Fargo, ND, United States

North Dakota State University

www.ndsu.edu
Fargo, ND, United States

North Dakota State University of Agriculture and Applied science, more commonly known as North Dakota State University , is a public university in Fargo, in the U.S. state of North Dakota. As of fall 2014, NDSU has 14,747 students and sits on a 258 acre campus. The institution was founded as North Dakota Agricultural College in 1890 as a land-grant institution. The university operates several agricultural research extension centers spread over 18,488 acres . NDSU is part of the North Dakota University System.NDSU offers 102 undergraduate majors, 170 undergraduate degree programs, 6 undergraduate certificate programs, 79 undergraduate minors, 81 master’s degree programs, 47 doctoral degree programs of study and 10 graduate certificate programs.NDSU is a comprehensive doctoral research university with programs involved in high research activity. NDSU uses a semester system – Fall and Spring with two summer sessions. The majority of students are full-time with 55% male and 45% female. Wikipedia.


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Vallavoju N.,North Dakota State University | Sivaguru J.,North Dakota State University
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2014

Using non-bonding interactions to control photochemical reactions requires an understanding of not only thermodynamics and kinetics of ground state and excited state processes but also the intricate interactions that dictate the dynamics within the system of interest. This review is geared towards a conceptual understanding of how one can control the reactivity and selectivity in the excited state by employing confinement and non-covalent interactions. Photochemical reactivity of organic molecules within confined containers and organized assemblies as well as organic templates that interact through H-bonding and/or cation-carbonyl/cation-π interactions is reviewed with an eye towards understanding supramolecular effects and photocatalysis. This journal is © the Partner Organisations 2014.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 587.52K | Year: 2016

This Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) in Engineering Site at North Dakota State University (NDSU) will enhance STEM education for rural students and their teachers, through exposure to the engineering field, a subject not generally taught in rural schools, within an agricultural framework. This Site immerses solitary STEM teachers, from North Dakota and western Minnesota, who are the only STEM teachers for grades 7-12 in their school or district in an intensive engineering research experience with an agricultural emphasis on biobased materials. The teachers will be introduced to a multidisciplinary approach to the design of new biobased materials and precision agriculture technology. Since the regions economy and way of life are strongly rooted in agriculture, the focus on solitary STEM teachers will be valuable to the educational community as well as having potential for nationwide impact on agricultural regions. By focusing the research and lesson plans on the theme of sustainability in precision agriculture and biocomposite materials, existing agricultural producing regions, like North Dakota, can increase teachers and students abilities to significantly contribute to the future workforce for producing enough food, fuel, and products for the next several generations.

This Site will offer an intensive six week summer research program for a total of 48 rural STEM teachers over three years that unites the development of electrical hardware and software with biobased materials for investigations in sustainable materials and precision agriculture. The research areas are chemistry, physics, and mathematics based, and are a natural fit for the economy of these agricultural regions. Research topics include: biobased resins and composites, testing and evaluating relevant software, and analyzing soil sensors, among others. Research will be conducted in teams with an in-service teacher being paired with a pre-service teacher. Teachers will work closely with Mechanical Engineering Department faculty mentors, post-doctoral assistants, and graduate students on assigned research projects. The proposed activities include 8 professional development days during the summer and academic year including pre-program, post-program, and follow-up workshops, along with ongoing and substantive interactions with graduate student mentors in classroom activities.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ENG DIVERSITY ACTIVITIES | Award Amount: 495.00K | Year: 2016

A goal of the Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) is to increase the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) instructional and research capacities of specific institutions of higher education that serve the Nations indigenous students. The PEEC-II track provides support for studies or educational research conducted by institutions that have had earlier Pre-Engineering Education Collaborative (PEEC) awards. The intent of PEEC-II is to capture, analyze, and disseminate the impact of these awards on the participating institutions, faculty, or students, and their communities. PEEC and PEEC-II are partnerships between TCUP and the Directorate for Engineering.

This collaboration among TCUP colleges Sitting Bull College (SBC), Cankdeska Cikana Community College (CCCC), Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College (NHSC), and Turtle Mountain Community College (TMCC), and North Dakota State University (NDSU), is the culmination of more than 15 years of active engagement in STEM education on North Dakota reservations. It builds on the foundation of their PEEC award which created formal partnerships, implemented student support structures at NDSU, and developed means to support pre-engineering coursework at remote tribal college locations through distance learning and support of tribal college faculty. The goals of this project are to 1) investigate and document the relationship between a new hybrid distance learning model applied to engineering education and its impact on recruitment, persistence and graduation of American Indian students, and 2) investigate and document the critical elements of the learning and support environments that can improve student success within engineering majors.

