Research Articles

Research articles describe research and creative projects in all the disciplines and are authored by UNH undergraduates or recent graduates in collaboration with Inquiry student and staff editors. They should not exceed 2500 words (excluding bibliography). These articles are based on research reports or essays written for a course or independent study. Because of the relatively short length and general audience of research articles, their authors often choose to narrow or refocus their original text. The research experience is held to be as important as research results.

Scaling Methane Emissions Using Vegetation Cover Type at Sallie’s Fen

During the summer of 2018, I had an amazing opportunity to study methane emissions in a unique ecosystem just down the road from the University of New Hampshire (UNH). As an environmental science major with a minor in wildlife and conservation biology, I had always loved to learn about the natural world while surrounded by it. When Dr. Ruth Varner, who became my mentor, introduced this research opportunity to me, I figured it would be a perfect fit, and I was awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) from the Hamel Center to support the work.

Evaluation of Methods to Monitor Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Contamination in the Environment

Beyond my general passion for the environment, I struggled to find a particular area that I wanted to focus on as an environmental engineering major at the University of New Hampshire and in my future career. I have always wanted to do impactful work, but I was pulled by so many environmental issues that I struggled to decide which one I cared most about. So, when the opportunity arose in the summer of 2017 to intern at a company in their analytical chemistry lab, I took it—despite it being outside the realm of environmental engineering.

What Influences Seed Selection by Small Mammals?

Bartlett Valley in New Hampshire is alive with many species of animals. Just after the sun rises in the morning, you can hear dozens of frogs offering a chorus of croaks, and the beautiful echoing whistle of hermit thrushes can be heard throughout the valley. Red foxes can be seen trotting from forest edge to edge, and white-tailed deer pass through the trees silently with an uncanny grace. The traces of black bears’ claws can be seen carved into the smooth bark of beech trees, and occasionally, the deep rumble of a moose call can be heard in the distance.

The Heart of a Horse: 3-D Echocardiographic Analysis of the Equine Aortic Valve

Like human athletes, sport horses have more wear and tear put on their bodies, including on their hearts. High-performing human athletes have been known to die suddenly from cardiac events, and horses are no different. Cardiac issues like murmurs and arrhythmias can be normal in horses, but it is important to know when they are a cause for concern. This is especially true when the murmur is caused by disease or defects in the aortic valve, because this can lead to sudden cardiac death in a rare but not insignificant number of cases.

Korean-American Military Brat Lands in NH and Seeks to Improve Mental Health Training for Future Pediatricians

The rain relentlessly threw itself at the classroom window. Scattered quotes, posters, and supplies lining the walls were at dissonance with the organized desks inhabiting the center of the room. From where I stood, a whiteboard hung directly behind me, the carpet beneath began to mold to my shoes, and a projector dangled above the heads of about thirty students.

Connecting Rodents to Our Roots: A Journey of Education and Outreach

There’s nothing quite like watching a group of adults and children scurrying across a damp, leaf-littered forest floor, acting like mice, voles, and chipmunks so that they can learn about a little-known yet vital ecological niche. Yet that is just what I did while conducting an outreach program to share my research on the effects that rodents have on their environment. As an outdoor education major, my goal was to teach these people about the importance of rodents to forest health. Outreach is an important step in actualizing real-world action after research reveals an important issue.

Can Artificial Intelligence Alleviate Resource Scarcity?

As satellites orbit Earth capturing images of farmland and collecting data on weather conditions, United States technology startup Descartes Labs conducts an analysis. By integrating the information from satellites with several data points, the company is able to recognize patterns and estimate crop yield in nearly real-time. Ultimately, Descartes contributes to more informed farming and agricultural decisions by sharing useful insight with stakeholders ranging from the farmers themselves to the United States government. 

Uncovering How Occupational Therapy Could Benefit Individuals Living with Sickle Cell Disease in Ghana

My first day in Ghana consisted of a five-hour bus ride from Accra to Kumasi in the pouring rain. Granted, I love the rain; it’s just much more enjoyable when it isn’t paired with jet lag and traffic. My second day in Ghana I celebrated the 100th birthday of a Seventh Day Adventist monk and attended a wedding reception in the evening. Amidst this excitement, my real purpose for traveling to Ghana in the summer of 2017 was to conduct research.

Funding Business Development Services for Women Microentrepreneurs in the Philippines

Within international economic development circles, microfinance has been discussed as a tool for poverty eradication since it was first developed in the 1970s by a Bangladeshi economics professor, Muhammad Yunus. Yunus was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the topic. I learned about the concept in an elective class, Topics in Microfinance. Before the class, I saw poverty as something that would always be around, with few solutions except charity aid.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Comparing Disinfection Options for Drinking Water Treatment

Flint, Michigan’s water crisis put my major, environmental engineering, in perspective for the first time. Flint has become one of the main tragedies to shine a light on America’s aging infrastructure. It is also a prime example of the type of environmental injustice happening around the country today. Seeing the families and community in Flint suffer made me realize that this type of tragedy could happen anywhere in the United States, but the way it is handled will vary depending on the affected community’s socioeconomic status.

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