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Research Students Present at Ecology Conferences Around the Country

Nov 27, 2013

Three months after completing their research projects, Au Sable summer research assistants have been presenting their fresh findings at regional conferences across the United States.

Kendra Antonides and Casey Shoaff presented posters at the West Michigan Undergraduate Science Research Conference held at the Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Antonides (photo on right; see poster) presented her research exploring the relationship between sculpin abundance and water quality in northwest Michigan streams. Her research has particular importance for US Forest Service field officers as they use sculpins as indicator species for stream health. Shoaff (photo on right) presented the findings from Au Sable's sixth year of researching the relationship between dam removal and biotic community restoration on the Boardman River, a timely project for Michigan streams as state agencies look to remove stream impoundments to restore degraded channels.

While Antonides and Shoaff presented their findings in the Midwest, Christian Hayes (photo on right; see poster) presented his research at the 16th annual Basic Sciences Research Symposium at Loma Linda University in Southern California. Hayes was also part of the research team studying dam removal and stream restoration on the Boardman River.

While each appreciated the opportunity to share their research and advance our knowledge of issues in conservation and restoration, they appreciated the research process, skills, and community at Au Sable even more.

Says Hayes, "My time doing research at Au Sable has given me the skills necessary to carry out a useful scientific experiment, analyze data critically, and write a coherent scientific paper. I have now entered the Master's of Biology program at Loma Linda University where I am using these skills to study and work with endangered sea turtles in Honduras."

Adds Antonides, "Au Sable taught me the importance of doing research in the context of life: living in community and growing in God. Yes, research is academically rigorous when it comes to writing papers, and field work is tedious - usually involving unexpected road blocks. Nevertheless, God enriched my time at Au Sable with people who supported me during the challenges (and adventures!) of research."


Want to see more from our research this past summer? Visit our Research page.