General Sessions and Symposiums
130th Annual Meeting
Buena Vista University
Storm Lake, Iowa
April 20 - 21, 2018


General Session I

Deep Sea Conservation - The Secret Life of Nautiluses

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12:20 - 1:15 p.m.
Friday, April 20, 2018

Room TBA
Building TBA
Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, Iowa


Gregory Jeff Barord, Ph.D.
Marine Biology Instructor
Central Campus
Des Moines, Iowa

Abstract

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Most folks have heard of campaigns to "save the rain forests" or "save the whales". But how many have heard about "saving the deep sea" or read about the project to "save the nautilus"? The deep sea seems like a far-off, mysterious place but in reality, the deep sea ecosystem starts within just a stone’s throw of many coastal communities around the world. And in the Indo-Pacific, the deep sea is home to one of planet Earth's oldest lineages that extends back nearly 500 million years and today, is represented by the chambered nautilus. Although these nautiloids have survived mass extinction that have wiped out other organisms, such as dinosaurs, humans are now over-fishing nautilus populations for their ornamental shell, some already to extinction. Ironically, the shell that has protected them for 500 million years is now dooming them. The Save the Nautilus team, created by two 11-year olds, has been surveying nautilus populations for several years to simply determine how many were left and what could be done to protect the remaining populations. Using a variety of methods from baited fishing traps and underwater video surveillance, to genetic analyses and ultrasonic radio tracking, we have collected data that resulted in the first international regulation of the nautilus shell trade in 2017. Currently, we are continuing these surveys throughout the Indo-Pacific while also working with local communities and governments to implement these new regulations and develop new management frameworks to protect nautiluses, and the deep sea ecosystem as a whole.

Biography

Dr. Gregory Jeff Barord completed his B.S. in Marine Biology with a minor in Chemistry at Texas A&M University at Galveston from 2001-2005. While in Galveston, Dr. Barord also worked at the National Resource Center for Cephalopods (NRCC) from 2003-2008 and in the quarantine facility at the Aquarium at Moody Gardens from 2006-2008. In an entirely different direction, Greg worked on fishing boats in the Bering Sea from 2008-2010. He completed his dissertation at the City University of New York – Brooklyn College and Graduate Center, obtaining his Master of Philosophy in Biology (2014) and Doctor of Philosophy in Biology (2015), studying the biology, behavior, and conservation of chambered nautiluses. Dr. Barord has worked with a variety of different marine species (i.e., sharks, jellyfish, shrimp) but his passion is cephalopods and in particular, nautiluses. He is currently the Marine Biology Instructor at Central Campus (Des Moines, Iowa), a unique career-based high school where students have the chance to participate in his ongoing research and of course, learn about nautiluses. Dr. Barord is also a Conservation Biologist with the non-profit organization, Save the Nautilus. He serves on several international advisory boards and committees and continues to travel across the Indo-Pacific working to protect nautiluses and the deep sea from over exploitation.


Special IJAS Session

This IJAS event is open to all IAS attendees. 

Engaged Learning: Student Involvement in the Restoration of the UNI Mastodon Tusk

1:45 - 2:15 p.m.
Friday, April 20, 2018
Building: TBA
Room: TBA

Presenters

Nathan Arndt, Chief Curator
UNI Museum

Dr. Joshua Sebree, Assistant Professor
UNI Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

 
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Presentation Description

In the fall of 2016, the University of Northern Iowa Museum was awarded a $306,258 heritage grant from the Carver Charitable Trust for the “Scientific Study, Conservation, and Interpretation” of a mastodon tusk held by the museum. Over the course of the following three years, the tusk will be cleaned, analyzed, and preserved along with records of the process for eventual permanent display at UNI. To engage UNI students across campus in the conservation process, the museum has established partnerships with the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the Rod Library, the Department of Earth and Environmental Science, and the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology.

The project is currently in Phase I “Research and Stabilization.” In this stage, senior level chemistry students as part of the course Instrumental Analysis analyzed fragments of the mastodon tusk to help in understanding how the mastodon lived, how the tusk was preserved in the ground, and/or what the current state of the tusk is so that the conservation effort can be as successful as possible. The findings of the student researchers have already begun to fill in missing information on the mastodon tusk and its history.


