Monday, September 19, 2016

ABLE Open House

ABLE, the Academic Biology Learning Environment, welcomed students in introductory biology courses to its Open House on September 15. Over 50 students along with BAHS faculty members Drs. Amin, Hess, Nolt, Schwindinger, and Surmacz, graduate asaistant John Poling, Dean Aronstam, and Assistant Dean Dr, Venditti, were on hand to kick off the new academic year. at Columbia Residence Hall.  Students had the opportunity to view  ABLE resources and facilities, meet faculty and tutors, learn about ABLE workshops and study sessions, and of course have some snacks.  Dr. Hess's human body cookies were a big hit!  Students also received prizes that ranged from school supplies to miniature skeletons. Thanks to all who attended. Please take advantage of the opportunities available at ABLE!

Join Tri Beta!

Biology Trivia is Coming!

Dr. Rier partners with Chesapeake Conservancy in Precision Conservation Efforts

Dr. Steven Rier
Bloomsburg University, along with the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Susquehanna University and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation are partners in a three year initiative to restore and conserve the Susquehanna River Watershed. This project of the Chesapeake Conservancy was funded by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundatioin.This collaborative project pilots a new approach called precision conservation that aims to use new technologies and data sets to improve water quality by reducing sediment and nutrient pollution from non-point sources. .Dr. Steven Rier and his students will directly evaluate the effectiveness of the precision conservation approach by determining if restoration efforts actually reduce nutrient and sediment loads and restore key ecosystem functions. Bloomsburg University will receive $115,000 to complete this work. Congratulations to Dr. Rier. We look forward to learning the results of your research on the precision conservation approach.

Class at the Beach!

Here are some scenes from Dr. Klinger's Marine Invertebrates class that was held at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station in Wallops Island, VA this summer. Looks like fun!  For more information on marine biology or summer courses at Wallops Island, please contact Dr. Thomas Klinger at

Intern Feature: Nathan Feiertag

Nathan Feiertag
Nathan Feiertag, B.S. Biology, pre-medical sciences option, interned this summer as a research scholar at Lehigh Valley Hospital.  Nathan collaborated with fellow research scholars and Dr. Patruno, Dr. Pellini, Dr. Martino, Andrew Katz, and Michael Fink in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Their research goal was to determine if a videotaping technology called Simcapture is a reliable and useful tool for assessing the surgical competencies of residents in endoscopic, laparoscopic, hysteroscopic, and robotic laparoscopic cases.  The research team developed an evaluation rubric to assess the performance of the surgical residents on criteria such as dexterity, procedural methods, and depth perception.  After recording the residents' surgical techniques using the Simcapture technology, the videotapes were scored using the evaluation rubric by the residents' attending physicians and by other surgeons in a blind external review. The researchers found that the residents' attending physicians almost always scored the resident higher in every category compared to the external reviewers. The researchers propose that this could have been due to the personal relationships between an attending physician and his/her resident. They concluded that the use of Simcapture videotaping technology benefits residents by providing them with critical assessments of their surgical competencies and has the potential to improve their performance and educational experience. Nathan is the vice-president of the Pre-medical Sciences Club at Bloomsburg University.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Jamie Shinskie defends thesis research

Jamie Shinskie and a hellbender
Congratulations to Jamie Shinskie for successfully defending her Master's thesis on September 3, 2016. Jamie's interdisciplinary ecological project assessed land cover data and its influence on eastern hellbender occurrence within the Susquehanna River drainage of Pennsylvania. Her results demonstrated that the loss of hellbender populations was associated with increases in siltation, sedimentation, and turbidity in stream channels accompanying deforestation. Jamie also presented her work at the recent Northeast Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Meeting, where she earned an award for best presentation. Dr. Pitt is Jamie's thesis advisor. Serving on her thesis committee were Dr. Delahunty, Department of Environmental, Geographic and Geological Sciences. Physics and Dr. Rier, Department of Biological and Allied Health Sciences.  Congratulations Jamie!

Friday, September 2, 2016

And we're off!

The 2016-2017 academic year is underway!  Welcome to all BAHS students, faculty and staff. In addition to our returning students, 191 new freshmen and transfer students have joined BAHS this semester. We are delighted to have you aboard and are looking forward to working with you this academic year. The first week was a busy one with students heading out to Kocher Park in Ecology lab with Dr. Williams and into the laboratory for some crime solving in Cell Biology with Dr. Brubaker. We wish you all a successful and rewarding academic year!