Fulton, MO, United States

Westminster College, Missouri

Fulton, MO, United States

Westminster College is a private, residential, undergraduate college with a curriculum based on the liberal arts. Located in Fulton, Missouri, the College was established in 1851 as Fulton College. The National Churchill Museum is a national historic site located on campus and includes the Church of St Mary, Aldermanbury. The church, designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1667, was rebuilt on the campus to commemorate Sir Winston Churchill, who made his famous "Iron Curtain" speech at the college gymnasium in 1946. Mikhail Gorbachev gave a speech there in 1992, declaring the end of the Cold War. Wikipedia.

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Mousseau T.A.,University of South Carolina | Milinevsky G.,Taras Shevchenko National University | Kenney-Hunt J.,Westminster College, Missouri | Moller A.P.,University Paris - Sud
Oecologia | Year: 2014

The effects of radioactive contamination from Chernobyl on decomposition of plant material still remain unknown. We predicted that decomposition rate would be reduced in the most contaminated sites due to an absence or reduced densities of soil invertebrates. If microorganisms were the main agents responsible for decomposition, exclusion of large soil invertebrates should not affect decomposition. In September 2007 we deposited 572 bags with uncontaminated dry leaf litter from four species of trees in the leaf litter layer at 20 forest sites around Chernobyl that varied in background radiation by more than a factor 2,600. Approximately one quarter of these bags were made of a fine mesh that prevented access to litter by soil invertebrates. These bags were retrieved in June 2008, dried and weighed to estimate litter mass loss. Litter mass loss was 40 % lower in the most contaminated sites relative to sites with a normal background radiation level for Ukraine. Similar reductions in litter mass loss were estimated for individual litter bags, litter bags at different sites, and differences between litter bags at pairs of neighboring sites differing in level of radioactive contamination. Litter mass loss was slightly greater in the presence of large soil invertebrates than in their absence. The thickness of the forest floor increased with the level of radiation and decreased with proportional loss of mass from all litter bags. These findings suggest that radioactive contamination has reduced the rate of litter mass loss, increased accumulation of litter, and affected growth conditions for plants. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Unger I.M.,Westminster College, Missouri | Goyne K.W.,University of Missouri | Kremer R.J.,University of Missouri | Kennedy A.C.,Washington State University
Agroforestry Systems | Year: 2013

Vegetative filter strips (VFS) have long been promoted as a soil conservation practice that yields many additional environmental benefits. Most previous studies have focused primarily on the role of vegetation and/or soil physical properties in these ecosystem services. Few studies have investigated the soil microbial community of VFS. Therefore, we examined potential differences in soil microbial community characteristics of claypan soil planted to VFS with differing vegetation and a traditional row-crop system in a maize-soybean rotation. Samples were tested for soil microbial function and community structure using dehydrogenase and fluorescein diacetate (FDA) hydrolysis enzyme assays and phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis, respectively. The grass VFS soil exhibited the greatest dehydrogenase activity levels and FDA activity was greater in the grass and agroforestry (i. e., tree-grass) VFS soils relative to the cropland soil. The PLFA analysis revealed community structural differences underlying these functional differences. The agroforestry VFS soil was characterized by a greater proportion of total bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, anaerobic bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi than the cropland soil. The grass VFS soil shared some characteristics with the cropland soils; but the grass VFS supported greater mycorrhizal fungi and protozoa populations. This work highlights differences in soil microbial function and community structure in VFS relative to cropland soil 12 years post VFS establishment. It also enhances our fundamental knowledge regarding soil microorganisms in VFS, which may aid in explaining some ecosystem services provided by VFS (e. g., decomposition of organic agrichemicals). © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Goodfellow S.,Westminster College, Missouri
National Identities | Year: 2010

This article explores the relationship between regionalism and fascism in interwar Alsace. Although fascism is usually characterized as hypernationalist, the relationship between regionalism and fascism in Alsace suggests something more complex. On the one hand, French and German fascist movements sought local legitimacy by co-opting issues of regional identity. Hypernationalism would have fallen on deaf ears. On the other hand, the Alsatian Bauernbund, a regionally based fascist movement, adapted fascist principles to strictly regional aims. The goal of fascism, in this case, was not necessarily national. A better way to understand the range of fascist interaction with regional identity is to see fascism as aggressively espousing the politics of spatial identity in a political environment that generally downplayed ethnic, regional or national sensitivities. Fascism offered a hierarchy of identity or belonging that embraced the socially powerful relationships of family, region and nation. 2010 Taylor & Francis.