Along with creating sustainable and supportive pathways to engineering degrees for American Indian students, the broader impact of this project will come from the value of the distance learning model and its assessment, disseminated broadly, which can support STEM learning at the participating institutions as well as at other institution partnerships that are trying to improve pathways between rural or isolated schools and four-year institutions.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: ANIMAL BEHAVIOR | Award Amount: 390.00K | Year: 2016

In this project, the Drs. Dochtermann and Hedrick will study the evolutionary causes and consequences of correlations among behaviors. It is now well understood that the behaviors of individual animals are often correlated, and most previous research has focused on characterizing these correlations. Much less attention has been paid to understanding why behaviors are correlated. There are generally two explanations for why behaviors might be correlated. First, correlations might be present because particular combinations of behaviors have been evolutionarily favored (i.e. selection). Second, underlying molecular mechanisms,such as a single gene affecting multiple behaviors,might produce correlations. By comparing genetic correlations among populations, the PIs will attempt to see if selection has shaped correlations or not. Following this, the researchers will conduct an artificial selection experiment with the aim of breaking apart behavioral correlations. This artificial selection experiment will provide additional evidence regarding the degree to which either of the above explanations might produce behavioral correlations. Moreover, this experiment will illustrate the degree to which behavioral correlations affect and constrain evolutionary outcome.

Although Behavioral Syndromes, among-individual behavioral correlations, are now well described across taxa, the evolutionary causes and consequences of syndromes are still poorly understood. The evolutionary causes of syndromes can generally be grouped into two classes of mechanisms: selection-induced linkage disequilibrium (SILD) wherein particular combinations of behaviors have been favored, and molecular mechanisms such as pleiotropy. These two classes of mechanisms have very different evolutionary implications. If molecular mechanisms such as pleiotropy underlie syndromes, then constraints may be placed on evolutionary outcomes which are not present with SILD (importantly, these mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, as both may jointly influence the expression of syndromes). In this project, the researchers will conduct population comparisons and artificial selection experiments to distinguish between these two classes of mechanisms. Specifically, genetic correlations and heritabilities of multiple populations will be estimated and compared relative to ecological variables. These comparisons can allow the detection of SILD if the populations differ such that selective pressures might favor different combinations of behaviors among populations. Follow up artificial selection experiments designed to break apart behavioral correlations will estimate the constraining effect of syndromes, and the ability of populations to respond to artificial selection will distinguish between SILD and molecular mechanisms.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 2.63M | Year: 2015

This project, Gateways-ND: Advancing Learner-Focused Instruction to Catalyze Student Success, will improve student learning by implementing an innovative and comprehensive model for the professional development of faculty and instructional staff at the college level. Project goals are to increase instructor use of evidence-based active-learning strategies and analytics that increase teaching effectiveness, to enhance student-learning outcomes, to increase retention in STEM fields, and to improve student attitudes toward STEM learning. The project will significantly improve the understanding and effectiveness of 150 instructional staff at North Dakota State University (NDSU) who, during the project period alone, will support over 12,500 first-year students in first-year STEM courses. Changing the nature of teaching and learning at NDSU will have a broad impact on the state and beyond by preparing future graduates with the STEM knowledge and abilities needed to meet state employment needs and able to grapple effectively with important economic and social issues that have an impact on North Dakota and the nation, such as oil and gas exploration, health care, and agriculture.

Gateways-ND will significantly improve the culture of STEM Education at North Dakota State University (NDSU), strengthen faculty teaching skills, and increase student learning outcomes and retention by providing professional development workshops, faculty learning communities, resources, and support for the faculty who teach gateway STEM courses. Faculty will learn to use proven active, collaborative, learner-focused pedagogy, and to utilize robust data analytics about student learning to guide their teaching. Faculty members will participate in a two-year professional development (PD) series, including a one-week intensive teaching workshop, monthly Faculty Learning Community (FLC) meetings, training in use of data analytics, mid-year follow-up, and a second year of advanced professional development. Gateways-ND research activities will examine relationships between high-impact teaching practices and improved student outcomes (i.e., learning outcomes, retention in STEM majors, and attitudes toward STEM learning). Project-based research will also examine faculty beliefs regarding teaching strategies before and after participation in professional development. Institutional cultural transformation will impact over 12,500 incoming students enrolling in gateway courses during the 5-year grant period.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: PERCEPTION, ACTION & COGNITION | Award Amount: 438.39K | Year: 2016

Vision routinely provides information about how to reach for and grasp objects in the environment. Can action similarly inform our visual experience of the world? The goal of this research is to determine whether the ability to reach out and grasp an object enhances visual information that helps people interact more effectively with their immediate surroundings. The research will also assess whether training to grasp objects in novel ways can influence peoples visual experience. An enhanced understanding of how the action of grasping might alter visual perception can inform the design of applications for handheld mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets and can help tailor interfaces to enhance user experience and safety. In addition, the project provides opportunities for high school students and Native American college students to become involved in STEM research (through the North Dakota Governors School program and the NSF-funded NATURE program).

