Abstract (150 words max):
Are your restoration efforts effective? Are your volunteer work days achieving their goals? Is that new outreach program working? Not-for-profit organizations work tirelessly to engage their community and conserve natural ecosystems, but may lack the resources to address important research questions like these. Don’t despair- help may be at hand! Colleges and universities seek high-impact opportunities for their undergraduate students, and what may seem like a problem to you might be a great opportunity for them. Collaborative research projects can meet the needs of resource-constrained organizations while providing undergraduates with invaluable hands-on experiences. Faculty and students have expertise in diverse disciplines, from ecology to education. This interactive workshop will explore what faculty mentors and their students can offer, and how you can develop and implement meaningful research to address your questions while contributing to the development of budding professionals. Participants will have the opportunity to begin designing a collaborative project.
Presenter 1 Organization:
Biology Department & Office of Undergraduate Research & Scholarship, Grand Valley State University
Presenter 1 Biography:
Dr. Hunt has worked in diverse ecosystems- deserts to streams- in Oregon, California, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas and Michigan. She and her students have studied the ecology of diverse vertebrates as well as restoration of riparian habitat of inland lakes. She worked with faculty in Nicaragua to infuse research-centered approaches into their ecology, environmental science and ecotourism curricula. She teaches courses in environmental science, ecology, agroecology, and animal behavior at GVSU, specializing in interdisciplinary courses that explore complex topics through diverse lenses.She loves working with undergraduate students as well as members of the community. She mentored her first undergraduate while a graduate student, and has collaborated with more than 60 undergraduate researchers since then. She participated in the dynamic meeting that led to the founding of the West Michigan Conservation Network, served on its Steering Committee, presented at the first Stewardship Network Conference, and continues participating in the Stewardship Network.