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Waterville, ME, United States

Colby College is a private liberal arts college located on Mayflower Hill in Waterville, Maine, USA. Founded in 1813, it is the 12th-oldest independent liberal arts college in the United States. Colby was the first all-male college in New England to accept female students in 1871.Approximately 1,800 students from more than 60 countries are enrolled annually. The college offers 54 major fields of study and 30 minors. In part because of Colby's location, more than two thirds of Colby students participate in study abroad programs. Colby College competes in the NESCAC conference. Wikipedia.

The present research examined longitudinal relations of the Big Five personality traits with three core aspects of subjective well-being: life satisfaction, positive affect, and negative affect. Latent growth models and autoregressive models were used to analyze data from a large, nationally representative sample of 16,367 Australian residents. Concurrent and change correlations indicated that higher levels of subjective well-being were associated with higher levels of Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness, and with lower levels of Neuroticism. Moreover, personality traits prospectively predicted change in well-being, and well-being levels prospectively predicted personality change. Specifically, prospective trait effects indicated that individuals who were initially extraverted, agreeable, conscientious, and emotionally stable subsequently increased in well-being. Prospective well-being effects indicated that individuals with high initial levels of well-being subsequently became more agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable, and introverted. These findings challenge the common assumption that associations of personality traits with subjective well-being are entirely, or almost entirely, due to trait influences on well-being. They support the alternative hypothesis that personality traits and well-being aspects reciprocally influence each other over time. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

McCoy J.H.,Colby College
New Journal of Physics | Year: 2013

While amplification of small perturbations often arises from instability, transient amplification is possible locally even in asymptotically stable systems. That is, knowledge of a system's stability properties can mislead one's intuition for its transient behaviors. This insight, which has an interesting history in fluid dynamics, has more recently been rediscovered in ecology. Surprisingly, many nonlinear fluid dynamical and ecological systems share linear features associated with transient amplification of noise. This paper aims to establish that these features are widespread in many other disciplines concerned with noisy systems, especially chemistry, cell biology and molecular biology. Here, using classic nonlinear systems and the graphical language of network science, we explore how the noise amplification problem can be reframed in terms of activatory and inhibitory interactions between dynamical variables. The interaction patterns considered here are found in a great variety of systems, ranging from autocatalytic reactions and activator-inhibitor systems to influential models of nerve conduction, glycolysis, cell signaling and circadian rhythms. © IOP Publishing and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 22.50K | Year: 2016

This grant will provide travel funds for undergraduates to attend the biennial meeting of the International Congress on Infant Studies in 2016, 2018, and 2020. Undergraduates who are presenting work at the conference and/or who are from underrepresented groups (including ethnic/racial minorities and first generation college students) will receive a subsidy to attend the meeting and will participate in professional socialization activities during the meeting. Promotion of undergraduate research experiences will help to cultivate the next generation of infancy researchers.

Funds will offset travel expenses for undergraduate attendees per meeting. Efforts to disseminate information about this opportunity will focus on developing a diverse applicant pool. In addition to learning about new research in infancy science, undergraduate attendees will be mentored at the meeting to ensure that they make the most of their conference experience. Supported students will participate in networking opportunities to learn about graduate school and post-college employment in research venues.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: EVOLUTION OF DEVELOP MECHANISM | Award Amount: 480.00K | Year: 2014

Insect species with wing polyphenism grow to two distinctly different adult wing sizes, with distinctly different anatomical patterns. Therefore, while humans have a single developmental pathway to the size and pattern of the adult body and organs, the developmental process must diverge for different individuals of polyphenic insects. The importance of growth regulation to human health makes studies of polyphenic organ size potentially transformative. How is one form specified and realized in each individual? How does this ability evolve in the species where it occurs? How can alternate wing sizes affect the spread of insects into new habitats? This project seeks to understand the cues and alternative developmental processes that result in differently sized and patterned wings of a native Florida insect, the red-shouldered soapberry bug (Jadera haematoloma). This project will use high-throughput sequencing to compare the expression of genes in bugs of each wing pattern. For selected genes, functional tests will examine their interactions and roles in regulating organ size and wing pattern. The evolution of polyphenism will be explored by laboratory selection on wing size variation in soapberry bugs and in a related insect, the large milkweed bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus), which normally grows to a consistent adult wing size and pattern. This work will be conducted largely by undergraduate students, as part of an integrative curriculum that combines hands-on work in molecular genetics, evolutionary biology and ecology with related social science and humanities courses related to urban life and adaptation to new environments. Public K-12 students and teachers will assist in field surveys of the bugs to determine how wing sizes correlate with their northward expansion from Florida up the East Coast. Project personnel and undergraduates will exchange knowledge and experiences online to illustrate the process of scientific research to younger students.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: DMR SHORT TERM SUPPORT | Award Amount: 392.42K | Year: 2014

