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Loras College Biology Newsletter  2000   

The Loras College Biology Department Newsletter Fall 2000 Marca Wosoba, Editor Faculty Update The Loras College biology faculty maintains its priorities as teachers and researchers while still maintaining ties to the community. The department continues a productive and student oriented atmosphere. Many faculty members were awarded honors and recognition this year including funding of proposals, organizational nominations, and publication of research. The following highlights the achievements of the biology department faculty for 1999-2000. Dave Czarnecki, Ph.d., Professor of Biology and Curator of the Loras College Diatom and Algal Collection. In the past year, Czarnecki has also served Loras on the following committees: the Campus Parking Violations Committee and the Department of Education Screening Committee. During the fall of 1999 Czarnecki instructed a Modes of Inquiry course on “Dark Humor” with peer assistant Bridget Monaghan. Discussion included viral and bacterial outbreaks and biological warfare. Czarnecki also provided “hands-on” laboratory and microscope experiences for 15 Fulton and 180 Jones Junior-high students during the fall of 1999. Czarnecki was a member of the following Midwest (appointed) commissions: Lake Itasca State Park Natural Resource Advisory Board, University of Minnesota Lake Itasca Biological Station Advisory Board, and the City of Dubuque Environmental Stewardship Commission. He was also selected to instruct Biology 4850, Section 2, Field Biology of Freshwater Algae, for the University of Minnesota at Lake Itasca June 12- July 8, 2000. In addition, Czarnecki assisted Dr. Richard Koehler, M.D. in the identification of mushrooms on a couple occasions where patients were being evaluated for mushroom poisoning at Mercy Hospital’s ER. He has also provided diatom curatorial expertise to many researchers and also provides diatoms for experimental purposes to researchers and institutions worldwide. Czarnecki has had three papers submitted to Diatom Research. Czarnecki received a grant (with Theresa Kelly) from the R.J. McElroy Trust in the amount of $1450.00 for “Environmental Induction of Asexual Spores in Craticula cuspida (Kutz) D. G. Mann”, a widely distributed freshwater diatom. Czarnecki also received $9300.00 from the Dubuque Racing Association for digital photographic studies with diatoms. He has had three papers submitted to Diatom Research (the Journal of the International Society for Diatom Research). Tom Davis, Ph.D., Associate Professor


Loras College Biology Newsletter  2000   

In order to continuously improve the quality of education and assist students in their preprofessional plans, Dr. Tom Davis continues to dedicate his time to students and committees. During the past year Davis was busy serving Loras College by his continued duties as Chair of Faculty Development, as a member of the Summer Session Committee, as a member of the search committee for the Counseling Center Director, as chair of the subcommittee to review sabbatical requests, he served as a member of the search committee for the director of Athletic Training, and also served as a member of the search committee for Instructional Design Director. Davis attended the annual meeting of ACUBE in River Falls, WI. During this meeting, Davis was elected president and attended the winter planning meeting of ACUBE at Terre Haute, IN. ACUBE is the Association of College and University Biology Educators To better serve pre-med students, Davis started a number of MCAT review sessions, serving 14 Loras College pre-med students. This included sessions with input from seven other science faculty. As service to the local community, Davis took hearts and lungs to Bryant School for 5th graders in March and provided school presentations of pig heart and lung structure and function with Loras undergrads at Audubon School. He also hosted 50 1st graders from Resurrection School with Dr. Dave Shealer to discuss the biology of mammals and insects. Davis received an Instrumental Improvement Grant from the Loras College Faculty Development Committee for Anatomy/ Physiology laboratory upgrading. The grant provides $1500.00 for equipment, supplies, and wages for a student worker. Davis also received a grant for $3972.00 from the American Physiological Society for a Research Career Enhancement Award. Funds pay for travel, lodging, and some equipment used at the Loras College laboratory for the continuation of research. He worked with Jeanne Snyder in the Anatomy and Cell Biology Department at the University of Iowa on characterizing surfactant protein A and B in embryonic chick lungs. Davis was in Iowa City Mondays and Tuesdays for the spring semester. Assisting Davis collecting lung tissue samples at Loras College was Elizabeth Gustafson who will do her thesis on the project. Gerald W. Eagleson, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Biology Department and Curator of the Amphibian Culture Facility Dr. Gerald Eagleson maintained his busy schedule although dedication to students and research is always a priority. Most recently he was nominated as a member of the American Association of Anatomists. Eagleson has also been awarded funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (NIH: the Division of Child Health and Development) for his research proposal entitled, “Continued studies on the regionalization of the Anterior Neural Plate Tissue”. This grant will provide funds ($66,000.00 for 1999-2000) for undergraduate and faculty research for the investigation of the regionalization of the vertebrate forebrain areas involved in memory and learning. These studies will look at the early gene expression cascades necessary for the development of these brain areas.


