When the marine biology course is offered in the fall, the students in the course participate in a field trip to Wallop's Island Marine Science Consortium located on the Chesapeake Bay. Students have the opportunity to visit a wide range of habitats including low and high energy beaches, mud flats, salt marshes, uninhabited dunes, maritime forests and inter tidal waters. We also spend time out on the water trawling for organisms that are found in the coastal waters that line the bay. An evening trip to catch bioluminescent ctenophores is always a highlight.
Wilson College is fortunate to have an interpretive trail on campus that includes a natural wetland, grassland area and forest. However, like most natural areas today, the trail is plagued with invasive plant species. During the fall of 2005, the Conservation Biology course decided to tackle the issue of invasive species and decide how best to return the trail to its natural state. The students chose three plots where invasives would be removed as well as two control plots. One control plot was relatively free of invasives and one plot had a very large percentage of invasives. During the course of the semester, the students identified all the plants in the plot and physically removed all invasive species. The goal is to have students from other classes continue the project and determine if the invasive removal was successful.
Each spring, the students enrolled in the General Biology course take a trip to Caledonia State Park to conduct some field research. They collect samples from the stream, identify plant life along the trails and attempt to find some interesting fungi.
At the end of the fall semester each year, the senior biology and chemistry majors present their research projects at the Physical and Life Sciences Symposium. This research was proposed by the student in the spring of their junior year and the research was conducted during the summer and fall. Each student chooses their own topic and conducts the research independently under the nominal guidance of a faculty member. Some of the abstracts from recent projects can be found on the student research page.
The Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences holds their annual meeting each spring and many of the Wilson seniors present their research at this scientific meeting. This meeting is attended by faculty and students from across the state and provides an opportunity to share current data and research ideas. Some of the presentations from recent years are listed below.
Clark, Falon, Altfeld, L.F., and Engle, B.E. 2011. "A Comparative Analysis of the Effects of Different Wavelengths of Light on the Growth Rate, Pigmentation, and Behavior of Carassius auratus and Danio rerio."
Dennis, Megan, Altfeld, L.F., Austin, D.S. 2011 "Comparing Vitellogenin Induction by 17β-estradiol in Male Danio rerio Through Tritrophic Bioaccumulation Model and a Bioconcentration Model."
Khalifeh, Mariam, Engle, B.E., Austin, D.S. 2011 "The Effects of Water Soluble Fiber Combined with Poly- and Monounsaturated Fatty Acids on Plasma Lipoprotein Levels in Hypercholesterolemic Rats."
Luan, Jing, Engle, B.E., and Harriger, M.D. 2011 "Detection of changes in mitochondrial integrity and levels of GSK-3β in Hippocampal Mitochondria of the Triple transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease.
Pare, Monique M., Ward, N., Harriger, M.D., Santai, C.T. 2011 "The Efficacy of Dietary Supplementation of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Psoriasis in the Psoriasisform Murine Model KC-Tie2."
Tadesse, Bemnete, Harriger, M.D., and Engle, B.E. 2010 "Morphometric Analysis of Interlobular Renal Arteries of Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat Pups Born to Mothers Treated with Methylphenidate Prior to and During Pregnancy."
Ditzler, Bobbie, Engle, B.E. and Austin, D.S. 2010 "Temperature Effects on the Seasonal Polyphenism for Melanization of Papilio polyxenes Larvae."
Davies, Susan, Engle, B.E. and Altfeld, L.F. 2010 "Pseudomonas syringae as a Distributor and Vector for Escheria coli in Spinacea oleracea."
Davies, Monica, Harriger, M.D., and Santai, C.T. 2009 "Comparitive Analysis of Total Coliform Bacteria and Escheria coli Concentrations Between the Conococheague and Little Cove Creeks of South Central Pennsylvania Utilizing Various Water Quality Parameters."
Lewis, Sara Ann, Harriger, M.D. and Santai, C.T. 2009 "The Effects of a Calorie Restricted Diet on Guinea Pig (Cavia porcellus) Reproduction and Metabolism."
Yeager, Merideth, Harriger, M.D., and Altfeld, L.F. 2009 "Effects of Inbreeding and Environmental Stress on Drosophila melanogaster."