2011 Faculty Expo of Scholarship and Sponsored Research

researchimage.jpgThe 2011 Faculty Exposition of Scholarship and Sponsored Research takes place Wednesday, March 16 from 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. in the Commons. The Expo provides an opportunity for faculty to share the results of their research and scholarly activities with their colleagues, staff and students, and with the community at large. This event is open to all.

The faculty and a brief summary of their recent work includes:


EnACT~PTD: Ensuring Access through Collaboration & Technology ~ Partnerships, Technology & Dissemination

Emiliano Ayala-- Education ELSE

Brett Christie, Center for Teaching and Professional Development

Scott Severson, Physics & Astronomy

Janet Hardcastle, Education


With support from the U.S. Department of Education, EnACT~PTD has established an innovative faculty development program to support students with disabilities in attaining their postsecondary educational goals. Specifically, EnACT~PTD provides faculty across seven California State University campuses the skills, support, and training necessary to implement the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in higher education. To date, EnACT~PTD has trained over 750 CSU faculty and staff on the UDL principles. UDL offers a pedagogical context by which faculty members proactively consider their approach to teaching and learning to improve curricular access for all students.


For more information, visit enact.sonoma.edu.


An EnACT~PTD Multiyear Faculty Learning Community Focused on Universal Design for Learning

Scott Severson-- Physics & Astronomy

Denny Bozeman-Moss, English

Kirsten Ely, Business Administration

Cathy Kroll, English

Suzanne Rivoire, Computer Science

Brian Wilson, Music


The U.S. Department of Education funded EnACT~PTD program has established a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) at Sonoma State University. The FLC is focused on the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL is a pedagogy that promotes multiple ways of representation, engagement and expression in the classroom to improve access for all students. The program has a three-year duration for faculty participants, a unique implementation of the FLC process. This has promoted sustained changes in the classroom and fostered inter-disciplinary development of instructional techniques. In its final year, the FLC is disseminating the results of these efforts.


Predicting Nonviolent Success: Conditions or Skills?

Cynthia Boaz-- Political Science


What is happening in places like Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain, Belarus, Iran, and Burma and why are some of these struggles more successful than others? It is usually assumed that structural conditions- including favorable economic climate, ethnic homogeneity, history of democratic institutions, and thriving civic culture- must be met in order for a nonviolent movement to succeed. The role of nonviolent skills- organizing, messaging, strategizing, training, and promoting nonviolent discipline- is often downplayed. This research examines at the successes (and failures) of several recent nonviolent campaigns through the lens of "conditions versus skills" argument, and tries to assess whether structural conditions are as important as generally presumed or whether nonviolent skills and agency are actually more significant to the outcomes.


Dilmum Bioarchaeology Project

Alexis Boutin-- Anthropology


The Dilmun Bioarchaeology Project's goal is to study and publish the results of Peter Cornwall's 1940-41 expedition to Bahrain and eastern Saudi Arabia. The collection, which resides in the Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley, aided Cornwall in re-locating ancient Dilmun, a polity that ran along the western side of the Persian Gulf during the Bronze and Iron Ages. Since 2008, the DBP has been analyzing these skeletal and artifactual remains to understand the experience of commemorating death in Dilmun.


The role of signals linked to nitrogen anabolism in regulation of leaf gas exchange with respect to light

Thomas Buckley-- Biology

Christopher Cummings, Nicholas Steele, John Kim, Brandon Stevens (SSU Biology Students)


Leaf carbon gain and water loss increase and respiratory carbon loss decreases in light. These responses are poorly understood but may involve coordination by features of nitrogen metabolism sensitive to cellular redox poise. We hypothesised that stomatal responses to CO2 and light on stomata are mediated by by-products of anabolic nitrogen assimilation, and that suppression of respiration at low light arises as the reductant source for nitrate assimilation shifts from catabolic to photosynthetic sources. To test these hypotheses, we compared gas exchange in young vs mature leaves, and under nitrate vs ammonium nutrition.


