The original vision for the CNR Student Research Symposium came from Victor Phillips, former Dean of the College of Natural Resources, who expressed interest in creating a venue for students to display -- and be recognized for -- their research work. The symposium is planned and executed by a steering committee made up of students working with faculty/staff. (If you're interested in being on this committee or have ideas, email CNRURS@uwsp.edu for more information.)
The symposium is held in the CNR Main Lobby and adjoining lecture rooms. It has annually featured the work of approximately 100 undergraduate students who display and explain their research projects to peers, faculty, and visitors. Presenters choose to be evaluated or not on their work and presentation, with highest honors being awarded to the upper quartile. This is an opportunity for students to receive direct feedback and critiques from judges and faculty with the aim to improve the student’s future work. In this way, the CNR Student Research Symposium offers students the opportunity to hone their presentation skills in preparation for a professional career.
The CNR Symposium is often accompanied by a photo contest organized entirely by students and sponsored by UWSP chapter of Xi Sigma Pi. It attracts over 100 entries, and provides an excellent sideshow that blends with the scheduled agenda of the symposium itself. The photo contest usually awards 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes for the top entries (voted on by their peers) in flora, fauna, and scenic and international categories.
The CNR Student Research Symposium attracts between 400 and 500 spectators and coincides with the CNR Celebration Evening. Without a doubt, this event raises the bar of scholarly activities for CNR students. For families attending, the symposium is a great photo opportunity and a chance to see the excellent education their children are participating in. For the CNR and UWSP, the symposium is a reason to celebrate student accomplishments by providing a performance platform for them, a means for showcasing the work of the College's greatest achievements -- its students.