Nora Demers, PhD
Ph.D. Zoology, Oregon State University M.S. Zoology, Oregon State University
B.S. Life Sciences University of Missouri-Rolla
Research and Teaching Interests
I believe that the most important part of teaching is helping the process of learning occur. I consider my role as a "guide on the side" rather than the "sage on the stage". That said, I am enthusiastic and helpful in class and out of class. Stop by my office anytime I am there!
The research projects I have been working on include:
- Sampling local waters for evidence of endocrine disrupting compounds (present in medications,
personal care products, plasticizers and pesticides)
- We are working with chemists to detect and quantify the specific chemicals that may be present in a variety of waters including communities using septic tanks, reuse water, golf courses, and drinking and groundwater.
- Examining mosquitofish (Gambusia) for gross morphological features (and eventually molecular examinations) that show evidence of endocrine disruption.
- Analyzing an extensive sea turtle nesting and hatching database from Collier County to see what the impacts human development may have.
Initiatives and Symposia
PCB 4233C Immunology
ISC 3120C Scientific Process
BSC 4933 Current topics in Biology: Environmental Endocrine Disruptors
IDS 3920 University Colloquium: A Sustainable Future
ColloquiumToggle More Info
Colloquium is an exciting course designed to help you contemplate sustainability as you develop a sense of place, explore ecological literacy and acquire an environmental education. Expect to spend your time outside, on field trips, doing ‘creative journaling’, reading excerpts from books, participating in sustained discussions (colloquium) and writing papers.
This 2007 WGCU Colloquium video describes the course, and the early development of FGCU.
Readings (more about, and from these authors)OrrCarsonLeopoldOur Common Future
(Our Common Future is about the leader: Gro Brundtland), Louv (Nature Deficit disorder and related concepts)
FloridianaSustainable Development Goals and Earth Charter:via Group presentations assignment
Current topics in Biology – Endocrine DisruptorsToggle More Info
Current topics in Biology: MicrobiomesToggle More Info
Below are several videos to help introduce you to microbiomes and their importance in biological systems. The summary and ratings system are thanks to Sasha-Gay Walker, a student who took this class in the Fall of 2018. If you find videos that you think would improve these resources send me a note with the information using the same format as below!
Enjoy the discovery!
Rating: 5 stars
Summary: Even though microbes are the smallest living organisms on the planet, they play a significant role in maintaining biodiversity. Through symbioses, microbes are able to interact mutualistic with other organisms. However, not all interactions with microbes are beneficial. Some microbes can be detrimental to other organisms.
Creator: Ted 2014
Rating: 5 stars
Summary: According to Rob Knight, the three pounds of microbes that you carry around with you might be more important than every single gene you carry around in your genome. We’re just finding out that microbes have implications for all these different kinds of diseases, ranging from inflammatory bowel disease to obesity, and perhaps even autism and depression. What we need to do, though, is we need to develop a kind of microbial GPS, where we don’t just know where we are currently but also where we want to go and what we need to do in order to get there.
Creator: TedMed 2012
Rating: 5 stars
Summary: Jonathan Eisen discusses the importance of microorganisms in maintain homeostasis in the human body. He talks about the good and bad microbes and how we can put those “good” microbes to work to keep us healthy. Through two decades of research using gene sequencing to examine diverse samples of microbes, Eisen hypothesized whether microbial differences between individuals is responsible for health discrepancies. In his discussion, he stresses the importance that microbes have on human health and their possible role in biomedical research (i.e. fecal transplant to cure certain intransigent illness)
Rating: 4 stars
Summary: Discussion on the deterioration of coral reefs in Florida and how microorganisms can protect corals or cause disease in the reefs. Given the dual nature of microbes to maintain and destroy carols, researchers hypothesized whether beneficial probiotics given to carol reefs can maintain and promote their health.
Rating: 5 stars
Summary: Our Invisible Allies discusses the collaborative and the important role microbes have in maintaining the biodiversity of the planet. They keep the oceans healthy, exist in symbiosis with other organisms, fix carbon, produce oxygen, amongst others – Microbes are very important.
Creator: Dan Knight at TEDMED
Rating: 5 stars
Summary: Dr. Dan Knight and his team explores the differences in the microbiomes of people in developing countries compared to the US, and how they might affect our health. This research was conducted on two species of monkeys, in wild habitats and in capacity in the U.S to show that some gut-related diseases in developing countries may be due to a loss in the diversity of important microbes that make up our microbiome.
Creator: Elaine Hsiao, TEDX Talks
Summary: Dr. Elaine Hsiao talks about the how important our microbiomes are to us and how they have evolved to benefit our development, function, and behaviors. She studies the roles of commensal microbes on mice which have shown that certain microbes can affect depression, activation of the immune system, and brain function and also lists ways in which bugs can affect the brain.
Summary: The human microbiome project was created to categorize the microbiome and assess its role in health and disease. Our bodies contain more microbes than human cells. In “The HIDDEN World of Microbiomes”, the narrator mentions that the study of microbiomes may even help our species in interplanetary travel.
Creator: John Cryan| TEDx Ha’pennyBridge
Summary: The video begins by emphasizing the importance and history of microbiomes and then quickly get into the effects we observe when human microbiomes are disturbed. John explores the concept of how bacteria in our gut the ability has to change our minds and how understanding the internal biosphere of individuals can have a huge influence on human health and curing illnesses.
Creator: Karen Lloyd at TED@BCG
Summary:Marine microbiologist introduces us to deep-subsurface world of microbes. There is a highly diverse microbial ecosystem that covers the bottom of the oceans that refuses to grow in the lab because of their differences in energy and time. This makes them respond to time very differently than the rest of living things do as well as they rely on slow tectonic systems that take thousands of years. They have a fundamentally different concept of time and energy than we do and can potentially help with a lot of different types of research such as slowing or stopping cancer cell growth or extending the shelf life on industrial materials.
Creator: Melissa Garren At TEDxMonterey
Summary: This video explains how the whole ocean is a microbial soup of marine bacteria that actually works for us and not against us and can be linked to the bigger picture of coral conservation and disease spread. They provide half of the oxygen in the atmosphere that we breath. Prochlorococcus is a small cyanobacteria that was discovered in 1988 and is the most productive microbe that contributes to oxygen production. Marine microbes also work to main underwater ecosystems and demonstrate surprising hunting skills.
Rating: 4 stars
Summary: What is the “dirty, little secret” of microbiology? According to Dr. Beiting, it is understanding that most microbes do not cause diseases, but are rather vital to our ecological stability. Because microbiomes are unique to their environments and have consequences on health, diseases and diet, they are revolutionizing our understanding of biomedical research and immunology.
Creator: TEDx Talk
Rating: 3 stars
Summary: Jessica Green speaks about a type of “microbial genocide,” in which human’s need for indoor cleanliness is exterminating good microbes or rather selecting for specific microbes that are compatible with and/or resistant to our lifestyles. So, what are the consequences of sanitation and anti-microbial architecture? The short answer: we do not know.
Creator: The Real Truth About Health
Rating: 5 stars
Summary: With increased reliance on gut-altering pharmaceuticals and healthcare practices, the human microbiome have been disrupted with potential consequences on autoimmune disorders, mood, neurotransmitters regulation, and food absorption. This is known as Gut Dysbiosis.
Creator:Oxford Nanopore Technologies
Rating: 3 stars
Summary: Despite its hypersaline nature, Lake Hillier is renowned for its bright pink color. Why is Lake Hillier pink? The original hypothesis: red algae is the source of the pink color. However, advancements in biotechnology debunked the red-algae-hypothesis. The experimenters were able to identify different organisms (halophilic bacteria, red algae, red-tinted virus) that were confounders for the cause of Lake Hillier’s pink color. Further sampling analysis indicated, in addition to the range of microbial diversity in the lake, that many algal, bacterial, and archaeal halophiles contribute to the persistent pigmentation of this pink paradise.
Rating: 2 stars
Summary: Microorganisms, in contrast to or in conjunction with, pharmaceuticals such as anti-microbials can be used to treat common disorders caused by opportunistic or pathogenic microbes.
Creator: Kurzgesagt- In a Nutshell
Summary: This video talks about how from birth humans carry their microbiome around that co-evolves with them to be able to communicate with our body to ask the immune system to not kill them and might even talk to our brain. The seed from our microbiome comes from our mother and changes over time depending on what we eat, which can affect our health.
From birth, the microbes we have influence our bodies and our physical state.
Issues in Science and technologyToggle More Info
This course was developed in 1997 by Mason Meers, Mike Savarese and myself for the newly opened Florida Gulf Coast University. Since that time it has been revised, refined and improved. Those changes are happening behind the Canvas Learning management system.
This link to an older version of the course provides information and resources for the course, many of which are still in use today.
Click on the text in the banner to peruse the site. It contains many readings and detailed explanations and assignments.
The most helpful page, with the links to the readings and details is on the schedule page
And, give me a shout if there is anything you would like to suggest or discuss about the course.
Freshwater Field Trip Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Water environment field trip:
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary – this will be the first field trip of the course. Dress appropriately- wear comfortable loose-fitting clothes and shoes that are comfortable for a wooden boardwalk. Be sure to bring water to drink and perhaps a fan to keep bugs away. Mosquitoes are usually not a problem, but Deer flies could be, so cover your skin!
Bring something to ‘set upon’, and your journal as you will be spending 10-15 minutes alone on the boardwalk to make a journal entry.
Don’t forget to try to learn as many names as possible (plants, animals, ecosystems etc). Bring a camera if you want, but please use it sparingly and don’t get distracted by texting or other things.
Remember to do the ‘key concepts’ exercise by midnight tonight.
If you enjoyed your visit to Corkscrew you might also like to visit CREW Land Trust, just a few miles from FGCU down Corkscrew Road
See you in the natural environment!
Agriculture Field Trip
Alternative Agriculture field trips:
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC)
ECHO (Networking Global Hunger Solutions)
Urban Field Trip
Covanta Energy – Lee County Facility
Some people go to downtown and visit the historical museum, do a scavenger hunt in downtown, or see the area from another perspective.
