Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium

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    Feasibility of Avicennia Marina (Grey Mangroves) in Salt Removal from Water
    (2019-12-16) Dusenberry, Brandon; Bolhari, Azadeh
    Phytoremediation is becoming a more popular way to remove certain contaminants in a given soil. From removing chromium with mangrove trees or in extreme cases phytoremediation can be used to remove carcinogenic benzene from the groundwater table from a chemical spill. In this study Avicennia Marina “Grey Mangrove” was used to see if this plant removes salt in the water that it was planted in. With this design we hope to integrate it into a real-life situation in which it could be beneficial to the public.
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    "House of Several Stories" : Preparing and executing stylized realistic acting in a contemporary absurdist play
    (2019-04-19) Choate, Chloe; Cavada, Angela; Moore, Clinton; Molina, Marco; Gonzales, Sonja
    In the Fall of 2018, we produced Angelo State University's student-directed production of "House of Several Stories" by Jon A. Boulanger. This presentation details how preparing for this production under a student director differed from preparing with a faculty director and the unique process of working with the living playwright using a style of acting that is completely different than an approach rooted in Realism. Additionally, the student director will address what it was like to work hands-on with the playwright, a rare opportunity in the theatre.
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    Passive Analysis of PAHs in Waterways Using LDPE films
    (2019-05-09) Krug, Baxter; Carter, David
    Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is a nonpolar hydrocarbon polymer which has adsorptive properties for other nonpolar compounds and can be used to passively monitor organic pollutants in waterways. The Concho River has a relatively constant flow but based on environmental conditions the concentration of PAHs can vary dramatically. A sampling apparatus was designed to rest on the river bottom holding LDPE films suspended in the water for up to several days. Neutral organic compounds in the river, including PAHs, accumulate on the films and are later extracted – potentially enhancing detection limits. This study uses a variety of methods to enhance the detection, identification and quantification of environmental PAHs. The ability of the LDPE films to absorb PAHs was tested in vitro by submerging them in water spiked with four PAHs (40 ppb) for 24 hours. The extract was analyzed using GC-FID and the observed signal to noise ratios suggest that detection limits as low as 0.03 ppb may be possible. The spiked water was analyzed before and after sampling indicating a 95% decrease in PAH levels. This suggests a 51% recovery. Further work is being done to understand the factors limiting absorption and recovery. Attempts to enhance detection limits by using multiple films and extending absorption time are ongoing. Three trials of the sampling system in the Concho river suggest the presence of several PAHS at very low levels. The enhancements being developed should allow us to confirm their presence and estimate concentrations which are probably well under 1 ppb.
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    Predator Avoidance Behaviors of Physella acuta
    (2019-04-19) Amponsah, Nana; Skipper, Ben
    The senses of prey animals have been finely tuned by natural selection to detect potential predators before a predation attempt is begun. For aquatic invertebrates, chemosensation is the primary means by which predators are detected. However, in polluted waters, the chemosensory abilities of prey animals may be negatively impacted through interference. In such cases, prey animals may not be able to sense predators before a predation attempt. This study investigates predator avoidance behaviors of Physella acuta, a freshwater snail, exposed to two potential predators and scent of a distressed conspecific in both clean and polluted waters. Snails were observed in isolation for a period of thirty minutes. The first ten minutes allowed snails to acclimate to the new tank. In the second ten minutes we recorded the snail’s movement in the absence of predator information. Prior to the third ten minutes, we added scent of a predaceous giant water bug, crayfish, or water (control) and then continued recording snail behavior. We observed no significant difference in movement and behavior after the addition of giant water bug scent and water. However, there was significant decrease in movement after addition of crayfish scent, with some snails escaping to dry areas in the test tank. Tests in polluted water, where Physella acuta may be unable to use chemosensation (effectively), are forthcoming.
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    An Interdisciplinary Approach to Dramaturgy: using other disciplines to research Annie Baker's "The Flick" for production
    (2019-04-19) Galvan, Anisa
    As the dramaturge for Angelo State University's Fall 2018 production of "The Flick"; by Annie Baker, my role was to research and analyze the play, the playwright, and the production history for the production company. The director for this particular production allowed me to serve primarily as a production dramaturge, ensuring that the script was being honored and that the production did not deviate too far from the textual intent. Additionally, my duties including providing student educational packets for the cast and audience members in which I explored several theories outside of theatre to enhance and expand our understanding of the characters in the play, particularly from Buddhism and how that influences our theatrical exploration of the world where those fictional characters exist.
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    College Student Stress: Investigating Personality and Coping Strategy
    (2019-04-17) Munsell, Rikee; Hack, Tay
    This research investigated stress and coping strategies of undergraduate students based on their personalities.
