June 13, 2016
Three students from Mesalands Community College recently presented at the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI) Spring 2016 Colloquium at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, TN, TN. Mesalands students Jenelle Hansen, Patricia Hansen, and Garrett LeMons each presented an independent research poster involving either paleontology and paleobotony. A total of 68 research posters were presented at the colloquium funded by the National Science Foundation.
“At Mesalands Community College, students have the opportunity to do intensive and self-directed research that results in an original scholarly poster that can be formally presented at research forums,” said Gretchen Gurtler, Director of the Mesalands Community College’s Dinosaur Museum and Natural Sciences Laboratory. “When are students attend events such as the colloquium, they also get to network with other students and college professors that are involved in undergraduate research.”
The students presented research on the following: ‘Petrified Wood of the Trujillo Formation in Eastern New Mexico’ by Janelle Hansen; “Sacra of a Shuvosaurid from the Late Triassic of New Mexico’ by Patricia Hansen; and ‘Comparison of a Tibia of a Possible New Taxon of Shuvosaurid to Effigia okeefeae’ by Garrett LeMons. These research projects were part of the coursework for GEOL 235: Research in Natural Sciences course.
“It was a good experience, lots of learning and meeting people my age that are doing undergraduate research,” said LeMons. “It’s hard to get undergraduate research funded. CCURI has opened the door of opportunity for undergraduate researchers across the country.”
According to the CCURI website, the colloquium is designed to provide community college students, who are conducting undergraduate research the opportunity to share research, develop professional meeting skills and network with students from across the country. Their goal is to bring together those committed to national science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education reform.