Middlebury

MiddLab

Intensive herbivory by white-tailed deer has plagued Valley Forge National Historical Park’s forests since the early 1980s. A deer management plan was enacted to reduce the size of the herd by at least 1000 deer over the next two years. The goal of my research was to model the impacts of changing levels of deer herbivory on the forests. I developed a forest model using data from a large deer exclosure erected in the park in the late 1980s. I am using the model to simulate how changes in herbivory and disturbance may affect forest composition over the next 120 years. My results suggest that changes in herbivory may be a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for restoring forests to their historical state. The finished model will serve as a tool for the park’s resource managers to use in developing long-term restoration plans.

People

Meghan Blumstein
Researcher

Andrea Lloyd
Sponsor & Professor of Biology

Related Links

Downloads

A MiddLab Project

Monitoring Carbon Uptake on College Lands

Learn more about Biology and Environmental Studies at Middlebury College.

Middlebury College has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2016. As the largest private landowner in Addison County, there is tremendous potential for land management practices to contribute to the goal of carbon neutrality. As part of an effort to understand how carbon sequestration varies among the different forest types on College-owned lands, we monitored carbon uptake in the Battell Research Forest, an old-growth hemlock forest in East Middleury, VT. As expected for an old-growth forest, the Battell Research Forest contains substantial pools of carbon in live and dead biomass. The size of the woody debris pool was substantially larger at the Battell Research Forest than in secondary forests at Breadloaf. We conclude our presentation with a proposal for how to implement an ongoing carbon monitoring protocol on College-owned forest lands.

People

Related Links

Downloads

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 the cold climates of 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 tissues. This study’s findings suggest that higher temperatures significantly reduce omega-3 FAs and glucosinates in camelina.

People

Anne Runkel
Researcher

Helen Young
Professor of Biology and Advisor

Dr. David Sands and Dr. Alice Pilgeram
Montana State University Advisors

Related Links

Downloads

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 tat struck New England in December 2008 with respect to the forest carbon flux.

People

Lauren Sanchez
Researcher
Professor of Environmental and Biosphere Studies
Professor of Biology

Related Links

Downloads

A MiddLab Project

Trends and Perceptions in Zoo and Aquarium Field Trips

Learn more about Biology and Education Studies at Middlebury College.

This paper reports the results of a survey designed to examine trends in zoo and aquarium field trip attendance, as well as the perceptions and practices of zoo and aquarium educators. The results suggest that field trip attendance is down at most zoos and aquariums over the last five years, but increased during 2009 over 2008 at about half of the institutions reporting data. The results obtained here, combined with those reported in the published literature, suggest that zoo and aquarium educators must continue to provide classroom teachers with professional development opportunities if field trips are to remain an educationally-relevant part of the K-12 experience.

People

Nicholas J. Meiers
Researcher

Number and percent of zoo and aquarium educators mentioning a particular theme for their visit (n=37).

Related Links

Downloads

The glycation of ubiquitin with ribose 5-phosphate (R5P) and glucose was studied to determine the effect of post-translationally modified ubiquitin on intracellular proteolysis. Our investigations focused on identifying the location of glycation sites on the ubiquitin protein and on developing a method for assessing the effect that glycation has on ubiquitin activity. A novel method which employs yeast cytochrome c as a ubiquitination target substrate and LC-MS for subsequent analysis is under development for use in assessing the functionality of modified ubiquitin. Preliminary results suggest that this is a robust method for the detection of ubiquitination. Further refinement of this method is necessary before the effects of glycation on ubiquitination can be analyzed.

People

Mark Esposito
Researcher

Roger Sandwick
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Related Links

Downloads

A MiddLab Project

Restorative Justice at Middlebury College

Learn more about Philosophy, Biology, Sociology & Anthropology and Justice at Middlebury College.

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.” We propose various methods of incorporating restorative practices into the Middlebury College judicial system.

People

Ben Manger ’11, Philosophy
Dana Callahan ’13, Biology
Matthew George ’12.5, Biology
Clayton Paschke ’13, Sociology
Researchers

Jon Kidde
Sponsor, Sociology & Anthropology

Related Links

Downloads

A MiddLab Project

The effects of prolonged exposure to prolactin upon adult neurogenesis

Learn more about Biology at Middlebury College.

For his thesis research, Tyler Prince (’11) is continuing our research with prolactin to examine the effects of prolonged exposure to prolactin upon adult neurogenesis. This summer, he conducted histological staining for newly proliferated cells in the hippocampus (See pictures).

The hippocampus is an area of the brain that plays a critical role in the processing of spatial and temporal memories and is involved in working memory more generally. Therefore, the growth of new nerve cells is of particular interest in this brain region, and our research has implications for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and chronic depression.

People

Tyler Prince
Researcher

Mark Spritzer
Assistant Professor of Biology

Related Links

Downloads

Full Project Description [DOC]

Spritzer et al Figure 2

Evidence that an acute low dose of the hormone prolactin caused an increase
in cell proliferation within the hippocampus region of the brain


Sites DOT Middlebury: the Middlebury site network.