Tyler Gampp ('17, Chemistry)

Tyler GamppWhat do you do for your undergraduate research?

Last year I was accepted into the NOAA Holling's Program, which consisted of a summer internship and academic stipend. I chose to conduct my internship in Port Aransas, TX with the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve in conjunction with the University of Texas Marine Science Institute. My goal was to create datasets that incorporated interactive elements with Science On a Sphere (SOS) to increase audience engagement. SOS is a 3-D model of Earth that can be easily manipulated to visualize atmospheric, oceanic and geographic data so that it may be more readily understood. Specifically, I created datasets that revolved around estuarine and oceanic literacy principles with interactive guessing games, and data manipulation. These datasets were incorporated into docent scripts that focused on Texas high school principles and community audiences. In addition, a SOS guide was created to better inform educators on how to create their own datasets, or to update current ones. This information was then presented at a NOAA symposium in Washington D.C. and submitted to the SOS development team to be posted on the NOAA website so that it would accessible to other SOS sites.

To continue my research with Dr. Nathaniel Grove, I asked him to work with me on my honors thesis. After several discussions on what I should do, we decided to investigate cognitive load within the lecture classroom. Previous studies, had focused on measuring cognitive load outside the classroom, and not actually during a lecture. Thus, we decided to measure the heart rate of various students through a series of general chemistry lectures in hopes that a correlation could be established. However, the data is still being analyzed with hopes of being presented at the next showcase.

What made you want to pursue an undergraduate research project?

In the beginning, I reached out to Dr. Grove to become more involved in chemistry because I wanted more experience outside the classroom. I had never been exposed to research much in high school because it wasn't something that my school emphasized. Therefore, I got involved to learn more about research in general and to establish connections within the department.

How did you start your research project?

In January of 2014, I became involved with Dr. Nathaniel's research group. I volunteered time to create assessments for various general chemistry chapters to utilize uRespond, an interactive technology that was designed to strength instructor and student connections by providing productive feedback to the instructor through interactive assessments based off knowledge presented during lecture.

Was doing your own research fun? Be Honest.

Yes! It has been fun getting to know my advisor, and the chemistry department in general. It has allowed me to establish a connection with the chemistry department that I wouldn't have had without my research experience. In addition, it has been a great opportunity that has lead to many more and an immense amount of experience in conducting various types of research.

It isn't required to do research as an undergrad, so what advantages do you think this experience has provided you?

It sets you apart from most students. I also believe that it truly helped me achieve a NOAA Hollings Scholarship, which has provided me with a much larger network of science professionals and experience. In addition, it has increased my abilities to complete tasks on my own since most of the research and tasks are independently done.

What recognition and/or grants did you receive for your research?

Participation in American Chemical Society Poster Presentation

Participation in Showcase of Student Research and Creativity

Distinguished Undergraduate Research Scholar

What are your plans after you receive your degree from UNCW?

In all honesty, they are currently undetermined. I have spent a lot of my time at UNCW in various departments across campus, and have yet to decide what the plan is from this point on. I thoroughly enjoyed my research and position over the summer, and hope to get involved with a similar position. My future goals include acquiring a Master's with a plan to pursue a Ph.D. someday.

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