Linfield students spend summer on collaborative research

Single AntHow did you spend your summer vacation? Dozens of Linfield College students have a unique answer to that question thanks to collaborative research with Linfield professors.

The research took place in a broad cross-section of academic fields from the sciences to humanities and social sciences. According to the Office of Academic Affairs, 46 students worked with 29 faculty members on summer research. A combination of grants and endowments of more than $260,000 helped fund the research activities.

Many students gave presentations about their research to the campus community. Renee LaFountain ’18, Kiera Thurman ’16 and Sarah Rasmussen-Rehkopf ’16, for example, worked with biology professor Chad Tillberg on a project examining ants, Fender’s Blue Butterfly and herbicide. The project took them into the field to set ant traps and collect specimens near Eugene. Their project was titled “Plant Community Changes, and Grass-specific Herbicide Effects on the Mutualists and Predators of the Endangered Fender’s Blue Butterfly (FBB).”

“Collaborative research is awesome because it has allowed me to learn things I couldn’t have in a classroom, and has fueled my love for science,” Renee LaFountain said. “It’s an experience that will not only look good when I’m applying for medical school, but will also prepare me for the professional work world. Chad Tillberg, my advisor, makes this opportunity even more rewarding by pushing me to do my best, allowing me to take control of difficult tasks, and rooting for me when I need it.”

In addition to conducting research, students are asked to present their work to the Linfield College community near the end of the summer. This provides an opportunity for others to learn about their work but also helps prepare students for public presentation.