CREATING A COLLABORATIVE UNDERGRADUATE GEOSCIENCE RESEARCH COMMUNITY USING A HYBRID RESEARCH EXPERIENCE APPROACH
Each student participating in the ARO: 1) conducts a research project with a researcher or faculty member that stands alone but that addresses in some way the shared large-scale research question and 2) participates in an ongoing weekly scientific literature and research seminar course that examines the recent (last 65 million years) geologic evolution of Colorado and the American Southwest. Seminar participation promotes each student’s role as a peer mentor and a collaborator in answering a larger research question. We discuss the model of the multi-semester ARO and present preliminary data on attitude changes towards persisting in research among eleven participants, sophomores through seniors, after two semesters in the ARO. We argue that this hybrid model is an effective way to 1) encourage students to consider research earlier in their college career, 2) include students not accepted or not considering applying for individual research opportunities, 3) authentically represent the pace of research and 4) build a sustained long-term, supportive community among students, faculty, and university researchers.