Loras College Biology Newsletter  2000   

Eagleson, with Angie Ponguta, also received funding for a McElroy grant for $1750.00 for “A Proposal to Study the Effects of Retinoic Acid and Citral Upon Forebrain Development in Xenopus laevis. Eagleson and Ponguta will team up again in the Fall of 2000 to teach a new Modes of Inquiry course entitled “Ethics in the West.” Eagleson developed, organized, and presented a course to local physicians on the uses of Recombinant DNA in diagnosis and therapy during the Spring semester. The course was granted CME certification for physician upgrading. Eagleson was invited to a series of three conferences on research strategies to look at gene expression during early brain development. Dr. Igor Dawid, the Director of Research at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, led the conferences. These brief conferences were held during January 9th and 10th, 2000 and resulted in research collaborations which could include interested undergraduate Loras Biology majors engaging in research projects at Bethesda (NIH). In addition, Eagleson was asked by the University of Minnesota to instruct biology 4850, section 5, Ecology of Amphibians and Reptiles, during July 10th - July 28th, 2000. The course will be taught at the Lake Itaska Forestry and Biological Station. Eagleson reviewed a manuscript on gene expression and cellular differentiation in the forebrain for possible publication within the International Journal Differentiation (Springer-Verlag). He also had the following paper reviewed and accepted for publication: “Neuroendocrine aspects of differentiation and axonogenesis in the Xenopus laevis forebrain” published by the Netherlands journals of Recent Developments in Comparative Endocrinology and Neurobiology. Elizabeth Lynch, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Dr. Elizabeth Lynch has devoted the past year to students, research, and community involovement, including her dedication to the local environment. Lynch participated in college service as a member of the North Central Accreditation Task Force, as a member of the Chemistry search committee, as well as developing an Honors course, “Historical Ecology of Iowa,” for the Honors Program. The course will be instructed in the Fall of 2000. Lynch contributed in the form of community service as the President-elect of the Dubuque Chapter of Sigma XI, as faculty liason for the partnership with Loras College/ Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency/ Dubuque County Environmental Task Force, as one of the Catfish Creek Coalition Board of Directors, and by presentations to the Mines of Spain, and Audobon Elementary School as well as assisting in the organization of Earth Week 2000 activities at Loras. Lynch wrote two research proposals. Both were funded. The Iowa Academy of Science Foundation will provide $5000.00 in funding for continuation of Lynch’s research on Phragmites australis in northern Wisconsin. She also submitted a proposal to study late-glacial vegetation dynamics in northern Wyoming. This proposal was funded by the National Science


Loras College Biology Newsletter  2000   

Foundation for $20,000.00. Lynch with Jennifer Martin received a McElroy undergraduate research stipend. Fred Schnee, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Curator of Drosophila melanogaster Collection Dr. Fred Schnee has continued his dedication to students and the community. He is the Division III representative on the Committee for Ethics and Values Education at Loras College. He continues to bridge the areas of Philosophy and Biology by team teaching the course Ethics and the New Genetics. Schnee will also instruct a new Modes of Inquiry class for the fall of 2000 with peer assistant Elizabeth Gustafson. The class is entitled “Science and Science Fiction”. Schnee’s community service included participation in the organization of the food drive for the Catholic Workers’ House. David A. Shealer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Although a fairly recent addition to the Loras College Biology Department, Dr. David A. Shealer has been more than busy during the last year which included a new addition to his family: a baby girl! Shealer maintains his dedication to students and the community, however. Shealer serves on the Disciplinary Committee and is a local representative for bird banding as well as a member of the local Audobon Society. He has presented lectures on searbird ecology and black terns to other Audobon Society members. In addition Shealer has presented lectures to local elementary students and presents a program on bird banding to the “Friends of the Mines of Spain, EB Lyons Center. Shealer has received funding from U.S. Fish and Wildlife to study the reproductive and nesting behavior as well as the population dynamics of the black tern. He has also had the following publications reviewed and accepted for publication: “Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis,” in The Birds of North America and “Foraging patterns of eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) on goldenrod insects, a potentially important winter food source” in American Midland Naturalist. Student Update Awards and Honors— Seniors During 1999-2000, the biology department had 13 majors conferred with bachelor of science degrees. Among those, the following seniors received their degree May 11, 2000. Among those the following were awarded special honors and recognition for their dedication to academic success. Theresa Duppong received the Delta Epsilon Sigma National Medal. Matt Rauen (’00) was accepted to Medical School at the University of Iowa and received a stipend to finish his undergraduate research at Rochester Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. His research is entitled, “The role of cell cycle rad proteins during cellular division and damage.” Summer Research— Juniors and Sophomores