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    Evolving a Hex-Playing Agent
    (2018-04-20) McCarver, Michael; LeGrand, Rob
    Hex is a two-player adversarial board game in which there is always exactly one winner. Although it is known that a winning strategy exists for the first player, such strategies are difficult to find due to the large branching factor of Hex's game trees. A subset of Artificial Intelligence research is devoted to optimizing search algorithms, such as minimax, pursuant to searching these game trees and solving Hex boards for any game position. Our research is not concerned with perfect playing strategies. Instead of minimax approaches, we use Artificial Neural Networks and Genetic Algorithms to test the bounds of how quickly and how effectively Artificial Neural Networks are able to learn to evaluate board-states of a game. We experiment with network topology and evolution strategies and compare different approaches using metrics we developed.
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    A Fight for Tolerance and Acceptance: Magnus Hirschfeld’s Impact on Public Attitudes towards the LGBT Community During the Weimar Republic
    (2018-04-17) Lawrence, Mackenzie
    Today, Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) is celebrated for his revolutionary research on sexuality and transsexuality. He is recognized as one of the first vocal advocates for LGBT rights and for the decriminalization of homosexuality. He was the founder of the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (Sexology Research Institute), which provided vital services to the LBGT community during the Weimar Republic (1919-1933). My study analyzes in particular the impact Hirschfeld’s research had on the following sections of the population in Germany’s roaring twenties: the scientific community, law enforcement, and the general public. My research shows that he left a long-lasting impression on the scientific community. He was the first to investigate homosexuality as a natural occurrence and he proved to be more influential than Albert Moll and Sigmund Freud. Hirschfeld had a close relationship with the police. The Homosexuellen Dezernat (Department of Homosexuals) sought his expertise and advice in an effort to curtail blackmail and prostitution. The friendly relationship he maintained with the police benefited the LBGT community, allowing it to feel relatively safe and accepted. Hirschfeld’s publications and educational pamphlets aimed at educating the general public about homosexuality. The popularization of his research improved the public’s attitude toward homosexuals. The more tolerant climate allowed an increasing number of publishers to print LBGT magazines that were both educational and entertaining. LBGT bars, dance halls and restaurants flourished, suggesting that the 1920s became one of the most liberated periods in Germany’s LBGT history.
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    Seasonal Prevalence of Mosquitoes of San Angelo, TX
    (2018-04-28) Stone, Quint
    Mosquitoes spread diseases to domesticated livestock, wildlife, and human populations. Mosquitoes are carriers of specified pathogens depending upon their genus and species as well as their geographic distribution and that of their host. While the original intent of this project was to determine if mosquitoes in the San Angelo area carry Zika virus, preliminary research failed to show the presence of mosquito species known to be capable of transmitting ZIKV. Therefore, the goal of this project is to identify any differences in the presence and prevalence of specific mosquito species in San Angelo, Texas, depending upon seasonal changes and to determine if seasonal changes will allow the presence of mosquitoes capable of carrying ZIKV in San Angelo, Texas. Mosquitoes were collected with the BG-Sentinel CO2 trap and identified based upon morphologic traits. Spring 2018 collections are compared to data collections from preliminary captures in Fall 2017 as well as collections previously reported from Fall collections. Comparison of mosquito populations during these two time frames may be informative related to risk of acquisition of various mosquito borne diseases at various times of year and protection measures to be taken.
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    Forecast and Plan the sales
    (Angelo State University, 2018-04-19) Park, Tae-ei
    Since statisticians invented the statistical model, and many scholars have used various statistically logic models to prove theories for business, science, and engineering. Like them, this research will create a specific real estate model, using the sample city of Dallas. In this article, a researcher will infer Dallas house price matrix, crime rate, number of bathrooms and marketing days to make statistical modeling. To do this, the researcher will collect Dallas real estate data from 2016 to 2017. After researcher receiving the data and annotate concisely, the researcher will separate the independent and dependent data, and the standard will decide by the statistical model. At the end of the project, the researcher will make the logistic model to explain which house has more than 60 business days and less than 60 business days. Also, the researcher sure that this real estate statistical model will be beneficial will contribute to someone or an organization.
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    Queuing Theory and an Airline Problem
    (Angelo State University, 2018-04-17) Park, Tae-ei; Clark, Elena; Jacob, Ruebush
    Queuing theory is a branch of mathematics that deals with waiting lines and the economic impact of varying waiting times. There are many issues associated with airlines that may be analyzed using queuing theory techniques. For example, airport flow, departures, and delays are all queuing type problems. Less obvious is the practice of overbooking flights. Overbooking has become increasingly prominent in the news lately and promises to be susceptible to a queuing theory approach.