Collaborative Autism Training & Support (CATS) Program

Lorna Catford--Psychology

Julia O'Brien, Phil Mendelson (SSU Students)


Students in the award-winning Collaborative Autism Training & Support (CATS) Program work directly with children with autism spectrum disorders & their families, plus regional autism experts, in a large community partnership that:


--Trains students and service providers to implement effective autism interventions

--Provides free direct care, respite, resources & family support

--Raises public awareness & understanding of autism.


Students have provided families with over 10,000 hours of support, researched and prepared print and electronic materials, and participated in SSU and community educational events. CATS also offers seminars and is creating a web site that includes on-demand videos and transcripts of autism seminars plus other resources.


Emergent Ethics in Qualitative Research

Kathy Charmaz-- Sociology


Qualitative inquiry does not always fit ethical guidelines for quantitative social science research, which assumes that investigators know their focus in advance. Instead, qualitative researchers study problems that they discover in their research settings. This project explores unanticipated ethical issues that may arise in qualitative research and identifies those situations that fit under research textbook ethical guidelines and those that do not. I aim to learn about when researchers define ethical dilemmas, what problems these dilemmas cause in completing the research, and how they handle unexpected ethical dilemmas.


Community-level responses of grassland assemblages to mowing and herbicide treatments to control a perennial grass invasion

Caroline Christian-- ENSP

M.J. Parish, A. Carleton (SSU Students)


The invasion of California grasslands by exotic annual grasses has been studied extensively, yet few studies have evaluated factors that influence the success of invasive perennial grasses. Using a field experiment, we are evaluating the effects of fall and spring mowing and late-season herbicide (glyphosate) application on the performance of Harding grass (Phalaris aquatica) and co-occurring native and exotic forbs. Our data from the first season show that forb richness is negatively associated with Harding grass invasion, but control efforts have mixed outcomes for the resident community. Fall mowing resulted in a 22% increase in frequency of exotic annual forbs and 28% decrease in native annual forbs. Mowing produced a trend towards increased richness in exotic forbs, but had no effect on native forb richness. In a greenhouse study, we are evaluating early life history differences between Harding grass and wild rye (Elymus glaucus), a native perennial grass, to determine whether priority effects may be a factor explaining invasion success.


Multicultural Competence: Building Knowledge, Awareness, and Skills"

Brett Christie-- Center for Teaching & Professional Development

Elisa Valasquez-Andrade, Psychology


Given the SSU commitment to creating a welcoming atmosphere by fostering and supporting multicultural competence for faculty, staff, students and administrators, the Center for Teaching and Professional Development and Center for Diversity have created a Faculty Learning and Practice Community on Multicultural Competence for the 2010-2011 AY. The purpose of this faculty community is to enable greater awareness, knowledge, skills and confidence to implement a more diverse curriculum - a professional development need that clearly emerged from campus wide focus groups (n = 354 participants) conducted in 2008.


Moodle Efforts toward Enhanced Teaching and Learning

Brett Christie-- Center for Teaching & Professional Development

Barbara Moore, SSU IT

Barbara Butler, SSU University Library


During 2009-2010, SSU began the transition from WebCT to Moodle. This effort included three separate pilots, in which faculty were provided training and support to develop and implement at least one Moodle course per semester. These efforts resulted in overwhelmingly positive reviews by faculty and student participants, when comparing to their experiences using WebCT. Now that Moodle has launched campus-wide, we are experiencing significant faculty and student use of the learning management system. Information Technology and the Center for Teaching and Professional Development continue to strive for increased effectiveness of Moodle use toward supporting teaching and learning.


Decadal Land Change in Latin America and the Caribbean Mapped from MODIS Satellite Data

Matthew Clark-- Geography


We present a method to map annual land-use/land-cover (LULC) change using low-cost and consistent data from satellite imagery. Trends in woody vegetation area were analyzed using all years at ecoregion and municipality scales. The largest hotspots of deforestation were in South America, concentrated mostly in moist forests around the south to west Amazon basin and western edge of Atlantic forests, and dry forests in the Chaco ecoregions of northern Argentina. Driving factors included mostly pastures for cattle and industrial-scale agriculture for global export. We also detected increasing woody vegetation in northern Mexican deserts and in dry forests of southern Bolivia, with possible factors including a local increase in precipitation and the mitigating influence of protected areas.


