Archive for the ‘Research and Projects’ Category

Discovering Appalachia Through Research

The Appalachian Institute admires the students at Wheeling Jesuit University that presented their scholarship into issues and projects that engage real questions for the region.  Research ranged from measuring the effects of coal and natural gas extraction to the prevalence of important local species.  Here are a few highlights:

  • Audra Macri, Ryan Schubert, Colt Street and Si Gammache, “Appalachian Institute Mapping Software.” Instructor Robert Kotson, Jr. mentored the project.
  • Sean Weaver, “A Study in the Movement and Propagation of Justicia Americana in Middle Wheeling Creek from 1995 to 2011.” Professor Dr. Ben Stout mentored the project.
  • Ronald B. O’Neil, “The Effectiveness of Buffer Zones to Mitigate the Impact of Longwall Mining on First Order Streams in Southern Ohio.” Professor Dr. Ben Stout mentored the project.
  • John Ruberg, “Establishing Baseline Water Quality for a Stream and a Spring.” Professor Dr. Ben Stout mentored the project.
  • Katlyn Marino, “A Comparison of Hellbender Microhabitat Data to Various West Virginia Watersheds Using a Geographic Information System and a Digital Elevation Model.” Professor Dr. Ken Rastall mentored the project.
  • Andrea Fitzgibbon, “Leaf Decay Coefficiants of Abnormally High Conductivity Streams in Southwestern Pennsylvania.” Professor Dr. Ben Stout mentored the project.

The Appalachian Institute also gave out its annual award for research that advances understanding in an issue specific to the Appalachian Region.  This year it was given to Andrea Fitzgibbon for her study on how measures of leaf decay reflect the impact of industrial processes on local ecosystems.  A copy of her abstract is attached.  A certificate of recognition was also given to the worthy team that presented on participatory mapping software.  This was the first group of recent history to have a project from a discipline other than natural science.

Discover past research projects here on our website and contact us if you are interested in your own project at ai@wju.edu .

ABSTRACT: Leaf Decay Coefficients of Abnormally High Conductivity Streams in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Fitzgibbon, 2012