FIELD TRIP MAKE UP INSTRUCTIONS:
If you need to make up this field trip it will require you to review two web pages above, and make a brief video (no more than 5 minutes, but no less than 3 minutes) about Solid Waste management in Lee County. Explain how the waste to energy (Coventa) plant works, and also what and how recycling happens in Lee County including the recycle facility, wish-cycling, Hazardous chemical waste, large bulky items, OrganicLee, and mulch.
The video must be posted on YOU TUBE, open to the public with a title containing the words FGCU Colloquium Urban field trip, your name and the date. Be sure to give credit to all sources of images and audio you use.
Estuary Field Trip
If you need to do this field trip on your own review these links and follow the instructions for making a video to post to you-tube about your trip. Bring a friend along to enjoy the experience, and help make the video.
Visit the Matanzas Pass Preserve and go to the pier to see what the Estuary looks like. Be sure to wear long sleeves as the mosquitoes can be brutal in the wet season.
Detailed instructions for self-guided read the above links and then follow these instructions.
Select materials about Rachel Carson:
A Sense of Wonder – Rachel Carson’s Love of the Natural World and her Fight to defend it (a 2008 PBS documentary) I have this video if you would like to borrow it.
The Legacy of “Silent Spring” (CBS Sunday Morning Feb 2009)
The Price of Progress(9 minutes- 2007 CBS report)
Bill Moyer Journal (Sept 21, 2007)
Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham University
Select materials about Aldo Leopold:
Champions of the Land (10:40 for Aldo Leopold)
Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time (13:48 short preview video)
Wilderness Connect: Aldo Leopold (Connecting federal employees, scientists, educators, and the public with their wilderness heritage)
Aldo Leopold: Learning from the land (53:38 PBS)
At a minimum, read: A land ethic (1949)
Our Common Future
Sustainable development is
“development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” It was presented in Our Common Future. The World Commission on Environment and Development which was published in 1987.
Sustainable Development Goals and the Earth Charter
Learn about the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Learn about the Earth Charter Initiative
at a minimum, read:
Group presentations are a way to work collaboratively and learn from each other about sustainability challenges and the diverse strategies that are being implemented to address them.
You will work in small groups to present information about the assigned chapters in the textbook to make more meaningful by providing applications to our lives as residents of SW Florida in the U.S.
The presentations should provide examples of solutions being implemented to address the issue (ideally local) that inspire us rather than grief, doom and gloom.
Presentations will be over 2-3 days, about 10-15 minutes each. I encourage multi-media, and using prepared appropriate and powerful video or other A/V if available of no more than about 3-5 minutes total.
The best presentations will be both creative and interactive.
The assignment, briefly, is for each group members to identify at least one thing in the chapters assigned to their group that is of interest, and find a local or state example of it, ideally showing a challenge we face, and a reason for hope provided by those who are actively engaged. You must use other resources. Take that into consideration that rest of the class will probably not have read what your are responding to, so make sure your presentation can ‘stand alone’.
Being a group project, presentations that follow a consistent theme and style will be most effective.
I’ll be able to adjust the grades for individuals in the group based on evidence that shows which members of the group had the most and/or most productive contributions to the presentation.
I suggest you read the entire chapter, and peruse the discussion questions first.
Then select a couple or few local examples of how these issues are being addressed to highlight in your group presentation.
The intent is to inspire and provide reasons for hope, not doom and gloom!
Use this list of local sustainability principles and practice hints that I have created from each of the chapters that you can use to help you prepare for your group presentation. The list was compiled by me based on my experience engaging these issues in southwest Florida since I arrived at FGCU in 1997.
Please do ask for clarification or further information after you have had a chance to do some research.
Final Project and Presentation
Your final project is a way for you to demonstrate how this course has had personal, academic, and/or professional meaning to you. In doing your project, consider the themes of sustainability, sense of place, environmental education, and ecological perspective. Ideally your project will contain an ‘action’ component, something useful to you in the future, and a legacy’ project that lives beyond your semester in the class. Group projects are allowed by special approval.
The presentation is to be a creative expression of the final project that combines all the course outcomes and experiences into a brief (5-7 minute) presentation that shows how the course has helped you meet the student learning outcomes.
Make sure your final project presentation addresses the following:
- How did my project help me connect with the natural world, sense of place or understanding of sustainability and the natural environment?
- How did my project connect with what I learned in Colloquium? Be specific and emphasize specific class activities, field experiences, assignments, discussions or readings.
- How did my project help me learn about sustainability applications in my chosen career or other passion?
- The presentation can be in any appropriate format or media you choose.
- The focus can be intellectual, hand-on project, or artistic impression.
- Make your presentation visually and acoustically appealing.
- Consider making it a ‘legacy’ with an e-version of your presentation available on you tube.
Projects may be:
- Application of the concepts from the course for your discipline
- Curriculum for environmental education
- Recycling program at your work place
- A ‘colloquium’ for new residents to SWF
- A script for public service announcements that raise awareness
- A suggested change in current laws or regulations
- Plan for having your family raise sustainably
- Poetry, music, or art that interprets your sense of place or ecological perspective
- Business plan for a green technology
- Solution/projects regarding sustainability issues on our campus
Early in the term you should do a journal entry proposal on ideas for your final project & presentation.
a few weeks later you will provide a Progress Report.
