Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Experiences in Geosciences for Physical Science and Engineering Students

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Solomon Bililign, North Carolina A & T State University, Physics, Greensboro, NC, United States, Keith Schimmel, North Carolina A & T State University, Energy and Environmental Systems, Greensboro, NC, United States, Yuh Lang Lin, North Carolina A & T State University, Department of Physics and Energy and Environmental Systems, Greensboro, NC, United States and Amy Germuth, EvalWorks, Durham, NC 27705, United States
The recruitment of undergraduate students, especially minorities, into geoscience career paths continues to be a challenge. One approach for addressing this issue involves providing geoscience research experiences. Therefore, the outcomes of an undergraduate research program (REU) focused on recruiting science (physics, mathematics, chemistry) and engineering (electrical) students for an interdisciplinary research experience in geosciences will be presented. The program design has several unique features that include: (1) projects with clear societal implications, (2) projects involve multiple faculty members (at least two) and expose students to interdisciplinary approaches and thinking, (3) partnerships between national labs and universities to provide cutting-edge research, educational, and professional development opportunities for students, (4) student engagement in the creation of personalized professional development plans, (5) combined summer and academic year research experiences. Pre- and post-assessment results, successes, and challenges will be presented.