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Research Projects

Are you planning a research project in the Nature Park?  Please complete a Research Project Form.  This will help us maintain records of current and past research projects.

Research projects:  updated July 7, 2015

Forest Composition and Growth

Leaf litter

  • Where has all the leaf litter gone? - Charlotte Buehler, Chad Byers, Summer Drake, and Vanessa Fox, summer 2006

  • Leaf litter, earthworms, and soil pH in forests at the Nature Park - Summer Drake, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2008

  • Decomposition rates of sycamore vs. sugar maple leaves in the quarry pond – Zachary Young, BIO 342, Ecology class, fall 2010

  • Decomposition rates of Phragmites vs. cattail leaves in the Quarry Pond – Ken Fortino and Zachary Young, BIO 490, fall 2011

  • Diversity of earthworms and microarthropods in leaf litter - Iesha Brooks, BIO 342, Ecology class, fall 2014

 Trees in and near the Quarry Bottom

White-tailed Deer

Songbird Communities

Amphibians

  • Do frogs prefer ponds without fish? – Zachary Young, Josh Baugh, Andy Hogan, Danny White, Aquatic Ecology class, BIO 395, spring 2010

  • Survey of calling frogs in the Nature Park – Jim Benedix, Jessica Pond, and Stefan Freed, BIO 490, spring 2010

  • Frog surveys in the Quarry Bottom and along trails – Jim Benedix, Ashley Conard, Stephen Hesterberg, and Luke Miller, BIO 490, spring 2011

Small Mammals

  • Small mammal trapping in the Arboretum and Nature Park - Vanessa Fox and students in Organismal Biology, BIO 135, 2003-2006

  • White-footed mice living "on the edge" in the Nature Park - Dan Zindrick and Ryan Heffernan, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2005

  • Metabolic rates of animals in different environments - Henning Schneider and students in Animal Physiology class, BIO 335

  • Investigation of squirrel nests – Kelli Reed and Reed Seward, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2009

  • Density of small mammal populations in the K2 loop – Hannah Ramage and Wesley Jones, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2010

  • Effects of land use on small mammal populations – Michael Britton, Michael Tobin, Curt Hardacre, and Emily Vincent, Conservation Biology class, BIO 345, fall 2013

  • Squirrel nest site preferences – Casandra Brocksmith and Lauren Gray, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2014

  • Density and diversity of small mammals in the Nature Park - Craig Carter, Scott Lockwood, Cameron Meehan, Ashley Junger, Conservation Biology class, spring 2015

Butterflies

Arthropods and Earthworms

  • Diversity of surface-active invertebrate communities at the DePauw Nature Park and Arboretum – Aaron Randolph, Dana Dudle, and Vanessa Fox, summer 2004

  • Invertebrate and leaf litter dynamics in the DePauw University Nature Park – Karl Koehler and Vanessa Fox, summer 2005

  • Crickets in a meadow: does mowing improve habitat? – Jackie Betsch, Jake Donlon, Bryan Helm, and Mark Loomis, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2005

  • Insect diversity in old field succession – Kelsey Nosek, Wesley Jones, Hannah Ramage

  • Diversity of soil microarthropods from five areas of the Nature Park – Stefan Freed and Michael Benson, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2009

  • Diversity of insects associated with goldenrod – Cody Roldan, Pooja Rathore, Jessica Pond, and Zandri Strauss, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2009

  • Soil and arthropod communities in woodlands and prairies – Sarah Batto, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2008

  • Microarthropods and soil quality next to a pond – Will Tremaine, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2010

  • Diversity of microarthropods in leaf litter and pond water – Vanessa Fox and students in Organismal Biology class, BIO 135, fall 2010

  • Diversity of earthworms and microarthropods in leaf litter environments  – Iesha Brooks, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2014

  • Soil microarthropods – Casandra Brocksmith, Colleen Conway, Lauren Gray, and Rachel Miller, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2014

