The Upstate Institute is funding two student research projects this spring through the Student Research Funding program. This program enables students engaged in research that is of a high quality and benefits or informs the Upstate community in some way to apply for funding to cover the directs costs of the research project. Research projects funded by the Upstate Institute must be conducted within a department or interdisciplinary program, and sponsored by a faculty member in the sponsoring department or program. This funding will normally be used to support research during a student’s senior year (as part of a senior thesis or honors project), and can be used for any costs associated with the project.
Angela Jang, ’17, is a Sociology and Anthropology major conducting a comparative study between the Hanul Nuclear Power Plant in South Korea, and the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba, New York. Jang is looking at the difference in community response to the two power plants. Her project will focus on how community strength supports or undermines the formation and sustainment of social movements. By better understanding the relationship of the Scriba community to the FitzPatrick plant, and the economic, political and social implications that the plant has had on the community since it was built in 1975, and by researching the Scriba community’s social organization in general, she hopes to provide valuable insights into the necessary conditions of creating local, organized social movements in Upstate communities regardless of what the community members might be facing. Angela is conducting the project under the direction of Associate Professor of Sociology Carolyn Hsu.
Ciara Pettinos, ’17, a geology major, is conducting an analysis of nitrogen and carbon stable isotopes in freshwater bivalves (clams) collected from streams near Colgate. By comparing living organic tissue with shell organics, she hopes to determine if shell organic material tracks the isotope systematics of living tissue. Carbon and nitrogen isotopes in organics are controlled by water quality, and if older shell material can be used for organic isotope studies, a longer history of changes in water quality can be determined. Therefore, her research has the potential to track changes in water quality in streams due to runoff from agricultural or sewage pollution in Upstate New York.
Students interested in learning more about this funding for existing or future research projects should visit our website at: http://www.colgate.edu/centers-and-institutes/upstate-institute/local-learning/community-based-research-courses