Through their research, Krystal-Lynn, Velanie and Carey sought to find if the language describing reproduction has changed since Dr. Martin conducted her research in 1991. At the Pacific Sociological Association Conference in April, they put their findings on display in a poster presentation.
Undergraduate research opportunities are a powerful complement to classroom learning because they allow students to answer many of the questions that they will face throughout their lives, says Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Erika Beck.
She adds, Debates that range from climate change to the use of psychotropic medication all require an understanding of research methodology and appropriate interpretation of data.
With regard to mathematics, NSC students have had the distinction of presenting research at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Washington D.C. Dr. Wong explains, most student research begins with a mathematical question or interesting observation. From there, you can find patterns and try to figure out why they happen, he says. These mathematical problems exist everywhere from video games to traffic lights, juggling and even card tricks.
Dr. Edwin Price, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, closely mentors students studying environmental science as they conduct their undergraduate research. Last year, several environmental science students developed and worked on a landslide project, which resulted in a poster presentation. Currently, students are researching the origins of the new springs that are near the Henderson entrance of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
The methodology of the students under Dr. Price’s tutelage is to approach the research as if it were a real-world project, as they create a health and safety plan as well as a sampling and analysis plan. Students then utilize the equipment to measure and then critically analyze the findings. Dr. Price points out these types of research projects enable students to practice techniques and possibly give them a competitive edge as they seek jobs or apply to graduate school.
NSC’s undergraduate research affords students the unique opportunity to make their own academic discoveries, while setting them on a path of life-long learning. It’s all about being willing to have fun with what interests you, says Dr. Wong.