Abstracts for Fall Oral Presentation Session 3
Oral Presentations will be held March 28th from 1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Union Building, room 316
1:45 p.m. - Megan Millerberg - Navigating the Spectrum: Ethical Dilemmas and Practical Realities in ABA Therapy for Autism
Mentor: Pepper Glass
College: Social & Behavioral Sciences
Abstract: Ongoing debate and evolving perspectives surround ethical considerations of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, the most common treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Concerns include a lack of emphasis on mental health and client autonomy, extended therapy duration, insufficient research on effectiveness, therapist qualifications, and oversight of neurological and developmental aspects of ASD. While these ethical considerations are crucial for the continued improvement of ABA, it is important to acknowledge that behavior intervention, such as ABA, is often vital to the safety and functioning of autistic individuals and their families. This is because autistic individuals' instincts do not always serve to prevent harm to themselves or others, enable independent living, or facilitate desired social relationships. This presentation, based on a semester-long internship as a Registered Behavior Technician implementing ABA techniques with autistic children, argues that current practices are the best available to address these unique challenges. The current project merges theoretical insights, practical experience, and autistic voices to contribute to a more informed and inclusive discourse surrounding autism and therapeutic interventions.
2:00 p.m. - Carter Lueba - We Are Not Alone: Examining the Impact of a Tween-Teen Diabetes Day Camp
Additional Authors: Eddie Hill, Christina Aguilar, Carla Cox and Heidi Blaylock
Mentors: Eddie Hill and Christina Aguilar
College: Jerry and Vickie Moyes College of Education
Department: Health Physical Education & Recreation
Abstract: Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic disease that influences all health aspects. The self-determination theory (SDT) suggests that three psychological needs of competence, autonomy, and relatedness are necessary for motivation to engage in healthy behaviors. Through medical specialty camps, these needs can be met by educating campers on how to manage T1D and realize they are not alone. The volunteer-based, five-day, inaugural REACH teen/tween camp for youth with T1D was held at WSU. Camp activities were engineered around the three basic needs described by the SDT. These needs were promoted by physical and educational activities, and meeting friends. A pre and post evaluation was given. Two measures were significant with autonomy being the greatest, (M=3.93, SD= .75) to post-test (M=4.49, SD= .56), with t(25) = -6.258, p= <.001), effect size r = 1.2 Blood glucose for Time in Range (TIR) was collected through an online platform that allowed staff to monitor campers' levels, with the week's average being 152 mg/dL. This study explored the use of SDT to examine the effectiveness of a diabetes camp for youth and hopefully result in better physical and emotional health thus mitigating the risk of complications.
2:15 p.m. - Akir Rowe - Cultivation of bacteria from PCB-contaminated sediments PCB Degradation
Additional Authors: Kingdom Wanjoku, Hali Hutchinson, Gina Fuller and Jerzee Findlay
Mentor: Katrina Twing
Abstract: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are toxic chemicals popularly used in electrical manufacturing companies from the 1930s - 1970s. PCBs, colloquially known as ‘forever chemicals', are known to cause significant health concerns and are notoriously difficult to remove from an environment. PCBs are currently banned in the US; however, they can still be found in the environment due to improper disposal methods. This research aims to better understand ecological networks, genomic novelties, and potential bioremediation of microbes from PCB-contaminated environments. Microcosm cultures were developed to resemble the original conditions of the environmental samples, containing PCB-contaminated mud from Woods Pond, Lenox, Massachusetts, and filtered pond water with three different treatments: aerobic, anaerobic, and anaerobic with the addition of sulfate. These cultures have been growing for five months, showing signs of active microbial metabolism (e.g., rust patches in sediment gas production). The microcosms were used as inoculum for agar containing PCBs, and 30 PCB-tolerant colonies were isolated, with some belonging to known PCB-degrading taxa of Paenibacillus, Clostridium, Rhizobium, Methylversatalis, and Sphingobacteria. Future analyses will be conducted to (a) identify the microbial diversity within the microcosms via 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, (b) explore the metabolisms within the microcosms, and (c) further characterize the isolated PCB-tolerant bacteria. This data will aid further research to determine if and how these microbes metabolize PCB compounds.
2:30 p.m. - Ian Robinson - Effects of Beaver-engineered Wetlands to Biodiversity at Ogden Nature Center
Mentor: John Mull
Abstract: The American beaver (Castor canadensis) is known to play an important role in ecosystem engineering, increasing community diversity in and around the streams where they create their dams (Wright et al., 2002). Wetlands formed by beavers are key habitats that increase water retention and foster animal populations in decline. To study the effect of beaver engineering supporting wildlife populations in urban environments, 16 camera traps were placed along streams and canals in the Ogden Nature Center (ONC) to characterize differences in species number, distribution, and occupancy, comparing between areas directly adjacent to sites of beaver engineering and areas of unmodified water flow. Data were collected at 8 sites along two waterways in the ONC, between 25 May and 22 June 2023. The sites were characterized as either beaver modified, or unmodified (control) areas. Twenty-one vertebrate species, including 15 species of bird were documented in the camera traps (6 more birds were documented but not identified at the species level). Beavers were documented at 4 of the 8 locations, most frequently at one of the control locations. Preliminary analyses suggest the locations near beaver ponds were visited by a greater diversity of species.