Environmental Quality of Scott County (KY) Streams as Determined by Biological Indicators
By Allison Bickers
Adviser: Rick Kopp
Water pollution has been a growing concern both nationally and locally. The streams of the Kentucky River basin are of particular interest due to the extensive use of surrounding land for agriculture and the growing issue of urban sprawl. Scott County â€“ and Georgetown in particular â€“ is an area of rapid population growth and considerable agricultural activity. Benthic macroinvertebrates and fish are both known to be excellent biological indicators of water quality, as taxa vary in their sensitivity to poor conditions. I investigated the integrity of three streams in the Elkhorn Creek watershed by sampling benthic macroinvertebrate communities from sites in Dry Run (4 sites), Cane Run (2 sites), and Lanes Run (1 site). One site from the West Fork of Eagle Creek was also sampled as a reference stream. Collections were made from three different areas of a single riffle from each site using a 1 m kicknet. Individuals were sorted in the laboratory and identified to lowest possible taxon. The numbers, relative densities, and an EPT index (a water quality index based on the number of individuals from the most sensitive taxa: Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera) are reported for each site. Data are presented that relate water quality of each stream segment to the land use patterns of the watershed. Fish communities from each stream are being investigated in a separate part of this study to provide supporting evidence of the link between land use and water quality.
Fall into the Gap
By Christa Langenbruch
Adviser: Dr. Melissa Scheier
Income inequality is a concept we have all heard about, if not discussed as it orients economic policy and social consciousness. This project was spurred by an inquiry into the incongruent income inequality status of two nation-states: Costa Rica and Guatemala. These two Mesoamerican states were both colonized by Spain for almost three centuries until independence in 1821. Though they are of superficially equal background the Human Development Index, a product of the United Nations Development Program, lists Costa Rica with high human development in 48th place out of 177 states versus Guatemalaâ€™s medium human development in 118th place. The project utilizes neocolonialism and modernization theory to examine these two countries and how seemingly similar states could come to such unequal results.
Theft and Taxes: A Critique of Nozickâ€™s Case for Unconditional Private Property Rights
By Jennifer Martin
Adviser: Dr. Bradford Hadaway
Reconciling the claims of taxation with the feeling that one should have full rights to his earnings is a difficult task for any tax payer. Taxation is seen more as a necessary evil to keep the country running than a voluntary contribution to society. This view leads many of us to consider income tax to be legalized theft, a violation of our most fundamental liberty to earn wealth. In 1974 libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick claimed that â€śtaxation is on par with forced laborâ€ť. His book entitled Anarchy, State, and Utopia argued for the inviolable right to income that had been justly earned by individuals. It is my goal to show that taxation is not the offensive violation that Nozick suggests and to critique his inadequate discussion of property rights and self-ownership.
Under Nozickâ€™s theory, property may be limitlessly acquired as long as the transactions are just. This thesis challenges Nozickâ€™s claims by presenting property rights to income that respect the conditions others need for survival. I will discuss the inherent problems with Nozickâ€™s concept of unconditional property rights; I will build a case instead for these conditional rights that grant positive claims to welfare and taxation.
Nozick bases much of his argument on the premise of self-ownership. This is the idea that each person has natural property rights his body, talents, labor, and the fruits thereof. This argument from natural rights is one Nozick uses deem taxation as a severe violation on par with human rights offenses. My thesis will argue that honor for both welfare rights and private property rights are consistent with the ideals of self-ownership. Because self-ownership can be shown not to require unconditional property rights only, I will conclude that conditional property rights are permissible. Furthermore, income taxation is not the violation of natural self-ownership rights that Nozick claims it to be.
From the Fields of Burgogne to the Palais Bourbon: How and Why Wine Influences French Politics
By Taylor Rains
Adviser: Dr. Michael Cairo
Because of French wineâ€™s global prevalence, few question its quality. Unfortunately, this also means that few know the true story of how French wine rose to the top. Some models would cite protective French policies that propped up the domestic industry for years. These traditional theories involve the monarchsâ€™, and later, the national assembliesâ€™ power to make or break industries with tax policies. They might also describe how it made financial sense to protect and market the French wine industry–pitching in on the marketing campaign made the politicians and the vintners rich, so economic interests could be what drove the process. Others, more adept in winemaking, might say that French wineâ€™s rise to prominence was inevitable. The unique soil and climate create favorable conditions in regions such as Burgogne, Bordeaux, or Champagne. These conditions combine with the ancient skill of regional vintners to create superior wine. In this way, French wine eventually would have become famous regardless of political or economic conditions.
