Phase 1 of Project SURGES, Support for Undergraduate Research in the Geological and Environmental Sciences

  • Matty, David D.J. (PI)
  • Johnson, Eric E.L. (CoPI)
  • Davison, Jane J.M. (CoPI)
  • Benison, Kathleen K.C. (CoPI)

Grant Details




Project SURGES is an effort to facilitate research by faculty and undergraduates at small colleges and comprehensive universities. Surveys show that these institutions typically have modest equipment holdings. When faculty need analyses, they make arrangements with research institutions or commercial labs. In both cases, undergraduates do not see their samples being analyzed and become 'disconnected' from the samples. Cost and availability issues preclude research projects in laboratory sections of upper level classes. The Central Michigan University Geology Department has diverse analytical equipment holdings. CMU geology has a record of undergraduate research that reflects its incorporation into the curriculum. The typical CMU geology graduate will have participated in three course research projects and completed an independent research project for Senior Thesis. Project SURGES will open up CMU's analytical laboratories to faculty and students at other PUI's. Through innovative use of interactive two-way video e-mail, the 'connectivity' and 'ownership' problems with other methods of out-sourcing analyses will be circumvented. Off-campus faculty will schedule lectures or demonstrations originating from CMU's labs where their classes can follow the progress of their samples. Students working on independent projects will make appointments with CMU faculty or staff to see their samples run or discuss results. The goals of the 18-month pilot phase of Project SURGES are to: 1) develop the protocol by which faculty and undergraduates at other institutions can interactively access the analytical laboratories of the CMU Geology Department; 2) demonstrate the feasibility of this see you-see me protocol for independent undergraduate research projects and for original research course projects; and 3) produce web-based video tutorials and tours of the CMU geology analytical facilities suitable for enrichment of lower division students and instruction of majors and minors.

Effective start/end date09/15/9808/31/02


  • National Science Foundation: $72,998.00


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