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Louisiana Academy of Sciences: abstracts of presentations: 2001 annual meeting.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe
Monroe, LA
1-2 February 2001

The following abstracts of oral and poster presentations represent those received by the Editor. Authors' affiliations are abbreviated as follows:
CC Centenary College
GSU Grambling State University
LAES-C Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, Calhoun
LAES-H Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, Hill Farm
LAES-R Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, Red River
LDWF Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
LSU-BR Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
LSU-E Louisiana State University at Eunice
LSU-S Louisiana State University in Shreveport
LSUAC-BR Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton
LSUAC-S Louisiana State University Agricultural Center,
LSUAC-W Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Winnsboro
LSUAC-WP Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Webster
LSUMC Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans
LSUMS-UMCL Louisiana State University Medical College in Lafayette
LTU Louisiana Tech University
LU Loyola University, New Orleans
LUMCON Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium
McSU McNeese State University
NiSU Nicholls State University
NLU Northeast Louisiana University
NSU Northwestern State University
SLU Southeastern Louisiana University
SU-BR Southern University at Baton Rouge
SU-NO Southern University at New Orleans
TuMC Tulane Medical Center
UNO University of New Orleans
USFS USDA Forest Service
USGS-BRD U.S. Geological Survey--Biological Resources Division
USL University of Southwestern Louisiana
XU Xavier University


Aku, P.K.M. ULM. W. Tonn, C. Paszkowski, K. Westcott, and E.E. Prepas. University of Alberta, Canada. A natural disturbance-based approach to the study of watershed disturbances on the diversity and structure of fish assemblages.--In the 1990s forest harvesting increased dramatically in the boreal mixed-wood ecoregion of Alberta, Canada. Strategies for sustainable management propose harvesting practices based on natural disturbance regimes. To help understand impacts of fire, the principal natural disturbance in this boreal ecoregion, on lake ecosystems and contrast them to effects of forest harvesting, we surveyed the fish communities of 37 small lakes during the summers of 1996 and 1997. Twenty-one lakes had no disturbances in their watersheds, 8-55% and 13-27% of the watersheds of 10 and 6 lakes, respectively, either had burned or were harvested 1-3 years prior to sampling. Ten species were encountered in all lakes; richness of individual lakes varied between 0 to 6 species but there were no distinct fish assemblages in relation to watershed disturbance type. Growth rate of northern pike populations, the dominant long-lived species, was positively correlated with the availability of forage fish but independent of the disturbance type. Canonical Correspondence Analysis showed that lake morphometry (maximum depth, area), connectivity (presence/absence of inlets), and landscape features of the catchment (% slope, % swamp) were environmental factors most closely associated with fish-assemblage patterns.

Anderson, S.H. and K.M. Tolson. ULM. Area 4 reproductive study.--A two-year study was conducted to obtain reproductive data and determine peak breeding dates for the whitetailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in northeast Louisiana. Deer were collected in Richland, Morehouse, and East Carroll parishes, an area defined by LDWF as Area 4. Entire reproductive tracts were obtained from does (N=80) to determine number of fetuses, fetal age, fetal sex, and number of corpora lutea. Breeding dates, the fetus per doe ratio, the fetal sex ratio, and reproductive efficiency (cl/fetuses) were calculated. Breeding dates ranged from 15 Nov-28 Jan, with the highest peak occurring between 25 Dec-2 Jan. Adult does (2.5+ years) averaged 1.89 fetuses per doe. The fetal sex ratio was 89 male to 50 female for those fetuses mature enough for examination. Reproductive efficiency for adult does was 1.17. These data were used to adjust hunting season dates in Area 4 to coincide with peak breeding activity.

Gaston, L. LSU-BR. T. Clason. LAES-H. L. Robbins and D. Cooper. LAES-C. Beneficial use of broiler litter for forage production in open pastures and pine plantations.--Productivity of the old, highly weathered Coastal Plain soils in Louisiana is limited by low levels of organic matter and plant nutrients. Many of these soils have been degraded by past mismanagement. Land-application of organic, nutrient-rich broiler litter may improve or restore the fertility of these soils. However, over-application may lead to undesirably high levels of nutrients, especially phosphorus, in nearby surface waters. This project is monitoring effects of litter application on forage productivity, nutrient accretion in soil and nutrient mobility. Forage production generally increases with increasing rate of litter application. Concentrations of macro-nutrients in forages also generally reflect increasing rate of litter application. Although concentrations of phosphorus in the surface soil have increased, there has been little downward movement of phosphorus, even where litter has been applied at high rates. Thus, the potential for subsurface movement of phosphorus to surface waters is, as yet, minor. Concentrations of phosphorus in runoff parallel application rates. Highest edge-of-plot concentrations occur in the first runoff after application, then decrease. Initial stream water data suggest that elevated concentrations of phosphorus in runoff may be attenuated before reaching surface waters. Supported by USDA.

Millhollon, E.P., W.D. Caldwell, and R.A. Anderson. LAES-R. Cotton root growth response to different Pix[R] formulations.--Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is a perennial plant that continues to grow vegetatively during reproductive development. Under conditions of aboveoptimum soil moisture and fertility, vegetative growth can be excessive, creating an environment favorable for boll rot and insect infestations and decreased picker harvest efficiency. Pix[R] (mepiquat chloride) has been used by cotton producers for over 20 years to control excessive vegetative growth. However, little is known about the effects of mepiquat chloride on cotton root growth. The purpose of this study was to examine cotton shoot and root growth response to different Pix[R] formulations. All Pix[R] formulations significantly reduced shoot height compared with an untreated control. Only Pix[R] Plus significantly reduced root length. All Pix[R] formulations significantly reduced shoot and root dry weights compared with the control, but only Pix[R] Ultra significantly reduced the dry weight shoot:root ratio. All Pix[R] formulations significantly reduced the shoot height to node ratio. Results indicate that, while Pix[R] formulations reduce shoot growth as desired, they may also reduce root growth. Under conditions where water and nutrients are limiting, decreased root growth would likely result in either no yield response, or yield reductions.

Millhollon, E.P., J.L. Rabb, R.A. Anderson, J.F. Liscano, and J.R. McIntosh. LAES-R. The use of poultry litter in cotton production and effects on water quality.--Conventional tillage of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and inorganic fertilizer application have been identified as nonpoint sources of pollution which cause impairment in many stream segments within the Red River Basin of Louisiana. Suspected causes of this impairment include suspended solids, nutrients, organic enrichment, low dissolved oxygen, and pesticides. Furthermore, large quantities of organic wastes generated by the poultry industry have been recognized as a potential source of nutrients and organic matter for crop production. Addition of poultry litter to soils can reduce the rate of nutrient runoff from cotton fields and, when combined with conservation tillage, reduce the rate of sediment addition to water bodies. The purpose of this study was to determine if using poultry litter with a best management practice (BMP) will provide a feasible method of disposal for poultry litter while improving water quality. Initial results from this study indicate that poultry litter can be used as a source of nutrients for cotton production without adversely affecting water quality, but conservation tillage practices may be needed as part of an overall best management practice. Utilizing poultry litter may also help maintain organic matter, although evidence of this would require long-term studies.

Rhodes, D.J. and M.E. May. USFS, Boyce, LA. Field testing of passive flying squirrel (Giaucomys volans) traps in active and inactive red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealls) clusters on the Calcasieu Ranger District.--Traps were tested in active and inactive red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) cluster sites to determine if traps affected RCW roosting behavior. The effectiveness of passive trapping and removal of flying squirrels from RCW cavities was also tested. Preliminary results indicate RCW roosting behavior is not affected by the presence of traps in the cluster and traps are very effective at capturing flying squirrels.


Botany Section

Allen, CM. ULM. Cajun prairie restoration.--Cajun Prairie once covered 10,000 [km.sup.2] in southwestern Louisiana but was almost completely destroyed as the area was planted to agricultural crops, mainly rice. The only remaining Cajun Prairie sites are a few narrow, small remnants along railroads. None of the strips are protected and most are in danger of being destroyed at any time. ULM faculty and students are leading efforts to restore Cajun Prairie onto the Duralde site, a part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Lacassine Wildlife Refuge and the Eunice North Railroad Site, a five acre tract owned by the Cajun Prairie Habitat Preservation Society, a non-profit organization. The ULM group is restoring the areas with seeds, transplanted sod, and rooted cuttings. This group is also researching all aspects of prairie restoration including seed germination, competition, and succession.

Ezell, L. and C.M. Allen. ULM. Environmental friendly control of Chinese tallow trees.--The Chinese Tallow Tree, Sapium sebiferum is a small woody tree that is one of the most invasive and aggressive trees around. It is a major problem for a few reasons: it can tolerate almost any condition like full sun or shade, wet or dry land; it produces an abundant seed crop easily dispersed by birds and water and spreads very rapidly; its leaves have been found to alter the chemistry of the soil affecting the surrounding vegetation; and most importantly, it is very difficult to eliminate. For example, the tree resprouts when the tops are killed. We propose a solution of cutting the trees at one to two feet above the ground level and then coming back 24 to 48 h later and cutting the tree again at ground level. The theory is that the tree will invest so much energy into sealing the initial wound that when cut again it doesn't have enough reserve left to resprout. We will be conducting this experiment on a large population of Chinese Tallow trees in the Wetland Park in West Monroe. These experiments will include replicates and be run in March and again in April.

