GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 133-9
Presentation Time: 3:50 PM


GRANEY, Joseph R. and STAMP, Nancy E., Department of Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies, Binghamton University, State University of New York, Science 1 Building, Binghamton, NY 13902,

A team of five STEM faculty across the Geology, Biology and Environmental Studies disciplines will use the multi-disciplinary field of biogeochemistry to engage students early in their college years in research applicable to Geoscience careers. The Freshman Research Immersion (FRI) will have a cohort of 25-30 biogeochemistry students each year. The biogeochemistry research stream will consist of a three course sequence: 1) a research methods course in the fall, 2) followed by training in analytical techniques in the spring that 3) culminates in completion of a research project the following fall. The FRI sequence of courses emphasizes teamwork, thus providing explicit training to undergraduates for how to work in research teams. A PhD-trained research educator will oversee the courses and provide day to day mentoring and oversight for the students. NSF IUSE funding will allow the FRI students to engage in hands-on outdoor, field based components of their research projects during the summer between the spring and fall. This approach will allow students to develop projects that incorporate and evaluate seasonality components critical to the understanding of many biogeochemical processes. Modern and ancient lake and ocean sediments, the atmosphere, watersheds and wetlands will provide field sites and samples for the biogeochemistry research. As a part of the outreach program, high school educators and several of their students will participate in summer workshops where they will learn about FRI opportunities by directly interacting with the FRI students, faculty and staff. In turn, the FRI students and their achievements will be used to develop an outreach program that includes visits to high schools and community colleges to recruit students for the program.