Tag: Applied Ecology

New Theses and Dissertations Available

The Graduate School is pleased to announce new theses and dissertations are now available in the J.R. van Pelt and Opie Library from the following programs:

  • Applied Ecology
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Rhetoric and Technical Communication


New theses and dissertations in Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce new theses and dissertations from the following programs:

  • Applied Ecology
  • Applied Natural Resource Economics
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
  • Geology
  • Mineral Economics
  • Rhetoric and Technical Communication

are now available in the J.R. van Pelt and Opie Library.


New Theses and Dissertations in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the arrival of new theses and dissertations from our recent graduates in the J. R. Van Pelt Library and John and Ruanne Opie Library.  The names of our graduates, their degrees, advisors, and titles of their research are listed below.

Brian Beachy
Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Science
Advisor: Andrew J Storer
Dissertation title: Impacts of the Exotic Beech Bark Disease Complex in Michigan

Jessica Beachy
Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Science
Advisor: Andrew John Storer
Dissertation title: The Development of Trapping, Survey and Educational Tools for the Exotic Invasive Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilusplanipennis Fairmaire) (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)

Luke Bowman
Master of Science in Geology
Advisor: William I Rose
Thesis title: Community Perceptions of an NGO’s Impact on Disaster Preparedness in Los Planes de La Laguna, Santa Ana Volcano, El Salvador

Venkat Donuru
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry
Advisor: Haiying Liu
Dissertation title: Design and Synthesis of Novel BODIPY Polymeric Dyes, and Redox-active Tetrathiafulvalene-Carbohydrate Conjugates for Potential Biosensing Applications

Chad Fortin
Master of Science in Applied Ecology
Coadvisors: Christopher Raymond Webster and David James Flaspohler
Thesis title: Floristic Quality as a Potential Driver of Vegetative Diversity-Productivity Relationships and Arthropod Habitat in Restored Grasslands

Bryan Franklin
Master of Science in Computer Science
Advisor: Steven R Seidel
Thesis title: Analysis and Performance of a UPC Implementation of a Parallel Longest Common Subsequence Algorithm

Valerie Fuchs
Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering
Coadvisors: John S Gierke and James R Mihelcic
Dissertation title: Nitrogen Removal and Sustainability of Vertical Flow Constructed Wetlands for Small Scale Wastewater Treatment

Alex Joseph Varghese
Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Paul L Bergstrom
Thesis title: Fabrication of Piezo Resistive Strain Sensor for Orthopedic Fracture Implant System

Jodi Lehman
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Patricia J Sotirin
Dissertation title: International Teachers in the American Classroom: Deposing the Myth of Monolingualism

Ruben Otoniel Matias Gomez
Master of Science in Geology
Advisor: William I Rose
Thesis title: Volcanological Map of the 1961-2009 Eruption of Volcande Pacaya, Guatemala

Julian Mills-Beale
Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Zhanping You
Thesis title: New Test Procedures for Aggregate Specific Gravities and Absorption

Srichand Pendyala
Master of Science in Computer Science
Advisor: Robert Louis Pastel
Thesis title: Sketch Recognition through Shape Based Interaction

Ratul Saha
Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Susan T Bagley
Dissertation title: UV Disinfection of Metalworking Fluids: Analysis Using Molecular Tools

Steven Vormwald
Master of Science in Computer Science
Advisor: Steven M Carr
Thesis title: Predicting Remote Reuse Distance Patterns in Unified Parallel C Applications

Fuyu Xu
Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
Advisor: Chandrashekhar Pralhad Joshi
Dissertation title: Molecular Mechanism of Cellulose Biosynthesis in Plants


Radio Signals, Diabetes, and Beavers: Just Another Graduate Research Colloquium

by Dennis Walikainen, senior editor

Graduate students from across campus trotted out their research and explained the unexplainable at the latest Graduate Research Colloquium held at the Memorial Union Building, with more 25 posters accompanying the two days of presentations.

Suryabh Sharma, graduate student in electrical and computer engineering, discussed his work, which might not see the light of day for 20 to 25 years. His work is guided by Associate Professor Gerry Tian.

Realizing that the spectrum of open radio signals is finite, in both frequency and bandwith, there needs to be “cognitive radio networks” developed.

“These will be able to use a part of the spectrum at a certain time that is un-utilized or underutilized, based on time or space,” Sharma says.

Cell phones, for example, will have to be developed with enough computing ability to find these unused frequencies. Sharma’s project was to calculate the probability of success, with best and worst case scenarios, in an algorithm: “gathering data and making it meaningful data.”

His answer? “It is feasible.”

So, someday, we’ll never have to worry about not being able to connect to the wireless grid, in theory.

Nearby, physics graduate student Archana Pandey was describing how implantable nano-devices could be used as glucose sensors in diabetics. In addition to helping people stay healthy, Pandey has discovered an additional benefit.

