State College, PA, United States
State College, PA, United States

Susquehanna University is a four-year, co-educational, private liberal arts university in Selinsgrove, in central Pennsylvania, United States. The University is situated in the Susquehanna Valley approximately 50 miles north of Pennsylvania's state capital, Harrisburg.The academic programs fall into either the School of Arts and science or the AACSB International accredited Sigmund Weis School of Business. Susquehanna University enrolls more than 2,200 undergraduate students from 35 states and 17 countries, and maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 12 to 1. A large majority of students live on campus all four years and as of 2012, all students participate in a cross-cultural study away or service learning experience known as the GO Program. Noteworthy alumni include several Pennsylvania political representatives and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.The University was founded in 1856 by Benjamin Kurtz as the Lutheran based Missionary Institute paired with a sister college, the Susquehanna Female College. When the sister college closed in 1873, the missionary institute became co-educational, and in 1895 it became a four-year school renamed Susquehanna University. The school's 325 acres sit in rural Pennsylvania and house 39 residential buildings, 6 academic buildings, a library, athletic facilities, a health center, and several administrative buildings. Wikipedia.

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Straub K.H.,Susquehanna University
Journal of Climate | Year: 2013

Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) initiation in the real-time multivariate MJO (RMM) index is explored through an analysis of observed case studies and composite events. Specific examples illustrate that both the dates of MJO initiation and the existence of the MJO itself can vary substantially among several well-known MJO indices, depending on whether the focus is on convection or circulation. Composites of "primary" MJO initiation events in which the RMM index rapidly increases in amplitude from a non-MJO state to an MJO state are presented and are supplemented by two case studies from the 1985/86 winter season. Results illustrate that, for primary MJO initiation events in the Indian Ocean (RMM phase 1), slowly eastwardpropagating 850-hPa (200 hPa) easterly (westerly) anomalies over the Indian Ocean precede the amplification of the RMM index by at least 10 days, while suppressed convection over the western Pacific Ocean precedes the amplification by 5 days. These "local" Eastern Hemispheric predecessor signals are similar to those found in successive (well established) MJO events but are not captured by the global-scaleRMMindex because of their smaller zonal scale. The development of a primary MJO event is thus often transparent in the RMMindex, since it occurs on scales smaller than zonal wavenumber 1, particularly in convection. Even when the RMM index is altered to respond to convection only, the same local precursor signals are found. Both composites and case studies suggest that, for primary MJO initiation events in the Indian Ocean, the development of global-scale circulation anomalies typically precedes the onset of large-scale deep convection. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.

Heuer M.,Susquehanna University
Business Strategy and the Environment | Year: 2011

This paper explores the theoretical underpinnings of collaboration and ecosystem management in order to identify the relationships and processes involved in implementing ecosystem management programs through cross-sector collaboration. Ecosystem management requires a highly adaptive and resilient social-ecological governance approach, which addresses spatiality and temporality issues. In order to explore possible implementation issues with ecosystem management, propositions are developed dealing with adaptive governance, institutional isomorphism and collective action. The paper concludes with a discussion of the theoretic underpinnings involved in implementing ecosystem management through cross-sector collaborations. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 223.89K | Year: 2016

With this award from the Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) and support from the Chemistry Research Instrumentation Program (CRIF), Professor William Dougherty from Susquehanna University and colleagues Geneive Henry and Elizabeth Valentin have upgraded a 400 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer by equipping it with a new radio frequency console, a broadband probe capable of operating between -100 and +150 degrees Centigrade and a 24-position autosampler. The upgraded electronics for the spectrometer allows research in a variety of fields such as those that accelerate chemical reactions of significant economic importance, as well as those that allow study of biologically relevant species. In general, NMR spectroscopy is one of the most powerful tools available to chemists for the elucidation of the structure of molecules. It is used to identify unknown substances, to characterize specific arrangements of atoms within molecules, and to study the dynamics of interactions between molecules in solution or in the solid state. The results from these NMR studies have an impact in synthetic organic/inorganic chemistry, materials chemistry and biochemistry. The acquired probe acts both as a broadband and high-field probe which increases sensitivity. This instrument is an integral part of teaching as well as research performed by undergraduate students via independent student research and traditional academic coursework.