General Session II

Program Title - TBA

7:15 p.m.
Friday, April 20, 2018

Room TBA
Building TBA

 


James T. Dietrich, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Director, Iowa Low-Altitude Remote Sensing Lab
Department of Geography
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa

Abstract

 

Biography


General Session III

More Than a Decade of Research Leading to Recovery of an Endangered Watersnake

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11:00 a.m.
Saturday, April 21, 2018

Room TBA
Building TBA

 

Speaker: Robert Brodman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
Buena Vista University

 

Abstract

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I will tell the story of my involvement in research on the federally threatened Lake Erie Watersnake (Nerodia sipedon insularum) that eventually led to the recovery of the population. The research mostly involved an intense two-week survey by a team of field biologists and herpetologist that we affectionately refer to as “Nerodio”. The second chapter of the presentation will explain how my students and I used this experience to create undergraduate research projects on local snakes that evaluated the effectiveness of two mark-recapture methods by double marking snakes.

Snakes were surveyed periodically from April to September each year using 64 cover boards placed in a 2 ha restored prairie next to a wetland. Three species were marked, Common Gartersnakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) Brown Snakes (Storeria dekayi) and Western Fox Snakes (Pantherophis vulpinus). A total of 355 snakes were captured 562 times, and 17 of these were captured in multiple years. PIT tags were lost in 7 snakes, and cautery marks were unreadable in 3 snakes. This accounts for a loss of just 2% of PIT tags and 1% of cautery marks. The estimates population sizes ranged from 120-140 Thamnophis sirtalis, 40-80 Storeria dekayi, and 12-17 Pantherophis vulpinus.

Biography

Dr. Robert Brodman

B.A. Rutgers University; M.S. University of Michigan, M.S. Eastern Michigan University; Ph.D. Kent State University

My research focuses on conservation of amphibian and reptiles with questions ranging from ecology to animal behavior. I’ve developed an undergraduate research program centered on ecotoxicology studies investigating the impacts herbicides, habitat restoration, farming practices, and disease ecology on biodiversity and population abundance. While I have never considered myself in the ‘publish or perish’ world, I have been able to publish 50+ peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters plus another 50+ technical reports and editorials. More importantly to me is that 18 of the peer-reviews and 13 of the technical reports were co-authored with undergraduate students. Throughout my career I have been honored and humbled with several awards for my teaching and scholarship.  Course taught include Biological Principles I; Evolution; Zoology; Mammalogy; Herpetology; Biology of Bats; Conservation Ecology; Research Experience I & II and Research Capstone; Island Ecology (travel course to US Virgin Islands).


Symposium A

 

2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Friday, April 20, 2018

Room TBA
Building TBA
Buena Vista University
Storm Lake, Iowa

 

Gene editing in Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes

CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing is a promising new technology utilized to disrupt or edit genes in living cells. It has been used successfully in a wide array of organisms including bacteria, plants, flies,  zebrafish, fungi, mice, and recently, human embryos. In model organisms, gene editing further enhances our ability to study gene function over existing methods by allowing specific mutations to be incorporated into the endogenous copies of the gene. This reduces the possibility that observed phenotypes could be due to changes in protein expression levels. The ability to edit genes in living cells, including stem cells and embryos, opens the door to advances in human medicine including the repair of disease causing alleles in the embryo stage, and the modification of specific cell types, such as CD4+ T cells, to render them immune to infection by HIV or other pathogens. This symposium is intended to explain gene editing and the CRISPR/Cas9 system for those who will be discussing it in the classroom but have not yet had the opportunity to use it, and to render it more accessible to researchers who are interested in using the technology in the


Presentations

Title

Melissa M. Harrison, Ph.D.

Melissa M. Harrison, Ph.D.

Melissa M. Harrison, Ph.D.

For over 100 years, studies of Drosophila melanogaster have provided essential insights into development and disease. Until recently it was nearly impossible to make precise edits to the genome. Cas9-mediated genome editing has enabled an unprecedented ability to modify the genome of Drosophila. We will discuss practical considerations for modifying the genome of a metazoan and how these modifications can be used to address fundamental biological questions as well as model disease.

Biography

Melissa Harrison is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomolecular Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. She began her studies of transcriptional control as an undergraduate with Kevin Struhl at Harvard University and continued as a graduate student in the laboratory of Bob Horvitz at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was as a postdoctoral fellow with Thomas Cline and Michael Botchan at the University of California Berkeley that Melissa initiated her research into the factors that drive transcriptional activation of the zygotic genome. Together with Jill Wildonger and Kate O’Connor-Giles, she developed Cas9-mediated genome editing in the fruit fly to facilitate her mechanistic studies of gene regulation during development. Melissa has received a number of awards to support her research, including a Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award, a Wisconsin Partnership Program New Investigator Award, and a Vallee Scholar Award. In addition to these awards, her research is supported by an R01 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and a Research Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society.


 

 

Title

Eric B. Taylor, Ph.D.