Loras College Biology Newsletter  2000   

Due to the encouragement and support of the biology staff, many students were able to pursue summer research positions. Dominic Goodman and Jeffrey Lynch pursued undergraduate research projects at the University of Iowa. Both students had begun the projects during the Summer of 1999. Ryan Dempewolf, Elisabeth Gustafson, Nick Pauly, and Marca Wosoba have received undergraduate stipends to pursue biology research projects at Loras College. Dempelwolf, Pauly, and Wosoba worked under the watchful eye of Dr. Eagleson while Gustafson had the pleasure of working with Dr. Davis. Dempewolf and Wosoba will be continuing their projects from 1999. Julie Goedken, (’01), was awarded an undergraduate research internship enabling her to conduct research at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. She worked with a group investigating the mechanism of HIV infection during AIDs. Selection for the national program is intense and highly competitive. Goedken has also been honored with a scholarship award for the 2000-01 academic year from the Datatel Scholars Foundation. Jennifer Martin, (’02) Biological Research major, has been awarded a research grant from the Geological Society of America for her senior research project, “Fossil Plant Assemblages form Mid-Pleistocene Tills in southwestern Minnesota.” Dr. Lynch works as Martin’s mentor. Martin was also accepted to participate in an NSF-sponsored summer Research Experience for Undergraduates at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Martin will be learning field and laboratory techniques for geological research related to her senior thesis project. She is one of a handful of students selected for this program from schools across the United States. Angela Ponguta (‘02) was involved in the summer Signal Transduction Research Program at Iowa State. She was involved in research using techniques that she will later utilize during her undergraduate thesis project at Loras. Competition is intense and fewer than 10% of applicants are accepted into this program. Ponguta is the third Loras College Biological Research major accepted into this program. Previous Loras participants include Mark Simon (’99) and Lisa Gerlach (’97). E. T. Cawley Award Winners Due to generous contributions from David Meyers (’72) and Dan Callan (’72) as well as other alumni, the biology department was able to award two awards for best undergraduate research. Teresa Duppong (’00) was the E.T. Cawley Award winner for “best laboratory research thesis.” Her thesis was entitled “Factors that regulate cellular proliferation in the anterior neural ridgederived tissue of Xenopus laevis.” Amy Angel (’00) received the E. T. Cawley Award for “best field research thesis.” Angel’s thesis was entitled “Seasonal changes in fatty acid composition and their effects on freeze tolerance in the goldenrod beetle, Mordellistena unicolor.” Alumni News Mary Fran Cullen (’98) San Diego, CA Melissa (Missy) Dakin


Loras College Biology Newsletter  2000   

Missy Dakin, who pursued degrees in Psychology and Biological Research as well as worked her way through Loras College, is looking for a challenge in the mountains. Missy has entered her first year as a PhD student in the Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Neuroscience (MCIN) Program at Colorado State University. The program is a one year interdisciplinary program covering everything from neuro-anatomy to current research methods. After finishing her second semester of class, she spent her summer doing collaborative research with two professors. Her next challenge: pursuing her PhD in Psychology concentrating on Behavioral Neuroscience. Bertina Hooks (’99) Omaha, NE Bertina Hooks cannot turn down a challenge. After graduation, she accepted a position as a research assistant at the University of Iowa working under Dr. John B. Stokes in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division Nephrology. Hooks worked in a collaborative laboratory setting focusing on the structure and function of the epithelial sodium channel or eNaC in Liddle’s syndrome, a rare form of hypertension. After ten months, Hooks started a different endeavor. She is now participating in Creighton University’s Post baccalaureate Program in Medicine. Hooks was one of six chosen candidates who review the basic sciences and are able to engage in research and clinical opportunities. Successful completion of this one year program will guarantee Hooks’ acceptance into Creighton University’s College of Medicine for the Fall of 2001 as well as a full tuition scholarship.

Biology Newsletter 2000  

Biology Newsletter for year 2000 from Loras College Biology Department.

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