McClinton, R.S. ULL. J.S. Chandler and J Callis. University of California, Davis. Arabio dopsis katanin p60 ATPase subunit: Isolation of its cDNA, characterization, and intracellular localization.--Katanin, a heterodimeric protein with ATP-dependent microtubule severing activity, localizes to the centrosome in animal cells. Also, several species contain homologs to the katanin p60 subunit. Recently we isolated an Arabidopsis thaliana cDNA with significant identity to the p60 subunit of katanin, which was named AtKSS (Arabidopsis thaliana Katanin-like protein Small Subunit). Like p60, AtKSS is a member of the AAA superfamily of ATPases, containing the Walker ATP binding consensus and the signature AAA minimal consensus sequences within a single larger AAA/CAD amino acid motif. Phylogenetic analysis placed AtKSS in the AAA subfamily of cytoskeleton interactive proteins, where it formed a strongly supported clade with 4 other katanin p60 subunits. Western blots, performed using a polyclonal antibody, revealed AtKSS is present in protein extracts of all Arabidopsis organs examined. To evaluate potential, interactions between AtKSS and the cytoskeleton, the intracellular localization of AtKSS was correlated with that of tubulin. AtKSS was found in peri-nuclear regions during interphase, surrounding the spindle poles during mitosis, but was absent from the preprophase band and phragmoplast microtubule arrays. These data support the thesis that AtKSS is an Arabidopsis homolog of the p60 subunit of katanin.

Thames, S. and C.M. Allen. ULM. Spring biomass production from bogs and upland areas at Ft. Polk.--Baygalls are an important ecosystem in west central Louisiana. My research focuses on determining the importance of these baygalls and their surrounding areas in west central Louisiana. The major objective is to determine the net primary productivity of the baygall areas and compare to associated areas. Three study areas have been selected near Ft. Polk on Kisatchie National Forest land. Each of the three areas consist of four typical components: baygall, bog, upland area adjacent to the baygall, and an upland area adjacent to the bog. The net primary productivity will be determined by measuring the herbaceous biomass in each of the components except the baygalls. The biomass was harvested, sorted, identified, and dried. The dry organic weight was recorded. The richness and biomass were higher in the bogs than in both upland areas. The richness in the bottom slope samples was higher than the middle and top slope samples. POCACEAE had the highest biomass in each of the three components, and the next species in decreasing biomass in the bog was Sarracenia alata, and in both upland areas was Pteridium aquilinum.

Vidrine, M.E and G.Q. Vidrine. LSU-E. Cajun Prairie Gardens: Gardens for a new millenium.--The natural landscaping paradigm redefines the interactions of the gardener and the garden. The paradigm shifts emphasis away from the conventional uses of biocides and disturbances, e.g. plowing and reseeding, to generate a manufactured landscape. Emphasis rather is placed upon recreating a landscape using native plant species and mimicking natural changes, e.g., burning and/or grazing, to effect seasonal changes in the garden. Restoring damaged habitats and reconstructing destroyed habitats are necessary to preserve and protect natural biological diversity. Although government and private organizations play key roles, private citizens can make real contributions. The Cajun Prairie Gardens landscape our home. The gardens encompass a hectare, with one-half the gardens comprising a prairie reconstruction using native plants from within a 100 km radius from our location. More than 400 native plant species are established in the gardens. The gardens demonstrate natural landscaping typical of coastal prairie in southwestern Louisiana. Not only the processes of restoration and reconstruction but also the results of these enterprises are evident in the gardens. The notion of sustainability is also evident, since the gardens double as sources of food, medicine, and fun, and as a resource with local genetic plant stock. The gardens serve as an outdoor classroom, where visitors experience natural landscaping efforts.

Environmental Science Section

Bridges, R.D. LSUAC-WP. Sparta Aquifer--Community involvement is the key.--The Sparta Aquifer, major source of drinking water for 800,000 people living in North Central Louisiana and South Central Arkansas, is decreasing at an alarming rate. The USGS reported in a 1995 study that depending on location, the rate is measured at 2 to 4 feet per year since 1960. The presentation will detail the efforts of the LSU Ag Center to develop a public awareness and education program to inform and encourage water conservation efforts by citizens and business leaders in ground water dependent areas. The presentation specifically details the efforts of Webster Parish leaders to develop an alliance of water system representatives, Police Jury members, State Representatives, School Board, and related environmental service agencies to create and implement strategies to address the issue. The Webster Parish County Extension Agent will report the steps taken to develop the Webster Water Alliance, and the actions taken by the alliance that led to the resolution and subsequent creation of the Webster Parish Water Management District. The water management district is intended to provide a focal point for individual water systems to strive towards greater efficiency in water delivery and protection efforts.

Chen, J. and B.L. Blaylock. ULM. R.M. Gogal, Jr., M.R. Prater, S.D. Holladay. Virginia Tech University. Combined dermal exposure to permethrln and cis-urocanic acid suppresses the contact hypersensitivity response in C57bl/6 mice in an additive manner.--Female C57B1/6 mice were injected intradermally daily for 5 days with 5, 50 or 100 mg c-UCA, followed by the mouse ear swelling (MEST) response to oxazolone. Decreases of 50.3%. 76.5% and 76.5%, respectively, were observed. Using the lowest c-UCA dose, mice were injected intradermally daily for 5 days and permethrin applied topically on day 1, 3 or 5 of c-UCA treatment. Two days after c-UCA injections, mice were sensitized and the MEST performed. Mice were suppressed 88.3% and 93.3% following five c-UCA injections and permethrin topically on day 1 or day 3, respectively, compared to control. Mice receiving permethrin on day 5 did not survive. To determine the duration of combined suppression, mice were injected intradermally daily for 5 days with 5 mg c-UCA, followed by topical permethrin on day 3, 5 or 7 after c-UCA injections. Two days after permethrin treatment, mice were sensitized and the MEST performed. The MEST was suppressed by 87.5%, 86.6% and 74.2% in mice treated topically with permethrin on days 3, 5 and 7 after c-UCA respectively, compared to control. Taken together, these data indicate the combination of c-UCA and permethrin profoundly suppresses skin cellular immunity. Poster presentation.

Furr, K.L. CC. Q. Dortch. LUMCON. R.E. Turner. LSU-BR. Heterocysts in nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria in Louisiana estuaries.--Large blooms of colonial cyanobacteria, consisting primarily of Anabena spp., occur in some low salinity Louisiana estuaries. Most Anabena are capable of N-fixation, which is performed in specialized cells called heterocysts. N-fixation could be a major factor in prolonging these Harmful Algal Blooms. There is some debate whether the presence of heterocysts means that N-fixation is actively occurring. Since N-fixation only occurs when dissolved inorganic nitrogen concentrations are low, we hypothesize that if heterocysts are present only when DIN is low, then heterocyst presence can be taken as an indirect indicator that N-fixation is occurring. Three areas were studied to determine the relationship between nitrogen levels and heterocyst formation in Anabena spp.: Lac des Allemands, Lake Salvador, and Lake Pontchartrain, the latter having had an exceptionally large bloom in early 1997. It was determined that when the nitrogen levels in the water were high, there were no heterocysts. When DIN <10 [mu]M and N/P ratios <30, the number of heterocysts increased. Heterocysts could make up to 10% of the total Anabena cells under conditions of low N availability. Thus, heterocysts may be an indicator that Anabena spp. are fixing nitrogen.

Newchurch, M.K NiSU. Analysis of volatile organic air pollutants (VOAP's) in indoor air environments.--Remodeling and new construction have been linked to elevated levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC's) in the workplace. Growth of mold and fungi are also increased as walls are removed and new materials added. These microorganisms also adversely affect indoor air quality (IAQ) by the VOC's they generate and release into the air. Microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC's) coupled with the off gassing of new materials and solvents create a complex mixture that can be directly and indirectly linked to adverse health effects. Levels of VOC's are already of concern to hospital administrators and personnel. Hazardous chemicals such as formaldehyde, ethylene oxide, and xylene are used on a routine basis for sterilization, preservation, and routine laboratory testing. Monitoring of these changing concentration levels is important to researchers, administrators, and environmental health officials. Existing monitoring and evaluation are either limited to specific vapors, to simple mixtures with high detection levels and slow analysis time, or to labor intensive analysis in a laboratory with highly trained personnel. A field portable gas chromatograph with a pre-concentrator was field tested in a hospital setting to determine if this instrument could be used for indoor air analysis. VOC's were characterized and monitored in ppb economically, rapidly, and accurately.

Zhang, L. and K.N. Baer. ULM. The effects of 4-nonylphenol, food levels and solvents on reproduction and development in Daphnia magna.--Daphnia magna, an important freshwater invertebrate species, are capable of reproducing both asexually and sexually. The timing of switch from asexual to sexual reproduction appears critical for survival of daphnid populations. Perturbation of this process due to exposure to environmental endocrine disruptors (EEDs) may have significant effects on the populations. Recently, studies have demonstrated that several EEDs affect steroid metabolism and increase male production under certain conditions. In addition, several solvents typically employed in ecotoxicity tests with daphnids appear to influence fecundity and male production. In the present study, exposure to 4-nonylphenol (NP) at 50 [micro]g/liter resulted in deformity of neonates and increased the fecundity in D. magna. Contrary to previous studies in our laboratory using acetone as solvent carrier, no significant increases in sex ratio were observed following NP exposure and ethanol as the solvent carrier. However, male production was extremely variable and dependent on the exposure conditions. Exposure to ethanol at concentrations as low as 4 mL/liter increased fecundity under certain conditions, but sex ratios remained unchanged. A summary of our laboratory solvent/chemical effects on daphnid reproduction and development will be presented and the use of sex ratios as an endpoint in evaluation of EEDs will be discussed. Poster presentation.

