Examples of Undergraduate Research Experiences
Here are examples of undergraduate research experiences that you can use as models for developing your own. Some of the pedagogical practices described in other parts of Starting Point can be developed as undergraduate research experiences as well. Others can be considered supporting structures for undergraduate research.
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Petrology in the Field and Laboratory part of Examples
In this multi-week project, students collect samples in the field, analyze them using various tools and instruments, then present their results and interpretations.
Earth System Topics: Solid Earth:Earth Materials:Rocks, Minerals
Analyzing beach sands with a SEM/EDS part of Examples
Students pose a question that can be answered using the SEM and sand they have previously collected from beach profiles.
Earth System Topics: Solid Earth:Earth Materials:Minerals, Rocks, Surface Processes:Coastal Processes
Natural Disaster Risk at Home part of Examples
Students analyze the natural disaster threat and potential mitigation techniques of their (family) home.
Earth System Topics: Human Dimensions:Natural Hazards, Solid Earth:Volcanoes, Surface Processes:Weathering, Erosion, Mass Wasting, Solid Earth:Earth Materials:Rocks, Solid Earth:Plate Tectonics, Hydrology, Oceans, Atmosphere:Weather, Hydrology:Surface Water
Watershed Analysis part of Examples
Students conduct a regional watershed analysis of an area of their choosing. Using on-line data and their personal knowledge of the area, they determine the annual hydrologic budget and teach the class about "their" watershed.
Earth System Topics: Hydrology, Surface Water, Ground Water
Impact Craters and Water on Mars part of Examples
Students explore for water on Mars using impact crater morphology. During this lab, students: learn to use the equation writing and graphing capabilities in Microsoft Excel, thendevelop and apply an impact crater depth-diameter relationship in an effort to constrain the depth to a possible water-rich layer beneath one or more portions of the surface of Mars!
Earth System Topics: Solar System and Astronomy, Solid Earth, Hydrology, Ground Water