Undergraduate Research Conference UNH ECSU CERSER NIA

Representatives from Elizabeth City State University attended the 15th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) held April 23, 2014 at the University of New Hampshire. The URC is a presentation of students research from all academic disciplines. The URC is an annual celebration of academic excellence at UNH, and one of the largest conferences of its kind in the country.  The URC is a campus-wide showcase for undergraduate research, engagement, scholarship, and creative presentations.

Attending this year's conference were research students Michael Cobb and Nigel Pugh who gave poster presentations on their research.

Michael Cobb
"The Watermark Project: Human Actions Impacting the Quality of Water" - Poster

Nigel Pugh 
"The Biosynthesis of Ethanol" - Poster

UNH URC 2014
UNH URC 2014
UNH URC 2014
UNH URC 2014

Nigel Pugh, April 30, 2014
Dr. Linda Hayden, CERSER

UNH Travel Report and URC-ISE

A group (Kristen Stilson, Jynessa Sampson, and Michael Cobb) and I traveled to the University of New Hampshire (UNH) on April 23, 2014 for various reasons. UNH is Durham, NH and was founded in 1866. This university has about a total of 15,000 students (undergraduate and graduate). During my visit I got meet some professors, tour the university, and present some of my research at the Undergraduate Research Conference Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Symposium (URC-ISE).

When I arrived in New Hampshire, I meet with Ruth Varner. Ruth Varner is an Associate Professor in the Earth Systems Research Center of the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, and in the Department of Earth Sciences. She is also the Director of the Joan and James Leitzel Center for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Education at the University of New Hampshire. We went with Ruth and her assistant Sophie to dinner at T.G.I Friday’s to welcome us to New Hampshire. Everyone introduced themselves and we engaged and conversed in different topics from Programming, Academics, future Summer Research, and our research from the summer that we would be presenting. Next, we went to our hotel rooms to prepare for the following day festivities.

On Wednesday April 23, 2014 Ruth brought us to her to her office where we meet with Sophie again and also met Erik Froburg. Erik Froburg is the Education and Outreach Specialist for The Joan and James Leitzel Center for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Education. Erik began working in the Leitzel Center in 2007 with the Transforming Earth System Science Education (TESSE) program. He currently serves as graduate fellow advisor for TESSE and is actively working with K-12 teachers through TESSE and through other Leitzel Center professional development activities. Sophie guided us on a tour through campus. She showed us various buildings including: Parsons, Kingsbury, Morse, and Holloways Commons.

Following the tour, the group split up and went into different directions and met different people. I went with Erik and he showed me around the Computer Science building. I was introduced to Michael Routhier. Michael Routhier is an instructor and the program coordinator for the Geospatial Science Graduate Certificate program at the University of New Hampshire as well as the manager of the Geographic Information System Laboratory for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis (GIS Laboratory) at Earth Systems Research Center (ESRC) at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS). His technical specializations include, Geographic Information Systems, Web Mapping, Remote Sensing, Digital Image Processing and Geospatial Science Education. Michael showed me around the GIS laboratory and explained various research they had been a part of him. He told me how computer science can be used in the GIS field. He was very pleasant and enthusiastic about the research they had completed. I met with an undergraduate named Bobby how works in the GIS lab. Bobby is a computer science major who now works in the GIS lab and loves it. He told me about his experience and what he does and has done while being working with the laboratory.

Dr. Tim Moore was the next person I was introduced to. Dr. Tim Moore is a Research Scientist in the Ocean Process Analysis Laboratory (OPAL). In OPAL, they are working to better understand and predict the biochemical and physical dynamics of oceans and ocean ecosystems in estuarine, coastal, and open ocean environments. OPAL observations range from microscopic to global, from minutes to decades. The tools they use include field and satellite observations, laboratory analyses, and numerical modeling. Dr. Moore discussed how computer science can be used in the GIS field as well. He also said that computer science would have an advantage by having programming. A lot of researches do not have the programming aspect to assist them with researching. He shared his experience programming in while he was in the Navy.

I presented at the 2014 URC-ISE Symposium. This year the conference had over 180 poster presentations and over 800 participants. I presented my research entitled: The Biosynthesis of Ethanol, which I did in the summer under the mentor of Professor Shanta Outlaw. My team formulated three different solutions of different forms of sucrose and yeasts to determine which mixture produced the most amount of ethanol, and which one was the purest to ethanol. I presented to professors, faculty and students that came up to my poster. I enjoyed presenting at this conference. It turned out better than I had expected it to.

During the conference I met Ryan Lawrence, who is a graduate of Elizabeth City State University and now is a graduate student at the University of New Hampshire. In addition I was introduced to Ms. Julie E. Williams, who is the Senior Vice Provost of Engagement and Academic Outreach. I had the honor of taking a few group pictures with her. After the poster presentations time was completed all the participants, guest, and faculty stayed for the awards ceremony and honorable mentions. The awards and honors were given out by faculty and staff to the winners in each groups that were represented it.