Dr. Edwin G. Olmstead, assistant professor of chemistry at Fort Hays State University, gave a presentation at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center-Hays for its annual Beef Cattle Research Roundup.
His presentation, "How Does Diet Affect Manure Odor? Preliminary Results from an Ongoing Investigation," summarized his work with three FHSU students (Katie Carnes, Lincoln, Neb., special student; Heber J. Chacon-Madrid, Pinares, Guatemala, special student; and another student who has requested no publicity) to analyze the manure odors produced by cattle on different diets at the Hays feedlot. Olmstead's research is part of an ongoing collaboration with Dr. John R. Jaeger at KSU's Hays research center to identify which environmental factors are the most influential in offensive manure odor production and to determine which odor abatement methods are the most effective.
Olmstead also presented "How Many Samples Do I Need? More Than Your Chemistry Textbook Predicts!" at the annual Kansas College Chemistry Teachers Conference in Salina. His paper examined how the sample-size formulas used in current analytical chemistry textbooks produce severe underestimates and presented an alternative method for producing more reliable estimates. Olmstead proposed that if chemistry educators changed their presentation of this topic, it could produce an enhanced student understanding of the nature of the sample standard deviation and confidence limit calculations.