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    Perceptions of the Preborn: Moral Perceptions of Abortion in College Students
    (2018-04-24) Caldwell, Carrie
    The purpose of this study was to identify college students’ perceptions on the moral permissibility of abortion, and to analyze how self-identifying characteristics may influence personal beliefs. A 14 question survey was sent to 2,500 undergraduate students via email. The first 4 questions asked participants to identify basic demographic characteristics. The remaining 10 questions were statements about abortion with answer choices presented using a Likert scale. In order to assess an individual’s moral perception of abortion, answer choices were coded to generate a cumulative score. The lowest possible score, 10, was considered liberal, and the highest possible score, 50, was considered conservative. 30 was used as a benchmark for moderate views on abortion. In order to categorize beliefs, we determined an individual’s viewpoint by separating scores to indicate if a respondent had a liberal, moderate-left, moderate-right, or conservative view of abortion. The mean of the overall composite scored data indicated that the average undergraduate college student has a moderate leaning conservative viewpoint on abortion. There were notable, statistically significant differences in how different ages, races, and religions view the topic. The findings of this study suggest that while gender may not influence how an individual views abortion, age, race, and religion do. Although more research is needed to eliminate possible confounding variables, results suggest that certain demographic variables are able to influence an individual’s opinion of abortion.
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    Spectroscopy and Physical Properties of RR Lyrae Variable Stars
    (2018-04-20) Smith, Aaron
    The Large sky Area Multi-Object fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST), Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), and the General Catalog of Variable Stars are surveys which collect data on stars within the Milky Way Galaxy. Spectra observed by LAMOST, as well as spectra observed by SDSS, were cross matched with known RR Lyrae type stars in GCVS. This provided spectral data for these variable stars. The hydrogen Balmer series is particularly important in these stars. Two different methods were used in order to link spectral properties to variability: determination of wavelength shifts due to radial velocity, and chi-square differences for changes in flux. Results showed that these methods have notable correlations to variability.
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    Characterization of Self Assembled Monolayer Oxidation Using Nano-Lithography
    (Angelo State University, 2018-04-20) Felipe, Alfredo
    Methods of complex nano-feature formations play an important role in the development of complex circuitry, biosensors, memory devices, display units and biochips1. Currently two general lithography methods are used in the generation of nanostructures; top-down approach, commonly attributed to photolithography, and the bottom up approach in which chemical properties of the Atomic Force (AFM) probe are used to manipulate substrate surfaces. In this study oxidative nanolithography, bottom up approach, was investigated using biased-assisted AFM nanolithography. During this process a bias is applied to the AFM probe, platinum coated, resulting in a localized electric field forming around the tip of the probe (20nm width)1 .
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    (2018-04-20) Motley, M'Kayla; Amos, Bonnie
    A PRELIMINARY REPORT ON THE SEED DISPERSAL OF SCLEROCACTUS BREVIHAMATUS SPP. TOBUSCHII: AN ENDEMIC CACTUS Author(s): M’Kayla G. Motley and Bonnie B. Amos The Tobusch fishhook cactus (Sclerocactus brevihamatus spp. tobuschii) (TFC) is a small dome-shaped cactus found in Ash Juniper-Liveoak associations in nine counties in the Edwards Plateau, Texas. It is the earliest flowering member of its community with bright yellow-yellowish green flowers formed as early as January and continuing to April with fruits ripening early May to mid June. In 1979 US Fish and Wildlife Service listed TFC as endangered. Much is known about the taxon’s breeding system and pollination; however, little is known about its seed dispersal. Therefore, our objectives were to: define fruit/seed attractants and identify fruit visitors and their behavior for TFC populations at Kerr Wildlife Management Area in Kerr County, TX. Time-lapse cameras were used to obtain approximately 40,000 images and videos of TFC fruit development and visitation. The only fruit visitors observed, in images, videos or field observations, were two species of ants, the fire ant (Solenopsis invicta or a hybrid S. invicta X S. geminata) and a smaller ant, Forelius pruinosus. Neither visited the plants until the fruits opened but then swarmed the fruits (N=10) feeding on the juicy pulp and also harvesting pulp from the fruit. However, neither harvested seeds. Data analyses show that fruit visitation is short-lived with 1.5 to 3 days from first observation of ants to collapse and subsequent drying of the fruit. Seeds remain in the fruit and fall onto and around the plant. These observations differ from those of Emmett (1995) who reported the ant Forelius maccooki (=F. foetida) transported as much as 85% of TFC seeds back to the ant mound at three different sites. Studies in 2018 are planned to obtain additional visitor data, conduct exclusion experiments, and monitor sugar content in fruits.