Concannon J.P.,Westminster College, Missouri | Barrow L.H.,Westminster College, Missouri
Journal of Science Education and Technology | Year: 2012

This study examines differences in women's engineering self-efficacy beliefs across grade levels in comparison to men's engineering self-efficacy (ESE) beliefs across grade levels. Data for this study was collected from 746 (635 men, 111 women) engineering students enrolled in a large research extensive university. Four major conclusions resulted from this study. (1) No significant differences in overall mean engineering self-efficacy scores were found by gender. However, this study found differences between men's and women's mean coping self-efficacy (CSE) and engineering career outcome expectations (ECOE) subscale scores. Freshmen men had significantly higher ECOE compared to upperclassmen women. (2) Overall, fifthyear men had significantly lower mean ESE scores compared to all other groups. (3) When the fifth-year group was removed from the data set, all first-year students had significantly lower subscale scores compared to all other years. In addition, men in their first-year of engineering had significantly lower subscale scores compared to other groups of men. (4) No significant differences in overall ESE scores were found among first to fifth-year women. Also, no significant differences in self-efficacy subscale scores were found among first to fifth-year women. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

McNett G.D.,University of Missouri | McNett G.D.,Westminster College, Missouri | Luan L.H.,University of Missouri | Cocroft R.B.,University of Missouri
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology | Year: 2010

Noise that masks communication signals can affect the evolution of signal form and decisions about when and where to communicate. For the many invertebrates that communicate using plant-borne vibrations, wind is considered to be the major source of environmental noise. However, the influence of wind-induced vibrations on signaling behavior has not been experimentally tested. We tested the hypothesis that wind-induced noise influences signaling behavior in a plant-feeding insect (the treehopper, Enchenopa binotata 'Ptelea') in which mating is preceded by a vibrational duet between females and mate-searching males. We first characterized the diel signaling patterns of males in the field to identify the wind conditions under which signaling typically takes place. We then experimentally tested two predictions of the hypothesis: (1) that males use gap detection to initiate signaling during relatively wind-free periods; and (2)that females respond less to signals given in the presence of wind-induced vibrations. Both predictions were met, indicating that wind-induced noise is an important influence on the behavior of insects that use plant-borne vibrations. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Concannon J.P.,Westminster College, Missouri | Siegel M.A.,University of Missouri | Halverson K.,University of Southern Mississippi | Freyermuth S.,University of Missouri
Journal of Science Education and Technology | Year: 2010

In this study, we examined 96 undergraduate non-science majors' conceptions of stem cells, stem cell research, and cloning. This study was performed at a large, Midwest, research extensive university. Participants in the study were asked to answer 23 questions relating to stem cells, stem cell research, and cloning in an on-line assessment before and after instruction. Two goals of the instruction were to: (1) help students construct accurate scientific ideas, and (2) enhance their reasoning about socioscientific issues. The course structure included interactive lectures, case discussions, hands-on activities, and independent projects. Overall, students' understandings of stem cells, stem cell research, and cloning increased from pre-test to post-test. For example, on the post-test, students gained knowledge concerning the age of an organism related to the type of stem cell it possesses. However, we found that some incorrect ideas that were evident on the pre-test persisted after instruction. For example, before and after instruction several students maintained the idea that stem cells can currently be used to produce organs. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Concannon J.P.,Westminster College, Missouri | Barrow L.H.,University of Missouri
Journal of Science Education and Technology | Year: 2010

