Undergraduate Research Day 2023

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 17
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    Green Burials and the Ecology of New Hampshire
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2023-03-03) Blood, Isabella; Collins, Aaron
    The ideas and practices of green burials have recently been acquainted with the non-exhaustive list of mitigation strategies for climate change. Green burials, which are alternatives to traditional postmortem services, have a positive impact on the environment, as opposed to harmful practices used in most services currently. New Hampshire’s ecological systems, like others’ can benefit from these types of green services and cemeteries. How exactly these services can improve or sustain natural life in the New Hampshire ecosystems is unknown. While green cemeteries vary in types all around the world, it is clear they are affective. Understanding the relationship of green burials and the environment is crucial to advancement in common sustainable practices.
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    Pollinators, the Importance of the Declining Monarch Butterfly and What We Can Do
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2023-03-03) Martis, Roman; Collins, Aaron
    Pollinators are a crucial part of Earth’s ecosystem and play a major role in the existence of life on this planet. In recent years, the Monarch butterfly population has taken a significant hit along with their host plant where they lay their eggs, milkweed. Another plant, the sacred fir, which is native to Mexico, has also been on the decline due to climate change. This recent decrease is due to many factors including extreme weather events, insecticides, pesticides, and habitat loss/fragmentation. Recent studies have pointed out that a protection zone around milkweed plants has been shown to alleviate the pressure presented by these chemicals which decrease egg laying efficiency. This study aims to highlight the importance of pollinators, increase monarch and milkweed populations by tracking and rearing them.
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    Habitat Fragmentation and Herpetofauna
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2023-03-03) Zucowska, Carolyn; Collins, Aaron
    Southern New Hampshire has become heavily urbanized in recent decades which impacts native wildlife’s habitat area. Reptiles and especially amphibians are indicator species, therefore, studying their population changes due to this habitat alteration can display the true effects. This research project’s goal is to collect information on how habitat fragmentation, or the separation of habitats due to roads and other transportation routes, affects herpetofauna in Southern New Hampshire. While the topic of habitat fragmentation’s effect on amphibians and reptiles has been studied, there hasn’t been any studies in this geographic region. Most reptiles and amphibians in this area have been researched minimally and therefore it is difficult to determine the best conservation methods. The most well researched way of connecting fragmented land for conservation is wildlife corridors. Many herpetofauna avoid crossing paved roads or suffer road mortality. Therefore, it would be valuable to complete further research on local reptiles and amphibians' behaviors around paved roads and implement wildlife underpasses to connect their fragmented land. This research would form a better understanding of possible conservation methods of native New Hampshire wildlife to avoid possible extinction of these sensitive indicator species.
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    Zoos Effects on Animal Conservation
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2023-03-03) Hammond, Gwyn; Collins, Aaron
    Zoos are a multi purpose facilities that house animals and help educate the public on many species, while controversial with some ethical dimemias there are many zoos that contribute to animal conservation efforts. With habitat destruction and more animals becoming endangered there is a stronger need for zoos to become a stronger part of animal conservation efforts to help restore animal populations. There has been focus on how zoos have increased their efforts but not a spotlight on zoo sizes and how that can contribute to conservation efforts. There are many zoos that put time and effort into the translocation of animals but there are not enough across the board to fully make an impact. This problem will be addressed by analyzing what types and sizes of zoos are the most beneficial and how the smaller zoos can improve how they approach the issue of conservation. The research will compare multiple types of zoos and look at their beneficial tactics and implementation of practices that will benefit animals. By looking at the reproductions and translocation rates of these certain zoos I will be able to see what specific practices are most beneficial. The key impact of this study is to see how zoos can further their rehabilitation efforts for animals. With better efforts from zoos, there will be a better chance for the repopulation of endangered animal species.
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    Stormwater Runoff Threatens the Merrimack River
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2023-03-03) Cooledge, Morgan; Collins, Aaron
    Stormwater runoff and its effects on water quality can negatively impact the environment. For example, combined sewer overflow, also known as CSO, is a major source of contaminants. The sewer systems collect rainwater runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial waste. However, when wastewater treatments become overwhelmed and can not be treated as needed, the untreated polluted water is pushed into waterways. Green infrastructure is a low-cost, adaptable method that helps prevent flooding and erosion. Trees, green roofs, and rain gardens help absorb excess rainfall before it hits the ground and runs down sidewalks, picking up pollutants. Several techniques are described in the literature to measure the reduction of stormwater runoff. This work investigates a new stormwater drainage technique called Urban Green Infrastructure (UGI) to help contain the water flow. Other methods include water diversion, sewage interception, and sediment dredging. A series of studies addresses point sources that lead to water pollution, like combined sewer flow (CSO), infrastructure debris, motor oil, and more. By identifying these sources here in New Hampshire, a new approach can be drawn up to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff without influencing the water quality and environment of the New Hampshire wildlife.