2015 SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 409
  • Item
    (Em)bodying the Frame, Enframing the Captive Body: Louis Agassiz’ Daguerreotypes, the Scientific Observer and circum-Atlantic Modernity in the mid-Nineteenth Century
    (2015-04-10) Rumsey, Nikita; SUNY Geneseo
    In this paper I intend to critically revisit the “Slave Daguerreotypes” commissioned by Swiss-born naturalist Louis Agassiz and taken by daguerreotypist J.T. Zealy in South Carolina in 1850. Already a prominent figure in the fields of geology and zoology when he arrived to the United States in 1846, Agassiz undertook an interest in the study of the evolution of races, disseminating a theory of “polygenism” which held that each race had evolved from a discrete origin. Moreover, these theories would play a leading role in the development of various forms of scientific racism during the immediate emancipation era. Constituting a central part of these discussions on natural history and race, the daguerreotypes in question require reexamination due to their historical embeddedness in the transnational history of “racist science” as well as the photographs’ signal role in the larger, contested history of black representation in the post-emancipation era. In addition, I will examine how Louis Agassiz’s commissioned daguerreotypes are the product of a transatlantic exchange structured by the confluence of modern scientific inquiry, imperialism, and a plantation-based visuality in the mid-nineteenth century. Pursuing this research agenda, this paper will argue that the “originary violence” of the photographic event that produced the enslaved subjects within Agassiz’s frame, as well as the ensuing material reality of the photographs themselves, may help destabilize established narratives of modernist science as well as of so-called Anglo-American modernity itself. *Please note that this paper is part of a larger panel entitled "Critiques of Power: Gender, Race, and Capital." The panel will consist of Margaret Luddy, Nikita Rumsey, and Janna Nunziato from SUNY Geneseo. We would like Professor Tze-ki Hon from SUNY Geneseo to serve as the panel chairman and Professor Todd Goehle to serve as the panel commentator.
  • Item
    Fatty Acid Signatures of Lake Michigan Prey
    (2015-04-10) Futia, Matt H.; The College at Brockport
    Studying the spatio-temporal variation in fatty acid signatures can increase our understanding of the nearshore food web structure as it continues to shift due to anthropogenic factors. The purpose of this experiment was to compare fatty acid signatures (FAS) of four fish species (alewife, round goby, spottail shiner, and yellow perch) from Lake Michigan. Fish were collected (n=300) along the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan during spring, summer, and fall of 2013 at three sampling sites with different habitat complexity. Their substrates were characterized as sand (site A), rocky (site B), and coarse sand with intermittent cobble and random boulders (site C). Fish were analyzed and FAS were determined based on the quantities of 29 different fatty acids. Significant differences in FAS among fish species were detected (ANOSIM, overall R = 0.796), with alewife and round goby presenting the most distinct FAS (25.5% dissimilarity). The fatty acids responsible for the most variation among species included 16:1n-7, 18:1n-9, 20:5n-3, and 22:6n-3. Spatial and temporal variations in FAS were observed within species. Fatty acid signatures of round goby collected at site B in spring and summer differed significantly (overall R 0.693 and 18.8% dissimilarity), which implies seasonal dietary shifts. Spatial differences in yellow perch FAS were also observed, indicating habitat driven plasticity in yellow perch diets. Although within species spatio-temporal FAS variations were observed, among species FAS differences were consistently larger. These data can be compared to samples from other years to determine annual changes as well. In addition, they can be compared with FAS of predatory fish to determine the diets of those species.