Hybrid Literature for Children

Charles Elster-- Education LEEE


New forms of children's literature are attracting young readers and contributing to new literary tastes and new ways of processing book information. This project examines structurally and functionally hybrid literature for children--books that contain multiple strands of verbal and graphic information, weave in conventions from other genres, such as comic books, or fulfill multiple functions. The study examines historical trends in hybrid books and reading strategies that young readers and teachers use with them. It suggests implications for literacy teachers and researchers.


Anthropological Studies Center (ASC) and Cultural Resource Management

Kate Erickson-- ASC


The Anthropological Studies Center at Sonoma State University conducted a cultural resources survey of approximately 1,300 acres of the Sonoma Land Trust Jenner Headlands property, in Sonoma County, California. The project was student and volunteer based with crew members consisting of ASC staff, graduate and undergraduate students at SSU, alumni, volunteers, and EXCEL students. Native American representatives from the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of Stewarts Point Rancheria were consulted during field work. Volunteers recorded a total of 33 new cultural resources during two phases of survey. The survey provided field training and experience for students and data from this project will be used to aid the Sonoma Land Trust in making land use decisions and to better protect the cultural resources of the Sonoma Coast.


Design and Development of a Low-Cost Remote Weight Monitoring System

Farid Farahmand-- Engineering Science


In this paper we demonstrate a low-cost Remote Weight Monitoring system, designed and developed by the Health Care Technologies Laboratory at Sonoma State University. The primary purpose of this system is to remotely monitor weight changes in diabetic patients. The system is intuitive and easy for patients to operate. In this system the scale readings are sent automatically by the Internet to a central data repository. Thus, nurses and caregivers can easily monitor any abnormal changes in their patients in real-time. The system allows users to set their own alert criteria for providing immediate attention.


Timing of Nesting and Nest Site Selection in a Northern California Population of Western Pond Turtles (Emys Marmorata)

Nick Geist-- Biology

Nicole Christie, Wendy St. John, Zannie Dallara, Katherine Desmond (SSU Biology Students)


Field observations were conducted in late May-July of 2008, 2009, and 2010 on a resident population of western pond turtles (Emys marmorata) living in a semi-permanent vernal lake in Lake County, CA. The nesting behavior of gravid females was monitored. Females initiated nesting forays between June 6 and June 13 in each of the 3 years of the study. Gravid females were noted exiting the pond between 1600-1800 hrs and tracked visually and/or with telemetry to potential nest sites in well-drained upland areas on the NE side of the lake. Nests were constructed between 2-300 meters from the edge of the pond in relatively exposed areas covered with annual grasses. GPS coordinates were recorded for all successful nesting attempts. Analyses of nesting activity indicate philopatry in this population of E. marmorata, with several females returning to nest in the same location several days after abandoned attempts to construct nests.


Temperature Variation and Diurnal Temperature Fluctuation in Nest Chambers of the Western Pond Turtle (Emys marmorata): Implications for Sex Determination and Development in a Wild Population.

Nick Geist-- Biology

Katherine Desmond, Zannie Dallara, Nicole Christie, Wendy St. John (SSU Biology Students)


Temperature sensors were placed within 20 western pond turtle (Emys marmorata) nest chambers at a Lake County CA nesting ground. Gravid females were tracked with telemetry to locate nests. Immediately upon completion of nest construction, we carefully removed the nest plug, recorded position, number, mass, and dimensions of eggs. I-Button sensors set to record temperature at 30-minute intervals were then placed at various levels within the nest chamber before resealing the nests. GPS coordinates were recorded (Christie et al, this conference) and the nests were covered with predator exclusionary devices. Eggs and sensors were recovered from all nests at 70 days (past the thermosensitive period) and placed in incubators for the remainder of the incubation period. Daily temperature fluctuation within the nests commonly exceeded 20-25°C, with daily temperature maxima often exceeding 40°C. These data are noteworthy, as these temperatures are far above the lethal threshold for eggs incubated at constant temperatures in previous experiments. Comparisons of temperature profiles from nests in the study demonstrated considerable variation and preliminary analysis suggests nest site selection has significant effects on variability of individual clutches.


