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Graduates present research findings in GSA summit

The graduates are speaking, ladies and gentlemen.

Culminating over four years of intensive work and study, the graduate students of UAA finally presented their studies in a research summit on April 8th. Hosted by the Graduate Student Association (GSA) and UAA’s Environment and Natural Resources Institute, the summit featured over 20 graduates’ research findings.

These studies ranged from moose foraging behavior, to health problems facing college freshman, to resilience among Somali refugees living in the United States.

The goal of the GSA research summit, according to sponsors of the event, is to spread the word about graduate research being done at UAA, as well as to provide a mingling opportunity between departments.

The summit presentations were held in out-of-the-way places such as the Allied Science Building (ASB) and the Ecosystem-Biomedical Health Laboratory (ELB), both rarely frequented buildings on campus.

Oral presentations were made by the graduate students in two classrooms at the ASB, which is located adjacent to the Eugene Short Hall, between 9 am and 4 pm. Several guest speakers made appearances throughout the day, including Paula Donson, Stephanie McAfee, and David Yesner.

A poster session was then held at the ELB from 5 to 7 pm, in which the students’ research posters were up for display. More closely resembling a power plant than an actual university building, the Ecosystem-Biomedical Health Laboratory is located across the road from the SSB, tucked back in a wooded area. Door prizes were handed out to those that attended.

A presentation by Cody Chipp, from the Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services, focused on the psychological effects related to transitioning from high school to college, and the potential for serious health effects and weight gain stemming from this.

Rebecca Robinson, from the Program in Clinical-Community Psychology, presented a study on the amount of resilience found in Somali refugees residing in the United States, and how this is reflected in Somali literature.

Though the focus of the topics ranged from local to international, the one thing the research had in common was that it showed UAA has flourishing programs for graduates beyond their four-year degrees.

  • Health related behaviors of first year university students:
  • Among first year college students at UAA, 31% of the sample were overweight or obese, and 30-35% reported low motivation toward keeping a healthy lifestyle.
  • Measuring resilience among Somali refugees living in the U.S.:
  • Over 80,000 Somali refugees have survived the Somali Civil War, fled Somalia, obtained refugee status, and resettled in the United States.

Confronting bear management in the changing North:

During recent years, human-bear conflicts have increased in the Russian Far East and Alaska. This may be triggered by economy, population, or ecosystem; but over-all, poor management strategies.

Written by Alden Lee

Armed with a quick wit and a little aftershave, Alden Lee is out to take the world by storm. Humbly. And with a touch of Orange.