How does the capacity for action shape visual cognition? Observers process objects that are within peripersonal space (objects they can easily grasp with their hands) differently than objects outside of their reach. A series of psychophysical experiments evaluates the hypothesis that changes in visual processing of graspable objects near the hands reflect an adaptation of the visual system to behavioral contexts. Dr. Thomas will examine how grasp posture creates affordances for action that bias processing of action-relevant visual information. Visual biases associated with power grip and precision grip postures will also be evaluated in situations with differing visual processing task demands. Potential plasticity of alterations in visual processing near the hands will be evaluated by determining whether action-specific training alters how observers process action-relevant visual information. These experiments explore the potential influence of both bottom-up and top-down mechanisms that may contribute to altered vision near the hands and determine the relationships between visual biases associated with the planning of dynamic actions and those associated with static hand postures. More generally, the work evaluates the malleability of the relationship between body position and visual perception, attention, and memory.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ENERGY,POWER,ADAPTIVE SYS | Award Amount: 502.81K | Year: 2016

In this project, a novel Hybrid multiterminal DC (MTDC) grid technology is proposed that can be a potential game-changer in the integration of renewable energy, particularly wind energy from both the offshore and onshore locations. Voltage Source Converter (VSC)-based high voltage DC (HVDC) is preferred over the Line Commutated Converter (LCC) technology in integrating offshore wind energy, whereas onshore wind farms with a few gigawatts of capacity rely on LCC-HVDC in transmitting power over long distances. Point-to-point HVDC links, i.e. HVDC transmission systems with only two converter stations and a DC transmission line that connect wind farms to the AC grid can suffer from issues including curtailment of wind power, poor reliability, and instability of the AC-DC system following huge loss of infeed due to a single-point failure. To address these issues, a Hybrid MTDC grid with multiple LCC and VSC stations that will act as the backbone of the power transmission corridor for evacuating wind energy into the surrounding AC grids is proposed. Although much research attention has been focused on the VSC-based MTDC grid in the recent past, hardly any literature exists on the proposed Hybrid MTDC grid that addresses integration issues of onshore wind farms with LCC-HVDC. For example, fundamental insight is yet to be developed to comprehend the control interactions that determine the frequency in such systems where wind farms are connected to an LCC-HVDC terminal in a weak AC grid. Moreover, there are complex operational challenges in such grids like power sharing issues following converter outage and problems due to the MTDC grid acting as a firewall and, thereby, decoupling the frequency support that is naturally available in traditional AC systems. To address these challenges, transformative ideas of system modeling, autonomous power sharing control, and frequency support strategy in Hybrid MTDC grids have been proposed that will substantially increase renewable penetration without compromising system reliability. In absence of any school in the nation that offers courses on HVDC and without a US manufacturer, this project is expected to contribute to the US efforts in this field. Graduate students working on this project will visit the Manitoba HVDC Research Center on a bi-annual basis to gain international research exposure. This program will promote teaching, training and learning of HVDC in the graduate program and renewable energy integration in the undergraduate program. To cultivate interest of K-12 students in power and energy systems, this project will conduct two STEM workshops in the West Fargo School district and a summer camp at NDSU, each year in coordination with the NDSU Engineering Outreach Office.

This project will develop a transformative approach that will establish a novel dynamic modeling philosophy in a frequency-dependent synchronous framework for Hybrid MTDC grids that interconnect inverter-interfaced offshore and onshore wind farms to the surrounding AC systems. Using this framework, a fundamental insight on the interaction among the weak AC system with low inertia and the controls of the LCC-HVDC terminal and the wind farm will be developed through an eigenvalue sensitivity-based approach. A novel adaptive autonomous control strategy and a novel emulative frequency support scheme of the surrounding AC systems from the offshore and onshore wind farms will also be pursued in the project.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: SEDIMENTARY GEO & PALEOBIOLOGY | Award Amount: 101.81K | Year: 2017

Predation is an important driver of ecological structure in modern shallow marine ecosystems, but the development of modern predator-prey dynamics in past oceans are poorly understood. Many of the most important modern marine predators and their prey animals appeared during the Late Triassic, about 228 ? 202 million years ago. This research will examine the role of predator-prey interactions in building modern-style ecological systems during this time of dramatic environmental change. Student mentorship groups comprised of undergraduates and students from nearby tribal high schools will develop research projects to solve environmental problems using the skills learned as part of the present study.

