2008 CUR Conference

Conference Theme:  Frontiers and Challenges in Undergraduate Education

CUR held their 12th biennial conference at the College of Saint Benedict, MN, June 21-24, 2008.  Several sessions were presented with a geoscience focus.  A sample of the talks and posters are listed below.


Academic-Year Research with Undergraduates: Lessons Learned in the Geosciences

Deanna van Dijk, Associate Professor, Department of Geology, Geography and Environmental Studies, Calvin College

This interactive session explores the challenges and opportunities of research with undergraduates during the academic year as contrasted with summer research projects.  Session leaders will share examples and strategies from the geosciences on topics such as balancing research with other student and faculty commitments; faculty participants will consider examples and questions about academic-year research from their own disciplines.

Classroom Innovations that Facilitate Research: Using Remotely Operable Instrumentation in the Classroom

Jeffrey Ryan, Professor and Assistant Chair, Department of Geology, University of South Florida

This session focuses on remotely-operable research instrumentation that used in science classrooms to prepare students for undergraduate research. The session will highlight the use of Web-operable electron microprobe and scanning electron microscope systems in introductory natural science and upper-level geoscience courses.

Encouraging The Transition From Button Pusher To Research Scientist

Edward Hansen, Professor of Geology, Hope College

Andrew Wulff, Assistant Professor, Western Kentucky University

We will focus on strategies for transitioning students from a technician mindset to that of a research scientist able to effectively contribute intellectually to projects. Topics will include techniques for encouraging students to read the literature for comprehension, formulate hypotheses, set goals, design research approaches, set and follow timetables – in short to own the research project.

National Science Foundation, Geoscience Programs that Support Undergraduate Research

Jill Singer, Program Director, National Science Foundation

The Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) and the Geosciences Research Directorate support undergraduate research through a number of programs. This session will provide an overview of these programs, identify useful resources, and describe elements of a successful proposal.

Posters in the Geosciences

Contrasts and Similarities in Water Quality Issues Facing East Central China and Northwest Indiana: Issues, Perceptions, and Approaches for Resolution, Part I: Water Quality Parameters
Jonathan Schoer and Jeff Field, Valparaiso University, Sarah Mohlman, Utah State University, Shelly Schmeltz, Valparaiso University
Contrasts and Similarities in Water Quality Issues Facing East Central China and Northwest Indiana: Issues, Perceptions, and Approaches for Resolution, Part II: Interviews
Jonathan Schoer and Jeff Field, Valparaiso University, Sarah Mohlman, Utah State University, Shelly Schmeltz, Valparaiso University
Preconcentration and Determination of Molybdenum in the Rouge River with Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry
Ali Bazzi, University of Michigan-Dearborn
Successes of the Badlands Working Group at SRU for Early Undergraduates
Patrick Burkhart, Slippery Rock University
Getting Introductory-Level Students Hands-on with Multimedia Technology for Research-Based Community Projects
Laura Guertin, Penn State Brandywine

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