Graduate Student Research Conference

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The Graduate College invites graduate students from all disciplines to present at the Graduate Student Research Conference (GSRC) (previously known as the International Research Conference) and showcase their original research and creative works!

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 48
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    An Evaluative Study of a Dropout Prevention Program on African American Male Students in Central Texas High Schools
    (2024-04) Williams, Crosville
    High school dropouts are a major concern for many states. It is known that male students drop out at higher rates than female students. In Texas, Black males have been identified as having the highest four-year dropout rates among all ethnic groups at 11.8%, followed by American Indians at 9.7%, then Hispanics at 9.4%. Several factors contribute to dropping out of high school. The literature suggests that dropping out is a process with many push and pull factors influencing Black males to drop out. This study presents not only those influential factors but also identifies dropout prevention programs known to lower dropout rates among Black males. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the Communities in Schools (CIS) dropout prevention program was able to lower the dropout rate among Black males or increase the four-year graduation rate. The results indicate that the CIS program was able to increase the graduation rates among Black male students using key components known to lower Black male dropout. Finally, the research highlights a key area of improvement for the program as well as the future directions that future research should prioritize in the study of at-risk Black male students.
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    Insights into (Cs0.22FA0.78)Pb(I0.85Br0.15)3 Triple Halide Perovskite films: Stability Investigations via Angle-Resolved XPS Analysis
    (2024-04) Mahamudujjaman, Md; Scolfaro, Luisa M.; Geerts, Wilhelmus J.
    Perovskite materials have garnered significant attention from researchers due to their promising photovoltaic properties and cost-effective production processes. These films can be deposited using solvent-based techniques close to room temperature, such as spin-casting, blade-coating, slot-die printing, and inkjet printing. Triple halide perovskites, with their tunable wide bandgap, offer promising applications in tandem solar cells, particularly when paired with silicon-based cells. Despite their enhanced efficiencies and reduced production costs, the commercial viability of perovskite solar cells remains constrained by their limited stability. In our study, we employed angle-resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) to examine a spin- coated absorber layer formulated from (Cs0.22FA0.78)Pb(I0.85Br0.15)3 with an added 3 mol % MAPbCl3, also referred to as Cs22Br15. The inks, based on DMF, were prepared in a glovebox, and applied to plasma-cleaned glass substrates. Following deposition, the wet films were annealed at 100°C for 30 minutes. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis revealed that the annealed samples transitioned to a photo-active α-phase, whereas the unannealed samples retained a photo-inactive δ-phase. The surface chemical composition of the perovskite films was analyzed using angle-resolved XPS, an effective technique for investigating the photochemical and thermal decomposition of perovskite materials. The samples were pre-cleaned using a low-energy ion/cluster beam to prevent damage to the perovskite layers. The survey spectrum of the freshly prepared perovskite/glass samples displayed characteristic peaks, including Pb4f, Br3d, I3d, Cs3d, and C1s. Closer examination between 283 eV and 287 eV identified a peak at approximately 286 eV and a secondary peak at around 284 eV, corresponding to C-N and C-C bonds, respectively. The Pb XPS spectra that were taken 625 hours later of sample preparation and sample treatment show larger Pbo peaks. So, degradation does not stop upon removing the heat and humidity stresses and storing the sample in a nitrogen filled glovebox. We also explored the impact of heat and moisture on the triple halide perovskite. To our knowledge, this is the first report of an XPS study on Cs22Br15.
