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A Research Showcase Highlights Underrepresented Undergraduate Students in the Sciences - Humboldt State Now

A Research Showcase Highlights Underrepresented Undergraduate Students in the Sciences

From aquaponics to zinc oxide nanorods, more than 40 Humboldt State undergraduates from the Indian Natural Resources, Science and Engineering Program (INRSEP) and the College of Natural Resources and Sciences will share a wide range of research projects at an upcoming symposium, on Friday, Oct. 13.

In its fourth year, the series of presentations highlights the important research of the students as well as the success of INRSEP, which supports underrepresented students in the 12 majors of College of Natural Resources & Sciences (CNRS). The symposium is co-hosted by INRSEP and CNRS, which cover the costs of producing the posters.

Students present posters of their research projects for several hours, before giving oral presentations in front of professors, peers, and the public. It’s an opportunity for them to share their research in a comfortable setting, while fielding questions from a broad range of students, faculty, and administrators as practice before attending conferences throughout the country.

“This Science Research Symposium is an excellent forum for students to present their research in a professional setting,” says Wildlife Department Chair and Interim Co-Director of INRSEP Micaela Szykman Gunther. “It encourages students to create posters from their summer or semester research experiences as well as practice talking about their projects with professionals in their field. Overall, it is a very positive experience for the students presenting as well as for all of the attendees, who get to see the amazing quality and variety of cool research being conducted by our undergraduate students.”

Some of the students presenting at the symposium got some additional experience earlier this year. Students in HSU’s Rroulou’sik REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program returned recently from the American Indian Society for Engineering & Sciences annual meeting in Denver, where they presented their research projects. Wiyot for “rising up,” the Rroulou’sik program is a summer program sponsored by the National Science Foundation for undergraduate students interested in research experience in the science and management of natural resources on tribal lands and in collaboration with tribal partners.

At the Denver conference, Chemistry major Amanda Martinez says she attended workshops relevant to her culture and education, and keynote addresses she found inspiring. “I will be attending the AISES National Conference 2018 just because of how well my experience went with the 2017 conference,” she says.

Martinez was joined by Rroulou’sik students Ely Boone, Anna Powell-Colegrove, Jason Jackson, Antoinette Shirley, and Alyssa Suarez. Mathew Marshall joined them as an additional student supported by a separate REU program working locally with the tribes as well.

The Research Symposium takes place Friday, Oct. 13 from noon-4 p.m. on the second floor of the HSU Library. Poster presentations and casual conversation will take place from noon-2 p.m., and oral presentations are from 2-4p.m. in the Library Fishbowl.

About INRSEP

HSU’s Indian Natural Resource Science and Engineering Program (INRSEP) provides academic and research support services to historically underrepresented students in the Sciences, in order to support their academic success and degree completion, as well as connect them with the resources and opportunities to meet their career and graduate school goals.

Founded in 1972, INRSEP is a key component of HSU’s many current initiatives to support retention and academic excellence, and is designed to provide academic and community-based support networks for underrepresented students in the Sciences that blend cultural, community and professional engagement with structured mentoring in order to support students in reaching their academic and career goals – through academic advising and holistic mentorship, by providing bridges to key campus resources, and by helping to foster student-faculty connections.