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Poughkeepsie, NY, United States

Vassar College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York, in the United States. Founded as a women's college in 1861 by Matthew Vassar, the school became a coeducational institution in 1969. The College offers B.A. degrees in more than 50 majors and features a flexible curriculum designed to promote a breadth of studies.The Vassar campus comprises over 1,000 acres and more than 100 buildings, including two National Historic Landmarks and an additional National Historic Place. These buildings range in style from Collegiate Gothic to International, designed over the course of the college’s history by a range of prominent architects, including James Renwick Jr., Eero Saarinen, Marcel Breuer, and Cesar Pelli. Vassar's Thompson Memorial Library, designed by Francis R. Allen, is a Federal depository library. A designated arboretum, the campus features more than 200 species of trees, a native plant preserve, and a 400-acre ecological preserve. A new science building is under construction, with plans to be completed in 2015.Vassar was listed in the 2015 annual ranking of U.S. News & World Report as "most selective" and was rated the 11th best liberal arts college in the nation and 6th for "Best Value". For the class of 2018 , the institution had an acceptance rate of 22.8%. The total number of students attending the college is around 2,400.The College offers many extracurricular organizations including student theater, a cappella groups, club sports, volunteer and service groups, and a circus troupe. Vassar College's varsity sports teams, known as the Brewers, play as part of the NCAA Division III and in the Liberty League. Wikipedia.

Elmegreen D.M.,Vassar College | Elmegreen B.G.,IBM
Astrophysical Journal

The onset of spiral structure in galaxies appears to occur between redshifts 1.4 and 1.8 when disks have developed a cool stellar component, rotation dominates over turbulent motions in the gas, and massive clumps become less frequent. During the transition from clumpy to spiral disks, two unusual types of spirals are found in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field that are massive, clumpy, and irregular like their predecessor clumpy disks, yet spiral-like or sheared like their descendants. One type is "woolly" with massive clumpy arms all over the disk and is brighter than other disk galaxies at the same redshift, while another type has irregular multiple arms with high pitch angles, star formation knots, and no inner symmetry like today's multiple-arm galaxies. The common types of spirals seen locally are also present in a redshift range around z ∼ 1, namely grand design with two symmetric arms, multiple arm with symmetry in the inner parts and several long, thin arms in the outer parts, and flocculent, with short, irregular, and patchy arms that are mostly from star formation. Normal multiple-arm galaxies are found only closer than z ∼ 0.6 in the Ultra Deep Field. Grand design galaxies extend furthest to z ∼ 1.8, presumably because interactions can drive a two-arm spiral in a disk that would otherwise have a more irregular structure. The difference between these types is understandable in terms of the usual stability parameters for gas and stars, and the ratio of the velocity dispersion to rotation speed. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Source

This article analyzes the interrelationship among resource consumption, sociospatial justice, and what is popularly known as global warming by interrogating the ecological footprint of professional geographers, especially in terms of their conference-going involving air travel. In this spirit, the article introduces and employs the concepts of ecological privilege (as well as its inextricably related antithesis, ecological disadvantage) and dys-ecologism as a way to understand the roots and implications of professional geographers' fossil fuel use and those of globally advantaged classes more broadly. To illustrate this, the article measures the flight-related ecological footprint of the 2011 annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) in Seattle, Washington. In doing so, the article examines how professional geographers, in the form of the AAG, have responded to their travel-related ecological footprint. It thus highlights the importance of scrutinizing the complex and dynamic interrelationships among consumption; associated socioecological benefits and detriments and their systemic manifestations; and hierarchy-related and power-infused categories of race, class, and nation-and their spatialities. © 2014 Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source