Some of my favorite student presentations:
Recycle for Kids, By Kids a video produced with the Children’s Theatre by Rachel Carden Summer 2007
A video for appreciating sense of place- through the University Colloquium lens- a view of Miami-Dade County by Carlos Calante Summer 2007
Summer 2011 Final Projects (vampire walk, recycling at Coastal Village, at Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track, at Highland School, Hope United Church goes green, Orange River Hills Beautification.
Papers reviewed in Demers Current topics Endocrine disruptors class since 2010
Papers we have reviewed:
Biomarkers for endocrine disruptors in three species of Mediterranean large pelagic fish (2004) Fossi et al Marine Environmental Research 54 667-671)
Effects of Perinatal Exposure to Bisphenol A on Sociosexual Behavior of Female and Male Rats (2002) Farabollini et al Environmental Health Perspectvives 110 supplement 3 403-407
Endocrine disruptors found in food contaminants enhance allergic sensitization through an oxidative stress that promotes the development of allergic airway inflammation (2013) Kato et al Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 273:1:10-18
Selected personal care products and endocrine disruptors in biosolids: an Australia-wide survey (Science of the Total Environment 2011 409(6): 1075-1081
The endocrine disruptor bisphenol A increases the expression of HSP70 and ecdysone receptor genes in the aquatic larvae of Chironomus riparius. (Chemosphere. 2008 May;71(10):1870-6. Epub 2008 Mar 7)
“Fifteen years after Wingspread” – Environmental Endocrine Disruptors and Human and Wildlife health: Where we are Today and Where We Need to Go (Hotchkiss et al 2008 Toxicol Sci 105(2) 235-259)
Impact of Early-Life Bisphenol A Exposure on Behavior and Executive Function in Children (Pediatrics 128:5:873-882)
Atrazine induces complete feminization and chemical castration in male African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) (2011) Hayes et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science pre-print
Exposure to Phthalates and phenols during pregnancy and offspring size at birth (2011) Claire Philippat, Marion Mortamais, Cécile Chevrier, Claire Petit, Antonia M. Calafat, Xiaoyun Ye, Manori J. Silva, Christian Brambilla, Isabelle Pin, Marie-Aline Charles, Sylvaine Cordier, Rémy Slama Envrionmental Health Perspectives 2011
Maternal Exposures to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Hypospadias in Offspring Felice Giordano, Annalisa Abballe, Elena De Felip, Alessandro di Domenico, Fabio Ferro, Paola Grammatico, Anna Maria Ingelido, Valentina Marra, Giacinto Marrocco, Santiago Vallasciani, Irene Figà-Talamanca Birth Defects Research Part A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology Volume 88, Issue 4, pages 241–250, April 2010
Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals and Climate Change: A Worst-Case Combination for Arctic Marine Mammals and Seabirds? Bjørn Munro Jenssen Environ Health Perspect. 2006 April: 114(S-1): 76–80.
Pesticide Mixtures, Endocrine Disruption, and Amphibian Declines: Are We Underestimating the Impact? Tyrone B. Hayes, Paola Case, Sarah Chui, Duc Chung, Cathryn Haeffele, Kelly Haston, Melissa Lee, Vien Phoung Mai, Youssra Marjuoa, John Parker, and Mable Tsui Environ Health Perspect. 2006 April; 114(S-1): 40–50.
Effects of persistent organic pollutants on the thyroid function of the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) from the Aegean sea, is it an endocrine disruption? Joseph G. Schnitzlera, , , Emmanuil Koutrakisb, , Ursula Siebertc, , Jean Pierre Thoméd, and Krishna Dasa, Marine Pollution Bulletin Volume 56, Issue 10, October 2008, Pages 1755-1764
Chronic dietary exposure to environmental organochlorine contaminants induces thyroidgland lesions in Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) Christian Sonne, Hans Wolkers, Pall S.Leifsson, Tine Iburg, Bjørn Munro Jenssen, Eva Fuglei, Øystei Ahlstrøm, Rune Dietz, Maja Kirkegaard, DerekC.G.Muir, EvenH.Jørgensen Environmental Research109 (2009)702–711
Occupational exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds and biliary tract cancer among men. Wolfgang Ahrens; Chinara Mambetova; Nicole Bourdon-Raverdy; Agustin Llopis-Go Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health; Oct 2007; 33, 5
Endocrine disruptors: from Wingspread to environmental developmental biology Caroline M. Markey, Beverly S. Rubin, Ana M. Soto and Carlos Sonnenschein Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Dec 2002 83:1-5:235-244
Videos about effects of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds
Theo Colburn Minds of Mountain Film (2010) 21 minutes
The Male Predicament Theo Coburn 7 minutes
John Meeker Encocrine Disruptors: Sexy Stuff (17 minutes June 1, 2012)
Chapter 3 – What Are Endocrine Disruptors 4:18 minutes
Epidemiology – Endocrine Disruptors and Human Endometriosis
powerpoint- no audio- 5 minutes from a conference- scientific
Endocrine Disruptors 4 minutes new journal- gets into how to reduce exposure
Our Stolen Endocrine System 6 minutes DDT DES cartoon, science- awareness local foods etc
Endocrine Disruptors: The Body Burden in Our Babies 3 minutes tells you what you can do to reduce exposure
Research InterestsToggle More Info
Interdisciplinarity is challenging. I am interested in a diversity of topics ranging from the effects of stress on our body’s defense mechanisms to environmental issues such as land use policy decisions, gopher tortoise habitat and health, and education assessment. While it make take me a bit longer to bring each of these items to fruition, the product is worth the wait, and the journey is exciting and educational.I have two long-term habitat restoration projects that are powered by service-learning efforts. One is Gophers@Barefoot, which is a simulated burn project that has been ongoing since 2010. The equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars of service-learning hours have been directed to this effort. We are restoring habitat by manually removing ragweed and pruning and raking sea grapes. As a result, the habitat is rebounding with more native grasses, the preferred forage for Gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus). Students are conducting research related to this by examining forage preference using observation in the field, and examination of scat. The second is the San Carlos Park/Mulloch Creek Restoration Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to restore, maintain and beautify the drainage system in San Carlos Park, Lee County, FL. The community was build during the 1960’s, an era of “ditch and drain” developments. Research related to this is to try to decipher the sources and fates of the nitrogen in the drainage canals. The challenges are the same for both projects and include competing interests, logistics, and payoffs.