Microbiology Section

Al-Dujaili, J. LSU-E. The occurrence and distribution of E. coli 0157:H7 in the Southwest Louisiana area meat and meat products.--Escherichia coli 0157:H7 is an emerging cause of food-borne illness. An estimated 73,000 cases of infection and 61 deaths occur in the United States each year. Infection often leads to bloody diarrhea, gastroenteritis, hemolytic-uremic syndrome, and hemorrhagic colitis. A total of 50 food samples were purchased from retail establishments located in the southwest Louisiana area. All samples were fresh, uncooked, and on display for consumer selection. The samples consisted of the following: pork and pork products, turkey and turkey products, ground beef and calf liver. The result of this study showed that 24 samples of 50 were positive for total coliforms. Of the 24 samples, eight were positive for E. coli 0157:H7 based upon the absent of growth on Sorbital MacConky agar and their agglutinated with the anti0157 serum.

Doffitt, C.M., J.M. Holt, P.L. LeBas, and A.M. Findley. ULM. Ultrastructural integrity and carbohydrate metabolism of Spraguea lophii (Microsporidia).--Hatched sporoplasms of Spraguea lophii (Microsporidia) can be maintained for periods of up to 48 hours in Medium 199 supplemented with 5 mM ATP. Light and scanning electron microscopy indicate that the sporoplasms cluster along mucin threads deposited onto glass coverslips that provide an attachment site for extracellular cultivation. The surrounding incubation medium has also been sampled to ascertain early carbohydrate metabolism dynamics. The cyclic appearance and disappearance of glucose is followed in time by pulses of pyruvate and lactate production. The possible role of trehalose as an endogenous source of glucose is discussed. Supported by ULM-HHMI Undergraduate Participation Award to P.L. LeBas. Poster presentation.

Johnson, T., M. Schurr, and B. Green. XU. Serotyping of Pseudomonas aeroginosa.--Cystic Fibrosis (CF), caused by a mutation in the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Receptor (CFTR) gene, is the most common genetic disease among Caucasians. The clinical manifestations of CF include pancreatic insufficiencies, sterility, and chronic pulmonary infections due to defects in the chloride ion transport protein. The most significant cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with CF is chronic microbial colonization of the major airways with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. P. aeruginosa is a Gram-negative, ubiquitous organism that has natural resistance to many antibiotics. There are 17 known serotypes of P. aeruginosa. This study serves to determine if P. aeruginosa isolates from Tulane Cystic Fibrosis patients may have one or more common serotypes. The serotype of the P. aeruginosa isolates will be compared to the pulmonary function, general nutritional status and antibiotic sensitivity of the isolates. Additionally, any correlation between geographical location and serotype will be determined to identify possible patterns to acquisition of these infections.

Zoology Section

Beason, R.C. ULM. E.R. Loew. Cornell University. Color vision in the Bobolink, a migratory songbird.--Using microspectrophotometry we analyzed the visual pigments and oil droplets of retinal photoreceptors in the Bobolink (Dolichynx oryzivorus). Its retina contains seven classes of photoreceptors, one rod and six cones. There were six distinct types of oil droplets. The single cone photoreceptors contained R-, Y-, G-, V-, or C-type of oil droplet. The R-type of oil droplet ([[lambda].sub.cut] of 584 nm) was always associated with the LWS pigment ([[lambda].sub.peak] =564 nm). The Y-type of droplet ([[lambda].sub.cut] of 556 nm) was associated with MWS pigment ([[lambda].sub.peak] =499 nm). The G-type of droplet ([[lambda].sub.cut] of 520 nm) was associated with the MWS pigment. The V-type of droplet ([[lambda].sub.cut] of 430 nm) was associated with the LWS pigment. The C-type of droplet was nonabsorbing below 350 nm and was associated with the UVS pigment ([[lambda].sub.peak] =372 nm). The Principal cone receptor of the double cones contained the V-type of droplet and the LWS pigment. The B-type of droplet ([[lambda].sub.cut] of 459 nm) was associated with the SWS ([[lambda].sub.peak] =403 nm) pigment only in the Accessory cone of the double cone. The sensitivity of the rod pigment peaked at 501 nm. This is the most photoreceptor classes reported for any vertebrate. Poster presentation.

Corrigan, G.E. LSUMC. Pathology--Queen of the biological sciences--a college curriculum.--The accelerated development of the biological sciences provides an opportunity and need for a basic course in pathology. All biologists (botanical and zoological) working in the applied areas of biology need a knowledge of the basic principles of pathology lest they conceptualize an erratic "private" pathology and fail to recognize survival as the reciprocal of disease. A basic course outline and suggested laboratories are presented. Poster presentation.

Corrigan, G.E. LSUMC. The lipoma--a reference work on the most common benign tumor.--Using the major medical reference databases of the internet (OVID and the National Library) the author has assembled the leading lipoma papers of the past half century with abstracts and additional editorial work (classifications, insights, personal experiences, and evaluations) to provide a modern review of the most common tumor of the human body. The work is open-ended, over 400 ages, and includes 25-200 papers a year from the world literature. Internet distribution and pathology informatics are discussed.

Crnkovic, A.C. LSU-S. Ecology and microhabitat of Gastrophryne carolinensis in the Wallace Lake watershed of northwestern Louisiana.--The preferred habitat and seasonal activity patterns of Gastrophryne carolinensis, outside of its breeding season, are relatively unknown. The purpose of this study is to investigate the activities and the location and use of microhabitat of G. carolinensis during its nonbreeding season. Gastrophryne carolinensis will be studied in the Wallace Lake watershed area, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, during 2001-2002. Internally placed radioactive tags ([sup.60]Co) and a survey meter calibrated to detect [sup.60]Co gamma radiation will be used to track the frogs. Activity will be monitored using a chart recorder attached to a survey meter. Movements within the burrow site, movements to and from the burrow, and times of these movements will be recorded. Experimental methods were developed and some unique observations were made using one specimen, a male, of G. carolinensis during the summer of 2000. During July the frog moved 29.2 m from its point of discovery to the edge of a woodland pond. Several movements were made at the pond's edge and eventually into the pond. Microhabitats ranged from dry dirt under leaf litter to mud under 4 cm of water. The frog maintained depths of 2-6 cm in all microhabitats. Microhabitat site fidelity was demonstrated.

Hinton, J. and H.A. Meyer. McSU. Water bears of Mississippi.--The distribution of tardigrades in the American Deep South is poorly known. There are no published reports of tardigrades from the state of Mississippi. We examined samples of moss and lichen from several counties in southeastern and south central Mississippi. Species found in these samples included Macrobiotus ovovillosus, Minibiotus intermedius, Doryphoribius flavus, and Milnesium tardigradum.

Ingold, J.L. and R.F. McGuire. LSU-S. Western Kingbird as an addition to Louisiana's breeding avifauna.--Western Kingbirds (Tyrannus verticalis) successfully bred in Caddo Parish in the summers of 1999 and 2000. Although nests with eggs have been found in Louisiana previously, this is the first documented record of successful fledging of young Western Kingbirds for our state. We will describe nest placement for nests for both years and a description of the successful nest from 1999. Information on a large infestation of the Northern fowl mite (Ornithonyssus sylviarum) in that nest will be presented. Poster presentation.

Jobe, C.M. and A.A. Williams. LSU-E. Turtle harvesting in Acadiana.--Within the Acadiana area, many people utilize turtle meat for recreational and commercial purposes. The exploitation of local natural turtle populations could possibly pose a threat to rare species such as Macroclemmys temminckii the alligator snapping turtle. Research was conducted in Acadiana in order to determine which species were being used for commercial profiting. Data was collected via interviews with the retailers of fish markets. Results suggested that there was a problem with the local exploitation of turtles in Acadiana. It was discovered that most local fish markets could no longer supply native turtles, particularly the alligator snapping turtle, due to their diminishing population. In order to acquire an economically substantial amount of turtle meat to sell, local retailers have been forced to purchase imported turtle meat in bulk. The primary suppliers of commercial turtle meat in Acadiana were processing plants in North Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas. Currently, it is uncertain of the true natural status of the alligator snapping turtle in Acadiana. However, it has been determined commercially that it is no longer cost-effective for retailers to rely on this species from the local negligible population.

Jones, M.D., A.M. Dillingham, C. Bellard, and A.M. Findley. ULM. R. Buchholz. University of Mississippi. S. Hecht. Grand Valley State University, Michigan. Overall heterozygosity measurements and MHC variation in a captive flock of wild turkeys.--A captive flock of wild turkeys, Meleagris gallopavo, was analyzed for overall heterozygosity and MHC variation. Protocols employed were random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis utilizing primer OPA-04 and Southern blot analysis employing a partial MHC II DNA probe derived from the wild turkey. Resultant band sharing frequencies of male and female members of the flock are presented. The relevance of these analyses to a companion study of the genetic basis of parasite resistance in the wild turkey is discussed. Poster presentation.

