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Undergraduate Student Research

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This is the place to turn your passion into a project

Nathan Ferguson transferred to Virginia Tech and graduated with dual majors in fish and wildlife conservation after finding a home in the college’s warm learning environment. He discovered a passion for research, joining lab groups and collaborating with professors on projects involving fisheries science and entomology. Ferguson was able to gain valuable research experience and build his resume while working in paid positions. “The level of involvement I’ve been able to get as an undergrad has been truly remarkable,” said Ferguson

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.

Student research in the news

A person in a wetsuit stands in a stream.

Austin Holloway, a wildlife conservation major, was named CNRE’s 2023 Outstanding Senior and amassed an impressive tally of field and research experiences.

Some of the highlights of his undergraduate experience included: building artificial habitats and tagging Eastern hellbenders, placing traps and recording data to determine the range of spongy moths in remote wilderness areas, and studying chronic wasting disease in deer.

Find your research niche and locate funding

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. Visit these sites to learn more about opportunities for conducting undergraduate research:

Students tackle real-time packaging challenges

Packaging students monitor and measure a pallet test hero

At the college’s Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design, students are asked to find solutions for packaging problems that companies face. The result is a collaborative effort that connects leading companies with expert professors and students eager to take on the challenges of the packaging industry. The center also hires paid student interns who work on research projects, while simultaneously gaining certifications they can carry into the job market.