Field research performed by Jacki Klancher, Darran Wells and Todd Guenther, collectively referred to as ICCE: the Interdisciplinary Climate Change Expedition will be one of the topics of discussion at a National Science Foundation Conference in Washington DC on Sept. 28.
Undergraduate research in the sciences at Central Wyoming College was initiated by Suki Smaglik more than a decade ago, and today numerous faculty members including Steve McAllister, Darran Wells, Tara Womack and Todd Guenther continue to advance student centered research at CWC.
Klancher will accompany representatives from the University of Wyoming including William Gern, vice president of the Office of Research and Economic Development, to discuss the role of undergraduate research and active learning at the community college level. The focus of Klancher’s presentation will be the role of undergraduate research in better preparing students for the future; both academically and professionally.
“ICCE has completely changed our student’s lives and how they succeed in the classroom; expeditions like this are expensive to deliver, but the outcomes are so positive that we need to see them continue,” Klancher said. “This research effort has helped students better connect with both classroom material and with their instructors; the results serve everyone. Connected students try harder, go farther and do it with enthusiasm. The research these students perform at CWC may well have permanent implications for their academic and professional pursuit of study and work in the sciences.”
Research performed by Klancher, Smaglik, Wells and Guenther is currently funded in part by funds recruited by UW and then delivered to CWC as sub-awards from the Wyoming Center for Environmental Hydrology (WYCEHG) and the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).
“With the University of Wyoming sharing those funds with the community colleges in Wyoming it has opened up a fantastic door for us and we have been able to completely transform student involvement in original field-based hydrologic, ecologic and archaeological research,” Klancher said.
Klancher said without the sub-award from the grant the UW received, there is no question that the water and glacier research her students are engaged in would be completely inaccessible.
“I hope ICCE will continue to be one of the projects supported by the University of Wyoming and their funders, and that additional partnerships with the USFS and other groups will solidify the future of this research,” Klancher said.