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: Auditorium
Building: Schaller Chapel
Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, Iowa


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

 

General Session Description

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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.


IJAS Seminar

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

This seminar is open to all IAS attendees.

1:45 - 2:15 p.m.
Friday, April 20, 2018
Room: Hansen 8
Building: Siebens Forum

 

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.


Symposium A

2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Friday, April 20, 2018
Room: 2
Building: Siebens Forum
Buena Vista University
Storm Lake, Iowa

Gene Editing in Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes

Symposium A: Description

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 future.  Each speaker uses CRISPR/Cas9 in a novel way to address unique questions in their field of interest.

Symposium A: Presentations

From Mutation to Mechanism:
Cas9-Mediated Engineering of Model Organisms

 

Melissa M. Harrison, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Department of Biomolecular Chemistry
University of Wisconsin Madison School of Medicine and Public Health
Madison, Wisconsin

 

Presentation Description

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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.


Use of CRISPR/Cas9 Systems to Decipher Mechanisms Underlying In-born Errors in Metabolism

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Eric B. Taylor, Ph.D.
Assistant  Professor
Department of Biochemistry
Director of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Center Metabolomics Core Facility
University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
 

Presentation Description

The uptake of pyruvate into mitochondria is an important step in carbohydrate utilization for biosynthesis and energy production. The genes encoding the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC) were recently identified. Mutations in two MPC1 patient alleles, L79H and R97W, result in impaired mitochondrial pyruvate utilization and metabolic abnormalities. However, the mechanisms underlying this dysfunction are only partially understood. To enable functional analysis of the MPC proteins, we used CRISPR/Cas9 systems to generate cell lines lacking MPC proteins. We re-complimented these MPC KO cells with WT and mutant MPC1 alleles. We found that the MPC1 L79H protein associates with MPC2 but fails to transport pyruvate. Yet, MPC1 L79H exerts minimal dominant negativity, and may be competitively excluded from the MPC complex when expressed in the presence of WT MPC1. Previous reports demonstrate that the mutation encoding MPC1 R97W also results in a mis-splice truncation. In contrast to MPC1 L79H, the full-length R97W protein associates with MPC2 to form functional MPC complexes. However, these complexes are less stable than native complexes, and assembly may be partially driven by overexpression. Thus, the dysfunction of the R97W allele may arise primarily from mis-splicing and truncation and secondarily from decreased functionality of the full-length protein. These results also demonstrate the utility of CRISPR/Cas9 in genetic engineering approaches to discover mechanisms underlying metabolic dysfunction.

 

Biography

Dr. Eric Taylor is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and is the Director of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Center Metabolomics Core facility at the University of Iowa. Dr. Taylor completed PhD training with Dr. William W. Winder at Brigham Young University in 2005 investigating energy signaling in skeletal muscle. He then completed two postdoctoral fellowships. The first was with Dr. Laurie Goodyear at the Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School, deciphering signaling mechanisms mediating contraction-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. The second was with Dr. Jared Rutter at the University of Utah, where he co-led the discovery of the Mitochondrial Pyruvate Carrier (MPC), as reported in the journal Science. Dr. Taylor joined the faculty at the University of Iowa in 2012. Dr. Taylor employs physiologic, genetic, molecular, and chemical methods to illuminate metabolic networks and the mechanisms by which they regulate cellular function.


CRISPR-Cas systems:
From Adaptive Immunity to Biotechnology

 

Dipali Sashital, Ph.D. Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa

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Presentation Description

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

Dipali Sashital is an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology at Iowa State University. She graduated with a BS from the University of Michigan, and received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 2006. Following postdoctoral studies at University of California, Berkeley and The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, Dr. Sashital joined the faculty at Iowa State in January, 2014. Her primary research interests are the structure and function of RNA-protein complexes, and specifically the mechanisms of CRISPR-Cas RNA-guided adaptive immunity.


 

Symposium B

Ecological Site Development and Application in Iowa

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

Room: Hansen 8
Building Siebens Forum

Buena Vista University
Storm Lake, Iowa

 

Symposium B: Description

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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.”


Symposium B: Presentations

Ecological Sites in Iowa: Methods and Data

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Thomas Rosburg, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
Drake University
Des Moines, Iowa

 

Presentation Description

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.