The goal of the present research is to quantify the antagonistic relationships between predator and prey taxa from three distinct marine regions during the Late Triassic. Series of fossiliferous bulk samples will be collected from regions in Nevada, Italy, and New Zealand to determine geographic patterns of predator occurrence and abundance, coupled with abundance and morphological pattern data for prey groups. In order to create a temporally- and spatially-resolved faunal dataset reflecting shifting ecological relationships, the three fossiliferous bulk sample sequences will be correlated to each other and to recognized geologic events using multiple chronostratigraphic methods. Paleoecological niche modeling will be used to test the concept of escalation in this predator-prey system, thus allowing for an evaluation of the role of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors in ecological function and health. Results will be made available through public databases, publications, and presentations at conferences by student researchers.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Physiolg Mechansms&Biomechancs | Award Amount: 673.61K | Year: 2016

Growth rate and the timing of when growth stops determine body size, an important trait for survival and reproduction. The cues that stop growth are not fully understood, even in well-studied model species. Solitary bees provision their offspring, restricting the food available for larval growth. Experiments indicate that the complete consumption of these provisions induces metamorphosis. Studying the cues to metamorphosis in solitary bees provides a unique opportunity to physiologically compare individuals of the same age and size that either have or have not transitioned to metamorphosis. The proposed research will investigate (1) whether the hormonal cues underlying starvation-triggered metamorphosis in solitary bees are the same as those found in insects that metamorphose upon reaching a particular size, (2) how variation in the timing of metamorphosis predicts body size variation in natural populations and different bee species, and (3) how the determinants of adult size in bees shape differences between queens and workers in honeybees. Bee body size predicts pollination performance, and a physiological understanding of body size control has direct implications for pollinator health and performance in both natural and managed bee species, whether solitary or social. Undergraduates, graduate students and a postdoctoral fellow will participate in this research, and K-12 learning modules on pollinator life cycles will be developed.

Body size is an important organismal trait that correlates with most aspects of performance and fitness. In determinant-growing organisms, body size becomes fixed at maturation; therefore the mechanisms regulating maturation also influence size variation among individuals. Insects grow as larvae until attainment of a critical weight, at which point the mechanisms regulating metamorphosis are irreversibly initiated. This established model of body size control may not be generalizable to species with larval ecologies that differ from model insect species. Preliminary data demonstrate that completely consuming the larval provision initiates metamorphosis in the solidary bee Osmia lignaria. This result challenges the existing conceptual model for insect body size by suggesting that the critical weight is not a universal trait in insects. The proposed research will address three central aims: 1) characterizing the physiological regulation of metamorphosis in the solitary bee Osmia lignaria, 2) characterizing factors determining body size variation among populations and species of solitary bees that share similar larval ecologies; and 3) testing the degree to which diet quantity contributes to caste differences in eusocial bees. These mechanisms have the potential to explain much of the body size variation observed among Hymenopterans. Finally, the proposed research will develop a mechanistically explicit understanding of body size determination for bees, which are key pollinators for natural and managed ecosystems. A deeper, mechanistic understanding of body size variation may yield insights into improving pollinator health at the scale of individuals or even populations. Results from these studies will be disseminated in peer reviewed journals and through presentations at scientific meetings.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: IUSE | Award Amount: 475.84K | Year: 2016

North Dakota State University will conduct a summer research program to engage 30 undergraduate students in collaborative, interdisciplinary research in STEM Education. This project will foster collaboration through faculty and peer mentoring and cohort building activities. REU participants will learn qualitative and quantitative research methods, scientific communication skills, and become familiar with career paths in STEM Education. The ultimate goal of this project is to promote the matriculation of talented students to graduate programs in what is referred to as discipline-based education research (DBER). This project builds on a prior NSF award that has produced publishable results in the area of DBER.

Through this project REU students will be able to select from a wide variety of undergraduate research projects that pose important questions about the nature of assessment, reasoning, and the impact of learning assistants, crossing many STEM disciplines. The students will prepare for their research experience by reading and discussing assigned papers and participating in IRB training (both done online) before they arrive at the REU site. The benefit of this prior, virtual mentoring will be twofold; the students will receive essential training in education research, an area that may not be familiar to them and they will begin to build relationships with their research mentors. During the project the students will participate in a well-structured professional development seminar through which they will address ethical practices, careers in STEM, and pathways to graduate school. Formative evaluation will provide feedback necessary to refine the project each year through information gathered from entrance and exit surveys, the Survey of Undergraduate Research Experiences, the Experimental Design Ability Test, and interviews with students. Summative evaluation activities will include REU student exit interviews, an exit survey, and tracking of students career trajectories through follow-up surveys.

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