Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.45
Liaison Benjamin Newton
Submission Date March 3, 2023

STARS v2.2

Central Community College
AC-9: Research and Scholarship

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 12.00 / 12.00
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Total number of employees that conduct research:
23

Number of employees engaged in sustainability research:
15

Percentage of employees that conduct research that are engaged in sustainability research:
65.22

Total number of academic departments that include at least one employee who conducts research:
8

Number of academic departments that include at least one employee who conducts sustainability research:
6

Percentage of departments that conduct research that are engaged in sustainability research:
75

A copy of the inventory of the institution’s sustainability research (upload):
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Inventory of the institution’s sustainability research:
Name: Dr. Lauren Gillespie and Steve Heinisch Department: Sustainability/Biological Sciences, CCC Columbus Research Description: National Science Foundation-funded scholarship program “Growing Pathways to STEM” (Project GPS), which uses a cohort model, undergraduate research experiences and industry relationships to further student success. They established a framework for the research program known as the Bluebird Project, where students helped establish nest-box trails both on campus and in the local community and collected data from the local bluebird population. During a routine lab session, Gillespie discovered a population of barn swallows exhibiting partial albinism leading to several local and international research collaborations, elements of which she integrates into her classroom and laboratory activities so that students are experiencing real science in real time. She was recently published in a top journal, “Molecular Biology and Evolution,” as part of an international collaboration of researchers studying the mitochondrial genomes of all barn swallow subspecies. Project GPS is also studying native bluebird populations led by Dr. Gillespie. The goal of this study is to create a smart next box that allows for monitoring from a mobile device as opposed to traditional catch and release methods. The smart nest boxes will allow student scientists to monitor bluebird populations even during the winter. Name: Dirk Charlson and Aaron Thiessen Agriculture Department Utilizing Unmanned Aerial System-Acquired Aerial Imagery,” from NE EPSCoR (Nebraska Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. Co-Principle Investigator). Drones estimating the heights of trees on campus. It also supports an undergraduate intern to conduct research. Name: Ben Newton and Brent Adrian, along with four part time sustainability staff Department Affiliation: Environmental Sustainability Office (ESO), Academic Education, and Public Communication Research Description: Each year ESO and Brent Adrian staff raise monarch caterpillars to the adult stage. Once the butterflies have transformed, they are tagged, released, and tracked. This is in collaboration with Monarch Watch with the University of Kansas. Also the ESO office was involved with Bumblebee watch monitoring bumblebee populations in Nebraska through field collection and identification. www.monarchwatch.org Name:Wanda Cloet and Cindy Gaskill Department Affiliation: Dental Hygiene Research Description: 1. Dental hygiene using charcoal using activated charcoal as an absorbent. 2. Green Dentistry- Reducing waste in Dental Practices 3. CBD in Dentistry- CBD for treating chronic pain in dentistry 4. Bottled Water and Oral Health- How bottled waters high pH affects overall oral health. Name: Ruth Kirkland and Alex VanNatta Department Affiliation Health Programs Three birdhouses now grace the east side of Central Community College-Kearney thanks to the efforts of members of the Alpha Tau Tau chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. The Birds of CCC-Kearney was this year’s project and is unique because it began with a group of students who graduated in the spring. It was left to incoming students this fall to continue and finish the project, Kirkland said. The project will give wrens, finches and cardinals a place to call home. In return, the birds will provide an enjoyable attraction and conversation piece for students, employees and visitors. Staff and students from the CCC Occupational Therapy Class came up with an inclusive playground that would impact individuals who are unable to fully participate in activities of daily life due to physical or psychological limitations. This community project was created to make a space for future programs, summer camps and activities that is both fun and educational for everyone. The playground will be located in Ryder Park, as if offers several amenities including baseball fields, tennis courts, and picnic shelters. It is anticipated that playground construction will commence in spring 2023. Pawnee Corn Project Rhonda O'Brien, students and part time staff assist. Department Affiliation: Hospitality Management and Restaurant Management Pawnee seed bank list includes yellow flour and flint; blue flour, flint, sweet and speckled; red flour, flint and speckled; eagle corn, eagle flour and eagle sweet; white flour, white sweet and mother corn; red-and-white striped; white-eyed. It also includes: Skidi miniature popcorn, red, yellow and blue. They also picked up other crops tied to the tribe’s heritage: watermelon, squash and spotted-like-a-horse beans grown at Fort Kearny State Historical Park near Newark. They were joined by Kahheetah Barnoskie, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate agronomy student who oversees data collection for the Pawnee Seed Preservation Society. She and Hare-RedCorn, two of roughly 3,200 enrolled tribal members, emphasized that Pawnee corn isn’t the “Indian corn” sold at farmers markets and pumpkin patches as fall decorations. Instead, it’s a “landrace corn,” Barnoskie says — a variety grown in one particular spot for centuries. The annual work to grow better Pawnee corn can be painstaking. Details about each ear harvested in Nebraska are recorded. Handwritten notes listing each cornstalk’s garden row, hill and number of ears are attached to bundled ears with rubber bands. Other data about growing season conditions and each ear’s weight, length, number of rows and kernels per row define best growing conditions for each variety.

A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the research inventory:
Reached out to college president and grants department on National Science Foundation scholarships and personal communication with faculty, students, and staff. I have included part time sustainability staff Kazia Marquez, William Gordon, Leah Wagoneer, and Madison Hajek as researchers in the above as part time employees. They captured and documented species for endangered bumblebees in Nebraska. As well as conducted a plant survey of our pollinator garden. They also raised monarchs from larvae from the Monarch Watch research program in collaboration with the University of Kansas. No other part time employees across the college are doing research, according to my communication with our College President Dr. Matt Gotschall.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability research is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
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