Apr 18th, 2013 @ 8:03 am | Author: Greg Vanney
Four Valley City State University students--Bryce Brady, Aaron Burgad, Josue Hernandez and Eric Smith--attended the 27th National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) April 11-13 at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Accompanying the students to the conference in La Crosse, Wis., were VCSU's Andre DeLorme, professor of biology, and Casey Williams, assistant professor of fisheries and wildlife.

Established in 1987, NCUR is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity by sponsoring an annual conference for students. This gathering of young scholars welcomes presenters from all institutions of higher learning and from all academic disciplines.

NCUR aims to promote and celebrate undergraduate student achievement, to provide models of exemplary research and scholarship, and to improve the state of undergraduate education.

The VCSU students made poster presentations on their research Friday, April 12. Selected based on a review of their applications and research abstracts, the four VCSU students were among 2,000 undergraduates presenting at NCUR 2013.

"Selection for participation at NCUR is competitive," said DeLorme. "It's a real credit to the work these students have done, and it also reflects favorably on what we're doing at Valley City State."

Bryce Brady, a VCSU junior from Mandan, N.D., presented "Using Mussels to Assess the Impact of Changing Water Quality Conditions in the Sheyenne River, North Dakota." His poster was based on the research he did under DeLorme's supervision.

Also a VCSU junior, Aaron Burgad of Argusville, N.D., presented "Effects of Increased Discharge on Nonnative Brook Trout in a Small Mountain Stream." Burgad's research was done with Williams.

Josue Hernandez, a VCSU junior from Bakersfield, Calif., presented "Assessing the Impact on Fish of High Salinity Water Drained into the Sheyenne River, North Dakota." Hernandez conducted his research with Williams and DeLorme.

A VCSU senior from Valley City, Eric Smith presented "Fish Assemblages of Intermittent Streams in the Cedar River National Grasslands, North Dakota" on research he completed with Williams.

"It was great to be there," said Hernandez of his NCUR participation. "I met a lot of students who had worked on some really interesting projects."

"VCSU's participation in NCUR is an indication of the university's emphasis on collaborative research among students and faculty," said David DeMuth, Jr., VCSU professor and director of the university's Great Plains STEM Education Center, which sponsored the university's NCUR participation.

Increasing opportunities for undergraduate research such as that provided through NCUR participation, according to VCSU President Steven W. Shirley, is "one of the high-impact strategies that will transform Valley City State University and help our students achieve their fullest potential of academic excellence."