Grand Rapids, MI, United States
Grand Rapids, MI, United States

Grand Valley State University is a public liberal arts university located in Allendale, Michigan, United States. The university was established in 1960, and its main campus is situated on 1,322 acres approximately 12 miles west of Grand Rapids. Classes are also offered at the university's growing Pew Campus in Downtown Grand Rapids, Meijer Campus in Holland, and through centers at Muskegon and Traverse City established in cooperation with local community colleges.GVSU is a comprehensive coeducational university serving more than 25,094 students as of fall 2014, from all 83 Michigan counties and dozens of other states and foreign countries. It is one of America's 100 largest universities as well as the fifth largest in Michigan in terms of enrollment, and employs more than 3,000 people with about 1,657 academic faculty and 1,623 support staff. The university currently has alumni residing in all 50 U.S. states, Canada, and 25 countries around the world. For the 2010–2011 academic year, GVSU was recognized as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars for master's institutions by The Chronicle of Higher Education. GVSU has also been noted for its sustainability efforts, ranking as high as 16th in the world for environment-friendly university management by GreenMetric World University Ranking in 2011.GVSU's NCAA Division II sports teams are called the Lakers. They compete in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in all 19 intercollegiate varsity sports and have won the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Directors' Cup for NCAA Division II every year from 2004 to 2011 after finishing second in 2002 and 2003. The Lakers have won 16 NCAA Division II National Championships since 2002 in seven different sports. Wikipedia.

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Grand Valley State University and Spectrum | Date: 2015-10-22

A medical tubing holder system including a connector, a holding assembly and a retainer block. The holding assembly has an arm, and optional flanges to capture part of medical tubing, such as an endotracheal tube. The retainer block is distal from the holding assembly. The retainer block defines an aperture that receives a tube therein. The aperture is smaller than a tube flange placed between the block and the holding assembly, so as to capture the tube flange. An attachment element joins the holding assembly to the retainer block, and has length that is adjustable to selectively vary a distance between the block and the holding assembly. The attachment element effectively secures the retainer block, holding the tube flange, to the holding assembly and connector, which is secured to the patients head, to prevent self or accidental extubation. A related method is provided.

Mekik F.,Grand Valley State University
Paleoceanography | Year: 2014

Sedimentation rate, bioturbation, winnowing, and calcite dissolution produce significant radiocarbon age offsets among multiple species of coexisting planktonic foraminifers and pteropod fragments. We compare the radiocarbon age of foraminifer species and pteropod fragments with estimates of percent calcite dissolved made with a sedimentary proxy (Globorotalia menardii fragmentation index - MFI) to delineate the effect of dissolution on radiocarbon age of foraminifers. Data from two core top transects on the Rio Grande Rise (RIO) and Ontong Java Plateau (OJP) and from down core sediments of varying sedimentation rates in the tropical Pacific (ME-27, MD98 2177, and MW91-9 56GGC) reveal that sediments with the greatest accumulation rates produce the least age offsets among coexisting species. Age offsets among coexisting foraminifers are about 3500 years on RIO, and 1000 years on OJP. Two core tops from RIO yield an age of the Last Glacial Maximum possibly due to mass displacement of younger sediments downslope. Foraminifer age increases with increasing dissolution and there is a consistent pattern of older foraminifer fragments coexisting with younger whole shells of the same species. The only exception is sediments which have experienced high dissolution where fragments are younger than whole shells. The age offset between fragments of G. menardii and its coexisting whole shells does not exceed the age offset among other coexisting foraminifer species in the same core tops. © 2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 215.37K | Year: 2015

This project will address the growing national need for improvements in undergraduate statistics education to enable a large cadre of Americas residents to acquire a deeper understanding of statistics in order to make informed decisions. A corollary is that statistical literacy is imperative for an educated complex society. Recently, much has been learned about the teaching and learning of undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, and one of the recommendations in STEM education is to foster active learning in the classroom. In line with this, education researchers in the STEM disciplines also have long noted that language often poses a barrier for students studying science. With funding from the NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education Program, the project investigators will create and study a collection of research-based activities and corresponding materials for first-year undergraduate statistics courses. These activities and materials will be designed to have high impact on student learning, while requiring little time for an instructor to adopt and implement. These High Impact Little Time (HILT) activities and materials also will focus on breaking down language and jargon barriers in statistics in the process. Following a recommendation from the 2012 National Research Council Report on Discipline-Based Education Research, the project will bring together a multidisciplinary research team of statisticians, discipline-based statistics education researchers, and an expert evaluator with background in assessment and faculty development to guide improvements in learning and instruction in introductory statistics courses.

