Compiled by Colorado College Students for Global Health. The Asclepian is an independent publication of the Students for Global Health Club. The newsletter was started in order to educate the student body about current issues affecting public and global health.
Minutes of the Colorado College Student Government Association Executive Council meeting held on September 18, 2012. Members present include: President Nathan Lee, Student Concerns Vice President Charis Whitnah, Outreach Vice President Pat Knecht, Finance Vice President Stanley Sigalov, Constitutional Vice President Elliott Mamet, Associate Dean of Students Rochelle Mason, and Faculty Advisor Professor Peter Blasenheim.
Minutes of the Colorado College Student Government Association Executive Council meeting held on November 5, 2012. Members present include: President Nathan Lee, Student Concerns Vice President Charis Whitnah, Outreach Vice President Pat Knecht, Finance Vice President Stanley Sigalov, Constitutional Vice President Elliott Mamet, and Associate Dean of Students Rochelle Mason.
Minutes of the Colorado College Student Government Association Executive Council meeting held on September 11, 2012. Members present include: President Nathan Lee, Student Concerns Vice President Charis Whitnah, Outreach Vice President Pat Knecht, Finance Vice President Stanley Sigalov, Constitutional Vice President Elliott Mamet and Faculty Advisor Professor Peter Blasenheim.
Minutes of the Colorado College Student Government Association Full Council meeting held on October 18, 2012.
Minutes of the Colorado College Student Government Association Full Council meeting held on October 4, 2012.
Mounting research on alpine treeline advance suggests that global and regional temperatures do not completely explain changes in treeline elevation and distribution. Rather, micrometeorological feedbacks may play an important role in treeline advance by increasing local temperatures. On Pikes Peak, the comparison of a transition zone microclimate at treeline to an adjacent rockslide microclimate at the same elevation showed that the transition zone microclimate heats more quickly and to a higher maximum temperature than the rockslide. Observed differential heating is particularly prevalent in the near-surface soil temperature, an important location for seedling establishment and growth. During the June observation period, daytime temperature maximums in the transition zone soil were 7C warmer on average than in the rockslide. Local warming at the treeline’s leading edge suggests that the presence of trees increases soil heat flux through a variety of mechanisms. Canopy warming, varying soil moisture, and sheltering are each considered independently as possible causes of differential heating. First, I investigate the possibility that heat captured in the canopy warms the transition zone microclimate. However, this theory is unsupported by data showing daytime canopy transpiration and cooling, and infrared photos revealing that the canopy is significantly cooler than the rockslide during the day. Second, I explore whether higher soil moisture in the transition zone is responsible for differential heating via increased conduction. However, soil moistures are actually lower in the treeline microclimate, suggesting that low soil moisture may be a characteristic of warming rather than its cause. Third, I look at the idea that trees shelter the microclimate from wind and hence reduce heat loss. While sheltering effects show some relationship with differential heating, there is no consistent correlation between high wind and differential heating. While this analysis does not offer a clear cause of differential warming, a better understanding of the treeline system is gained, and suggestions are made for how and where to look for warming feedbacks in the future. Thus, while results are inconclusive, warming feedbacks at treeline that increase soil temperatures during the critical growing season should be further considered as factors in treeline advance.
Mining activity in the central Andes poses a serious threat to human health due to the release of heavy metals in surface water. Long-term exposure to elevated levels of heavy metals, including lead, cadmium, copper, and arsenic, are known to have severe detrimental effects on human health. Mining exposes large quantities of metal bearing rock, which oxidize in the presence of oxygen and water, releasing heavy metal ions into surface water. Surface water contamination in Perú as a result of mining operations is of particular concern due to a lack of regulation of large-scale mines. In order to determine the impact of mining on surface water heavy metal concentrations, water samples were collected in nine streams throughout our three watersheds in the central Peruvian Andes. Results showed [Mn] and [As] exceeded the EPA maximum allowable limits at 55% and 14% of sites, respectively. The [Mn] was significantly higher in impacted streams than non-impacted streams. The [As] was elevated in some non-impacted streams and below the EPA maximum allowable drinking water levels in some mine-impacted streams. While Mn appeared to be impacted by mining effluent, As seemed to have a natural groundwater source. This study suggests Mn and As pose a serious threat to human health in the regions of study. The [Zn], [Cu], and [Pb] seldom exceeded the EPA maximum allowable drinking water limit (5%, 3% and 5% of sites, respectively). Dry season [Zn], [Cu], and [Pb] do not appear to pose a serious threat to human health in these regions. Further research is needed to understand seasonal variations in both dissolved and particulate trace metal concentrations. Implementing a community-based water quality monitoring program in study regions may also afford local residents more autonomy and local knowledge regarding the impact of mining on heavy metal concentrations in their surface water.
