Abstract Detail

The Science of Meaningful Undergraduate Research Experiences

Clement, Wendy [1].

From a love of art to an eye for detail: Connecting undergraduates with research opportunities in plant systematics.

Connecting undergraduates with plant systematics research in my experience has had a number of origin stories, from students sharing their love of botanical illustration to expressing an interest in computer science. Here, I will discuss the successful pathways that I helped guide for three students I mentored during my career at The College of New Jersey, a primarily undergraduate institution (PUI). I primarily focus on the pathway of a recent graduate whose project grew from a passion for art and resulted in an evolutionary study of leaf fusion in honeysuckles. Regardless of the spark and subsequent research direction of any particular student, intentionally designed components of my approach to mentoring include holding weekly group and individual meetings, providing opportunities to connect with local collaborators, traveling to regional herbaria and arboreta, and attending conferences with undergraduates. These strategies have figured prominently in helping my students identify with their research and foster a collaborative and supportive lab environment. Additionally, providing opportunities for students to not only participate in but develop outreach events that involve their research in systematics has provided much needed training as well as first hand exposure for the need for high quality science communication. It is my hope that the collection of experiences presented here demonstrates the significant contributions made to plant systematics from engaging undergraduates in meaningful research experiences.

1 - The College of New Jersey, Department of Biology, 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ, 08628, USA

Undergraduate research

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: COL10, The Science of Meaningful Undergraduate Research Experiences
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Friday, July 31st, 2020
Time: 12:30 PM
Number: COL10001
Abstract ID:773
Candidate for Awards:None

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