McGuire, R.F., V.A. Langman, M.F. Rowe, and M.B. Moloney. LSU-S. Non-evaporative heat loss in exercising Asian elephants (Elephas maximus): a paradox resolved?--Sweating is an effective involuntary heat response that increases heat loss from the skin in some species of mammals. African elephants (Loxodonta africana) and Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) are anatomically and physiologically unable to respond to heat by evaporative cooling. What occurs to the internal heat derived during exercise? Two Asian elephants were walked 2,000 m at an average speed of 1.2 m/s. Rectal and average surface temperatures were measured before and after the exercise events. The internal heat loads generated from exercise were greater than the environmental heat loads. There was an increase in rectal temperature (0.5[degrees]C) while the surface temperatures remained constant (30[+ or -]05[degrees] C), suggesting that the elephants store the heat. This finding necessitates a rethinking of the thermoregulatory adaptations of these large mammals and has important implications in comparative mammalian studies. Supported by Captive World Research and the Audubon Zoo, New Orleans. Poster presentation.

Meyer, H.A. McSU. Louisiana and Arkansas water bears. Water bears are minute invertebrates belonging to a phylum, the Tardigrada, that is closely related to the arthropods. Terrestrial tardigrades are commonly found in mosses, lichens, and leaf litter. Outside of the states of Texas and Alabama, the distribution of tardigrades in the states of the American Deep South is poorly known. There are no published records from the states of Mississippi and Louisiana, while in Arkansas only one species has been reported. In 2000 I sampled mosses, lichens, and soil litter in Calcasieu and Natchitoches Parishes in Louisiana and in the Ouachita and Ozark Mountain regions of western Arkansas. Seven species of water bear were found in Louisiana and fifteen in Arkansas. The number of species per sample ranged from one to six. Poster presentation.

Schlueter, M.A. and C. Richard. XU. A current survey of the dragonflies (Order Odonata) of the Greater New Orleans Area (Orleans and Jefferson Parishes).--A survey of the dragonflies of Orleans and Jefferson Parish was conducted in 1999 and 2000. Several hundred dragonflies were observed and about 250 dragonflies were collected as voucher specimens. The results of current survey were compared and contrasted with previous records. The Eastern Pondhawk (also called the Green Pondhawk), Erythemis simplicicollis, was the most common species observed near lakes and canals. Dragonfly abundance decreased in 2000, probably the result of the regional drought. Several other species were affected by the low numbers of dragonflies. Mosquitoes, a human parasite, benefited from low dragonfly abundance, since dragonflies are a main predator of mosquitoes. Several bird species had higher rates of chick mortality, since dragonflies are an important food resource for baby birds. Poster presentation.

Vidrine, M.F. LSU-E. Unionieola (water mite symbionts of freshwater mollusks): Thirty years of research (1971-2001).--I encountered my first specimens of Unionicola (Acari: Unionniclidae) in the lab of Nell Causey in December 1971. Joyce Crawford had collected them from a pond in southeastern Baton Rouge in Utterbackia imbecillis (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Uniondae). In the ensuing 30 years, more than 50 species new to science were described from all over the world. The higher classification of the group of mites underwent a major revision. Host-specificity and community ecology of these mites and their hosts are now primary areas of research. Molecular genetics is opening new avenues of research and closing off some dead-end hypotheses. In spite of all the opportunities, the host mussels are disappearing at alarming rates, as are their parasitic mites. The presentation summarizes the major findings during the last century, while emphasizing those of the last 30 years and proposes new avenues of research.


Chemistry Section

Al-Hazmi, A. and T. Junk. ULM. Organic syntheses in superheated water.--At nearcritical or supercritical ([T.sub.c]=374[degrees]C, [P.sub.c]=318 atm) conditions, the properties of water as a solvent for chemical reactions differ fundamentally from those at ambient temperature and pressure. Thus, reactions can be carried out in such media that cannot be duplicated under ordinary laboratory conditions. The following topics will be discussed: a) The development of equipment and techniques suitable for carrying out reactions in superheated aqueous media safely and efficiently on a preparative scale, including the design of a gasket-free titanium autoclave suitable for work with supercritical water, b) Halogen exchange reactions in very hot (>250[degrees]C) aqueous media. Product distributions will be presented for the conversion of 1,2-dichlorobenzene to 1,2-dibromobenzene, and condusions drawn about both mechanistic and practical aspects of this reaction, c) The preparation of deuterium labeled organic compounds in superheated deuterium oxide. Isotope exchange under these conditions is a base-catalyzed process and can be applied to acid sensitive and sulfur-containing compounds, which cannot be labeled by isotope exchange under acidic, or noble-metal catalyzed conditions. Supported in part by PRF. Poster presentation.

Beck, J.N. NiSU. Manganese speciation in soils at Sabine National Wildlife Refuge.--Employing a modified sequential extraction procedure to speciate chemical forms of Mn in sediment, Mn was analyzed using flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Concentrations were determined in five different fractions for each sample (exchangeable forms, bound to carbonates, bound to iron/manganese oxides, bound to organic matter, and bound to matrix sites). Samples were collected at the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge during a marsh restoration project. The data collected were highly reproducible and variations found were the result of differences in metal concentrations across separated phases, not statistical variations in the data. Manganese was found to migrate between separated phases when the sample was collected from vegetated areas.

Darbeau, R.W. McSU. Boundary conditions on partitioning of deaminatively generated benzyl cations.--Nitrogen-separated ion-pairs (NSIPs) containing benzyl cations and pivalate anions were generated via thermal deamination of N-benzyl-N-nitrosopivalamide. Some decompositions were performed in methanolic solutions saturated with selected nucleophiles: acetate, azide, or cyanide ions. Trace amounts of benzyl cyanide and tolunitriles were observed; no corresponding products were detected in the acetate and azide cases. Other decompositions were performed in the absence of traditional solvent but in the presence of the nucleophilic salts; again only poor cyanide interception of the cation was observed. The poor showing of the nucleophilic ions, when present, is discussed in the context of the lifetime of the cation, effective nucleophilicity, and cage effects in deamination.

Delaney, M.S., R.W. Darbeau, D. Davis, and D. Gbenekama. McSU. Reaction coordinate diagrams derived from molecular modeling for the formation of carbocations from the deamination of N-substituted pivalamides and sulfonamides.--Molecular modeling using PCModel was performed to derive approximate reaction coordinate diagrams for the deamination (to form carbocations) of compounds such as N-benzylpivalamides and N-benzylphenylsulfonamides. The molecular modeling was also useful in revealing problems of steric hindrance. The results indicate that carbocations generated from N-phenylsulfonamides should be more accessible to attack from nucleophiles other than the counterion compared to those generated from N-benzylpivalamides. This may indicate a greater usefulness for the carbocations generated from the N-benzylphenylsulfonamides for initiation of processes such as carbocationic initiated polymerizations.

Gibble, R., R.W. Darbeau, L. Siso, D.J. Heurtin, and D.E. Bridges. McSU. Deamination of N-Benzyl-N-nitrosamides in benzonitriles: A study of electonic, steric, and orbital effects in the nucleophile.--Benzyl cations were generated via thermal decomposition of N-benzyl-N-nitrosopivalamide in molten 4-R-substituted benzonitriles (R=MeO, Me, H, F, and C[F.sub.3]). In each case, the binzyl cation was intercepted competitively by pivalate ion to yield binzyl pivalate and by the benzonitriles to yield the corresponding N-4-R-benzonitrilium ion. The letter onium ions reacted with pivlate ion to form imidic ahydrides which rearranged to yield N-4-R-benzoyl-N-pivalylbenzylamines (=unsymmetrical diacylamines). The yield of diacylamines ws found to vary in a systematic way with the nature and location of the R group on the aromatic nucleus. Generally, the yield of diacylamine rose with the electron-releasing ability of the substituent; the effect, however, was non-linear. Ortho substitution of the aromatic nudeus resulted in qignificantly diminished yields of diacylamine. Higher yields of diacylamine were observed when the nucleophile attacking the nitrilium ion was acetate rather than pivalate. Thus, both electronic and steric effects in nucleophilic attack on the nitrilium carbon were observed. The ratio of counterion-derived product in solvent-derived product for both the first-formed benzyl cation and the less reactive benzonitrilium ion are similar. This observation is interpreted in terms of the intermediacy of two generation of nitrogen-separated ion pairs in these deaminations.

Nair, R. and T. Junk. ULM. Advances in the preparation and characterization of organotellurium compounds.--Synthetic strategies for the preparation of organic sulfur compounds typically cannot be adapted to prepare organotellurium compounds. Consequently, these are prepared following fundamentally different synthetic strategies. The synthesis of diaryltellurides and -ditellurides by treatment of arylmagnesium or aryllithium precursors with elemental tellurium is well established, but lacks universal scope. Two novel strategies for the preparation of substituted diaryl ditellurides were developed and will be discussed: a) The reaction of arylboronic acids and tellurium halides proceeded smoothly under displacement of the boron moiety by tellurium. This previously unreported reaction afforded access to both cyclic and acyclic organotellurium compounds. Its scope, limitations, and significance in the preparation of 1,3-benzotellurazoles will be discussed, b) The nitration of aryltellurinic acids was investigated and its utility for the preparation of Te-N heterocycles demonstrated by example. The chemistry of 2-nitrophenyltellurinic acids was found to be remarkably complex, giving rise to a series of compounds, which exhibited strong intramolecular Te-O coordination. This summary synthetic progress will be complemented by a discussion of the molecular structures of 1,3-telluraxazoles, telluraoxazoles, and intra-molecularly coordinated aryltelluium mono- and trihalides.

