This thesis is a culmination of the last three years of my graduate studies at SDSU. At times the research and work load appeared to never end. In the mist of all this, so many people helped me pull through the academic and emotional challenges placed in front of me.
First and foremost, I thank my parents for always supporting me in the pursuit of my master's degree. I did it! My sisters and of course my brother always entertained me from far away. They kept me in touch with life in general when I was entrenched in studies. I thank my entire family for all their love and support in reaching my goals.
I would like to thank Paul B. Etzel, my thesis advisor at SDSU. Thank you for all the time and effort you placed into the completion of my thesis, especially during the revision period. Your belief in my abilities to complete this thesis independently was a strong driving force in my studies. I really enjoyed working with you on this project. Don't worry...Your statement that I have to go on to a PhD program will happen one day in the near future.
A thank you is extended to Allen W. Shafter and Massimo Bonensegni for sitting on my thesis committee. Your comments and questions helped me greatly. I would also like to acknowledge Ed Olson for supplying the radial velocity and equivalent width measurements for KU Cyg. I must thank an unknown individual, named Mark Dewey. I've never met him and probably will never meet him. He started working on this project long ago and then unexpectedly left. Whatever he may be doing, thanks for all the background articles.
I would like to thank Edward M. Sion, my research advisor at Villanova University. As an undergrad, you signed me on as a research assistant. The knowledge and experience that I gained at VU is immeasurable. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to begin my researching experience.
In the last three years, many friendships began when I moved to San Diego. I would like to thank John Whitmer, Anil Dosaj, Chuck Horst, Jon Dokter, Erin DePietro and Nik Volgenau for all the countless moments of fun, drinking, talks, and study sessions. There are many others who have helped me along the way. You have not gone unnoticed or forgotten.
I especially want to thank Steve Hart. For the last two years, you and I have dealt with rigorous schedules, deadlines, work, and everything else. Without you, I think that I would have gone crazy (even though you think I'm a nutball already)! Your constant love and support through life's complexities pulled me through our toughest moments. Now since we're finished, we have time for everything we've wanted to do. Thank you for always being there for me.
This thesis was partially supported under the National Science Foundation grant AST-9417035 to P.B. Etzel. IRAF is distributed by the National Optical Astronomy Observatories, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.