The Ecological Site Program in the Natural Resources Conservation Service: Developing a Tool for Conservation and Resource Management

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Stacey Clark
Regional Ecologist
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
 

Presentation Description

The USDA-NRCS has a long history of partnering with other agencies to develop land-management tools for conservation planning. The history of Ecological Sites (ESs) goes back decades to the identification and development of Rangeland Sites in the western part of the country, and the incorporation of State-and-Transition Model (STM) theory into those tools. This presentation will discuss the recent acceleration of efforts during the past decade of the agency, along with other partners, to use historical work and current data to identify and define Ecological Sites, and to develop Provisional Ecological Site Descriptions (ESDs) throughout the entire country. Basic concepts of the ES and ESD will be introduced, along with the agency’s goals, standards, and mechanisms for delivery of interim and final products to the public.

Biography

Stacey Clark is a Regional Ecologist for the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, covering Soil Science Divisions 10 & 11 (Northern Glaciated Plains & Upper Midwest/Great Lakes States) since 2011. She has a master’s degree from the University of MN in Forest Ecology, with a focus on riparian areas. She has worked as an Ecologist for the US Forest Service and the MN Department of Natural Resources in previous positions. Her current work partners with various organizations and agencies, such as The Nature Conservancy, the University of WI--Stevens Point, and Drake University in IA. Stacey is an avid equestrian, and enjoys music, sports and the outdoors. She is passionate about our natural resources and sustainability.


The State-and-Transition Model:
Interpreting Ecological Dynamics of the Ecological Site

 

Lisa Kluesner, Ecologist
USDA-NRCS
Waverly Soil Survey Office
Waverly, Iowa


Presentation Description

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The state-and-transition model (STM) forms the backbone of ecological site descriptions. STMs are a visual representation of how management actions and disturbances cause changes in the community composition, structure, and ecological functions of a site. In the STM, communities representative of the ecological site that exist in, or are maintained by, successional or disturbance-driven equilibriums are represented by boxes referred to as “States”. STMs will always have a state referred to as a “Reference”, which is the central concept for the Ecological Site and is based upon site characteristics prior to European settlement in a natural disturbance regime. STMs will also identify one or more “Alternative States”, which characterize departures from the Reference State triggered by the site crossing identified “thresholds” through their responses to disturbance or management actions. Shifts between states incorporate the concepts of response to disturbance and ecological resilience and resistance, and are referred to as “Transitions”. This talk will highlight the details of Reference and Alternative States; the ranges of variability within States; processes that cause community shifts within States; maintenance of a current State; and Transitions between States, using an example STM that has been developed for specific ecological sites in Iowa.

Biography

Lisa Kluesner has been an Ecologist with the USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service, Soil Science Division since 2016 and is currently developing Ecological Site Descriptions for four Major Land Resource Areas that span five states. After completing five years active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps as a MEDEVAC Coordinator for OIF/OEF Operations, she went on to receive a B.S. in Natural Resources Management & Fish and Wildlife Conservation from Oregon State University and a M.S. in Environmental Science from University of Idaho. For the first eight years of her career she was actively engaged with threatened & endangered species conservation, NEPA analyses, forest management, wetland delineations, vegetation assessment and classification, wildland fire management, and habitat restoration on public lands. She has held positions with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and county conservation organizations working across various landscapes, from the tallgrass prairies of the Midwest to the montane habitats of the Rocky Mountains to the Mediterranean chaparral of southern California.


Piecing the Puzzle Together:
Reconstructing a Pre-Agricultural Reference State

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Lisa Kluesner, Ecologist
USDA-NRCS
Waverly Soil Survey Office
Waverly, Iowa

Description

Prior to European settlement, Iowa was composed of a rich array of tallgrass prairies, oak savannas, hardwood forests, and riparian and wetland plant communities. However very few remnants exist for these ecosystems today. Through extensive literature review, data collection, and data analysis, the pre-settlement biotic and abiotic characteristics of an ecological site can be reconstructed. These reference states describe the ecological potential, functions, and natural range of variability resulting from the historic disturbance regime. This presentation will look at how ecological site inventory field data has helped to identify and describe the Reference State for a wetland ecological site.


Symposium C

Recent Iowa Excavations from the Late Prehistoric Era

 

2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Room: 4

Building: Siebens Forum
Buena Vista University
Storm Lake, Iowa

Symposium C: Description

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.

Presentations

The Mill Creek Culture, Chan-ya-ta Revisited

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Joseph A. Tiffany
Former Executive Director of the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center
Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
La Crosse, Wisconsin

Presentation Description

The Mill Creek culture (A. D. 1100-1250) is a regional example of the Late Prehistoric Plains Village farming communities of the Middle Missouri tradition.  The author conducted excavations in 1974 at the Chan-ya-ta site National Register site (13BV1) as part of his dissertation research.  This National Register site is one of only three unplowed Mill Creek sites; its landform position led to the identification of several semi-subterranean houses, storage pits and the recovery of numerous artifacts.  This talk briefly summarizes that fieldwork and reports on our current knowledge of the Mill Creek culture.