Pease, R.S., and R.W. Darbeau. McSU. Electronic effects in the thermal deamination of N-4-R-Benzyl-N-nitrosoamides.--4-R-Benzyl-N-nitrosopivalamides (la-d; R=MeO, Me, H, N[O.sub.2]) were allowed to decompose at 20[degrees]C in [C.sub.6][D.sub.6], CD[Cl.sub.3], [d.sub.6]-acetone, C[D.sub.3]CN and [d.sub.6]-DMSO and the rates of decomposition were followed by [sup.1]H NMR spectroscopy. The half-lives of the nitrosoamides were found to vary in a systematic way with the nature of the R group on the aromatic nucleus. Electron-releasing groups were found to decrease the stability of the starting nitrosoamide, whereas electron-withdrawing ones increased the nitrosoamides' thermal stability. A Hammett-type plot of log(rate constants) of deamination vs. [[sigma].sub.p] was linear ([R.sup.2]=0.985) with a [rho]-type value of -0.9 indicating development of significant positive charge at the benzylic position in the transition state of the rate-determining step. The thermal stability of the nitrosoamides was also found to be systematically affected by the polarity of the solvent: as the solvent polarity increased, so did the lability of the nitrosoamides. This observation of intra- and intermolecular electronic perturbation of the kinetics of nitrosoamides decomposition appears to be novel. These results are examined in the context of the established steric acceleration of thermal nitrosoamide decomposition and a closer look at the rate-determining step of nitrosoamide thermolysis is made.

Reaves, S.A. and D.E. Hubbard. GSU. Polymerizable monomer reactants--Modified polyimides.--Aromatic polyimides having axially dissymmetric 2,2' bis(p-aminophenoxy) biphenyl units. Aromatic polyimides based on 3,3' 4' 4', benzophenotetra carboxylic dianhydride and biphenyl aryl ethers were synthesized, and their thermal properties were studied. Differential scanning calorimetry and thermal gravimetric analysis were two mechanical techniques used to evaluate the properties and molecular behavior of modified polyimides. In addition, optimal end-capped resin composition was identified, and thermal aging studies are on-going. The preparation of neat resin discs of the material will be discussed. Preliminary data strongly suggests that the API's in this study show high potential as a matrix component for high-performance composites. Supported by NASA and ONR. Poster presentation.

Richardson, F.A. and D.E. Hubbard. GSU. Confocal microscopy.--The purpose was to use a white light confocal scanning microscope to analyze the structure of the lamina in the cow eye. The image acquisition system consists of a Hamamatsu Image Processor and a Hamamatsu C985-02H CCD camera. In order to minimize noise, each captured image is the result of 256 averaged frames. All image processing in done in Adobe Photoshop and NIH Image, a freely available image-processing package. Analyze PC was used to get a 3-D reconstruction. The white light confocal microscope was feasible in obtaining a 3D-reconstruction of serially sectioned images of the structure of the lamina of the cow eye. It was observed that the lamina structure is very complex in nature (many connections in all directions). After a few tests, it was observed that due to this complex geometry, it is critical to appropriately threshold the lamina tissue. Poster presentation.

Rudd, M.D., M. Heiskell, and E. Falcone, NSU. J. Kautz. Baylor University. Synthesis of N-substituted 4-Methyl-6-Nitro-Quinolinamines.--In conjunction with the Marshall Space flight Center (Huntsville AL), we have been investigating a new class of organic molecules as potential non-linear optical materials. We have prepared a series of novel N-alkylated and N-arylated 4-methyl-6-nitroquinolinamines. Their properties, structures, and reactivities will be presented as well as information about how our flexible architectural design has enabled us to incorporate metallo-fragments into these molecules. Supported by La-SPACE and NSU's NSASA-JOVE Program. Poster presentation.

Srivastava, R.S. ULL. F.R. Fronczek. LSU-BR. Synthesis and crystal structures of carbonyl derivatives of chloride-tetramethylene sulfoxide-ruthenium (III) complexes: [Ru[Cl.sub.3],[(TMSO).sub.2](CO)] and [H[(TMSO).sub.2]] [Ru[Cl.sub.4](TMSO)(CO)].--The synthesis, spectroscopic characterization and crystal structure of [Ru[Cl.sub.3][(TMSO).sub.2](CO)] (1) and [H[(TMSO).sub.2]][Ru[Cl.sub.4](TMSO)(CO)] (2) are reported. These complexes are prepared by the reaction of the precursors [mer-Ru[Cl.sub.3][(TMSO).sub.3]] and [H(TMSO)][Ru[Cl.sub.4](TMSO)2] with carbon monoxide in the presence or absence of TMSO at ambient temperature and pressure. Complex 1 and 2 represent the first examples of Ru (III) compounds bearing both tetra-methylene sulfoxide and carbon monoxide ligands on the metal. Substitution of one of the two trans-S-bonded TMSO from the anion accompanied addition of one molecule of TMSO on the cation. Coordination of CO induces an S-to-O linkage isomerization of the TMSO ligands. Crystals of 1 are red-orange needles, monoclinic, space group C2/c, a=26.446(2)[Angstrom]., b=8.8726(6)[Angstrom] c=15.1093(8)[Angstrom]. Crystals of 2 are orange needles, orthorhombic space group Pnma, a = 11.9820(9)[Angstrom], b= 14.1930(11)[Angstrom], c=12.6500(15)[Angstrom].

Zippi E.M. and E. Kamperman. LSU-S. Synthesis of Poly(Styrene) for PET.--In an effort to prepare an improved carbon-rich target material for the accelerator production of [sup.13]N-labelled ammonia for use in Positron Emission Tomography (PET), sulfonated poly(styrene/ divinylbenzene) has been evaluated. The preparation of this target material using naturally abundant carbon-12 was investigated in an effort to optimize conditions for the preparation of the analogous carbon-13 target material which may provide a cost-effective method for producing nitrogen-13 via proton irradiation. As part of this study, poly(styrene) was synthesized in four steps starting from benzene. The synthesis will now be repeated with carbon-13 labelled benzene to yield carbon-13 enriched poly(styrene) which will be sulfonated and pyrolyzed to afford a carbon-13 rich target material. Poster presentation.

Computer Science Section

Bradford, A.L. and J. Kurian. GSU. What are the best compression techniques for a Hyperspectral Sensor Image?--This research examines one of the most beneficial techniques in today's world and computer society, which is known as data compression. It encompasses a wide variety of software and hardware compression techniques. The problem presented is how to transmit a satellite "image" from a hyperspectral sensor efficiently over a band-limit channel. In order to do this, one must use image data compression. There are numerous types of image data compression techniques. In this research, four different types were compared and contrasted. They were Binary Tree Predictive Coding (BTPC), Motion Photographic Experts Group (MPEG), Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), and Graphic Interchange Format (GIF). After researching each technique, it was concluded that two techniques were the most beneficial. If you consider each spectral "slab" as an independent fixed 2D image, then the Binary Tree Predictive Coding is the best solution. If you consider each spectral "slab" as a successive frame of a picture, then Motion Photographic Experts Group is the best choice. Supported by a NAVO/PET grant.

Foley, D. LSU-S. Approximation of the average running time for successful binary search.--Consider a sorted array of n items under the binary search algorithm. If each item in the array is as likely to be selected for search as any other item, then on average lg(n+ 1) - 1 cells, approximately, will be visited during the search. A simple, classroom-suitable proof is presented.

Reddy, Y.B., P. Sule, C. Rugage, and D. Moor. GSU. Internet information filtering with Java server pages.--Internet Information Filtering (IIF) is the process of filtering unwanted data from the incoming stream of data. The unwanted data may be a few words or a file or links to some URLs. In the present paper, we accomplish three items. In the beginning, we survey the existing methods related to IIE In the next step, we introduce the role of Java servlets and Java server pages (JSP) in IIE Finally, we demonstrate the servlet based filtering which uses Java server pages (JSP) to filter unwanted data. The proposed method may be used in libraries, schools, homes, and related places. Supported by Army Research Office.

Robertson, S.M. and J. Kurian. GSU. Understanding dynamic programming.--The divide and conquer approach solves a problem in a top down manner, by dividing the problem into smaller problems and then blindly solving the different smaller problems until the complete problem is solved. Dynamic Programming is similar in approach, but it solves the smallest instance of a problem first, and stores the results for the future use, then solves the next larger instances of the same problem in a bottom up manner until a very large instance of the same problem is solved. In this training program, an attempt is made to master some skills in dynamic programming. A Dynamic Programming algorithm must have two steps: one to establish a recursive relation between two adjacent instances of the problem, and another to solve all problems in a bottom-up manner. Dynamic programming is a good technique to try when divide and conquer leads to an inefficient algorithm. This knowledge will enable one to understand and design algorithms involving the dynamic programming technique. Supported by a NAVO/PET grant.

Sanati, R., K. Agarwal, and A. Minaie. LSU-S. Training computer science students for manufacturers.--The Industrial Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing program at LSUS has significantly enhanced the capacity of the Computer Science program by the addition of a state-of-the-art Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) Lab. With this lab, LSUS will be able to better educate students in industrial applications of computer integrated advanced manufacturing technology and they will gain hands-on experience in applications pertinent to specific industries. The CIM lab will support ongoing curriculum development that includes several new robotics, advanced manufacturing, and related courses designed to provide hands-on activities. The CIM equipment will also be used for presentations and demonstrations to local industries on the potential industrial use of CIM control system to increase productivity, accuracy, and safety. The CIM lab involved a major curriculum initiative in the area of industrial robotics and advanced manufacturing. Before this CIM Lab was established, there was no institution in the nearby area offering industrial robotics and advanced manufacturing training. Now the new CIM lab at LSUS is up and running and we are able to give such training to our students and the employees of local industries to satisfy their needs. Supported by Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund.

