Paleontology students

Since 2003, undergraduate students in Patricia Kelley’s GLY 337 Invertebrate Paleontology course have conducted semester-long team research projects as part of the laboratory component of the course. Students work as teams to develop and test paleoecological and/or evolutionary hypotheses using field-collected or archived fossiliferous sediment samples. Following sample processing, specimen identification, and data collecting and analysis, students write a research paper using the format of a professional paper, with individually written and team-written parts, and present their results orally. After completion, one or more abstracts based on the class results are submitted to a Geological Society of America regional or national meeting. Typically, with support from CSURF, several students attend the meeting and present the posters. This approach allows students to experience authentic research from conception to dissemination. Since 2003 the course has been offered seven times, resulting in 13 abstracts published and presented. This experience in conducting research and presenting it to a professional audience has led many students in the class to seek further research experiences in paleontology, including graduate degrees.  For instance, eight students have continued their research as undergraduate DIS projects, two students completed MS Geology requirements with theses in paleontology at UNCW, and one student from the 2003 cohort, René Shroat-Lewis, completed her PhD at University of Tennessee and is now teaching at Eastern Connecticut State University - all thanks to an undergraduate class research project!

 

palentology students Hiking