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April is Undergraduate Research Month!

Your guide to Week 3

Our April showcase of undergraduate student research features live events, videos, visual and written research abstracts – and more. Browse this week's research projects, and visit again next week for more projects to come. Don't forget to check out the calendar of live events!


This week, we celebrate Earth Day by highlighting student work related to conservation, sustainability, and the environment.  W&M undergrads across a variety of departments pursued research with "green" themes this past year.  We have collected these eco-friendly presentations and featured them on our Week 3 pages, along with a host of other excellent student work.  Happy Earth Day! 

Play our Earth Day Challenge Bingo!


This Week's Departmental Honors Videos

Seniors in the Departmental Honors Program pursue an intensive, yearlong research project under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Each Honors project culminates in a thesis and oral defense. This month they present their work in 3-minute videos. Check out the example video below and click through to see all of this week's videos.

{{youtube:medium|ZjNFabkUzuM, Sydney Fuhrig '21: May the Forest Be With You: A Study of Urban Green Space Composition in Richmond, VA}}

More Student Videos this Week

Students across Arts & Sciences completed 3-minute videos describing their research projects. Check out the example video below and click through to see all of this week's videos.

{{youtube:medium|bIK0wwzlnl4, Christian d'Orgeix '22, Elizabeth Davies '22, Clay Gibbons '21, Grace Pho '22: Milkweed Hybridization and Morphology}}

Written Abstracts from First-Year Monroe Scholar Projects

Students prepared abstracts describing their research in 250 words. Check out the sample abstract below and click through to see all of this week's abstracts. 

Laura Kirk '24: Ecoart: Exploring Public Art, Environmental Consciousness, And Community Engagement In Virginia (Community Engagement)
 

Ecoart: Exploring Public Art, Environmental Consciousness, And Community Engagement In Virginia

Despite heightened legislative and regulatory efforts, established methods of environmental preservation have done little to stem the rapid global tide of ecological devastation. Arguably, this failure is tied to the inability of legislation and regulation to transform environmental consciousness at the individual level. This study examines how ecoart, a form of public art created with environmental motivations, can mobilize individuals and communities at the grassroots level. An array of existing literature has examined the profound implications of ecoart, detailing how this tool can radically alter the way individuals view their relationship to the environment. This change influences pro-environmental behaviors, accumulating at the aggregate level and resulting in more sustainable progress and community-wide engagement. This study aims to build upon existing academic knowledge by exploring examples of ecoart in the state of Virginia. Nine case studies were examined through oral in-depth interviews with eleven Virginia ecoartists. Participants were asked a series of questions aimed at discerning their methods, motivations, and outcomes. This data was synthesized in nine narrative accounts for each ecoart project, displaying how the artists employed the tools of ecoart to achieve environmental goals within their communities. These case studies resoundingly confirm the benefits of ecoart, illustrating how community art projects circumvent traditional forms of environmental preservation in order to more effectively engage individual environmental consciousness and promote meaningful, widespread change. This project, including the literature review and artist interviews, can be accessed at virginiaecoart.weebly.com.

Faculty advisor: Professor Elizabeth Miller

Visual Abstracts

 Click through the slide show to view this week's Earth Day Visual Abstracts. Click through to see the rest of this week's visual abstracts

  • Analysis and Visualization of Migratory Bird Hunting Data with USFWS

    Lauren Kohout '21; Analysis and Visualization of Migratory Bird Hunting Data with USFWS

  • Measuring Zebrafish Anxiety: A Comparative Analysis

    Natalie Zyblut '22; Measuring Zebrafish Anxiety: A Comparative Analysis

  • Quaternary Sea-Level Change and Surficial Geology on the Eastern Shore of Virginia

    Cameron Clarke '22; Quaternary Sea-Level Change and Surficial Geology on the Eastern Shore of Virginia

  • Using Topology to Analyze Antarctic Firn Samples

    Erin Cronce '22; Using Topology to Analyze Antarctic Firn Samples

  • Nectar Availability on Pollinator Abundance in the United States over Time

    Maria Belen Giro Martin '21; Nectar Availability on Pollinator Abundance in the United States over Time

  • Factors Influencing Frog Occupancy in Breeding Ponds

    Patrick Hardner '22; Factors Influencing Frog Occupancy in Breeding Ponds

  • Zinc Concentrations in the Eight Main Tributaries of the Lake Matoaka Watershed

    Greta Mattheis '21; Zinc Concentrations in the Eight Main Tributaries of the Lake Matoaka Watershed

  • The role of habitat and environmental variables in behavioral time budgets of a marsh-obligate butterfly

    Logan Rakes '22; The role of habitat and environmental variables in behavioral time budgets of a marsh-obligate butterfly

  • ARabia and the Anthropocene

    Neel Simpson '22; ARabia and the Anthropocene

  • Mimulus Flowers and Biological Pattern Generation

    Weizheng Yuan '21; Mimulus Flowers and Biological Pattern Generation