The goals of this project are to: (1) develop a set of research-based HILT activities for addressing issues in student learning of statistics related to language use; (2) generate evidence-based knowledge of the effects these activities have on student learning in statistics; (3) create an interactive professional development instructional model in statistics education that can be widely disseminated; and (4) produce the basis for a web-repository designed not only to disseminate the HILT activities, but also to contain the functionality necessary to promote and sustain the success of the professional development model. The researchers will employ a mixed methods methodology to determine (a) to what extent the implementation of the HILT language activities promote student learning in statistics and (b) the instructional approaches which are effective for developing or improving student learning outcomes in statistics. Quantitative data will be used to determine the extent of differences in student learning, and fhs data will be collected via the administration of the Comprehensive Assessment of Outcomes of a first Statistics Course (CAOS). The project team will also collect qualitative data via the Lexical Ambiguity Instrument (LAI), which will be finalized as part of the project. Data will be collected and analyzed from both students who are exposed to the HILT activities and those who are not.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: I-Corps | Award Amount: 50.00K | Year: 2016

The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is to solve problems for customers in research and therapeutics that rely on the generation of dopamine neurons. Our technology significantly increases the efficacy of dopamine neuron generation over current methods. This I-Corps project will increase our understanding of how our technology can be developed into a product that best suits customer needs. Customers may either directly work, or supply reagents to those who work in areas including Parkinson?s disease, schizophrenia, depression and drug addiction. Translational and clinical studies that rely on generation of dopamine neurons are hindered by the high cost and scarcity of biologic components required to generate dopamine neurons. These restrictions put a strain on research resources and prevent the potential scaling of dopamine neuron production for therapies, such as cell replacement therapies for Parkinsons disease. Reducing these limitations may profoundly affect the speed at which new treatments and therapeutics can be developed.

This I-Corps project will define the essential components and features of our technology that our customers need for their projects. The dopamine neurons that our customers use are generated by differentiation from neural stem cells, human embryonic stem cells and/or induced pluripotent stem cells and require multiple steps, expensive components and produce variable efficiency between attempts. Most of these approaches use genetic or biologic factors that have previously been characterized and demonstrated to influence dopamine neuron production. This technology uses a unique, modified factor that can drive the highly efficient (>90%) conversion of neural progenitors in a living embryo into cells that have multiple hallmarks of dopamine neurons or their progenitors. These robust results indicate great potential for the technology to be translated into a product that meets customer needs, such as the generation of dopamine neurons by human embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells as well as by neural progenitors. This I-Corps project will help transform this unique technology into a product that users can apply to solve some of the most challenging neurological problems.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Biological Anthropology | Award Amount: 26.50K | Year: 2016

Using scent to communicate is common in primates and even can occur in humans. Yet research on primate olfaction (sense of smell) lags behind studies of other senses such as vision and hearing. Understanding how scents communicate information, what reactions they produce, and how this information is chemically communicated, can improve our understanding of primate behaviors and motivation. In order to measure and characterize primate scents, researchers have used laboratory methods that require large, high-cost equipment and sample preservation during shipment from a field site. In this high-risk project, the investigators will test a portable field method for characterizing the chemical composition of scents in real time. If the field method is feasible, it will allow new avenues of research that could advance the understanding of olfactory communication in primates and other mammals. This project will promote international collaboration between US and Brazilian researchers, and support student training at a US institution with a high number of first generation college students.

Laboratory-based gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) has been the standard method for quantifying the chemical composition of primate scents. In this high-risk project, the investigators will explore the potential and feasibility of a portable, in-field GC-MS method to characterize the chemical composition of scent marks for wild common marmoset monkeys in Brazil. Development of a field method would mitigate the expense and challenges associated with long-distance transport of samples, and allow for data collection on how scent cues change over time in their original context and the resulting reaction by recipients of the scent mark.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: GEOBIOLOGY & LOW TEMP GEOCHEM | Award Amount: 40.99K | Year: 2016

For most of Earths history, oxygen (O2) levels in the atmosphere and oceans were too low to support plant and animal life. Cyanobacteria are microorganisms that were responsible for oxygenating the atmosphere by producing O2 via photosynthesis, thus enabling life as it is exists today. However, the specific factors that drove the rise of oxygen in the atmosphere are unknown. In particular, little is known about the controls on cyanobacterial O2 production under the low-O2, sulfide-rich conditions that were widespread during Earth?s progressive oxygenation. This project will study the interplay between, light, hydrogen sulfide, O2 production, and microbiology in modern cyanobacterial mats that thrive under conditions that mimic those of the early Earth. The research and results will be integrated into efforts to recruit, support, and retain underrepresented students in the geosciences in an effort aimed at diversifying the workforce. In order to disseminate lessons learned, results of this outreach effort will be shared with the public through the visitor center at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, presented at conferences and published in an education journal. Finally, this interdisciplinary project will establish a close international scientific collaboration between the U.S. and Germany.

