SIUE/U of I Host Unique Research Experience for First Generation Undergraduates from Around the Nation

(L-R) Thomas Nguyen, of the University of Houston, Laura Martinez, of the University of Miami, and Julia Breed, of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, set a fyke net in the Mississippi River.

This type of interdisciplinary experience for first generation undergraduates is rarely seen in higher education.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s expansive landscape, featuring archeological sites and close proximity to the Mississippi River, is offering a unique research experience for 10 undergraduates, many of whom are first generation students, from around the country.

This summer marked the start of a three-year program funded by a $287,690 National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) grant awarded to SIUE and the University of Illinois (U of I). The project is entitled Exploring Evidence of the Anthropocene: Archaeological and Ecological Interdisciplinary Research Experiences for First Generation Students in the Upper Mississippi River System.

For eight weeks, undergraduate scholars from such universities as the University of Miami, Boston University and the University of Houston, researched evidence of the Anthropocene through interdisciplinary archeological and ecological collaborations at SIUE and the Illinois Natural History Survey.

“I wanted to be involved in an opportunity that contained both field experience and laboratory work,” said Ayush Kumar, a rising senior studying at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon. “This program offered the best of both and was an experience that all undergraduates should pursue. It’s taken me out of my comfort zone and taught me how impactful conservation efforts are. It’s given me the idea that I want to work with freshwater animals.”

“In fields like anthropology and ecology, students can really get somewhere if they put themselves out there and pursue experiences like this,” added Christian Rice, a rising sophomore at Southeast Missouri State. “Archaeology is definitely where I want to be, so going to graduate school and doing other field research projects like this are in my future.”

Carol Colaninno-Meeks, PhD, assistant research professor in the SIUE STEM Center is the principal…

Read the full article from the Source…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *