Oshkosh, WI, United States

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

Oshkosh, WI, United States

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is a public university in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA. It is part of the University of Wisconsin System and offers bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees. The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is the third-largest university in Wisconsin. Wikipedia.

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Organisciak D.T.,Petticrew Research Laboratory | Vaughan D.K.,University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh
Progress in Retinal and Eye Research | Year: 2010

By its action on rhodopsin, light triggers the well-known visual transduction cascade, but can also induce cell damage and death through phototoxic mechanisms - a comprehensive understanding of which is still elusive despite more than 40 years of research. Herein, we integrate recent experimental findings to address several hypotheses of retinal light damage, premised in part on the close anatomical and metabolic relationships between the photoreceptors and the retinal pigment epithelium. We begin by reviewing the salient features of light damage, recently joined by evidence for retinal remodeling which has implications for the prognosis of recovery of function in retinal degenerations.  We then consider select factors that influence the progression of the damage process and the extent of visual cell loss. Traditional, genetically modified, and emerging animal models are discussed, with particular emphasis on cone visual cells. Exogenous and endogenous retinal protective factors are explored, with implications for light damage mechanisms and some suggested avenues for future research. Synergies are known to exist between our long term light environment and photoreceptor cell death in retinal disease. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of light damage in a variety of animal models can provide valuable insights into the effects of light in clinical disorders and may form the basis of future therapies to prevent or delay visual cell loss. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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 (STTR) Phase I project proposes to develop cyanobacteria (blue-green microalgae) and photobioreactor (algal culture) systems that efficiently use sunlight, nutrients from wastewater, and waste carbon dioxide (CO2) to produce a sustainable, carbon-neutral source of isoprene. Isoprene is a high-value component of thousands of terpene products including synthetic rubber, pharmaceuticals, flavors, fragrances, oils, and biofuels, and has an annual market of $2 billion. Ingredients for flavors and fragrances, of which isoprenoids are a large part, are expected to reach $10 billion annually by 2017. Currently, almost all isoprene is produced from petroleum. Because of growing awareness of the dire impacts of climate change, the development of "carbon neutral" bioproducts and biofuels has become a global economic and security imperative. Renewable isoprenoids will be in demand as companies seek to mitigate their carbon footprints and improve their "green" credentials. Some bio-isoprene is being produced by microbial fermentation, but this still releases CO2, and no company currently produces isoprene photosynthetically. Thus, "photo-isoprene" produced by microalgae with energy from sunlight and carbon captured from the atmosphere or industrial flu gases will offer significant benefits for society and the environment as well as important potential for business development. This STTR Phase I project proposes to develop Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 cyanobacteria that use CO2, sunlight, and wastewater to efficiently produce a sustainable, "green" source of isoprene (C5H8), a volatile, high-value precursor for numerous terpene products. Cyanobacteria capture rather than produce CO2. Synechococcus 7002 is among the fastest growing algae on earth, tolerates extreme light intensities that are lethal to many algae, grows in saline waters at temperatures up to 45°C, and is readily amenable to bio-engineering. These features make Synechcoccus 7002 an excellent platform for growth on wastewaters in arid regions unsuitable for crops, and cost-effective carbon capture and "photo-isoprene" production. The plan is to use a modified 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol-4-phosphate (MEP) pathway of Synechococcus and optimized genes for isoprene synthesis to develop strains that continuously produce isoprene for weeks at rates much higher than any published for cyanobacteria. Commercialization will require further bio-engineering and photobioreactor design to maximize production and develop efficient isoprene capture. Phase I will: 1) integrate further genetic modifications to increase isoprene production 5-fold to convert 10% of captured carbon into isoprene 2) optimize photobioreactors for CO2 capture and isoprene production, and 3) develop a prototype system that captures at least 50% of the isoprene from the culture gas effluent.

Arbaugh J.B.,University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh
Internet and Higher Education | Year: 2013

This paper examines the relationships between the elements of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework, disciplinary differences, perceived learning, instructor effectiveness, and delivery medium satisfaction. Specifically, the proposed research examines whether disciplinary differences such as those proposed by Biglan (1973a, 1973b) moderate the relationships between social, cognitive, and/or teaching presence and online course outcomes. Drawing from the results of a two-year study of students in over 50 online MBA courses, we found that disciplinary effects moderated the relationships between facilitating discourse, direct instruction and perceived student learning. Disciplinary effects did moderate the relationship between CoI elements and perceptions of instructor effectiveness. As disciplines moved closer to "pure" or "hard" status, social presence became positively associated and cognitive presence became negatively associated with perceived instructor effectiveness. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ITEST | Award Amount: 134.40K | Year: 2016

This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase students motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) by engaging in hands-on field experience, laboratory/project-based entrepreneurship tasks and mentorship experiences.

The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh aims to conduct an Environmental Education Workshop for Wisconsin Institutions of Higher Education to support the improvement of environmental education instruction for preservice students in the states public and private teacher education programs. The objectives are to (1) develop a shared vision for what environmental education should be for all teacher preparation programs in Wisconsin; (2) produce 20 environmental education instructional activities for middle and high school preservice teachers that integrate traditionally separate disciplines; and 3) bring the strengths and expertise of faculty from different institutions together to collaboratively offer new learning opportunities about environmental education for students now and in the future. The project offers a 3-day, Environmental Education workshop to faculty from all 33 public and private teacher preparation programs in Wisconsin. Two individuals in different licensure program or content areas from each institution will be invited to participate (66 participants total).

The three- day workshop that will help determine a shared vision for how to include environmental education in teacher preparation programs (a legal requirement within the state) and produce deliverables (20 environmental education instructional activities) that may be used in programs for middle and high school preservice teachers.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 355.24K | Year: 2016

With this award from the Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) and support from the Chemistry Research Instrumentation Program (CRIF), Professor Brant Kedrowski from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and colleagues William Wacholtz and Sheri Lense have acquired a 400 MHz NMR spectrometer. This spectrometer allows research in a variety of fields such as those that accelerate chemical reactions of significant economic importance, as well as to study of biologically relevant species. In general, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (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. This instrument is an integral part of teaching as well as research performed by undergraduate students via independent student research and traditional academic coursework as well as researchers from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay.

The award is aimed at enhancing research and education at all levels, especially in areas such as (a) developing synthetic methodologies and applications for non-natural sterically congested amino acids; (b) synthesizing and characterizing organometallic charge transfer complexes with applications for solar energy or optically active molecular switches; (c) synthesizing and studying organometallic catalysts for carbon dioxide reduction; (d) synthesizing a potent electron transport chain inhibiting molecule stigmatellin and its analogues; (e) developing materials for organic solar cell applications; (f) developing inexpensive photovoltaics for energy harvesting; (g) analyzing natural carotenoid pigments isolated from local bacteria; and (h) synthesizing and characterizing a phosphatase inhibitor analogue.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: PETROLOGY AND GEOCHEMISTRY | Award Amount: 108.98K | Year: 2013

The next volcanic super-eruption will have global consequences for humanity. During one of these large eruptions, the explosive potential and the amount of lava and ash erupted are largely controlled by what happens in shallow magma reservoirs in Earths crust. This project combines the study of frozen magma reservoirs trapped below-ground - plutons - with their associated above-ground volcanic rocks for two ancient super-volcanoes: the Lake City Caldera, Southern Rocky Mountain Volcanic Field in Colorado and the Turkey Creek Caldera in Arizona. The results of this study will provide unprecedented insight into processes occurring within shallow magma reservoirs that lead to super-eruptions, and ultimately will be applied to predict the behavior of potentially extremely hazardous active volcanic regions such as the Taupo Volcanic Zone, the Bay of Naples, and the Aegean Arc.

