The Cougar Repository

This repository, hosted by the College of Charleston Libraries, holds a variety of scholarship produced by students from the Graduate School and the Honors College.


Communities in DSpace

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Recent Submissions

Drivers of estuarine finfish assemblage structure: a case study of South Carolina estuaries
Bullard, Elizabeth Alyson
Researchers describe the structure of estuarine finfish communities by assessing diversity, community composition, and conducting species-level analyses. These metrics are used to evaluate spatial (and temporal) differences. Understanding how these communities correlate with abiotic and biotic factors gives insight into specific drivers of differences in species composition. Since 2010, researchers with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) have sampled marine organisms throughout salt marsh estuaries in South Carolina, USA, using three long-term monitoring surveys: trammel net, estuarine trawl, and adult red drum & shark longline surveys. This study leverages community data collected from those surveys to investigate spatial differences in finfish community structure across South Carolina’s estuaries using multiple metrics. Seven available environmental factors were assessed with each survey collection to identify drivers of community differences and provide a mechanistic understanding of similarities and differences amongst estuaries. Differences in alpha diversity were not detected among estuaries, but differences arose within each survey type when assessing community composition, within-estuary beta diversity, and indicator species. Results emphasize the uniqueness of otherwise similar estuaries. While all available environmental factors were seen to influence community differences at some level of analysis, impervious cover, access to deep water, and oyster area were consistently detected as the primary drivers through correlation assessments and constrained ordinations. Description of South Carolina estuarine finfish communities and identification of the disparate drivers of community structure across estuaries will allow researchers to develop a baseline for community understanding in these areas and to begin to assess the ecological importance of natural and anthropogenic factors on South Carolina’s estuarine environments.
Irey, Nolan Wagner
Drought has increased worldwide in severity, frequency, and intensity due to a changing climate. This along with an increased demand for water supply has resulted in more cumulative stress on water resources. There are many studies evaluating how drought affects the volume of water, but few studies have been conducted to understand the impacts of drought on water quality. This study utilized multiple drought identification methods to measure how four water quality parameters (total organic carbon, color, turbidity, and Escherichia coli) were impacted during periods of drought and following identified drought events in the Edisto River watershed at Givhans Ferry State Park near Ridgeville, SC over a 23-year study period from January 2001 to April 2023. In periods of drought compared to normal flow conditions, total organic carbon, color, and Escherichia coli all decreased. However, these three parameters spiked following significant drought events, supporting a hypothesized post-drought flushing effect. This research showed precipitation, total surface runoff volume, water temperature, and flow velocity of the Edisto River were likely environmental factors that played a role in these changes. Turbidity only showed seasonal drought differences with fall droughts leading to lower turbidity levels and spring droughts having higher levels. Winter and summer results were inconclusive. Implications of this research may lead to a better understanding of the impact of drought in this and other similar climatic regions. Better understanding of drought could assist overall management of water resources as they become more stressed moving in the future.
24, No Fun
Ross, Emilie
Two young women in their early twenties struggle with personal responsibility as friends, daughters, artists, and citizens. The local redwood-scattered Northern California town of their youth paints their local and domestic issues against larger internet mass considerations of art, academic theories, and pop culture that turns their local troubles into large-scale philosophical crises around art and how it functions with imperialism. At the heart of it is the question “What does it mean to be helpful?”
Crack in the Pomegranate
Gwin, Ellen Elizabeth
Crack in the Pomegranate is a collection of poems divided into five sections with an introductory poem to invoke the muses in the prologue. This collection is an epic that follows a character named Bea. The story begins on earth where the sun does not shine on a town of ruins. Bea spends her time pondering a painting in her bedroom and creating moon gardens, which angels find refuge in. One angel, Uriel, bestows Bea with a quest: to go on an adventure, beginning in the forest, and retrieve the peridot, stone of the sun. Going into a hellish forest, Bea encounters landscapes and creatures unseen before. Aboard a ship, Bea falls into sleepless delirium in the company of a captain. She gains a strong sense that he is the painter of the painting she often ponders in her bedroom back home. Deciding to take a leap of faith together, the two wash ashore to a coastal paradise. Here, day and night coexist, angels sing in harmony, and a kaleidoscope array of flowers bloom beneath a rainbow. An angel, Peter, gifts the peridot to Bea. Riding a rainbow like a slide home, Bea brings the peridot home to the angels. With the sun, heaven exists on earth at last. Most poems are in lyrical form, the section “Salty Rinse” contains moments of prose to mimic prayer and meditation. This collection explores many symbols: the moon, colors, flowers, and more. This collection focuses on rhythm, imagery, and setting moods. Themes this collection focuses on are beauty, joy, art, and community. This collection also acts as a literary celebration of many epics and writers who inspired this work. This alludes to, but is not limited to: Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Dante’s Inferno, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Virgil's Aeneid, Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe, John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World, Madeline Miller’s Circe. As well as writings by Anna Akhmatova, Robert Graves, Mary Oliver, Mallarme, and Sappho. Some artists who helped inspire this collection include: William Adolphe Bouguereau, Monet, Van Gogh, and Picasso.
Sullivan, Campbell Carrilee
This collection of short stories is based on characters that experience change and attempt to reclaim their agency in moments, both big and small, that create impact on their lives. The stories draw inspiration from my personal experiences of growing up and living in the American South, especially in areas where tourism and the service industry are prevalent. This thesis focuses on profound moments with the humor and vivacity that life offers in ways that alter the character that are specific to setting in the physical and emotional environment. These stories focus on a coming into their own transformation for the characters. This is a compilation of narratives that show complex relationships, interesting goals, and centers primarily on young adult women finding their path as they undergo change through the connection of Southern geography and navigating family dynamics.