The summer research season culminated in the 5th annual Creative Activities and Research Symposium on Aug. 8, with more than 120 students presenting their work in oral presentations, at a poster session or in six creative performances.
Among the wide-ranging subjects were:
- Women veterans transition into higher education
- Characterization of two novel bacterial species isolated from NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Assembly
- Controller design and optimization for a 51000 octocopter
- Methane emissions in cattle-farming: methods to reduce California’s impact on global warming
- Designing the science for the 2043 Voyager III mission (a joint project by students in the College of Science and Engineering in collaboration with JPL)
- Analysis of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in stranded harbor seal pups
- Development of an engineered living material capable of self-thermoregulation
- A Latina’s Journey to a Ph.D.: Resisting the Odds
“For students, being able to do hands-on research helps them become more excited about their field and is one of the best ways for them to discover what’s is like to be a professional in their discipline,” says Dong. “Research helps students transition from thinking of themselves as a student studying biology to seeing themselves as biologists.”
Students participated in research projects supported by a variety of programs on campus, including the McNair Scholars, NIH RISE, CAMPARE, NSF REU Big Data Security & Privacy, and the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE), which also included some local community college STEM students.
All summer researchers also had opportunities to hear weekly speakers on topics ranging from sustainability to Chicana/o activism.
“This year our speaker selection highlighted both the depth and breadth of research expertise available on campus,” said Dr. Cord Brundage, Chair of the Undergraduate Research Faculty Advisory Committee (URFAC).
Students who participated in the summer presentations and current research projects will have a chance to present their work on Nov. 23 at the Southern California Conference of Undergraduate Research (SCCUR). Hosted this year by Cal State San Marcos, SCCUR 2019 will include a Poetry Slam, Fashion and Textile Showcase and student research demonstrations.
“SCCUR is a wonderful venue for students to share their hard work with others and to receive feedback for moving their projects and research forward,” said Dr. Winny Dong, Faculty Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research.
To participate, students must submit a project abstract to SCCUR and obtain approval to present either a poster, oral, or performance presentation. Fee waivers and a free bus ride to San Marcos are available to those who register early. The deadline for early bird registration is Sept. 30.
To learn how to get involved in research projects, visit the Office of Undergraduate Research website for more information.