Biology


Assessing the effectiveness of the Anacostia River tunnel in reduction of eutrophication

ID: 3588
School: School of Science, Technology, Accessibility, Mathematics, and Public Health
Program: Biology
Status: Ongoing
Start date: February 2018
End Date: January 2022

Description

The Anacostia River is among the most polluted tributaries in Chesapeake Bay. With substantial algal blooms and bacterial contamination, it has placed those who recreate on the water at considerable health risk. A recently completed, and soon to be fully implemented multi-billion dollar infrastructure project, has been completed to retain and divert sewage and storm water effluent, with the goal of improving water quality in this important river. This project will address the hypothesis that the diversion of water and its associated nutrients will lead to an improvement in water quality, a shift in the community composition of phytoplankton species, and a reduction in sewage-associated bacteria. Building on a considerable body of work on baseline conditions over the past few years, this project will bring new seasonal water column measurements, enclosure enrichment studies, and molecular approaches to determine if, indeed, a success story can be written. We will use established relationships with the Anacostia Riverkeeper and the Anacostia Waterfront Trust to communicate with community groups via meetings, social media, and the local press, and implement a citizen science program to allow for rapid response regarding water safety.

Principal investigators

Priorities addressed

Funding sources

Approved Products

2019

Gleich, S. (2019) Nutrient effects on phytoplankton community composition in the eutrophic Anacostia River and a focus on diatom physiology. Masters Thesis. University of Maryland, College Park.

Mitchell, T., Officer, R, Robinson, A, Solomon, C.M. (2019). Post-tunnel analysis of nitrogen dynamics in the Anacostia River. Presented at Department of Science, Technology and Mathematics Presentations, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.

Officer, R, Arora, G., Solomon, C.M. (2019). Impact of pre- and post-tunnel implication on microbial and community diversity. Presented at Department of Science, Technology and Mathematics Presentations, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.

2020

Officer, R., Mitchell, T., Arora, G. and C.M. Solomon (2020). Pre- and post-tunnel comparison of nitrogen and microbial community dynamics of Anacostia River, D.C. Ocean Sciences Meeting: Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography. San Diego, CA.

2018

Peck, C., Orozco, M., Gliech, S., Lin, M., Glibert, P.M., Solomon, C.M. (2018). Influence of different N, P and Si additions on urea utilization pathways in an Anacostia River phytoplankton community. Presented at End of Summer Internship Presentations, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.

2019

Peck, C., Orozco, M., Gliech, S., Lin, M., Glibert, P.M., Solomon, C.M. Influence of different N, P and Si additions on urea utilization pathways in an Anacostia River phytoplankton community. Maryland Monitoring Council Forum; Lithicum, MD. December 2018.

2020

Solomon C.M. (2019). Urea uptake and urease activity in Chesapeake Bay. In: Glibert, P.M., M. Altabet, J. Montoya and D. McGillicuddy (eds), The Sea, Volume 18: The Current and Future Ocean: Advancing Science from Plankton to Whales. Celebrating the Contributions of James J. McCarthy. Journal of Marine Research 77; Supplement. Yale Univ. Press.

2019

Solomon, C.M, Glibert, P.M, & Gleich, S. (2018, December) Eutrophication status and expectations for recovery of the Anacostia River. Maryland Water Monitoring Council Annual Conference. Linthicum, MD.

Solomon, C.M., Jackson, M. & Glibert, P.M. (2019) Chesapeake Bay's "forgotten" Anacostia River: eutrophication and nutrient reduction measures Environ Monit Assess 191: 265. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-019-7437-9


Effectiveness of mentoring in science research

ID: 2611
School: School of Science, Technology, Accessibility, Mathematics, and Public Health
Program: Biology
Status: Ongoing
Start date: October 2014
End Date: August 2030

Description

Disabled individuals, women, and cultural and ethnic minorities continue to be underrepresented in STEM. Research has shown that mentoring increases success for underrepresented individuals. Available mentoring survey instruments have all been developed for the majority population and were not intended to capture factors for successful mentoring of underrepresented groups. In this project, we are developing and validating a next-generation mentoring survey drawing from prior mentoring instruments, and incorporating capital theory and critical race theory. From critical race theory, this survey includes community cultural wealth, which is thought to be instrumental to the success of individuals from minority communities. Our survey focuses on mentoring relationships between Deaf and hard of hearing protégés and their research advisors. From the pilot survey results we have identified three segregating factors. The first two factors contain traditional capitals. The third factor, community cultural wealth, was well conferred when Deaf protégés were paired with mentors who were either Deaf or had knowledge of American Sign Language and Deaf culture. This next-generation survey is geared for improving the success of underrepresented groups in STEM and can be used for hypothesis testing or for generating constructive feedback for mentors. Our results so far suggest that cultural awareness training may be a strategy for improving mentoring effectiveness.

Principal investigators

Additional investigators

Priorities addressed

Funding sources

Approved Products

2020

Braun, D. C., Clark, M. D., Marchut, A. E., Solomon, C. M., Majocha, M., Davenport, Z., et al. (2018). Welcoming Deaf Students into STEM: Recommendations for University Science Education. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 17(3), es10. http://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.17-05-0081

Braun, D.C. (2019, October). Welcoming Deaf Students into STEM: Recommendations and Research. Presented at Opening the Pathway Conference; Rochester Institute of Technology (NY).

