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Science Honors

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

The Science Honors Program offers many opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in research. Working with faculty mentors, undergraduates engage in active learning in the laboratory, library, and field. Through these experiences, students share in the excitement of discovery, develop important skills, and explore career choices. They get to know faculty members and connect with a disciplinary community. Many publish, exhibit, or present their work, sharing it with audiences beyond Central Washington University.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities with the Science Honors Faculty

The Science Honors Faculty at Central Washington University is a vital component of a successful Science Honors research experience. Science Honors Faculty act as mentors, direct research, advise on thesis writing, and serve as role models. Membership on the Science Honors Faculty is a privilege granted to faculty members whose qualifications, on-going professional activity, and service to scholarly affairs qualify them to serve as mentors to the Science Honors students.

Research Opportunities with SHRP Faculty


Anthropology | Biology | Chemistry | Computer Science | Geography | Geographical Sciences | Health, Human Performance, & Nutrition | Physics | Psychology

Anthropology

Steve Hackenberger

Anthropology Department
Office: Dean 349
Phone: x3224
hackenbe@cwu.edu

Projects:
  

Joseph Lorenz
Joseph Lorenz
Anthropology Department
Office: Dean 344
Phone: x3448
lorenzj@cwu.edu

Dr. Lorenz's website
 

Projects:

I am biological anthropologist that uses the techniques of molecular biology to investigate questions of anthropological interest. Some of the research that I have been involved in over the years include: 1) using Y chromosome variation to help unravel the complex histories of human populations in Melanesia; 2) using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation to study the relationships among North American Indian populations; and 3) investigating the genetic variation underlying the variation in alcohol consumption among rhesus macaques. Presently I have undergraduate and graduate students working in the Molecular Anthropology Laboratory studying DNA variation in a number of different species including humans (from both living populations and skeletal remains from archaeological sites), vervet monkeys, crickets, rattlesnakes and salmon. Students interested in research involving the extraction of DNA from various biomaterials, PCR amplification and DNA sequencing and other means of characterizing genetic variation should feel free to contact me.

Patrick LubinskiPatrick Lubinski

Anthropology Department
Office: Dean 338
Phone: x3601
lubinski@cwu.edu

Pat's website

 

Projects:

I am an archaeologist with a background in anthropological archaeology, physical geography, and biology, and my research interests lie at the intersection of these disciplines. My principal expertise is in zooarchaeology, the study of animal bones in archaeological sites, which includes investigation of past human diets, biogeography, skeletal anatomy, hunting strategies, pronghorn antelope, fishes, population studies, and related topics. I supervise a zooarchaeology laboratory in Dean Hall with several hundred reference skeletons and rendering facilities. I am also supervising the excavation of a Pleistocene mammoth site, which is a mix of archaeology and paleontology, and run a lab in Dean Hall processing the excavation results. Part of this project is an investigation into the sediment history of the dig site.

I would be interested in working with students on topics related to any of these things, and broader topics that intersect with my background.

Patrick McCutcheon

Anthropology Department
Office: Dean 340
Phone: 2075
McCutchP@cwu.edu

Projects:

Lori Sheeran

Lori SheeranAnthropology Department
Office: Dean 335
Phone: x1434
SheeranL@cwu.edu

Dr. Sheeran's website
 

Projects:

I am interested in the behavior of nonhuman primates. Since 1990, I have studied gibbons in China, Thailand, and Borneo, where I’ve focused on conservation issues such as habitat fragmentation and rehabilitation and reintroduction as well as basic ecology and social structure. Since 2004, Drs. Megan Matheson, Steve Wagner, and I have studied the impacts of ecotourism on Tibetan macaques living in the Yellow Mountains of Anhui Province, China. I am interested in how these monkeys’ social roles change with their age. With Dr. Mary Lee Jensvold, I am studying the role laughter has as a signal in regulating the play behavior of captive chimpanzees. I would be delighted to mentor with a Science Honors student’s research on these or other, related projects.
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Biology

Daniel Beck

Biology Department
Office: Science-236G
Phone: x2886
BeckD@cwu.edu

Projects:

Lucinda Carnell

Biology Department
Office: Science-338G
Phone: x3431
CarnellL@cwu.edu

Projects:

Tom Cottrell

Biology Department
Office: Science-338C
Phone: 3011
cottrelt@cwu.edu

Projects:

David Darda

Biology Department
Office: Dean 130
Phone: x3207
DardaD@cwu.edu

Projects:

Blaise Dondji

Biology Department
Office: Science-338H
Phone: x2715
DondjiB@cwu.edu

Projects:

Kris Ernest

Biology Department
Office: Science-236J
Phone: x2805
ErnestK@cwu.edu

Projects:

Jason Irwin

Biology Department
Office: Scinece-338D
Phone: x2884
IrwinJ@cwu.edu

Projects:

Paul James

Biology Department
Office: Science-338A
Phone: x1895
JamesP@cwu.edu

Projects:

Jim Johnson

Biology Department
Office: Science-338J
Phone: x2876
JJohnson@cwu.edu

Projects:

Holly Pinkart

Biology Department
Office: Science-236D
Phone: x2710
PinkartH@cwu.edu

Projects:

Mary Poulson

Biology Department
Office: Science-338E
Phone: x2808
PoulsonM@cwu.edu

Projects:

Linda Raubeson

Biology Department
Office: SCience-338L
Phone: x2734
Raubeson@cwu.edu

Projects:

Allison Scoville

Biology Department
Office: Science-338G
Phone: x2802
Scoville@cwu.edu

Projects:

Daniel Selski

Biology Department
Office: Science-338F
Phone: x2881
SelskiD@cwu.edu

Projects:
Gabrielle Stryker


Biology Department
Office: Science-236C
Phone: x2721
StrykerG@cwu.edu

Projects:
Lixing Sun


Biology Department
Office: Science-236H
Phone: x2780
Lixing@cwu.edu

Projects:
Steve Wagner

Biology Department
Office: Science-236K
Phone: x3105
WagnerS@cwu.edu

Projects:

 

 

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Chemistry

Gil BelofskyGil Belofsky

Department of Chemistry
Office: Science-302J
Phone: n/a
belofskyg@cwu.edu

Dr. Belofsky's website

Projects:

Natural products chemistry involves the isolation, characterization, and biological testing of organic compounds from natural sources such as plants, fungi, bacteria, insects, and other organisms. Our current focus involves studying the effects of plant compounds toward overcoming antibiotic resistance in bacteria and fungi. Our choices of plants of interest are based on ethnobotany, prior chemical work, and geography (primarily the Pacific Northwest). We also have an interest in testing compounds for other biological effects and establishing new collaborations. The hands-on work involves student fieldwork/collection trips and the use of state-of-the-art chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques to isolate and characterize compounds of interest. Student work also involves and understanding of mechanism-based bioassays to evaluate interactions of compounds with macromolecular biological targets, and maintaining research collaborations.

Stephen ChamberlandStephan Chamberland

Department of Chemistry
Office: Science-302H
Phone: x1126
chambers@cwu.edu

Projects:

My research group is actively engaged in the preparation of new molecules that have never before been made by humans. These molecules have been isolated in small quantities from natural sources, such as plants, bacteria, or marine life and they exhibit anticancer, antibacterial, or anticoagulant properties. We plan and then attempt to implement a carefully orchestrated series of chemical reactions to assemble these molecules from smaller chemical pieces. Often, however, challenges arise and the initial route must be modified before a workable path to the target molecule can be realized. Once prepared, molecules we synthesize can be studied further and potentially be developed into new medicines. Current (2011) synthetic targets include a series of b-carbolines with activity against P-388 leukemia cells and clavatadine A, a strong inhibitor of blood coagulation factor XIa.

Anthony DiazAnthony Diaz

Department Of Chemistry
Office: Science-302C Phone: x2818 
diaza@cwu.edu

Projects:
My research group studies solid state luminescent materials, called phosphors, such as are found in lighting, display, and imaging technologies. We seek to understand the basic processes at work in these materials when they absorb energy and convert it to useful visible light. To conduct this research we must synthesize phosphors in high-temperature furnaces and study their properties using various spectroscopic techniques. Undergraduates have always been an essential part of this work – over the years, seven different undergraduates from my laboratory have appeared as authors on journal publications.

