In the late summer and early fall of 2015, Dr. Richard Dunn conducted a geological mapping and drilling campaign at the site of ancient Jaffa, in Tel Aviv, Israel. This activity involved work with international colleagues, including researchers from UCLA, Texas A&M, Haifa University, and independent consultants from Israel and Germany. In late September he returned to Haifa, Israel, to work in the Recanati Institute for Marine Studies, University of Haifa, on the description, photography, and sampling of all cores recovered during drilling. Samples were shipped to Norwich where Dr. Dunn undertook a number of analyses. As a result of his work, he co-authored a paper, currently under revision, on the archaeological geology of Jaffa and its paleo-environmental setting. He also wrote the first draft of monograph chapters on the geology and land use records for the ancient quarry site on Easter Island. The monograph is a large compilation of all the work by the Easter Island Statue Project that has been conducted over the last two decades. This draft resulted in the compilation of information that was then used as the basis for three professional talks
Dr. Carole Bandy’s research covers the areas of threat perception and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as well as hardiness and resilience, which is the ability to either remain unaffected by trauma or to recover from it quickly. She is especially interested in learning more about the correlation of related emotions and underlying brain activity revealed by EEG and eye-tracking. To that end, her leave focused on the research literature associated with the neurobiology of PTSD and frontal lobe asymmetry and emotion. She attended two EEG workshops and wrote two papers, including one on the efficacy of Transcendental Meditation in the relief of PTSD among South African college students.
Ryan Whitell, Electrical and Computer Engineering
(Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ronald Lessard)
This research aimed to improve the function of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in one key area: formation-flying. Using a team of three Raspberry Pis, a formation and location algorithm will be simulated. The results of this study can be implemented by teams of quadcopters.
Maria Trejo, Civil and Environmental Engineering
(Faculty Mentor: Dr. Tara Kulkarni)
A living machine, or an eco-machine, is a technology consisting of ecosystems connected in a way that treats a waste stream. The objective of this project was to build a lab-scale ecomachine model to test the reduction of phosphorus in treated effluent from wastewater treatment plants. This project aimed to determine if living machines can serve as a polishing step in waste water treatment plants and help in lowering the phosphorus contamination related to algal eutrophication in Lake Champlain, near Burlington, Vermont.
Rebecca Sweem, Mathematics
(Faculty Mentor: Dr. Darlene Olsen)
Malignant mesothelioma is a very aggressive type of cancer that affects the cell membrane lining of the lungs and is primarily due to exposure to asbestos. This research sought to determine which experiment is best at quantifying the gene expression in mesothelioma cells using the statistical software program “R.” Results of the project can potentially benefit research efforts in finding a cure for malignant mesothelioma and identifying which technology is more efficient at determining the differential gene expression in their data for the most accurate results.