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Saratoga Springs, NY, United States

Skidmore College is a private, independent, liberal arts college in Saratoga Springs, New York. Approximately 2,500 students are enrolled at Skidmore pursuing a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in one of more than 60 areas of study. Skidmore is currently ranked 37th in National Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News & World Report. Wikipedia.

Zingaro D.,University of Toronto | Porter L.,Skidmore College
Computers and Education | Year: 2014

Research has demonstrated that Peer Instruction (PI) is an attractive pedagogical practice in computer science classes. PI has been shown to improve final exam performance over standard lecture, reduce failure rates, contribute to increased retention, and be widely valued by students. In addition, a recent study using isomorphic (same-concept) questions found that students are learning during peer discussion and not merely copying from neighbors. Though this prior work is useful for evaluating peer discussion, it does not capture learning that takes place after peer discussion when the instructor further expands on the concept through a whole-class discussion. In the present work, isomorphic questions were used to determine the value of a PI question from start to finish: solo vote, group discussion, group vote, and instructor-led classwide discussion. The analysis revealed that the value of the instructor-led classwide discussion was evident in increased student performance over peer-discussion alone (raw gains of 22% compared to 14%). Moreover, the instructor-led discussion was highly valuable for all groups of students (weak, average, and strong) and was of particular value for weak students. Importantly, the largest gains were associated with more challenging PI questions, further suggesting that instructor expertise was valuable when students struggled. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

The anomalously low oxygen isotope ratio (δ18O values) of tropical cyclone rainfall can transfer proxy information about past tropical cyclone activity to stalagmite oxygen isotope records. Isotopically distinct stormwater reaches the growing crystal surface as a coherent slug, or after attenuation by mixing with isotopically normal vadose groundwaters. A high-resolution micromilled stalagmite stable isotope record from Belize shows that residual tropical cyclone water from Hurricane Mitch masked the oxygen isotope record of a major El Niño event. On decadal time scales, measured δ18O values are affected by changes in local tropical cyclone frequency. Despite the tropical cyclone masking effect, the structure of the "missing" El Niño event is preserved in the ATM-7 carbon isotope ratios (δ13C values). In tropical cyclone-prone regions, the fidelity of stalagmite oxygen isotope proxy data to recording background climate signals is modulated by temporal variations in local tropical cyclone rainfall, and the sensitivity of individual stalagmites to tropical cyclone masking varies with hydrology. Speleothem δ13C values, unaffected by tropical cyclones, can preserve the underlying structure of climatic variability. For low-latitude speleothems with C-O isotope covariance, intervals in which the δ18O values are significantly lower than δ13C values predict may indicate periods when local tropical cyclone masking of isotope-derived precipitation records is enhanced by greater infiltration of tropical cyclone rain. The temporal structure in stalagmite C-O isotope covariance has paleoenvironmental meaning that may be revealed by exploring factors associated with independent behavior in each isotope ratio, respectively. Tropical cyclone masking presents new challenges to paleoclimatology and a source of hypotheses for paleotempestology. © 2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Domozych D.S.,Skidmore College
Annals of botany | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: Analysis of plant cell dynamics over time, or four-dimensional imaging (4-DI), represents a major goal of plant science. The ability to resolve structures in the third dimension within the cell or tissue during developmental events or in response to environmental or experimental stresses (i.e. 4-DI) is critical to our understanding of gene expression, post-expression modulations of macromolecules and sub-cellular system interactions. SCOPE: Microscopy-based technologies have been profoundly integral to this type of investigation, and new and refined microscopy technologies now allow for the visualization of cell dynamics with unprecedented resolution, contrast and experimental versatility. However, certain realities of light and electron microscopy, choice of specimen and specimen preparation techniques limit the scope of readily attaining 4-DI. Today, the plant microscopist must use a combinatorial strategy whereby multiple microscopy-based investigations are used. Modern fluorescence, confocal laser scanning, transmission electron and scanning electron microscopy provide effective conduits for synthesizing data detailing live cell dynamics and highly resolved snapshots of specific cell structures that will ultimately lead to 4-DI. This review provides a synopsis of such technologies available.

Lopez H.H.,Skidmore College
Hormones and Behavior | Year: 2010

There is a bi-directionality in hormone-cannabinoid interactions: cannabinoids affect prominent endocrine axes (such as the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal), and gonadal hormones modulate cannabinoid effects. This review will summarize recent research on these interactions, with a specific focus upon their implications for motivated behavior. Sexual behavior will serve as a "case study." I will explore the hypothesis that ovarian hormones, in particular estradiol, may serve to release estrous behavior from endocannabinoid inhibition. Hormonal regulation of the endogenous cannabinoid system also affects processes that underlie drug abuse. This review will briefly discuss sex differences in behavioral responses to cannabinoids and explore potential mechanisms by which gonadal hormones alter cannabinoid reward. An examination of this research informs our perspective on how hormones and endocannabinoids may affect drug-seeking behavior as a whole and the development of addiction. © 2009 Elsevier Inc.

Howard R.J.,Skidmore College | Trudell J.R.,Stanford University | Adron Harris R.,University of Texas at Austin
Pharmacological Reviews | Year: 2014

Alcohols and other anesthetic agents dramatically alter neurologic function in a wide range of organisms, yet their molecular sites of action remain poorly characterized. Pentameric ligand-gated ion channels, long implicated in important direct effects of alcohol and anesthetic binding, have recently been illuminated in renewed detail thanks to the determination of atomic-resolution structures of several family members from lower organisms. These structures provide valuable models for understanding and developing anesthetic agents and for allosteric modulation in general. This review surveys progress in this field from function to structure and back again, outlining early evidence for relevant modulation of pentameric ligand-gated ion channels and the development of early structural models for ion channel function and modulation. We highlight insights and challenges provided by recent crystal structures and resulting simulations, as well as opportunities for translation of these newly detailed models back to behavior and therapy. © 2014 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

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