I have mentored Biology and Environmental Studies students here at FGCU. Their independent projects ranged from microbial diversity to sea turtle nesting sites, ADHD, L.A.S.I.K. surgery, incidence and study of violence in rape cases, and animal models for Muscular Dystrophy research.
Other potential opportunities for Student collaborations:
- Population dynamics of gopher tortoise (G. polyphemus) in local public and private mitigation and preserve areas.
- fostering independent student research
Previous scholarly activities: My graduate research focused on the effects of acute stress on innate immunity. We proposed that as a result of the fight or flight response an organism would have increases in plasma proteins that would help them identify and destroy foreign and damaged materials. We found increases in the concentrations of 4 plasma proteins within 10 minutes of an acute handling stressor. The concentration of two of these proteins had returned to the original level by 20 minutes after the initiation of stress. One of the identified proteins is complement component C3 which helps identify and destroy bacteria and viruses.
PresentationsToggle More Info
- Keycraft, K and Demers, N.E. Strengthening Students’ Information Literacy Skills as They Develop Original Research Proposals for a Scientific Process Course (9th Annual Florida Statewide Symposium: Engagement in Undergraduate Research in Orlando, FL October, 2016)
- Demers, N.E. Challenges of competing interests, logistics, and payoffs in two different restoration projects in southwest Florida. (National Council on Ecosystem Restoration, NCER, Coral Springs, FL, April, 2016)
- Demers, N.E. The Gopher Tortoise, habitat and restoration Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife Lecture series (Sanibel, FL Feb, 2016)
- Frost, L, Demers, N.E., Humphries, R, Huffman, T, Johnson, K, and B. Johnson. Strategies to implement POGIL methods at FGCU. (Invited: FGCU Teaching Learning Academy, August, 2013)
- Blair, W. Demers, N.E., Everham, E. Frost, L., Goebel, A., Gunnels, C. and Rumbold, D. Celebrating 50 years of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (Community Engagement Day, FGCU, April 2013)
- Charles Gunnels1, Mustafa Mujtaba1, Edwin M. Everham III2, Brian Bovard2, Mary Kay Cassani2, Nora Demers1, James Douglas2, David Fugate2, David Green2, John Griffis2, Ann Hartley2, John Herman2, JoAnn Muller2, Darren Rumbold2, Serge Thomas2, and Aswani Volety2 1 – Department of Biological Sciences & 2 – Department of Marine and Ecological Sciences Funding Panel Simulation on The Scientific Process Course (Best Faculty Poster Award, Research Day, FGCU April 19, 2013)
- Demers, Nora Egan (November, 2012) Magnetic water models for understanding chemical bonding (2012 FCR-STEM conference, St. Petersburg, FL)
- Demers, Nora and Laurie Coventry-Payne (Oct. 2012) Simple Solutions, Profound Results – Changing attitudes through conservation (North American Association for Environmental Education, Oakland, CA)
- Wohlpart, S.L., Demers, N., MacDonald J.H. Jr, and T. Hair (Oct. 2011) The Bonding Properties of water: An Assessment of Student Understanding (Geological Society of America, Minneapolis, MN)
- Demers, Nora E (Mar. 2011) Scientific Inadequacies of Evaluating Direct, Indirect, and Cumulative Impacts from Phosphate Mining in the Peace River Watershed (EPA State of the Science Conference (for the Area-Wide Environmental Impact Study) Punta Gorda, FL)
- Demers, Nora E (Mar. 2011) Stable δ15N Ratios to Examine Sources of Nitrogen within a Residential Community (Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program Watershed Summit Punta Gorda, FL)
- Demers, Nora and J Salapska-Gelleri (Nov. 2010) 3-D water model for investigating/assessing fundamental and powerful concepts in the sciences (School Science and Math Association, Fort Myers, FL)
- Gunnels, C.W. and Nora Demers (Nov. 2010) Integrative Teaching in a Large Enrollment Section of Introductory Biology (Schools Science and Math Association, Fort Myers, FL)
- Demers, Nora, Gunnels, CG, and J Salapska-Gelleri (2009) Integrative Teaching to Develop SCALE-UP (Student Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs) in General Biology I (AAAS Vision and Change, Washington, D.C.)
