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    Connections Newsletter
    Issue 3                                                                                                                                         Spring Semester 2012


    A Note from the Collaborative Director

    Undergraduate Research: Adjusting to Life at a Liberal Arts College

    2012-2013 McNair Scholars

    Fall-Summer Collaborative Grants

    Convention Spotlight



    • Kaela Gedda
    • Jens Paasen
    • Gretchen Panzer
    • Hannah Schmitt
    • Luanne Spence
    • Sarah Titus
    Collaborative Research Stories


    Important Dates

    May 4, 2012 Student Academic Travel Grant and Attendee Grant applications due

    National Conference on Undergraduate Research

    Reflection on NCUR Experience

    Eric Gale

    At NCUR 2012, I was an active participant in a poster session. I presented my research to all willing listeners and received excellent critique and feedback on my work.ncurEGpic

    My poster session lasted for one hour and twenty minutes, and in that time I was rarely alone at my poster. I talked with many interested bystanders as well as a few fisheries biologists that were very interested in my work; one was from Idaho and had worked on the trout populations there for any years and the other was from Pennsylvania. The feedback that I received was overall very good. As previously mentioned, I had the opportunity to talk with some very well informed biologists from other parts of the country and their insight into my project was excellent regarding study size, improved statistical analysis, and even just ideas on the interpretation of my results thus far. Below is the abstract for my poster:

    The completion of Glen Canyon dam drastically altered the hydrology and ecology of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. Since then, several species of non-native fishes were also stocked, and the 15-mile long Lee’s Ferry reach below the dam has served as a premium ‘Blue Ribbon’ rainbow trout fishery. Changes in flow regime have impacted native and non-native fishes alike, including rainbow trout, through habitat and food-base changes. The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) began a long-term monitoring program of trout in 2000. This study focuses on the dietary habits of trout during the last 7 years. Trout were collected annually by electroshocking, sorted by age/size class, and their g.i. tracts were removed and individually fixed in formalin until further examination. All dietary items were identified and classified to family or species where possible. In total, 12 groups were identified including freshwater crustaceans, black flies, midges, and various species of snails. Results show that trout prey opportunistically but have a clear preference for black fly and midge larval and emergent stages, rather than the freshwater crustaceans that were stocked as a main food source. Further analyses will assess longitudinal trends and relationship between fish metrics and dietary habits. The results ultimately address how trout respond to changes in stream hydrology, a fluctuating food base and affect native fishes through predation, information that is critical to better understanding and managing the trout fishery and the fragile Grand Canyon ecosystem.

    Due to my participation in NCUR, I have gotten several new ideas that will help me in the analysis of my data. The biologist from Idaho that I chatted with talked with me about the way they manage trout there, and many of his ideas were very applicable to the Grand Canyon Trout that I am working with. I also received some ideas regarding improving my statistical analysis in order to more fully understand my data set and use it to its utmost potential.

    In addition to the project related ideas that I received and mentioned earlier, I also thoroughly enjoyed the aspect and opportunity to travel to an academic conference. I plan on attending many more conferences in the future, and this one proved to be a great stepping stone as far as what I should expect when presenting at an academic conference, how they are set up, and the importance of dutifully preparing one’s work for an event such as this one. I think NCUR provides a wonderful opportunity for SNC students to really experience an important part of research, explaining one’s work to some fresh minds and seeing what kind of ideas they can give you in order to improve your work. 




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