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Parkland Students, Alumni to Present Research at Kaler Lecture

Parkland Students, Alumni to Present Research at Kaler Lecture

Staerkel Planetarium to host PRECS students for Kaler Lecture

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Parkland students and alumni will present their summer research work at the first James B. Kaler Science Lecture to return to the dome this fall at the William M. Staerkel Planetarium.

Friday, October 1 at 6:30 p.m., Brittney Bailey, Soohyun Lee, and Faith Smith will give a talk titled "Nature & Nurture: Examining How Diverse Organisms Adapt to Changes in their Everyday Environment," which includes their results in the 2021 Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students (PRECS) program. Admission for all Kaler Lectures are $2 or free for members of the Friends of the Staerkel Planetarium.

The PRECS program, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, is a collaboration between Parkland College and the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. The ten-week program brings community college students from across the country to Parkland and UIUC to conduct research over the summer. Phenotypic plasticity describes how environmental conditions produce responses in genes that affect physical appearance or behavior.

Brittney Bailey is a Parkland graduate and UIUC student who investigated how the quality of honey bees' diet can mitigate the harmful effects of pesticides and viruses. Soohyun Lee is another Parkland grad and current UIUC student whose project, "Bioinformatics Protocol for Assessing Contamination Level and Quality on Genomics Data of Ensifer meliloti", focused on a species of bacteria. Faith Smith is a current Parkland student who monitored the effects of biofilm production in rhizobia, a soil bacteria, on how clover responds to drought conditions.

All Kaler Science Lectures will be filmed by PCTV for later viewing. The seating capacity is limited to 60 people for all planetarium shows at this time. After the talk, the seats will be cleaned in preparation for the 8 pm program, Birth of Planet Earth. Tickets for our fulldome shows range from $5 to $6 with discounts offered for large groups. For a show schedule, call 217/351-2446 or visit parkland.edu/planetarium.
 

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