- Demers, Nora and J Salapska-Gelleri (Jun. 2010) Using 3D water models to investigate fundamental and powerful concepts in the biological sciences (Association for Biology Laboratory Education, (Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S.)
- Demers, Nora (Feb. 2010) Service Learning in San Carlos Park (Colloquium Service Learning workshop (Florida Gulf Coast University, Ft.Myers, FL)
- Demers, Nora E. (Sep. 2009) San Carlos Park/East Mulloch Drainage District-Habitat Restoration Project (Estero Bay Watershed Public Symposium, Florida Gulf Coast University, Ft.Myers, FL)
- Demers, Nora E. (Sep. 2009) Using stable δN15 ratios to help differentiate nitrogen sources within a residential community and initiatives to improve the East Mulloch Drainage District (Report to the Estero Bay Agency on Bay Management, Fort Myers, FL)
- Demers, Nora E., C W. Gunnels IV, and J Salapska-Gelleri (Jul. 2009) Integrative Teaching to Develop SCALE-UP (Student Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs) in General Biology I (Transforming Undergraduate Education in Biology, Washington, DC)
- Demers, Nora Egan, E Everham, M Savarese, B Bovard, A Hartley, J . Kakareka, A N Loh, B Brooks, CREW Land and Water Trust, J Cassani, Lee County Hyacinth Control, and M Owen, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park (Mar. 2009) Preparing Citizen Scientists via Science Research Opportunities in Southwest Florida Part A K-12 and Post-Secondary Education Part B Community Education (SENCER Washington, DC)
- Demers, N., Johnson, L and K. Crawford (Oct. 2008) Florida Gulf Coast University’s President’s Climate Commitment: Collaborative Ventures (Campus and Community Sustainability Conference, Orlando, FL)
- Demers, N., Meers, M, Savarese, M and E. Everham (Sep. 2008) Scientific Process- the entry course for a two-year Research Plan for Undergraduate Students (Florida Statewide Symposium in Undergraduate Education- Orlando, FL)
- Salapska-Gelleri, Joanna and N. Demers (May 2008) Assessment of Content Knowledge for Diagram or Text-Based Self-Explaining (Association for Psychological Sciences National Convention, Chicago, IL)
- Demers, N. and David W. Ceilley (2008) Using Stable δ15N Ratios and Biological Diversity to Examine Effectiveness of Restoration Efforts within a Residential Community- Another Tool for the TMDL Toolbox. (GEER Conference Naples, FL)
- Demers, N. (Jan. 2008) Using stable isotope ratios to determine sources of Nitrogen in a residential community (Everglades Coalition, Captiva Island, FL)
- Spurfeld, C., Long, C., and N.E. Demers (Oct. 2007) Preliminary results of a Gopher tortoise relocation project at Gator Hole Preserve, Lee County, FL (Gopher Tortoise Council, Milton, FL)
- Demers, N.E. and J. Salapska-Gelleri (Oct. 2007) Storyboarding water properties: Assessment of students learning as part of program assessment? (Whitaker Center (Florida Gulf Coast University, Ft.Myers, FL)
- Demers,N.E. (Aug. 2006) Using Contemporary Issues to Teach Skeptical Inquiry: An Approach to Improve Science and Information Literacy among Undergraduates. Invited speaker for panel on Science Education: Vital Connection of Science to the Public Sphere (19th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Purdue University, IN)
- Demers, N.E. & D. Rosenthal (Apr. 2006) Improving Information Literacy Among Undergraduates First Annual Interdisciplinary Conference, (Florida Gulf Coast University, Ft.Myers, FL)
- Demers, N.E. (Mar. 2006) The Gopher Tortoise: A species in decline. A presentation by the Gopher Tortoise Council modified by Nora Demers for Barefoot Beach Preserve, Collier County Parks Revised for the Nature Place, City of Bonita Spring
- Demers, N.E. (2005) An Evaluation of a required Upper-Division Liberal Studies Core Curriculum Lilly Conference on College Teaching, Towson, MD
- Demers, N.E. (Aug. 2004) Engaging Students in Issues in Science and Technology: A Mechanism to Introduce Current Issues and Improve Information and Technological Literacy. Gordon Research Conference on Science and Technology Policy, Big Sky, MT
- Demers, N.E. (Mar. 2004) The Acute Effects Of A Handling Stressor On Select Oreochromis aureus Plasma Components. Eastern Fish Health Workshop, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.
- McKnight, R.K. & N.E. Demers (May 2002) Evaluating Course Website Utilization by Students Using Web Tracking Software: A Constructivists Approach. TCC 2002: Hybrid Dreams The Next Leap for Internet-Mediated Learning Seventh Annual Teaching in the Community Colleges Online Conference.