This project will investigate geobiological controls on oxygen (O2) production by cyanobacterial mats under low-O2 and sulfidic conditions. Three central questions will be addressed to reveal the coupled microbial and geochemical processes. First, how do light and sulfide and their interactions control the balance of oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis? Second, how are the observed shifts in these photosynthetic modes underpinned by metabolic pathways and activity of different cyanobacterial populations? Third, how do these photosynthetic modes affect the rate of sulfide production, which could represent a feedback on the balance of oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis? The overall goal of the integrated approach behind addressing these questions is to reveal specific microbial populations, metabolic pathways, and geochemical processes that underpin mat biogeochemistry. Controlled experiments in mesocosms will be used to track rates of oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis as a function of light, sulfide, and mat structure over a diel cycle. In parallel, state-of-the-art omics approaches will provide an unprecedented view of the dynamics of metabolic pathways in these microbial communities at the level of DNA, RNA, and protein. The same experimental framework will be used to measure the metabolic activity of sulfate reducing bacteria under oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis across the diel cycle. These ex situ experiments will be rooted in reality via field investigations and direct measurements of mats in situ for parallel microprofiling of changes in geochemical parameters, assessment of metabolic processes, and proteomic analyses. More broadly, this project will advance the understanding of microbial geochemistry by forming an interdisciplinary team with diverse expertise to link geochemical processes to microbial populations and metabolic pathways with unprecedented resolution at the level of DNA, RNA, and protein.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: RSCH EXPER FOR UNDERGRAD SITES | Award Amount: 264.29K | Year: 2015

This REU Site award to Grand Valley State University, located in Muskegon, Michigan, will support the training of 10 students for 10 weeks during the summers of 2015-2017. The program emphasizes two themes: understanding freshwater systems and their catchments, and applying quantitative methods in research. Its main components are individual student-oriented research projects, faculty mentoring, peer interactions, development of communication skills, and development of quantitative skills. Students also will receive training in the ethics of science and responsible conduct of research, use of library resources, career planning, and resume writing. Research areas include lake and stream metabolism, carbon and nutrient biogeochemistry, transformative/comparative immunology of freshwater organisms, molecular ecology, fish population dynamics, harmful algal blooms, environmental chemistry, remote sensing, watershed analysis, and more. Research equipment available to students includes, for example, a monitoring buoy on Muskegon Lake, flow cytometer, gene sequencer, analytical instruments for environmental chemistry, and indoor mesocosm facility. The summer program concludes with a research symposium where students present their findings. Program success will be evaluated using both the BIO REU common assessment tool and an external evaluator. The program is open to all bright, adequately prepared undergraduates throughout the nation, with extra emphasis on recruiting from groups underrepresented in the biological sciences. Student applications are completed online at the website listed below and include evidence of adequate academic preparation, an essay, and a faculty letter of recommendation.

It is anticipated that over the 3-year period of the grant, a total of 30 students primarily from schools with limited research opportunities, will be trained in the program. Students will learn how research is conducted, and many will present the results of their work at scientific conferences.

A common web-based assessment tool used by all REU programs funded by the Division of Biological Infrastructure (Directorate for Biological Sciences) will be used to determine the effectiveness of the training program. Students are required to be tracked after the program and must respond to an automatic email sent via the NSF reporting system. More information is available by visiting or by contacting the PI (Dr. James McNair at or the co-PI (Dr. Kevin Strychar at

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: AON IMPLEMENTATION | Award Amount: 112.00K | Year: 2014

The International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) was chartered in 1990 to test the effects of increased temperature on tundra plant phenology, growth, species composition and ecosystem function. Since 2007, the ITEX-Arctic Observatory Network (ITEX-AON) has continued and expanded on the ITEX program across a latitudinal transect of five sites in Alaska and Greenland, collecting core ITEX data specifically designed to address the current needs outlined in the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) Implementation Report. The goal of this effort is to maintain the continuity of the temporally-critical datasets of the ITEX-AON in Alaska and Greenland. Core datasets include the long-term manual observations of phenology, vegetation structure and composition, ecosystem function, and surface properties on the long-term ITEX control and experimental warming plots, repeat measurement of the vegetation plots on the 1km2 ARCSS grids, and a multifactor warming-moisture experiment in Greenland. The simultaneous measurement of multiple surface properties at the small scale has allowed detection of relationships not previously recognized, e.g., in moss-dominated areas of the intensive transects, higher albedo is linked to higher temperatures. Continuation of these measurements is imperative because increasing evidence points towards the critical importance of carry-over effects of the previous growing seasons on current and future responses and the inherent variability in the system precluded determination of the system response on the basis of a few years. Data from this project are freely available on the ACADIS website. The project will continue extensive outreach activities established in the initial phase, including strong relationships between the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (FTBG) and the GVSU Regional Math and Science Center and school systems in Miami, Anchorage, Grand Rapids, and El Paso.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: AON IMPLEMENTATION | Award Amount: 304.44K | Year: 2016

