Mentored undergraduate research in the geosciences

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Abstract

There is little argument about the merits of undergraduate research, but it can seem like a complex, resource-intensive endeavor [e.g., Laursen et al., 2010; Lopatto, 2009; Hunter et al., 2006]. Although mentored undergraduate research can be challenging, the authors of this feature have found that research programs are strengthened when students and faculty collaborate to build new knowledge. Faculty members in the geology department at The College of Wooster have conducted mentored undergraduate research with their students for more than 60 years and have developed a highly effective program that enhances the teaching, scholarship, and research of our faculty and provides life-changing experiences for our students. Other colleges and universities have also implemented successful mentored undergraduate research programs in the geosciences. For instance, the 18 Keck Geology Consortium schools (http://keckgeology.org/), Princeton University, and other institutions have been recognized for their senior capstone experiences by U.S. News & World Report.

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