- McKnight, R, Demers, N.E. & D. Jaeger (Apr. 2002) Evaluating Course Website Utilization by Students Using Web Tracking Software. Florida Gulf Coast University Annual Research Day Poster Competition.
- Malenfant, C. & N.E. Demers (Nov. 2001) Working together for Information Literacy in an Upper-Division Science Class. Information Strategies Conference (peer-reviewed and limited acceptance). Ft. Myers, FL
- Demers, N.E., Malenfant, C. & M. Rosenthal (Nov. 2001) Science for All: Issues in Science and Technology. Higher Education Consortium Annual Meeting. St. Petersburg, FL.
- Demers, N.E. & C. Malenfant (Oct. 2001) Teaching and Pedagogy Unite in Issues in Science and Technology. Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education Annual Meeting (peer-reviewed and limited acceptance). St. Louis, MO.
- Demers, N.E. (Nov. 2000) Tools for Teaching: Metaphors, Jeopardy and Poster presentations. Higher Education Consortium Annual Meeting. St. Petersburg, FL
- Bayne, C.J., Demers, N.E. & L. Gerwick (Aug. 2000) The Modulation of Innate Immunity Plenary Lecture. 11th Scientific Meeting of the Japanese Association for Developmental and Comparative Immunology.
- Meers, M.B., Demers, N.E. & M. Savarese (Jun. 2000) Scientific Process: A Course Introducing the Philosophy, Methods, and Ethics of Science. Evolution 2000, Joint Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution, The American Society of Naturalists. The Society of Systematic Biologists, and The Association of Tropical Biologists.
- Demers, N.E. (Apr. 2000) Environmental Stressors and Innate Immunity: Is there a Correlation? Comparative Immunology Symposium, Florida International University. Miami, FL.
- Sullivan, D. B. & N.E. Demers (Apr. 1999) Engendering Critical Thinking with Reflective and Self-Evaluative Web Board Experiences: Tenth International Conference on College Teaching and Learning. Jacksonville, FL.
- Demers, N. E., Kakareka, J., Sullivan, D. B., Everham, E. E., McDonald, M., Tolley, S. G. and J. Wisdom (Apr. 1999) Integrating Arts & Sciences Learning at FGCU A progress report: Tenth International Conference on College Teaching and Learning. Jacksonville, FL.
- Baylen, D. & N.E. Demers (Feb. 1999) Electronic conversations, delusions and hallucinations: Interactive communication issues in a computer-mediated classroom: AECT (Association for Educational Communications & Technology). Houston, TX.
- Demers, N. E., Mayberry, S., Sullivan, B., Bevins, T. & P. Greene (Dec. 1998) Using Web-Based Bulletin Boards as an “Added Dimension” in Face-to-Face Classes: Strategic Alliance for Distance Learning, Fourth Annual Distance Learning Conference. Naples, FL.
- Demers, N. E. (Mar. 1998). Does acute stress enhance innate immunity? Eastern Fish Health Workshop. Plymouth, MA.
- Savarese, M., Demers, N. E. & M. Meers (Feb. 1998). “Scientific Process”: A course introducing the philosophy, methods, and ethics of science in preparation for independent research American Geophysical Union. San Francisco, CA.
- Demers, N. E. (Jul. 1997) Acute plasma hormonal changes within minutes of acute stress in rainbow trout: International Society of Developmental and Comparative Immunologists Meeting. Williamsburg, VA.
- Demers, N. E. Gerwick, L. & C.J. Bayne (Apr. 1996) Why Anesthetize? Poster presentation: Conference on Modulation of Immune Responses: The Evolutionary Trail. Maui, HI.
PublicationsToggle More Info
Selected Publications/Scholarly work/etc.
This manuscript refers to the Spring, 2003 section of the course Issues in Science Technology.
- Nieve, AX, GiriguXX, Speer, R and Demers, NE Relocation XXX
- Gunnels, C.W. IV, Bovard, B.D., Buzasi, D., Cassani, M.K., Douglass, J. Everham, E, Hartley, A. Herman, J. Mujtaba, M. Muller, J. Nelson, K., Nicolas, A. Southard, L. Thomas, S. and Demers, N.E. (2015) Engaging Students in Ethical Considerations of the Scientific Process Using a Simulated Funding Panel Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly 36:1:12-18
- Demers, N.E. (2012) Genomes and their Evolution- another Example of Gene Duplication and Divergence In: Laboratory Activities for General Biology I third edition, bluedoor publishing
- Demers, N.E. (2012) Structure/Function Correlation In: Laboratory Activities for General Biology I third edition, bluedoor publishing
- Demers, N.E. (2011) An Activity to Demonstrate the Genetic code, Gene duplication and Divergence. Journal of College Science Teaching 40(6):62-64 Available with permission from the publisher
- Demers, N.E. (2009) Structure Function-Lab in a Bag. Journal of College Science Teaching 39(2):58-60. Available with permission from the publisher
- Demers, N.E. (2009) Shoreline Stabilization and Habitat Enhancement in the Mulloch Creek Basin Final report to the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program
- Savarese, M., Demers, N., Everham, E. M., Volety, A., and Kakareka, J. (2004) Scientific Process: an interdisciplinary core natural science course as a mechanism for faculty collaboration. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs 36(5):444.