“Miniature biofuel cells could also be implanted and convert glucose from the initial nanodevice into energy,” she says.

This could be especially helpful to diabetics, who sometimes lack energy, and that impacts their eating habits, Pandy adds.

One problem: the devices work fine when cooled, but body temperatures are too hot. But, she is still working on it with help from teammates Abhishek Prasad, Jason Moscatello and Abhay Singh, and advisor Yoke Kin Yap.

“I inherited my work,” says Mark Romanski of forest resources. And famous work it is: research on the habitants of Isle Royale, in this instance, beavers.

Continuing work of Rolf Peterson, John Vucetich and others, Romanski actually looked at how data is collected on the beaver populations. It is a classic research quandary: how do we know the numbers are accurate? Romanski looked at “double-count surveys,” where two researchers will both attempt to count the same population of a species. Beginning his work in 2006, he discovered a large discrepancy in numbers of beavers counted previously.

“We used smaller aircraft in later surveys than they did in earlier ones,” he said. “When our numbers came back much lower in the planes that should allow for more-accurate sightability–slower speeds and lower flights–we realized that sightability from the larger planes was grossly overestimated.”

More than a study of how to study, then, Romanski’s work helps complete the puzzle of the complicated ecosystem on the island.

He also included a couple of tidbits: moose and beaver have a similar appetite for foliage, and wolves have an appetite for beaver.

“They wait near their lodges until they come out,” he says. “They know where they live.”

Published in Tech Today.


New theses and dissertations in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the arrival of new theses and dissertations from our recent graduates in the J. R. Van Pelt Library and John and Ruanne Opie Library.  The names of our graduates, their degrees, advisors, and titles of their research are listed below.

R Adam Blankenbicker
Master of Science in Geology
Advisor: William I Rose
Thesis title: Video Analysis of Small Vulcanian Explosions at Santiaguito, Guatemala

Elizabeth Boisvert
Master of Science in Applied Ecology
Advisor: Thomas Grant Pypker
Thesis title: Initiation and Development of Three Lake Superior Coastal Peatlands

Daw Don Cheam
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Paul L Bergstrom
Dissertation title: Integration of Room Temperature Single Electron Transistor with CMOS Subsystem

Brandon Dilworth
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Jason R Blough
Dissertation title: Identification of Ground and Environmental Effects to the Pass-by Noise Testing of Snowmobiles

Varun Gouthaman
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Reza  Shahbazian Yassar
Thesis title: Micro-Fabrication of a Bio-MEMS Based Force Sensor to Measure the Force Response of Living Cells

Erik Hayenga
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Marilyn M Cooper
Dissertation title: Ethics in Illustruction: Safety Cartoons in John Deere Tractor and Combine Harvester Operator’s Manuals, 1945-2007

John Hribljan
Master of Science in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Janice M Glime
Thesis title: The Influence of Moss and Litter Chemical Traits on Bryophagy in a Northern Temperate Forest Invertebrate, Porcellio scaber LATR.

Nicholas Jensen
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Christopher Raymond Webster
Thesis title: Ungulate Winter Habitat Selection as a Driver of Heterogeneity in Ground-Layer Plant Communities

Samuel Johnson
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey Donald Naber
Thesis title: Premixed Lean Gas Combustion and HPCR Rate of Injection used with a Constant Volume Combustion Vessel

Eric Kalenauskas
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey  Allen
Thesis title: Calibration Methods of an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler & Investigations of the Critical Wavenumber in Unstable Evaporating Thin Films

Keong Aik Lau
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Tony Neal Rogers
Dissertation title: Theoretical and Experimental Studies of the Temperature Dependence of the Henry’s Law Constant of Organic Solutes in Water

Shannon Lerner
Master of Science in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Co-advisors: Marilyn M Cooper and Jnan Ananda Blau
Thesis title: Martin Buber and Luce Irigaray: Liminality and Historical Spiritual Moments

Kathryn Marlor
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Rodney A Chimner
Thesis title: Determining the Role of Environmental Factors and Disturbance in the Distribution of Reed Canary Grass within Wetlands

Benjamin Melitz
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Charles D Van Karsen
Thesis title: Feasibility Assessment of Inverse Frequency Based Substructuring to Obtain Automotive Powertrain Mount Properties

Jonathan Mellor
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: David W Watkins
Thesis title: Water and Sanitation Accessibility and the Health of Rural Ugandans

Bode Morin
Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Heritage and Archaeology
Advisor: Terry S Reynolds
Dissertation title: Reflection, Refraction, and Rejection: Copper Smelting Heritage and the Execution of Environmental Policy

James Nugent
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Robert R Johnson
Dissertation title: United States Certificate Programs in Technical Communication: A Feminist-Sophistic Investigation

Paul Pawelzik
Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Qiong  Zhang
Thesis title: A Life Cycle Analysis Methodology: Incorporating Technological Advances Over Time A Study of the Environmental Impact of Cellulosic Ethanol with Technological Advances over Time

Russell Stacy
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey  Allen
Thesis title: Contact Angle Measurement Technique for Rough Surfaces


New theses and dissertations in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the arrival of new theses and dissertations from our recent graduates in the J. R. Van Pelt Library and John and Ruanne Opie Library.  The names of our graduates, their degrees, advisors, and titles of their research are listed below.

