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Conformational Studies of Myosin and Actin with Calibrated Resonance Energy Transfer

Description: Resonance energy transfer was employed to study the conformational changes of actomyosin during ATP hydrolysis. To calibrate the technique, the parameters for resonance energy transfer were defined. With conformational searching algorithms to predict probe orientation, the distances measured by resonance energy transfer are highly consistent with the atomic models, which verified the accuracy and feasibility of resonance energy transfer for structural studies of proteins and oligonucleotides. To study intramyosin distances, resonance energy transfer probes were attached to skeletal myosin's nucleotide site, subfragment-2, and regulatory light chain to examine nucleotide analog-induced structural transitions. The distances between the three positions were measured in the presence of different nucleotide analogs. No distance change was considered to be statistically significant. The measured distance between the regulatory light chain and nucleotide site was consistent with either the atomic model of skeletal myosin subfragment-1 or an average of the three models claimed for different ATP hydrolysis states, which suggested that the neck region was flexible in solution. To examine the participation of actin in the powerstroke process, resonance energy transfer between different sites on actin and myosin was measured in the presence of nucleotide analogs. The efficiencies of energy transfer between myosin catalytic domain and actin were consistent with the actoS1 docking model. However, the neck region was much closer to the actin filament than predicted by static atomic models. The efficiency of energy transfer between Cys 374 and the regulatory light chain was much greater in the presence of ADP-AlF4, ADP-BeFx, and ADP-vanadate than in the presence of ADP or no nucleotide. These data detect profound differences in the conformations of the weakly and strongly attached crossbridges which appear to result from a conformational selection that occurs during the weak binding of the myosin head to actin. The resonance energy transfer data exclude a number ...
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Date: May 2000
Creator: Xu, Jin

Carbachol- and ACPD-Induced Phosphoinositide Responses in the Developing Rat Neocortex

Description: Signal transduction via the phosphoinositide (PI) second messenger system has key roles in the development and plasticity of the neocortex. The present study localized PI responses to individual cortical layers in slices of developing rat somatosensory cortex. The acetylcholine agonist carbachol and the glutamate agonist trans-1-amino-1,3-cyclopentanedicarboxylic acid (ACPD) were used to stimulate PI turnover. The PI responses were compared to the distribution of the corresponding PI-linked receptors in order to investigate the regional ontogeny of PI coupling to receptors in relation to neural development. The method for assessing PI turnover was modified from Hwang et al. (1990). This method images the PI response autoradiographically through the localizaton of [3H]cytidine that has been incorporated into the membrane-bound intermediate, cytidine diphosphate diacylglycerol. In each age group (postnatal days 4-30), carbachol resulted in more overall labeling than ACPD. For both agonists, the response peaked on postnatal day 10 (P10) and was lowest in the oldest age group. The laminar distribution of the carbachol PI response from P4-P16 corresponded fairly well with the laminar distribution of [3H]quinuclidinyl benzilate binding (Fuchs, 1995). However, in the subplate layer the carbachol response was strong while receptor binding was minimal. The carbachol response decreased after postnatal day 10, while the overall levels of receptor binding continued to increase. From P5 - P14, PI-linked metabotropic glutamate receptors are most concentrated in layer IV (Blue et al., 1997), whereas only on P6 was there a correspondingly high ACPD-initiated PI response in this layer. Unlike receptors, the PI response was strong in upper V (P4 - P12) and within layers II/III (P8 - P16). From P4 - P21, the subplate showed relatively high PI labeling compared to receptor binding. The several differences between the distribution of PI response and receptors suggest spatiotemporal heterogeneity of receptor coupling to second messenger systems.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Hartgraves, Morri D.