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    Linearized Bradford Assay with B-Lactogloblin as Standard for Use with Snake Venoms
    (2018-04-20) Flores, Taybor
    Analyzing the protein content of snake venom, a mixture of proteins, in solution is problematic due to the protein composition of venom being specific to each species and individual. A common method of determining the concentration of a protein in solution is to use the absorbance at 280 nm. The absorbance is due mostly to the presence of the amino acid tryptophan but is also influenced by the presence of tyrosine and cysteine. The problem with using this method is the interference from other chromophores such as DNA or other impurities that absorb near 280 nm. When analyzing snake venom samples purity can be an issue due to venom milking methods. Also the variability of the number and nature of proteins in the venom causes variability in the absorbance at 280 nm. In the linearized Bradford Assay, protein concentration is determined from the absorbance changes that occur when the protein binds a dye (Coomassie brilliant blue). For the linearized assay, the absorbance ratio, 590 nm/450 nm is used to calculate the amount of protein in the assay. The linearized Bradford Assay uses a standard protein and the concentration of the unknown protein is determined by comparison. Bovine Serum Albumin, BSA, is used commonly as a standard due to its ready availability, low cost, and known extinction coefficient. We show here that BSA poorly predicts the amount of snake venom in solution. Our results show that β-Lactogloblin is a better standard for snake venoms while also having a known extinction coefficient.
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    Investigation of Longitudinal Cracks Along Kickapoo Dam, Bronte, Tx Using Resistivity Surveys
    (2018-04-20) Ramon, Isaac; Naegeli, Kara M.; Kintzel, Matthew C.
    Bronte, Texas has an earthen flood protection dam, known as the Kickapoo Dam, with extensive structural damage. Along the crest of the dam there is systematic cracking with some cracks reaching depths of 7+ feet. Bronte officials contracted government personnel to determine the causation of cracking along the dam. In March and May of 2017 students and faculty from Angelo State University assisted these government personnel to conduct resistivity surveys along the structure. Resistivity profiles were conducted using the Super Sting system from Advanced Geosciences Incorporated (AGI). Five lines were ran parallel to the dam along with two perpendicular lines. The total depth of penetration was 64 feet. Two dimensional models were conducted using EarthImager 2D, through the courtesy of AGI, to identify structural abnormalities present. The results show areas of high resistivity, some in the shape of channels, believed to coincide with local bedrock. Thin areas of low resistivity stretch vertically into the dam, reaching depths of 32-64+ feet. Most of these areas coincide with visible cracking along the dam. However, these low resistivity areas do not coincide with every location of cracking found at the surface of the dam. Test pits were also dug along the dam where soil samples were collected and sent for analysis. These tests revealed collapsible compressible soils are present within the structure. Overall, it appears that the cracking in the dam is a direct correlation to the presence of these aforementioned soils.
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    Water Quality of the Concho River System around San Angelo, TX
    (2018-04-20) Dragt, Austin
    This study analyzes and compares the quality of surface water in areas that differ in urban development around San Angelo, Texas. Using water samples from the San Angelo water sheds and an additional watershed from Ballinger, Texas, a Permutational Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) was performed. Statistically significant differences were recorded based off the various sites but not between the months analyzed in this study. These findings suggest that a few specific water quality parameters are driving the changes throughout the water systems.
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    Analyzing the Digestibility of Ground Juniper as a Roughage in Cattle Diets
    (2018-04-17) Crockett, Shelby
    A randomized design study with two feeding periods was used to evaluate effects of substituting ground juniper for ground alfalfa hay in steer feedlot diets on growth performance. Steers were fed in a Calan gate system for 112 d. During Period 1 (d 0-69), steers were fed a 70% concentrate diet that differed only by roughage source; juniper replaced 0, 33, 66 or 100% of the alfalfa. During Period 2 (d 70- 112), steers transitioned onto a common alfalfa-based 90% concentrate. As juniper increased in the diet, daily DMI linearly decreased (P < 0.01) on d 14, 28, 42, 56, and 70, but Period 2 DMI was similar. As juniper increased in the diet, ADG linearly decreased (P < 0.01) on d 14 and 42, tended to linearly decrease (P = 0.09) on d 28, and tended to quadratically decrease (P = 0.07) on d 56. Nutritional composition and digestibility characteristics of the roughage portion of diets were evaluated. In general, as percentage of juniper increased, a reduction in digestibility and increases in lignin were observed. Overall, replacing alfalfa with ground juniper did not appear to negatively affect steer health as assessed by daily visual appraisal and blood serum characteristics. Results suggested that replacing 66% to 100% of alfalfa in steer diets with ground juniper would not be economical at the price of alfalfa observed during this trial. However, when assessing cost/kg of BW gain over the entire trial, including 10% juniper should be considered economically viable.