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    Analysis of Reflectograms of Pile Integrity Test Using Image Processing Technique
    (2024-04) Debnath, Picasso Kumar
    Pile foundations are typically used for major constructions and in cases when the soil at shallow depths is insufficient to withstand excessive settlement, uplift, and so on. Excavating a hole in the ground and filling it with concrete with various types of reinforcement is how cast-in-situ piles are constructed. It has become clear that even the most advanced piling technique can't guarantee flawless results. Integrity testing identifies areas with reduced cross-sections (necking) or poor material qualities. Minor faults, such as microscopic cracks, can often be predicted, but their nature must be confirmed through visual inspection. The main objective of this thesis work is to identify the condition of the cast-in-situ pile and to identify the faulty piles. From recent studies, Sonic Integrity Testing (SIT) is a type of low-strain testing that is an effective instrument for detecting faults and estimating pile length. The success of integrity testing in its current state is dependent on two key factors: the quality of gathered signals and the interpreter's experience. A computer-based analysis of the test results is required to determine the best result in place of the human. As highlighted in the ICE manual handbook, CIRIA 144 (1997), proposes a taxonomy of three types (Type 0, 1, and 2) of Reflectogram signal responses. Here, MATLAB is used to create an image-based analysis that digitally represents the signal type. After that, the data is sorted in an Excel file for numerical analysis. The created method was used on 204 signals of 68 piles at SKS LPG Mongla, with 2 piles classified as Type 0, 171 piles classified as Type 1, and 31 piles classified as Type 2. The image-based algorithm and expert judgment were found to be almost identical. Because the analysis is so good, it's more practical to apply it instead of the traditional approaches for pile testing mechanisms.
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    Optimizing Learning: How a Minimal Time Investment in Active Learning Boosts Precalculus Mastery
    (2024-04-01) Buber, Zafer
    Despite various efforts and initiatives to improve the success rates in precalculus courses across the United States, the statistics have not shown significant improvement over the last four decades. The research identifies poor instructional practices as one of the main factors contributing to this issue and finds them to be associated with overloaded curricula and fast-paced instruction in precalculus classes. Given that the primary instructional method in most college mathematics courses is direct instruction, this quasi-experimental study aims to investigate the impact of a low-time commitment active learning strategy on students’ achievement and participation in college precalculus classes. The proposed intervention aims to slow down the instructional pace, especially for the students who need more time for conceptual advancement, and create more opportunities to provide students with more time to reason and think. The findings indicate that this intervention has the potential to improve student achievement and increase participation in college precalculus classes.
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    Development of a New Method for Rapid Purification and Analysis of Circular Plasmid DNAs from Yeast Cells
    (2024-04) Ali, Ahmed Wajahat; Sowersby, Drew S.; Okoye, Linda C.; Lewis, L. Kevin
    It is common practice to purify circular plasmid DNAs from small cultures of E. coli bacterial cells for subsequent analysis by gel electrophoresis. By contrast, extraction and electrophoretic analysis of circular DNAs from small cultures of yeast and other eukaryotic cells is difficult because of the small numbers of these molecules inside cells. Existing methods employed in budding yeast (S. cerevisiae) require extraction from a large volume of cultured cells; the partially purified plasmids are then typically transformed into E. coli cells and extracted via plasmid DNA minipreps for gel analysis. In the current study, we have developed a new method for extracting plasmids from small yeast cell cultures that permits visualization of the circular DNAs by electrophoresis. The new approach was shown to be superior to two other common yeast DNA extraction methods, as it produced more plasmid DNA and less contaminating chromosomal DNA and RNA. The method was tested by cloning a RAD52 gene-containing fragment into an expression vector inside yeast cells. DNAs from the transformants were then analyzed directly by gel electrophoresis after performing yeast minipreps. The new method allows yeast plasmids to be analyzed quickly, eliminating the requirement for subsequent transformation into E. coli cells.
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    Investigating roles of nonhomologous end-joining and recombination genes in repair of site-specific DNA double-strand breaks in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
    (2024-04) Mahmood, Anika; Lewis, L. Kevin
    The DNA in eukaryotic cells such as human and yeast cells are constantly subjected to endogenous and exogenous sources of damage through exposure to radiation and mutagenic chemicals. Among these lesions, double-strand breaks (DSBs) are one of the most lethal damages which have two DNA repair pathways dedicated to them known as the nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination (HDR) pathways. Unlike the highly accurate HR system, the error prone NHEJ pathway in yeast cells does not require a template strand for repair and uses three major protein machineries. These are the Yku complex which binds and protects the DSB ends and recruits Mrx that tethers the DSB ends together. Mrx then recruits the Dnl4 complex, which ligates the ends together. The most commonly used assay for NHEJ repair involves transfer of circular plasmids containing a single site-specific DSB into yeast cells. NHEJ mutants (yku-, mrx- , or dnl4- yeast strains) show reduced efficiency of repair. The goals of this research project were to: (1) Investigate the role of the Mrx protein complex in the steps of the NHEJ pathway and (2) develop new assays to measure repair of DSBs by both HR and NHEJ simultaneously.