Levente Fabry

Department of Chemistry
Office: Science-302F
Phone: x2887
FabryL@cwu.edu

Projects:

Yingbin Ge

Department of Chemistry
Office: Science-207A
Phone: x2817
yingbin@cwu.edu
 

Projects:

Theoretical investigation of the nano-catalysts.
Theoretical investigation of the chemical vapor deposition processes of diamond, graphite, silicon crystals, and silicon carbide.
Global optimization of passivated nanoclusters such as nanometer-sized silicon hydrides and silicon halides.
Theoretical study of the photoluminescence mechanism of silicon nanoclusters.
Theoretical study of protein folding problems.
Theoretical investigation of astrochemical species and reactions under astronomical conditions.
Development of efficient global optimization algorithms.
Development of semiempirical and empirical computational chemistry methods

 

Anne Johansen

Department of Chemistry
Office: Science-207D
Phone: x2164
JohansenA@cwu.edu

Projects:

Todd KrollTodd Kroll

Department Of Chemistry
Office: Science-302E 
Phone: x2830 
Kroll@cwu.edu

Projects:

My research interest is focused on understanding the mechanism by which functional areas in the neocortex is partitioned. Neocortex is a mammalian-specific cortical structure that is the seat of consciousness. This structure is divided into discrete regions, called areas, that are each responsible for processing different types of information. The three most basic areas (the visual, motor and somatosensory areas) are positioned in equivalent locations in the neocortices of different species, including humans; however, the size of these areas varies between individuals. Neurons in each of these functional areas have specific properties that are bestowed upon them when they are born. The properties that neurons located indifferent areas take on are regulated by the graded expression of several transcription factors (a type of protein that regulates the turning on and off of genes) in the progenitor cells.
My group is researching protein-protein interactions mediating the action of this core group of transcription factors in neocortical arealization (the process that determines the sizes of neocortical areas). The ultimate goal of this research is to provide stem cell biologists with information that they can use to generate neurons to repair damaged neocortex in human brain trauma patients.

JoAnn Peters

Department Of Chemistry
Office: Science-207F Phone: x2022 
PetersJ@cwu.edu
 
Projects:

Dion Rivera

Department Of Chemistry
Office: Science-207E Phone: x2883 
RiveraD@cwu.edu


 

Projects:

Carin ThomasCarin Thomas

Department Of Chemistry
Office: Science-302G Phone: x2815 
ThomasC@cwu.edu

Dr. Thomas' website

Projects:

In my research group we study the adverse effects of chemicals on biological systems with a focus on mitochondria. The types of chemicals we investigate include environmental contaminants, pesticides, plastics, nanoparticles and dietary fats. Mitochondria are important subcellular organelles that are called the powerhouse of the cell because they convert the food we eat to cellular energy known as ATP. One area of interest is the ability of chemicals to cause oxidative stress in mitochondria which involves the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as superoxide anion radical, hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radical. ROS can oxidize cellular protein, DNA and membranes causing dysfunction that eventually leads to cell death and disease. Organisms are able to defend themselves against the adverse effects of ROS by using antioxidant vitamins, enzymes and glutathione. Our work examines how chemicals and antioxidants interact to affect cellular and mitochondrial function. We are currently studying the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the onset of Type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. 

The scientific discipline for this type of research is toxicology which is represented nationally by the Society of Toxicology, SOT. SOT is dedicated to creating a safer and healthier world by advancing the science of toxicology.

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Computer Science

Razvan Andonie

Computer Science Department
Office: Hebeler 219
Phone: x1430
Andonie@cwu.edu

 Dr. Andonie's website

Projects:

 

 

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Geography

Tony Gabriel

Geography Department
Office: Dean 320
Phone: x1166
GabrielA@cwu.edu

Projects:

Bob HickeyBob Hickey

Geography Department
Office: Dean 316
Phone: x2178
rhickey@cwu.edu
www.OnLineGeographer.com

Projects:

My specialty is GIS and remote sensing applications for environmental modelling. As such, I have worked with geographers, geologists, biologists, and anthropologists on their projects. Considerably more information about my research, and my student's, can be found on my website: 
www.OnLineGeographer.com

Karl Lillquist

Geography Department
Office: Dean 319
Phone: x1184
Lillquis@cwu.edu

Projects:

Morris Uebelacker

Geography Department
Office: Dean 313
Phone: x2184
Morris@cwu.edu

Projects:

Megan Walsh

 

Geography Department
Office: Dean 310A
Phone: x3699
WalshMe@cwu.edu

Projects:

I am a biogeographer and paleoecologist interested in understanding how the environments of western North America and Central America have changed during the last 20,000 years, both as a result of natural climate variability and human activity. To reconstruct past changes in wildfire activity and vegetation, I analyze charcoal and pollen preserved in the sediment of lakes and wetlands.  I have done field work in Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado, Montana, Idaho and most recently Belize. My current research projects include: 1) reconstructing the environmental history of southern Belize based on sediment cores from mangrove and freshwater lagoons (looking at the collapse of the Maya Civilization); 2)  reconstructing the fire-history of the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area (north-central Washington) and assessing the impact of Native American-set fires; 3) reconstructing the fire and vegetation history of subalpine meadows in Mount Rainier National Park (Washington) looking the impact of climate change and human activity in the park.  If you are interested in natural environments and want to learn more about the field and lab work I do, feel free to contact me!

