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Monday, April 1, 2019

MAPS researchers discuss accomplishments at the 2019 MAPS Symposium

Dr. Kristin Bowman-James,
KU Distinguished Professor of Chemistry
 and Kansas EPSCoR Director
giving the MAPS project research overview
    On March 18, 2019 high school students and teachers; undergraduate and graduate students; faculty, and institutional and state leaders participated in the Kansas NSF
EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006 titled: Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant, and Soil Systems across Kansas (MAPS) statewide 2019 MAPS Symposium. There were over eighty participants in attendance. Opening remarks were given by Dr. Peter Dorhout, Vice President for Research and Professor of Chemistry at Kansas State University (KSU), followed by a keynote address by Dr. M. Ed Galindo, faculty member at the University of Idaho, Associate Director for Education and Diversity for the NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium, and member of the MAPS Science and Education Advisory Council (SEAC).  Dr. Kristin Bowman-James, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of Kansas (KU) and Director Kansas NSF EPSCoR provided an overview of the project and Dr. Eric Welch, Professor of Public Affairs and Directors of the C-STEPS at Arizona State University provided a brief summary evaluating the program so far. To complete the morning session, each of the four research areas: Aquatic, Plant and Soils Systems as well as the Research Synthesis group, co-principal investigators or research team leaders discussed the accomplishments, challenges and future plans of the project.
2019 MAPS Symposium Participants
     Over lunch, Dr. Teresa MacDonald, Associate Director of Public Programs for the Biodiversity Institute & Natural History Museum at KU, introduced her and Dr. Ben Sikes', Assistant Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Assistant Scientist, Kansas Biological Survey (KBS) at KU, "Microbes on the Move" traveling museum project that began its tour on March 15, 2019 in Chanute, Kansas. The afternoon session consisted of updates from the Maps Education, Outreach and Diversity initiatives. Dr. Peggy Schultz provided information related to the Ecology for Elementary Students program and the Ecosystems of Kansas Summer Institute .  Dr Cody Marshall, faculty at Haskell Indian Nations University and Dr. Jay Johnson, Professor and Associate Chair of Geography & Atmospheric Science and Director of C-FIRST, gave a brief history of Haskell Indian Nations University and an overview of the Haskell Environmental Research Studies Program (HERS). Jill Haukos, Director of Education presented the Konza Environmental Education Program (KEEP) and Dr. Brenee King provided an overview of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Program (LSAMP). For the remainder of the afternoon, twenty-three MAPS individual research projects were presented at the MAPS Poster Session. 

MAPS Poster Session
The following is a list of the MAPS poster project titles and authors who presented:
  • "Linking the presence and function of denitrification genes to whole river estimates of denitrification in response to a large-scale nitrogen enrichment of the Kansas River (USA)" Amy Burgin
  • "Fire severity effects on ectomycorrhizal colonization of Pinus palustris and Pinus taeda"  Hannah I Dea, Jacob R. Hopkins, Ben A Sikes 
  • "Analysis of the Plant-Soil Microbiome Surrounding Native and Non-Native Grasses Across a Precipitation Gradient in Kansas"Mitch Greer and Scout Harrison
  • "Head Above Water: Sea Level Rise and Gentrification in Brooklyn and Queens, NY." Trevor Guinn
  • "HABs Rehab: Toward Predicting & Preventing Harmful Algal Blooms in Cheney Reservoir" Carlos Cross, Amy Hammett, Daniel Hammett, Jacob Hanna, Issac Stanton
  • "Do novel inputs into the Kansas River affect the water or sediment microbiome and water chemistry?" Janaye Hanschu, Lydia Zeglin, Amy Burgin, Michelle Kelly, Emma Overstreet, Cay Thompson
  • "Ecotypic Adaptation of Ascomycetes to Drought" Kyle J. Ismert, Dr. Andrea Porras-Alfaro , Dr. Jennifer Rudgers, Dr. Ari Jumpponen 
  • "Smart Adaptation of Enriched Microbiomes in Recovered Nutrient Products (biofertilizers) from anaerobic wastewater treatment to the native soil" Arvind Damodara Kannan, Dr. Prathap Parameswaran
  • "Migration Medicine: How Shifting Woodlands Affect Navajo Health" Sasha Keams
  • "Phosphate and pH data from Fort Hays, Konza, and Eastern Kansas EPSCoR research sites." Stephan Koenigsberger, Mathew Kirk, Dylan Beaudette
  • "Probabilistic Modeling of E. Coli SOS Response System Using High-throughput Biological Data" Stephen Kotiang, Ali Eslami
  • "3D Freeze Printing of Aerogels" Halil Tetik, Dr. Dong Lin
  • "Minirhizotrons: Existing Technologies & Motivation for Developing an Automated Minirhizotron Camera System" Colby J. Moorberg, Yuqi Song, José Guilherme Cesário Pereira Pinto
  • 'Impact of Land Use on Soil and Groundwater Microbial Communities in Great Bend Prairie Aquifer" Christina Richardson, Allie Richard, Janaye Hanschu, Lydia Zeglin, Matthew Kirk
  • "Terrestrial-aquatic connections, and what they tell us about drivers of microbial, isotopic, and metabolic activity across a Kansas aridity gradient." Anne Schechner, Bre Waterman, Matt Kirk,  Walter Dodds
  • "The Effects of Climate and Land Use on Methanotrophic Communities" Carrie Spanton, Terry Loeke
  • "FGC: Fragmentary gene caller for gene prediction in metagenomic sequencing data" Sirisha Thippabhotla, Ben Liu, Cuncong Zhong
  • "Fire Sovereignty: Using Prescribed Burns to Conserve Tallgrass Prairies on Tribal Lands" Kynzer Wanithunga
  • "Methane oxidation in native prairie soil" Irosha Wanithunga, Charles W. Rice 
  • "3D printing of Biocompatible Materials (Hydroxyapatite& NanoCellulose Hydrogel)" Guang Yang, Dong Lin
  • "Soil Microbial Community Composition Across a Precipitation Gradient with Different Land Uses" Carlos A. B. Pires, Marcos V. M. Sarto (KSU), and Charles W. Rice (KSU)
  • "GRARNA: Guided Reference Assembly of ncRNA for Metagenomic Sequencing Data" Ben Liu, Sirisha Thippabhotla, Cuncong Zhong

Funding for the 2019 MAPS Symposium is provided by the Kansas NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006 titled: Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant, and Soil Systems across Kansas. The grant's workforce development and educational objectives are designed to enhance STEM education in Kansas by supporting activities that will lead to an expanded STEM workforce or prepare a new generation for STEM careers in the areas of aquatic, plant and soil microbiome environments and ecological systems.