Assessing the Spatial and Temporal Distribution of MTBE and BTEX Compounds in Lake Lewisville, Texas February 1999 - February 2000

Description: The spatial and temporal distribution of Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether (MTBE) and BTEX (Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Xylenes) compounds were assessed in a multipurpose reservoir, Lake Lewisville, Texas between February 1999 and February 2000. Concentrations of MTBE ranged from 0.0 - 16.7 mg/L. Levels of MTBE in the lake were related to watercraft. BTEX concentrations were never detected above 2.0 mg/L during the sampling period. Finished drinking water from Denton and the Upper Trinity Regional Water District (UTRWD) Treatment Plants were also tested for MTBE and BTEX. MTBE and BTEX were not detected in UTRWD water samples. Denton's finished water samples never exceeded 2.2 mg/L for MTBE and BTEX was not detected except for one replicate of 1.1 mg/L toluene.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Lee, Anne W.

Requirements for Cell-Free Cyanide Oxidation by Pseudomonas Fluorescens NCIMB 11764

Description: The involvement of cyanide oxygenase in the metabolism of pyruvate and a-ketoglutarate-cyanohydrin was investigated and shown to occur indirectly by the consumption of free cyanide arising from the cyanohydrins via chemical dissociation. Thus, free cyanide remains the substrate, for which the enzyme displays a remarkably high affinity (Kmapp,4 mM). A model for cyanide utilization is therefore envisioned in which the substrate is initially detoxified by complexation to an appropriate ligand followed by enzymatic oxidation of cyanide arising at sublethal levels via chemical dissociation. Putative cyanide oxygenase in cell extracts consumed both oxygen and NADH in equimolar proportions during cyanide conversion to CO2 and NH3 and existed separately from an unknown heat-stable species responsible for the nonenzymatic cyanide-catalyzed consumption of oxygen. Evidence of cyanide inhibition and nonlinear kinetics between enzyme activity and protein concentration point to a complex mechanism of enzymatic substrate conversion.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Parab, Preeti

Influence of copper on resistance of Lumbricus terrestris to bacterial challenge

Description: Earthworms, Lumbricus terrestris, were challenged orally and intracoelomically with two bacterial species, Aeromonas hydrophila and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and mortality rates were observed. Neither were found to be particularly pathogenic at injected doses of up to 108 bacteria per earthworm. The influence of Cu++ (as CuSO4) on the earthworm's response to bacterial challenge was investigated by exposing earthworms to sublethal levels of Cu++ prior to bacterial challenge. Exposure at sublethal concentrations up to 3 m g/cm2 did not have a pronounced influence on host resistance to challenge as measured by earthworm mortality. Cu++ increased the earthworm's ability to agglutinate rabbit erythrocytes, indicating that Cu++ exposure caused coelomocyte death, autolysis and release of agglutinins into the coelom, possibly explaining resistance to bacterial challenge.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Simmons, Carla Stull

The Adolescent Stress Response to a Naturalistic Driving Stressor

Description: The proposed study examined the role of anxiety and risk-taking in driving performance in adolescents. In addition to examining the sample as a whole, gender differences were assessed given earlier reports from our laboratory and others indicating that males and females differ with respect to risky behaviors to driving performance and anxiety. Adolescents' subjective and physiological responses to a driving simulator task were assessed. Anxiety was measured via self report and salivary cortisol. Participants provided a baseline saliva sample and 3 post-task samples for cortisol analysis. Subjective anxiety scores were obtained at both baseline and following the driving stressor. Information concerning impulsivity, as well as other psychological constructs was also collected at baseline. Unlike the pilot study, there were no relationships (with or without respect to gender) between salivary cortisol and both self-reported anxiety (state and trait) or impulsively measures for this sample. These results suggest that this group of adolescents may not have been anxious about the driving task. This discrepancy may stem from error introduced by the smaller sample size obtained from the initial findings or to other factors remaining outside the parameters of the current study. The task did, however, induce a slight hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis response indicating some physiological arousal. Males had significantly higher cortisol levels at baseline than females and at time point 3 while approaching significance at time points 2 and 4. Females possessed significantly higher trait anxiety than males and all post task cortisol levels were positively correlated to age while time points 2 and 4 (with time point 3 approaching significance, p=0.09) were inversely correlated with Self Depreciation scores. Additionally, females had Persecutory Ideas scores that were also negatively correlated with cortisol at time points 3 and 4. For both the entire sample and males only, the correlation between post-task ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Wingo, Mary