Whichever explanation one might prefer, it is easy to see how French wine has impacted the French way of lifeâ€”perhaps only cheese rivals wine as a symbol of French culture. One last explanation, however, posits that this way of life also could have caused the development and success of French wine. This thesis endeavors to use culture as a root explanation for how French wine culture affected French policies and economics. It focuses on the chronological order of events of the story, French public opinion through different eras, and the personal opinions of several key vintners, politicians, and businessmen. In doing so, it becomes clear that the belief in the superiority of French wine, no matter how truthful, played just as big a role in its success story as did greed or political aid.
Validation of a Secondary Cytomegalovirus Assay Targeting the DNA Polymerase Gene Using Real-Time PCR
By Abigail Riddle
Adviser: Dr. Rick Kopp
In hospitals today, immunocompromised patients are monitored for new and reactivated viral infections, such as by human cytomegalovirus (CMV). Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays are used to amplify viral DNA and quantify the amount of DNA in a patient sample of whole blood, plasma, cerebrospinal fluid, stool, etc. These reactions are performed using PCR instruments containing detectors that measure fluorescence of sequence-specific probes that anneal to template DNA. One gene that is targeted by such probes in the CMV assay is for glycoprotein B (gB). Recently discovered mutations in the gB gene have prevented the quantification of viral DNA in patient samples; a new assay is needed to be established using probes that target a different CMV gene. A real-time quantitative PCR assay for the human cytomegalovirus polymerase (Pol) gene was created and validated following the protocol of Cincinnati Childrenâ€™s Hospital Medical Center PCR Laboratory. DNA was extracted from patient samples of various types and analyzed on the ABI 7500 (Applied Biosystems) using the Fast Protocol program. In addition to known positive and negative samples, approximately 45 samples from three patients with mutated CMV were analyzed for comparison to previous data with probes targeting the gB gene. Reproducibility between daily assays provided more accurate quantification of the CMV DNA in these patients and served as the basis of validation of this new assay. The CMV Pol Gene assay was written up as a One-time Quality Improvement for Cincinnati Childrenâ€™s Hospital PCR Lab and now serves as a secondary assay for analysis of patient samples that have a mutated glycoprotein B gene in infecting cytomegalovirus particles.
Attitudes toward Appalachian Women: A Study of Georgetown College Students
By Cassie Simpson
Adviser: Dr. Regan Lookadoo
Stereotypes of Appalachian people are prominent in American culture. Within the larger realm of Appalachian stereotypes, women often times endure harsh stereotypes that are specific to their gender. Among these is the typical â€śbarefoot and pregnantâ€ť stereotype, but there are also many representations of these women as being less intelligent, submissive, â€śtrappedâ€ť in Appalachia, physically violent, and overall less likely to be cultured according to societyâ€™s standards. With Georgetown College lying just past this geographic region, a significant number of the student population is from Appalachia. With consideration to this information, a study was designed to measure how prevalent these stereotypes are on Georgetown Collegeâ€™s campus. Nearly 100 students completed surveys that assessed what stereotypes they held towards Appalachian women. Statistical analysis was completed to see if there were significant differences in the way that students from Appalachia responded in comparison to students who were not from the area. Overall, the study found many significant results between these two groups, with Appalachian students being less likely to endorse such stereotypes. Interestingly enough, a great deal of students surveyed also reported that although they were aware of the region, they did not know anyone from Appalachia. There was also a discrepancy between how participants felt that Georgetown College students in general viewed Appalachian women. Most students self reported that they did not hold degrading views toward Appalachia, but felt that most students would harbor such stereotypes. Given the information gained through this project and the current push for increasing diversity on Georgetown Collegeâ€™s campus, the development of an Appalachian Studies program is proposed.