Sustainability in the Wine Industry: Altering the Competitive Landscape?

Armand Gilinsky, Jr., Tom Atkin, Sandra Newton -- SBE


This study investigated perceptions of competitive advantage (cost leadership, differentiation, and performance) of wineries and adoption of Environmental Management System (EMS). Of the 99 respondents, over 80% were family-owned, family-managed.


Those with a clear EMS:


• exhibited significant differences in cost leadership and differentiation advantages; enter return derived significantly greater supply chain optimization and operational efficiencies;

• felt that they gained an enhanced ability to enter new markets;

• demonstrated a significantly higher level of commitment in sustainability initiatives during the current economic down turn; and

• indicated that they had somewhat increased their sustainability commitments compared to those who did not have a clear EMS.


Welfare Mothers' "Reformed" Dreams of Higher Education During the Great Recession

Sheila Katz-- Sociology


Through qualitative longitudinal research with mothers on welfare enrolled in higher education programs in the San Francisco Bay Area, I explore their experiences pursuing higher education on CalWORKs, how they fared before/during/after the "Great Recession," the role of advocacy organizations, and policy issues for welfare reauthorization. The data was collected in three waves: 2005, 2008, 2010/11 and is the first qualitative longitudinal research project with mothers on welfare pursuing higher education since welfare reform.


Characterization of Molecular Features Important in the Antibacterial Activity of Bacteriocins

Jennifer Lillig-- Chemistry


The re-emergence of bacterial pathogens as a significant threat to public health has lead to an increased awareness of food safety. One of the most common food-borne pathogens is Listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria found to contaminate a variety of raw and processed foods including vegetables, meats, and dairy products. Listeria infection can result in a variety of illnesses ranging in severity from fever and nausea to meningitis and fetal miscarriage. It has been found that lactic acid bacteria, common food born bacteria that are non-pathogenic, produce small proteins that kill Listeria. Work in our lab focuses on understanding the key features of these molecules that allow them to target and kill other competing bacteria such as Listeria. This work can aid in the development of these molecules as both potent and safe drugs and food preservatives for fighting and preventing human diseases.


Phytoplankton to predators: Marine ecology, physiology and oceanography at SSU

Karina Nielsen-- Biology

Dan Crocker--Biology

Adele Paquin and Mike Tift (SSU Biology Students)


In the Department of Biology we work in research teams comprised of faculty, masters students and undergraduates. Faculty mentor students in the rigor, methods and culture of being a creative, practicing scientist and generating new knowledge, senior students mentor newer students, and faculty learn from all their students. Our objective is to complete funded, cutting edge research while integrating extensive student involvement at every level. Our poster highlights two projects one focusing on how wave-driven Stokes transport and species composition influences phytoplankton abundance patterns over time in the nearshore zone, and the other focuses on hormonal regulation of diving and metabolic regulation across the developmental fast in northern elephant seals linking maternal foraging success, parental investment and physiological capacity in offspring.
A reconnaissance study of tafoni development, exfoliation, and granular disintegration of natural and artificial rock surfaces in the coastal and lowland regions of Tamil Nadu,