Inquiry-based science for high school students: a forensic unit

Description: This project constitutes an instructional unit for honors biology that involves the use of science in the field of criminal investigation and forensics. Before beginning the unit, the learners should have mastered basic laboratory skills, including use of the microscope. They should also have an understanding of the basic structure and function of DNA and its role in heredity and protein synthesis. The standard time frame is 24 days with 70-minute periods, but can be easily adjusted to meet classroom needs. Several instructional strategies enhance student learning and make science fun. The unit is inquiry-driven and activity-based. Students are surprised by the crime, gather and analyze evidence, and work towards proposing an explanation. This real world problem involves the use of cooperative learning and a variety of assessment techniques.
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Date: August 2000
Creator: Apple, Kendra Kea

Characterizing the Municipal Solid Waste Stream in Denton, Texas

Description: Forty-two commercially collected dumpsters from Denton’s Municipal Solid Waste Stream were emptied, sorted and weighed to characterize the material types and make preliminary recycling policy recommendations. The general composition of Denton’s solid waste stream was not significantly different from the composition of the nation’s solid waste stream. Fifty-eight percent of the observed waste stream was recyclable. Paper made up the largest portion of recyclable materials and the "grocery" source category had more paper than any of the other five categories. Based on these findings, an incrementally aggressive approach is recommended to reduce certain types of wastes observed in the waste stream. This would include a Pay-As-You-Throw Program followed by an Intermediate Processing Center that can be converted to a Materials Recovery Facility.
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Date: August 2000
Creator: Brady, Patricia D.

Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Variation in Populations of the Nine-Banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus)

Description: Four populations of nine-banded armadillos, Dasypus novemcinctus, were investigated in the south-central United States in order to assess genetic variation in an isolated population (Electric Island, Lake Hamilton, Garland County, Arkansas); a semi-isolated population (Arkansas Post, Arkansas County, Arkansas), and two free ranging populations (southern Arkansas and central Texas). A 233 basepair sequence of the D-loop region of mitochondrial DNA was sequenced in individuals from each population. Individuals and populations were compared to assess relatedness among populations and individuals. Higher sequence diversity was detected in the semi-isolated population, while lower sequence diversity was observed in the isolated and free ranging populations. Overall, all populations exhibited low genetic variation when compared to genetic variation for other mammals. The results support the hypothesis that rapid range expansion combined with the organism's unique reproductive strategies have promulgated low genetic variation in the North American populations of nine-banded armadillos.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Elrod, Diana Adams

BioInformatics, Phylogenetics, and Aspartate Transcarbamoylase

Description: In this research, the necessity of understanding and using bioinformatics is demonstrated using the enzyme aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATCase) as the model enzyme. The first portion of this research focuses on the use of bioinformatics. A partial sequence of the pyrB gene found in Enterococcus faecalis was submitted to GenBank and was analyzed against the contiguous sequence from its own genome project. A BLAST (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool; Atschul, et al., 1990) was performed in order to hypothesize the remaining portion of the gene from the contiguous sequence. This allowed a global comparison to other known aspartate transcarbamoylases (ATCases) and once deduced, a translation of the sequence gave the stop codon and thus the complete sequence of the open reading frame. When this was complete, upstream and downstream primers were designed in order to amplify the gene from genomic DNA. The amplified product was then sequenced and used later in phylogenetic analyses concerning the evolution of ATCase. The second portion of this research involves taking multiple ATCase nucleotide sequences and performing phenetic and phylogenetic analyses of the archaea and eubacter families. From these analyses, ancestral relationships which dictate both structure and function were extrapolated from the data and discussed.
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Date: August 2000
Creator: Cooke, Patrick Alan

Adherence and Haemagglutination of Moraxella Catarrhalis.

