The Undergraduate Research Grants for the Environment (URGE) program provides a unique opportunity for teams of undergraduate students and their faculty mentors to utilize the West Michigan Biological Field Station for environmental and scientific research. The grants fund full-time summer research projects in the natural sciences, including biology, zoology, natural resource management, environmental science, chemistry, and geology.
Each undergraduate student is eligible for a $3,750 stipend, on-site housing, and partial meal support for their full-time, 12-week research project. Each faculty mentor is eligible for up to a $3,500 stipend that can be used for time, supplies, travel, or other research support.
Because one of the primary purposes of URGE is to foster faculty mentor-student relationships as a powerful educational and motivational tool, we require research proposals and projects to be a shared effort between students and faculty mentors. Grant applications are available in October and are due at the end of January. For more information about the URGE program or other research opportunities, please contact Sara Syswerda, education director, at (269) 721-4434.
Download a URGE application. The application includes additional information about the award and student qualifications. Applications for the URGE program must be received at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute by January 31, 2014.
Students from the Biological Field Station Consortium institutions can sign up for the classes offered through the Modular Course. Each class is designed to provide participants with applied experience in the area of natural and environmental sciences. Several classes will be held over the summer and students are welcome to attend one or all of the classes. Pre-registration is required and space is limited, so register early.
Diane Harris and Katelyn Geleynse are mentored by David Dornbos Jr.
Harris and Geleynse will be working on the development of a GIS Model to Optimize the Gross Primary Productivity of Terrestrial Plant Communities and the Potential to Store Carbon in Soils at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute.
Emily Finch is mentored by Darren S. Proppe. Finch will be researching the Temporal Modification of Songbird Singing Behavior in the Presence of Punctuated Noise Events.
Central Michigan University
Jocelyn Faydenko and Lena Butler are mentored by Bradley Swanson. Faydenko and Butler will be observing and documenting the Interconnectedness of Nymphal and Adult Dragonfly Populations.
Lindsay Gabriel is mentored by Bradley Swanson. Gabriel will be researching the Impact of Anthropogenic Disturbance on Snake Population Structure.
Deborah Cushman and Timothy Johnson are mentored by Rob Keys. Cushman and Johnson will be Using Electronic Field Recordings to Increase the Accuracy of Point Counts by Field Observers.
Grand Rapids Community College
Christine DeVries is mentored by Pam Laureto and will conduct a study of Invasive Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe Asteraceae) in the Restored Prairies at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute.
Grand Valley State University
Megan Harvey and Jessica Gilginas are mentored by Paul Keenlance and Joe Jacquot. The Harvey and Gilginas study will take a look at Spatial Ecology of Raccoons at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, in Relation to Raccoon Latrine Sites Known Foci for the Spread of Baylisascaris procyonis, Raccoon Roundworm.
Sara Leonard and Jessica Meppelink are mentored by Paul Keenlance and Joe Jacquot. The Leonard and Meppelink research is on distribution and prevalence of Baylisascaris procyonis in Raccoon Populations in Allegan and Barry Counties.
Melissa Overweg is mentored by Eric Snyder and will study the Influence of Riparian Wetlands on Lotic Ecosystems.
Danielle Bradke and Brooke Kiel are mentored by Jennifer Moore. Bradke and Kiel will conduct research on the Population Demography of Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes in Relation to Habitat Management.
Sarah Burnsvold and Kasey Marley are mentored by Zuhdi Aljobeh. Burnsvold and Marley will research Dynamic Water Quality Model for Brewster Lake—Simulation Phase.
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