Advancing Undergraduate Environmental Research at Plymouth State

Graduate Student Working on TransectAdvancing Undergraduate Environmental Research (AUGER) is an extracurricular initiative of the Center for the Environment to engage and educate undergraduates in the what, how, and why of environmental research.

Throughout the summer of 2018, CFE faculty mentors are engaging undergraduate Plymouth State students in extracurricular field- and lab-based environmental research projects spanning watershed ecosystems. Projects include avian ecological research; a bioinventory of the Sadana Forest in India; analysis of Eastern Brook Trout habitat, demographics, movement and genetics in the Beebe River watershed; assessing regional environment and climate history; investigating possible contamination history in Squam Lake; and surveying Chytid fungus in New Hampshire vernal pools.

The AUGER summer experience features high level integrative skills essential for careers in many STEM fields. Students are gaining experience in experimental research design; using environmental sensors/instruments for measurement and monitoring; assessing scientific results; data analysis and visualization; interdisciplinary teamwork; and science communication. There is evidence that students learn scientific concepts quicker and more permanently and follow pathways into science careers when ideas are applied in relevant applications. AUGER will help students “drill down” into the mechanics of how research is actually done.

We plan to hold a symposium in August 2018 to present findings from the summer research experience.