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Theses and Dissertations

Theses and Dissertations written by Sea Grant supported graduate students

Theses and Dissertations written by Sea Grant-supported graduate students. Copies are made only for the National Sea Grant Library.


DETAILS TYPE

Tank Experiment to Quantify Fate of Microcystin in Shallow Coastal Sediments

OHSU-TD-1508
ABSTRACT:

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) have become more prevalent within Lake Erie since the mid-
1990s. Microcystin is one of the most common and harmful toxins associated with HABs, yet
little is known about its attenuation and fate in the environment. Microcystin is a cyclic
heptapeptide with 2 variable L-amino acids, which differentiate between the over 60 variants of
microcystin known. Variants have differing toxicity profiles, the most toxic being microcystin-
LR, which contains leucine (L) and arginine ® amino acids. The goal of this thesis research
was to determine whether wave-driven benthic exchange accelerates the attenuation of
microcystin in shallow coastal waters using laboratory wave tank experiments. Sediment was
collected from Western Lake Erie and incorporated into a 110-gallon tank. A solution consisting
of both a conservative chloride tracer and microcystin-LR stock dissolved in water was added to
surface water at the start of both a Wave Trial and a Non-Wave Trial, and concentrations were
monitored over time in surface water and shallow pore water. Results show that wave conditions
had a significant impact on exchange rates of conservative chloride, mixing the system over 30
times faster than stagnant conditions. Microcystin concentration in surface water and pore water
decreased faster than chloride, likely due to sorption to sediments, degradation, or both. It is
crucial to better understand microcystin attenuation and mechanisms responsible in order to
accurately predict the severity, duration, and extent of algal toxin plumes, which negatively
affect the health of coastal ecosystems and economies.

LENGTH: 38 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Characterization of The Persistent Cyanobacterial Bloom, Planktothrix in Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie

OHSU-TD-1512
ABSTRACT:

Planktothrix sp. is less studied than other bloom-forming cyanobacteria. The aim of this study was to determine characteristics of the Planktothrix bloom in Sandusky Bay. Using the 2013 Sandusky Bay metagenome and 2014 summer samples, it was found that the bloom in Sandusky Bay has limited diversity and is continuously dominated by Planktothrix. Nutrient profiles of the Bay suggest nitrogen limitation throughout the bloom season. Physical parameters recorded in Sandusky Bay are suboptimal for many known bloom-forming cyanobacteria. Given this information, it is not yet understood how Planktothrix survives and dominates Sandusky Bay. Future work will look further at community members playing a role in the nitrogen cycle in the Bay. Additionally, the succession of genotypes will be determined over time as the environmental parameters will be monitored over a longer period of time to determine how survival of Planktothrix is supported.

Thesis / Dissertation

An Automated Approach of Tile Drain Detection and Extraction Utilizing High Resolution Aerial Imagery and Object-Based Image Analysis

OHSU-TD-1509
LENGTH: 87 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Microcystin Concentrations in Lake Erie Walleye and Implications for Public Health

OHSU-TD-1511
ABSTRACT: Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (HABs) degrade water quality of western Lake Erie and create negative economic impacts on an annual basis. Public health is at the forefront of concern because these blooms are often toxic due to an abundance of Microcystis. This genus of cyanobacteria produces the toxin microcystin, which causes gastrointestinal illnesses, damages the liver, and is capable of promoting tumors or death of animals (Poste et al 2011). The World Health Organization (WHO) has set values for microcystin in drinking water, recreational contact, and total daily consumption, but no standards exist for concentrations of microcystin in food. Because microcystin can accumulate in fish tissues, and fishing and fish consumption are important economic and cultural practices in Lake Erie, there is a potential health risk to humans via consumption of fish inhabiting waters with high concentrations of microcystin. Walleye is one of the most significant sportfish of Lake Erie, and a previous study found this species can have greater microcystin concentrations than yellow perch and white perch studied in the same time period (Wituszynski 2014). For these reasons, this study quantified microcystin levels in walleye tissue using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and compared to public health thresholds used by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Samples were harvested at different times and from locations in attempt to understand the seasonal correlation between bloom intensity and microcystin concentration, and impacts of variations in bloom intensity at different locations. The effects of chronic exposure of fish to microcystin has not been widely studied for Lake Erie, and no studies presently exist which have examined year-to-year variation in microcystin content in fish. Thus, by comparing this study to a similar study conducted in 2013 (Wituszynski 2014), we can aid in identifying correlation between annual variation in HABS, determine if previous exposure has an effect on accumulation in fish, and understand when microcystin concentrations in fish tissues may be at its peak when compared to HAB intensity.
LENGTH: 21 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Characterizing Ultrasonic Systems for Improved Remediation of Contaminated Sediments.

