Despite COVID-19, EWU McNair Scholars have persisted through their virtual research internships during the summer of 2020 and now are presenting their research throughout the year. In addition to Ashley Destin and Rachael Pentico presenting at the Murdock College Science Research Conference in the Fall of 2020, three McNair Scholars have presented within their departments at EWU so far in 2021.
Darlene Gilroy, a second year EWU McNair Scholar, presented her research on, “Chemical Weathering of Deposits from the 1980 Mount St. Helens Eruption and its Effect on Stream Water Chemistry," to the Geology Department in early January. Darlene has been mentored by EWU McNair Faculty Mentor Dr. Carmen Nezat for two summers of research. Darlene is currently finishing her senior year at EWU as well as applying to multiple graduate schools across the country.
EWU McNair Scholar Mori Williams was recently featured in a video on the EWU Biology Department's website where he discusses his EWU McNair Summer research in detail. With the support of his EWU McNair Faculty Mentor, Dr. Camille McNeely, Mori took samples at the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge to determine concentrations of microcystins from cyanobacteria in wetlands. He is still compiling data and will present his findings this spring at the EWU Symposium. In the video, Mori also discusses his long term goals to become an environmental scientist with an emphasis in toxicology so he can focus on ways to reduce and remove toxins from our waters. Mori has applied to 7 PhD programs and 3 Masters programs and is currently applying for a fellowship.
Rachael was also featured in a video on the EWU Biology Department's website and shares great research opportunities where she shares examples of research within the department, including her EWU McNair research project under the mentorship of Dr. Rebecca Brown: Differences in Plant Soil Feedbacks with Respect to Slope Aspect. Rachael's findings in this project suggest that slope aspect influences plant-soil feedback. This insight can help with invasive species management in endangered ecosystems such as the Palouse Prairie Ecoregion. Rachael is now hard at work completing her graduate school applications to schools across the country!
We're so proud of all of our EWU McNair Scholars. It's been amazing to see how hard they've worked given all the challenges of the last year. We're excited to see where each of them goes next. Keep your eyes on the EWU McNair website and facebook page in the coming months to see as these fantastic scholars get accepted into graduate programs!