This award provides funding to initiate a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site that will provide a eight-week summer research experience in limnology and environmental science for a total of five students. The REU site will be run by Kent State University and will focus on the environmental issues in Lake Erie, its tributaries and its coastal wetlands. The REU program is based on the theory that mentoring and networking are the most effective methods for recruiting students into a profession and for training young researchers. This program will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the ecology and limnology of the Great Lakes, particularly Lake Erie. Plans for the site include all the essential elements for an excellent REU site. A team of faculty mentors will help the students develop research projects on the freshwater ecology, microbiology, geology and environmental chemistry of the Great Lakes. Students will participate in a series of lectures focused on scientific methods, ethics in science, and an interdisciplinary view of the Great Lakes, and they will receive one-on-one mentoring from researchers. They will also participate in field trips in the Lake Erie watershed. At the end of the program, students will develop a presentation on their research project and will be encouraged to present their results at a major scientific conference. This program fills an important niche in the continuum of program supported under the REU program by the Division of Ocean Sciences. It's focus on the ecology and limnology of the Lake Erie is unique. The program will advance the awareness of students concerning important environmental issues in the coastal regions and watersheds of the Great Lakes. The program also has the potential to recruit minority students to the Geosciences.
REU Site: Aquatic Sciences Research in the Lake Erie Watershed