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    Advancing Lightweight Engineered Cementitious Composites: An Interpretable Machine Learning Framework
    (2024-04-02) Uddin, Md Nasir; Shi, Xijun
    In recent years, the integration of Machine Learning (ML) techniques to predict the properties of Lightweight Engineered Cementitious Composites (LWECCs) has garnered significant attention. The Compressive Strength (CS) and Flexural Strength (FS) are pivotal attributes of LWECCs, underpinning their utility in various civil engineering endeavors. This research aims to collate mixture design components and their associated strengths of LWECCs, specifically those reinforced with polyethylene, and polyvinyl alcohol fibers, from the extant literature. To predict the CS and FS of LWECCs, models based on eXtreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost) and Light Gradient Boosting Machine (LightGBM) were developed. Emphasis was placed on hyperparameter optimization using GridSearchCV to refine model performance for LWECCs. Additionally, the influence of mixture properties on model outcomes was investigated through SHapley Additive exPlanations (SHAP) analysis, providing insights into optimal mixture designs for LWECCs. This study underscores the potential of enhancing predictive modeling in civil engineering by integrating advancements in machine learning, offering a pathway to more effective and efficient material design.
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    Slow Down to Speed Up: Investigating the Impact of a Low-Time-Commitment Active Learning Strategy in Precalculus
    (2023-04) Buber, Zafer
    Despite all the efforts, the problem of low levels of success in precalculus courses in the US has not improved significantly over the last four decades. The research identifies poor instructional practices as one of the main factors contributing to this issue and finds them to be associated with overloaded curricula and fast-paced instruction in precalculus classes. Given that the primary instructional method in most college mathematics courses is direct instruction, this quasi-experimental study aims to investigate the impact of a low-time commitment active learning strategy on students’ achievement and participation in college precalculus classes. The planned intervention aims to slow down the instructional pace, especially for the students who need more time for conceptual advancement and create more opportunities to provide students with more time to reason and think. Preliminary results indicate that this intervention has the potential to improve student achievement and increase participation.
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    Embracing Student Language as Scaffolding During Mathematical Modeling
    (2023-04) Quansah, Abigail; Czocher, Jennifer A.
    No abstract prepared.
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    An Assessment of Accessing Mental Health Treatment Among Aging Incarcerated Persons
    (2022-08) Fritz, Katlyn
    No abstract prepared.
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    Making Pi and Rethinking Teacher Education Program
    (2023-04) Bui, Mai
    This poster presents four activities specifically designed for prospective elementary and middle school teachers who are taking a content course in geometry and measurement. These activities aim to help prospective teachers deepen their understanding of the formula for the circumference of a circle and the meaning of constant Pi as well as build the necessary skills to become well-prepared beginning teachers of mathematics. The first three activities guide prospective teachers to explore and re-explore the formula using non-standard units, standard units, and technology. Following this, prospective teachers will engage in a group discussion about the affordances and limitations of each activity and consider important factors when designing and selecting mathematical tasks for their future instructional practices. The activities offer opportunities for prospective teachers to deepen their mathematical knowledge and build their professional skills and identity simultaneously. Participants’ reflection evidenced the positive impacts of this approach on their essential knowledge and skills for teaching as well as their dispositions and views toward mathematics education.
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    Exploring the association between the Noyce Scholarship Program and Public-School Districts with Spatial Patterns in the U.S
    (2023-04) Wu, Xiu; Feng, Li; Chih, Yao-Yu
    Background: The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program (RNTSP) provides financial support to undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing a career in teaching STEM subjects. However, there are some challenges associated with estimating the effectiveness of this program. These challenges include time lag, spatial non-synergistic effects, and the lack of an object-based surveillance mechanism. These factors contribute to uncertainties in the estimation of the program's impact. Research Purpose: This research aims to identify the spatial relationship between RNTSP and public-school districts in the U.S. The main objective is to examine the potential effects of RNTSP on the current public school system. This will be achieved by the use of the spatial join tool. Specifically, different radii intersections will be used to determine the extent of the relationship between RNTSP and the public-school districts. By doing so, the research will provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of RNTSP and how it impacts the education resources available to public schools. Research Questions: How does the RNTSP influence public school districts in the U.S. in space?