Manoranjan Acharya
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Paul L Bergstrom
Dissertation title: Development of Room Temperature Operating Single Electron Transistor using FIB Etching and Deposition Technology

Susan H Balint
Master of Science in Environmental Policy
Advisor: Kathleen E Halvorsen
Thesis title: Federal and State Policy Influence on Woody Biomass Utilization

Genevieve M Borg
Master of Science in Environmental Policy
Advisor: Carol A MacLennan
Thesis title: EPA’s Council for Regulatory Environmental Modeling: A Case Study of Science Policy Implementation

Carmelo Davila
Master of Science in Industrial Archeology
Advisor: Samuel R Sweitz
Thesis title: A Space for Production and a Space for Communality: Socio-Historical Study of Central Aguirre and its Industrial Community, Salinas, Puerto Rico: 1949-1970

Seth C DePasqual
Master of Science in Industrial Archeology
Advisor: Patrick E Martin
Thesis title: Winning Coal at 78 Degrees North: Mining, Contingency and the Chaine Operatoire in Old Longyear City

Robert S Donofrio
Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Susan T Bagley
Dissertation title: Development and Validation of Selective and Differential Enumeration Methods for Brevundimonas diminuta

Jason T Dreyer
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics
Co-advisors: Sudhakar M Pandit and Mohan D Rao
Dissertation title: Binaural Index for Speech Intelligibility via Bivariate Autoregressive Models

Ingrid D Fedde
Master of Science in Geology
Co-advisors: Jose Luis Palma Lizana and William I Rose
Thesis title: Application of Probabilistic Tools and Expert Elicitation for Hazard Assessment at Volcan de Colima, Mexico

Travis J Hansen
Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Daniel A Crowl
Thesis title: Estimation of the Flammability Zone Boundaries with Thermodynamic and Empirical Equations

Daniel E Haskell
Master of Science in Applied Ecology
Advisor: David J Flaspohler
Thesis title: `Restoration in Northern Wisconsin

Stacie A Holmes
Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Science
Advisor: Christopher R Webster
Dissertation title: The Influence of Concurrent Disturbances on Plant Community Dynamics in Northern Hemlock-Hardwood Forests

Ashwini S Kashelikar
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Veronica W Griffis
Thesis title: Identification of Teleconnections and Improved Flood Risk Forecasts using Bulletin 17B

Justin D Keske
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Jason R Blough
Dissertation title: Investigation of a Semi-Active Muffler System with Implementation on a Snowmobile

Paul J Koll
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Martin F Jurgensen
Thesis title: Effects of Conifer Sawdust, Hardwood Sawdust, and Peat on Soil Properties and Bareroot Conifer Seedling Development

Andrew T Kozich
Master of Science in Environmental Policy
Advisor: Kathleen E Halvorsen
Thesis title: Wetland Mitigation in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula: Compliance with Site Monitoring and Invasive Plant Species Standards

Kateryna Lapina
Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering
Co-advisors: Richard E Honrath and Judith A Perlinger
Dissertation title: Boreal Forest Fire Impacts on Lower Troposphere CO and Ozone Levels at the Regional to Hemispheric Scales

Joseph W Lechnyr
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey Allen
Thesis title: Imaging of Fuel Cell Diffusion Media Under Compressive Strain

Angela K Lucas
Master of Science in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Jason R Carter
Thesis title: Effects of Pediatric Adiposity on Heart Rate Variability

Lawrence J Mailloux
Master of Science in Chemistry
Advisor: Dallas K Bates
Thesis title: A 1,2,4-Triazole to Thiazole Transformation

Meghan E McGee-Lawrence
Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering
Advisor: Seth W Donahue
Dissertation title: Skeletal Preservation by Hibernating Bears

Diane M Miller
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Patricia J Sotirin
Dissertation title: Speaking (of) Community: An Ethnographic Study of the Relationships Among Communication, Community, and Everyday Experience at an Organic Foods Cooperative

Min Nie
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Desheng Meng
Thesis title: Fabrication of Nanoparticles by Short-Distance Sputter Deposition

Brian A Ott
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Gerard T Caneba
Dissertation title: Fluid Phase Equilibrium as Modeled by the Statistical Associated Fluid Theory (SAFT) Equation of State

Robert C Owen
Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Richard E Honrath
Dissertation title: Long-range Pollution Transport: Trans-Atlantic Mechanisms and Lagrangian Modeling Methods