This is a quantitative study of 493 undergraduate engineering majors' intentions to persist in their engineering program. Using a multiple analysis of variance analysis, men and women had one common predictor for their intentions to persist, engineering career outcome expectations. However, the best sociocognitive predictor for men's persistence was not the same for women. Men's persistence in undergraduate engineering was predicted by their abilities to complete the required coursework. Women's persistence in undergraduate engineering depended upon their beliefs in getting good grades (A or a B). In brief, women's intentions to persist in undergraduate engineering were dependent upon higher academic standards compared to men. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Amspoker M.C.,Westminster College, Missouri
Diatom Research | Year: 2011

Grunow first proposed the epithet Eunotogramma laeve in 1879 for specimens collected from North Carolina, USA and mounted on strewn slide no. 257 in the Cleve and Möller (C&M) exsiccatae. In 1882, he again listed E. laeve from material collected from Florida, USA and mounted on slide no. 320 from the same exsiccatae. Examination of C&M slides no. 257 and 320 from the Farlow Herbarium and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia with the light microscope (LM) reveals the presence of three Eunotogramma species on the two slides. Under the LM, the specimens on C&M slide no. 257 have areolate frustules, whereas the two species on C&M slide no. 320 have hyaline frustules. Given that there is no nomenclatural type for E. laeve, the areolate specimens found on the C&M slide no. 257 from the Farlow Herbarium are here designated as the lectotype for the species. © 2011 The International Society for Diatom Research.

Unger I.M.,Westminster College, Missouri | Goyne K.W.,University of Missouri | Kennedy A.C.,Washington State University | Kremer R.J.,University of Missouri | And 2 more authors.
Soil Science Society of America Journal | Year: 2013

Veterinary antibiotics (VAs) administered to livestock are introduced to agroecosystems via land application of manure, posing a potential human and environmental health risk. Recent evidence suggests that agroforestry and grass vegetative filter strips (VFS) may act to mitigate VA transport or enhance VA degradation; however, VAs may adversely affect soil microbial communities within VFS and thus alter the primary functioning of the VFS. The objectives of this research were to investigate potential changes in microbial community structure and function and to quantify the development of antibiotic resistance in VFS and no-till soils exposed to various VA classes and concentrations. Laboratory mesocosms were established using soils collected from no-till cropland and two VFS (grass and agroforestry). Soils were treated with oxytetracycline or lincomycin (5-200 mg kg-1 soil). Individual mesocosms underwent destructive sampling at nine time points during 63 d, and the soils were tested for soil microbial function (C-utilization, dehydrogenase, and fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis assays), community structure (phospholipid fatty acid analysis), and antibiotic resistance. Functional assays associated with all VA treatments showed an initial inhibitory effect, but this trend was generally reversed by the seventh day. Shifts in microbial community structure and increased antibiotic resistance were not observed, suggesting that the soil microbial communities were robust to the effects of oxytetracycline and lincomycin at test concentrations. This work indicates that using VFS to mitigate VA loss from agroecosystems will not diminish important primary functions associated with VFS use in agriculture. © Soil Science Society of America.

Mooney C.P.,Westminster College, Missouri
Tamkang Journal of Mathematics | Year: 2015

In this paper, we continue the program initiated by I. Beck's now classical paper concerning zero-divisor graphs of commutative rings. After the success of much research regarding zero-divisor graphs, many authors have turned their attention to studying divisor graphs of non-zero elements in integral domains. This inspired the so called irreducible divisor graph of an integral domain studied by J. Coykendall and J. Maney. Factorization in rings with zero-divisors is considerably more complicated than integral domains and has beenwidely studied recently. We find that many of the same techniques can be extended to rings with zero-divisors. In this article, we construct several distinct irreducible divisor graphs of a commutative ring with zero-divisors. This allows us to use graph theoretic properties to help characterize finite factorization properties of commutative rings, and conversely.

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