  • Item
    Simulations of Lake-effect Storms during the Ontario Winter Lake-effect Systems Project
    (2015-04-10) Ulrich, Dillon R.; Janiszeski, Andrew R.; SUNY Oswego
    Simulations of Lake-effect Storms during the Ontario Winter Lake-effect Systems Project Using the SUNY Oswego version of the Weather Research and Forecast modeling system (WRF) during the Ontario Winter Lake-effect Systems (OWLeS) Project in the 2013-14 winter season proved to be a useful forecasting tool during several Intensive Observation Periods (IOPs) by simulating correct lake-effect snow band structure, movement, and location. However, in many other IOPs, the model was inaccurate with one or several of these properties. The objective of this research is to identify combinations of physics parameterization options and model domain geometry to produce the most accurate WRF simulations. Model evaluation is based on comparison with field observations such as radar, surface, upper-air, and profiler data collected by student researchers. Several experiments involved changes in domain geometry such as expanding the outer domain, increasing grid resolution, and using more frequent lateral boundary condition updates. A doubly-nested grid was set up to determine the capabilities and limitations of the WRF to simulate small-scale circulations (e.g., meso-vortices) that were observed during the field program. The outer grid (9-km resolution) covers the eastern two-thirds of the continental United States; a 3-km domain spans the Great Lakes and Northeastern states, and a 1-km fine grid covers the Lake Ontario region. An important finding in regards to the WRF model’s capabilities using the 1-km fine grid is the simulation of meso-vortices of approximately 5 km in diameter along sharp reflectivity gradients located within lake-effect snow bands (e.g., IOP 7, 6-7 Jan 2014). IOP 7 field observations match the model output as radar data support numerous meso-vortices along an observed sharp reflectivity gradient on the north side of the band. Another case, IOP 22 (27-28 Jan 2014), produced numerous meso-vortices along a sharp reflectivity gradient located on the south side of the observed snow band. The model agreed with these observations. Key Words: numerical modeling, lake-effect storms, OWLeS, meso-vortices
  • Item
    Subaltern Autonomy and Western Dependence in Mahesh Rao’s The Smoke Is Rising
    (2015-04-10) Cooper, James L.; SUNY Oswego
    The dynamic city of Mysore, India, filled with economic promise despite high levels of poverty, is the setting for Mahesh Rao’s satirical novel, The Smoke is Rising. It portrays the daily lives of three women, Uma, Mala, and Susheela, each from a different social caste. Uma is a young female servant for the wealthy older widow Susheela, and Mala is a middle-aged college graduate, confined to an unhappy marriage with her oppressive, Western-influenced husband, Girish. Many of Mala’s relationships restrict her subjectivity as a middle-class woman within India. This paper explores how the subaltern other struggles to live in harmony with the Western subject that has been established as part of their own consciousness. My paper references sociological studies on life in Mysore, as well as theoretical works by Luce Irigaray, Immanuel Kant and Gayatri Spivak to trace the steps suggested by the novel of the subaltern's path to freedom from Western subjectivity.
  • Item
    The Role of GAD-65 in Incubation of Fear Memories
    (2015-04-10) Zambetti, Peter R.; Odynocki, Natalie; University at Albany, State University of New York
    Approximately 25% of individuals diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will not display full symptoms for at least six months following a traumatic event; a condition known as delayed onset PTSD. McAllister and McAllister (1967) proposed that conditioned emotional responses such as fear after a long delay can increase with time; a phenomenon described as incubation. Recent studies suggest a strong relationship between fear expression and amygdala levels of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA; Rea et al., 2009). We hypothesize that the inhibitory influence of GABAergic neurons within the basolateral amygdala (BLA) normally gates the expression of a fear memory, and that emergence of fear incubation results from decreased GABA synthesis. To test this, two groups of male C57BL/6J mice were context fear conditioned and tested in the same context at a recent (REC; 3 day), or remote (REM; 28 day) interval. A third within subject group (WIS) was tested at both recent and remote intervals. Behavioral data for the REC and REM groups were consistent with prior research showing that delayed testing at the REM interval yields an incubation-like increase in freezing. However, mice in the WIS group showed mixed results with some mice showing decreases and others showing increases in freezing across the REC and REM test intervals. More subjects will be tested under the same conditions to confirm these findings. To understand the neural mechanisms underlying these conditions, we will use immunohistochemistry to identify cells positive for c-Fos, a marker of neural activity, and glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD-65) in the BLA and hippocampus. Both of these structures play an important role in fear memory retrieval, and have high concentrations of GABAergic cells. Our prediction is that mice that show delayed increases in freezing will have less GAD-65 positive cells than mice that fail to display fear incubation.