There are several locations on campus or nearby where students can participate in research or conduct projects of their own. The West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) and the biofuel generator are on campus facilities hosting ongoing projects. Environmental Science students also intern at West Central Environmental Consulting in Morris.
Financial support for student research is available through several venues. University funding opportunities are consolidated at the Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE). One example is the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), a University-wide program which provides academically talented students the opportunity to earn up to $1,400 assisting faculty with scholarly and creative projects. Another, the Morris Academic Partners program (MAP), is unique to the Morris campus and provides paid research partnerships to academically talented, qualified third-year students. The standard stipend is $2,000. The Multi-Ethnic Mentorship Program (MMP) affords students of color the opportunity to receive a $2,000 stipend for working with faculty or staff on year-long projects.
Student work in environmental science has also been funded by the University of Minnesotaâ€™s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) and Community Assistance Program (CAP). Faculty research funding obtained independently via grants or from other awards may also create paid positions for students to assist in research projects.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) funding interface provides a wealth of grant possibilities to help undergraduate students pursue independent research or to assist with ongoing research projects as an intern or paid assistant.
Melissa Carnicle ’s (‘12) work on her summer internship won first place in the poster presentation category at the the 2011 American Indians in Science and Engineering Society (AISES) National Conference. She examined a method of soil erosion prevention in the aftermath of a 2010 wildfire in Fourmile Canyon that burned over 6,000 acres. Ashley Woods (‘13) worked with Environmental Science professor James Cotter taking core samples of Lake Wakanga’s sediment to check for pollutants from runoff and other sources. This important work will provide needed information to area farmers, lakeshore property owners, local fishers, and others who use Lake Wakanga.
Recent Publications by Morris Students and Faculty
- Wyckoff, P. H. and R. Bowers, In review. Response of the prairie/forest border to climate change: impacts of increasing drought may be mitigated by increasing CO2. Submitted to the J. of Ecol January (2009).
- Wyckoff, P. H., R. Jansen and R. Patten. (2005). The European buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) invasion in west central Minnesota. In: Proceedings: Symposium on the Biology, Ecology and Management of Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and European Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica). USDA Forest Service Pub. FHTET-2005-09: 49-52.
- Meyer, G and P. Wyckoff. Impact of deer on tree recruitment at three sites in west-central Minnesota. Wildlife Management and Research in a Changing Environment Conference (The Wildlife Society), Alexandria, MN, 2007.
- Wyckoff, P., A. Shaffer and R. Bombyk. Extent and impact of exotic earthworm invasion in west central Minnesota. Ecological Society of America (ESA) annual meetings, San Jose, CA., 2007.
- Shaffer, A. and P. H. Wyckoff. Exotic earthworm abundance in west-central Minnesota. Minnesota Natural Resources Conference (Society of American Foresters and Society for Conservation Biology), Brainerd, MN, 2006.
- Patten, R. and P. H. Wyckoff. European buckthorn (Rhamus cathartica) growth as a function of light availability and soil moisture. Ecological Society of America (ESA), Montreal, Canada, 2005.
- Jansen, R. and P. H. Wyckoff. The effects of buckthorn on the forest understory. National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), Indianapolis, IN, 2004.
- Wyckoff, P. H., R. Jansen and K. Juhlin. Extent and impacts of the Rhamus cathartica (European buckthorn) invasion in west central Minnesota. Ecological Society of America (ESA), Portland, OR., 2004. Bowers, R. and P. H. Wyckoff. Climate sensitivity of Quercus macrocarpa along the prairie-forest border in west-central Minnesota. Ecological Society of America (ESA), Savannah, GA., 2003.