Sunday, March 11, 2018

Dr, Surmacz attends BLC

Dr. Cynthia Surmacz recently attended the Biology Leadership Community (BLC), a meeting of college professors from throughout the United States that convene annually to share ideas and innovations to improve introductory biology courses for college science majors. Dr. Surmacz gave a talk entitled “Learning to Study Smart: Building Metacognitive Skills using Evidence-Based Study Practices.  This project tested the effectiveness of a study strategy intervention program in freshman biology on student metacognition, study behaviors, and performance. The project was a collaborative effort with Dr. Jamie Jensen, Brigham Young University, Professor Kim Murphy, Austin Community College, Dr. Chris Davis from the University of Florida, and Dr. Graeme Lindbeck from Valencia College. The group received a Pearson Catalyst grant to conduct this work.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

BAHS Trip to the Mutter Museum

An enthusiastic group of BAHS students, along with Drs. Hess and Surmacz, headed to Philadelphia on Saturday, March 4 to visit the Mutter Museum of The College of Physicians of  Philadelphia. The museum initially opened in 1863 with the contributions of  over 1,300 anatomical specimens from Dr. Thomas Mutter, a professor of surgery from Jefferson Medical College. The collection has now grown to include over 25,000 specimens.  As described in its motto, Disturbingly Informative, the museum houses a wide range of fascinating and distinct specimens that educate both medical professionals and the public.  While exploring the museum's collections, the BAHS group had the opportunity to examine the plaster cast of the torso of the world-famous conjoined twins Chang and Eng, slides of Albert Einstein's brain, a mega colon, the preserved body of  the Soap Lady, the tallest skeleton on display in North America, Dr. Chevalier Jackson's collection of 2,000 swallowed objects retrieved from patients, shrunken heads, an interactive exhibit of phantom limbs, and  a collection of 139 skulls. The museum featured a special exhibit on hair art, a craft common in the 17th to 19th centuries.  Human hair was used to construct everything from wreathes to jewelry as an expression of love or as a keepsake to preserve the memory of a deceased loved one.  The BAHS group took on the challenge of the Mutter Museum College Scavenger Hunt.  Earning prizes (miniature body parts, of course!) for successful completion of the scaventer hunt were Sarah Baney, Jamie Davis and Alli Ostman.  After checking out the gift shop, the group headed back to BU with plenty of "disturbingly informative" stories to tell!

Dr. Klinger receives CoST Service Award

 Dr. Thomas Klinger, professor, received the College of Science and Technology Service Award at the college-wide meeting in February 2018. Dr. Klinger was recognized for his dedicated and enthusiastic service to the Masters of Science in Biology program. In his role as graduate coordinator, Dr. Klinger has made extensive contributions to the graduate program and has been instrumental in developing and expanding opportunities for graduate students and faculty. Dr. Klinger earned an A.A. from Bradford College, a B.A. from Macalester College, and a M.A. and Ph.D., from the University of South Florida. Since joining BAHS in 1985, Dr. Klinger has a taught a variety of courses including Concepts in Biology 1 lab, Invertebrate Zoology, Marine Biology, Human Sexuality, and Human Biology.  Dr. Klinger's research explores functional aspects of invertebrate zoology, specifically focusing on the physiological, behavioral, and ecological aspects of nutrition in echinoderms. Congratulations to Dr. Klinger for receiving this well-deserved award!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Daniel Deignan receives Professional Experience Grant

Dr. Barry Nolt and Daniel Deignan
Daniel Deignan, a senior majoring in pre-medical sciences,  has been awarded a Professional Experience Grant to conduct reserach with Dr. Barry Nolt. They are investigating the ability of Mural, a  fungicide, to  suppress populations of the oomycete Pythium in greenhouse soil from Dillion Floral. To test the chemical's effectiveness, they collected soil samples from a treatment plot and used a selective agar plate based dilution technique to quantify the pythium populations. DNA in the isolates will be analyzed to determine what species of Pythium are present and which may have been effectively suppressed by the Mural fungicide.  Dan is a member of Tri-Beta Biology Honor Society and a recipient of the Dr. Frederick Maue 1976 Scholarship.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Professor Sean Hartzell publishes paper on crayfish coloration

Professor Sean Hartzell
Professor Sean Hartzell has published a communication in the journal Freshwater Crayfish entitled "Ontogenetic Color Change in the Crayfish Cambarus b. bartonii and Faxonius obscurus: a Test of Ortmann’s Hypotheses." Professor Hartzell used digital image analysis to quantify  color variation in populations of two local crayfish species.  His analysis revealed  that there was not a relationship between coloration and body size in either crayfish species. This study did not support Ortmann's Hypotheses,  the presence of ontogenetic color change in these species and suggests that this intraspecific color variation in both species may be due to other factors. Check out Dr. Hartzell's paper at: Freshwater Crayfish 23(1):59–63, 2017 ISSN: 2076-4324 (Print), 2076-4332 (Online)

Need help in a biology course? Check out the MARCH ABLE calendar!

BAHS Seminar features Dr. Robert Smith from Lycoming College

BAHS Club brings science to the community!

The BAHS club members were at the Children’s Museum in Bloomsburg on Saturday February 24th.  Dr. Hess and club members presented a workshop on the “Science of Flowers”. Children learned about plants and flowers, planted seeds, dyed carnations, made rose and lavender bath salts, and tissue paper flowers. The children had a wonderful time and took home many things when finished with the activities. Club member participants included Olivia DeFranco, Allie Ostman, MacKenzie McDowell, Rebecca Carroll, Juliette Gudnecht, and Mitchell Liddick.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Check out Alternate Spring Break!

Alternative Spring Break is an extracurricular program of Service Learning and Research Experiences for PASSHE students at the Chincoteauge Bay Field Station (CBFS) in Wallops Island, VA. Our goal is to engage students in research and environmental education activities at the PASSHE field station during the first weekend of Spring Break.  This program is organized by the field station staff and faculty to provide an enriching experience for students at the field station that features:
·         Faculty-led research experiences
·         Faculty-led field trips
·         Service activities with the field station for environmental education programs
·         Professional development session(s) for careers in environmental science

Dates:  Arrival on Friday March 9th, 2018; Activities on March 10 (Saturday) - March 12 (Monday), 2018.

Location:  Chincoteague Bay Field Station, Wallops Island, VA ; Greenbackville, Wallops Island, and Assateague Island Sites)

Fees: $85 per person

Fees Include: Overnight accommodations in the College Dormitory (Friday, Saturday, Sunday),three meals per day (Saturday, Sunday) and breakfast and snacks on Monday. 

Travel to/from the CBFS: you may either travel to the CBFS in your personal vehicle or with a faculty member in a university van from a PASSHE school. Plan ahead for travel arrangements as vans from any one campus may fill quickly.  Travel in personal vehicle and meals during travel are additional expenses.

Contact:  Dr. John M. Hranitz (Bloomsburg University):

Make your reservation using this online Google form:

Note: The weather at the field station ranges from cold and snowy or cold and wet to mild and sunny at this time of year.  This provides students an excellent opportunity, with guidance from faculty, to learn the logistics of field work in less than favorable weather.  Participants are advised that activities will take place except if dangerous conditions exist.  Plan to dress for the weather and to get wet, cold, and dirty at times. Bring layers that are warm, water repellent, and well ventilated.

Biology Trivia is back!