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Summer Research: 2012 Projects

2012 science summer research projects

During the summer of 2012, 91 students worked on 53 different research projects across the science division.

Students were involved in a wide variety of research projects both on and off campus.  Some research dealt with diseases, other research with environmental concerns. Students investigated nanomolecular building projects, studied asteroid collisions, and examined psychological outcomes of spirituality and religiosity in emerging adults. Research took place in campus labs and outdoors.  Some students traveled to other states as part of their research and some “traveled” to outer space.

Read the Chimes article about the 2012 summer research program.>>

Below is a sampling of 2012 projects:


  • Kevin Peterson, supervised by Professors Randy Van Dragt and Randy DeJong, was part of an ongoing study of the biotic communities at Calvin's Flat Iron Lake Nature Preserve, focusing particularly on Flat Iron Lake itself. See the poster he prepared for the Science Division Summer Research Poster Fair.

Chemistry and Biochemistry

  • Caleb Uitvlugt studied the impact of organic molecules called catechols on the oxidation and reduction potentials of a metal ion. The catechols are what could stop diseases like Alzheimers. Caleb was supervised by Professor Chad Tatko. Read more>>

Computer science


  • Caleb Reese and Lucas Timmer worked with Professor Matt Heun on the project "Economic development transitions, energy and carbon constraints, and innovation." See the poster they prepared for the Science Division Summer Research Poster Fair.

Geology, geography and environmental studies

Melissa Braun traveled to southeast Montana for her investigations of late Cretaceous Paleoecology. She was supervised by Professor Ralph Stearley. Read her one page summary of her work.


Mathematics and statistics

  • Anthony Meyer and Nick Visser worked with Professor Michael Bolt on a project concerning analytical functions. See the poster they prepared for the Science Division Summer Research Poster Fair.

Physics and astronomy

Professor Larry Molnar and his student researchers, Hannah Pagel and Sam Van Kooten, studied asteroid collisions and asteroid families. Read more>>


  • Senior Lauren Walker worked with psychology professor Emily Helder studying internationally adopted children and their adjustment over time. Read more>>







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Learn more

See a complete list of the 2012 summer research projects.

See posters presented at the 2012 Science Division Summer Research Poster Fair.