The award is aimed at enhancing research and education at all levels, especially in areas such as (a) understanding the influence chemical structure has on the redox properties of transition metal complexes; (b) studying the redox properties of first row transition metal complexes bearing sterically bulky trispyrazolylborate ligands and (c) isolating and spectroscopically characterizing natural products from Carex (grassy plants or sedge) and Hypericum species (herbaceous shrubs) growing in Pennsylvania.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: COMM & INFORMATION FOUNDATIONS | Award Amount: 187.45K | Year: 2014

The human vision system is able to recognize objects and understand the scene from the boundary of the objects alone. It is astonishingly robust so that it can sustain this capability under distraction by non-boundary points and sparse sampling of the boundary points. How the system achieves this feat is largely unknown. This project investigates how a computer can replicate it algorithmically. The problem is fundamental and closely related to perceptual organization and intermediate level vision problems. Thus, this research has the potential to impact a wide range of computer vision applications. Since the input (a small set of isolated points) is small compared to the whole image and has no color information, the algorithm is efficient, robust against changes in illumination and contrast, and applicable to any imaging modalities.

The main problem is to interpolate boundary points into a perceptually salient set of surfaces without being distracted by spurious non-boundary points. Interpolation by straight skeletons brings a time-reversible, multi-scale representation of a point set where salient boundary points tend to form a polygonal surface persistently while spurious non-boundary points tend to disappear quickly as the scale increases. Because of the time-reversible nature, a surface at each scale can be traced back to the original scale or the original point set. Thus, this technique can be used to form a set of salient surfaces from the original point set. This research develops a general purpose feature grouping algorithm using the straight skeleton interpolation and applies it to a number of intermediate vision problems in 2D and 3D domains. The investigator actively involves undergraduate students into the research and promotes STEM education in the northeastern part of the U.S.A through presentations, demonstrations, and outreach activities. The source code and toolboxes will be made publicly available and used to promote STEM education.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MODULATION | Award Amount: 550.00K | Year: 2014

Successfully reproducing organisms have evolved mechanisms for optimal adaptation to their prevailing environment, and some organisms preferentially exhibit behaviors, such as stockpiling food, that allow them to survive extended food shortages. For example, hamsters prefer to increase food hoarding rather than food intake in response to famine. Animals with these adaptations are likely to have an evolutionary advantage, especially in environments where food is scarce. In rodents, neural circuits in the brain that control feeding behavior develop during the last half of gestation, making maternal nutrition crucial during late pregnancy. In fact, maternal energy availability during pregnancy directly influences the development of offspring neural and hormonal machinery. However, we know very little about the mechanisms responsible for these developmental changes, especially in food hoarding animals. This work will contribute to the broad understanding about the effects of maternal nutrition on neural and hormonal mechanisms that regulate feeding, providing insight into feeding strategies adopted by offspring in response to variations in predicted postnatal environment. The educational activities integrate research and teaching efforts, develop a new major program in Neuroscience and provide a resource website for information about the PIs research and teaching.

This project addresses fundamental questions essential for understanding how gestational nutrient availability affects offspring ingestive behavior. Ingestive behavior consists of two phases: 1) the appetitive phase, consisting of foraging and food hoarding, and 2) the consummatory phase consisting of actual food ingestion. The consummatory phase (food intake) is well studied in rats and mice. The appetitive phase, however, has received comparatively little attention, even though those behaviors are common to most animals including humans. Unlike rats and mice, hamsters use appetitive behaviors extensively in their ingestive behavioral repertoire, and they use information about internal and external sources (i.e. both body fat and food hoards) of metabolic fuels to maintain energy balance. In addition, hamsters prefer to increase food hoarding rather than food intake during energetic challenges to maintain homeostasis. Preliminary data from this model indicate that male hamsters exposed to gestational nutrient restriction have increased food intake and reduced food hoarding, along with increases in plasma insulin, abdominal fat and hypothalamic neuropeptide Y, while females appear to be largely unaffected. These unique sexually differentiated findings, along with the lack of previous attention to gestational programming of appetitive ingestive behaviors increase the likelihood that the proposed experiments will make significant contributions to the field of behavioral neuroendocrinology. The broader impacts of this project include enhanced undergraduate student mentoring in research, development of a new laboratory course that integrates peer review and publication components, resources for a new Neuroscience major with an integrated K-12 outreach and development of a website describing the curricular innovations and neuroscience research at both general and detailed levels

