2006 CUR Conference

Conference Theme:  Learning Through Research

CUR held their 11th biennial conference at the DePauw University, IN, June 24-27, 2006.  Several sessions were presented with a geoscience focus.  A sample of the talks and posters are listed below.

Resources and Strategies for Recruiting / Retaining Underrepresented Populations in Undergraduate Research
Wendi J. W. Williams, Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Arkansas – Little Rock; C. Brannon Andersen, Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Furman University; Angela M. Hessler, Assistant Professor of Geology, Grand Valley State University; Adeleri Onisegun, Professor of Psychology, Morris College
Summary: Join us in reviewing resources available concerning underrepresented groups (e.g. ethnic/racial and persons with disabilities) in research vocations. Let’s discuss recruitment and retention strategies that work (and those that seemingly don’t work) toward better inclusion of a more diverse undergraduate student population pursuing research opportunities.

Approaches and Methods for GIS-Supported Undergraduate Research
Diana Sinton, GIS Program Director, National Institute for Technology & Liberal Education; Rebecca Schindler, Assistant Professor of Classics, DePauw University; Carol Cady, GIS Specialist/Map Librarian, St Lawrence University; Yelena Ogneva-Himmelberger, Lecturer and Research Specialist in Urban Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University
Summary: GIS enables students and faculty to organize, manipulate, and share their large, multifaceted spatial data sets that are increasingly a component of undergraduate research. This session will highlight approaches and methods that have been most effective from a range of disciplines, particularly when we blur the borders between teaching, learning, and research with GIS.

Changing the Culture of How We Define Successful Outcomes for UG Research
Karen Fryer, Professor and Chair of Geology and Geography, Ohio Wesleyan University; Lori Bettison-Varga, Associate Dean for Research and Grants, College of Wooster; J. William Miller, Professor of Environmental Studies, University of North Carolina at Asheville; Angela Hessler, Assistant Professor of Geology, Grand Valley State University
Summary: Discussion will be aimed at defining valid post-graduation outcomes for students engaged in UG research and communicating the validity of these outcomes within and beyond our institutions.

Civic Engagement In Geoscience Courses
Laura Guertin, Assistant Professor of Earth Science, Pennsylvania State Delaware County
Summary: Students enrolled in introductory-level through upper-division geoscience courses can engage in a range of research activities that will benefit a local to international community. Information will also be provided as to how and where students can present and publish the results of an outreach project.

Institutionalizing Student/Faculty Collaborative Research at Colleges with Limited Resources: The Muskingum College Center for Planning and Development
Walter Huber, Associate Professor of Political Science, Muskingum College; Stephen Van Horn, Associate Professor of Geology, Muskingum College
Summary: While excellent models for fostering student/faculty collaborative research exist, too few are specific to institutions with limited financial resources. This presentation is appropriate for those who desire to develop a culture of student/faculty collaborative research, create a reward structure for students and faculty, and institutionalize such a system with creative funding mechanisms.

Research and Education Funding Opportunities in the Geosciences
Jeffrey Ryan, Professor of Geology, University of South Florida; Keith Sverdrup, Program Director, Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation
Summary: NSF and other federal and private granting agency funding opportunities supporting both research and educational activities will be described, along with keys to effective grant proposal writing.

The State of Undergraduate Research in Community Colleges
Tom Higgins, Professor of Chemistry, Harold Washington College; Laura Guertin, Assistant Professor of Earth Science, Pennsylvania State University – Delaware County; Nancy Hensel, Executive Officer, Council on Undergraduate Research; Roger House, Chemistry Instructor, William Rainey Harper College; Iraj Nejad, Professor of Chemistry, Mount San Antonio College; Jeff Osborn, Professor and Chair of Biology, Truman State University; Jenny Chen, Professor of Chemistry, Mt. San Antonio College
Summary: This interactive session will highlight successful models for involving community college faculty and their students in undergraduate research. A brainstorming session will focus on overcoming barriers for implementing programs at two-year institutions.

Integrating Research into the Geosciences Curriculum
Jill Singer, Professor of Earth Sciences and Director, Office of Undergraduate Research, SUNY-Buffalo State College; John W. Creasy, Professor of Geology, Bates College
Summary: This workshop will explore a range of research experiences in which students enrolled in introductory-level through upper-division geosciences courses can be engaged.

Undergraduate Research with Pre-Service Teachers
Angela Hessler, Assistant Professor of Geology, Grand Valley State University; Bill Dinklage, Assistant Professor of Earth Science, Utah Valley State College; Karen Fryer, Professor and Chair of Geology and Geography, Ohio Wesleyan University
Summary: This workshop investigates the value of undergraduate research projects for pre-service K-12 teachers. We will discuss the challenges and relative importance of involving this student population in rigorous research.

Cross Disciplinary Approaches to Student/Faculty Collaborative Research: Examples of Alternative Forms of Funding
Walter Huber, Associate Professor of Political Science, Muskingum College; Stephen Van Horn, Associate Professor of Geology, Muskingum College
Summary: Faculty from the Political Science and Geology Departments at Muskingum College have teamed up to provide students with real-world research experiences. This presentation describes one of these efforts: the development of an interactive crime map for the city of Zanesville, Ohio.

Research on a Shoestring; Turning the Shoestring into a Rope
Brannon Andersen, Associate Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Furman University; Deanna van Dijk, Assistant Professor of Geology, Calvin College
Summary: The objective of this session is to identify the challenges and solutions of starting a research program with limited funding.

Poster Titles:

SUCCESSFUL MODELS OF INTEGRATING RESEARCH INTO THE CURRICULUM
Lydia K. Fox, Department Chair, Associate Professor of Geosciences, University of the Pacific
Undergraduate research shouldn’t just “happen” at the end of a student’s undergraduate experience. In order to best support undergraduate research, it should be built into the curriculum at all levels. This session will feature models, from a variety of disciplines, in which research has been integrated into the curriculum.

FIELD BASED RESEARCH IN THE GEOSCIENCES
Lydia K. Fox, Department Chair & Associate Professor, Department of Geosciences, University of the Pacific
Field work is often what attracts students to the geosciences and gets them engaged in the discipline This session will present models of field-based research in the geosciences.

GEOSCIENTISTS AS HISTORIANS: USING GEOPHYSICAL TECHNIQUES TO REVEAL HISTORY
Jill Singer, Professor of Earth Sciences and Director, Office of Undergraduate Research, SUNY-Buffalo State College; Patricia Manley, Professor of Geology, Associate Dean of UGR, Middlebury College; J. William Miller
This poster will include several examples of how geoscientists have applied geophysical techniques to understand historical events. Participants will learn how geological and geophysical tools have: elucidated the 1776 Battle of Valcour Island, Lake Champlain; improved our understanding of recent historical events in the Buffalo River; and confirmed the wreckage of Captain Blackbeard’s vessel. These examples provide the basis for group discussion to explore other applications where geoscience research involving undergraduates makes history come alive.

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