- Demers, N.E. and Malenfant C. (2004) Collaboration for Point-of-Need Library Instruction Reference Services Review 32:3:264-273 Available with permission from the publisher http://www.emeraldinsight.com/rsr.htm
- Meers, M.B., Demers, N.E. and Savarese, M. (2003/2004) Presenting the Scientific Process: Introducing Philosophy, Theory, Methods and Ethics of Science. Journal of College Science Teaching 33:3:34-39 Available with permission from the publisher
- McKnight, R and Demers, N.E. (2003) Evaluating Course Website Utilization By Students Using Web Tracking Software: A Constructivist Approach. International Journal of Electronic Learning 2:3:13-17 Used with permission from the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education http://www.aace.org
- Demers, N.E. (2003) Issues in Science and Technology: Student driven inquiry directed by the Scientific Process. Journal of College Science Teaching. 32:5:330-337.Available with permission from the publisher
- Bhatt, A, Demers, N.E. and Malenfant, C. (2001) Writing an Annotated Bibliography Florida Gulf Coast University Library Services. (tri-fold brochure available at the library reference desk)
- Demers, N.E. and Malenfant, C. (2001) Forming a question and making a research plan. Florida Gulf Coast University Library Services. (tri-fold brochure available at the library reference desk)
- Gerwick, L., Demers, N. E. and Bayne, C. J. (1999) Modulation of stress hormones and their effects in rainbow trout by means of anesthesia, sensory deprivation and receptor blockade. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 124a(3), 329-334.
- Demers, N.E. and Bayne, C.J. (1997) The immediate effects of stress on innate defenses in rainbow trout. Developmental and Comparative Immunology, 21(4), 363-373.
- Demers, N.E. (1996) The immediate effects of acute stress on innate immunity in rainbow trout. Oncorhynchus mykiss, Ph.D. Dissertation, Oregon State University.
- Demers, N.E. and Bayne, C.J. (1994) Plasma Proteins of Rainbow Trout (Oncorhnchus mykiss): Immediate responses to acute stress. p 1-7, In J. S. Stolen & T.C. Fletcher (Eds.). Modulators of Fish Immune Responses: Vol. 1. (pp. 1-7). Fair Haven, NJ: SOS Publications.
- Demers, N.E. (1993) The acute effects of stress on plasma proteins of rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, M.S. Thesis, Oregon State University.
InterestsToggle More Info
Art, Science, Society
Biology Art in collaboration with Carrie Resseger
The tree image you see here is a compilation of thoughts and ideas from two people, myself, Nora Demers and the artist, Carrie Resseger of South Beach, Oregon. The tree itself is an actual tree that grows on Bay Street in Newport, Oregon.
Carrie worked on a series of Biology posters while Nora Demers was a Graduate Student at Oregon State University. The posters were prepared as an announcement for the annual Biology Graduate Student Symposium, held at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.This art was for the 1993 Symposium. The purpose of the Symposium is to help the diverse student population to learn about the variety of research questions and approaches used to answer Biological questions- that is to make us more aware of the interconnectedness of not only our research but life itself.
The “space ship” in the center is actually an adenovirus, one of the causes of the common cold. It represents the many micro-organisms that share our world. Other organisms incorporated into the tree including: a heron family, an alligator, snakes, gray whale, butterflies, an insect and an antelope. There is the Oregon State beaver mascot in the roots as well as a human fetus, and two frogs in amplexus. The fish and squirrel are yet more organisms we scientists choose to study to understand “LIFE.”
This poster demonstrates the interconnectedness of life and the close link between Science and Art.
– N. Demers
This image was the first of five posters prepared by Carrie Resseger for the Annual Biology Graduate Student Symposium, held at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. This image is intended to demonstrate the interrelatedness of all forms of life on our planet.
All life is composed of 4 biological ‘macro’molecules: DNA, protein, lipids and carbohydrates. DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, the heritable material, makes up our “genes” and is the primary instruction for what we become as we grow and develop.
The bulk of what we see and touch, however, is composed of proteins, made of amino acids, the code for which, as mentioned, comes from the DNA in our nuclei. The lipids make up the membranes that surround cells and organelles. The separation of functions that membranes allows has helped bring forth multi-cellular life. Lipids also function also in energy storage, as do carbohydrates, which play additional roles in structural support, and, as we are discovering, function in the identification of ‘self”.
In this image, The blue strand is the DNA double helix. The “flower” in the upper left-hand corner is what a chemical model of DNA looks like if you look at the strand from an open end. The image incorporates organisms from the various clades (phyla) and demonstrates their relatedness by having the DNA as the strand that links all biological organisms. DNA and molecular systematics show the relationships of organisms. Bacteria, protists, plants, fungi, and animals are all related and are all composed of the same materials, which they inherited from their common ancestor. All are vital to the continued survival of life on this planet.
This sea turtle is the proton of the atom we call earth. Notice the continents on the turtles shell? This was the final logo for the 1996 Biology Graduate Students Symposium at the Hatfield Marine Science Station in Newport Oregon.