Hannah Abigail Sistrunk

The Inka Empire is known for its extensive road system a monumental network of engineered routes across South America. My research will be focused on one section of Inka road located in Northern Ecuador in the region of the Pambamarca Archaeological Project. This area is known for fierce indigenous resistance to Inka imperial expansion resulting in the construction of several large fortress complexes. Focused on the nature of imperial expansion and local resistance, I will survey the Inka road and its features with the goal of creating a regional GIS map, recording archaeological structures along the route, and documenting construction methods. Ultimately, I will test the hypothesis that this Inka route was constructed in order to co-opt local trade routes and fracture local resistance.

Jillian Lee Silvestrini

I am studying the possible physical or functional interaction between ELF3 and CRY2, two genes in Arabidopsis thaliana that are involved in regulating the plants biological clock. I will study ELF3 and CRY2 using Arabidopsis plants that have mutations in these genes, resulting in dysfunctional proteins. Many of the phenotypes of the single mutants are opposite, which helps to facilitate analysis of the gene interaction. I will look at flowering time, monochromatic and white light signaling (using hypocotyl elongation as an assay), and regulation of 24-hour rhythms using Luciferase as a reporter gene. I will also analyze the protein products on a molecular level, using yeast two-hybrid and co-immuno-precipitation experiments. The interaction of these two genes could help reveal the biological pathways involved in light signaling and floral induction.

Sara Beth Weinstein

Chytridiomycosis has been implicated in the decline of many amphibian species. Most recent studies in this area have focused on the effects of the causative agent, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, on anurans. I have found evidence of this amphibian disease in a local salamander species, Batrachoseps attenuatus. This summer I intend to document the progression of this infection in a species that was previously assumed to be unaffected. This summers work is in preparation for subsequent research exploring the means of transmission of B. dendrobatidis, a fungus with an aquatic infectious stage, within terrestrial salamander populations.

Spencer Christopher Wei

I will investigate the effects of specific histone acetylation on the locus of SOC1, a floral integrator gene. It is known that the acetylation status of chromatin modulates gene expression. I want to determine whether or not it is possible to modulate gene expression by specifically altering the histone acetylation status at the SOC1 locus using a fusion protein containing the DNA binding domain of OXS2, a transcription factor that specifically binds the SOC1 locus, and a histone acetyl transferase (HAT) in Arabidopsis thaliana. Following construction of a binary vector and introduction into plants, I will assess expression on a molecular and phenotypic basis, as upregulation of SOC1 will induce early flowering. If successful, this will enable locus-specific manipulation of transcription.

Caitlin Margaret Waddell

This summer I will be investigating the French New Wave, a cinematic movement that took place between 1958 and 1964. My primary focus will be on the films Agnes Varda made during this time period. I hope to gain new insight into the artistic questions and concerns central to French New Wave vis–vis an analysis of Vardas gender-specific take the on aesthetics and themes of the movement. To do this I will be focusing on close readings of Vardas films, the films of other French New Wave directors, and criticism written specifically on Varda and the French New Wave in general.

Michelangelo Trujillo

Within political theory there is a debate over the compatibility of science with politics. Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault, amongst others, question the legitimacy of the social sciences in different ways, while, in contrast, those who support the role of science in politics argue that rational debate can be maximized through an of our capacity to hold language claims accountable to verifiable truth conditions. The purpose of my research is to ask if these views are incompatible by drawing on the work of George Lakoff and Mark Johnson and analyzing the conceptual metaphors common to both the pro- and anti- science views held within the field of political theory.

Ka Yi Emily Tam

My research project for SURF is on human memory performance when viewing different emotional stimuli. The types of emotion I want to experiment on includes: happy, negative, neutral, arousing (adrenalin rushing), and sexual. The positive correlation between arousal and positive stimuli, and memory performance has been proposed. The negative correlation between negative stimuli and memory performance has also been proposed. However, the connection between sexual stimuli and memory performance still remains unknown. This project aims to ascertain whether there is a positive or a negative correlation between sexual stimuli and memory performance, and whether there is a difference across ethnicity and gender. In addition, this project will also discover whether sexual is the same as arousal

Moises Yi

This project will deal with the economic implications of the most recent waves of immigration to the U.S. (1970-2000). Specifically, this study will focus on the impact on housing prices immigrants have by looking at the evolution of real estate prices in the 40 cities with the highest immigration rates in the country. During this summer, I will work on gathering and processing data from the U.S. Census. I will also work on developing an appropriate model to use as the basis of my empirical approach, as well as for the regressions I plan to carry. A considerable amount of time will be spent developing appropriate controls to make sure my regression estimations are not biased. Regression estimations will be undertaken by the end of the summer if time permits.

Caroline Akiko Yamamoto

The Sannai Maruyama site, located in Aomori Prefecture, Japan, is currently considered to be the largest Jomon Period settlement in Japan. While ongoing excavations have significantly contributed to our understanding of Jomon hunter-gatherer lifeways, there is still much to learn about Sannai Maruyamas functionality. My research will focus on analyzing the charred seed remains gathered from soil samples collected during an excavation of a Middle Jomon pit-dwelling this summer. This will allow for a preliminary assessment of the pit-dwellings functions, depositional sequences, and activity areas. More importantly, a comparison of this evidence to data from the Early Jomon period will hopefully lead me to broader conclusions regarding the long-term subsistence-settlement changes which might have characterized Sannai Maruyamas site occupation.

Bryan Joseph Welch

After the Meiji Restoration opened Japan to the West in 1868, many of the traditional Japanese martial disciplines (budo) were reinvented, incorporating modern Western concepts of mass education and competitive sport. However, some disciplines resisted these reforms in an attempt to preserve their traditional method of individualized apprenticeship. Through participant observation at a large gymnasium in Tokyo, I will explore school structure, pedagogy, and power relationships between expert and novice within several budo communities. I will look for correlation between these elements and the degree to which each style has adopted aspects of Western pedagogy. I hope to create a map of the learning process within these learning communities as so to render them accessable as pedagogical models to educators outside of Japan.