Description: M. catarrhalis is a gram-negative diplococci frequently associated with infections of the upper respiratory tract. During the past decade, some preliminary studies have attempted to elucidate mechanisms of adherence and haemagglutination of M. catarrhalis. These studies have reported, in many cases, inconsistent results. There are two purposes of this research. First, identify mechanisms that may potentially be associated with the adherence and haemagglutination of M. catarrhalis. Second, suggest research directions that may be fruitful in clarifying these mechanisms.
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Date: August 2000
Creator: Kosterman, Edward, III

Life History and Case Building Behaviors of Phylloicus ornatus (Banks) (Trichoptera: Calamoceratidae) In Two Spring Fed Tributaries in the Central Edwards Plateau Bioregion of Texas

Description: The life history and case-making behaviors of Phylloicus ornatus from two springfed first order streams in the Edwards Plateau Bioregion of Texas were studied from January 1998 to November 1999. Field larval, pupal and adult samples and laboratory rearings indicated a multivoltine cycle. First instars differ from late instars in number of labral setae and in having a unique spur-like claw on each lateral hump. Larval development was asynchronous with second through fifth instars and pupae present most months. First instars were present April through July, October and November. Case making of first instar and case reconstruction of later instars extracted from their cases was documented by videophotography.
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Date: August 2000
Creator: Norwood, James Christopher

A Data Fusion Framework for Floodplain Analysis using GIS and Remotely Sensed Data

Description: Throughout history floods have been part of the human experience. They are recurring phenomena that form a necessary and enduring feature of all river basin and lowland coastal systems. In an average year, they benefit millions of people who depend on them. In the more developed countries, major floods can be the largest cause of economic losses from natural disasters, and are also a major cause of disaster-related deaths in the less developed countries. Flood disaster mitigation research was conducted to determine how remotely sensed data can effectively be used to produce accurate flood plain maps (FPMs), and to identify/quantify the sources of error associated with such data. Differences were analyzed between flood maps produced by an automated remote sensing analysis tailored to the available satellite remote sensing datasets (rFPM), the 100-year flooded areas "predicted" by the Flood Insurance Rate Maps, and FPMs based on DEM and hydrological data (aFPM). Landuse/landcover was also examined to determine its influence on rFPM errors. These errors were identified and the results were integrated in a GIS to minimize landuse / landcover effects. Two substantial flood events were analyzed. These events were selected because of their similar characteristics (i.e., the existence of FIRM or Q3 data; flood data which included flood peaks, rating curves, and flood profiles; and DEM and remote sensing imagery.) Automatic feature extraction was determined to be an important component for successful flood analysis. A process network, in conjunction with domain specific information, was used to map raw remotely sensed data onto a representation that is more compatible with a GIS data model. From a practical point of view, rFPM provides a way to automatically match existing data models to the type of remote sensing data available for each event under investigation. Overall, results showed how remote sensing could contribute to ...
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Date: August 2000
Creator: Necsoiu, Dorel Marius

Production and Characterization of a Novel Extracellular Polysaccharide Produced by Paenibacillus velaei, Sp. Nov

Description: Paenibacillus velaei, sp. nov. is a soil bacterium capable of producing an unusually large amount of exopolysaccharide (EPS). The EPS contains glucose, mannose, galactose and fucose in a molar ratio of 4:2:1:1. The molecular weight of the EPS is higher than 2x106. The viscosity of 1% EPS is 1300 cP when measured at a shear rate of 1 sec-1. Physiological parameters for optimal production of the EPS were studied and it was found that 1.4 g dry weight per 1 l of medium was produced when the bacteria were grown at 30EC and the pH adjusted at 7± 0.2 in a medium containing glucose as the carbon source. Growing the bacteria on different carbon sources did not alter the quantity or the composition of the EPS produced. No toxicity effects were observed in mice or rats when EPS was administered in amounts ranging from 20 to 200 mg per kg body weight. The data obtained from physical, chemical and biological properties suggest that the EPS may be employed in several industrial and environmental applications. It is an excellent emulsifier, it holds 100 times its own weight in water, it is not toxic, and it can be used to remove mercury, cadmium and lead from aqueous solutions.
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Date: August 2000
Creator: Sukplang, Patamaporn