Sharma, P.R. GSU. A survey of languages for computational sciences and engineering.--With the remarkable growth and progress in powers of both sequential and parallel computers, many new areas of computation have emerged. Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) is one of the fastest developing fields. When CSE was in its infancy, experimental and theoretical approaches were primarily used to conduct research in science and engineering. As numerical simulation techniques have matured with the advent of High Performance Computing, analytic, experimental, and computational efforts have become equal partners in many scientific and engineering disciplines. A plethora of languages exists for programming CSE applications. The availability of parallel computers has given birth to new programming languages. As the choice of programming language for these applications significantly affects the quality and speed of execution, it is important to choose a suitable language for any given application. Further, one specific programming language may not be suitable for all applications, as different applications require different features of a language. The objective of this paper is to make a review of the programming languages (both sequential and parallel) which can be used for CSE applications. Supported by ARO and NSF.

Earth Sciences Section

De Hon, R.A. and P.A. Washington. ULM. Implications of sapping channels on Mars.--Martian theater-headed valleys are discussed under a variety of names including: sinuous valleys, alcoved valleys, and longitudinal valleys). These valleys, characterized by steep-walled, sinuous channels with scarce, short tributaries are attributed to headward recession by spring sapping. Terrestrial sapping valleys are formed where ground water discharges from the basal portion of a permeable, coherent material (sandstone or basalt) above underlying impermeable, weakly bound material (volcanic ash, shale, or clay lenses). The valley grows in length as the headwall is undercut by seepage erosion and collapses. Debris is carried away from the headwall by surface flow though the lengthening valley. Preliminary modeling suggests that sapping valleys require extensive ground water discharge and sustained surface flow extending over tens of thousands of years. Martian sapping channels are relics of a ancient hydrologic system that maintained an adequate supply of ground water to the valley head wall for sufficient time to carve the valley. The discharge was no mere trickle.

Glawe, L.N. ULM. Paleoenvironmental facies within Wilcox Tew Lake marker interval of LaSalle Parish, LA.--The Tew Lake Marker (TLM) interval represents a calcareous, fossiliferous, shale sequence that occurs in the subsurface of east-central Louisiana between the Paleocene Wilcox Tew Lake Sand and the E-2 Sand. Foraminiferal analysis of continuous, conventional cores from the Hunt Petroleum A-2 and A-68 wells (located one mile apart in the Nebo-Hemphill Field, LaSalle Parish, Louisiana) reveals the TLM beds represent a series of paleoenvironmental facies ranging from hyposaline to normal marine bay/lagoon. Comparisons of the paleoenvironmental facies recorded in core samples from the A-2 and A-68 localities suggest the following trends: 1). The TLM interval at both localities exhibits a marine transgressive sequence of bay/lagoon facies that unconformably overlies a freshwater-lignite facies. 2). Eastward from the A-2 to the A-68 corehole, the TLM interval is represented by a greater number of thin beds with marine fossils, indicating marine influence was more persistent toward the east. 3). Eastward from the A-2 to the A-68 corehole, correlative TLM beds exhibit bay/lagoonal facies with the same or greater marine influence.

Green, T. and G.L. Stringer. ULM. A comparison of paleoecological determinations based on vertebrates and invertebrates from the Moody's Branch Formation (Upper Eocene) of Louisiana and Mississippi: preliminary results.--A study has been initiated on two exposures of the Moody's Branch Formation (Upper Eocene Jackson Group) for the purpose of comparing vertebrate-based (fish otoliths) and invertebrate-based (foraminifera) paleoecological determinations. The Moody's Branch is a blue-gray, glauconitic, calcareous, highly fossiliferous, sandy marl. Fifty-pound samples were obtained from Techeva Creek (north of Jackson, Mississippi) and Heison Landing (south of Columbia, Louisiana). The Heison Landing sample has been processed by wet-screening (200-mesh sieve). All fish otoliths from the residue have been picked and identified. A smaller one-pound sample was processed for foraminiferal analysis. Initial results indicate at least seventeen otolith-based taxa. Preliminary paleoecological interpretations indicate a neritic environment characterized by a muddy bottom with little open oceanic influence. This interpretation is based on the dominance of representatives from the Family SCLAEBIDAE and the absence of myctophids and macrourids. A duplicate process will be followed for the other sample. Once paleoenvironments have been determined for each site, comparisons will be made between the foraminiferal-based and the otolith-based paleoecology. The utilization of multiple groups for determining paleoecology will also be evaluated.

Gregory, J.D. ULM. Effects of surface water accumulation from the 1991 flood on the groundwater hydraulics in the Sparta aquifer of north-central Louisiana.--The Sparta aquifer is the single most important source of groundwater in northern Louisiana. Industry, agriculture, municipalities and domestic users are responsible for significant groundwater withdrawals from the Sparta. The study was developed to evaluate the effects of surface water accumulation from the 1991 spring flood and subsequent groundwater recharge of the Sparta aquifer in conjunction with pumping stresses. Existing and proposed surface water impoundments were also investigated in relation to fracture geometry to determine recharge effects on the Sparta. Several methods were used to study the areal distribution of floodwaters in portions of Jackson, Lincoln, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland and Union Parishes. The magnitude and flood frequency analyses followed techniques of the Hydrology Subcommittee of the Interagency Advisory Committee on Water Data (HSIACWD). The development of the geohydrologic framework was based on electrical log interpretation. Fracture geometry was established by a study of lineament frequency distributions. The combined effects of surface water accumulation, pumping stresses, fracture geometry and groundwater recharge on the potentiometric surface of the Sparta aquifer were investigated by the use of the Groundwater Management Software (GMS).

Saunders, J. ULM. T. Allen. NRCS. D. LaBatt. Poverty Point State Park. R. Jones. ULM. Lower Jackson Mound: Poverty Point or Middle Archaic Earthworks.--Lower Jackson mound generally has been considered as part of the Poverty Point earthworks, dating to ca. 33004-3700 B.P. Recent research at Poverty Point and Lower Jackson suggest that the Lower Jackson mound dates to the Middle Archaic (>5000 B.P.).

Stringer, G.L. ULM. Rare bony and cartilaginous fossil fishes from the Upper Eocene of Louisiana.--Approximately 10,000 specimens of marine vertebrate fossils have been recovered from the Upper Eocene Yazoo Clay in Caldwell Parish, Louisiana, through bulk and surface collecting. The majority of these fossils are bony and cartilaginous fishes and are represented by skeletal remains and otoliths (earstones). Most of the taxa occur frequently, but there are several forms that are quite rare. Some rare taxa are represented by single specimens, others by only a few. Rare skeletal-based bony fishes include Parabula sp., Ostracion meretrix, and Cybium sp., while rare otolith-based fishes are Pterothrissus sp., Carapus sp., "genus aff. Nibea" sp., and Anisotremus sp. Rare cartilaginous fishes include Heterodontus pineti, Pristis sp., and Carcharocles auriculatus. A rare ray, Eoplinthicus yazooensis, represents a new genus and species. Paleoecological parameters and other factors are investigated as plausible explanations for the rare occurrences of these taxa. Supported by Geology Endowed Professorship and ULM Foundation.

Washington, P.A. ULM. Geomorphology and history of a paleolake basin along the Ouachita River near the Louisiana-Arkansas border.--The Ouachita River valley between the Saline River (southern Arkansas) and Sterlington, LA exhibits characteristics of a paleo-lake basin, including apparent beach terraces and deltas, with a stable level of approximately 85 feet a.s.l. The paleolake basin was dammed on the south end by a tectonically-uplifted barrier in the vicinity of Sterlington; the dam was topped by the natural outlet, Bayou Desiard, and had a maximum depth of approximately 30 feet in the tectonically down-dropped central basin just upstream of Alabama Landing. Bayou Bartholomew was captured from the Bonita, LA area during the existence of the lake basin and created a large delta lobe in the southern portion of the basin that supplied sand to the wide prairie terraces north along the east side of the lake. The lake basin drained when the dam was breached through stream capture by the Bayou de Loutre watershed, probably about 5000 B.P. Post-draining tectonic deformation has locally affected terrace elevations and planarity in parts of the lake basin.

Washington, P.A. and C.L. Strickland. ULM. Compressive tectonics of the northern Gulf of Mexico coastal plain and the evolution of the current surface topography.--Recent discoveries of south-verging compressive structures and deforming stream valleys in northern Louisiana and southern Arkansas indicate that the northern Gulf of Mexico coastal plain is undergoing southward-directed horizontal tectonic compression. This tectonic compression is creating uplift in the hills of north-central Louisiana and south-central Arkansas, while sliding on the salt within the adjoining salt basins is maintaining topographically stable alluvial basins to the east, west, and south of the uplifted area. The differential topographic relief is produced by differences in stable tectonic wedge geometries above salt and saltless detachments, and the transitions between uplifted areas and the basins are marked by active normal faults with down-to-the-basin motion (which includes motion down to the south, east, and west). Besides explaining the topography of northern Louisiana, this tectonic compression helps explain the current rate of thrusting along the lower continental slope in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mathematics and Statistics Section

Shabanian, S. LSU-E. Monte Carlo integration method.--From pedagogical view of physics education, interactive software serve many useful purposes, some of which are: a) students can observe evolution of a physical system, b) students can observe and control the factors which effect the function of such systems, and c) students can observe how their perception of a physical system is compared with the actual behavior of such system. In this context, several student projects are discussed.