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    The Charismatic “Saviors”: A Depiction of Cults and Leaders in Mainstream Film
    (2023-04) Trapane, Kamryn
    This study evaluates four films regarding cults and cult leaders using discourse analysis or content analysis. Cults were depicted as having in-person or historical supernatural motives with both the followers and leaders participating in deviant behaviors. The leaders possessed confidence and charisma in their cultic responsibilities, using impression management (Goffman 1959), or a way to give a perceived perception to others within social interactions, and expressing their charismatic authority (Weber 1947), or a type of leadership which is unique in that it influences a group of people due to attractive qualities. The main characters exhibited anomie (Durkheim 1893), or the morals that the characters follow resulting in instability in their lives. Anomie becomes prevalent when the cult members and leader manipulates the characters, resulting in the characters exhibiting instability when navigating the cult as their morals do not align. Understanding cults and cult leaders in mainstream films can help recognize the social construction that the media has established in our society. These films can establish patterns and differences between real-life cults and fictional movie depictions.
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    Creating a Developmental Education Curriculum for Student Success with Diverse Cultures
    (2023-04) Guest, Jayson; Mumu, Maisha Farzana
    A sense of belonging and community support is extremely important to college student success. Both engender the kind of systems thinking students need to excel in the university. This is especially true for developmental education students who must take a non-credit bearing class, or classes, in addition to the standard requirements for their degree. These classes provide obstacles to student motivation in the way they impose an added financial burden and also come with the stigma of remediation. One of the most effective ways to foster a sense of belonging and offer community support is through a practice of culturally sensitive pedagogy. This project looks to answer the question “How does an instructor create a welcoming and equitable developmental education curriculum for students of diverse cultures, and to what extent are Texas State University developmental education instructors implementing those measures?” By combining a literary analysis and qualitative data from learning environment observations of Texas State University developmental education reading classes, an evaluation of useful practices for student success is offered in our results.
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    Elements of Effective Water Conservation Legislation in Texas
    (2023-04) Boggan, Kaylee
    The purpose of this applied research project is fourfold. First, the curation of the ideal components of water conservation legislation came from a thorough literature review. Next, the framework was used by the researcher to help assess the processes currently used by the Texas legislature. Third, this evaluative exercise helped identify the shortcomings of the current process used by the Texas legislature to address this critical policy issue. Finally, recommendations to improve current lawmaking practices are provided based on the evidence from interviews and document analysis. Legislative action establishes regulatory policy that influences the way water conservation enforcement occurs. The ideal framework created in this study is based on four legislative standards: economic development, social capital/welfare, statutory authority and case law, and agency design. Each standard was assessed using document analysis of Texas Senate Bill 1 (75R), Texas Senate Bill 2(77R), and Texas Senate Bill 3 (79R) and associated documents. Evidence from interviews with water/public policy experts also provided essential information regarding how effective water conservation legislation must be created. The results indicated that an ideal bill must consider effective agency design, statutory authority and case law, social capital and welfare, and economic development. Recommendations include a revamp of the rule of capture, inclusion of provisions relating to climate science, and additional funding to groundwater conservation districts or a One Water Management Approach. Further, Texas should include efficiency regulations and program evaluations including sufficiently long transition periods to allow stakeholders to prepare for change including metrics for improving and quantitative measurements.
