BHSU faculty welcome Sinte Gleska students to Spearfish for hands-on biotechnology training

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, June 11, 2015/Categories: 2015








           Ida Clarke, BHSU environmental physical science major from Oglala, works in a BHSU science lab alongside students from Sinte Gleska Tribal College as part of a week-long training session to prepare for her summer internship at Sanford Underground Research Facility.  






           L to R: Mikal Bordeaux, Dakota Young, and Karen Moore from Sinte Gleska Tribal College, and Ida Clarke from BHSU, visit Sanford Underground Research Facility during a week-long bioinformatics and biotechnology boot camp at BHSU.



Students from Sinte Gleska Tribal College on the Rosebud Reservation visited Black Hills State University recently for a week-long biotechnology boot camp as part of a NASA EPSCoR grant.

Students worked under the mentorship of BHSU faculty and students learning how to use bioinformatics tools and DNA extraction procedures using water and soil samples collected from the Rosebud Reservation. The goal of the week-long intensive was to provide hands-on experience with lab equipment to supplement research the students will continue throughout the summer.

BHSU faculty members Dr. Cynthia Anderson, assistant professor of biology at BHSU Dr. Bree Oatman, STEM liaison and Oxana Gorbatenko, research assistant led the week&rsquos activities which included instruction in DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and a trip underground in the Sanford Underground Research Facility.

Karen Moore, biological sciences major at Sinte Gleska, collected water less than a mile from her home to use in the week&rsquos experiments.

"I learned techniques at BHSU I will use to design my summer research. As a result of this experience I want to continue to examine water," said Moore. "Everyone drinks water. It will be interesting to see what&rsquos in the water close to home."

The students will present the results of their research in August.

Ida Clarke, a BHSU environmental physical science major from Oglala, worked alongside the Sinte Gleska students as part of her summer internship at Sanford Lab. Clarke said the week helped her understand the process behind the biology in Sanford Lab&rsquos wastewater treatment plant where she&rsquoll be working this summer.

"In the future I want to continue to be involved in the Native science generation that&rsquos starting up," said Clake. "By focusing on research with water remediation and mining issues related to indigenous communities, I can be a science advocate for our community."

The students are supported by the NASA Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) grant providing seed funding which allows grantees to build an academic research enterprise directed toward long-term, self-sustaining, nationally-competitive capabilities in aerospace and aerospace-related research.


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