Faculty Projects and Publications

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Field-based body temperatures reveal behavioral thermoregulation strategies of the Atlantic marsh fiddler crab Minuca pugnax
    (biorxiv.org, 2020-07-04) Brodie, Renae; Hews, Sarah; Allen, Zahkeyah; Baxter, Adrienne; Sheikh, Zahida; Wu, Jenny; Zakoul, Heidi; Rich, Jacquline; Taylor, Kayla
    Behavioral thermoregulation is an important defense against the negative impacts of climate change for ectotherms. In this study we examined the use of burrows by a common intertidal crab, Minuca pugnax, to control body temperature. To understand how body temperatures respond to changes in the surface temperature and explore how efficiently crabs exploit the cooling potential of burrows to thermoregulate, we measured body, surface, and burrow temperature data during low tide on Sapelo Island, GA in March, May, August, and September of 2019 . We found that an increase in 1°C in the surface temperature led to a 0.70-0.71°C increase in body temperature for females and an increase in 0.75-0.77 °C in body temperature for males. Body temperatures of small females were 0.3°C warmer than large females for the same surface temperature. Female crabs used burrows more efficiently for thermoregulation compared to the males. Specifically, an increase of 1 degree C in the cooling capacity (the difference between the burrow temperature and the surface temperature) led to an increase of 0.42-0.50°C for females and 0.34-0.35 °C for males in the thermoregulation capacity (the difference between body temperature and surface temperature). The body temperature that crabs began to use burrows to thermoregulate was estimated to be around 24 degree C, which is far below the critical body temperatures that could lead to death. Many crabs experience body temperatures of 24 °C early in the reproductive season, several months before the hottest days of the year. Because the use of burrows involves fitness trade-offs, these results suggest that warming temperatures could begin to impact crabs far earlier in the year than expected.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Two Careers of Henrietta Hooker (1851-1929)
    (2019-04-19) Herbert, Robert L.
    Henrietta Edgecomb Hooker was one of several teachers of Mount Holyoke’s faculty who rose to prominence in the last quarter of the 19th century. Foremost among the teachers of science were Lydia Shattuck ’51 (1822-89), an eminent botanist, and Cornelia Clapp ’71 (1849-1934), an equally esteemed zoologist. Shattuck, already well advanced in botany, attended Louis Agassiz ‘s classes in natural history in Penikese Island, Wood’s Hole, in the summer of 1873, and the younger Clapp followed her there in 1874. At Penikese, students absorbed Agassiz’s methods of studying animals and plants in their natural environment; observational methods were engaged more than theory. This was, in effect, a more scientific extension of Mary Lyon’s way of teaching (Shattuck was her pupil). Hooker joined Shattuck and Clapp in 1873, sharing with them the study of natural forms from direct observation. She soon made her mark as a gifted and popular teacher of botany. Nonetheless, her teaching has attracted little notice because she was not a publishing scholar. Unlike her colleagues, however, she had a wholly different second career. She retired from teaching in 1908 to give all of her time to the breeding of chickens. She wrote little about teaching but left several lively and confessional accounts of raising chickens. These give us a much better look into her temperament and daily life than we have for her years of teaching.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Planning for Data Curation in the Small Liberal Arts College Environment
    (Sci-Tech News, 2011) Goldstein, Sarah; Oelker, Sarah
    Mount Holyoke College is in an unusual position among small colleges: as a top National Science Foundation (NSF) grant money recipient among liberal arts colleges, we also face the same responsibilities as larger institutions in preparing for new NSF requirements stipulating data management plans in grant proposals. Like other small liberal arts colleges, we have smaller sets of resources at hand than large research universities, which makes our preparations for the new guidelines even more of a challenge. As we have begun to discuss ways to help our faculty and restructure our operations to manage ever more digital content, we have found that collaboration, both within and outside our institution, has proven essential in moving forward. Initial conversations among Mount Holyoke's Library, Information, and Technology Services departments led to helpful dialogue on improvements to our networking infrastructure, as well as new engagement with our grants office. These conversations led to the discovery of data in need of preservation, and to further meetings with faculty to discuss their needs. We also turned to our near neighbors, the Five Colleges, Inc. in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. We have unique advantages in being able to collaborate via existing relationships to potentially build shared services and systems that would be difficult for one small college to support individually. Partnering on the establishment of a shared repository tool to assist with data curation (such as DSpace, Fedora, or another system) would allow us to pool staff talent, experience and perspectives. Solutions shared between campuses will promote sharing of data between institutions, and hopefully further collaboration between researchers, which would greatly benefit our students. We have also reached out to peer groups such the Oberlin Group of libraries in small liberal arts colleges, to assess their approaches to the new data management requirements. As we collect this information, we find that the challenge of data management is an opportunity to build relationships within Mount Holyoke College and at different levels (local, regional, national) beyond our gates. We are moving forward on the assumption that we should partner wherever possible because our needs and infrastructure for data management are so similar to those at other small colleges; we are starting to build what we hope will be an effective "machine" of relationships, collaborative architecture, and shared expertise. To further explore the shared goals and hopes for the future of data curation in smaller institutions, we summarize feedback from both our near neighbors in the Five Colleges, and from our national peer groups such as the Oberlin Group. We also assess our strengths and challenges within Mount Holyoke College and summarize the current state of scientific data on campus, and our hopes for providing better systems for data curation in the future.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Building Research Data Services at Mount Holyoke College