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    It is Time to Think! Investigating the Impact of Reasoning Time in Precalculus
    (2022-04) Buber, Zafer
    College-level mathematics courses have always been a gatekeeper for students. High attrition rates in these courses point out a very serious issue. Research has identified various factors contributing to these high attrition rates. To various studies, one of these factors has been observed to be fast-paced instruction in college-level mathematics courses. Also, the research underlines that students who are exposed to fast-paced instruction without conceptual understanding are more likely to drop out. This study focuses on the instructional time and precalculus achievement relationship. More specifically, we investigate how the private reasoning time provided explicitly impacts students’ performance and achievement in college precalculus classes. This study aims to provide college students with more private reasoning time during the instruction and slow down the pace of the instruction. With this purpose in mind, we ask the following research questions: What is the impact of private reasoning time during the instruction on college students’ precalculus achievement? What is the optimal waiting time after students are given private reasoning time in precalculus classes? Students will be provided with a few explicit private reasoning time intervals from 30 sec to 1 min in precalculus classes. During these time intervals, students will be given some tasks designed to support their conceptual transitioning and some guiding questions that are supposed to help students reason about the mathematical concept. Each student is supposed to reason individually first. Then, around their individual thoughts, the instruction is supposed to go on. Students will be provided with a few explicit private reasoning time intervals from 30 sec to 1 min in precalculus classes. During these time intervals, students will be given some tasks designed to support their conceptual transitioning and some guiding questions that are supposed to help students reason about the mathematical concept. Each student is supposed to reason individually first. Then, around their individual thoughts, the instruction is supposed to go on. We will measure the impact of the planned intervention by using pre and post-design tools. Additionally, we will analyze semi-structured interviews with some students before and after the intervention to capture the change in their reasoning attitudes. Due to the highly complex nature of teaching/learning activities, we are not sure to what degree increasing reasoning time might improve the learning of precalculus concepts. However, we conjecture that slowing down the precalculus instruction, together with guiding questions and appropriate tasks, will help students with having: more active learning opportunities more interaction with the instructor more instructors' noticing the students' struggles more feedback from the instructor less math anxiety better achievement Based on the initial observations and the expected results, we hope that this study will improve the teaching/learning of precalculus, especially for the students who need more time to think during the instruction.
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    Assistive Technologies and Strategies for Writing in Middle School
    (2022-09) Guha, Manjary; Collins, Alyson A.
    Content-area writing in middle school requires the ability to extract key points from the content and transform information into a written product. However, students with learning disabilities (LD) often lack the skills needed to develop written products within the content areas, which in turn affects their academic success (Evmenova et al., 2016). Researchers have invented assistive technologies that can be used in the classroom setting to assist learners with writing in content areas. The purpose of this study was to review existing research studies investigating assistive technologies and instructional strategies aimed at enhancing the writing skills of middle-school students. We examined studies that used randomized control trials (RCTs), within-subject, and single-case designs to explore the effectiveness of assistive technologies and note-taking strategies for improving content-area writing of students with LD. We used electronic databases Eric and PsycINFO to find prior research in these areas. Additionally, we conducted hand searches and reference searches to augment the studies obtained from the database search. After screening 144 studies using eligibility and inclusion criteria, we were left with a total of four studies. Among these, two studies examined the effects of computer-based graphic organizers (CGBOs) as an assistive technology in middle school classrooms. The other two studies investigated strategies for writing in middle schools such as mnemonics, 'Cued prompt', and Technology-Based Graphic Organizers (TGBOs). Findings suggest CBGOs, TGBOs, and note-taking strategies such as cued prompts and mnemonics improve writing and note-taking quality for students with LD as measured by overall word counts, the number of sentences in note-taking, and writing essays. While the long-term effects of assistive technologies remain uncertain, findings from our literature review suggest significant and measurable benefits for middle school students when technology interventions are used for writing. References Evmenova, A. S., Regan, K., Boykin, A., Good, K., Hughes, M., MacVittie, N., Sacco, D., Ahn, S. Y., & Chirinos, D. (2016). Emphasizing Planning for Essay Writing with a Computer-Based Graphic Organizer. Exceptional Children, 82(2), 170–191.
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    Monitoring Air Quality using Domain Adaptation and GAN
    (2022-04) Dey, Arunavo; Islam, Tanzima
    Recent environmental pollution is most detrimental to air which is one of most necessary elements of nature for living beings. Recent excessive ozone pollution made the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to call for an Ozone Action Day for the Austin area for Saturday, March 19, 2022 [1] to prevent ozone pollution. But in most of the cases predicting air quality with the help of data collected from somewhere else doesn’t help much. Moreover measuring directly the amount of pollution may not be feasible always. Collecting directly the elements to predict one specific amount also may not be feasible. So, in this work it has been tried to measure one element from other available elements without taking account their contribution to the specific element. Here measuring ozone from other data has been tried out. Also taking elements from one city air it has been experimented to measure pollution in a complete different city. By studying this real life scenario it has been tried to measure the performance among different domain adaptation methods including optimal DANN and optimal transport and subspace alignment to measure their effectiveness in this real life scenario.
