The Science Undergraduate Research Initiative: Environmental
Research experience is vital for students. The Science Undergraduate Research Initiative (SURI): Environmental is designed to give students field and lab experience by letting them perform research on a variety of topics, such as stream and shoreline sampling, water quality analysis, biological inventories, and carbon dioxide sequestration in forests and its value both ecologically and economically. We launch into research projects that benefit our local community based on expressed need from area environmental agencies.
Through SURI, students learn the practical skills every scientist needs to know, like how to fine-tune their scientific writing and develop presentation skills. They learn how to read scientific literature and gain a better grasp of environmental issues and how true science works to collect the data, draw conclusions, and propose solutions. But most importantly, they begin to think of themselves as scientists. The best part, however, is that our classroom is most often outdoors, where we learn sampling techniques and interact with the natural world!
The SURI program is recognized by some of the finest universities in the area and will transfer as research equivalent or elective credit in the biological sciences. And the program isn't just for JCC students; it’s open to students from other colleges as well as College Connections high school students who have successfully completed the prerequisites for the course.
Interested in the program? E-mail Jan Bowman, Associate Professor of Biology for details or give her a call at 716.338.1347.
Tier I vs. Tier II
This course gives students exposure to both working in the field and to genuine laboratory environments where the practical application of the scientific method in the context of research projects occurs. It is divided into field/laboratory experience and a weekly three hour colloquium where students receive lectures on key topics and present papers. The colloquium also trains students in lab notebook-keeping, scientific presentation skills, and reading/presenting scientific literature in the area of environmental science. When students enroll, they will be assigned to one of two tiers based on their prior coursework and experience, but are blended together into a single course:
Tier I students have completed a first-year Principles of Biology course. They are required to understand and explain the methods used and data presented in scientific literature and in their own research.
Tier II students have taken one or more advanced courses in biology, such as Principles of Biology II, Zoology, Botany, or Conservation Biology. They are expected to be able to understand and explain the underlying concepts in scientific literature and in their own research at an undergraduate level. This includes the methods, results, and conclusions drawn in the research.
If you're interested in applying for SURI: Environmental, please contact Jan Bowman, Associate Professor of Biology at 716.338.1347 or by e-mail.