Student Research

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This is the place to turn your passion into a project

That’s exactly what Dylan Willard was able to do when his love of skateboarding led him to look into the possibility of recycling skateboard decks. An initial inquiry into whether he could use the facilities at the Brooks Forest Products Center turned into a formal research project in which he created wooden panels made of strips of skateboards and tested the samples for various qualities. As a result of his work, he’s already written and published a research paper with his professor, Joseph Loferski.

You’ll meet plenty of undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Natural Resources and Environment who are doing their own research projects or working with a faculty member. Check out Dylan's video and talk to a faculty member about your own research niche.

A female transcontinental bicyclist for Bike the U.S. for M.S. with outstretched arms a lake and tree covered mountains in the background.

Combining research and a good cause

Geography major Emily Gregory wanted to spend her summer pedaling with Bike the US for MS but also wanted to complete a research project, so she found a way to combine her two passions. While completing the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail, Gregory used GIS, field observations, and interviews to explore the link between food deserts and socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. She earned credit for her research and later presented her findings at a regional meeting of the American Association of Geographers.

Meet some of our research partners

Jaguar in Belize, photographed as part of Professor Marcella Kelly’s carnivore research

Internship - Tim Greene
Jaguar in Belize, photographed as part of Professor Marcella Kelly’s carnivore research

Trees in the old-growth urban forest at Stadium Woods

Internship - Tim Greene
Trees in the old-growth urban forest at Stadium Woods

Endangered mussels from the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Center

Internship - Tim Greene
Endangered mussels from the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Center

As a wildlife conservation major, Deirdre Conroy built much of her undergraduate career around research. She began working with Professor Marcella Kelly during her freshman year, entering data for a camera trapping project. After completing projects on bat composition and diversity, she traveled to Belize to study how sustainable logging impacts jaguars.    

Find your research niche

Our research happens on local, regional, national, and international scales. It’s applied, practical, and often interdisciplinary. And it focuses on the most important issues of our time. Learn more by checking out opportunities at these centers and institutes:

For graduate students

Independent research is a critical part of the program of study for most graduate students. Check out our list of faculty experts and connect with those who may have projects in your area of interest.