Archive for February, 2011

Hamilton Lab: Soil Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Interested in an opportunity to conduct scientific research in bioscience this summer? Dr. Hamilton will be researching soil microbial dynamics in soils from Yellowstone National Park and from local agricultural fields. The overarching goal is to elucidate the interactions between grazers, grasses and microbes that contribute to the ability of grassland systems to maintain primary productivity. This year, in collaboration with Dr. Humston’s lab, we will analyze the inputs of bacterial contamination from soil runoff in the Hays Creek Watershed. Sources of contamination from fecal waste originating from wildlife, agricultural, and human sources will be analyzed.

Methods: Spectrophotometric determinations of soil NH4+ and NO3-,soil and root respirometry, soil DNA extraction, PCR, quantitative PCR, Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism analysis, and DNA sequencing.

Laboratory: Analysis of archived samples from Yellowstone National Park experiments conducted in 2005-2008. Analysis of surface soil contamination of fecal bacteria in the Hays Creek Watershed.

Field: Local sampling of agricultural fields with the potential to travel to YNP (depends on funding)

Modeling: Utilizing a database from over 350 soil samples I would like to begin to model the processes of soil N-cycling in relation to microbial abundance and diversity.

Semester at Duke University Marine Lab: Opportunities for Education and Research

Becca Bolton’s Experience:

“Studying at the Duke University Marine Lab was probably one of the best decisions that I have made in my college career. It was a wonderful experience, and I would highly recommend the program to anyone that is interested. I learned so much about the marine sciences, and the program definitely heightened my interest in marine environmental issues. The atmosphere at the marine lab is extremely unique, and everyone on the island is very friendly and welcoming. The professors are great and all of my classes were interesting and a lot of fun. We were able to go out on the boats at least once a week, and I definitely gained a lot of experience working in the field. The program directors set up some fun activities for us to do on the weekends as well such as horseback riding on the beach, surfing, and sailing. You pretty much eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with the same people every day so we all became pretty good friends. It is a definitely an experience that I will never forget.”

Learn how to become involved:

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