OHSU-TD-1507
Thesis / Dissertation

Effects of Low Bioavailable Nitrogen and Phosphorus on Cyanobacteria Dynamics in Eutrophic Lake Erie

OHSU-TD-1510
ABSTRACT:

The growth and abundance of phytoplankton in freshwater lakes has long been
attributed to the concentration of phosphorus (P), and this idea of P-limitation has been a
paradigm accepted by limnologists. Hence, lake managers have relied on the strategy of
reducing P to restore water quality of eutrophic lakes. Recently however, several
researchers have proposed that nitrogen (N) is equally important as P, and have stated
that the P paradigm has eroded. These researchers suggest that both P and N inputs need
to be constrained. In spite of the evidence that suggests N-limitation, there are still
several researchers that hold onto the paradigm that only P regulates phytoplankton
biomass. Limnologists need more data to solve this hotly debate topic. The goal of this
dissertation is to provide insights into the dual nutrient management strategy controversy
by studying how western Lake Erie cyanobacteria responded to low concentrations of N
and P. In western Lake Erie nitrate concentrations decrease throughout the growing
season to very low levels. Nutrient enrichment bioassays conducted monthly during the
summers of 2010 and 2011 indicated that N (and not P) constrains cyanobacterial growth
during August and September when nitrate concentrations are very low. Experiments conducted during 2012 showed that N-limited cyanobacterial blooms are able to utilize
many forms of N. However, nutrient dilution assays indicated that N-limitation could not
be induced during early summer when P is the primary limiting nutrient. Following Nlimitation,
the cyanobacterial bloom shifted from Microcystis to the N-fixing Anabaena.
Furthermore, during 2011, the concentration of the cyanotoxin microcystin was highly
correlated with Anabaena biovolume. Genetic diversity of the Microcystis population
was assessed during 2011 and showed that diversity was very similar spatially and
temporally in spite of the wide range of N, indicating that Lake Erie Microcystis can
survive in low N waters. Finally, long-term data sets show that annual summer nitrate
concentrations in western Lake Erie have been declining since 1995, and yet
cyanobacterial blooms are prevalent. Overall the results suggest that additional N inputs
will likely exacerbate cyanobacterial blooms, however, reducing N inputs will not be
effective in ameliorating eutrophication.

LENGTH: 211 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Evolutionary, biogeographic and population genetic patterns of walleye and other Sander: Relationships across continents, corridors and spawning sites

OHSU-TD-1360
LENGTH: 283 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Examination of spawning stock specific recruitment and migration dynamics in Lake Erie white bass

OHSU-TD-1410
LENGTH: 74 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

The Evolution and detection of the fish viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSv)

OHSU-TD-1390
LENGTH: 269 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Comparison of VNIR derivative and visible fluorescence spectroscopy methods for pigment estimation in an estuarine ecosystem: Old Woman Creek, Huron, Ohio

OHSU-TD-1420
LENGTH: 155 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

A Fine-scale Analysis of Spatial and Temporal Population Genetic Patterns in the Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens)

OHSU-TD-1400
LENGTH: 117 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Three essays in regional economics

OHSU-TD-1330
LENGTH: 151 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Development and validation of a high-resolution near shore model for Lake Erie

OHSU-TD-1380
LENGTH: 252 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Sonochemical degradation of pharmaceuticals and personal care products