    (University of Massachusetts and New England Area Librarian e-Science Symposium., 2017-04-06) Adamo, Julie; Baker, Nick; Burke, James; Glackin, Mary; Oelker, Sarah
    Objective: Mount Holyoke College ranks high among liberal arts colleges in faculty research activities and has just initiated a new program in Data Science. In this context, and given the recent growth in the use of very large datasets in research, more coherent and comprehensive campus support for the management and storage of faculty research data at Mount Holyoke has become essential. This poster will describe how Library, Information, and Technology Services (LITS) at Mount Holyoke (a merged library and IT organization), strove to analyze faculty research data management and storage needs, develop policies and procedures for meeting these needs, set out support models for research data lifecycle management, and determined responsibilities for consultation and support. Methods: In 2015-2016, a working group of MHC librarians and technologists from the Research and Instructional Support (RIS) Department began exploring the need for data services at MHC. The RIS team focussed on studying data services models at other institutions, administered a survey to learn about faculty research data practices, and finally developed a proposal for expanded data services at MHC. Also in the spring of 2016, a cross-functional team was formed to meet faculty data storage and backup needs. Ten members were drawn from multiple library and IT departments. This team developed use cases and personas to begin guiding the development of policies and procedures and planning infrastructure provisioning. Additionally, metadata librarians, research and instruction librarians, and digital assets managers planned support models for metadata creation and research data management planning. Results: Gathering information from the faculty survey and interviews, along with background study of data services models elsewhere, gave LITS a better understanding of our users’ needs. These insights guided LITS in developing matrices of needs, services, and support responsibilities that allow us to better meet support requirements and future infrastructure provisioning for data storage and processing. LITS has also developed resources to support faculty in crafting research data management plans (DMPs) and creating metadata for archiving newly created data sets. LITS has recently arranged access for Mount Holyoke researchers to the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) and created an MHC Data Center to provide data storage and backup on LITS maintained servers. Conclusion: The work of the Research and Instructional Support team and the LITS cross-functional team for research data support has given us a much clearer picture of how Mount Holyoke researchers are using and managing their data and has allowed us to begin plotting a path to a more coherent and robust set of services to support them in their work.
  • ItemOpen Access
    History of Art at Mount Holyoke College, 1872-1914
    (2019-02-08) Herbert, Robert L.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Mount Holyoke Afire! 1896,1917, 1922
    (2018-05-01) Herbert, Robert L.
  • ItemOpen Access
    "Construction and Disruption: Building Communities of Practice, Queering Subject Liaisons"
    (Association of College and Research Libraries, 2015) Pinto, Caro
  • ItemOpen Access
    Williston Hall, 1876-1917
    (2017-06-09) Herbert, Robert L.
    This short illustrated essay tells the story of Williston Hall, the first building constructed wholly outside the walls of the gigantic Seminary Hall. Opened in 1876, it housed art and the natural sciences. A gallery of original art and copies was accompanied by rooms devoted to collections of ornithology, zoology, mineralogy and geometry. A large annex was added in 1889. When the first Shattuck Hall was built in 1892, physics and chemistry moved there, leaving more room in Williston for the other sciences and art. However, the sciences were burgeoning and space sorely lacked, so a final beneficial change came in 1902 when art moved to the newly built Dwight Art Memorial. In Williston the sciences gained national prominence in following years but in 1917 a disaster struck. Fire consumed the entire building and with it the once famous collections
  • ItemOpen Access
    Infographic Pie Judging in a Science FYS
    (2017-03-09) Oelker, Sarah; Aidala, Katherine
  • ItemOpen Access
    A Pictorial History of Mount Holyoke 1900-1935: Asa Kinney's View Camera Photographs
    (2017-02-23) Herbert, Robert L.
    This monograph reproduces and discusses 142 photographs of Mount Holyoke College from 1900 to 1935 by Asa S. Kinney (1873-1961). He was teacher of plant science and landscape design from 1898 to 1939, whose passion was a 5 x 7 view camera from which he made nearly 2000 glass plate negatives, now in the college archives. Nearly all unpublished, these represent individual college buildings, campus views imbued with picturesque naturalism, theatrical productions, sports, gardens, individual students, art collections, classrooms, and student rituals such as May Day. He also made some photographs of nearby streets and buildings of South Hadley. Kinney should be remembered today for his formidable pictorial history of nearly four decades of the college. It's unlikely that a comparable set of photographs exists for any other small college town.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Cultivating a Mind of One's Own: Drawing on Critical Information Literacy and Liberal Education
    (Association of College & Research Libraries, Press, 2016) Galoozis, Elizabeth; Pinto, Caro
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Recovered History of Prospect Hill, 1879-1920: Goodnow Park, the Pepper Box and Lake Nonotuck
    (2016-08-11) Herbert, Robert L.
