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Welcome to the 2017 UMaine Student Symposium: Research and Creative Activity electronic event program. This electronic program includes student abstracts, student presentation style descriptions, and presentation schedules. It also includes a map of the venue layout, schedule of the entire day’s events and programs, as well as details and information regarding our sponsors and selected university programs.

We hope you enjoy a full day of student presentations, guest speakers, award ceremonies, and the chance to network with UMaine students, faculty, staff, as well as local and state industry and community leaders! 
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Monday, April 24 • 9:15am - 10:30am
Exhibits/Performances – Natural Sciences

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Zachary Applebee

Chemical Engineering, 9:15AM-10:30AM
Analysis of Brown Seaweed Nutrient Uptake and Capacity | | River pollution has become a widespread problem in recent years. This pollution comes in many forms, but one form is excess nutrients in the water. This nutrient pollution often includes common elements like nitrogen, carbon and phosphorus that could potentially be absorbed by algae such as various types of seaweed. The University of New England have the problem that there are some factories upstream from their campus and nutrients have been building up in the river over time. They desired a way to remove these excess nutrients and came up with the idea of growing seaweed to take in the nutrients and thus clean up the river. The problem they had was that they wanted to grow the seaweed but they... Read More →

Benjamin Becker

Zoology, 9:15AM-10:30AM
Territorial Behavior In Song Sparrows Influenced By Human Development | | For many indigenous animal species, human development has drastically altered their native habitats through destruction of their environments, food sources or natural cover. For many, this change in environment has proven to be too much to cope with, and cannot adapt quickly enough to an urban lifestyle so drastically different from their intrinsic habitat. However, for some species, behavioral and morphological changes have allowed them to mold into a new human environment, and find life within cities and towns survivable. | One such species is the Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia), which through possessing the unique quality of both individuals living in urban environments and in wild environments, makes it a subject of intrigue on the effects of urbanization on the behavior of individuals. This behavior difference was tested by comparing aggressive response in male individuals through a perceived rival threat into their breeding territories; the perceived threat was produced by using a prerecorded song sparrow song, played from a speaker hung in a tree within their marked territory. Time spent investigating the source of the song was recorded, proximity and activity near the source, as well as attempts to out-sing or challenge the perceived rival were also recorded. This procedure was repeated with individual males inhabiting wild, natural environments as well as those inhabiting urban, developed habitats. | Males within close proximity to human structures were found to exhibit more aggressive behavioral responses, determined by longer attempts to out-sing the rival, and a higher degree of activity near the source of the song. Generally, males in natural environments measured less in these subjects. | | Faculty Mentor: Brian... Read More →

Grace Chavis

Animal and Veterinary Science, Pre-Veterinary Concentration, 9:15AM-10:30AM
The Eastern Coyote: The Missing Link? | | Sylvatic (genotype 8; G8) Echinococcus granulosus (EG) was recently identified as lung cysts in Maine moose, which can act as an intermediate host for this cestode parasite. The definitive host, in which the adult cestode reproduces, is most commonly the wolf. Since wolves are not thought to be present in Maine, a more likely definitive host is the Eastern Coyote, due to its large size, diverse diet, and the fact that it predates upon large game (i.e. deer, moose). With the assistance of Maine IFW, enteric tracts of coyotes (n= 28) trapped or hunted in the Northern Wildlife management districts in Maine were collected by legally sanctioned hunters and trappers for testing. Tracts were frozen for 14 days at -80⁰C to inactivate tapeworm ova. Thawed tracts were sectioned, immersed in water, and the mucosa was scraped. The water was then filtered with 850... Read More →

Corey Halliday

Biochemistry, 9:15AM-10:30AM
RNAseq Analysis Reveals Effects of Arsenic on Neuronal and Immune Gene Expression in Danio rerio | | Arsenic in drinking water has been linked to developmental issues in utero, resulting in a decrease in IQ. Maine wells contain, on average, 23 ppb arsenic, which is higher tha... Read More →

Katrina Lapham

Communication Sciences & Disorders, 9:15AM-10:30AM, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Cerebral Palsy and Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Important Components and Considerations for AAC Implementation (Table 26 Side L, 9:15AM-10:30AM) | | Cerebral palsy is often associated with expressive language deficits, and many children with cerebral palsy require... Read More →