Arctic ecosystems are changing in response to arctic warming, which is proceeding more than twice as fast as the global average. The International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) was established in the early 1990s to understand the effects of warming and environmental variability on tundra vegetation properties and ecosystem function. The ITEX program has been extremely valuable for detection of changes in tundra plant and ecosystem responses to experimental warming and to background climate change across sites that span the major ecosystems of the Arctic. In 2007, the Alaskan and Greenland ITEX sites were combined into an Arctic Observatory Network (AON). The current ITEX AON project will continue to document and understand Arctic terrestrial vegetation change and its ecosystem consequences by maintaining the long-term datasets of the ITEX-AON. The warming experiment of ITEX-AON allows us to assign the cause for observed changes in response to warming instead of relying on simple correlations. This project provides urgently needed data on changes in vegetation and the importance of these changes for ecosystem services from a variety of Arctic ecosystems. This project will provide training for postdoctoral, graduate and undergraduate students in the emerging fields of remote sensing, cybertechnology and big-data analysis. The project will include outreach activities through strong relationships with the CLEO Institute in Miami; the Grand Valley State University Regional Math and Science Center; and K-12 school systems in Miami, Anchorage, Grand Rapids and El Paso. All data from this project are and will be freely available at the NSF Arctic Data Center.

The core datasets of the proposed research include manual observations of phenology, vegetation structure and composition, and ecosystem function (carbon flux and nutrient cycling) on long-term ITEX control and experimental warming plots, repeat measurement of vegetation plots on the long-term 1 km2 vegetation grids, and a multifactor warming/moisture experiment in Greenland. In 2009, the sampling scheme was expanded to include a larger spatial component to amplify the value of the measurements collected. This expansion included the addition of phenocams, automated mobile sensor platforms, and medium-scale aerial imagery. The automated platforms measure a suite of vegetation surface properties with minimal effort across focal transects spanning strong moisture and microtopographic gradients at a near-daily frequency. These measurements capture the fine-scale changes in vegetation over the growing season that are missed by lower frequency manual measurements and provide a bridge between manual measurements and aerial imagery. Medium-scale aerial imagery, using Kite Aerial or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, is acquired throughout the growing season for scaling of manual and automated measurements; satellite imagery is referenced to medium-scale aerial imagery to aid scaling of responses to the regional level. In the newest phase of AON ITEX, we are particularly focused on understanding the relationship between landscape subsidence as a result of permafrost thaw and vegetation structure and function because of the potential for significant positive feedbacks to climate change.

Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 225.00K | Year: 2015

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer Research Phase I project is development of novel organic materials necessary to produce high energy density, low cost pseudocapacitors. The active material will be a single substance for both oxidation and reduction. This important property reduces cost and fabrication complexity. The synthetic route to the active material is short, and makes use of commodity reagents. Pseudocapacitors capable of delivering more than 10 Watt hours per kilogram at 5,000 Watts per kilogram will have significant impact on vehicle performance, especially for the heavy vehicles that operate at high power levels getting started, for intermittent renewable sources, and uninterruptible power supplies. The low cost and high performance in these new pseudocapacitors will have important commercial impact in the US manufacturing arena because their fabrication is readily adapted to the existing infrastructure designed for other organic electrical devices. This project is based on organic compounds with unprecedented voltage and redox stability. Because this active material can be both oxidized and reduced as a single substance, it has the unique advantage of not needing an asymmetric design. Asymmetric or hybrid design is used in capacitors to increase the voltage window when the redox activity is otherwise confined to a relatively narrow band within the voltage window of the solvent and electrolyte. This system has a large voltage separation between the oxidation and reduction half reactions without the need for balancing mass, and without fabrication of two different electrodes. The single substance advantage combines the best properties of the asymmetric design within a symmetric cell. The research group has prepared materials with high cycle stability and open circuit potentials of 2.8 volts. Our goal will be to demonstrate that the use of our novel organic electroactive materials can significantly increase capacitance of high surface area double layer capacitors.

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