GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 145-4
Presentation Time: 8:50 AM


SCHMITKONS, Jonathan P., Freshman Research Immersion, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY 13902 and GRANEY, Joseph R., Department of Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY 13902

In the fall of 2016, a team of STEM faculty across the Geology, Biology, and Environmental Studies disciplines began using the multi-disciplinary field of biogeochemistry to engage first-year students in a Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) under the umbrella of Binghamton University’s Freshman Research Immersion (FRI) program. In the fall of 2018 we continued with our third cohort of 25-30 students taking a three-course sequence: 1) a research methods course in the fall of Year 1, 2) followed by training in analytical techniques in the spring of Year1 that 3) culminates in completion of a research project in the Fall of Year 2. Through careful planning between the Department of Geological Sciences, the Environmental Studies Program and the University, this sequence has been designed to meet both major and gen-ed requirements. The FRI experience utilizes a tiered mentoring system integrating senior faculty, a designated biogeochemistry junior faculty member, and undergraduate peer mentors. Distinct from FRI’s other, non-geoscience-based streams, NSF IUSE funding allows some of the biogeochemistry students to engage in hands-on outdoor, field-based components of their research projects during the summer between the spring of Year 1 and fall of Year 2. This approach allows students to develop projects that incorporate and evaluate seasonality components critical to the understanding of many biogeochemical processes. The culmination of this program results in sophomore undergraduates presenting their research at local, regional, and national scientific conferences.