Mitochondria are the energetic hub of the eukaryotic cell. To work, they must move small molecules across the inner membrane, in and out of the matrix.  How the system of mitochondrial transporters, called carriers, functions in living cells is not well understood. Functional redundancy within the mitochondrial carrier system makes deciphering the role of single carriers challenging.  We have developed a novel CRISPR-based approach to rapidly detect carrier functional interactions. We will outline this approach and some resultant discoveries.

Biography


Title

Dipali Sashital, Ph.D.

 

CRISPR/Cas9 originates from a prokaryotic immune system, which protects bacteria from infection by viruses and other invaders. In addition to providing revolutionary genome editing tools, fundamental research into CRISPR/Cas systems has deepened our understanding of the complex molecular warfare that occurs between bacteria and their invaders. We will present mechanistic insights into CRISPR/Cas systems that will enable improved tool development and reveal how bacteria adapt to rapidly evolving viruses.

Biography


 

Symposium B

Ecological Site Development and Application in Iowa

2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Friday, April 20, 2018

Room TBA
Building TBA

Buena Vista University
Storm Lake, Iowa

             

Abstract

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Scientists across varying disciplines have developed different land classification systems to inventory and catalog abiotic and biotic features of a land unit.  These systems have typically presented a static view of the land that hinges on a linear succession model.  Ecological Sites, as developed by NRCS’s Soil Science Division, are a dynamic land classification system encompassing a multi-dimensional model of ecological succession.  In addition to describing the environmental features, they also detail ecosystem functioning and how the site may shift and transition as a result of natural or anthropogenic disturbances.  This dynamic component, known as the State-and-Transition model, is embedded within each ecological site.  The collective ecological site information is detailed in an Ecological Site Description, a tool designed to help land managers understand the potential of their lands and how to manage them to their fullest ecological potential and productivity.”

 

Presentations

Ecological Sites in Iowa: Methods and Data

Thomas Rosburg, Ph.D.
Drake University

Thomas Rosburg, Ph.D., Drake University

Thomas Rosburg, Ph.D., Drake University

Since 2014 Drake University has contracted with the NRCS to provide data for developing Ecological Sites in Major Land Resource Areas that cover the state of Iowa. Field work spread over four growing seasons has resulted in the completion of over 550 medium-intensity survey points and 147 high-intensity integrated inventory plots. For each of the high-intensity plots, an attempt was made to collect data on the most pristine examples of ecosystems remaining on the Iowa landscape. Vegetation and soil data have been collected on 65 prairie plots, from sand prairie to wet-mesic black soil prairie communities. A total of 41 forest plots are completed and range from floodplain and lowland alluvial ecosystems to upland oak and maple forests. High-intensity plots have been done for 41 wetland ecosystems, from bulrush and cattail marshes to sedge meadows and fens. Work was focused on four key Major Land Resource Areas – the loess hills, a large swath of the southern Iowa drift plain, the Iowa erosion surface and portions of the Des Moines lobe. This presentation will review the methods for collecting medium and high-intensity Ecological Site inventory data and provide several examples of data for sites in Iowa

Biography

Thomas Rosburg is Professor of Biology at Drake University and teaches courses in ecology, botany, biological research and statistics, and Iowa natural history. His research addresses topics in plant ecology, most notably studies investigating the factors that affect the species composition and structure of plant communities in prairie, forest and wetland ecosystems. Dr. Rosburg has a Collaborator Faculty appointment with Iowa State University and has served on the program committee for four graduate students, providing expertise in prairie and plant ecology. He has served as a mentor for over 50 students completing undergraduate thesis research or independent studies, and has acquired over $1.52 million in grant awards for 97 different projects. He has contributed his expertise to 4 books and has produced over 275 scientific papers, reports, articles and presentations, many with Drake undergraduates as coauthors. He has made over 275 presentations in public settings on a wide range of nature topics, and published over 540 photographs in books, magazines, calendars and reports. Dr. Rosburg received a B.S. in Fish and Wildlife Biology, a M.S. in in Plant Ecology, and Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Iowa State University. He lives on a small farm in Story County.


Presentation 2
TBA


Presentation 3
TBA


Symposium C

Recent Iowa Excavations from the Late Prehistoric Era

This symposium will include three sessions discussing Late Prehistoric excavations in Iowa. It will cover the most recent Iowa national register site addition of the Broken Kettle Site, Mill Creek Culture from AD 1000-1250 in Plymouth County, recent excavations at the Dixon Site Oneota Culture from AD 1300-1450 in Woodbury County, and finish with the National Historic Landmark Blood Run Site with its major use from AD 1500-1700 in Lyon County.

 

2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Friday, April 20, 2018

Building TBA
Buena Vista University
Storm Lake, Iowa

Description TBA

 

 

Presentations TBA