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FYRES: Research

FYRES students investigating Castle Park duneFYRES students installing sand traps and making measurements at the Castle Park dune in Fall 2011.

Increasing and Communicating our Scientific Understanding of Dunes

FYRES students and Research Mentors advance knowledge by investigating interesting questions about the dunes. In many cases, the research question is of particular interest to a specific person, group or organization, such as state or county park managers or a conservation organization.

FYRES research teams are constructed from some combination of students (such as 4) and one or two Research Mentors. Early in the fall semester, the Mentors do preparatory work on the topic while the students are building their research skills at different dune sites. Then students and Mentors work together for roughly six weeks to design and carry out an investigation of the topic. Most Mentors continue the research into the spring semester. The research projects are communicated in several venues:

  • The students give a poster presentation at the Calvin Environmental Assessment Program (CEAP) poster fair.
  • The students give an oral presentation to an audience including their classmates, faculty/students from of the Geology, Geography and Environmental Studies department, and area dune managers.
  • Mentors present the projects at a regional conference,such as the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters in February 2014.
  • Mentors produce a written report on the research projects.

Research Information

FYRES 2013-2014 produced 5 research projects, 4 conference posters, and 4 research reports are currently in progress.

FYRES 2012-2013 produced 6 research projects, 6 presentations (5 papers and 1 poster) at the North-Central meeting of the Geological Society of America, and 5 research reports.

FYRES 2011-2012 produced 4 research projects, 5 presentations (3 papers and 2 posters) at the Michigan Academy in March 2012, and 3 research reports.