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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 FYRES 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:

FYRES itself is a research project to investigate whether/how participation in research helps students learn about science. The investigators who have focused on analysing the FYRES experience include two faculty (Deanna van Dijk, Crystal Bruxvoort) and several students (FYRES Coordinators Merideth Beukelman and Jake Anderson, and the FYRES Mentors in 2012-2013). Presentations on their results are listed under Conference Presentations.

Research Information

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FYRES 2013-2014 produced 5 research projects, 4 conference posters at the Michigan Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters in February 2014, and 4 research reports.

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.