Jeannie A Patrick
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Diane L Shoos
Dissertation title: Not Your Mother’s Latinas: Film Representations for a New Millennium

David M Pauken
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: John W Sutherland
Thesis title: Statistical Modeling of the Ford Superduty Brake Pedal Feel Attribute

Melissa J Porter
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Andrew J Storer
Thesis title: Detection and Landing Behavior of Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus planipennis, at Low Population Density

Mark D Rowe
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Judith A Perlinger
Thesis title: Modeling Contaminant Behavior in Lake Superior: A Comparison of PCBs, PBDEs, and Mercury

Ryan W Schweitzer
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: James R Mihelcic
Thesis title: Community Managed Rural Water Supply Systems in the Dominican Republic: Assessment of Sustainability of Systems Built by the National Institute of Potable Water and Peace

Xiaoning Shan
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey B Burl
Dissertation title: Time-Varying System Identification in the Transform Domain

Sarah E Stehn
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Christopher R Webster
Thesis title: Influence of Exogenous Disturbance on Bryophyte Community Assemblage and Tree Regeneration Dynamics in Southern Appalachian Spruce-Fir Forests

Xiang Sun
Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering
Advisor: Jiann-Yang Hwang
Dissertation title: Charge Induced Enhancement of Adsorption for Hydrogen Storage Materials

Iltesham Z Syed
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Abhijit Mukherjee
Thesis title: Experimental Study of Forced Convection Heat Transfer to Water Flowing through a Short Micro Duct at the Tip of a Cutting Tool at Turbulent Reynolds Number

Jacob T Vermillion
Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Lawrence L Sutter
Thesis title: Absorption Correction for the Determination of the Water Content of Fresh Concrete Using the Microwave-Oven Drying Method

Dennis K Walikainen
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Robert R Johnson
Dissertation title: What’s It Like There? Toward a Rhetoric of University Maps and Tours

Cheryl L Williams
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: John W Sutherland
Thesis title: Optimization of Conversion of North American Left Hand Drive Vehicles for Importation into Right Hand Markets


ESC/BRC Research Forum Awards Announced

Published in Tech Today

The Ecosystem Science Center and the Biotechnology Research Center have announced award recipients of the Fifth Annual ESC/BRC Graduate Research Forum, held on Feb. 27.

Two Grand Awards, six Merit Awards and three Honorable Mention Awards were presented.

$500 Grand Prizes

Ecosystem Science Center

Elizabeth Boisvert (SFRES) for “Initiation and Development of Three Lake Superior Coastal Peatlands”; advisor: Assistant Professor Tom Pypker

Biotechnology Research Center

Eric Minner (Biomedical Engineering) for “Hydrogel System Delivers Glutathione and Interleukin-10 to Mitigate Secondary Injury following Spinal Cord Damage”; advisor: Assistant Professor Ryan Gilbert

$100 Merit Prizes

Ecosystem Science Center

Lucas Spaete (SFRES) for “Aspen Biomass Assessment for MI, WI and MN: A GIS and Regression Approach for Quantifying Biomass”; advisor: Associate Professor Ann Maclean

Sarah Stehn (SFRES) for “Altitudinal Gradients of Bryophyte Diversity and Community Assemblage in Southern Appalachian Spruce-Fir Forests”; advisor: Associate Professor Christopher Webster

Biotechnology Research Center

Jared Cregg (Biomedical Engineering) for “The Role of Aligned Fiber Density in Axon Motility”; advisor: Assistant Professor Ryan Gilbert

Jill Jensen (Chemical Engineering) for “Selection for Improved Hybrid Poplar Via Dilute Acid and Enzymatic Hydrolysis Using Mini-Reactors”; advisor: Professor David Shonnard

Dalila Trupiano (SFRES) for “Activation Tagging of A Poplar AP2/ERF Transcription Factor Involved in Lateral Root Formation”; advisor: Associate Professor Victor Busov

Han Bing Wang (Biomedical/Chemical Engineering) for “Axonal Guidance Conduits Containing Aligned, Electrospun Poly-L-Lactic Acid Fibers Direct In Vitro Neurite Outgrowth”; advisors: Assistant Professor Ryan Gilbert (Biomedical Engineering) and Professor Michael Mullins (Chemical Engineering)

Honorable Mentions, Ecosystem Science Center

Chris Miller (SFRES) for “The Economic Feasibility of Aspen as a Coal Co-Firing Component”; advisor: Assistant Professor Robert Froese

Matthew Metz (SFRES) for “Summer Predation Patterns of Yellowstone Gray Wolves”; advisor: Assistant Professor John Vucetich

Max Henschell (SFRES) for “Do the Birds Care? Avian Community Response to Floristic Quality”; advisor: Associate Professor David Flaspohler