This study investigated the behavior of the terrestrial biosphere during times of significant drought, particularly in regard to carbon fluxes. The Simple Biosphere Model Version 3 (SiB3) was used to facilitate an investigation of ecosystem drought response. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) was evaluated from 1983 to 2006 in order to produce historical drought maps, which were used to facilitate a subjective analysis of drought behavior and to identify geographic point locations in the SiB3 model for further temporal study. Standardized maps were produced for modeled physiological variables (gross primary productivity, respiration, net ecosystem exchange, and soil water stress factor) over time in order to determine general regional drought response patterns. Physiological response variable data for particular spatial locations was then analyzed over time during drought years for anecdotal comparison with observational study data. While the SPI, which standardizes precipitation, was predicted to be an indicator of ecosystem drought response, this did not appear to be the case. The droughts modeled in the SiB3 model, which included the droughts in the United States Southwest and Australia in 2002 and in Europe in 2003, were found to respond heterogeneously in terms of carbon fluxes to similar droughts. The U.S. Southwest and Australia appeared to respond to drought in a manner consistent with anecdotal evidence with regard to perturbations in gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration, and net ecosystem exchange (NEE), while Europe appeared to respond in a manner dissimilar to published descriptions of that drought. The behavior of the soil water stress factor in Australia and Europe seemed to be incorrect as well. Precipitation input data, derived from a reanalysis dataset from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), the treatment by the SiB3 model of the soil water stress factor, and the possible heterogeneous vegetative response to seasonality between regions were identified as potential causes of these disparities.
This thesis seeks to determine the most effective means of distributing appropriate sustainable energy technology to individuals that have no access to energy services. There are approximately 1.4 billion people around the world that are ‘energy-impoverished.’ ASETs are small-scale clean energy technologies that fill the immediate energy needs of these individuals. There are, however, seven fundamental barriers limiting the dissemination of these technologies. These barriers result from the microeconomic and sociological conditions of these populations. This thesis analyzes 12 unique distribution models from companies, nonprofit organizations, and universities, and shows how each model performs relative to these barriers. Following this analysis, I propose the most effective means of distribution ASET to energy-impoverished populations. Title on PDF: Methods for distributing appropriate sustainable energy technologies in developing nations : a comparative analysis
The central Peruvian Andes is a region of varied geology and land use, likely affecting the surrounding watersheds in a variety of ways. Abnormally high levels of nitrite were measured in several streams in the Lake Junin and Cordillera Blanca regions. These high nitrite concentrations could be explained by several mechanisms: an artifact of sampling and storage, nutrient limitation, oxygen limitation, reduced reactions with hydroxyl radicals due to a reduction in Fenton oxidation reactions, pollution from Mn, As or NO2- or any combination of these factors. High nitrite levels are of concern because they can cause methemoglobinemia, a potentially fatal condition for infants or people with weak immune systems. Further studies are needed to better understand the cause behind the unusually high concentrations of nitrite in these streams, as well as the overall input of the cycle of nitrogen.
Pinochet gained power in 1973 in a coup that followed a period of rapid democratization that had culminated in Salvador Allende’s socialist democracy. In response to society’s new focus on equality during this period, the Church developed a progressive social doctrine that sided with the oppressed masses who had gained power for the first time. When the military junta took power, the Church suddenly had to choose between its new democratic ideals and its historic Latin American strategy of siding with the group in power. Its indecision resulted in a painfully divided compromise between two clearly opposed sides of the Church hierarchy. The upper echelon of the hierarchy, by remaining generally cooperative with the military regime, ensured institutional survival. The lower echelon of the hierarchy, by opposing the regime, kept the Church relevant to the masses that would someday regain power. The disunity within the Chilean hierarchy allowed for new and necessary flexibility that ensured both the Church’s institutional and popular survival under authoritarian rule. However, it was the careful strategy of Archbishop Silva that maintained the necessary unity that allowed the Church to utilize its internal factionalization to survive both the aggression of the dictatorship and the needs of its congregation, and ultimately maintain a critical degree of unity.
