After spending eight months on their research projects and giving their first of what could be many important scientific presentations three Morgantown High School students will be rewarded with a trip to the nation’s capital this month.
The students competed against seven of their peers in a juried poster session during WVU’s EnvironMentors fair in late April.
EnvironMentors is a national environment-based mentoring program developed by the National Council for Science and Environment. The program provides high school students the opportunity to work with researchers and professionals to develop scientifically rigorous research projects. The program also promotes future studies and careers in environmental science fields.
WVU was selected in May 2011 as the newest of 13 university chapters distributed across the U.S.
“For the high school students, EnvironMentors provides opportunities for them to gain increased understanding of complex local and global environmental issues through real-world hands-on science in the field with their mentor,” said Shannon Dey, education specialist with the WVU Environmental Research Center. “The program also helps them to build self-confidence, self-direction, and in many cases, a lifelong friendship as a result of working in a mentoring relationship with a supportive and knowledgeable adult.”
For her research project, Mathers, a sophomore, explored the effect of greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants on the quality of downwind rainwater. She was mentored by Jessica Odenheimer, a master’s student in agronomy from Ashburn, Va.
Strahin’s project was entitled “Nosema infestation in various honey bee (Apis mellifera) breeds and the effect of nosema infestation on beekeeper perception of colony strength.” The senior was mentored by Eric Miller of Chester, Va., and Dustin Smith of Wallace, W.Va., who are doctoral students in forest resources science.
Herath Bandara, a sophomore, studied the effects of low pH on Allegany crayfish mortality. He was mentored by Daniel Hanks of Clinton, S.C., and Gabe Strain of Cumberland, Md., who are doctoral students in forest resources science.
For more information on the EnvironMentors program, please contact Dey at Shannon.Dey@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-0024.
CONTACT: Lindsay Willey, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
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