 

 

 

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Geological Sciences

Wendy Bohrson

Department of Geological Sciences
Office: Lind-101
Phone: x2835
Bohrson@geology.cwu.edu

Projects:

Lisa L. ElyLisa Ely

Department of Geological Sciences
Office: Lind-220
Phone: x2177
ely@cwu.edu

Projects:

My research focuses on the geomorphology of river systems, Quaternary geology, paleoclimate records, and catastrophic events of all sorts, particularly the occurrence of large floods in the modern and geologic records.

My current research projects include:

  • Investigating the links between climate change and the frequency of large floods over the last several thousand years in the western U.S. by studying paleoflood deposits on rivers. I am looking for a student who is interested in compiling existing paleoflood records from rivers throughout eastern Oregon and Washington to determine whether they show regional temporal or spatial patterns.
  • Effects of large, catastrophic events on the evolution of bedrock channels in the uplifted volcanic plateau of eastern Oregon. This is an NSF research project funded through 2010 that involves field work on the Owyhee River in eastern Oregon. Research includes the evidence for and impacts of outburst floods from glacial lakes, lava dams and landslide dams.
  • Processes and timing of arroyo incision in semi-arid central Washington, and possible links to regional changes in climate or frequency of large floods.
  • Sediment transport processes related to aquatic habitats in gravel-bed rivers of the Cascade Mountains, WA
  • Paleo-tsunami deposits in southern India and Chile. These projects involve examing the preservation and erosion of recent tusnami deposits to determine the best sites for long-term preservation of paleo-tsunami deposits. The research funding in India is pending for 2009-2012. Fieldwork in Chile in winter, 2009 to examine deposits described by Darwin (yes, that’s Charles himself) from the 1835 tsunami in Chile. This project may be expanded.

Marie Ferland

Department of Geological Sciences
Office: Lind-300J
Phone: x2829
FerlandM@cwu.edu

Projects:

Carey Gazis

Department of Geological Sciences
Office: Lind 219
Phone: x2820
CGazis@cwu.edu

Projects:

Audrey HuertaAudrey Huerta

Department of Geological Sciences
Office: Lind-118A
Phone: x2718
huerta@geology.cwu.edu

Research Website


 

Projects:
My research focuses on the processes that drive mountain building- from the dynamics of the deep mantle to the dramatic effects of erosion. I combine field work with numerical models to constrain the fundamental Earth processes responsible for the spectacular landscape we see today.
Currently, most of my research is based in Antarctica. I am using thermochronology and modeling to studying the history of the Transantarctic Mountains that rise from sea level to over 4000m. I am also using seismic data to determine the forces that uplift the Marie Byrd Land Dome in Antarctica. 

I am looking for students (undergraduate and graduate) on the following projects:
--Transantarctic Mountains: structural and erosional evolution.

--Structure of the West Antarctic Lithospere. 

--Uplift and erosion of the Sevier and Laramide Orogenies.

Susan KaspariSusan Kaspari

Department of Geological Sciences
Office: Lind-108D
Phone: x2738
kaspari@geology.cwu.edu

Susan's website


 

Projects:

My primary research interests are reconstructing past climate (paleoclimatology) to achieve an understanding of how the Earth's climate system operates, and documenting recent environmental change related to human activities. To carry out my research, I use ice cores and snow samples retrieved from high-elevation mountain glaciers and polar ice sheets. By analyzing the chemistry (trace and major elements, stable isotopes, and black carbon) of the snow and ice, the composition of the atmosphere can be reconstructed. Photo of sampling in Khumbu region of Nepal Through my research, I have worked in Antarctica, China (Tibetan Plateau), Nepal, Tajikistan, New Zealand, Switzerland and Washington State.

