2021 Undergraduate Summer Research Institute

June 14 - July 23

Participants spend six weeks working closely with faculty mentors and other undergraduate research students.

Students and faculty meet weekly for lunch and discussion about their projects.

Stipends of up to $1,000 are available for some students, and on-campus housing is available to students who perform 10 hours/week of additional work for an on-campus department.

For more information, contact Dr. Kathleen Trujillo or 563-333-6197.

Apply online

Past Topics

(not an exhaustive list)

Dr. Dennis Tarasi: An Evaluation of Invasive and Endangered Plant Communities of Scott County Roadsides
Some of the best remaining prairie habitat in Iowa is along county and state roadsides. Scott County is in dire need of more data about the quality and condition of their roadsides, particularly about the presence of endangered and invasive species. Student researchers will sample plant communities around the county to identify those sites that should be of highest priority for management and conservation.

Dr. Katie Trujillo: Therapy Dogs and Stress
This is an ongoing study designed to determine whether therapy dogs can reduce the stress levels of family members of surgical or cardiac patients (they share a waiting room at Genesis East) while they are waiting for him/her. The hypothesis is that immediate family members of patients who are waiting for their loved ones to be done with surgery or a cardiac procedure will experience lowered stress levels as a result of interacting with a therapy dog.

Dr. Robert Mitchell: Comparing Spectroscopic Distance Calculations of Different Supernova Types
This project uses the Expanding Photosphere Method (EPM) to compute the distances to supernovae from the temperature and ejection speed of the supernova debris. Temperature is calculated from the color photometry, while speed is determined from the Doppler shift in the spectrum. EPM assumes the supernova is a perfect blackbody radiator; therefore, a flux dilution factor must be determined to account for the supernova not being a true blackbody. Currently, this can be empirically determined only for Type II-P supernovae. This project tests EPM and the existing dilution factor calculations for other types of supernovae to see if the existing calculations work as well for them or if new calculations are needed.

Dr. Joseph Hebert: The Politics of Ethics
This project will explore the special challenges faced by conscientious citizens confronting repressive political regimes through the study of writings by Thomas More, Frederick Douglass and Vaclav Havel. Questions will include the nature of conscience and its relation to political authority, the duties of citizens confronted by oppressive governments, the internal and external resources available for responding, and the prudential considerations governing effective opposition.

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