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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Students Represent Kansas EPSCoR at National Conference

Nashville, Tennessee played host to the 23rd National NSF EPSCoR Conference the first week of November.  Representatives from all 31 EPSCoR jurisdictions were present to learn and discuss the strengths and opportunities they have developed in science, technology, education, commercialization and economic growth.

One of the exciting tracks at the meeting highlighted student participants from the different states.  Kansas NSF EPSCoR (KNE) was fortunate to have four excellent students attend the meeting and participate in the student activities.

Students from across the country participated in a session called Scientist Idol where they learned how to effectively develop and communicate a targeted message of how EPSCoR is essential for strengthening their state's economy.  The four Kansas students collaborated on the message and developed a three-minute presentation complete with slides. Their message focused on how KNE attracts and develops a strong statewide Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) workforce.

In addition to Scientist Idol the students also participated in a poster session, highlighting their research as part of the KNE major initiative Climate Change and Energy: Basic Science, Impacts, and Mitigation.  The students and their poster titles were:

  • Eugene Cody, Haskell Indian Nations University undergraduate student, An Examination of Burning Coal in Hopi Homes
  • Lindsey Witthaus, University of Kansas graduate student, Exploring Climate Change in Kansas Watersheds through Hydrologic Modeling and Social Surveys
  • Maria Boyd, Haskell Indian Nations University undergraduate student, Growin' on the Wild Side: Climate Change & the Future of the Omaehnomenawuk "Wild Rice People"
  • Vahid Rahmani, Kansas State University graduate student, Impacts of Rainfall Distribution and Antecedent Moisture Condition on Runoff

During the poster session the students were able to use their newly-acquired communication skills to further hone their research messages and discuss them with other participants at the meeting. Interacting with the other student participants at the meeting and learning some of the excitement Nashville, The Music City, had to offer proved to be an excellent experience for everyone.

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