2009 McNair Scholars at UW-Superior

2009 McNair Scholars Program Research

Kevin Anderson
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ed Burkett, Natural Sciences Department

ABSTRACT: Coral reefs exhibit heterogeneity of community structure, species distribution and density, and dominant life forms.  These differences are influenced by factors such as current flow, water temperature, sunlight penetration, substrate composition, mechanical wave energy and human interaction. 

Underwater photography and other methods were used to gather data in the field from ten research sites off the coast of Caye Caulker, Belize.  Geospatial relationships between these sites were examined to test the null hypothesis that coral reef communities, which are located in close geographic proximity, are homogeneous with regards to community structure. 

Jackie Smith
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ed Burkett, Natural Sciences Department

ABSTRACT: Many secondary compounds found in the Alcyonacea of the Indo-Pacific are known to function as allelopathic agents, causing deleterious effects on the tissues of scleractinian corals and other octocorals.  The Gorgonacea of the Caribbean are known to have similar secondary compounds, known thus far to function as anti-fouling and predator feeding-deterrent agents, but none have been tested for allelopathy within the octocoral community. 

Due to the structural similarity of secondary compounds found in the Caribbean Gorgonacea and Indo-Pacific Alcyonacea, it is predicted that secondary compounds of Gorgonacea in the Caribbean will also have an associated allelopathic affect.In this study, the potential allelopathic affects of Briareum asbestinum (BRA) and Gorgonia sp. (GOR) on the spatial distribution of neighboring octocoral colonies were examined at ten sites along the back reefs of the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve, Belize.  Univariate analysis of variance (ANOVA, p=0.05) was used to compare 243 nearest neighbor distances and heights of octocorals surrounding BRA, GOR, and controls in order to detect the presence of allelopathy. 

In addition, colony size and current direction were taken into consideration.  Results of this study showed no evidence that the presence of BRA and GOR influenced the dispersion patterns of neighboring octocorals.  Two possible explanations as to why predicted allelopathic interactions were not detected may involve the low diversity of the Caribbean region in comparison to that of the Indo-Pacific and the limited number of species targeted in this study.  In order to determine the prevalence of octocoral allelopathy in the Caribbean region, there is a need to study other species of Gorgonacea.

Colleen Winkler
Faculty Mentor: Mr. Matt TenEyck, Natural Sciences Department

: The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between maternal mercury intake and its effect on prenatal central nervous system development.  There has been growing concern that developmental defects result from neurotoxic environmental exposure.  One hypothesis and an alternative are set forth: 1) prenatal mercury exposure will have no effect on the developing central nervous system, and 2) prenatal mercury exposure will result in abnormalities of the developing central nervous system; the degree of developmental defects will increase with increasing exposure to mercury.  Data from cohort studies confirm mercury's toxicity, evidenced by abnormalities of the developing central nervous system with varying levels of mercury exposure.

Jenny L. Johnson
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Robert "Bob" Beam, Business and Economics Department

: The University of Wisconsin - Superior is currently facing a resource allocation decision for child care services.  The analysis of a UW-Superior child care needs assessment survey provided information to create market profiles of the students and staff that UW-Superior serves.  These profiles showed that the students and staff at UW-Superior have different needs and wants.  Overall the two segments want flexible scheduling, quality infant care, experienced staff, a partnership between themselves and the child care facility, a quality early education program, and an accredited child care facility. 

These wants, along with the policy required by the University of Wisconsin System, and the research of  methods for offering child care facilities on campus, lead to the following recommendations for how UW-Superior should allocate its child care resources: offer differentiated services and scheduling options such as flexible scheduling and extended hours to the students and staff on campus; make students and staff its primary target market; and utilize alternative employment options such as internships, work study, and volunteers.  The basic thesis of this paper is that by implementing these changes, UW-Superior will be allocating its child care resources more efficiently.   