Most recently my research has focused on determining black carbon concentrations in snow and ice from the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau. Black carbon produced by the incomplete combustion of biomass, coal and diesel fuels can significantly contribute to climate change by altering the Earth's radiative balance. Black carbon in the atmosphere absorbs light and causes atmospheric heating, whereas black carbon deposited on snow and ice can significantly reduce the surface albedo, resulting in rapid melting of snow and ice. In spite of this, BC remains one of the largest sources of uncertainty in analyses of climate change. In addition to assessing the role of black carbon in Asian climate, I have a new project in the Cascade Mountains in Washington in which we are investigating the role that black carbon plays in the seasonal snowpack.

Jeff Lee

Department of Geological Sciences
Office: Lind-218A
Phone: x2801
jeff@geology.cwu.edu

Projects:

Chris MattinsonChris Mattinson

Department of Geological Sciences
Office: Lind-108D
Phone: x1628
Mattinson@geology.cwu.edu

Chris's website


 

Projects:

My research interests center on using the evidence recorded in metamorphic rocks to address regional tectonic questions and to examine the time-scales of orogenic processes at convergent margins. In particular, my work with ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) rocks examines the behavior of the lithosphere during continental collision using metamorphic petrology, geochronology, geochemistry, and thermodynamics/thermobarometry. My main laboratory techniques are mineral chemistry by electron microprobe, U/Pb geochronology and trace element analyses by ion microprobe (SHRIMP-RG), and trace element analysis by laser ablation ICP-MS, coupled with evaluation of the geological context of the samples analyzed through field geology. My current research projects include work in China, eastern California, and Washington.

Tim Melbourne

Department of Geological Sciences
Office: Hebeler-110A Phone:x2799 
tim@geology.cwu.edu

Dr. Melbourne's website
 

Projects:

Charlie Rubin

Department of Geological Sciences
Office: Hebeler 109
Phone: x2827
Charlie@geology.cwu.edu
 

Projects:

 

 

 

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Health, Human Performance, & Nutrition

Ethan Bergman

Health, Human Performance, & Nutrition
Office: Black 228-4
Phone: x1975
BergmanE@cwu.edu

Projects:

Tim Burnham

Health, Human Performance, & Nutrition
Office: PE 202F
Phone: x1764
Burnhati@cwu.edu

Projects:

Leo D'Acquisto

Health, Human Performance, & Nutrition
Office: PE-104
Phone: x1909
acquisto@cwu.edu

Projects:

David GeeDavid Gee

Nutrition, Exercise, & Health Sciences
Office: Purser Hall 109
Phone: x2772
GeeD@cwu.edu

Projects:

I am currently studying applications of Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM) during sports performance, with diabetic athletes, and studying the effects of dietary fiber on glycemic response. CGM's were recently developed for diabetic patients to help them avoid bouts of hypoglycemia, prolonged hyperglycemia, and improve overall blood glucose control. We are currently conducting studies to validate its use during exercise as well as after controlled feeding trials. We see many opportunities of using this device to follow blood glucose changes during exercise with carbohydrate containing supplements, to examine blood glucose changes in competitive diabetic athletes, and to examine how supplementation of different types of soluble dietary fibers affect changes in blood glucose throughout the day.

In addition, I have recently supervised undergraduate and graduate research in the following areas:
--Use of bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) for body composition assessment. BIA is a fast non-invasive method that estimates total body water by measuring the body's resistance to an electrical current. We have developed and validated a new prediction equation that improves estimations of body composition by including the actual conductor length in the predictive equation. Further studies are needed to confirm these initial findings.
--The effect of green tea extract on resting metabolic rate and during mild exercise. We found that supplementation with green tea extract did not increase resting metabolic rate but did increase the rate of fat oxidation during mild exercise.
--The effect of acute creatine supplementation on vertical jump in female athletes. We found that acute creatine supplementation impaired vertical jump performance in female athletes that can be explained by an acute increase in body weight and body water. We hope to do a similar study looking at the effects of chronic supplementation with creatine coupled with a strength training program on vertical jump performance.

