Student weights a wild birdIn the senior year, all biology majors complete a research project that requires original experimentation and scientific review. The goal of this thesis is to have it published in premier scientific journals. This process occurs over the span of one summer and two semesters.

The senior thesis is a transforming experience. Personal growth and maturation can be "painful". Some students have a difficult time, and it can be unpleasant for those who procrastinate. Although it is hard, it is not the intellectual component that confounds students: it is the self-discipline required.

Faculty are ever present to support and discuss the research projects with the students, but the faculty will not micro-manage the students' projects. Students come to understand their stake in their own research, and that they are responsible for its palpable success, or its reduced success. This is a difficult lesson for students who are accustomed to being told what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. The rewards in learning and professional growth are unparalleled in any program.

Examples of Student Research

  • Changes in Mineral Content in Red Spruce Sapwood Decomposed by Fomitopsis pinicola In Vitro
    Tara and Shanna Barreto
  • Micro-propagation of Acer rubrum by Cutting and In-Vitro cloning Techniques
    Eric Conley
  • Red Maple Micro-propagation
    Steve Stein
  • Muscular Dystrophy and Calpains in the Mouse Model
    Tammy Browning
  • Calcium-Binding Capacity of Wheat Bran Cereal in an In Vitro Model
    Deanna Daigle
  • Nutrient Dynamics of Red Maple Leaves During In Vitro and Mid-Winter Decay
    Sarah Brann
  • Drosophila melanogaster and the Effects of Heat upon Heritable Changes in the Reproductive Phenotype
    Sarah Worchester
  • Decay Fungi Associated with Decomposing Red Maple Leaves: A Survey of Nutrient Changes, Decay Capacity, and Biodiversity
    Nichole Hayden
  • The Mitogenic Effects of Vaccinium angustifolium extracts on Lymphocyte Proliferation
    Andy Kallas
  • The Effect of Dietary Fiber on Urinary Oxalate Concentration and Daily Oxalate Excretion
    Brock Mattson
  • Diffusion and Adsorption Barriers in Competitive Binding of Oxalate and Calcium to Wheat Bran Cereal Particles
    Ashley Bouchard
  • Antioxidant and Radical Scavenging Phytochemicals: A Comparative Analysis of Antioxidants in Tomato Paste
    Amy Jordan