  • The tale of two stressors:  how microarthropods respond to flooding and juglone  – Colleen Conway and Rachel Miller, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2014

Educational Outreach

  • “Outdoor Explorers,” an educational outreach programs for Greencastle Middle School students - Laura Stevens, Conservation Biology class, BIO 345, fall 2004

  • Natural history of the Quarry Trail - Genevieve Espinoza, Megan Michael, and Shayla Williamson, Conservation Biology class, BIO 345, spring 2006

  •  “Survivor!” an educational outreach program for Greencastle Middle School students - Kala Pattar, Kathy Frees, Suzanne Donoval, Conservation Biology class, BIO 345, spring 2006

  • Natural history of the Creekside and Rail Trail – Paul Cartwright, Reed Seward, and Brian Allman, Conservation Biology class, BIO 345, fall 2009

Prairies

Secondary succession

Invasive species

  • Phragmites and cattails in the Quarry Bottom - Susan Cordes, Brandon Dawson, Jerilyn Kramer, and Ryan Miller, Conservation Biology class, BIO 345, spring 2006

  • Effects of simulated herbivory on garlic mustard - Kyle Burns, Tyler McPheters, Ashley Paschal, and Brian Scott, Conservation Biology class, BIO 345, spring 2006

  • Estimating the presence and potential impact of emerald ash borers on ash trees in the Nature Park - Megan Walton, Neil Broshears, Alex Eades, and Amanda Hendricks, spring 2008

  • Mapping an invasion:  distribution and density of Phragmites in the Quarry Bottom – Dana Dudle and students in Conservation Biology class, BIO 345, fall 2009

  • Mapping an invasion:  expansion of Phragmites australis in an abandoned limestone quarry – Dana Dudle and students in Conservation Biology class, BIO 345, fall 2013

  • Mapping cattails and Phragmites in the Quarry Bottom - Elisabeth Wilson, Amelia Wilson Wright, Conservation Biology class, BIO 345, spring 2015

Other plants

  • Goldenrod density and height – Morgan Grant,  Brian Allman, and Kyle Foster, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2009

  • Energy allocation of rosehip bushes along the Rim Trail – Braca Benizry, Nikki Craker, Stefan Freed, and Kelli Reed, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2009

  • Stinging nettle and soil water content along Big Walnut Creek – Mike Benson, Reed Seward, Danny White, and Amy Kamer, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2009

  • Gall susceptibility in goldenrod – Megan Jensen, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2010

  • Flower production and senescence in white boneset – Jim Benedix and students in Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2010

  • Effect of galls on the health of boneset – Sarah Minor, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2010

  • Growth of mullein with respect to soil composition and exposure to sunlight – Iesha Brooks and Grace Harsha, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2014

  • Genetic effect of boneset on reproductive success of gall midges – Blair Qi and Emily Vincent, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2014 

  • Growth patterns of greenbrier, Smilax rotundifolia – Grace Harsha, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2014

  • Goldenrods in the Nature Park  – Eric Tandy, Tim Kobba, Tyler Hume, and Seth Mills, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2014

  • The effect of boneset gall groupings on gall volume and larval numbers – Stephany Cook and Emily Vincent, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2014

  • Fragmented plants and their pollinators - Lee Renshaw, Stephany Cook, Iesha Brooks, Conservation Biology class, BIO 345, spring 2015

  • Why does bouncing bet blush? - Dana Dudle, Elisabeth Wilson, Michael Tobin, Trung Nguyen, Kenneth Cruz, Scott Lockwood, summer 2015

Greenhouse and growth chamber experiments in the Manning Lab

  • Metabolomic response of Portulaca oleracea to environmental stressors – Dana Dudle and Bryan Hanson, spring 2009

  • Seed production in horticultural and wild-type varieties of Portulaca oleracea (common purslane) – Bryan Hanson and Dana Dudle, fall 2009

  • Germination of salt-treated plant seeds – Matthew Keinsley and Bryan Hanson, Chem 395, fall 2010