Susan Hawk-Woody

Health, Human Performance, & Nutrition
Office: PE 136
Phone: x1041
woodys@cwu.edu

Projects:

 

Vince Nethery

Health, Human Performance, & Nutrition
Office: PE 103
Phone: x1940
NetheryV@cwu.edu

Projects:

Harry Papadopolous

Health, Human Performance, and Nutrition
Office: PE-118
Phone: x7572 
Papadoph@cwu.edu

Projects:

Kelley Kerr-Pritchett

Health, Human Performance, & Nutrition
Office: PE 202A
Phone: x1338
kkerr@cwu.edu
 

Projects:

Robert Pritchett

Health, Human Performance, & Nutrition
Office: PE 202A
Phone: x1338
Pritcher@cwu.edu

Projects:

 

 


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Physics

Michael Braunstein

Physics Department
Office: Lind 203D
Phone: x2761
Braunst@cwu.edu

Projects:

Chaos: There is a rich class of chaotic systems, identified by J.C. Sprott , that has been an interest of mine and has been an excellent source of undergraduate research projects. These systems can be realized with relatively simple electronic circuits which, in turn, are modeled with third order jerk function differential equations.
They are of interest for a variety of reasons: they are simple, yet exhibit rich principal features of chaotic systems; they can be easily investigated both experimentally by designing and constructing circuits and using electronic measurement techniques, and theoretically by applying analytical and numerical techniques and software such as Mathematica to the differential equations; the electronic circuits can be designed to operate at audio frequencies so that behaviors such as bifurcation, period doubling, chaos and period windows can be qualitatively observed and so that data collection can occur over short time scales; the systems have an intrinsically three-dimensional phase space so that the attractors can be completely represented graphically. Finally, there are potential applications of the circuits in the areas of control of chaos and communications.

Observational Astronomy: The CWU physics department maintains an observatory housing a 0.3m f16 Cassegrain telescope on campus at Lind Hall. The telescope is outfitted with a research grade CCD camera and filter wheel for data collection, and the department also maintains a computer system running IRAF, a powerful astronmical image analysis system. While the telescope has a small aperture by typical astronomical research standards, it has been used and is still useful for a range of valuable astronomical measurements that would constitute excellent undergraduate research projects, for instance: differential photometry of variable stars (including supernovae); rotational periods of solar system objects; astrometry of solar system objects; supernovae search; and morphology and evolution of comet comae. In addition, access to the 0.8 m Manastash Ridge Observatory (operated by the University of Washington) can be arranged for appropriate research projects.

Mike JacksonMike Jackson

Physics Department
Office: Lind 201
Phone: x2914
jacksonm@cwu.edu

Mike Jackson's website

 

Projects:

My primary area of interest and expertise is experimental optics. In particular my research includes the investigation of molecules as sources of far-infrared laser radiation, the measurement of far-infrared laser frequencies, and the use of these lasers for the investigation of stable and unstable molecules. These studies include laser Stark and laser magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Past undergraduate students working in my research lab have been physics, engineering and chemistry majors.

Andy Piacsek

Physics Department
Office: Lind 300D
Phone: x2723
Piacsek@cwu.edu

Projects:

 

 

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Psychology

Kara GabrielKara Gabriel

Psychology Department
Office: Psychology 424
Phone: x2387
GabrielK@cwu.edu

Projects:

My laboratory focuses on several areas of research that utilize human or animal (i.e., mice and rats) subjects, including:
1) Developmental influences on the behavioral effects of psychoactive drugs. My laboratory investigates age differences in drug responsiveness (i.e., do adolescents differ in their drug sensitivity compared to adults) as well as the long-term consequences of drug exposure; 
2) Sex differences in spatial cue use and perception; and 
3) External and internal factors that alter risk-taking propensity.

Megan MathesonMegan Matheson

Pyschology Department
Office: Psychology 479
Phone: x3668
MathesoM@cwu.edu

Projects:

I'm interested in nonhuman primate social behavior in general, and especially how it's used to cope with stressors. Currently, my students, colleagues and I have been working at a tourist site in Huangshan, China, examining the impact that tourists have on the social behavior of Tibetan monkeys (Macaca thibetana). As this is an understudied, but behaviorally unique, species, we are interested in looking in depth at the functions of certain behaviors such as the males' ritualized "bridging" display (in which an infant is presented by one and held between them as a "bridge"), and penis-sucking. Students will participate in the summer Biodiversity & Conservation Field Research Program co-directed by myself, Dr. Lori Sheeran, and Dr. Steve Wagner, and learn various biodiversity assessment and behavioral observation techniques in addition to conducting their research project. This summer, the field portion of this program is slated to run from approximately August 10 - September 10 (please see CWU's Study Abroad Web Site for more information).

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