The hypothesis being tested is that the plutonic porphyries in both the Lake City Caldera and the Turkey Creek Caldera are the quenched magma reservoirs remaining in the crust following caldera collapse. If this hypothesis is confirmed, these porphyries provide a unique snapshot of the evolution and post-eruptive conditions of the mushy rootzone associated with a super-eruption. The methods that will be applied to the volcanic and plutonic lithologies are: (1) detailed field mapping of the plutonic porphyries and field sampling of the volcanic units, (2) geochemical characterization of all units, (3) quantitative investigation of primary and accessory crystals in all units using electron microprobe analysis (EPMA), laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), and electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD), and (4) high resolution U-Pb dating and trace element analysis of zircons (CA-TIMS-TEA) in selected lithologies. This multi-analytical approach to the sub-volcanic intrusions and overlying silicic volcanic units is applied to establish the genetic relationship between the large, zoned ignimbrites and their plutonic roots, and to unravel the processes involved in chemical differentiation of large silicic magma chambers.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: PETROLOGY AND GEOCHEMISTRY | Award Amount: 188.96K | Year: 2014

Subduction zones are important sites of volcanism, continental crustal growth, and mass transfer from the mantle, through the crust, to the surface. The Cascade Arc in western North America is located above a subduction zone and encompasses some of the most active volcanic sites in the contiguous US. Previous investigations of the evolution of magmas in the Cascades focused on large-scale complexities in geochemistry, using individual primitive (or mantle-derived) basalts that erupt there to characterize the mantle. However, the geochemical array of primitive basalts erupted in close proximity to one another suggests that heterogeneous mantle domains may exist on a much smaller scale than previously recognized. Furthermore, many basalts that fit the definition of primitive also have geochemical characteristics typical of some crustal or magmatic processing. The project will be conducted at two PUIs (University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and California State University, Chico) and will train 3-5 undergraduate students per year. The wide range of compositions and small area of the PLC will provide numerous small-scale research questions that can be answered with geochemical techniques, thus preparing undergraduate students for graduate study and careers in STEM. This work is transformative for its important implications for future work in the Cascades and other complex arcs where large-scale variations of a single volcanic center, across arc segments, and along entire arc systems are investigated.

The goal of this project is to identify and characterize small-scale heterogeneities in the sub-Cascadian mantle using compositional variations in a suite of basalts in the Poison Lake chain (PLC) near the Lassen Volcanic Center (LVC) in California. Detailed study of the geochemical variations in the PLC will shed light on the nature of mantle diversity beneath the LVC, the Cascades and other complex subduction zone systems. Given the restricted time and space represented by PLC primitive basalts (~110-100 ka and 50km2), this work is unique because it concentrates solely on the variable of composition. Proposed work focuses on two working hypotheses: 1) Small-scale heterogeneities exist in the mantle and are represented by those PLC basalts that have not been processed; and 2) a variety of post mantle processes can be recognized in other PLC basalts, which do not represent direct mantle melt compositions. Geochemical and petrologic compositions of the most primitive PLC basalts will be used to characterize heterogeneous mantle domains and the scale of chemical variation there (Hypothesis 1). Compositions of modified (less primitive) samples from the PLC will provide insight into crustal processes that may modify mantle melts on their traverse from mantle to surface (Hypothesis 2). In this way, the project will result in models that reflect the scale and composition of mantle heterogeneity and subsequent intracrustal modification processes based on a very isolated section of the LVC.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: IUSE | Award Amount: 99.00K | Year: 2015

OpenDSA is an open source project with international collaboration that has the potential to fundamentally change instruction in courses on Data Structures and Algorithms (DSA) and Formal Languages and Automata (FLA). By combining textbook-quality content with visualization and a rich collection of automatically assessed interactive exercises, OpenDSA helps students better understand the behavior of algorithms and their effects over time on data structures.

This project will scale up OpenDSA in a number of ways. The highly successful JFLAP software for interactive instruction on FLA will be redeployed within the OpenDSA framework using HTML5 standards, thereby increasing access. A wide range of colleges and universities will be involved in disseminating OpenDSA and assessing its impact on student learning, and OpenDSAs use in a number of innovative instructional settings will be explored. The OpenDSA infrastructure will be enriched, allowing instructors to tailor the materials to their specific classroom needs, and encouraging new content contributions from these instructors. A number of technical pedagogical experiments will be conducted, such as measuring the effects of augmenting content with audio narration in slideshows, and navigation through topics with concept maps. A study of how these materials can improve teaching in a range of courses for which relevant content was created. These efforts will have an impact on future active eTextbook projects by demonstrating successful ways to integrate content, interactivity, and assessment in an open-source, creative-commons environment by focusing on the effects on student learning of integrating content with visualizations and a rich collection of practice exercises with automated feedback. In addition, this project will study how using eTextbook materials affects the evolving pedagogical approaches of instructors of DSA and FLA courses and will experiment with new models of dissemination for open-source content in conjunction with commercial online content publishers.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: GALACTIC ASTRONOMY PROGRAM | Award Amount: 160.72K | Year: 2015