This project is supported under the NSF Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability Fellows (SEES Fellows) program, with the goal of helping to enable discoveries needed to inform actions that lead to environmental, energy and societal sustainability while creating the necessary workforce to address these challenges. Sustainability science is an emerging field that addresses the challenges of meeting human needs without harm to the environment, and without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their needs. A strong scientific workforce requires individuals educated and trained in interdisciplinary research and thinking, especially in the area of sustainability science. With the SEES Fellowship support, this project will enable a promising early career researcher to establish herself in an independent research career related to sustainability. This SEES Fellowship project focuses on the development of sustainable alternative fuels for automobiles. Partnerships and activities in this project will broaden the reach of the research and help advance the PIs career development. For example, the Warner Babcock Institute brings expertise with commercialization of sustainable innovation; Eric Beckman will provide knowledge of life cycle assessment, and Beyond Benign will help with K-12 outreach. The PI will teach a course on green chemistry as well as lead a summer module on the subject as part of a summer bridge program for underrepresented minority students.

The scientific core of the project is on the creation of new materials for high-efficiency fuel cells. The production and combustion of gasoline for use in domestic automobiles continues to be a worldwide source of global carbon emissions and driver of fossil fuel demand. Long term controls on atmospheric carbon levels will require the commercial implementation of nonpolluting alternative technologies that rely on readily available and renewable fuel sources. This project is focused on the creation of new polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) that will enable the development of viable automotive hydrogen fuel cells. The project includes synthesis, characterization, and potential commercialization of poly(meta-phenylene oxides) for use as proton conducting membranes in automotive fuel cells. Sulfonation of poly(para-phenylene oxides) (PPO) has yielded materials with proton conductivties similar to Duponts nafion, but the viability of sulfonated PPO or the related polymers PES and PEEK for fuel cell applications is limited due to their susceptibility to oxidative degradation. Recent research in the host mentors lab elucidated a novel route to more oxidatively robust meta-linked aryl ethers via an SNAr step-growth mechanism. With these poly(meta-phenylene oxides) now readily available for the first time, the PI proposes to create sulfonated, carboxylated, alkylated, and basic-residue-tagged poly(meta-phenylene oxides), to optimize the construction of such materials, and to measure and maximize their ion conduction capacity for application in fuel cells. The co-polymerization of two inexpensive, functionalizable monomers, a 1,3-diphenol (a biorenewable feedstock) and a 1,3-benzenedihalide (or heteroaromatic analogue) presents the opportunity to easily incorporate multiple functional groups with minimal synthetic effort and waste. In order to evaluate the industrial viability of these materials for commercial application, the PI will perform life cycle and market analyses.Research by the PI/SEES Fellow and undergraduate students in the host mentors lab would entail synthesis of functionalized poly(meta-phenylene oxides) and spectroscopic/materials analysis, such as measuring thermal stability and phase transition behavior. Collaboration with the partner mentor will focus on more sophisticated materials and applications analyses, such as ion conduction measurements, oxidative stability, chemical degradation pathways, and membrane preparation. The proposed activities include high impact research in organic synthesis and polymer chemistry by creating materials in a sustainable way that can be used in societys push for cleaner fuel sources. The PI will seek to communicate this research to the scientific community, industry, K-12 students, undergraduate and public audiences.

Colby College is keen to recruit and retain a racially and ethnically diverse student body, especially within the sciences. With the understanding that early and continued research activities positively influence students to follow career paths in science, faculty at Colby created the Colby Achievement Program in Sciences (CAPS), a research-based summer bridge program for incoming first-year students of African American, Latino/a, and Native American backgrounds. The summer program combines coursework and research directly with faculty in the summer before the first year, and fosters relationships with faculty and staff that persist upon matriculation. The program takes the form of thematic 1-week research modules conducted by faculty with the entire CAPS class. During the grant period, the PI will lead a green chemistry module as part of the CAPS program, as well as teach an upper-level course on the same subject during the academic semester. The PI would further broaden the reach of the work by partnering with Beyond Benign for K-12 and public outreach. In order to engage a larger public audience, the PI will seek to help students publish in local newspapers stories that they write for class about principles of green chemistry being adopted in the local business community.

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