By Megan Hoert Hughes

Steve Matson, Dean of The Graduate School, presents awards to winners of the 2018 Summer Undergraduate Pipeline Research Symposium.
Steve Matson, Dean of The Graduate School, presents awards to winners of the 2018 Summer Undergraduate Pipeline Research Symposium.

On July 25, 2018, more than 130 undergraduate researchers from fourteen different programs came together for poster and oral presentations at the 4th Annual Summer Undergraduate Pipeline Research Symposium hosted by The Graduate School at UNC-Chapel Hill. Eight of these scholars are part of the 2018-2019 cohort of IDEA 2.0 (Increasing Diversity and Enhancing Academia) a National Science Foundation-funded program of the UNC Institute for the Environment. 

Will Hamilton (far right of top photo), an environmental sciences major, won an award for his poster titled “Isolating Storm Flow Events to Better Understand Nutrient Transport in the Jordan Lake Watershed.” Hamilton was mentored by Diego Riveros-Irequi, an assistant Professor in the Department of Geography, and Joseph Delesantro, a graduate student in the ecology department.

IDEA 2.0 student Abby Fancher (Geology) shares her bivalves research with Karl Castillo, associate professor of marine sciences and Cortland Gilliam a doctoral student in education.
IDEA 2.0 student Abby Fancher shares her bivalves research with Karl Castillo, associate professor of marine sciences and Cortland Gilliam a doctoral student in education.

One IDEA 2.0 student, Abby Fancher, a geology major with minors in geography and studio art, completed a project titled “Latitudinal Patterns in Lifespan and Growth Rate of Pliocene Glycymeris subovata” under the mentorship of Donna Surge, a professor in geological sciences, and  David Moss, a research assistant in geological sciences. Fancher plans to continue work in the Surge lab during the academic year and present her research at the upcoming Geological Society of America Annual Meeting.

IDEA 2.0 student Madeline Hunt presents her research on conductivity-depth-temperature sensor data correction.

Another student, Madeline Hunt, a geophysics and physics major, presented a project titled “Technique for Removing Salinity Spiking from Conductivity-Depth-Temperature Sensor Data” under the mentorship of Harvey Seim, a professor of marine science, and Sara M. Haines, a research associate in the Department of Marine Sciences. Hunt’s project came up with a method for correcting salinity data obtained from underwater gliders used as part of the PEACH (Processes driving Exchange at Cape Hatteras) project and she plans to present her research at the Mid-Atlantic Bight Physical Oceanography and Meteorology Meeting (MABPOM).

The 2018-2019 cohort will continue to meet throughout the academic year for geoscience-focused “Saturday Intensives.”  For more information on IDEA 2.0, please contact Megan Hoert Hughes at meganhughes@unc.eduHughes is the program coordinator for IDEA. Kathleen Gray, director of the Environmental Resource Program, associate director for IE’s Outreach and Public Service and a clinical assistant professor; and Drew Colman, professor and chair of the Department of Geological Sciences are co-principal investigators for IDEA 2.0.

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