Kevin Smith – National Science Foundation

Kevin Smith teaching a biology class outdoors.

Associate Professor of Biology Kevin Smith has been awarded a Research Experience for Undergraduates – REU Supplement from the National Science Foundation (NSF), as part of his grant, “NSF CAREER: An Undergraduate-Intensive Research Program in Experimental Conservation Ecology” (1650554).

The award funds two summer research fellowships and academic-year research experiences for those students most in need after having lost the opportunities to engage in research during summer 2020 and academic year 2020-21, due to the global pandemic.

CAREER grant projects focus equally on student educational outcomes and experience, as well as scientific outcomes. “In addition to the outcome of student exposure to authentic research experiences through a deliberately planned mentored experience, our work contributes to the conservation of biological diversity by contributing a more rigorous assessment of the importance of stochastic (random) and deterministic (selective) extinction processes.”

Professor Smith’s grant has engaged 21 undergraduates since 2017, and continues to attract “a large, diverse and talented applicant pool.” This REU Supplement is Professor Smith’s second, having been awarded another in March 2019. Program strength and growth is supported consistently in surveys indicating positive student outcomes in categories such as problem solving, understanding research methods and design, confidence in ability to do well in future science courses and persistence.

Read more about Professor Smith’s research here.

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