Wesley College faculty and students attended the 9th Annual NASA Delaware Space Grant Symposium March 20 at the University of Delaware in Newark. The event included an informal luncheon and presentations of research results from students who have been supported by NASA Delaware Space Grant the past year. The three Wesley students that attended the event are Cannon Scholars, which is a Wesley program supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide scholarships in science, technology, engineering and math (S-STEM).
Wesley College math majors, Brittany Kowalewski and Riza Bautista, as well as biological chemistry major Victor DeBarros II, were invited to present their posters at the symposium. Each student has benefited from the NASA DE Space Grant. Kowalewski and DeBarros earned undergraduate tuition scholarships ($3,000) and Bautista received a summer internship stipend ($4,000) to complete her work. Wesley College Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Dr. Stephanie Stotts has received a grant ($24,000) from this program to evaluate dendrochronology and its correlation to sea level rise in Delaware.
Kowalewski, mentored by Wesley College Professor of Mathematics Dr. Derald Wentzien, studied the application of mathematical concepts of summation and software coding, along with geographical information systems software, ArcGIS, to approximate the extent of the northern sea ice from 1979 to 2014. Bautista, also mentored by Wentzien, analyzed different methodologies to determine which would provide the best estimate of missing values from a time series data set of the daily extent of the northern polar ice cap.
DeBarros, mentored by Wesley College Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary/Collaborative Sponsored Research Dr. Malcolm D’Souza, analyzed nitrogen in organic molecules that are key nutrients in chlorophyll. This promotes the growth of plants when applied properly as organic nitrogen. The class of organic compounds he analyzed are called carbamoyl chlorides (R2 NCOCl), that are primarily used as chemical intermediates in patented herbicidal, fungicidal and pesticide applications.
Wesley faculty that attended the event included D’Souza, Wentzien and Stotts. DeBarros was unable to attend due to illness.