Half a century ago, scientists did not think that stars were continually forming in the Universe. We now know that the Universe consists of billions of galaxies, and many of them harbor regions of star formation. In the Milky Way galaxy we can study this process in unprecedented detail. According to the current theories, stars form in both turbulent and quiescent clouds of interstellar gas and dust. However, the details are still unknown. How exactly one generation of stars leads to the next remains to be determined through a combination of observation and theory. This project is focused on a detailed mapping of the structure of relatively nearby regions where stars form. This will allow us to spatially correlate the coherent groups of stars to the complex net of interstellar medium features and, therefore, further study their interactions. The project has been chosen specifically to introduce students to the nature of scientific investigation. Mapping the Milky Way and investigating how stars are born are ideas that students find interesting and accessible. Small parts of this project can be isolated as independent research tasks, which creates an inclusive learning environment for undergraduate students with different skills, aptitudes, and preferences. This first encounter with research opens the door to richer research experiences and could lead toward careers in science- and engineering-related fields.

The objective of this proposal is to reassess the structure and star-formation history of the major Galactic star-forming fields. Precise photometric parallaxes will be employed to correlate the spatial distribution of young massive stars to the surrounding structures of interstellar matter. The subsequent star-formation history analysis seeks to reach specific conclusions on still controversial issues, such as star formation hierarchy (clustered or triggered star formation) and multiple stellar generations across star-forming complexes. Interpreting the star-formation scenario within the Galactic disk is always problematic because of the many choices of tracer objects, varied observational approaches, and issues regarding the quantity, quality, and completeness of the observational data. To overcome this, new and existing data will be combined to produce a catalog of Galactic young clusters, OB-associations, and early-type field stars for which photometric parallaxes can be calculated. The catalog will be an excellent source of homogeneous distances and color excesses, and thus a reliable starting point in the study of the Galactic spiral structure to 5-6 kpc. The project is chosen not only for its contribution to the field of astronomy, but also because of its feasibility for faculty and students in a primarily undergraduate institution.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: RES ON GENDER IN SCI & ENGINE | Award Amount: 236.93K | Year: 2013

Intellectual Merit: This project is investigating the role of gender and ethnicity in how parents (mothers and fathers) solve science problems with their young daughters and sons. Few studies examine the influence of parents, and the combined effects of gender and ethnicity on science problem solving and interest. The researchers are examining how parent gender, child gender, and ethnicity affect science attitudes, problem-solving approaches (as well as parental help and encouragement) and the discipline of science problem that they prefer. The theoretical framework includes Vygotskys and Rogoffs sociocultural theories, Bronfenbrenners ecological systems theory and Bems gender schema theory. One hundred and fifty fourth-grade boys and girls and their parents (with a balance of Hispanic and non-Hispanic families) are observed while solving six life and physical science problems together. Qualitative data (from parent-child problem-solving tasks and a child attitude interview) and quantitative data (from parent-child problem-solving tasks, a child science assessment, and a parental questionnaire) are collected and analyzed using content analysis and inferential statistics.

Broader impacts: The research findings may assist researchers, parents and teachers to improve the participation and achievement of girls and Hispanic students in science disciplines. The dissemination plan includes presentations to professional audiences through conference presentations and publications, as well as brochures and websites for parents and teachers with advice about encouraging and assisting their students with science. Materials for parents will be made available to parent organizations, parenting magazines, libraries, and child care facilities. Brochures for teachers will be available to school districts, at local and national teacher conferences, and to pre-service teachers. This study is providing research training for both undergraduate and graduate students, and is being carried out by researchers in predominantly-undergraduate universities.

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