Biography

Joseph A. Tiffany is the former Executive Director of the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center and Professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. Tiffany has 50 years of experience is in Midwest and Plains archaeology and museology. His research focuses on ceramic studies and the archaeology of late prehistoric village farmers of the prairies and eastern plains.

The Dixon Site, 13WD8: A Frontier Oneota Village on the Little Sioux River

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Mark L. Anderson, Research Archaeologist
The Office of the State Archaeologist
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
 

Presentation Description

The Dixon Site, 13WD8, is a village occupied by the Oneota, archaeologically recognized in the early 1950s, with excavations conducted in 1964 and 1994.  These studies documented a slice of the life-ways of these agricultural peoples.  Continued monitoring of the site indicated that the Little Sioux Channel was eroding the remaining site area between the channel and Highway 31.  Because of this, the Iowa DOT planned a bank stabilization project triggering the Phase III data recovery excavations that took place during the 2016-2017 seasons.  These investigations documented the remains of structures, numerous pit features, hearths, work areas, and occupation debris including ceramic vessels, lithic tools and manufacturing waste, shell, worked and unworked bone and antler, canine remains, catlinite, a copper artifact, and large quantities of fire cracked rock.  This presentation will cover these recent excavations and further discuss our understandings of Oneota occupations in northwest Iowa.

Biography

Mark Anderson has been a professional archaeologist for over 30 years working in the Lake Superior basin, Upper Midwest, and northern Great Plains. The majority of his career has been spent researching at the University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist. He specializes in Cultural Resource Management archaeology, lithic research, GIS/GPS, a variety of remote sensing methods, and ancient technology research. He has conducted several hundred research projects across Iowa, coordinating with landowners and supervising crews in the process of successful research completion.

Blood Run, The End of the Oneota Tradition?

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Dale R. Henning
Director of Contract Archaeology - Retired
Illinois State Museum
Springfield, Illinois

Presentation Description

The Oneota Tradition began about AD 1200, perhaps in eastern Wisconsin.  It was flourishing by AD 1300 with large villages in eastern Wisconsin and Illinois, central Missouri, along the Mississippi River from Red Wing, Minnesota to its confluence with the Des Moines River, northwest Iowa into Nebraska, even in central Kansas.  Oneota people dominated Iowa and Wisconsin, central Missouri, eastern Nebraska, southern Minnesota and Illinois through the next two centuries - until Europeans landed on both coasts and in Mexico bringing change of every kind - new technologies, new ideas and lethal (to the natives) European diseases.  Change came to the Midwest with shrinking indigenous population and the appearance of eastern tribes seeking new homes and hunting grounds.  The occupation and expansion of the Blood Run villages came about as the Omaha and Ponca tribes moved west, integrating with then-current Ioway and blending their cultural traditions.  Extensive trade characterizes Blood Run in many ways and is the focus of this presentation. This was a major Midwest-Plains trading center of the 16th and 17th centuries that was abandoned as the 17th century drew to a close. 

Biography

Dale R. Henning (BA Luther College, 1953; MA University of Iowa, 1960; Phd University of Wisconsin, 1969) taught at the University of Missouri-Columbia, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and retired as Director of Contract Archaeology, Illinois State Museum.  Research on the Blood Run National Historic Landmark site began in 1958, resulting in numerous publications and presentations.  He was an active consultant to the Division of Parks and Recreation, South Dakota State Parks, in development of Good Earth State Park at Blood Run.  Good Earth State Park now preserves ca. 1000 acres and has recently completed park headquarters with exhibits tracing the Blood Run story.  Consultation involved interacting with State Parks personnel, local residents, other archaeologists, exhibits specialists and, of greatest importance, with members of several Indian tribes whose ancestors lived on Blood Run.  Henning continues an active research and publication program focused on the Midwestern and Plains Late Prehistoric period.  He is currently affiliated as a Research Associate with the Dept. of Anthropology, USNM-Smithsonian Institution and with the Illinois State Museum, Springfield, Illinois.

 


General Session II

General Session II Title - TBA

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

Room: Auditorium
Building: Schaller Chapel

 

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

 


Saturday, April 21, 2018


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: Hansen 8
Building: Siebens Forum

 

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

 

General Session Description

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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

Robert Brodman holds a B.A. from Rutgers University; M.S. from the University of Michigan, M.S. from Eastern Michigan University;  and a Ph.D. from 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).