Catalog: Fall 2007 - Spring 2008

2007-08 Catalog: U

A-Z Index    ||    Browse catalog by letter: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Undergraduate Research in Scientific Inquiry

Fall,Winter, and Spring quarters

Faculty: Clyde Barlow, Dharshi Bopegedera, Andrew Brabban, Judith Bayard Cushing, Clarissa Dirks, Betty Kutter, David McAvity, Lydia McKinstry, Donald Morisato, Nancy Murray, Jim Neitzel, Neal Nelson, Paula Schofield, Sheryl Shulman, Rebecca Sunderman, E. J. Zita

Major areas of study include areas of student work, e.g., lab biology and chemistry, computer science, health sciences, teaching and environmental sciences, mathematics, physics and astronomy. Upper-division credit awarded for upper-division work.

Class Standing: Sophomores and above; transfer students welcome.

Prerequisites: Negotiated individually with faculty.

Faculty Signature: Students must contact individual faculty to make arrangements.

A number of faculty members in this planning group are engaged in research projects that offer collaborative research opportunities for advanced students. These provide an important aspect of advanced work in the sciences that take advantage of faculty expertise and Evergreen's flexible structure and excellent equipment. In general, students begin by working in apprenticeship with faculty and laboratory staff and gradually take on more independent projects within the context of the specific program.

Clyde Barlow (chemistry) works with biophysical applications of spectroscopy to study physiological processes at the organ level, with direct applications to health problems. Students with backgrounds in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics or computer science can obtain practical experience in applying their backgrounds to biomedical research problems in an interdisciplinary laboratory environment.

Dharshi Bopegedera (chemistry) would like to engage students in three projects. (1) FTIR spectroscopy of free radicals. This project is for advanced chemistry students who are interested in using infrared spectroscopy to understand molecular properties of free radicals synthesized in situ in a microwave discharge. (2) An interdisciplinary study of drinking water in the South Puget Sound. Students who have completed general chemistry with laboratory can carry out this project. (3) Science and education. We will work with local teachers to develop lab activities that will enhance the science curriculum in local schools. Students who have an interest in teaching science and who have completed general chemistry with laboratory would be ideal for this project.

Andrew Brabban (biotechnology) and Elizabeth Kutter (molecular biology) study microbiology and biotechnology, focusing particularly on bacteriophages-key model organisms in molecular genetics that play major roles in controlling microbial ecology worldwide. Their research involves approximately 12 students each year who explore bacterial metabolism and the infection process under a variety of environmental conditions, phage ecology and genomics and the application of phages as antibacterial agents in systems such as E. coli in infant diarrhea or the guts of livestock, Pseudomonas in human and dog-ear infections and Aeromonas salmonicida in furunculosis in local hatchery fish. Students are requested to commit at least a full year to the research project and to enroll for 6 to 16 credits each quarter.

Judith Bayard Cushing (computer science) studies how scientists might better use information technology in their research. She would like to work with students who have a background in computer science or one of the sciences (e.g., ecology, biology, chemistry or physics), and who are motivated to explore how new computing paradigms, such as object-oriented systems and new database technologies, can be harnessed to improve the individual and collaborative work of scientists.

Clarissa Dirks (biology) aims to better understand the evolutionary principles that underlie the emergence, spread, and containment of infectious disease by studying the co-evolution of retroviruses and their primate hosts. Studying how host characteristics and ecological changes influence virus transmission in lemurs will enable us to address the complex spatial and temporal factors that impact emerging diseases. Students with a background in biology and chemistry will gain experience in molecular biology techniques, including tissue culture and the use of viral vectors.

Jim Neitzel (biochemistry) studies Bacteriophage T4, which has been a key model organism in molecular genetics for more than 50 years. Its infection of E. coli leads to rapid cessation of host DNA, RNA and protein synthesis. This faculty member is working to clone and over-express the many host-lethal genes that purify and characterize their protein products. The intent of this research is to determine specific functions, look at ways in which genes can be used to better understand bacterial metabolism, and examine the infection process under a variety of environmental conditions. Evergreen is the center for genomic analysis and database development for these phages, and work with phage ecology and potential uses as antibiotics.

David McAvity (mathematics) is interested in problems in mathematical biology associated with population and evolutionary dynamics. Students working with this faculty member would help create computer simulations using agent based modeling and cellular automata and analyzing non-linear models for the evolution of cooperative behavior in strategic multiplayer evolutionary games. Students should have a strong mathematics or computer science background.