The Effects of Electrochemical Therapy on Colon-25 Tumors in Balb-C Mice

Description: The purpose of the research was to treat immunodeficient mice, implanted with colon-25 tumors, with continuous and interrupted electrochemical therapy (ECT). ECT involves the placement of two electrodes, an anode near the center of the tumor and a cathode into the tumor periphery. A constant voltage is applied across the electrodes for a given period of time. The data showed that the interrupted and continuous ECT resulted in a decrease in mean tumor growth as compared to that of the sham controls. The histology of both ECT groups showed an increase presence of large vacuoles, randomly distributed tumor cells as well as the presence of "crevicing" in the medullary tissue. The differential leukocyte counts showed a distinct neutrophilia and lymphopenia in all groups at day 20 post tumor implantation. The results from the experimental groups appeared to support the findings of previous investigators.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Gillen, Aric

Head Trauma Release of Histamine from Dural Mast Cells Alters Blood-Brain Barrier: Attenuation with Zolantidine

Description: This study employed a new model of mild-to-moderate head trauma to specifically identify the role of dural mast cell (MC) histamine in trauma-induced increased permeability in the blood-brain barrier (BBB). A single line was scored partially through the left dorsal parietal skull. Immediately following the trauma, degranulation was seen in 39% of the MCs on the left and in 2% on the right. After a 20 min survival period, left duras showed 55% with MC degranulation (fewer with complete degranulation) compared to 34% on the right. In the other experiments two parallel lines were scored following the injection of Evan's blue. Histamine assay showed histamine increased in the left cortex to 154% at 5 min, 174% at 10 min, and 151% at 20 min. Fluorescent quantitation of extravasated Evan's blue at 20 min following the trauma gave an increase of 1385% over the value measured for the right cortex. Zolantidine, a selective histamine H2 receptor antagonist, administered at 10- and 20- mg/kg 30 min before the trauma blocked 65% of the Evan's blue extravasation compared with the control and 2.5 mg group.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Laufer, Susan R.

Establishment and Competitive Ability of Nelumbo Lutea in Relation to Myriophyllum Spicatum

Description: Limitations from reduced light and increasing water depth on Nelumbo lutea seedlings were determined in tank experiments. Survival was high in all tested light levels. Total biomass increased significantly with increasing light. Biomass allocation shifted significantly to root production between 3 and 6 weeks in the 10 and 24% levels. Survival decreased with increasing planting depth, and biomass of survivors reduced significantly between 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 m depths. Nelumbo lutea and Myriophyllum spicatum populations were monitored for one season in a 0.7 ha pond to track changes in species dominance. Myriophyllum spicatum dominated early, and N. lutea dominated from July through October, suppressing M. spicatum at all depths. Competitive interactions between N. lutea and M. spicatum were investigated for two seasons in a container experiment situated within a pond. Where established, N. lutea dominated in the presence of M. spicatum. However, N. lutea could not be established in depths greater than 1 meter.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Snow, Joe R.

Isolation and analysis of cotton genomic clones encompassing a fatty acid desaturase (FAD2) gene

Description: Polyunsaturated fatty acids are major structural components of plant chloroplast and endoplasmic reticulum membranes. Two fatty acid desaturases (designated FAD2 and FAD3) desaturate 75% of the fatty acids in the endoplasmic reticulum. The w -6 fatty acid desaturase (FAD2) may be responsible for cold acclimation response, since polyunsaturated phospholipids are important in helping maintain plant viability at lowered temperatures. To study regulation of FAD2 gene expression in cotton, a FAD2 gene was isolated from two genomic libraries using an Arabidopsis FAD2 hybridization probe and a cotton FAD2 5¢ -flanking region gene-specific probe, respectively. A cotton FAD2 gene was found to be in two overlapping genomic clones by physical mapping and DNA sequencing. The cloned DNA fragments are identical in size to cotton FAD2 genomic DNA fragments shown by genomic blot hybridization. The cotton FAD2 coding region has 1,155 bp with no introns and would encode a putative polypeptide of 384 amino acids. The cotton FAD2 enzyme has a high identity of 75% with other plant FAD2 enzymes. The enzyme has three histidine-rich motifs that are conserved in all plant membrane desaturases. These histidine boxes may be the iron-binding domains for reduction of oxygen during desaturation. To confirm that this FAD2 enzyme is functional, a plasmid construct containing the cotton FAD2 coding region was transformed into Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The transformed yeast cells were able to catalyze the conversion of oleic acid (C18:1) into linoleic acid (C18:2). The FAD2 gene contains an intron of 2,967 bp in its 5¢ -flanking region, 11 bp upstream from the initiation codon. The intron could be essential for transcriptional regulation of FAD2 gene expression. Several putative promoter elements occur in the 5¢ -flanking region of this gene. A potential TATA basal promoter element occurs at 41 bp upstream from the cap site. Two presumptive helix-loop-helix (bHLH) ...
Date: May 2001
Creator: Kongcharoensuntorn, Wisatre

