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Science Research projects to be presented

posted Apr 11, 2008 in CAMPUS EVENTS

Seven students will complete the capstone of their McPherson College education at the Science Research Symposium on Friday, April 18 at 2 p.m. in Melhorn Hall, room 112.

Adan Ghaffarian, Irving, Texas; Alan Grosbach, Gladstone, Mo.; Joel Grosbach, Enders, Neb.; Jessica Miller, St. John, Kan.; Andrew Paull, Kanopolis, Kan.; Brett Whitenack, McPherson, Kan.; and April Woody, Tescott, Kan., each will present their senior research projects to the public at the symposium. All seven students will graduate in May with a degree in the sciences. Landon Snell, Wasco, Calif., is also a science graduate who completed and presented his project, “Isolation and Identification of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria from the Intestinal Flora of Feedlot Cattle and a Measure of Their Efficacy for Lateral Gene Transfer” in December.

“This year's eight senior science majors have explored interests in an unusually wide variety of topics, including both basic and applied research,” said Dr. Jonathan Frye, associate professor of natural science. “Their projects range from developing techniques for meteorite preservation to developing techniques for increasing agricultural production; from studying the process of aerobic methanogenesis in tropical plants to studying aerobic exercise in humans.”

Two students, Alan Grosbach and Joel Grosbach will graduate with agriculture degrees.

Alan Grosbach’s project is directly connected to an internship he completed over the summer. Titled “The Effect of a Nutritional Supplement on Stillbirths in Swine,” his project has “shown the knowledge of a biological system and more specifically the animal science/nutrition that I have been taught,” he said.

Joel Grosbach will present “The Effect of Row Spacing on the Yield and Plant Growth of Popcorn.” Joel’s degree focus is in agriculture management.

The remaining five presenters are all biology majors.

Ghaffarian’s project, titled “Aerobic Methane Emissions of Tropical Plants,” is a follow-up of an ’07 alum’s project. Throughout the process of completing his work, Ghaffarian has learned several research techniques.

Miller chose her topic, “The Dispersion of Tamarix ramosissima on the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge,” because “Tamarix ramosissima is an invasive plant, and invasive species and how they affect native environmental dynamics, as well as their spread are really interesting to me,” she said. Miller also said that her project has emulated values that she has gained from her MC education—patience and diligence.

“The Effect of Atmospheric Contact on the Rate of Acetylene Breakdown in Axotobacter Chroococcum,” will be the focus of Paull’s presentation. Paull said his project “involves all of the sciences that I have studied over the past four years and takes that knowledge and applies it to a real world situation.”

Whitenack chose his project, in part, to “pay homage” to MC alumni and former professor, H.H. Nininger. Working at the McPherson Museum as a curator, Whitenack has had the opportunity to curate a collection of meteorites collected by Nininger. His project, “The Use of Electrolytic Reduction for the Removal of Chlorides from Iron Meteorites,” interested Whitenack as a curator and, he said, “Can be applied to my line of work by preserving meteorites for museums and the collector as well.”

Woody chose her project, “The Effects of Yoga Conditioning for Athletes on Cardiorespiratory Endurance,” to demonstrate her strong interest in athletic performance and the human body. “Aside from the results that I found, I've learned that there are a lot of untested areas in the field of exercise physiology,” Woody said. “I think this project showcases my overall education at MC because I used my science background along with statistical, physical education, and writing skills.”

Presenters and their scheduled times are as follows:
Adan Ghaffarian – 2:15
Alan Grosbach – 2:30
Joel Grosbach – 2:45
Jessica Miller – 3:15
Andrew Paull – 3:30
Brett Whitenack – 3:45
April Woody – 4:00

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