Braun, D.C. (2020, August). Mentoring Deaf Students in UREs: The Value of Cultural Competency. Presented at Cultivating Scientific Curiosity; BIOME Institute.

2017

Braun, DC, Gormally C, Clark MD. (2017). The Deaf Mentoring Survey: A Community Cultural Wealth Framework for Measuring Mentoring Effectiveness with Underrepresented Students. CBE-Life Sciences Education,16(1):10.

Braun, DC, Gormally C, Clark MD. (2017, June). Applications of the Deaf Mentoring Survey to Medical Education. Presented at the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss (AMPHL), Rochester, NY.

Braun, DC. (2017, June). Best Practices to Mentor and Collaborate with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Scientists. Presented at the Rochester Summer Research Training Institute (RSRTI), Rochester, NY.

2020

Majocha, M., Davenport, Z., Braun, D. C., & Gormally, C. (2018). “Everyone Was Nice…But I Was Still Left Out”: An Interview Study About Deaf Interns’ Research Experiences in STEM †. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, 19(1). http://doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1381


NSF IUSE: Creating Validated Learning Objectives to Improve Course Design and Student Outcomes in Introductory Biology.

ID: 4080
School: School of Science, Technology, Accessibility, Mathematics, and Public Health
Program: Biology
Status: Ongoing
Start date: August 2020
End Date: July 2023

Description

NSF IUSE: Creating Validated Learning Objectives to Improve Course Design and Student Outcomes in Introductory Biology. $598,031. With Scott Freeman, Rebecca Orr, and Peggy Brickman.

Principal investigators

Priorities addressed

Funding sources


Population genetics of connexin 26 deafness

ID: 765
School: School of Science, Technology, Accessibility, Mathematics, and Public Health
Program: Biology
Status: Ongoing
Start date: January 2010
End Date: January 2030

Description

The researchers aim to explore three explanations for the high genetic prevalence and mutational diversity of deafness-causing GJB2 mutations in the North American population, as well as the association of specific GJB2 mutations within ethnic groups. One possibility is mutation-selection equilibrium: novel GJB2 mutations are perhaps being introduced at the same rate that mutations in the gene pool are being eliminated. Evidence showing a mutational hotspot at GJB2, particularly for deletion mutations, would provide support for this hypothesis. A second explanation is linguistic homogamy, meaning in this case that culturally Deaf individuals have actively sought mates with compatible fluency in signed languages. This mate-selection phenomenon may have begun ~200 years ago with the introduction of signed language in residential schools for the Deaf. A third possibility is that of balancing selection. Unrelated to studying deafness, Tran van Nhieu, Clair et al. have shown in tissue culture experiments that Shigella flexneri requires GJB2 connexons for egression into the intestinal epithelia, raising the possibility that the three common GJB2 deletions could confer resistance to Shigella dysentery. This project studies all three of these hypotheses.

Principal investigators

Additional investigators

Priorities addressed

Funding sources

Approved Products

2021

Braun D. C., Jain, S., Epstein, E., Greenwald, B.H., Herold, B., & Gray, M. Deaf intermarriage has limited effect on the prevalence of recessive deafness and no effect on underlying allelic frequency. Plos One. 2020;15(11):e0241609. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0241609

2015

Braun, D. C. (2015, September). Population genetics of Cx26 deafness: Frequency, mutability, history and geography. Presented at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Seminar, Bethesda, MD.

Braun, D. C., Craft, E. A., Herold, B. K., Arnos, K. S., Tekin, M., & Pandya, A. (2014, October). Does genetic hypermutability contribute to the prevalence of connexin 26 deafness? Poster presented at the meeting of the American Society for Human Genetics, San Diego, CA.

2020

Braun, D. C., Jain, S., Epstein, E., Greenwald, B.H., Herold, B., & Gray, M. Deaf intermarriage does not increase the prevalence of deafness alleles. bioRxiv 2020. doi: 10.1101/2020.04.09.034728

2015

Jain, S., Epstein, E., & Braun, D. C. (2014, October). Linguistic homogamy explains the recent increase in phenotypic deafness, but does not predict an increase in frequency of deafness alleles. Poster presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences, Baltimore, MD.

McBride, C., Chin, J., & Braun, D. C. (2014, October). Practical and inexpensive DNA fingerprinting for undergraduate science majors and high school students. Poster presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences, Baltimore, MD.


REU Site: Undergraduate Research Experiences in Estuarine Processes

ID: 3589
School: School of Science, Technology, Accessibility, Mathematics, and Public Health
Program: Biology
Status: Ongoing
Start date: April 2018
End Date: March 2023

Description

This project funds Dr. Solomon to provide mentoring and coordinate accessibility services for Gallaudet students with the Maryland Sea Grant REU internship program.

Additional investigators

Priorities addressed

Funding sources


Scholarship and creative activity

2021

Gormally C, R Inghram. 2021. “Goggles & white lab coats:” Students’ perspectives on scientists and the continued need to challenge stereotypes. JMBE.