Southern India

Stephen Norwick--ENSP

Sunil K. Tiwari-- Mathematics


Weathering of native charnockites and sandstones of coastal Tamil Nadu occurs by granular disintegration, exfoliation, and tafoni development. This is the first report of tafoni in India. Mafic minerals begin to deteriorate near the coast within a dozen years, leaving irregular differential weathering pits. Colonial tombstones of charnockite, 200 to 400 years old, are covered with small round pits that are interpreted as incipient tafoni. Ancient Hindu and Jain temples, about a thousand years old have pits that are similar in size and shape. Ancient charnockite megaliths, that are about 3,000 years old, have weathering pits that are an up to 20 cm across, and several centimeters deep. Inselberg surfaces that are a few million years old have tafoni in which a person can walk upright. The frequency distributions of depths, widths and volumes of these pits, from the smallest to the largest, are heteroskedastic and lognormal. The megaliths do not have small pits such as the colonial tombstones and ancient temples. The inselbergs do not have pits such as those on the megaliths. We believe that at the same time as the pits are enlarging, the surfaces are exfoliating, that removes the smaller pits. But the small pits do not reform on the old surfaces. This strongly suggests that something is preventing the development of new pits that might be used to conserve ancient stone monuments.


Large-Scale Sculptural Installations

Jann Nunn-- Art & Art History


The primary material of Rachidial Digression, Part 1 began as a discarded 33-foot long railroad track, left over from the Erna + Arthur Salm Holocaust + Genocide Memorial. With the help of student assistants, I cut the track into over 1100 ¼" sections and strung the meticulously ordered and numbered pieces on a steel cable, using ¼" spacers so that it meanders across the floor serpentine. Because of its 800 pound weight and for ease of transportation and storage, it is made into 19 sections joined to create one continuous sculpture when installed. At 64-feet in length Rachidial Digression, Part 1 accommodates its given exhibition space by coiling and bending into place. Note: We began work on the project in June 2010 and completed it in February 2011. Each of the over 1100 individual pieces of the sculpture took an estimated 10 minutes to fashion. The installation took 4 hours to complete


Modeling Ground Level Ozone and other Atmospheric Pollutants

Mark Perri-- Chemistry

Chris Hoff (SSU Chemistry Student)


Ground level ozone is a pollutant and health hazard. The Bay Area is graded "marginal" for compliance with ozone standards set by the EPA. In order to predict future ozone levels and develop control strategies, we have purchased a workstation and ozone modeling software using RSCAP funds. This modeling software analyzes precursor pollutant emissions, weather data, and atmospheric chemistry to predict ozone and other pollutant concentrations (mixing ratios). A chemistry undergraduate research student has used this software to predict ozone levels over the parts of the US. Currently the model is being adjusted to work in the Rohnert Park area.


Community Engagement as Civic Engagement: Eight Years of Teaching American History Grants at SSU

Margaret Purser-- Anthropology

Nancy Case-Rico (EDUC)

Steve Estes (History)

Michelle Jolly (History)


The federally funded "Teaching American History" grant program is in its eighth year at SSU. Miriam Hutchins (NBISP) wrote her first successful TAH grant in 2003-04 to work with the Napa Valley school district's 8th and 11th grade teachers to support their teaching of American history. As of today, Ms. Hutchins has overseen the implementation of six different grants in seven different school districts across the SSU service area. SSU faculty from the History, Education, and Anthropology departments work with 5th, 8th, and 11th grade teachers to create innovative approaches to teaching American history. Working in this program has provided all of us with a way to take our professional research out into the public forum, and work collaboratively with local area school teachers to craft a relevant and accessible approach to American history that they can use in their classrooms.


Speed Diversity Dialogue: Fostering Student Inter Group Interaction

Elisa Velasquez-Andrade-- Psychology

Ana Quiroz*, Daniel Mello*, Jacob Tumas*, Alma Valverde**, Ricardo Sandoval*, Ariana White*, Rocio Espinoza*, Samantha Cavanaugh*, Louise Lindgren* (*psychology major **sociology major)


Allport (1954) proposed that the best way to reduce prejudice against stigmatized groups in society is through intergroup interaction. We conducted four student-dialogue sessions (over 100 students) designed to facilitate meaningful discussion on diversity issues impacting students at SSU. Students reported being able to confront stereotypical thinking, increase empathy towards others, and in doing so, find common ground with peers formerly distanced by the social barriers of disengagement and misunderstanding. Survey data collected from these events will illuminate issues impacting SSU students and guide institutionally based diversity actions.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


For more information on the Faculty Expo, contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at (707) 664-2448.

Subscribe to SSU NewsCenter