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: Chemistry of Life Processes | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2012

In this Research at Undergraduate Institutions project funded by the Chemistry of Life Processes program in the Division of Chemistry, Dr. Geneive Henry, from Susquehanna University, will investigate the chemical diversity of Hypericum species growing in the state of Pennsylvania. The Hypericum genus (Clusiaceae plant family) consists of over 450 species distributed worldwide. The genus is known as a prolific source of structurally diverse natural products, possessing a wide range of biological properties including anti-HIV, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. The complex molecular frameworks and biological activities associated with some Hypericum natural products have made the genus an attractive source of scaffolds for the development of new synthetic methodologies, and lead structures for the development of combinatorial libraries. Approximately forty percent of the known Hypericum species have been investigated, leaving a rich source of chemical and biological diversity largely untapped. There are sixteen native and previously uninvestigated species of the Hypericum genus growing in the state of Pennsylvania. The objective of the research project will be two-fold: (1) to isolate and chemically characterize prenylated acylphloroglucinol derivatives, xanthones, benzophenone glucosides and flavonoids present in Pennsylvania Hypericum plants, and (2) to establish whether any chemotaxonomic relationships exist among these species.

The project will have fundamental impact on the chemical sciences, and could potentially impact the pharmaceutical sector, as it would provide complex bioactive natural products of interest to the synthetic chemistry community. The research activities will impact undergraduate student training and education in the following ways. Students will: (1) gain expertise in experimental design through hands-on research activities that will develop independence and confidence; (2) analyze data to determine the structures of complex organic molecules, thus developing problem-solving skills; (3) present data at scientific meetings and help with manuscript preparation, enhancing written and oral presentation skills. The acquisition of these skills will prepare students for careers in the chemical discipline. The research activities will also impact a wider audience through workshops designed to enrich the educational experience of high school students, and enhance the professional development of grades 6-12 teachers in the Central Susquehanna Valley.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 170.62K | Year: 2011

A reliable system for automated image understanding can have immense impacts on many applications including image search, video surveillance, autonomous vehicles, and robotics, to name a few. However, the progress of the technology has been slow compared to text understanding and speech recognition. The problem can be attributed to lacking ways of breaking an image into a set of meaningful components analogous to words in text and speech processing. This research will develop an algorithm to partition a digital image into such meaningful components efficiently and effectively. To reach the goal, the investigators focus on discontinuities in color and brightness often called edges and study algorithmic ways to group them and delineate objects found in the image. Undergraduate students will actively participate in interdisciplinary research involving computer science, mathematics, statistics, psychology and biology. The PI will also develop an interdisciplinary course that integrates cognitive, neuro, and computer sciences. The resulting source code, software tools, data, and visual materials will be made publicly available to promote STEM education.

More specifically, the study centers on two recent innovations developed by the investigators: semi-group smoothing with a matrix of linear filters, and successive partitioning of a graph with increasing complexity. The former is an affine commutative linear operator that is shown to be effective in extracting high-curvature points while robust against aliasing. It will be used to smoothen, partition, and characterize contour fragments. The latter generates a set of closed contours surrounding a focal point successively from a simple shape to more complex ones. Furthermore, the study investigates new context sensitive perceptual saliency metrics that quantify the importance of edges based on their surroundings.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: CLIMATE & LARGE-SCALE DYNAMICS | Award Amount: 61.05K | Year: 2011

Conventional climate models continue to struggle to properly represent large-scale tropical moist convective systems including convectively coupled equatorial waves) and the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO). Because these disturbances have global impacts on weather and climate through atmospheric and oceanic teleconnections, this casts a shadow of doubt on the reliability of climate prediction on different timescales ranging from intraseasonal to seasonal and longer.