Lydia McKinstry (organic chemistry) is interested in organic synthesis research, including asymmetric synthesis methodology, chemical reaction dynamics and small molecule synthesis. One specific study involves the design and synthesis of enzyme inhibitor molecules to be used as effective laboratory tools with which to study the mechanistic steps of programmed cell death in cancer cells. Students with a background in organic chemistry and biology will gain experience with the laboratory techniques of organic synthesis as well as the techniques of spectroscopy.

Donald Morisato (biology) and Nancy Murray (biology) are interested in the developmental biology of the Drosophila embryo, a model system for analyzing how patterning occurs. Maternally encoded signaling pathways establish the anterior-posterior and dorsal-ventral axes. Individual student projects will use a combination of genetic, molecular biological and biochemical approaches to investigate the spatial regulation of this complex process.

Neal Nelson and Sheryl Shulman are interested in working with advanced computer topics and current problems in the application of computing to the sciences. Their areas of interest include simulations of advanced architectures for distributed computing, advanced programming languages and compilers, programming languages for concurrent and parallel computing, and hardware modeling languages. equivalent.

Paula Schofield (polymer chemistry, organic chemistry) is interested in the interdisciplinary fields of biomedical polymers and biodegradable plastics. Specific projects within biomedical polymers involve the synthesis of poly(lactic acid) copolymers that have potential for use in tissue engineering. Also, research in the field of biodegradable plastics is becoming increasingly important, and bacterial polyesters show great promise in replacing current petroleum-derived plastics, and in reducing the environmental impact of plastic wastes. Students with a background in chemistry and biology will gain experience in the synthesis and characterization of these novel polymer materials, and in biological procedures used to monitor biodegradation and biocompatibility. Students will also present their work at American Chemical Society (ACS) conferences.

Rebecca Sunderman (inorganic/materials chemistry and physical chemistry) is interested in the synthesis and property characterization of new bismuth-containing materials. These compounds have been characterized as electronic conductors, attractive activators for luminescent materials, second harmonic generators and oxidation catalysts for several organic compounds. Traditional solid-state synthesis methods will be utilized to prepare new complex bismuth oxides. Once synthesized, powder x-ray diffraction patterns will be obtained and material properties such as conductivity, melting point, biocidal tendency, coherent light production and magnetic behavior will be examined when appropriate.

E. J. Zita (physics) studies the Sun and other magnetized plasmas. Solar changes may affect Earth over decades (as in Solar Max) to millennia (as in climate change). Why does the Sun shine more brightly when it is more magnetically active? Why does the Sun's magnetic field flip every 11 years? We investigate solar mysteries by modeling the magnetic dynamics of the Sun. Students can study solar physics, plasma physics, and magneto hydrodynamics; use simple optical and radio telescopes and tools to observe the Sun from Olympia; and analyze data from satellites and supercomputers. Strong research students may be invited to join our summer research team in Olympia and/or Boulder.

Total: 4 to 16 credits each quarter. Students will negotiate credit with the faculty sponsor.

Enrollment: Variable

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in chemistry, biology, computer science, health science, environmental sciences, physics, astronomy and teaching

A similar program is expected to be offered in 2008–09.

Program Updates:
This is a new listing for 2007/08.
06.06.2007: The class standing has changed to include sophomores and above. The research interests of Neal Nelson and Sheryl Shulman have been modified.
06.20.2007: Richard Weiss has left the program.


U. S. Foreign Policy Since Woodrow Wilson: Before and After 9/11


For an alternative option, refer to the program description for: The End of Prosperity

Winter quarter

Faculty: Alan Nasser (political economy, foreign policy)

Major areas of study include political science, international relations, imperialism and U. S. foreign policy.

Class Standing: Juniors or seniors; transfer students welcome.

Prerequisites: Background in political economy and/or 20th-century American history preferred but not required. Faculty signature required (see below).

From the United States' beginning, dominant groups have imagined the country to have a grand destiny. Woodrow Wilson portrayed the United States as a model of "freedom and democracy" for the entire world and put forward explicitly, for the first time in American history, the doctrine known as "liberal internationalism." Later administrations attempted to export this model globally, often aggressively. A prime example of this is the Cold War, which we shall study at length. The ensuing rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union was one of the powerful forces shaping both international and intranational policy over the course of the 20th century.

We will examine how the U. S. elite was led to reassert American global dominance more aggressively than ever after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the move to the political right of both the Democratic and Republican parties, the onset of global economic stagnation and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The result of these developments was the new foreign policy of the Bush administration. The test case for these policies was the 2003, U. S. -led invasion and occupation of Iraq. We will analyze in detail the origins and possible consequences, abroad and at home, of these developments.

This is a rigorous, bookish program, emphasizing the close and critical reading of texts.

Total: 16 credits.

Enrollment: 25

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in government, law, political science, education, international relations, political economy and history.