OHSU-TD-1320
LENGTH: 270 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Psychrophilic diatoms in ice-covered Lake Erie

OHSU-TD-1230
LENGTH: 158 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Investigating the Performance of Active Materials Amended to Clay Minerals for Sequestering Sediment Contaminants

OHSU-TD-1310
LENGTH: 58 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Using molecular probes to detect cyanobacterial communities and phosphorus utilization in the Great Lakes

OHSU-TD-1170
LENGTH: 128 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Ecosystem-based management of the Lake Erie ecosystem: a survey-based approach to assessment of management needs

OHSU-TD-1100
LENGTH: 244 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Constraints on Primary Production in Lake Erie

OHSU-TD-1130
LENGTH: 117 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Temporal and spatial genetic consistency of walleye (Sander vitreus) spawning groups

OHSU-TD-1370
LENGTH: 54 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Fate of Silver Nanoparticles in Surface Water Environments

OHSU-TD-1300
LENGTH: 198 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Population Genetic Structure and Biogeographic Patterns in the Yellow Perch Perca flavescens: An Analysis of Mitochondrial and Nuclear DNA Markers

OHSU-TD-1290
LENGTH: 219 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Prediction of Water Quality Parameters From Vis-Nir Radiometry: Using Lake Erie as a Natural Laboratory for Analysis of Case 2 Waters

OHSU-TD-1220
LENGTH: 285 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Review of U.S. side-coordinated shoreline

OHSU-TD-1110
LENGTH: 192 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Classifying hatchery steelhead trout stocks using otolith chemistry: spatial and temporal distribution of adult steelhead

OHSU-TD-1190
LENGTH: 53 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Fundamental study of the initial bacterial attachment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas putida and Escherichia coli

OHSU-TD-1160
LENGTH: 121 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Physiological Ecology of Microcystis Blooms in Turbid Waters of Western Lake Erie

OHSU-TD-1150
LENGTH: 141 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Analyzing life history characteristics of Lake Erie fishes: Migration and philopatry

OHSU-TD-1280
LENGTH: 78 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Phosphonates Utilization in Marine and Freshwater Picocyanobacteria PICOCYANOBACTERIA

OHSU-TD-1340
LENGTH: 175 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

An examination of the cellular partitioning of phosphorus in freshwater phytoplankton

OHSU-TD-1200
LENGTH: 46 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Extraction of blufflines from 2.5 dimensional Delaunay triangle mesh using LiDAR data

OHSU-TD-1120
LENGTH: 122 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Phophonates utilization in marine and freshwater picocyanobacteria

OHSU-TD-1180
LENGTH: 175 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Sonochemical remediation of freshwater sediments contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

OHSU-TD-1140
LENGTH: 185 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Perceptions of collaboration: A Comparison of Educators and Scientists for COSEE Great Lakes.

OHSU-TD-1501
ABSTRACT:

The Great Lakes region of North America, holding 20% of the world’s fresh water and home to ¼ of the U.S. population, can provide its 13 million K-12 learners with a relevant context for science learning, unique opportunities for exploring local environmental issues, and connections to global issues. By linking Great Lakes research scientists with educators, students, and the public, the COSEE (Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence) Great Lakes pursues its goal of enhancing science and environmental literacy of both adults and students.
This doctoral research had a three-fold purpose in the COSEE Great Lakes context. First, this study aimed to characterize the population of Great Lakes scientists and K-12 teachers in the Great Lakes region targeted as potential audiences for activities of COSEE Great Lakes. Second, this study aimed to identify factors that may affect educational collaboration between teachers and scientists. Third, this study was conducted as a part of an ongoing process of evaluating overall COSEE program outcomes related to increasing educational collaborations.
This dissertation consists of three research reports on professional development and interprofessional collaboration of K-12 teachers and scientists. The first report in Chapter 2 investigates primary and secondary teachers’ views of collaboration with scientists and incorporates the findings of teacher surveys into discussions about
professional development programs for educators. From 180 schools randomly selected in the eight Great Lakes States, 194 primary and secondary educators responded to a mailed survey. Through the survey responses, the educators reported that while they have positive attitudes toward their collaboration with scientists, their professional preparation has not equipped them with enough understanding of the process of science and the professions of scientists. Regression analysis shows that five predictor variables account for a majority of the variance in explaining educators’ experience in collaboration with scientists (a combined predictive ability of 32%): attitudes towards collaboration, professional preparation (science competencies), teaching experience in years, contemporary views of science/science education and perceived institutional supports.
The second report in Chapter 3 is an attempt to reveal interactions in education by scientists whose research is focused on the Great Lakes, and incorporates the findings into discussions about scientists’ potential for the role of education partner. In this parallel study, marine and aquatic scientists were recruited to complete a survey at a conference on Great Lakes research in 2006. Through 94 scientist responses, scientists reported that they were involved in educational outreach more frequently as a “resource” than a “partner” in Morrow’s framework (2000). Professional training of scientists and their lack of knowledge in education may explain the ways in which scientists are involved in educational outreach. The results show that most scientists had little chance to obtain knowledge in professional education during their professional science training.
Scientists’ lack of knowledge in education was demonstrated by their unfamiliarity with key terms/concepts in education. Regression analyses shows that four predictor variables account for a majority of the variance in explaining scientists’ experience in collaboration with teachers (a combined predictive ability of 42%): familiarity with terms in education, professional training (educational competencies and collaborative cultures) and age.
The third report in Chapter 4 elaborates on the results and discussions in Chapters 2 and 3 by comparing the two groups and by identifying implications of the findings for teacher-scientist collaboration. Comparing responses from educators (n=194) and scientists (n=94), this study answers how educators differ in the perceptions of education collaboration from scientists, in addition to two other research questions: how do educators in the Great Lakes region collaborate with scientists, and what barriers may deter their participation in collaboration. Regression analyses for the two groups suggest that to foster mutual learning in teacher-scientist collaboration, further consideration must be given to increasing educators’ science competencies and scientists’ collaborative attributes when we develop professional development programs for educators and scientists.

LENGTH: 159 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Spatial and Temporal Variability of Surface Cover in an Estuarine Ecosystem From Satellite Imagery and Field Observations

OHSU-TD-1270
LENGTH: 192 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Trophic transfer of energy and polychlorinated biphenyls by native and exotic fish in Lake Erie

OHSU-TD-1260
LENGTH: 205 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Sonochemical remediation of mercury from contaminated sediments

OHSU-TD-1090
LENGTH: 227 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

The influence of water quality on the demand for residential development around Lake Erie

OHSU-TD-1250
LENGTH: 244 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Incorporation of less toxic antifouling compounds into silicone coatings to study their release behaviors

OHSU-TD-1020
LENGTH: 223 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Management of PCB-contaminated sediments through sediment characterization and evaluation of active capping techniques

OHSU-TD-1240
LENGTH: 93 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Evidence for Diel Horizontal Migration (DHM) of Crustacean Zooplankton in the Western Basin of Lake Erie

OHSU-TD-1010
LENGTH: 45 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Social process of environmental risk perception, preferences of risk management and public participation in decision making: a cross-cultural study between the United States and China

OHSU-TD-1070
LENGTH: 247 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

The Effect of Lake Erie Water Level Variation on Sediment Resuspension

OHSU-TD-1350
LENGTH: 91 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Essays on Agriculture Externalities and Benefit Transfer of Recreational Fishing Value

OHSU-TD-1500
ABSTRACT:

