Last weekend I was very fortunate to travel to Vancouver, Washington to attend the Murdock Charitable Trust Undergraduate Research Conference, co-hosted by Lewis and Clark College. Part of the mission of the Murdock Charitable Trust is to fund physical and life science research laboratories across the Pacific Northwest in order to “strengthen the region’s educational and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways”( http://www.murdock-trust.org/grants/college-science-research.php) . Linfield is fortunate enough to be a beneficiary of research funding, and thus we attend the conference. The Biology, Physics, and Chemistry departments traveled to the conference with research posters in hand, ready to learn. In preparation for the conference, students create research posters (4’X3’) to summarize our projects over the summer, and in some cases, as my own, research that has extended before and after the summer term.
Of the 11 schools that attended, both the Life sciences and the physical sciences gave 15 research talks, each 20 minutes with a 5 minute Q and A session. The following day was filled with poster presentations, where each research laboratory presented their posters to judges, faculty, and other students from the region. It was absolutely mind-blowing to hear and learn about other undergraduate research that happens all across the region. I learned about protein-folding, cadmium and bone depression, frogs in Costa Rica, Malaria vaccinations, and even talked to other fruit fly people, which was really exciting. Overall, I learned so much, and it was great practice to listen to others’ presentations, as well as practice our own presentation skills. This conference reminded me how fortunate I am to be involved with undergraduate research, and especially how awesome it is that we can travel to conferences like this to network and learn about other research that is happening around the region. I am happy to be a wildcat.
Until next time,