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Natural Science and Mathematics Blog

SNSM blog imageThe Mount is known for bringing people together from all over the world and aiding to establish lifelong friendships. Many of us will stay in contact with those we have made relationships with during our time here, however very few of us can picture writing, editing, and publishing a research paper with someone we have encountered at the Mount. None the less, for Dana Bunnell-Young (C’10) and Timothy Rosen (C’09), this would come true.

Post-graduation, Dana and Timothy pursued different paths. With the help of her coursework, research experience, and degree in Environmental Science from the Mount, Dana was accepted as a graduate assistant at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. She had to move to Cambridge, Maryland to do her graduate work at the Horn Point Laboratory. She is now finishing up her dissertation research investigating methane and nitrogen in groundwater. During her graduate studies, Dana worked part-time as an adjunct instructor at Chesapeake College, teaching Fundamentals of Biology and Physical Science. Dana has also gotten married, to another Mount alum, and they have a two-year-old son, Miles. This paper is Dana’s first publication, as well as her first time as first author.

Timothy also owes a lot of his post-graduation success to the Mount. His time as a lab aid to Dr. Simmons, as well as working with Dr. Staiger on his honors thesis, led to him graduating from the Mount with a degree in Biology, and being awarded the Coastal Science Assistantship Program fellowship with the School of Renewable Natural Resources at Louisiana State University. It was here that Timothy completed his Master’s degree in watershed hydrology. He interned with Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. Timothy also has four papers published where he is the first author. Timothy now works as the watershed scientist and agricultural outreach specialist at Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC) in Easton, MD.

During their time at the Mount, Dana and Timothy only crossed paths momentarily. Both alums worked as lab aides under Dr. Simmons in his environmental lab. It would not be until years after graduating from the Mount that the two would cross paths again to be two of five authors to write Dynamics of nitrate and methane in shallow groundwater following land use conversion from agricultural grain production to conservation easement, published in Volume 248 of the science journal “Agricultural, Ecosystems & Environment.”

Dana’s graduate advisor, Dr. Thomas Fisher, is a member of the advisory board at MRC and was asked to participate on a project investigating nitrogen levels in groundwater on a local property, leading him to recruit her. Timothy was also placed on the project. The two went out monthly for a year to gather groundwater samples, and then worked to write the paper. In their study, they looked at nitrogen and methane levels in groundwater below a former agricultural property. They installed groundwater sampling wells in areas of the property. This provided them with a chronosequence of groundwater nitrogen and methane levels over the past sixteen years. Excess nitrogen is a concern for water quality in the Chesapeake. This study shows that conservation practices can help reduce nitrogen releases to local streams, but some of these practices may also release the greenhouse gas methane to the atmosphere.

We encourage you to learn more about Dana and Timothy’s research.

comeau

This past summer Katelyn Comeau, C’19, an honors student and Biochemistry major at Mount St. Mary’s University became one of ten participants on the cutting edge of science. Katelyn traveled out to the University of Oklahoma where she began her training for the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program in Structural Biology.

“My co-researchers and I were given a crash course on biochemistry, structural biology, and x-ray crystallography to aid in our research over the two month program,” Comeau said. Each researcher was assigned a lab where they worked closely with graduate students, and doctors. The goal of their research was to “diversify natural products and drugs for diseases like cancer.”

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of her experience was successfully freezing and storing an active and pure “prenyltransferase enzyme” which the lab will use for progress in drug leads.

Katelyn was inspired and excited by her work in conjunction with the chemists and learned a great deal more about the biochemistry field which helped to develop her understanding of biological systems.

Matt Koury

As we approach the One Day, One Mount campaign, it is important to highlight student’s research that is made possible by such an initiative. Students in the science majors have the opportunity to...

Bonson and Call

The life of a student-athlete at the Mount can be incredibly demanding at times. Many student-athletes within the science program...

Woods

Undergraduate life can be demanding, especially for those juggling both academics as well as athletics. While some student-athletes...Read More...

Zoology

Dr. Kula’s Invertebrate Zoology class were able to get their hands on some real life organisms in the lab the past several weeks. The class conducted a lab observing various types of organisms from a particular fresh water environment. Dr. Kula was able to further elaborate on the experiment:...

Maggie and Domenica

Last week, Maggie Fiore and Domenica Carrese were able to represent the Mount at the Eastern Psychological Association in Boston. They had this to share about their experience:...Read More...

 
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