Stephen Moore

Oceanography, 9:15AM-10:30AM
A Model Study of the Saco and Casco Bays in Response to Winter Storms | | As part of an ongoing effort to develop a hydrodynamic model of the Saco and Casco bays, this study aims to simulate physical responses of the bays to winter storms. The model has been built based on th... Read More →

Han Nguyen

Chemistry, 9:15AM-10:30AM
Cellulose – based hydrogel for marine anti – biofouling applications | | A novel hydrogel based on carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) was developed to serve as a marine anti-biofouling coating. The synthesis of this hydrogel involves reacting a thiol-functionalized CMC (cysCMC) with a norbornene-functionalized CMC (cCMC) through a thiol-ene reaction. CMC hydrogels are promising materials for anti-biofouling because the hydrolytic degradation of the ester linkages within the cCMC moities implies that cysCMC-cCMC hydrogel can degrade in sea water to generate a new surface. A series of hydrogels was made by varying the compositions of both cysCMC and cCMC molecules. The developed hydrogels demonstrated a wide range of mechanical properties. Results showed that ~60 Pa to ~10,000 Pa 1-3 wt% hydrogels could be obtained by simply changing the mass ratio of cysCMC to cCMC. Degradation study showed that less than 10% of the developed hydrogels degraded over a period of one month. Hydrogel-adhered glass coverslips are currently used to assess... Read More →

Hannah Stefl

Human nutrition and dietetics, 9:15AM-10:30AM
Exploring the Nutritional Value of Carrots and Determining Attributes that are Favored by Consumers Hannah Stefl, Barbara Cole, PhD, Department of Chemistry, Melissa Chisholm PhD, Department of Chemistry, Angela Myracle, MPH, PhD Abstract: Carrots, the most popular vegetable of the Apiaceae family, are one of the most widely consumed vegetables due to their characteristic flavor, health benefits, and major source of pro-vitamin A. Carrots come in many different varieties and colors, each having their own distinct aroma, contents of volatiles and nutritional compounds. Each of these components influence the taste or eating quality of the carrot. Breeding of new carrot types has shifted from higher yields and disease resistance to desirable traits of nutrient content, sweetness, low harshness, and succulent texture. Studies have found that consumers value the nutrient content and the overall taste. By looking at the chemistry flavor profile, better recommendations can be offered to growers to help them grow carrots that are well-liked by consumers. The different carrot varieties in this study were tested for pH... Read More →
avatar for Lukas Wotton

Lukas Wotton

Biology, chemistry minor, anthropology minor, 9:15AM-10:30AM
Contrasting fire histories from coastal and inland Maine, U.S.A, since deglaciation Two statewide fires in 1825 and 1947, combined to burn millions of acres across Maine, mediating extensive vegetation changes at locations such as Acadia National Park. Little is known about fire-climate-vegetation interactions in pre-European Maine, largely because of historically infrequent wildfires. Concerns about future warming means there is an urgent need to fill this gap in our knowledge. We used... Read More →


Shawn Brackett

Engineering Physics, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Integrated Environment & Proximity Sensing for UAV Applications | | As the realm of drone applications expand new methods for sensing, navigating and avoiding obstacles need to be developed. The project applies an Extended Kalman Filter to a simulated quadcopter vehicle though Matlab in order to estimate not only the vehicle state but the world state around the vehicle. The EKF takes in multiple sensor readings from range sensors, IMU sensors, and radiation sensors and combines this information to optimize state estimates. The result is an estimated world map to be used in vehicle navigation and obstacle avoidance. | The simulation handles the physics behind the vehicle flight. We know as a result of the motors there will be two primary forces acting on the vehicle, thrust and drag. These forces provide linear and rotational accelerations. These values can be integrated to determine vehicle flight path. This process determines the actual values of the vehicle state. Coupled into the integration process is the ability to tweak how fast the motors spin. Using this, A controller is built in to the vehicle such that desired vehicle states (position, velocity, and orientation) can be achieved. Additionally, sensing methods are simulated following known detection procedures and statistics to provide as accurate sensing models as possible. | The Extended Kalman Filter is used here due to some non-linear components of the estimation model. The estimation model includes the states for the vehicle, nearby world objects, nearby radiation measurements. By combining IMU and GPS data with additional measurement data for an EKF, an estimation method attempts to combine all three... Read More →

Monday April 24, 2017 9:15am - 10:30am

Attendees (2)