UNH Symposium To Highlight Student Research

Contact: David Sims
Science Writer
Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space

April 22, 2005

DURHAM, N.H. – On Wednesday, April 27, 2005, from 3 to 6 p.m., students at the University of New Hampshire will give presentations on the broad spectrum of research they are doing in disciplines campuswide. The Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Symposium (ISE), being hosted by the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, is part of the university’s sixth annual Undergraduate Research Conference, April 25-30.

The event offers an opportunity to visit the world of cutting-edge research at UNH, discover interdisciplinary connections between issues, and learn about research opportunities for students. Students work with faculty mentors to conduct scholarly inquiry into topics that intrigue them and engage in a process that teaches creative thinking and problem solving within their chosen disciplines. This year’s event will include undergraduates and beginning graduate students.

According to assistant professor George Hurtt, chair of the event, some 68 projects involving 134 students from 19 departments and four colleges will be presented. “While opportunities commonly exist for students within each discipline of education and research, the ISE event is intended to provide a forum that cross-cuts traditional science and engineering disciplines,” Hurtt says. “Many important science and engineering questions do not fit neatly into single categories.

The event is an opportunity for students to present their research projects in a professional forum and for all attendees to gain information on the related research activities and opportunities at UNH. Attendees will include UNH faculty, staff, students, university leaders, and members of the public. In addition to student presentations, several research and graduate programs will present information to prospective students.

Poster presentations will be judged by a panel of experts and awards will be made for excellence. Award winners will be provided with funding to travel to a national science conference of their choice to present their research projects again. “These awards are designed to make a further investment in excellent research and to get the word out more broadly,” Hurtt says.

Hurtt notes that the ISE event precedes the URC keynote lecture by internationally acclaimed author and University of California geography professor Jared Diamond, who will speak at the UNH Field House beginning at 7 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public. Free parking and shuttle bus service from Lot A to Morse Hall will be available, and refreshments will be served.

Diamond’s most recent book is Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his earlier book Guns, Germs and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies. Advance reservations can be made by calling 862-0405 or at: http://www.unh.edu/urc/jdiamond_attend.cfm.

The full schedule for UNH’s Undergraduate Research Conference is available online at: http://www.unh.edu/urc/.