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09-03-2010

Clarkson University Hosts Local Teachers for Summer Research Experience

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/rmarshall.jpg]

Three local teachers traded in their chalk for lab coats this summer.

Massena Central High School teachers Richard Marshall and Karen Cook and Madrid- Waddington Central School teacher William Roome participated inClarkson University Hosts Local Teachers for Summer Research Experience the Research Experience for Teachers program at Clarkson University.

The six-week experience is funded by the National Science Foundation to refresh teachers’ content knowledge and process skills.

Marshall joined the interdisciplinary research team of Environmental Engineering Prof. Shane Rogers, Biology Prof. Tom Langen and graduate student Carrie Shaffer. They investigated the presence of certain pathogens and antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs) in the feces of wild white-tail deer in the St. Lawrence River Valley and the northern Adirondack State Park.

The results of this work indicate that wild deer in proximity to livestock agriculture and manure application shed significantly more ARGs and pathogens than wild deer inhabiting regions with less intensive or nonexistent animal agriculture. These increased amounts of pathogens and ARGs may pose a risk to nearby produce and water.

Roome worked with Chemistry and Biomolecular Science Prof. Silvana Andreescu to investigate the use of encapsulated yeast in the production of ethanol. Discarded paper could be used to create ethanol if an efficient technology were available.

Encapsulation of yeast in alginate provides a useful tool for the production of ethanol from various substrates of fermentation. The purpose of this summer research is to develop a high school chemistry science curriculum using the encapsulation and fermentation for the production of ethanol from glucose as a substrate.

The Research Experience for Teachers Program is coordinated by Clarkson’s Office of Educational Partnerships and is funded by the National Science Foundation in conjunction with the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE).

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University recently hosted a National Science Foundation summer Research Experience for Teachers (RET). Above, Massena High School teacher Richard Marshall is shown with his poster that explains his project "Landscape correlates to the shedding of antibiotic resistant genes and zoonotic enteric pathogens by wild white tail deer in northern New York State."

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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