Environmental & Health Sciences Department Stories

Summer 2010

Professor Hans Haverkamp and Professor Gina Mireault (Behavioral Sciences) and, whose research also is supported

by a Vermont Genetics Network grant, presented "The Best of Both Worlds: Teaching through Research” at the VSC academic Retreat on May 20, 2010.

Students Ryan Joy and Ben Chaucer received undergraduate research awards from the Vermont Genetics Network to participate this summer in the metagenomic analysis of the Lowell/Eden asbestos mine. VGN reviews of both applications noted the students’ high academic performance.

This summer the President’s Fund for Excellence in Teaching and Learning funded a biology major, Autumn Santor, as part of support for an emerging culture of research at the college. Autumn’s experiences in the lab with VSC Faculty Fellow and JSC Professor Liz Dolci in proteomics and genetics have proved transformative, and she is now looking toward graduate school.


Spring 2010

Zack Sutton, a senior biology major, was accepted to the new Doctor of Pharmacy program at the Albany College of Pharmacy in Colchester. He has worked diligently over the past few years with coursework in microbiology, proteomics

and genetics. His senior thesis was an analysis of microbial communities at the asbestos mine in Lowell/Eden.

On April 14, JSC student presenters joined Professor Hans Haverkamp at the Vermont Genetics Network’s "Undergraduate Student Career Day” in South Burlington.

Johnson State is gaining steam received a very successful visit to campus by the External Advisory Committee of the Vermont Genetics Network (VGN). VSC Faculty Fellow and EHS Department Chair Professor Elizabeth Dolci applied for a Vermont Genetics Network grant to support a “Metagenomic analysis of an aquatic environment, Lowell/Eden asbestos mine.” She has also sought and received a VGN grant to support “Undergraduate summer research on asbestos mine microbial communities.”

JSC’s other faculty recipient of a VGN project grant, Professor Hans Haverkamp, received a continuation of his grant award from last year and will continue his research

on asthma and exercise.

Professor Bob Genter is awaiting word from the National Science Foundation on his submission of “Microbial

diversity of and genetic fingerprints of E. Coli from rivers in predominantly forested, agricultural, and impervious land uses.” In March Bob and two undergraduate students, Greg Perry and Benjamin Kirchner, presented the results of their research, “Analysis of phosphorus loading and microbial

source tracking in the Lamoille River, Vermont,” at the annual meeting of VT-EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) in Burlington.


Professor Leslie Kanat accompanied four JSC students to Brattleboro to attend the Board of Directors meeting and

subsequent events of the Citizens Action Network (CAN). Five state senators, including Sen. Peter Shumlin, attended. One of the JSC students, Ben Chaucer, was elected as a member of the Board of Directors of CAN.


Summer 2009

Four faculty members in the EHS department worked on research projects associated with the local watershed. Professor Les Kanat and two students investigated the Deer Brook landslide in Jeffersonville, while Professor Tania Bacchus supervised the research of two students conducting a biological and chemical assessment of the Lower Pond on the JSC campus. Professor Bob Genter continued his VT EPSCoR-funded study, investigating sources of total phosphorus and e. coli from three land uses in the Lamoille River drainage basin, with the help of three undergraduate students. (EPSCoR is a program of the National Science Foundation program — the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.) Department Chair Liz Dolci began an investigation of microbial communities of an environmentally impacted waterway at the Lowell/Eden asbestos mine. Meanwhile Professor Hans Haverkamp continued his research on asthma and exercise, working with two JSC summer interns.

Instructor Judy Rosovsky was featured on the front page of the Aug. 13 Burlington Free Press, examining trees in a search
for signs of the destructive emerald ash borer and Asian long-horned beetle. she joined 26 other insect and tree-health professionals and volunteers as citizen scientists in Burlington for a day-long "surveillance" workshop.

Department Chair Liz Dolci's VSC Faculty Fellowship during 2009-2010 is helping advance the emerging culture of research at the college as a whole. It has already expanded to Behavioral Sciences, for example, where under the guidance of Professor Gina Mireault, students are conducting a naturalistic observation of how infants discover and develop humor, and the importance of humor to bonding and attachment.