UMW News BureauThe University of Montana Western Annual Research Symposium will be held on Friday and Saturday, March 25 and 26, 2011 in the Swysgood Technology Center Great Room. By Kaitlin Ens [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="351" caption="Environmental sciences major Buck Bradford presents at the 2010 Montana Western Research Symposium."][/caption] The University of Montana Western Annual Research Symposium will be held on Friday and Saturday, March 25 and 26, 2011 in the Swysgood Technology Center (STC) Great Room. The symposium began five years ago as a means for students to present their work. It has grown significantly in scope since its inception. “The Biology Club was primarily behind its beginnings,” associate professor of biology and Biology Club faculty advisor Mike Morrow explained. “We were interested in having a venue for students across campus to present their scholarly work to the campus and Dillon communities.” The 2011 Symposium will have presentations from biology, environmental science, business, mathematics, and many other majors. “It’s all over the place,” Morrow stated. “We have a wide range of departments, presentations topics, and even presentation types.” The first visual presentations will begin at 6 p.m. on March 25 with the poster session. Students will be available to answer questions and explain their work to the public. At 7 p.m., keynote speaker Montana Tech Associate Professor Marisa Pedulla will present her research on antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains otherwise know as “superbugs.” There will be a reception following Pedulla’s presentation and appetizers will be available throughout the night. Saturday, March 26 will be another busy day at the Symposium. The day will kick off with oral presentations starting at 10 a.m. Presenters and presentations will include Ian Ternes’ “Block Management Program Internship, Montana Fish, Wildlife Parks;” T.C. Knutsen’s “Drinking in Butte: More than a Lifestyle;” Melanie Finch’s “The Cry of the Loon;” Benjamin Gilboe’s “Characterization of the Borrelia burgdorferi bb0769 ORF;” Kelly Keller’s “Watershed Restoration Coalition Internship;” and Boe Adler’s “Veterinary Medicine under the Bright Lights: My Time with a Las Vegas Vet Clinic.” These presentations will run to approximately 11:40 a.m. Another poster session will follow accompanied by lunch and a myth busters session. “The myth busters presentation is an informal display of experiments and information that the Biology Club has performed or gathered,” biology major Amanda Kortum explained. “Earlier this year, we put boxes around the campus and sent one to the high school. This allowed the public to submit science-based myths, similar to the TV show. At a meeting we picked several that were feasible to test or research. On Saturday afternoon during the lunch session, we will put up a display that addresses the myths we chose.” After the myth busters session oral presentations will resume at 1 p.m. with Steven Keller’s “Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Internship;” Corey Manack and Alex Mackin’s “Visualization of (13,3) and (13,4) round robin tournament;” Sara Detton’s “Alcohol Consumption by Students at Western: Are We Binging?;” and Samantha Barber’s “Controversial Science: Rattlesnake Vaccine for Domestic Dogs;” These presentations will run until approximately 2 p.m. with late entries presenting last. Kortum is not presenting this year, but she is looking forward to watching others and encourages the public to attend, both for their own knowledge and for the experience an audience gives to presenters. “Being able to present to the public is a very valuable skill,” Kortum stated. “For most of us, whether we are business majors, science majors, or what have you, we're going to be giving a number of presentations in our future careers. An important part of being in business is portraying your ideas in a creative and efficient manner. It's the same case with science. Whether you are explaining your research through a grant application or a graduate school committee or giving a public presentation on the importance of wildlife management, the ability to clearly demonstrate your ideas is essential.”
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