This collaborative project has the goals of improving understanding of the dynamics of these disturbances, and enhancing the ability to simulate them by using a new Lagrangian atmospheric model that simulates atmospheric circulations by predicting motions of individual air parcels. Educational impacts of this project will include further development of climate modeling capabilities at Yale and Susquehanna Universities, which will benefit both undergraduate and graduate students by introducing them to cutting edge techniques in atmospheric modeling and convective parametrization. In addition there is a plan to educate the general public about the fundamentals of weather and climate modeling. Thus the project has substantial broader impacts.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ROBERT NOYCE SCHOLARSHIP PGM | Award Amount: 1.20M | Year: 2016

The Susquehanna University Noyce project addresses the need for highly qualified STEM teachers in urban and rural communities. It will prepare and support 25 physics, chemistry, and mathemtics majors to become highly qualified secondary education candidates for teaching positions in high-need school districts in Pennsylvania. Project objectives are to: recruit, retain, and graduate the Noyce scholars; to ensure they benefit from innovative best practices in STEM pedagogy; and to ensure they develop cultural competencies and the preparation needed to successfully teach in rural or urban high-need classrooms. The project emphasizes instructional practices that engage learners in inquiry-based learning activities and provides relevant and significant field experiences. An important component of the project is the emphasis placed on promoting cultural competencies related to linguistic, cultural, and economic diversity. Candidates develop these competencies through field placements, cultural immersion, and add-on certification as English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Specialists. Upon graduation and employment in Pennsylvania schools, Noyce scholars will be provided on-going mentorship through site visits and alumni retreats.

The Susquehanna University Noyce project will prepare the physics, chemistry, and mathematics majors through the following: An internship program that provides these pre-service teacher candidates with early teaching experiences incorporating systematic reflection, mentoring, and constructive feedback; field experiences that provide cross-cultural immersion in high-need rural or urban communities and are supported through systematic critical reflection; field experiences that prepare the candidates for working in economically, culturally, and linguistically diverse classrooms; courses that include best pedagogical practices for diverse classrooms, and optional ESL certification. In addition, the STEM educational methods courses will model and prepare candidates to utilize instructional activities characterized by inquiry, experimentation, collaboration, and interdisciplinary learning. Finally, during student teaching, Noyce scholars will complete action research capstone projects on their instructional practices. Data will be systematically collected on each element of the Noyce Scholars project, as well as on the holistic experience of Noyce scholars, to assess individual and cumulative consequences. Ultimately, the project will prepare STEM teachers with a sophisticated understanding of diverse and underserved students learning needs and deep knowledge about their content area and effective pedagogical approaches. Teachers who possess strong content knowledge, employ engaging instructional practices, and understand students and their communities promote greater student academic achievement and sustained interest than those lacking one or more of these capacities. When learners from underserved communities view their teachers as community members and/or invested in their communities, they are more likely to see themselves as capable of pursuing similar academic and professional paths. This project has the potential to positively impact surrounding high-need communities by increasing academic achievement, STEM engagement, and subsequent interest in postsecondary education and/or STEM-related careers. In turn, these project outcomes hold potential to expand the knowledge-base regarding the preparation of teachers to succeed in such high-need school districts. Susquehanna University has a commitment to actively recruit Noyce scholars from historically underserved populations (minority, low-income, and first-generation students) in order to increase the presence of relatable role models in mathematics and science.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 586.50K | Year: 2011

Susquehanna Universitys program Broadening Intensive Opportunities for Scholarship (BIOS) provides scholarship support for academically qualified, financially needy incoming undergraduates to persist to earn a Biology degree. Recruitment targets students from groups historically underrepresented in STEM majors, part of an ongoing priority in the university to increase the diversity of the student body. Each year a cohort of ten entering students is placed in common courses, including a pre-matriculation Bridge program and a first-semester seminar that addresses issues arising during the transition to college. Structured mentoring, alternative pathways through the major requirements, and opportunities for undergraduate research and internships all play important roles in enhancing students experiences both in and out of the classroom. Susquehannas commitment to the program is underscored by its willingness to provide continuing scholarship support after the first two years from university resources and by its support of faculty involvement in mentoring and special instruction. Faculty development is offered through a Center for Teaching and Learning, which focuses its programming on topics of interest to faculty, in this case the instruction of students from hitherto underrepresented groups.

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