Freshmen Begin Month-Long Project At Mountain Research Station

Published: July 22, 1997

A pilot program for University of Colorado at Boulder incoming freshmen got underway this week as 10 students began working at the Mountain Research Station near Nederland.

Eight students from Colorado and two from out-of-state were chosen to participate in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) and study with CU faculty. Plans are to increase program participation significantly in the coming years.

“These students represent the top of their incoming class,” said Kim Malville, director of CU’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. Malville said the SURE program and other undergraduate research programs at CU may entice Colorado’s best students to stay and study in their home state. “Really, it’s time we start viewing undergraduates as our research colleagues,” he said.

The students, who are paid $6 an hour and receive free room and board, will live in a dorm for the first three weeks of the project and will be bused to the station. They will stay at the research station – which is run by the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research – the last week of the program.

Students will be exposed to a variety of environmental research projects including alpine hydrology and water chemistry, tree island research and the effects of bioturbation (animal disturbance - principally pocket gophers) on vegetation. In addition, they will conduct inventories of exotic weed infestation in Boulder open space, which is primarily a knapweed infestation area.

CU-Boulder faculty members Tim Seastedt and Bill Bowman from environmental, population and organismic biology, and Nel Caine and Mark Williams from the geography department will mentor the SURE participants.

Students will also receive tours of research facilities at the College of Engineering and Applied Science, the National Ice Core Laboratory, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the U.S. Geological Survey’s hydrology and mapping divisions and the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.

Students selected for the 1997 program are: Josie Bamford, Fort Collins; Megan Wilson, Lakewood; Peter Madlang, Littleton; Kathleen King, Colorado Springs; Nicholas Lubchenco, Simla, CO; Veronika Furst, Grand Junction; Andrew Neice, Thornton; Rodabe Navarose Amaria, Highlands Ranch; William H. Stafford, Riverside, CA; and Jill Michelle Dahlke, Roswell, GA.

For further information on the program or to visit the Mountain Research Station during the project, please contact Malville, UROP director (492-8766); Thomas Davinroy, SURE project director (492-4815); or Laurie Van Horn, CU-Boulder public relations (492-5188).