CURE Examples


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Climate change related shifts in ecosystem services
andrew harwood, Clark College
This CURE allows students to explore how climate change affects local and migratory wildlife habitat useage patterns, and the associated ecosystem services migrating wildlife such as salmon provide to Pacific Northwest communities.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Ecology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Statistics
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data, Using mathematics and computational thinking, Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Planning and carrying out investigations, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering), Developing and using models
Nature of Research: Basic Research, Informatics/Computational Research, Applied Research, Field Research
State: Washington
Target Audience: Non-major, Major
CURE Duration: A full term, Half a term, A few class periods, Multiple terms

Effect of Vitamin C Abundance on Chloroplast DNA Integrity in Plants
Jeffrey Shaver, University of Arkansas at Ft. Smith
Our long-term research goal is to understand the impact that Ascorbic Acid (AsA, Vitamin C) levels have on the abundance of reactive-oxygen species (ROSs) and the maintenance (i.e. structural integrity and abundance) of chloroplast DNA, and their role in plant and human health. Towards attaining this goal, the overall objective of this application is to utilize low and high AsA Arabidopsis mutants to test for a relationship between AsA level, ROSs abundance, and organelle DNA (orgDNA) maintenance during organelle and plant development. Our central hypothesis is that high-AsA plants will maintain and low-AsA plants will degrade their orgDNA relative to wild-type plants, because increased AsA levels in organelles during leaf development will reduce ROS-mediated damage and subsequent degradation of unrepaired orgDNA.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Genetics, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Plant Biology, Life Sciences, Anatomy and Physiology, Health Sciences
Core Competencies: Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering), Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Using mathematics and computational thinking, Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data
Nature of Research: Basic Research, Wet Lab/Bench Research
State: Arkansas
Target Audience: Major
CURE Duration: A full term, Multiple terms

"Using microsatellite markers in conservation genetics of pebblesnails"
Hsiu-Ping Liu, Metropolitan State University of Denver
Microsatellite markers are extremely useful in studies of conservation. The drawback is new species-specific microsatellite markers have to be isolated whenever a species is studied for the first time. In this project "Using microsatellite markers in conservation genetics of pebblesnails", students will design, evaluate, test, and optimize species-specific primers for pebblesnails. Subsequently these microsatellite markers can be used to investigate patterns of genetic variation in pebblesnail and provide important inputs into conservation and management of the pebblesnails.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Genetics
Nature of Research: Basic Research
State: Colorado
Target Audience: Major
CURE Duration: A full term

Characterization of Cellular Responses of Coquina Clams in Response Environmental Factors
Peter Cavnar, The University of West Florida
The coquina clams are bivalve mollusks of the genus Donax; they are found worldwide. Among various coquinas, Donax variabilis is the most common species found in the U.S. along the Eastern Coast and Gulf of Mexico intertidal zones. Coquinas are adapted to live and feed in the waves from the beaches, actively migrating up and down along the waves and can re-burrow between waves. Using short siphons, coquinas feed on phytoplankton, algae, bacteria and other small particles suspended in the waves. They can concentrate high levels of pollutants and microbes through filter feeding, and therefore are used as bio-indicators of levels of pollutants such as toxic metals, pesticides, and even hydrocarbon residues from oil spills (Zuloaga et al., 2009). Abundant coquinas on a beach indicate the beach's capacity for healthy habitat support. Because the coquina has a great capacity to concentrate toxins and microbes, the coquina can serve as a model organism for the study of the relationship between marine invertebrates and microbes and how marine invertebrates handle stresses in the environment. Very little is known about the cell biology of the coquina, and very little genomic inquiry has been performed on coquina to date. Coquina research would be a novel CURE project for improving student success and for building up a coquina genetic/genomic and cell biology experimental system. The results gained from the coquina CURE will benefit the biology learning community scientifically and educationally, and provide a model framework for faculty engagement and expansion unique to the Gulf Coast.

Urban Wildlife Information Network (UWIN) CURE
Sarah St. Onge, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center

Nontraditional use of Silver Diamine Fluoride Applications in Patients of Need.
Amy Ewing Johnson, Clark College
A longitudinal study by which students implement and analyze the application of silver diamine fluoride on more nontraditional (permanent versus deciduous) tooth surfaces diagnosed with dental decay, where patients have no better viable option after fully informed patient consultation with a dental hygienist and diagnosis from a dentist. Essential to the study is the follow up evaluation on the efficacy of treated surfaces over a long period of time (3-5 years) to better determine the reliability and stability of silver diamine fluoride application as a stop gap restorative option for patients who can not access or afford traditional restorative methods in dentistry.

Investigating autophagy in Tetrahymena thermophila
Alison Vigers, University of Colorado at Boulder

Molecular and Phenotypic Chararcterization of Phenylalanine hydroxylase in C. elegans
Mark Haefele, Community College of Denver

Discipline: Life Sciences:Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Genetics
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering), Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Basic Research
State: Colorado
Target Audience: Major, Non-major
CURE Duration: A full term