Unique applications of cultured neuronal networks in pharmacology, toxicology, and basic neuroscience

Description: This dissertation research explored the capabilities of neuronal networks grown on substrate integrated microelectrode arrays in vitro with emphasis on utilizing such preparations in three specific application domains: pharmacology and drug development, biosensors and neurotoxicology, and the study of burst and synaptic mechanisms. Chapter 1 details the testing of seven novel AChE inhibitors, demonstrating that neuronal networks rapidly detect small molecular differences in closely related compounds, and reveal information about their probable physiological effects that are not attainable through biochemical characterization alone. Chapter 2 shows how neuronal networks may be used to classify and characterize an unknown compound. The compound, trimethylol propane phosphate (TMPP) elicited changes in network activity that resembled those induced by bicuculline, a known epileptogenic. Further work determined that TMPP produces its effects on network activity through a competitive inhibition of the GABAA receptor. This demonstrates that neuronal networks can provide rapid, reliable warning of the presence of toxic substances, and from the manner in which the spontaneous activity changes provide information on the class of compound present and its potential physiological effects. Additional simple pharmacological tests can provide valuable information on primary mechanisms involved in the altered neuronal network responses. Chapter 3 explores the effects produced by a radical simplification of synaptic driving forces. With all synaptic interactions pharmacologically limited to those mediated through the NMDA synapse, spinal cord networks exhibited an extremely regular burst oscillation characterized by a period of 2.9 ± 0.3 s, with mean coefficients of variation of 3.7, 4.7, and 4.9 % for burst rate, burst duration, and inter-burst interval, respectively (16 separate cultures). The reliability of expression of this oscillation suggests that it may represent a fundamental mechanism of importance during periods of NMDA receptor dominated activity, such as embryonic and early postnatal development. NMDA synapse mediated activity produces a precise ...
Date: May 2001
Creator: Keefer, Edward W.

Evaluation of the Chlorophyll/Fluorescence Sensor of the YSI Multiprobe: Comparison to an Acetone Extraction Procedure

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the suitability of the YSI model 6600 Environmental Monitoring System (multiprobe) for long term deployment at a site in Lewisville Lake, Texas. Specifically, agreement between a laboratory extraction procedure and the multiprobe chlorophyll/fluorescence readings was examined. Preliminary studies involved determining the best method for disrupting algal cells prior to analysis and examining the precision and linearity of the acetone extraction procedure. Cell disruption by mortar and pestle grinding was preferable to bath sonication. Comparison of the chlorophyll/fluorescence readings from the multiprobe and the extraction procedure indicated that they were significantly correlated but temperature dependent.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Lambert, Patricia

The Last Laugh: Selected Edwardian Punch Cartoons of Edward Linley Sambourne

Description: The illustrative work of Edward Linley Sambourne for Punch magazine during the period 1901-1910 addresses a myriad of political topics prevalent during the Edwardian period in British history. This thesis examines two of those topics - Women's Suffrage and Socialism - through their artistic treatment by one of Britain's most influential periodicals. Through a study of the historical context and iconography of selected cartoons-of-the-week, one is better equipped to understand and appreciate the meaning, message, and humor in the cartoons. Chapter 1 introduces the Sambourne, Punch magazine, and the Edwardian period in general. Chapters 2 and 3 discuss four Women's Suffrage cartoons and four Socialism cartoons respectively. Chapter 4 draws conclusions regarding Sambourne's techniques as a cartoonist as well as the relationship between the text and image in his illustrations.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Larson, Alison

