6th USRI year (2016) has begun!

This year we have four groups (all STEM) and 12 students.  Orientation started at 9 am and included a campus wide scavenger hunt!  Team names decided independently ended up being Group A and Team Bee.   Here are a couple example pictures collected during the hunt:

This year’s projects:

Dr. Joshua Stratton, Chemistry –  Students will explore chemical research questions or problems that can be addressed by instrumental techniques available to the department. You will propose a research question based on a review of the literature and design the strategies to address the problem. After establishing a robust methodology, you will collect and analyze data and present your results.

Dr. Shyam Seetharam, Psychology and Dr. Jennifer Whitmer, Sociology – What does your selfie say about you? The current experiment will focus on the relationship between social media activity (i.e. “selfies” posted to Instragram) and a variety of social, cognitive, and physiological outcomes. Participants be instructed to take a selfie on their smart phone device and upload the image to a private Instagram account that we have created.

Dr. Susa Stonedahl, Engineering and Physical Sciences – The speed and paths by which water flows through sediments under streams affects the biogeochemistry of streams. Chemical reactions take place in the sediments, which essentially clean the stream making it healthier. Students will conduct an experiment designed to investigate the flow of water through heterogeneous sediments. They will collect data, analyze the data, and simulate the system using a variety of computer programs.

Dr. Katie Trujillo, Psychology – This study is designed to test whether interaction with a therapy dog can reduce stress levels of patients’ family members. This study will be conducted in a hospital waiting room involving therapy dogs who regularly visit the hospital.




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