While central Mexico continues to be a cradle of agrobiodiversity, there have been major changes to the agricultural model since the 1960’s, characterized by an overall decrease in crop diversity and a shift from low-input subsistence farming to high-input commercial farming (Sanderson 1986). In light of this trend, this study focuses on agrobiodiversity and the specific practices associated with seed selection, cultivation, and use of diverse crops in central Mexico. Most related efforts have been made at the scale of “farm” or “nation;” the dynamics of agrobiodiversity at the scale of landscape are less well-understood. This study examines crop diversity within a specific community in central Mexico. Both quantitative measures of crop diversity and qualitative ethnographic data are interpreted through the frameworks of ethnobotany, economic botany, agroecology and human ecology. The agro-system of this community appears to be a relatively stable and sustainable form of agricultural syncretism containing high levels of agrobiodiversity. Using this community as a case study, the functional roles and implications of crop diversity on a bioregion are examined. This contextual examination is conducted with an awareness of the biosecurity threats posed by genetic erosion and the potential benefits of in situ conservation.
Niccolo Machiavelli is a political philosopher with a coherent and complex concern for human liberty, as presented through his works The Prince and the Discourses on Livy. Machiavelli’s two works must be synthesized, possible through the examination of the mechanism of fortune in both works. Fortune situates human politics and human history, opposed only by human virtue. This concern with virtue reveals Machiavelli’s concern for the efficacy of human action in politics, which he expands to a concern for human liberty and dignity. Fortuna situates human politics, but Machiavelli retains hope that her whims may be fought by the virtuous political man with an endpoint of stability.
Disasters, man made or natural, can impact a community in extreme ways, sometimes changing a people’s lives forever. The research done by sociologists of disaster mainly focus on the communal response to the disaster and how quickly the community can bounce back from the life altering event. There are many aspects to a successful community response to a disaster including: preparation, social capital, cooperation, coordination and organizations. This paper offers analysis on over 80 organizations and categorizes them into specific groups describing what the categories can tell about a community. Through a modified response model of Bardo (1977) the organizations are specified as manifest or emergent, describing the 9/11 communities’ extensive social capital and resource mobilization. The second category is determined by the most common organization groups found in the American Red Cross’s 9/11 Service Guide: A list of Programs That Receive September 11 Recovery Grants from the Liberty Disaster Relief Fund. These four major categories demonstrate what areas received the most support and attention in the years following 9/11.
Despite extensive scholarship exploring relationships between space, gender, and sexuality, little attention has been given to lesbian/queer subjects in everyday heterosexual spaces such as bars. Furthermore, there is an absence of work addressing the bartender as a social actor. This research confronts those gaps by examining the social power of lesbian bartenders in straight bars to facilitate lesbian networks, and to cultivate and maintain “quiet queer spaces”—structurally heterosexual and socially heteronormative spaces that temporarily and covertly double as safe spaces for queer populations. By drawing on previous scholarship, and conducting a primary investigation through interviews and observations, I examine the creation and maintenance of quiet queer spaces in Colorado Springs bars to conclude that quiet queer spaces are both present and necessary in lesbian networks. I specifically examine the position of the lesbian bartender in straight bars as one of unique social power, essential in the creation and identification of quiet queer space.
In this paper, I explore the process of meaning-making around alcohol consumption in two contexts: Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and a college campus. Drawing on ethnographic observation of AA meetings, interviews with AA members, and a survey of college students, I will discuss how context and interaction shape the process of alcohol-related identity construction. In Alcoholics Anonymous, members are provided with a clear, established path toward identity creation. On the college campus, however, students must give meaning to their behaviors without the aid of explicit standards or expectations.
