Commentaries are short articles (around 1000 words) which can address a variety of issues relating to research, mentoring or scholarship. Topics might include a research experience, the social and political implications of a line of research, the application of an academic theory to current events, observations about academic life here at the University of New Hampshire or elsewhere—or something entirely different that the editors have not envisioned. Commentaries are usually focused more on personal experience than are research articles, and may be written by students, faculty or staff at UNH. Graduates of the University are encouraged to look back on their undergraduate research experience and its place in their personal and professional lives.

Beehavior and Beyond: Realizations in Research

Most people would mistake the small carpenter bee Ceratina calcarata and its relatives for ants with wings, and I won’t pretend that I could tell the difference before I spent a summer researching this particular bee species. We are conditioned to associate bees with three things: black and yellow coloration, honey, and stinging pain. The small carpenter bee species that I studied, however, did not exhibit a single characteristic from that list, which I found shocking, given that they are native to North America and locally abundant.

International Collaboration in Physics Research: A Summer at CERN

During the summer of 2014, after my junior year as a physics major at the University of New Hampshire, I took part in a nine-week Research Experience for Undergraduates sponsored by the University of Michigan and the National Science Foundation. During the program, I lived and worked at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) just outside of Geneva, Switzerland. CERN is home to the largest particle collider in the world, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and is the world’s leading particle physics laboratory.

Searching for Opportunities

Sasa Tang graduated from the University of New Hampshire in May 2011 with a degree in political science and international affairs.

Zen and a Pen: Adventures in Writing and Yoga

I have always been a writer. I know this is what all writers say, especially those whose debut work has just been published—this really doesn’t feel like my first novel, I’ve been writing every day since I was six, the words just flow straight from my heart to the page, etc. My bookshelves are lined with journals, each filled to the final page with angsty poetry, philosophical musings, unfinished short stories and moments I want to remember.

Illuminated by Archival Research: The Role of Books in Religious Reformation and Early English Drama

Katy Sternberger graduated from the University of New Hampshire in May 2013 with a degree in English/journalism and minors in French and history.

Climate Change in the Wild West Fifty Million Years Ago

Approximately 55 million years ago, the Earth experienced a massive, abrupt climate warming.  A huge amount of gaseous carbon was released into the atmosphere, an amount approximately equal to what would be released if humans burned all the Earth’s known fossil fuel reserves.  This event, named the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), raised global temperatures by up to nine degrees Celsius over a period of less than ten thousand years. Sea level rose, crocodiles lived in the Arctic, and there were palm trees in Wyoming (McInerney and Wing, 2011).

Juggling Research and Work between Two Campuses: An Undergraduate’s Experience in Cellular Research and the Real World

Rebecca Mason graduated from the University of New Hampshire at Manchester in 2012 with a bachelor of arts in biological sciences with minors in kinesiology and nutrition.

"Menudas Vueltas da el Destino": How Choosing to Live in a Homestay Brought Me Closer to a Culture

Emily Louick graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2009 with a bachelor of arts in the dual major of Spanish and theatre and dance.

Lamb’s Blood and Goose Quills: Learning to Research the History of Blood Transfusion Medicine

As a freshman at the University of New Hampshire in 2011, I declared biomedical science as my major with a pre-med focus and a minor in history. In my second semester my advisor suggested I look into finding interesting areas of research as part of my preparation for medical school. This led me to a summer of research that was daunting, difficult, and very rewarding. I discovered the highs and lows of the research process, and I learned how to make my writing tighter and more focused.

The Plight of the Piping Plover

It was early morning on Cape Cod National Seashore. I was walking very cautiously along the beach with three shorebird biologists trained in avian behaviors. We were looking for signs of Piping Plovers, which are federally threatened shorebirds that nest all over Cape Cod. Each step that I took was considered, calculated, and executed. It was my ninth day at work as a Shorebird Conservation Intern, and already I felt like I knew what I was doing. However, it was early, and I felt my mind drifting. “Theresa, freeze! Do you see it?” Dennis, a supervisor, yelled out.


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