Holly Basta, assistant professor of biology, 406.657.1089, 
Megan Poulette, assistant professor of Environmental Science and Botany, 406.657.1186, 
RMC Office of Media and Communications, 406.657.1105, 

RMC’s 4th Annual Art and Science Research Symposium set for March 29

BILLINGS, March 24, 2017 – Rocky Mountain College is honored to announce the 4th Annual Art and Science Research Symposium, which will be held on Wednesday, March 29, in two locations of the RMC campus.  

“The RMC Undergraduate Research Symposium is a celebration of faculty and student research pursuits designed to provide students with formal presentation opportunities while informing the community of the scholarly endeavors of RMC,” said Megan Poulette, assistant professor of Environmental Science and Botany at RMC.

This year the symposium will consist of two segments:  poster presentations, which will run from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 Fraley Lounge, and oral presentations, which will run from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Taylor Auditorium of Losekamp Hall. With over 20 presentations, observers will have the opportunity to view research from a variety of disciplines.

“It gives students and faculty the opportunity to see the different kinds of projects that are going on across campus. It will also give students a platform to polish their presentation skills and help recruit interested students in ongoing research,” said Holly Basta, assistant professor of Biology and also a presenter at the event. “For faculty, it’s a chance to build collaborations with other faculty members and potentially members of the community.”

“We have several faculty presenting their own research and collaborative projects with students,” said Emily Ward, assistant professor of Geology at RMC and also a coordinator of the event.

And, while the symposium didn’t run last year, Ward said they are hoping to keep the momentum going and continue to promote and encourage the faculty and students doing research on campus.

“While a number of faculty and students across campus do scholarly and creative research, we want to revive opportunities to hear about these great projects and foster interdisciplinary collaborations across campus,” Ward said.

In addition, Associate Professor of Sociology Julie Beicken hopes the event will also bring in more members of the community.

“We are also trying to engage a broader audience this year and we hope more members of the community will take the time to stop by.” Beicken, also an organizer for this year’s event, also added that new this year will be prizes for best student poster and oral presentation.

Session I - Poster Presentations

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Frayley Lounge - Bair Family Student Center


Mentors: Dr. Holly Basta and Dr. Mark Osterlund

  • Mauri Erickson - Viral causes of fish tumors in Montana waterways
  • Shannon Fisher and Marco Quinones - A Mutagenic Screen to Identify Hydrogen Production in Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii
  • Kayla Moreno - Attentiveness in a classroom based on brain wave fluctuation
  • Faith Robichaud - Biochemical Characterization of a Retroviral Phosphodiesterase

Computer Science

Mentor: Dr. Melissa Holmes

  • Derek Crew - The Urban Frontier House Data Process

Environmental Science

Mentors: Professor Kayhan Ostovar and Dr. Megan Poulette

  • Jacob Myers - Species Distribution and Diversity in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness


Mentor: Dr. Emily Ward

  • Alethea Shaules - Investigating Rock Fall Hazards in the Eagle Formation in Billings, Montana

Session II - Oral Presentations

12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Taylor Auditorium - Losekamp Hall

12:00 – Dr. Derek Sjostrom - Mountain building and surface elevation: Regional drivers of global climate

12:15 – Dr. Julie Beicken and Terran Brown - Engaged Pedagogy: Service Learning and Research with Undergraduates in a Substance Abuse Prevention Program with Native American Youth

12:25 – Mira Cleveland - Horizontal Collaboration: The Impacts of Equity and Identity within Team Communication

12:35 – Tommy Little - BMI Alternative: Surface-Based Body Shape Index

1:00 – Dr. Jenifer Parks - The Olympic Games, the Soviet Sports Bureaucracy, and the Cold War: Red Sport, Red Tape

1:10 – Dr. Megan Poulette - The Yellowstone River Research Center

1:15 – Gabriel Aponte - Analysis of Spiny Softshell Turtle (Apalone spinifera) Distribution and Abundance in Four Rivers Systems in Eastern Montana

1:25 – Noah Oloff - Examination of Soil-Plant-Microbe Interactions in Two Saline, Alkaline Lake Basins in the Upper Yellowstone River Watershed

1:35 – Hunter Anderson - Petrology, structure, and emplacement of mafic Leopard Dikes in the Beartooth Range, Montana

2:00 – Dr. Holly Basta - Viral inhibition of the innate immune system

2:10 – Sierra Hentges - Survey of Vaccine Beliefs and Their Origins Within the State of Montana

2:20 – Cameron Woods - Determining Ownership of Riverine Islands in the Yellowstone River

2:30 – Dr. Emily Ward - Examples of undergraduate research in the Geology program at Rocky Mountain College

3:00 – Josh Lieuallan, Krystal Lira, and Terran Brown -Crow Wellness and Substance Abuse Prevention Program

3:10 – Josh Lieuallan - ‘How It Works’: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Spirituality of Alcoholics Anonymous

3:20 – Dr. Luke Ward - Environmental governance and applied social science research:  Using Q method to explore stakeholder management preferences in the Yellowstone River basin

3:30 – Dr. Holly Basta - Closing Remarks