Undergraduates arrive for NSF-funded research experiences

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
James T. Hall, (808) 956-3850
College of Natural Sciences
Stephanie Kraft-Terry
REU Site Co-Principal Investigator, Department of Biology
Posted: Jun 2, 2016

REU undergraduates in Edmondson Hall lab in June 2016.
REU undergraduates in Edmondson Hall lab in June 2016.

UH Mānoa has received a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Through this award, undergraduates will use high-throughput DNA sequencing, phylogenetic methods and bioinformatics to study microbiomes and the identities and origins of Hawaiʻi’s endemic, native and introduced organisms.  Mentorship will be provided by faculty from the UHM departments of Botany, Biology and Microbiology, the Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute and Kapi‘olani Community College.

A total of 30 students, primarily from schools with limited research opportunities or those with limited higher-level biology background or no research experience, will be trained in ten-week summer sessions in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

This award provides support to students who must relocate to participate. The experience will be enhanced by weekly workshops to explore scientific communication, responsible conduct of research, and graduate school, and culminate in a scientific poster presentation by each participant.

Dr. Stuart Donachie, the project’s principal investigator, said the participants' experiences "will lead to discoveries, to publications, and to further opportunities for them. The REU program provides for scientific experiences that really can change a life, such as by sparking that interest in a particular theme, or group of organisms that someone will want to work on for years to come.”

Added Dr. Stephanie Kraft-Terry, the project’s co-principal investigator, “By providing research opportunities to students who may otherwise not have access, we hope to inspire the next generation of scientists. Financial support from the NSF will allow participants to focus on research during their ten-week REU experience, providing an immersive experience that allows them to truly integrate into the laboratory.”

More information about the program is available at http://manoa.hawaii.edu/biodiversity-REU, or by contacting Donachie at donachie@hawaii.edu or Kraft-Terry at kraft2@hawaii.edu.

Award information: “REU Site: Undergraduate Research Experiences in DNA-based discoveries in Hawaiʻi's biodiversity.”

Principal Investigator: Stuart Donachie; Co-Principal Investigator: Stephanie Kraft-Terry.

Award Number: 1560491

For more information, visit: http://www.hawaii.edu/natsci/