Malcolm K. McConner 1
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Watershed Watch Project 2013 sponsored by the University of New Hampshire

Analyzing Factors that Influence Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) at Elizabeth City State University

Trees are very important to the environment as they provide oxygen to living organisms, uptake carbon dioxide, improve air quality by absorbing potentially harmful pollutants (e.g., carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide), produce carbohydrates (sugars ,cellulose, starch, etc.) and serve as an climate indicator (e.g., precipitation). In the Southern United States, loblolly pine trees (Pinus taeda) are the most essential and widely produced trees. It is extensively used for lumber and pulpwood. We extracted tree cores from the loblolly pines across the campus of Elizabeth City State University and compared the correlation of diameter at base height (DBH) and tree age. Once we collected the cores, we calculated the estimated age and determined the overall health condition of the trees, by analyzing the growth rings in each core. We also determined what variables contribute to the positive or negative growth of a tree (e.g., mulch, vines). 

Using Common Core State Standards of Seventh Grade Mathematics in the Application of NXT LEGO® Robotics for CReSIS Middle School Students

In 2010 Common Core Standards included critical content for all students in American education for forty-five states. Previously, every state had its own set of academic standards and students in each state were learning at different levels. In the new global economy, all students must be prepared to compete on a global basis. Students are expected to develop a deeper mastery of content and demonstrate what they know through writing and other projects. The North Carolina Department of Instruction’s current curriculum and instruction are more student-centered with greater focus on skills, abilities, and a shift towards more performance assessments. This research was designed to focus on mathematical processes of the Common Core Standard in mathematics lesson plans for seventh grade students. A group of seventh grade students from two middle schools of Elizabeth City Public Schools in northeastern North Carolina were selected for this research at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) for the Center of Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS). Pre and post test data were collected through student assessments and teaching observations to evaluate student growth in content knowledge, understanding and application. The REU Mathematics Teacher Team used mathematics strategies to teach various scientific, mathematical, and design concepts, through designing, by programming NXT LEGO® Robotics for the seventh grade level. The students received hands on experience for robotics construction and programming with application of mathematics, motion, and problem solving in a collaborative group setting.

How does Precipitation and Temperature Contribute into the Decreasing of Glacier Mass Balance

Glaciers account for 10% of the Earth's surface. However, during the Ice Age that surface was three times the size it is now. The most prominent glaciers are located in Antarctica and Greenland and are decreasing in mass balance. Mass balance is the difference between accumulation and ablation (melting and sublimation). Climate change may cause variations in snowfall and temperature (warmer temperatures, less snowfall). Glaciers are more essential to human life, than people take for granted; they release fresh water scour bedrock and cool the weather during the summer. The downfall of the decrease of glacier mass balance is that it is increasing the global sea level rise. With the decline of our glaciers it can define a major loss in a natural resource, as well as higher sea level rise and warmer than normal temperatures. The research will support how much significance a warmer climate and precipitation can affect how fast our glaciers will dwindle.

The Impact of 2006-2012 CReSIS Summer Research Programs that Influence Student's Choice of a STEM Related Major in College

Researchers, policymakers, business, and industry have indicated that the United States will experience a future shortage of professionals in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Several strategies have been suggested to address this impending shortage, one of which includes increasing the representation of females and minorities in the STEM fields. In order to increase the representation of underrepresented students in the STEM fields, it is important to understand the motivational factors that impact underrepresented students' interest in STEM academics and extracurricular programs. Research indicates that greater confidence leads to greater interest and vice versa (Denissen et al., 2007). In this paper, the mathematics research team examined the role of practical research experience during the summer for talented minority secondary students studying in STEM fields. An undergraduate research mathematics team focused on the link between summer research and the choice of an undergraduate discipline. A Chi Square Statistical Test was used to examine Likert Scale results on the attitude of students participating in the 2006-2012 Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) Summer Research Programs for secondary students. This research was conducted at Elizabeth City State University located in northeastern North Carolina about the factors that impact underrepresented students' choices of STEM related majors in college. Results can be used to inform and guide educators, administrators, and policy makers in developing programs and policy that support and encourage the STEM development of underrepresented students.

The Use of Math Sprint in a Tutorial Program for Seventh Grade Students to Improve End of Grade Test Scores


A "Math Sprint tutorial model" was used to improve the End of Grade (EOG) test scores on seventh grade students at Elizabeth City Middle School in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. This unique learning technique, developed at Elizabeth City State University, was used during a four-week study group composed of seventh grade students to enhance EOG test scores. The pre-test questions covered topics from the "North Carolina Mathematics Standard Course of Study" which consisted of five competencies: number and operations, measurement, geometry, algebra, and data analysis and probability. The North Carolina Mathematics Standard Course of Study is based on a philosophy of teaching and learning mathematics that is consistent with the current research, exemplary practices, and national standards. A diagnostic exam, corrective instruction, Math Sprints, and a post test were used to assist students with understanding of seventh grade math. The results of the pre and post exams showed student improvement in understanding seventh grade math.