Students Gather to Learn About Undergraduate Research
Brian Luedtke
The College of Natural Resources (CNR) Undergraduate Research Symposium Committee of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) held a meeting on Monday night at 6:00 p.m. to introduce students to the research process and the upcoming symposium.
The symposium is an annual event and a venue for undergraduate researchers to showcase their work, particularly through poster and oral presentations, and to be recognized for their research.

Students like senior Joel Stokdyk and sophomore Nigel Golden have positively impacted participants by their experiences conducting undergraduate research.

"I had a conversation with Dr. Michitsch in which I expressed interest in research; he was very willing to help me get involved. His contribution is paramount to my undergraduate education, opening up exciting and engaging opportunities to learn," said Stokdyk, a Soil Science major.

"My research has affected me in a number of ways. I have been through every process of research, from trying to get funded, going out and doing the experimental design, reading up on literature to trying to see if I can learn from anything or anybody else. I am more knowledgeable about how to do research," said Golden, a Wildlife Ecology major.

Topics discussed at the meeting included how to find a research mentor, how to formulate a research plan, finding funds for research and presenting at the UWSP CNR Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Stokdyk is a veteran undergraduate researcher who recently returned from the ASA, CSSA and SSSA International Annual Meetings in San Antonio, Texas, where he presented his research on "Effects of Compost Tea on Microbial Biomass Carbon and Nitrogen."

"Taking part in the convention was a great experience overall. It opened my eyes to the expanse of opportunities in soil and crop science," Stokdyk said. "There were 4,000-plus professionals, professors and students. It was an expo for instruments, machines, probes…oral presentations given by researchers and poster sessions. I came away with an appreciation for the expansive possibilities in the field and several specific interesting research topics."

"My research is on how commonly free ranging white-tailed deer are exposed to several diseases out of two sites in Wisconsin: Shiocton and Winter," Golden said. "My future research plan is to graduate and go for my masters degree and Ph.D. What I specifically want to research, I don’t know yet, but I will do research."

The UWSP CNR Undergraduate Research Symposium is held in the CNR Main Lobby and first floor lecture halls, and this year will take place on Friday, March 30, 2012. Approximately 50 students present every year to 400-500 spectators. All students are welcome to present at the symposium. Visit www.uwsp. edu/cnr/research/symposium or e-mail for more information.