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Ken Sweat

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Principal Lecturer MY
Faculty, WEST Campus, Mailcode 2352
Senior Lecturer
Faculty, WEST Campus, Mailcode 2352
Instructor
Faculty, WEST Campus, Mailcode 2352
Principal Lecturer MY
Faculty, WEST Campus, Mailcode 2352
Biography: 

Ken G. Sweat joined the faculty of ASU’s west campus in the fall of 2000.  Before joining ASU he worked in the environmental resource consulting industry as well as being a partner in an ecotour company.  He earned his master’s degree in botany from ASU in 1995 and his doctorate in plant biology from ASU in 2010.

Currently Dr. Sweat is teaching upper division plant biology courses and the undergraduate research class.  He has facilitated numerous student driven research projects in forensic botany and environmental sciences.  His forensic botany research projects include work with stomata, pollen, diatoms and fungi.  His environmental projects involve using plants to remediate metal pollution in soils.  Past projects included research that examined the capsaicin content of chili peppers.

Outside of the traditional classroom, Dr. Sweat has taught numerous courses for life-long learners on a range of topics from tequila to climate change to the boojum tree.  He teaches these courses for institutions such as the Desert Botanical Garden and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at ASU.

Education: 
  • Ph.D. Plant Biology, Arizona State University 2010
  • Master’s Degree. Botany, Arizona State University 1995
Research Interests: 

Dr. Sweat’s research is largely driven by the undergraduate students that work with him.

Dr. Sweat’s research interests are in two broad areas.  The first is the use of plants and traditionally related taxa in forensic investigations: forensic botany.  Examples of research projects that students have undertaken with Dr. Sweat include using diatom succession to determine how long a body had been in a lake, fungal succession on pork flesh as a model for human succession and pollen community analysis. 

The other research area Dr. Sweat has facilitated student research in is the use of plants to remediate metal contamination in soils.  Examples of projects in this area in this area include research assessing native plants to remediate a uranium mine and assessing common annuals to help remediate recreational shooting ranges. 

Currently Dr. Sweat has a team of students working on research that combines both areas of interest that involves comparing stomatal density and the stomatal index of plants living inside urban areas to the same species living in rural areas. 

Publications: 

Sweat, K.G., P. Marshal, J. Foltz-Sweat, & J. Broatch.  2018. Developing a Course-Based Research Experience for Undergraduates: The ASU West Experience.  Journal of the Arizona Nevada Academy of Sciences. 47(2):36-43.

Sweat, K.G., J. Broatch, C. Borror, K. Hagan, & T. Cahill. 2016.  Variability in capsaicinoid content and Scoville heat ratings of commercially grown Jalapeño, Habanero and Bhut Jolokia peppers.  Food Chemistry. 210: 606-612.

Gremillion, P.T., E. Hermosillo, K.G. Sweat, and J.V. Cizdziel, 2013. Variations in mercury concentration within and across Xanthoparmelia spp. individuals: Implications for evaluating histories of contaminant loading and data interpretation. Environmental Chemistry.10(5):395-402. 25 October.

Riddell, J., S. Jovan, P.E. Padgett and K.G. Sweat.  2011. Tracking lichen community composition changes due to declining air quality over the last century: the Nash legacy in Southern California. Bibliotheca Lichenologica. 106: 263-277.

Sweat, K.G., P. T. Gremillion and T.H. Nash. 2010. Mercury concentrations in the lichen Xanthoparmelia spp. in the greater Grand Canyon region of Arizona, USA. Bibliotheca Lichenologica. 105: 93-102.

Bates, S.T., T.H. Nash, K.G. Sweat, and F. Garcia-Pichel. 2010. Fungal communities of lichen-dominated biological soil crusts: Diversity, relative microbial biomass, and their relationship to disturbance and crust cover. Journal of Arid Environments.74:1192-1199.

Divakar, Pradeep K., A. Crespo, F. Kauff, R. Del Prado, S. Perez-Ortega, G. Amo De Paz, Z. Ferencova, O. Blanco, A. Arguello, A. Millanes, M. C. Molina, M. P. Normore, M. A. Wedin,  A. Aptroot, F. Bungartz, S. Calvelo, M. Candan, M. Cole, J. A. Elix, D. Ertz,  B. Goffinet, A. Knight, J. Lendemer, L. Lindblom, R. Luecking, F. Lutzoni,  J. Mattsson, M. I. Messuti, G. Perlmutter, V. J. Rico, T. Spribille, U. P. Steffen, K. Sweat, A. Thell, G. Thor, G. Urbanavichus, and T. Lumbsch.  July 2008.  New systematics and generic circumscription or parmelioid lichens inferred from multigene analysis provided by PARSYS-08.  Paper presented at the 6th IAL Symposium and Annual ABLS meeting.  Pacific Grove, Ca., USA

Marshall, P.A. and K. G. Sweat. 2008. Integrating Mathematics into Microbiology: Statistical Analysis of Biology Community Level Phenotype Profiling.  Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Sciences.  40(2):157-159.

Sweat, K.G., W. A. Iselin, S. T. Bates and T.H. Nash III. 2004.  The Lichens of Parashant National Monument, Arizona: A Preliminary Study.  Journal of the Arizona Nevada Academy of Science 37(2):85-90.

Research Activity: 

CURE as a Research Experience for All: Preparing the Future STEM Workforce. Marshall, P.A., Broatch, J., Cahill, T.C., Foltz-Sweat, J.L., Sweat, K.G. NSF 15-585 (7/1/2016 – 6/30/2019).

An Integrated Core Curriculum of Cell Biology, Genetics, and Ecology Using the Desert Tree Lizard as a Thematic Organism.  Dennis, D.E., Deutch, C., Kwiatkowski, M.A., Marshall, P.A., Sweat, K.G. NSF-EHR (9/15/2004 – 8/31/2007).

Development of Laboratory Experiments and Lecture Material for the Introductory Biology course (BIO 187/188).  Internal Staff Development Grant.  Arizona State University at the west campus.  Summer 2002.

Summer 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Summer 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 181General Biology I
BIO 182General Biology II
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 181General Biology I
BIO 182General Biology II
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 182General Biology II
LSC 388Research for Natural Sciences
LSC 493Honors Thesis
LSC 499Individualized Instruction
FOR 499Individualized Instruction
Summer 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 181General Biology I
BIO 182General Biology II
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 182General Biology II
FOR 394Special Topics
PLB 394Special Topics
FOR 499Individualized Instruction
LSC 499Individualized Instruction