Physics Section

Bedell, L.R., M.D. Somers, P.L. Fisher, and T.E Melder. ULM. Reformation of the introductory physics course at ULM.--Since the Fall of 1999 four instructors have been meeting weekly to reform the algebra-trigonometry based introductory physics course at ULM. In Fall 1999 several exam questions were designed and have since been administered to measure student learning. The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) has also been administered before and after instruction. In Fall 2000 instructional activities were designed or revised. Some of the activities are paper and pencil exercises and are designed to promote active learning in the classroom. Others are web-based exercises and are designed to facilitate active learning outside the classroom. The web-based activities are administered by CyberInteractor*--a tool designed to give students immediate feedback to their specific responses while storing their responses in a database for research purposes. The instructional activities will be described and test results will be presented. *L.R. Bedell and M.D. Somers, "CyberInteractor--A Teaching and Research Tool", Campus Wide Information Systems, 16(1), 1999.

Boudreaux, P., W.A. Hollerman, and G.A. Glass. ULL. Initial testing of the cryogenic cold stage at the Acadiana Research Laboratory.--A high energy scanning nuclear microprobe system was recently completed at the Acadiana Research Laboratory (ARL). This unique instrument delivers ion beams as small as 1x1 [micro]m (horizontal x vertical) to a stationary target. Using a finely focused proton beam, the microprobe can measure concentrations of elements in a sample. This system can also provide one- or two-dimensional elemental maps for a variety of organic or inorganic samples. It is often difficult to analyze biological samples since they are fragile and contain moisture. Samples analyzed using traditional microprobe techniques would have to be dried in order to make them vacuum compatible. The drying process can often destroy sample structure, which is the subject of interest to biological scientists. The use of a cryogenic cold stage with the nuclear microprobe would make it easier to analyze samples. Frozen organisms are vacuum compatible and could easily be irradiated in the ARL nuclear microprobe system. The ARL cryogenic cold stage is designed to cool a sample to liquid nitrogen temperatures. This presentation will provide an overview of the cryogenic cold stage at ARL. Supported by U.S. Department of Energy (DE-FC02-91ER75669) and Louisiana Education Quality Support Fund (DOE/LEQSF (1993-1995)-03).

Ellington, C.E. and G.T. Blanchard. SELU. Determination of the coupling function between the dayside reconnection electric field and the IMF clock angle.--It has long been a goal of magnetospheric physics to determine the dependence of reconnection between the interplanetary magnetic field and the magnetosphere on the orientation of the interplanetary magnetic field. We calculate the reconnection rate as the ionospheric plasma flow through the magnetic separatrix times the ionospheric magnetic field strength. Location of the separatrix and measurement of the ionospheric flow are accomplished using Sondrestrom incoherent Scatter Radar data. We analyze the dependence of the reconnection rate measurements on magnetic local time (MLP) and on the clock angle of the solar wind=arctan(B_y/ B_z) as measured by the IMP-8 spacecraft.

Fournet, J.D., G.A. Glass, and W.A. Hollerman. ULL. Evaporation and deposition monitoring research at the Acadlana Research Laboratory.--The implementation of an evaporation deposition system is important in the creation of thin films for scientific analysis and experimentation. To assist in characterization, it is necessary to find a tool that will monitor the thickness of deposited layers. The evaporation deposition system at the Acadiana Research Laboratory (ARL) uses a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) to monitor the deposition of elements on a selected substrate. The use of a QCM allows films of elements like aluminum, copper, or silver to be deposited to any desired thickness. Samples prepared in this manner can be used for a variety of purposes, including calibration standards for Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry and micromachining experiments using ion beams. This presentation will provide an overview into the evaporation deposition system at ARL. Emphasis will be placed on the use of the deposition system for a variety of research projects. Supported by U.S. Department of Energy (DE-FC02-91 ER75669) and Louisiana Education Quality Support Fund (DOE/LEQSF (1993-1995)-03).

Gates, E., W.A. Hollerman, and G.A. Glass. ULL. Microscopic fluor research at the Acadiana Research Laboratory.--Most research programs measure fluorescence properties over the macroscopic scale. Properties of individual microscopic grains could be significantly different than those measured over the macroscopic scale. It is important to understand the properties of individual grains, so effects due to geometry and spatial distribution can be eliminated. Until recently, it was impossible to measure properties of individual fluor grains. The development of an accelerator-based nuclear microprobe, like is currently available at the Acadiana Research Laboratory (ARL), has made this type of research possible. Starting in September 2000, a research program was initiated to determine the microscopic fluorescence properties for selected inorganic rare-earth compounds. This presentation will provide a general overview into this new and exciting research program at ARL. The Louisiana Education Quality Support Fund under contract number LEQSF (2000-2003)-39 supported this research.

Hollerman, W.A., R. Greco, G.A. Glass, N.J. Pastore, J.D. Fournet, S. Hynes, P. Boudreaux, C. Bates, and E. Gates. ULL. Review of recent research projects at the Acadiana Research Laboratory.--The Acadiana Research Laboratory (ARL) brings unique surface modification and characterization capabilities to scientists and engineers in Louisiana. The heart of the laboratory is a National Electrostatics Corporation (NEC) 5SDH-2 1.7 MV tandem Pelletron accelerator system. With dual plasma and sputter sources, this accelerator is capable of providing beams with significant currents over a wide range of ion species. Currently the Pelletron has experimental stations dedicated to ion beam analysis, ion implantation, and nuclear microprobe analysis and imaging. A high energy scanning nuclear microprobe system was made operational in June 2000 and is the only one of its kind in Louisiana. This instrument delivers ion beams as small as 1x1 [micro]m (horizontal x vertical) to a stationary target. Using a finely focused proton beam, the microprobe can measure concentrations of elements in a sample. It can also provide one or two-dimensional elemental maps. This presentation will provide a general overview into recent research at ARL. Emphasis will be placed on the use of undergraduate and graduate students in completion of individual research projects.

Hussey, G. LSU. J. Trahan. CC. The drag on a sphere at low Reynolds Number.--We have made measurements of the drag on a sphere moving at constant velocity through a viscous fluid. The Reynolds Number Re (based on the sphere diameter) of our measurements ranged from 0.01 to 90. We examined the drag made dimensionless by the Stokes drag for a sphere in a fluid of infinite extent. In order to obtain results for an infinite fluid from our measurements in finite containers, it is necessary to obtain a self-consistent extrapolation procedure. We found that for Re less than one, it is best to extrapolate values of the reciprocal of the dimensionless drag but for higher Re a direct extrapolation is superior. This procedure leads us to an empirical expression that agrees with our measurement, with available theoretical results, and with direct numerical solutions of the Nayier-Stokes equations.

Murty, A.N., L. Turner, and E. Bruster. GSU. M.A. Akundi, XU. NMR and magnetization studies of Fe/Mo and Fe/Co/Mo catalysts.--Iron, cobalt and molybdenum compounds are extensively used for the conversion of coal to liquid fuels. To examine the relation between catalytic and magnetic properties of these composites, we have investigated the NMR spectra and magnetization character of a series of iron-moly and iron-cobalt-moly metallic ratios 0.3, 1.5, and 3.0 for different metal loadings of 5%, 15% and 25%. The magnetic properties were analyzed for four different phases of the composite: as precursor, after reduction, after exposing to carbon monoxide, and after exposing to syngas (a 1:1 mixture of CO + [H.sub.2]). The magnetization data shows that all the precursors are paramagnetic and not easily amenable for reduction to metallic state. Exposure to carbon monoxide slightly enhances reduction. NMR lines are shifted to higher frequencies beyond the HCP phase indicating strong inter-metallic interaction between cobalt and iron/molybdenum. Although iron and cobalt exhibit high efficiency, in the composite lack of free metal sites leads to poor efficiency as a catalyst. *Supported by Department of Energy and Office of Naval Research

Naidu, S.V. GSU. Interpretation of positron lifetime variations in cellulose acetate as a function of diacetin concentration.--Plasticizer influences the physical properties of the pseudolatex which govern the drug release rates. The effect of diacetin in cellulose acetate (CA) with loadings between 90-170% is studied using Positron Lifetime spectroscopy. The second component, attributed to positrons annihilating in voids within the chains, showed ~11% change in lifetime and 32% in intensity. The third component, assigned to o-Ps in cavities between chains, showed only ~3.7% change in both lifetime and intensity. These results indicate that the addition of diacetin brings more drastic changes within the polymer chains rather than between the chains.

Shabanian, S. LSU-E. An undergraduate physics laboratory supplement; projects in simulation of physical systems using Interactive Physics software.--From a pedagogical view of physics education, interactive software serves many useful purposes, some of which are: a) students can observe evolution of a physical system, b) students can observe and control the factors which affect the function of such systems, c) students can observe how their perception of a physical system is compared with the actual behavior of such system. In this context, several student projects are discussed.

