Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ferrum College's Climate Research Opportunities

Ferrum College offers an excellent undergraduate program and great opportunities for environmental research. Ferrum College professors Bob Pohlad and Carolyn Thomas are part of a team that will receive $494,980 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for environmental research related to climate change.

The money will be used to establish a national ecological and education network that will begin with 12 primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs) and expand to colleges and universities throughout the United States. The work has been shown to be significant both in terms of tracking environmental issues, and increased student learning and understanding.

Collaborative projects engage students in scientific research while teaching them basic ecology, “It’s unusual for undergraduate students to be able to do this kind of research,” said Thomas.

“It’s important to point out that students at Ferrum College and the 11 other PUIs, will be out in the woods and wading streams — taking measurements, studying wildlife, and learning how to use the data.” Thomas explained that the data is combined with research from other institutions, so scientists can measure changes over time.

"What is most important," Thomas expained, is that “students will be learning, while the world gains a clearer picture of what’s happening around us.”

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