Reversed sexual size dimorphism (RSSD), where females within a given species are larger than their male counterparts, is a phenomena observed across a few avian taxa including hawks and eagles (Accipitriformes), falcons (Falconiformes), waders (Charadriiformes), and owls (Strigiformes). While the mechanisms driving the evolution of this phenomenon are widely discussed, the proximate effects of RSSD on development and juvenile morphology are not well understood. Life history characteristics, such as brood size, influencing avian morphology are also important in understanding long-term patterns in development. I studied development of Flammulated Owls (Otus flammeolus), an RSSD species that tends to raise offspring in broods of 2-3 owlets, to better understand these relationships. I analyzed development using two measures: mass and wing feather length. First I determined the gender of all 2011 nestlings based on genetic analysis of blood samples collected from owlets captured and bled in 2011. Gender data since 2003 were already available. Growth analysis on a total of 189 owlets revealed that females reach a higher asymptotic mass than males. Broods consisting of three owlets reached a higher asymptotic mass than broods consisting of 2 owlets, an unexpected result based on previous research. The differences in maximum juvenile mass in broods of different sizes may be biased due to divergent sex ratios within broods; 57% of owlets in broods of three were female while 38% in broods of two were female. Even so, trends remained the same when males are compared with other males and females with other females in same-sized broods. Wing size differed little between the genders and broods. Juvenile body condition ultimately informs adult viability and fitness, thus it is important to understand these and other selective factors that influence avian development.
Neurons are polarized cells with specialized processes known as dendrites that receive environmental stimuli and transduce that input to the cell body, or soma. Dendrites are important in generating action potentials for cell-to-cell communication and, in the case of sensory neurons, for sensing the environment. Despite the important role that dendrites play, the molecular mechanisms that regulate dendrite development, or morphogenesis, are poorly understood. Recent research indicates that dendrite morphogenesis is regulated by the localized control of messenger RNA (mRNA) in dendrites. mRNA localization and translational regulation is often mediated by RNA-binding proteins (RBPs), which recognize and bind to specific mRNAs. It is thought that regulating protein translation in dendrites, which are located far from the nucleus where mRNAs originate, is a faster and more efficient way to regulate dendrite morphogenesis than changing gene expression. A recent study has found that the RBP gene brat regulates dendrite morphogenesis in Drosophila. To determine if brat function is conserved, we studied the role of ncl-1, a C. elegans homolog of brat, in dendrite morphogenesis. Dendrite morphology in wild type and ncl-1 mutants was compared using a fluorescent marker that is expressed in the PVD mechanosensory neurons in C. elegans. We find that ncl-1 null mutant PVDs have fewer dendritic branches than wild type throughout development. Consistent with a role in PVD dendritic development, we find that ncl-1 is expressed in most neurons during development, likely including the PVD. Since NCL-1 may be involved in regulating mRNAs in dendrites we wanted to see where within neurons the NCL-1 protein is localized. We find that NCL-1 is localized to both axons and dendrites, but was excluded from the nucleus. Together, these results suggest that NCL-1 plays a conserved role as an RBP that regulates mRNAs important for dendrite elaboration and future studies will be aimed at learning which mRNAs NCL-1 binds and how it regulates them.
The ubiquitin proteosome system (UPS) functions in the cell to mark specific proteins for degradation. E3 ubiquitin ligases act as recognition factors and increase the specificity of the UPS. MEX-3 is an RNA binding protein in Caenorhabditis elegans that inhibits the translation of PAL-1, a posterior specifying protein, and contributes to development of the anterior of the embryo. MEX-3 is present throughout the oocyte, 1-cell, and 2-cell embryo. However, MEX-3 is then depleted in the posterior after the second cell division, and PAL-1 is then expressed in the two posterior blastomeres of the 4-cell embryo. MEX-3 is rapidly depleted from the entire embryo after the 8-cell stage. This degradation is location and time specific, and thus hypothesized to be caused by the UPS. MEX-3 is hypothesized to be targeted for degradation by a specific E3 ubiquitin ligase, and knockout of this protein should result in increase in universal MEX-3 expression in the early embryo. This study sought to determine the MEX-3 specific E3 ubiquitin ligase(s). Putative E3 ubiquitin ligases expressed during early embryonic development were knocked out in C. elegans, and phenotypes were determined. Of the knocked-out ligase genes, only one, ZK858.4 caused embryonic lethality at both 15˚ and 24˚ C. However, fluorescence microcopy of GFP::MEX-3 demonstrated that ZK858.4 knockout did not appear to increase global MEX-3 concentrations. Determining which protein targets MEX-3 degradation will provide more insight into the molecular mechanisms of determining anterior/posterior patterning in C. elegans early embryonic development.