Elmegreen B.G.,IBM | Elmegreen D.M.,Vassar College
Astrophysical Journal

Tadpole galaxies have a head-tail shape with a large clump of star formation at the head and a diffuse tail or streak of stars off to one side. We measured the head and tail masses, ages, surface brightnesses, and sizes for 66 tadpoles in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (UDF) and looked at the distribution of neighbor densities and tadpole orientations with respect to neighbors. The heads have masses of 107-108 M⊙ and photometric ages of ∼0.1 Gyr for z ∼ 2. The tails have slightly larger masses than the heads and comparable or slightly older ages. The most obvious interpretation of tadpoles as young merger remnants is difficult to verify. They have no enhanced proximity to other resolved galaxies as a class, and the heads, typically <0.2 kpc in diameter, usually have no obvious double-core structure. Another possibility is ram pressure interaction between a gas-rich galaxy and a diffuse cosmological flow. Ram pressure can trigger star formation on one side of a galaxy disk, giving the tadpole shape when viewed edge-on. Ram pressure can also strip away gas from a galaxy and put it into a tail, which then forms new stars and gravitationally drags along old stars with it. Such an effect might have already been observed in the Virgo Cluster. Another possibility is that tadpoles are edge-on disks with large, off-center clumps. Analogous lop-sided star formation in UDF clump clusters is shown. © 2010. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. Source

Determining the impact of both environmental variation and developmental stage on plant-mycorrhizal associations is important, as both can shift the association along the mutualism-parasitism continuum. This study examines the effect of phosphorus level on the response of Allium vineale to mycorrhizae across all plant life stages, including plant fecundity and the relative allocation of resources to three different reproductive modes (flowers, asexual underground offsets, and asexual aerial bulbils). For A. vineale, the impact of mycorrhizae varies significantly with life stage, as an early growth depression at 1 mo was reversed by 15 mo, resulting in mycorrhizal plants having larger bulbs over all P levels and producing more bulbils and larger offsets than nonmycorrhizal plants at lower P levels. However the presence of mycorrhizae did not affect the relative allocation of resources among the three reproductive modes. These results emphasize the importance of long-term studies of plant-mycorrhizal interactions that include fecundity estimates. In addition, they indicate that spatial variation in nutrient availability in the field has the potential to shift the overall effect of mycorrhizae from beneficial to neutral, with greater benefits found in sites with lower phosphorus levels. © 2012, American Midland Naturalist. Source

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ECOSYSTEM STUDIES | Award Amount: 24.22K | Year: 2015

The breakdown of shed plant parts (liter) by microbes, called decomposition, is a fundamental ecological process integral to the flow of energy and cycling of nutrients in all ecosystems. Many earlier studies have described how the initial chemical makeup of litter relates to its decomposition rate. But much less is known about the later stages of decay, which are important for long-term stability of soils and ecosystems. If initial chemistry is not in fact related to long-term decomposition, as is usually assumed, then our understanding is much more limited than thought. This project takes advantage of a large set of archived litter samples collected from a wide range of ecosystems over many years. The investigators will combine existing data on litter chemistry with new analyses of these archived samples to explore more general patterns of litter chemistry throughout the entire decomposition process. This project will integrate research and education with undergraduates at the West Campus of Arizona State University that serves a very diverse community with a high percentage of first-generation college students. In addition, a decomposition module will be developed for K-12 teachers to use in Arizona middle and high school science classes. The investigators will take advantage of the multiple institutions involved to coordinate undergraduate student teaching and involvement in research, while centralized training at the University of New Hampshire will enable graduate students to learn new techniques in close collaboration. Finally, in addition to publishing results in peer-reviewed journals, a special session is proposed for a national meeting to engage a larger group of scientists in discussions of this important topic.

This project will determine whether diverse plant litter types maintain their initial chemical differences throughout decay, remaining chemically unique as often assumed, or if decomposing litter follows different chemical trajectories to either converge or diverge over the course of decomposition. Further, this study will determine how these patterns relate to decay rate and identify the local environmental drivers, including climate and decomposer communities, that may influence the patterns and temporal variability in litter chemistry during decomposition. The results of this project will help determine whether the suite of litter chemical characteristics known to influence decomposition follow consistent patterns throughout decay across a range of terrestrial ecosystems that includes forests, deserts and agricultural fields. It will help settle the issue of whether or not initial litter chemistry is the main determinant of decay rates. The project will also document and explain differences resulting from the many analytical methods currently used that should be taken into account in future studies. By leveraging existing data and a large set of archived litter samples, the new resources needed to achieve these objectives are greatly reduced.

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