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UWS students present research in Madison

Pictured are: (front row, from left) Kelly Bergstrom, Dara Fillmore and Josh Mutchler; and (back row) Brentton Paulus, Aexsei Bogdanov, Sam Reiswig and Brad Roy.

Submitted by Tom Hansen

Wisconsin-Superior University Relations

Seven University of Wisconsin- Superior students involved in the university’s math and computer science, biology, psychology, business and economics, and transportation and logistics management programs were chosen to showcase their undergraduate research projects at the State Capitol in Madison.

The 11th annual Posters in the Rotunda: A Celebration of Undergraduate Research, was March 12. The event brought more than 150 students and faculty from University of Wisconsin system campuses to the State Capitol Rotunda to share findings from undergraduate research projects with state elected officials, government representatives and the public.

UWS student presenters include:

Alexei Bogdanov, a double major in economics and transportation and logistics from Angarsk, Russia, presented “The Economic and Environmental Impact of the Gogebic Taconite Mine in Northern Wisconsin.” His faculty adviser is Zamira Simkins, professor of economics. The objective of this research project was to study the potential economic and environmental effects of the Gogebic Taconite iron ore mine proposed within the Penokee Range in Ashland and Iron counties of northern Wisconsin. He came to Superior because of the transportation and logistics program at UWS. He plans to pursue a graduate degree in transportation and hopes his empirical research experience will help him achieve that goal.

Kelly Bergstrom, a double major in biology and psychology from Superior, presented “The Effects of Distractors during a Sustained Attention Task.” This is a cognitive study that looks at how distractors affect attention, measured by response time, throughout the duration of a task. Her faculty adviser is Eleni Pinnow, professor of psychology. She is set to graduate in May and hopes to eventually go on to study clinical psychology with a focus in neuropsychology. Her project gave her the opportunity to gain research skills that she will continue to build throughout graduate school and her career.

Bradley Roy, a transportation and logistics major from Geoffstown, N.H., presented “Improving the Efficiency of Snow Removal Operations in City of Duluth.” Roy worked on a project to research the feasibility of improving the fuel efficiency of the snow removal operations in Duluth. In the process of research he found out specifically what types of vehicles Duluth used and how much area across which the city is required to complete snow removal operations. He also took into account where the city located its equipment and whether it could improve the locations. His faculty adviser is Mei Cao, professor of transportation and logistics. Roy is an eight-year Air Force veteran who came to UWS specifically for the transportation and logistics program.

Dara Fillmore, a public history major from Lake Nebagamon, presented “Creating Communities and Health through Gardens, an independent study in applied anthropology gauging interest in community gardens in Superior.” The results of the survey showed an interest in the topic of community gardens. Members of community gardens already in existence were interviewed to learn about resources, choices and challenges. Meetings were held to learn about requirements for creating a community garden on the UWS campus. Fillmore’s faculty adviser is Deborah Augsburger, professor in anthropology.

Josh Mutchler, a double-major in biology and broad-field science from Duluth, presented “Analyzing Known Watershed Data to Predict Potential Water Quality Degradation.” Through this research Mutchler explored the potential environmental risks the GTAC mine could impose on adjacent watersheds and valuable ecosystems downstream from the mining site. His faculty adviser is Amy Eliot of the Lake Superior Research Institute. For the past two summers he worked with the LSRI and came to appreciate the many pristine watersheds within the Lake Superior Basin.

Sam Reiswig and Brentton Paulus, both graduates of Superior High School, presented “Creating a UW-Superior Weather Station.” Together they worked on creating a weather sensor for the university. They were interested in this project because it allowed them to work with micro-controllers and other devices such as the CP2112. Their faculty adviser is Dr. Sergei Bezroukov, professor in mathematics and computer sciences. This current project contains a remote sensor that transmits to a receiver base. The receiver base sends the weather data to a server that can be accessed as a web page at They report that greater details about this project can be seen at mcs.uwsuper .edu/sb/Electronics/Weather/ind.php.

During the Posters in the Rotunda event, state leaders had the opportunity to view poster presentations of the research projects, speak with students and faculty members and learn more about how this experience enriches the educational experience. The students also had a chance to meet with several area state lawmakers about their research and inquire and learn more about government operations in Madison.