This dissertation explores the physical and economic aspects of agricultural
externalities and the economic value of marine and stream recreational fishing. The
effects of pesticide use and tillage practice on water treatment costs and pesticide
contamination in treated water are empirically investigated in the first essay. The
economic value of marine recreational fishing, the value of access to fishing sites and
fishing quality improvements, is examined in the second essay. The third essay examines
the economic value of stream recreational fishing: the value of fishing trips and water
quality improvements. To evaluate the value of recreational fishing, both second and
third essays use benefit transfer techniques.
The first essay, Empirical Investigation of Agricultural Externalities: Effects of
Pesticide Use and Tillage System on Surface Water Quality and Treatment Costs, focuses
on the off-farm water quality and water treatment cost effects of upstream and nearby
agricultural practices (pesticide use and tillage system), specifically on the pesticide
contamination in finished public surface water and water treatment costs in the Maumee
River Basin, a major tributary to Lake Erie, located in northwestern Ohio, northeastern
Indiana, and southeastern Michigan. Pesticide contamination level in treated surface
water and average chemical cost of treating surface water are related to farming
practices and other environmental variables. Findings indicate significant relationships
between farming practices and both surface water quality and treatment costs. Average
chemical cost per million gallons of water decreases by 1.95% for a 1% reduction in
pesticide application, while pesticide contamination level decreases by 4.32% for a 1%
more adoption of conservation tillage in a typical watershed area in the Maumee River
Basin.
The second essay, The Economic Value of Marine Recreational Fishing: Applying
Benefit Transfer to Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey (MRFSS), conducts a
comprehensive survey of benefit transfer techniques including historical background,
methodologies, and procedures. Then, benefit transfer technique is applied to the
estimation of access value to fishing sites and willingness to pay for better fishing
experience in a marine recreational fishing environment of the coastal states in the
Northeast and Southeast U.S. Using 1994 Northeast and 1997 Southeast MRFSS data,
benefit transfer estimates are compared with original value estimates to empirically
examine the validity of benefit transfer. Although benefit transfer error could go up to
over 400% of original estimates for some cases, the magnitude of benefit transfer error is
less than 100% of original estimates for most cases. Since two data sets used for benefit
transfer exercise are from different regions and years, whether regional or temporal
variation is more responsible for benefit transfer error can not be determined with current
data.
The third essay, Recreational Fishing Value Estimation of Water Quality
Improvements in Western Ohio Using Benefit Transfer, presents methods for estimating
the value of recreational fishing trips and water quality improvements in two watersheds
supporting a warm freshwater recreational fishery, the Stillwater River Watershed and
Maumee River Basin, in western Ohio using benefit transfer. These two watersheds are
further disaggregated into several local stream segments within the watersheds to provide
regional results for larger watersheds and to help local policy makers target their efforts
more efficiently and effectively. Findings are that annual recreational fishing benefits of
water quality improvements are $2,255,616 ($2,759,225 or $3,966,716) and $6,236,853
($5,395,609 or $7,171,617) with about $44 ($54 or $77) and $58 ($50 or $66) of annual
per angler benefits using average value transfer (two function transfer) estimates in the
Stillwater River Watershed and Maumee River Basin respectively. These estimates along
with disaggregated results in terms of local stream segments and angler types could serve
as an initial set of approximated recreational benefits of any local environmental policy
involving water quality improvement in inland streams and rivers, at least in terms of
recreational fishing.
The measurements of both agricultural externalities and recreational fishing value
can be used to help policy makers manage available resources more efficiently and
effectively in administrating conservation and/or environmental programs. As is always
the case with any non-market valuation technique, careful professional judgments and
efforts should be practiced before adopting externality measurements of agricultural
practices and benefit transfer estimates of any recreation activity at any stage of policy
formulation.

LENGTH: 182 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Impact of clipping Phragmites Australis and flooding at two different depths on wetland vegetation structures in a Lake Erie marsh

OHSU-TD-900
LENGTH: 119 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Incorporation of zosteric acid into silicone coatings to deter fresh water bacteria attachment

OHSU-TD-1030
LENGTH: 151 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

A CFD model for wave transformations and breaking in the surf zone

OHSU-TD-970
LENGTH: 80 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Evaluation of the Potential of Zosteric Acid and Capsaicin for Use as Natural Product Antifoulants

OHSU-TD-1040
LENGTH: 154 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Vegetation and plant diversity of a fresh water marsh on the coast of Lake Erie under high and low water conditions

OHSU-TD-910
LENGTH: 123 pages
Thesis / Dissertation

Larval fish exchange between Lake Erie and a coastal marsh

OHSU-TD-850
LENGTH: 81 pages
Thesis / Dissertation
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