    Goodnow Park, Lake Nonotuck, and the Pepper Box: These were once familiar places at Mount Holyoke College, but they have been utterly lost. Only one of the three, the Pepper Box, has literally disappeared, torn down in 1920. The other two remain but their names have changed. Goodnow Park is now simply Prospect Hill, and Lake Nonotuck has reverted to the prosaic Lower Lake. There is no mystery about the Pepper Box or the origins of Goodnow Park, but just when and how the Lower Lake was renamed Lake Nonotuck is an enigma. It’s first mentioned in print in early 1896, but no longer appears after 1918. The process of rediscovering these abandoned place-names involves sorting through the college archives, especially its rich collection of postcards, photographs, stereopticon views and glass negatives which offer a delightful excursion into the years between 1879 and 1914. Because there are rather few printed documents about the evolution of the three sites, it’s these photos that let us see the progressive changes in the hill above the campus and the lake, as well as the rise to prominence of the Pepper Box pavilion at the top of the hill.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Barbara Bosworth's Triptychs
    (2016-02-15) Herbert, Robert L.
    This essay is a close study of the landscape triptychs of the past fifteen years by the renowned photographer Barbara Bosworth. Her three-part photographs are only one portion of her output, but the author became fascinated by the visual artifices she used to interpret New England and other American landscapes. He shows that by slight movements of her view camera she gave each of her three views a field of its own although they form an interlinked panorama. It is through these three partly autonomous views that she creates her poetic and often autobiographical interpretations of particular landscapes in forceful black and white and in ravishing color. 
  • ItemOpen Access
    Dr. James Deane of Greenfield: Edward Hitchcock's Rival Discoverer of Dinosaur Tracks
    (2014-06-24) Herbert, Robert L.
    This is the first biography of Dr. James Deane (1801-1858) of Greenfield MA, a pioneer in the discovery and interpretation of the first dinosaur prints ever found. He conducted two careers simultaneously, one in medicine––he published several key articles on surgery in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal––and the other in paleontology, where he also published importantly. In 1835 he informed Amherst’s Edward Hitchcock, the state geologist, of the sandstone prints of a prehistoric animal then thought to be a large bird. Hitchcock founded the new science of Ichnology (stony bird tracks) and took the lead, but in the early 1840s Deane began publishing new finds and the two became rivals. Deane’s posthumous book of 1861, Ichnographs from the Sandstone of Connecticut River, was among the first to publish salt print photographs of fossil “bird” prints, subsequently identified as dinosaur tracks. 
  • ItemOpen Access
    Roswell Field's Dinosaur Footprints, 1854-1880
    (2013-07-15) Herbert, Robert L.
    Roswell Field (1804-1882), a farmer of Gill, Massachusetts, supplied sandstone dinosaur tracks and fossil fish from the Connecticut River Valley to scientists, collectors, and institutions, from 1854 to 1880. Like his predecessor Dexter Marsh (1808-1853), he received only perfunctory thanks from his clients, and has been lost to history. He was nonetheless the first to uncover new species of animals who made Early Jurassic tracks. This biography is based upon his unpublished correspondence with scientists (Ebenezer Emmons, Charles U. Shepard, John Collins Warren, and others), transcribed in the Appendix. These letters give details of uncovering and selling the sandstone slabs in the years when dinosaurs and Jurassic fish were being rapidly identified. Field’s activity is additionally documented from tax and property records.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Dinosaur Tracks of Dexter Marsh: Greenfield's Lost Museum, 1846-1853
    (2013-01-14) Herbert, Robert L.
    This publication is the first biography of Dexter Marsh (1806-1853), a quarrier, stonemason and janitor of Greenfield whose short life culminated in the opening of his own museum of dinosaur tracks. From 1846 to 1853, more than 3,000 people signed the visitors’ registers of his house-museum, including Oliver Wendell Holmes, F. G. Tuckerman, Austin Dickinson, Edward Hitchcock and many prominent geologists. Dispersed at public auction, Marsh’s museum has been lost from sight and Marsh himself has seldom been mentioned, although he was the first discoverer of the dinosaur footprints (then thought to be bird tracks) of the Connecticut River Valley. He was the principal supplier of specimens of the tracks to the scientific world. The new publication provides a biography supported by his daybooks and visitors’ registries and by appendices that reprint all known letters from his hand, two eyewitness accounts of his life, and the auction of his museum.