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Research @ Coastal

At Coastal Carolina University, we nurture a richly textured environment of creativity and discovery for our faculty and students. Research, a primary mission of the university, opens new pathways to interpret and understand our world. Whether in the classroom, the laboratory, on stage, or in the field, undergraduate and graduate students work side by side with scientists, scholars, educators, visual and performing artists, and others engaged in research, innovation, and performance.


Research News

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Dr. Christopher Moore and Dr. Louis Rubbo recieve TUES grant from NSF

Dr. Christopher Moore and Dr. Louis Rubbo, Department of Chemistry and Physics, have received a grant from the Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science (TUES) program at the National Science Foundation (NSF). In this project, Drs. Moore and Rubbo will be creating and assessing curriculum strategies for developing increased scientific reasoning abilities among non-science and physics/engineering majors. The 3-year, $118,214 award will be used for the development of the conceptual physics and astronomy core science courses at CCU. For non-science majors, these classes typically serve as their terminal science course for their academic careers. By maturing their scientific reasoning skills it is hoped that these students will continue evidence based reasoning in other disciplines. For the freshmen physics majors, this course will play an essential role in their development as scientists and serve as a transitional course for underprepared physics and engineering freshman, with the goal of increasing student retention.

 Susan Flynn, grants

Dr. Susan Flynn receives a grant from the College Transition Connection

Dr. Susan Flynn, Assistant Professor of Special Education, received a grant from College Transition Connection to fund research on developing resources on transportation instruction for individuals with an intellectual disability (ID). Dr. Flynn will collaborate with the Community Transportation Association, the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, and the South Carolina Assistive Technology Program to locate available transportation options for individuals with ID and to develop guidelines to support individuals with ID in accessing transportation (e.g., teaching travel concepts, environmental analysis, systems of transportation, travel skills and techniques). The outcome of this research will be a resource manual that includes assessment of pre-travel skills, development of individualized goals and objectives, instruction in the classroom and community, and evaluation and progress.

 Marcie Ellerbe

Dr. Marcie Ellerbe receives a grant from the Hootie and the Blowfish Foundation

Dr. Marcie Ellerbe
, assistant professor of Literacy Education, received a grant from the Hootie and the Blowfish Foundation to fund summer reading camps for K-12 students in conjunction with the Chanticleer Literacy Lab (CLL), which is housed within the Spadoni College of Education.  The purpose of the CLL's Summer Reading Camps is to promote general awareness of the role of literacy in our lives while enhancing the reading and writing skills of K-12 students.  Camp participants will work with Dr. Ellerbe and certified teachers in the CLL to develop critical reading and writing skills related to different literacy themes such as environmental literacy, artistic literacy, and digital literacy.  Each camp session will culminate with a guest expert who will support the building of content knowledge and lead camp participants in an authentic field-study experience designed to heighten connections between the camp's literacy theme and real wold applications.

 Dr. Catherine Scott

Catherine Scott receives Department of Education research grant

Professor Catherine Scott
will work with K-6  teachers from Horry County public and private schools to learn about the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics through a 96-hour professional development program.  The Math and Science Partnership grant, funded through the Department of Education, will enable Dr. Scott to research changes in teachers' mathematical pedagogical and content knowledge as a result of long-term professional development.  Dr. Scott will work with teachers throughout the year to learn about the standards, best practices for teaching, and how to assess student learning trajectories in mathematics.  Professor Jim Solazzo and Lecturer Jamie Hedges, both from the College of Science, will join her as instructors for the professional development sessions.

Seaside Sparrow, Assessing the status of MacGillivray's Seaside Sparrows Ammodramus maritimus macgillivraii in South Carolina 

Chris Hill, Ph.D. receives State Wildlife Grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, administered through the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

MacGillivray's Seaside Sparrow is a habitat specialist bird, nesting and wintering exclusively in tidal marshes from North Carolina to northern Florida.  Limits to available tidal marsh habitat and threats to those tidal marshes from development, pollution and sea level rise could threaten the MacGillivrays' Seaside Sparrow.  South Carolina's extensive tidal marshes are at the core of the range of this taxon, but the status of passerine birds nesting in these marshes is poorly monitored by standardized national efforts such as the Breeding Bird Survey. 

This project, Assessing the status of MacGillivray's Seaside Sparrows Ammodramus maritimus macgillivraii in South Carolina, consists of a statewide survey (during breeding season: April to July) of salt marsh habitat to determine nesting locations and density.  This study will also build on a previous database of winter banding records to ask whether winter-occupied habitat predicts breeding occupancy, because, in winter, local (A. m. macgillivraii) Seaside Sparrows are joined by very similar migrants from populations farther north, and it is unknown to what extent prime wintering and breeding habitat coincide.  Finally, a more intensive study at one site will obtain basic information on demographics, nesting density and success. 

Pictured to the left is a fledgling Seaside Sparrow

John Goodwin 

John Goodwin receives grant from Georgia State University           

Professor John Goodwin has been using the POGIL method (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) in teaching chemistry at Coastal Carolina University (CCU) since 1997, and was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) CCLI grant in 2006 for creating new POGIL activities that focused on solving everyday problems and dealing with chemical situations from other science disciplines than chemistry.  These are called POGIL-in-Context activities and have been published in a book called "Solving Real Problems with Chemistry."  Recently, he was awarded a grant from Georgia State University, also sponsored by the NSF, for presenting a two-day dissemination workshop at CCU in January 2014 for chemistry faculty in the region as training for writing POGIL-in-Context activities.  Professor David Hanson from Stony Brook Unviersity will join him as co-instructor for the workshop.

Chemistry major Tyler Aslund worked on this project during the summer of 2013


John Goodwin receives NSF research grant                                         

Professor John Goodwin has been working on catalysts that activate oxygen in the air for different kinds of reactions since coming to CCU in 1996.  A current project was recently funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in a collaborative grant made to the University of South Carolina (USC) and several other universities including CCU, "EPSCoR GEAR: CI Program SC Computational Chemistry Consortium (SC4): Statewide Collaboration for Research Teaching, and Participation Broadening using Computational Chemistry."  In this grant computational chemistry resources will be made available to CCU to examine the structures and thermodynamics of likely intermediates in the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalyzed by a (nitro) cobalt complex.  This type of work is related to fuel cell technology.

Pictured to the left is chemistry major, Tyler Aslund, working on the project.