UA Conference for Undergrad Research Celebrates 25th Year

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The University of Arizona's Undergraduate Biology Research Program will hold its 25th annual conference this weekend to showcase student research in areas ranging from cancer to psychology.

More than 2,000 students have been involved in the effort over its history, authoring or co-authoring more than 900 scholarly articles and giving more than 1,000 presentations at scientific conferences.

The participants are given "high-impact educational experiences," said Carol Bender, who directs UBRP as well as its international component, the Biomedical Research Abroad: Vistas Open – or BRAVO! program. "For 25 years, UBRP and BRAVO! have enhanced the learning experience of hundreds of students."

The flagship UBRP program is one example of the UA's commitment to 100 percent student engagement through opportunities that give undergraduates real-world experience via internships, service learning, study abroad and involvement in UA research.

"Our goal is to grow the program to reach even more students in the future," said Bender, also a University Distinguished Outreach Professor and a professor of practice in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

During this year's conference, UA alumnus Zeb Hogan, an assistant research professor at the University of Nevada – Reno and host of National Geographic's "Monster Fish" will serve as the keynote speaker for the conference.

A UBRP alumnus and an ecologist and photographer, Hogan was one of only 15 people in the world to be named a National Geographic Fellow in 2011. Hogan earned his undergraduate degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from the UA in 1996, and then went on to study megafish species around the world.

In collaboration with the UA School of Dance, UBRP will host a performance by dance students, led by Anna Keller, a graduate student in the school.  The dance, titled "The BioFish Dance," is inspired by Hogan's work with very large fish.

Also new this year, the UBRP conference will offer hands-on science activities for children and their families, with partners that include the UA's Insect Discovery and other UA science outreach programs.

Read the rest of this January 17, 2014 UANews article at the link below.

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