University’s undergraduates given research opportunities

More than 60 students expected to present at the Nevada Undergraduate Research Symposium on campus April 18 and 19

4/13/2012 - By: Jaclyn McBride
Michael Koch Geography and environmental studies major Michael Koch presented his poster at last year's Undergraduate Research Poster Conference. The objective of his research was to compare similar occupied and unoccupied pika habitat in Northern Washoe County, Nev. More than 60 students are expected to present at the 2012 symposium.

From the evolution of horse-show jumping to the "color" of music, the 2012 Nevada Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Nevada, Reno will host a wide array of presentations this year. Taking place on campus April 18 and 19 at the Joe Crowley Student Union, the symposium is designed to provide a forum for undergraduate researchers to share what they have learned with their peers, professors and the public. It also showcases the University's commitment to make research opportunities available to students at the undergraduate level.

Lisa Gilmore, an undergraduate student at the University, is researching how health care professionals in northern Nevada influence their patients' consumption of sugary drinks.

"People don't realize the problems that are associated with sugary drinks," Gilmore said. "Health care professionals should educate their patients on how to make healthy, smart decisions when it comes to food and beverages. The research I have done has taught me much about the research process, as well as the Institutional Review Board, and what it is like to write a thesis and defend it."

More than 60 students are expected to present at the Nevada Undergraduate Research Symposium, which is open to the public. Refreshments will also be provided.

"The University provides many opportunities for undergraduate research because research is recognized as one of the most effective means to motivate students and stimulate interest in graduate education," said Michael Collopy, assistant vice president for research. "Undergraduate research has provided many students the opportunity to learn different aspects of their field that they aren't taught in the classroom."

Andy Smith's research involves the construction of a device that measures wind speed in the atmosphere.

"The hands-on experience of building and programming hardware from scratch has given me a healthy respect for how complicated real engineering problems are compared to classroom ones," Smith said.

The Nevada Undergraduate Research Symposium will include both oral and poster presentations.

"I hope to see the community, students and many of our colleagues at this annual event so we can show how much we value the research efforts of our undergraduate students," Collopy said.

Oral presentations will be delivered from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18, in the Joe Crowley Student Union Theatre on the third floor. Presentations continue in the Student Union's ballrooms on the fourth floor at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, April 19, with poster presentations from 2-4 p.m. View the complete program. For more information, contact Amber Gallop at agallop@unr.edu.


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