Selection and Use of Aquatic Vegetation by Migratory Waterfowl in North Central Texas

Description: Assessment of aquatic plant selection by waterfowl has been conducted during the winters of 1997-2000 on 49 0.2-0.79 ha research ponds in north central Texas. Ponds were categorized by dominant plant species into eight habitat types. Census with waterfowl species identification were performed to investigate impacts of aquatic vegetation and water depth on waterfowl. Eighteen waterfowl species were observed. Peak migration occurred in late December/early January. Mixed native ponds and mixed native/hydrilla ponds were the most frequently selected habitat types. The study included correlation analysis between pond water levels and waterfowl use. Full ponds received greatest use followed by half full ponds, while almost empty ponds received minimal use. Time activity budgets were conducted on waterfowl utilizing mixed native and hydrilla ponds to compare waterfowl time partitioning on native aquatic vegetation versus hydrilla. Although only minor differences were found in time budgets, social status appears to be strongly related to habitat selection. Ducks on native ponds were paired (86%), conversely no ducks on hydrilla ponds were paired. Hydrilla pond although frequently utilized, were populated by lower status birds mostly single hens.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Smith, JoEtta Kaye

Portrait of Your Stream: Development and Assessment of a Stream Ecology Program for Middle-School Student

Description: Portrait of Your Stream (POYS) is a stream ecology and student action program designed for use with middle-school students. The program is correlated with learning cycle pedagogical methods emphasizing student-centered lessons and activities in both classroom and outdoor settings. Implementation of a pilot program in the Fall semester of 1999 was used to collect formal and informal responses and data from students and teachers. Data included changes in student knowledge, skills and attitudes and were analyzed for determination of the success of program objectives and modifications to the program. The final POYS program is currently distributed and administered by the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Swirczynski, Brenda J.

Development of a Procedure to Evaluate Groundwater Quality and Potential Sources of Contamination in the East Texas Basin

Description: This study contributes a procedure, based on data analysis and geostatistical methods, to evaluate the distribution of chemical ratios and differentiate natural and anthropogenic contaminant sources of groundwater quality in the East Texas Basin. Four aquifers were studied, Sparta, Queen City, Carrizo and Wilcox. In this study, Carrizo- Wilcox is considered as one aquifer, and Sparta-Queen City as another. These aquifers were divided into depth categories, 0-150 feet for Sparta-Queen City and 300-600 feet and 600-900 feet for Carrizo-Wilcox in order to identify individual sources of contamination. Natural sources include aquifer mineral make up, salt domes and lignite beds. Major anthropogenic sources include lignite and salt dome mining and oil-gas production. Chemical ratios selected were Na/Cl, Ca/Cl, Mg/Cl, SO4/Cl, (Na+Cl)/TDS, SO4/Ca and (Ca+Mg)/(Na+K). Ratio distributions and their relationships were examined to evaluate physical-chemical processes occurring in the study area. Potential contaminant sources were used to divide the Basin into three areas: Area 1 to the east, Area 2 in the west and Area 3 in the center. Bivariate analysis was used to uncover differences between the areas. The waters in Area 1 are potentially impacted primarily from oil field waters. Sources present in Area 2 include lignite beds and oil field operations. Area 3 is the cap rock of salt domes that can contain gypsum and anhydrite. Based on the exploratory data analysis (Na+Cl)/TDS, (Ca+Mg)/(Na+K), and SO4/Ca ratios were chosen for geostatistical analysis. Chemical ratios that provided indications of cation exchange, salt domes and oil fields were (Na+Cl)/TDS, (Ca+Mg)/(Na+K) and SO4/Ca. In the Sparta-Queen City 150 zone the procedure did not provide a good method for differentiating between contaminant sources. However, the procedure was effective to indicate impacted ground water in the Carrizo-Wilcox 600 and 900 foot zones.
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Date: May 2001
Creator: Alderman, John H.