To read about Beloit’s Fall 2021 plans, visit our Back at Beloit information site.

Summer Research


There are plenty of opportunities for geology and other science students to conduct research over the summer.

Wisconsin Freshwater Springs 

The Beloit College Geology Department will host a Keck Geology Consortium research project for rising sophomores in summer 2021. The project is part of the Gateway Program for students who are considering a major in science or earth science. Gateway research experiences are designed to deepen student’s understanding of the nature of the earth sciences and its intersections with socially relevant issues.

Professor Sue Swanson and four students will explore how local variations in topography, surficial geology, and bedrock geology influence the spatial distribution of temperature and geochemistry in freshwater springs. Using an infrared camera that is suspended above a spring pool, there are opportunities to examine the thermal properties of springs in a relatively quick and noninvasive manner. Our goal is to collect detailed temperature data sets from springs in a variety of geologic settings across Wisconsin. To complement the thermal data and further characterize spring pool characteristics that can influence aquatic habitat, field water quality indicators such as pH, specific conductance, and dissolved oxygen, will also be measured and mapped across each spring pool.

Springs serve many functions both locally and globally. In Wisconsin, they support the state’s vast wetlands, lakes, and world-class trout streams and sustain critical habitat for endangered and threatened species. Wisconsin’s springs are also part of a rich cultural history and contribute to agriculture and tourism, two of the largest economic enterprises in the state.

Testing the Impact of Forest Evolution on Devonian Black Shale Geochemistry

Professor Jay Zambito is leading a project that aims to decipher carbon cycle changes that occurred as a result of the evolution of forests during the Devonian (~375 million years ago). More specifically, we will use a variety of geochemical proxies to analyze organic-rich marine black shale deposited concurrently with the evolution and spread of forests in order to constrain terrestrial organic matter flux to the oceans at this time.

These summer research positions are tailored to rising seniors that plan to use this project for their geology senior theses.

 

Summer Science Research Opportunities

There are a limited number of mentored research opportunities for current Beloit College students. Students will receive a stipend ($4,750 for 8 weeks or $2,375 for 4 weeks), must enroll in 0.5 or 1 unit of Special Project credit depending on the duration of the project, and pay summer tuition for this course. Students must contract with the college for room and board. The stipend has been calculated to cover these costs. The opportunities are either 4 weeks or 8 weeks in length (see below for project details).

Applying

Applications are due on April 12th, 2021. Awards will be made within 2-3 weeks of the application due date.

Descriptions of the available projects are given below. If you are interested in a project:

  1. Talk to the faculty mentor for the project to learn more about it.

  2. Apply for the project online.

  3. Request two reference reports from Beloit College faculty or staff members.

  4. Send an unofficial transcript from the Portal to Megan Westenberg, westenbergm@beloit.edu.

Contact

If you have questions, please contact Sue Swanson, swansons@beloit.edu (Chair of Natural Sciences). Alternatively, contact the faculty member associated with the project that you would like to work on.

Projects

Pakula Biomedical Fellowship Program

The Pakula Biomedical Fellowship Program is an 8-week program of mentored science research for current Beloit College students. Pakula Biomed Scholars will receive a stipend of $4,750, must enroll in 1 unit of Biology 392: Independent Research in Biology, and pay summer tuition for this course. Scholars must contract with the college for room and board. The stipend has been calculated to cover these costs. The program will run from June 7th to July 30th, 2021.

Applying

Applications are due on April 12th, 2021. Awards will be made within 2-3 weeks of the application due date.

Descriptions of the available projects are given below. If you are interested in a project:

  1. Talk to the faculty mentor for the project to learn more about it.

  2. Apply for the project online.

  3. Request two reference reports from Beloit College faculty or staff members.

  4. Send an unofficial transcript from the Portal to Megan Westenberg, westenbergm@beloit.edu.

Contact

If you have questions, please contact Tawnya Cary, caryt@beloit.edu (Biology). Alternatively, contact the faculty member associated with the project that you would like to work on.

Projects

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