48th Arkansas Junior Science and Humanities Symposium



Urban Wildlife:  More than Rats and Spiders!

Dr. Rachael Urbanek, Assistant Professor of Wildlife Science (Arkansas Tech University)
Human populations are growing exponentially and urban sprawl is creating massive metropolitan areas that are interspersed with green habitats. As this is happening, wildlife species are becoming adapted to urban environments through changes in behavior and population dynamics. More cities are creating preserves or parks to conserve plant and animal species in urban areas necessitating wildlife biologists to overcome new obstacles such as conserving endangered species in a predominantly harsh anthropogenic landscape, maintaining sustainable populations of all biota in limited green space, and managing human-wildlife conflicts that are at an intensity level never experienced in history. Dr. Urbanek will describe how her research has helped overcome some of these obstacles in places as urbanized as the Chicago Metropolitan Area and as small as the city of Russellville, Arkansas.
Dr. Rachael E. Urbanek received her B.S. in Wildlife Science at the Pennsylvania State University in 2005 and her Ph.D. from the Cooperative Wildlife Research Lab at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2012. Her background consists of a strong education in wildlife ecology accompanied by a diverse amount of research and teaching experiences. Since 2008, Dr. Urbanek has published her research in 10 scientific journals and given 25 professional presentations on her work. Dr. Urbanek has been recognized by the Council of The Wildlife Society as a future leader in conservation and is currently the secretary/treasurer of the Arkansas Chapter of the society. Over the course of her career, Dr. Urbanek has had the pleasure to conduct research on a wide variety of animals including timber rattlesnakes, ruffed grouse, white-tailed deer, feral cats, Blanding's turtles, raccoons, eastern cottontails, and swamp rabbits. This collection of animals reflects her broad interests in all things ecology; however, nothing excites her more than urban wildlife ecology.


Aging of Organisms and its Practical Uses

Dr. John Jackson, ATU Associate Professor of Fisheries Science
Jared Schluterman, ATU Fisheries and Wildlife Graduate Student

This tour will take you through several different classes of organisms and explain how fisheries and wildlife professionals go about aging those organisms and why it is important. In addition, a demonstration of otolith removal, mounting, and aging will be presented.

A look at Proteins:  Gene Mutations, Protein Overexpressions and Isolation

Dr. Ty Yamishita, ATU Associate Professor of Biology
Cheryl Flemming, ATU Biology Student
Ken Smith, ATU Biology Student
George Strahan, ATU Biology Student

Proteins are important physiological and cellular components with structural and catalytic properties. In this module, we show how isolated genes can be cloned and over expressed in bacterial cells to create large amounts of a specific protein for further structural and functional studies. We will also explore gene mutations and their effects upon enzymes and biochemical pathways.

Don't Sweat It, It's Just My Mind-Body Connection at Work

Dr. Cindy Jacobs, ATU Associate Professor of Biology
Jamie Dalton, ATU Instructor of Biology
Laura Harris, ATU Biology Student
Caitlin Oswalt, ATU Biology Student

Have you ever experienced a "cold sweat" when you were nervous about something? If so, then you've had a psychophysiological response that can be measured by a test known as the GSR (Galvanic Skin Response). Join us as we demonstrate the GSR which is also used as part of the infamous lie detector test. Don't worry, it won't hurt and it won't be a problem....unless you have something to hide!

Why is the Sky Blue?

Dr. Jessica Young, ATU Assistant Professor of Physics

This presentation is an illustration of optical phenomena such as scattering and reflection. We will investigate why the sky is blue, why sunsets are red, and how rainbows are formed.

Hands-On Stoichiometry and Energetic Chemistry

Dr. Steve Gann, ATU Assistant Professor of Physical Science
Robert Bowman, ATU Chemistry Student
Taylor Sharp, ATU Chemistry Student

We will be making hydrogen/oxygen rockets and having a shooting-for-distance contest to see who built the most stoichiometrically correct rocket engine. There were also be some demonstrations of exothermic energetic chemical reactions.


Water Salinity vs. Vitamin C:  The Effect of Water Salinity on the Vitamin C Levels in Radish Plants

Safi Alsebai (Little Rock Central High School)
Sponsor:  Patrick Foley

The Effect of the Work Function and Alignment of Organic Photovoltaic Devices

Dhruba Dasgupta (Little Rock Central High School)
Sponsor:  Patrick Foley

Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes/Silicon Based Solar Cells

Nimit Gandhi (Little Rock Central High School)
Sponsor:  Melissa Donham

Correlation of Peak Wall Stress in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm with Maximal Aortic Diameter, Aortic Wall Calcium, and Intraluminal Aortic Thrombus Using Finite Element Analysis

Sajit Kalapatapu (Pulaski Academy)
Sponsor:  Doug Reed

Solar Energy Conversion Unit with Improved Power Output

Nikoo Karbassi (Little Rock Central High School)
Sponsors:  Melissa Donham and Patrick Foley

Photovoltaic Performance of Organic Photovoltaic Cells with Varied Doping Levels and Carbon Nanotubes

Dev Nair (Pulaski Academy)
Sponsor:  Doug Reed

Evaluation of Physiological Conditions that Influence Emerging rate on Small Hive Beetles, Aethina Tumida Murray in Arkansas

Enoch Park (Pulaski Academy)
Sponsor:  Doug Reed

Correct Microenvironment for Kidney Regeneration

Abhigna Penthala (Little Rock Central High School)
Sponsor:  Melissa Donham

Non-Precious Cobalt Metal Catalyst as Fuel Cell Cathode in Oxygen Reduction Reactions

Anirudh Pidugu (Little Rock Central High School)
Sponsor:  Patrick Foley

Using Nanotechnology to Enhance Osteoblast Proliferation and Adhesion:  Comparison of Different Implantable Biologically Inert Spinal Instrumentation Materials

Hanya Qureshi (Pulaski Academy)
Sponsor:  Doug Reed

Effect of Combined Inhibition of DNA Methylation and Histone Acetylation on Viability of Multiple Myeloma Cell Lines

Shruti Shah (Little Rock Central High School)
Sponsor:  Beth Maris

Preventing Atherosclerosis and Myocardial Infarction:  Using siRNA transfection on the oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor 1 (LOX-1)

David Xiang (Little Rock Central High School)
Sponsor:  Melissa Donham