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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.