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DUCURS lets science students show their stuff

Presentations for the eighth-annual Drake University Conference on Undergraduate Research in the Sciences (DUCURS) will range from topics on Nintendo Wii to zebra finches.

There was a record number of submissions for the conference this year; 55 posters and seven student speakers will represent nine science departments at the conference.

DUCURS provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to professionally present their research to peers and other professors.

“The goal is to showcase and celebrate undergraduate research,” Associate Professor of Biology and Co-organizer of DUCURS Heidi Sleister said.

Students can attend DUCURS to learn about the current research happening on campus and the broad research opportunities that are available to them.

Kami Wenzel, senior psychology major, said the presenters want to encourage students to take advantage of being able to conduct undergraduate research at Drake.

“Especially for underclassmen, it’s a really nice way to recognize the importance of research first-hand and potentially recognize that these professors really do let students do research with them,” Wenzel said.

Wenzel said DUCURS is beneficial to students because of the practice and background knowledge they are able to obtain that may help them in the future, especially if they are planning to pursue graduate school.

“It’s a really a good foundation for me to figure out exactly how things are done,” Wenzel said.  “If my research goes on to be presented at a national conference or is published in a journal, I would like to know everything I can about my research before I talk to scientists around the world.”

DUCURS began in 2004 and was started with the idea that this event would bring support for undergraduate research across campus.  The annual event has proven to be successful and has facilitated opportunities for collaboration between students and faculty.

DUCURS will be held in upper Olmsted from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.

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