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    Impact of Municipal Solid Waste Landfill on Climate Change and Human Well-being: A Case Study on Aminbazar Landfill, Dhaka North City Corporation, Bangladesh
    (2022-04) Khondoker, Marufa; Rahman, M. Maksudur; Hwang, Sangchul
    Global warming and climate change have become warning topics to think about around the globe. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have increased by over 90% since 1970, with fossil fuel burning and industrial processes accounting for around 78 percent of the entire increase in greenhouse gas emissions between 1970 and 2011 (Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, US). Apart from industries, there are other contributors who are responsible for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, such as unmanaged Solid waste landfills. Globally the estimation of methane gas is still a topic of debate, and several methods are there. Also, most of the reports have come up with qualitative data regarding the health impact of the waste workers and the dwellers. This work aims to calculate methane (CH4) emissions from Aminbazar solid waste (SW) disposal site, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Microbes digest degradable organic carbon from rubbish in solid waste disposal sites (SWDS) under anaerobic conditions, producing methane (CH4) and other compounds. The Aminbazar trash disposal area, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), has been visited, and waste statistics and other vital information have been gathered from the Waste Report and the Key Informant Interview (KII) of DNCC high officials. The Aminbazar landfill has been in operation since 2007, and it is scheduled to close in 2023. This dump is better controlled and has more data than the other Dhaka South City Corporation landfill, Matuail (DSCC). Hence, the Aminbazar disposal site has been selected to estimate the trend of Methane gas (CH4) using two contradictory methods, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2006 default method and the LandGEM model (a first-order decay method). Then, results have been compared and analyzed that the IPCC default method estimates 40-60% more methane gas than the LandGEM model due to the assumptions applied. Eventually, it has been found that If we consider that Aminbazar landfill emits an average of 40 Gg of methane gas per year, we may conclude that the landfill is responsible for emitting 2.96 kg/acre/day of methane gas. Furthermore, the people of DNCC contribute to global warming by generating 17.96 grams of methane gas per day. (This assumes a total population of 6.1 million in the DNCC area). Interviews with landfill officials and neighboring people were done in a qualitative format. According to the findings, landfills are located relatively close to residential areas, bodies of water, and agricultural regions, exposing people to a variety of health and environmental concerns. Improper solid waste management procedures at landfills have a negative impact on the environment through leachate percolation, trash combustion, and vector breeding. To lessen the accompanying environmental pollution and health hazards, the existing solid waste management system requires administrative and technical changes. More research needs to be conducted to calculate methane gas emissions from waste disposal sites in Bangladesh.
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    Rapid Nucleic Acid Concentration from Wastewater with Minimal Equipment: New Strategy for COVID-19 Surveillance
    (2022-04) Long, Shannon
    Background: As of 26 March 2022, COVID-19 has killed over six million people worldwide, with almost one million of those deaths being in the United States (World Health Organization, 2022). Wastewater-based epidemiology is an effective tool for monitoring COVID-19 on a community level and catching and suppressing emerging outbreaks (Betancourt et al., 2021). However, this requires SARS-CoV-2 RNA to be concentrated from wastewater for PCR testing. A rapid, inexpensive, and uncomplicated method of RNA concentration would facilitate widespread deployment of wastewater-based epidemiology for COVID-19, especially in low-resource settings. Hollow silica microspheres float in water and can be functionalized to bind target molecules on cells of interest (Weigum et al., 2016), so they could potentially be adapted to bind to RNA and carry it to the top of a sample. Purpose: To demonstrate the capacity of hollow silica microspheres to isolate RNA from aqueous solution. Methodology: Hollow silica microspheres were functionalized with chitosan, a nucleotide-binding molecule (Yang et al., 2017). The functionalized microspheres were then mixed with a fluorescent oligonucleotide for varying amounts of time, after which micrographs were taken. Fluorescence around the microspheres was quantified with ImageJ. Research: Preliminary findings suggest that the functionalized microspheres can capture oligonucleotides in as little as ten minutes. Follow-up experiments are exploring nucleotide capture at sub-10-minute intervals. Conclusion: Chitosan-functionalized hollow silica microspheres have potential as a tool for rapid RNA concentration from wastewater. Future experiments will focus on liberating nucleic acids from the microspheres for detection after capture, in addition to further optimization of the nucleic acid capture process, including reducing the time needed for capture.