  • Growing plants in the greenhouse for summer research – Bryan Hanson, Matt Kukurugya, Polly Haight, and Vince Guzzetta, spring 2011

  • Phenotypic plasticity of reproductive and vegetative traits in Saponaria officinalis  – 
    Dana Dudle, Khadijah Crosby, Leah Freestone, and J’Nai Macklin, fall 2013

Apocynum cannabinum, Hemp Dogbane

Aquatic Ecology

  • Crayfish prevalence and water quality in Big Walnut Creek - Jason Hutchison and Scott Kreuzman, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2005

  • Aquatic photosynthesis and respiration rates in the Quarry Pond and Woodland Pond - Katie Wirt, Ecology class, BIO 342, fall 2008

  • Potential effects of recreational boat use on plankton and algae in the Quarry Pond – Cody Roldan and Morgan Grant, Conservation Biology class, BIO 345, fall 2009

  • Zooplankton diversity and water quality in the Nature Park ponds – Cody Roldan, Morgan Grant, and Dina Leech, BIO 490, fall 2009

  • Comparison of freshwater microinvertebrates in Nature Park ponds – Dana Dudle, Ken Fortino and students in BIO 135, Organismal Biology, spring 2010

  • Underwater cartography:  bathymetry of the Quarry Pond - Alan Lee and Neil Fitzharris, BIO 390, spring 2010

  • Caddisflies in Big Walnut Creek - Kelly Blair, Anna Fogt, Scott Graf, and Lauren Leipprandt, BIO 390, spring 2010

  • The influence of fish in aquatic systems - Brian Allman, Muska Fahim, Megan May, Cody Roldan, and Ryan Edelen, BIO 390, spring 2011

  • Nutrient bioassay of two ponds - Katie Kraska, Stephen Hesterberg, and Matt Brown, BIO 390, spring 2011

  • Anthropogenic influences and impacts on pond ecology - Emily Dye, Jacob Sokalski, Norah Jacob, and Yaritza Acosta, BIO 390, spring 2011

  • Is everything everywhere?  Characterization of bacterial communities in the Quarry Pond and Woodland Pond – Dina Leech, Lynn Bedard, summer 2010

  • Quarry pond and woodland pond characteristics – Karen Tan, Dennis Callicutt, and Anna Urso, BIO 345, fall 2013

  • Comparison of quarry and woodland ponds in the Nature Park – Stephany Cook, BIO 342, fall 2014

Wetlands

  • Water quality and soil composition of functional wetlands in the Nature Park – Patrick Wagner, Janet Mellinger, Brianna Frigerio, Jessie Pa’ahana, Conservation Biology class, BIO 345, fall 2009

Bacteria

Geosciences

  • Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to navigate and interpret topographic maps

  • Characteristics of sedimentary rocks in the quarry walls

  • Using limestone strata and chert nodules to visualize three-dimensional orientation of rocks in space

  • Investigating water chemistry in the quarry pond, ephemeral ponds, and Big Walnut Creek

  • Investigating discharge rates in Big Walnut Creek and seepage in the Quarry Bottom

  • Groundwater and possible contaminants in the Quarry Bottom

Art

  • "Redefining Landscape," first-year seminar - Barbara Fields-Timm, fall 2011

  • Building rock cairns in the Quarry Bottom – Barbara Fields-Timm and students in FYS class, fall 2009

  • Building rock cairns in and along Big Walnut Creek – Barbara Fields-Timm and students in FYS class, fall 2010

  • Collecting trash and recyclables with aesthetic potential from Big Walnut Creek – Barbara Fields-Timm and students in FYS class, fall 2010

  • Wading Big Walnut Creek and building sand castles – Barbara Fields-Timm and students enrolled in FYS class, fall 2013

  • Limestone cairns in the quarry bottom – Barbara Fields-Timm and students enrolled in FYS class, fall 2013 

  • Painting project – Barbara Fields-Timm and students enrolled in FYS class, fall 2013