Jessica Mayo-Swimeley
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Hal Bertilson, Human Behavior, Justice and Diversity Department

ABSTRACT: Maternal incarceration is a growing problem that significantly impacts the children involved. Using attachment theory to support the concept that mother-child attachment is critical, this review examines a portion of the research related to incarcerated mothers and their children and the impact prison-based parenting programs have on mother-child relationships during incarceration.

Components that are most influential in promoting and maintaining healthy mother-child relationships and areas that require further improvement or research are indentified and discussed. Implications of these findings on the further implementation of mother-child programming is also discussed.

Jeann Stoll
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Joel Sipress, Social Inquiry Department

ABSTRACT: The History of the Civil War and Reconstruction was an era riddled with combating nationalisms.  Through a deep exploration of the legal history of the 1800s it becomes apparent that two forms of nationalism existed in the United States in the 19th Century.  Ethnic Nationalism was the dominant nationalism until the 1860s, when Civic Nationalist policies of equality began to triumph.  

Yet, Ethnic nationalists were not willing to disappear and continued to persist within state governments placing the nation at odds with itself.  The Supreme Court of the United States attempted to create an ideological compromise, which resulted in hybrid nationalism that flourished under law, allowing freedmen civic equality while denying social equality.



Sunny Brysch
Faculty Mentor: Ms. Elizabeth T. Blue, Human Behavior, Justice and Diversity Department

Deaf adolescents have a higher risk for mental illness due to the neurological causes of deafness and other factors, like isolation related to communication difficulties (Willis & Vernon, 2002).  In the Twin Ports region of Duluth, Minnesota, and Superior, Wisconsin, there appears to be a lack of basic knowledge and skills in working with deaf and hard of hearing adolescents, much less those with mental health issues.  This was an exploratory study that examined how service providers in this area describe the current state of services available; results indicate that this group of youth is not well served by the current level of available services.

Terri Hom
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Monica Roth Day, Human Behavior, Justice and Diversity Department

More than 600 Minnesota women and children were trafficked over a three year period and more than half from one minority group (LaFave, 2009).  However, there is a lack of services for victims of sex trafficking in the Twin Ports.  Specific services need to be available for victims of sex trafficking. 

This study explored whether there are services available for victims of sex trafficking.  The research showed that sex trafficking is a growing problem and by improving or implementing services could be beneficial to victims of sex trafficking.  Thus, the agencies interviewed can now be encouraged to improve or implement services for sex trafficking victims in the Twin Ports.

Veronica Winterscheidt
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Monica Roth Day, Human Behavior, Justice and Diversity Department

:  The purpose of this study is to determine the level of career satisfaction among University of Wisconsin - Superior Social Work alumni.  The level of job satisfaction attained, stress experienced within the workplace, and coping skills utilized to  handle work-related stress are all elements that contribute to the overall experience of UW-Superior Social Work alumni.

A survey was provided to UW-Superior Social Work alumni who graduated between 1990 and 2008 to explore these career-related elements.  Analysis of survey results concluded that a majority of alumni are either satisfied or very satisfied with their work in the social work profession.

Nathaniel Crowley
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Eri Fujieda, Human Behavior, Justice and Diversity Department

ABSTRACT: With the recent election of the United States' first Black president, race has come to the forefront of the political conversation. A major part of the conversation has been the role of Black fathers in contemporary society. The purpose of this research is to explore the current discourse of Black fathers in the media.

This case study, using content from both Time and Jet magazine, seeks to understand to what extent theoretical models of ideology and hegemony effect how Black fathers are represented. With current lines of research showing that a new, less negative view of Black fathers, research into the subject is warranted.  This case study uses the 2007/08 presidential race as a time frame to study this subject.

Jennifer E. Johnson
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Marshall Johnson, Social Inquiry Department

ABSTRACT: China is currently experiencing internal migration on a greater scale than can be seen at any other point in recorded history.  The remnants of the hukou, or household registration system, and the influx of neoliberal economic doctrine have combined to create a county where rural citizens cannot find employment in the places where they are eligible for state welfare, and they cannot gain state welfare in the areas where employment is available.