Somers, M.D., L.R. Bedell, F.L. Fisher, and T.E Melder. ULM. Student understanding of vector components.--Preliminary findings will be presented from an investigation into student understanding of vector components in kinematics and dynamics. The research is based on individual demonstration interviews, written tests, and on questions that were administered over the web. Results indicate that most students have a basic understanding of many aspects of vector components but there are a few notable exceptions. For example, some students fail to distinguish between the direction of a vector and its components. A web-based instructional activity to remediate these difficulties was designed and its effectiveness will be discussed.

Williams, G.J., C. Stella, X. Wang, and P.L. Fisher. ULM. Undergraduate research with a small radio telescope.--We describe the construction of a small radio telescope system at ULM. Undergraduate students have participated in the construction of the hardware and the task of interfacing that hardware to software on two Linux-based computers. We report preliminary results of solar observations conducted with this instrument and describe how both the instrumentation and the interpretation of the results may be related to the undergraduate curriculum.


Behavioral Sciences Section

Oyekan, J.O. LSU-S. Psycho-theological relevance of school prayer: A cross-religious exposition.--School prayer is a controversial political and religious topic even though Homo sapiens have been known to be incurably religious. Proponents of school prayer believe that prayer: (1) fosters a bond of unity among students of diverse faiths, (2) contributes to acceptance of diversity within the student body, and (3) is a "way of allowing students to clear their minds giving them a peaceful way to start the day" (GOP, 1996). Opposers argue that school prayer (1) is a violation of the constitutional principle of separation of church and state, (2) it ridicules certain students on the basis of their religion, and (3) infringes on students' first amendment rights. This three-year-study presents different operational definitions of prayer used by diverse faiths: Taoism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Sikhism, Jainism, Native, etc. It posits that prayer (1) boosts students' ego morally, psychologically, socially, spiritually, or emotionally, and (2) students of different cultures do not have to be religious in order to pray since prayer is not a religious act, but a cross-cultural acknowledgment of a "Higher Power" (Cornish, 1996). Presented in this paper are extensive landmark Supreme Court decisions from 1948-2000 on school prayer. Two questionnaires are included for open discussion as well as recommendations for researchers and educators.

Whitehead, B. LSUAC-BR. Workplace ethics.--Our communities need to address issues of character and ethical behavior in all venues of life the workplace, government, school, church, recreation, and home. It is true our youth need reinforcement of ethical issues, but adults do also. Lapses of ethical behaviors are evident in the workplace. Imagine what a different environment we could have if our employees, customers, vendors, and owners modeled ethical behavior around a simple to understand and agreed upon set of values expressed and understood in a common vocabulary. The Six Pillars of Character--trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship provide this ethical standard and opportunity. They are principles that transcend time, religion, cultures, and socio-economic differences. They are character traits we look for in others and should model ourselves. This presentation will demonstrate how and why this program can be implemented into ANY program.


K-12 Education Section

Forrest, S.P. LSU-E. Stitches link science and art.--Two quilted wall-hangings illustrate scientific phenomena melded with artistic principles. Both are learning experiences for the needle worker and the viewers. One illustrates British physicist Thomas Young's Two Source Interference Pattern. The colorful piece won third place at a St. Landry parish art exhibit in April 2000. The second piece is a fabric rendition of Cajun Prairie Wildflowers framed for wall hanging. Both pieces show that no matter the personalities of artists and scientists, it is possible to blend the two disciplines in harmony and beauty. Poster presentation.

Pugh, A. and F. Groves. ULM. The perceptions of death as ascertained by elementary classroom teachers.--With the increase of automobile accidents, plane crashes, and incurable diseases, people are being faced with death more often now than ever before. Students in the elementary schools need to be familiar with the concept of death before experiencing the death of a family member, pet, or friends. And since children spend at least one-third of their days at school, classroom teachers should know how to deal with the students' experiences with death. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to ascertain teachers' perceptions toward death and how familiar they are with the concept. Graduate students majoring in elementary education were administered a survey containing 18 questions pertaining to the concept of death. These students were surveyed during the 2000 summer semesters at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Percentages were used to determine the perceptions of the 58 students.

Suits, J.P. and K. Hypolite. McSU. Student-generated atomic models.--The purposes of this study were to explore ways in which students generate atomic models and to ascertain the effects of using one-to-one tutoring to support student learning beyond their non-tutored learning capacities. We tutored two high school students, both were Project SEED students, and analyzed four 30-minute taped sessions. One had taken a full year of chemistry, while the other had taken physical science but not chemistry. Each one expressed a particular view of the relationship between knowledge and beliefs. Before and after the tutoring sessions, they drew sketches of their first, second, and current models of the atom. Results of analysis of the tutoring sessions indicated that the tutoring sessions were effective. Results of the pre-and post-sketches of their atomic models indicated that both students made small conceptual changes in which they incorporated scientific explanations into their mental models of the atom.

Higher Education Section

Franklin, M.Z. GSU. Learning styles, study methods and perceived hindrances to effective study of students enrolled in pre-nursing anatomy and physiology courses at Grambling State University.--Success in anatomy and physiology courses may depend upon both academic and psychosocial factors. The purpose of this study was to evaluate learning styles and study methods, and identify perceived hindrances to effective study, of students enrolled in anatomy and physiology courses at Grambling State University. A questionnaire was developed and administered to 110 students in the late fall semesters of 1999 and 2000. Participation in the study was voluntary and anonymous. A positive correlation between grade and perceived adequacy of study habits was noted. A negative correlation existed between grade and both the tendency to "go blank" during exams and the frequent feeling of being too tired to study. There was no relationship between current grade and either specific study habits or learning styles. Pre-occupation with another course and lack of a quiet study environment were the most frequently reported hindrances to effective study in all grade categories. Lack of interest was the third most frequently reported hindrance in the DF group. These findings suggest that psychosocial factors may be more important to achievement in anatomy and physiology courses than specific study habits or learning styles. Studies are planned to further characterize these findings. Poster presentation.

Greene-McDowelle, D.M. and A.D. Beal. XU. Teaching immunology: a service learning approach.--Because there are new immunologic discoveries every year, rapid changes in the field can make it a difficult subject to teach. Using service learning as a teaching method can engage students in basic immunology, as well as familiarize them with the latest research findings. HIV/AIDS affects the entire immune system. A concentration on HIV/AIDS serves as a comprehensive model for learning how the immune system works, how it can be compromised, and the resulting immune deficiencies and their effects. Involving students in service learning related to HIV/AIDS and the resulting immune deficiencies facilitates learning at several levels: 1) students are better able to understand the functions of different immune cell populations and how they interact to maintain general health; 2) students recognize manifestations of deficient T-lymphocyte sub-populations; 3) students reinforce what they learn in the classroom by reinterpreting the lesson and teaching it to community members in layman's terms; 4) students comprehend, at both the cognitive and affective levels, the relationships between behavior of various populations and risk; and, 5) participants develop heightened awareness of the import of behavior modification not only for community members at risk, but for themselves. Poster presentation.

Leuck, B.E. and E.E. Leuck, CC. The use of studio format classes in an introductory biology course.--In fall 2000 the Department of Biology at Centenary College implemented a new introductory biology course, Principles and Methods of Biology. Traditional lecture and laboratory sections were replaced by "studio format"; classes in which students met twice weekly for two hours and 45 minutes. During that time, a combination of lecture and laboratory exercises was utilized to increase students' understanding of biological principles. Students participated in laboratory exercise design (guided inquiry learning). The drop rate for the course was lower than the drop rate for the traditional course that the studio format course replaced. Student grades were higher in the new course, and an overwhelming majority of the students rated the course as good to excellent. Although student satisfaction with learning biological material in this manner seemed higher than with a traditional lecture-laboratory format, there are logistical problems associated with teaching a science class in this manner.

Robertson, M.J. and L.L. Munchausen. SLU. Establishing the scholarship of teaching in on-line courses.--On-line courses are becoming increasingly popular in academia. However, evaluation policies for faculty who create, initiate, and teach on-line courses are only in the formative stages at most universities. Faculty evaluation is usually based on three broad areas: teaching effectiveness, professional and scholarly activity, and service. Since implementing and teaching a successful on-line course requires a tremendous amount of time, faculty often must sacrifice time and resources they would normally spend on other pursuits. This shift of priority and time can cause risk for faculty in merit, tenure, and promotion decisions. There is a respected body of literature that examines and proposes how professional scholarly activity can be established in teaching. The literature identifies and explains criteria that can be considered, and many of these criteria are inherent in the development and teaching of on-line courses. Thus, if initiated and administered properly, the development and teaching of on-line courses can be considered comparable and equivalent to other traditional scholarly pursuits, such as publication. Further, evaluation policies can be framed to consider non-traditional avenues of professional and scholarly activity, including the creation and implementation of on-line courses and on-line teaching.

Suits, J.P. and F. Ayo. McSU. Use of a collaborative research project to stimulate student learning of science within a real world context.--In this paper, we describe how an undergraduate research project on water quality gave four science majors the opportunity to actively participate in all of the stages of the scientific method. First, they selected a topic: Did the chemical spill that resulted from a train derailment in Eunice, LA affect the water quality of a nearby lake and bayou? They then made a plan to collect data samples during a field trip to the site. The samples were prepared and analyzed on a gas-chromatograph/ mass spectroscope (GC-MS) for traces of organic compounds that might have leaked out during the derailment. Finally, each student researcher wrote a section of the progress report in journal format that described each of the stages of the project. Overall, they learned to use scientific principles, techniques, instruments, and materials within the context of solving a real world problem.
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Publication:The Proceedings of the Louisiana Academy of Sciences
Date:Jan 1, 2001
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