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla). The study was conducted by developing a spatially explicit individual-based model to examine the population size and distribution differences in mahogany populations grown with and without density-dependent seedling mortality. The heavy exploitation and threatened status of big-leaf mahogany highlight the importance of understanding density-dependent interactions in the develo p.m.ent of more robust predictive models and management plans.

Ben Manger ’11, Dana Callahan ’13, Matthew George ‘12.5, and Clayton Pashke ’13: Restorative Justice at Middlebury College

Discuss this project in MiddLab
Session: Conflict Resolution and the Quest for Order- MBH 216 at 2:30 p.m. from the Undergraduate Research Spring Symposium
Faculty Sponsor: Jon Kidde, Sociology & Anthropology
Major: Philosophy

According to Howard Zehr (2002), “Restorative justice is a process to involve, to the extent possible, those who have a stake in a specific offense and to collectively identify and address harms, needs, and obligations, in order to heal and put things as right as possible.” In the following paper, we propose various methods of incorporating restorative practices into the Middlebury College judicial system. These practices usually include an open discussion between the victim and offender of a crime, in which the victim explains the impact of the crime on his/her life, and how the offender can repair the harm. We will address how restorative justice can meet the needs of offenders, victims, and our campus community in cases of academic dishonesty, sexual assault, and physical battery.

Christopher Rogers ‘09.5: Oath-Sworn: The Concept of Oath-taking in Northwestern Medieval Europe

Discuss this project in MiddLab
Session: Conflict Resolution and the Quest for Order- MBH 216 at 2:10 p.m. from the Undergraduate Research Spring Symposium
Faculty Sponsor: Louisa Burnham, History
Major: History
Oaths play an important role in our modern society from swearing-in procedures to Middlebury’s own Honor Code. A thousand years ago, oaths had a much larger role in early medieval society. Oaths were used to create artificial bonds between people. These bonds were the glue that kept the often violent early medieval society from falling apart. Compurgation, the legal defense that was based on the support of oath-helpers, swore not to the truth of a situation, but to the oath-helpers’ support of a litigant. Successfully passing Compurgation would prevent society from breaking out into a blood feud. This type of social control kept law and order in a decentralized state that was northwestern Europe in the early middle ages. My study focuses on the social history of the oaths in northwestern Viking Age Europe through a close examination of Norse Sagas and French and English epics.

Eleanor Johnstone ‘10: Dialogues of Tradition and Nationality in the Legal Systems of Cameroon’s Muslim North

Session: Conflict Resolution and the Quest for Order- MBH 216 at 1:50 p.m. from the Undergraduate Research Spring Symposium
Faculty Sponsor: Michael Sheridan, Sociology & Anthropology
Major: English & American Literature
During my study abroad experience with SIT’s Develo p.m.ent and Social Change program in Cameroon, I spent six weeks in Ngaoundéré, a large town in the country’s Muslim North. Using surveys, interviews, and secondary materials I examined the relationship between the national secular legal system and traditional Islamic Fulbe law. My goal was to explore the balance between the two systems and identify areas of tension; I was particularly interested to discover if the relationship impaired prospects for develo p.m.ent in Ngaoundéré’s community. Keeping issues of gender, religion, language, and nationalism in mind, I assessed the effect of the dual legal system on the civilian sense of choice and order. My presentation will give an overview of Cameroon’s national history and will address Ngaoundéré’s significance within this highly diverse country. I will then describe my research process and present its findings.

Restoring a historic gem in Middlebury

Once the stately home for several Middlebury presidents, as well as the college's first women's dorm, this campus and town classic is being restored to its former glory for use as college offices. The college recently purchased the property, which had been in private hands for several decades, and began the renovation process. See what Project Manager Tom McGinn has to say about the process and the location's historical significance.
Views: 338
0 ratings
Time: 04:14 More in Education