This year, the annual Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity Showcase (CURC), hosted by CSU TILT, held a virtual “iPoster” session that yielded 13 awards for research conducted by Warner College undergraduate students.
The showcase features work from undergraduates at Colorado State University’s eight colleges as well as students from visiting institutions ranging from CSU Pueblo to the University of Wisconsin System.
CURC entries are from every discipline and are judged by faculty, graduate students and professionals across a wide range of disciplines. The poster session offers students an opportunity to showcase what they have learned as a result of their scholarly research, scientific inquiry or creative endeavors.
Warner College students from the Skills for Undergraduate Participation in Ecological Research (SUPER) Program took home 10 percent of the 70 awards given, including “Best in Show” and several “highest honors” and “high honors” awards.
The SUPER Program brings together teaching from the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability (ESS) with research mentoring performed largely by Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory (NREL) scientists. The two-semester SUPER program prepares students for research-oriented jobs and graduate school by equipping them with time management, communication and data management skills.
Students then embark on a research project with a mentor from Warner College to guide them from literature review through research and presentation of results and experiences. Students can then present their research projects at poster sessions like CURC.
SUPER student Ryan Bridges took home three awards for two posters submitted. His SUPER poster was titled “Understanding Rainy Season Onset and Cessation in Western Uganda,” which won a WCNR College award and a second-place award from The Energy Institute.
Bridges said participating in a virtual session was a different experience, but the platform worked well in that he was able to see everyone’s work digitally. The experience did however provide some obstacles.
“The difficult part about the virtual presentation was not being able to work alongside my mentors and team members in person. Keeping in touch online was a challenge, but overall I think we created some pretty cool posters,” he said.
What Bridges said helped him to succeed in the iposter session was his work with his SUPER mentor Jonathan Salerno and his mentor Steven Fassnacht, both professors at Warner College of Natural Resources.
“Steve and Jonathan provided great support and feedback. Their guidance and expertise really allowed me to pave my own path and discover what I wanted to pursue for research for my projects.”
Stacy Lynn, SUPER instructor and research scientist at NREL, said the wins for SUPER program students reflect their commitment to undergraduate research in the area of ecology.
“These posters take a great commitment from both students and the mentors who guide and teach them,” Lynn said. “Their accomplishment in the CURC showcase highlights the SUPER program’s success in mentoring their undergraduate research.”
The following are CURC awards earned by Warner College Undergraduates:
The SUPER program is designed for Colorado State University (CSU) sophomores and juniors who are interested in gaining experience in ecological research. For more information, visit the SUPER program website.
To view all submitted posters and see the full list of CURC award winners, visit the Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity website.