Recent Undergraduate Student Research Projects

Burrowing owls in Southwest Utah:

Student Involvement:
2004: Brent Davis, Clint Nielson, James Dean Moore

2003: Louis Bailey, Tiffany Bradshaw, Tessie Leany, James Moore, Clint Nielson
2002: Cole Robinson, Megan Freestone, Chase Williams, Oasee Malhotra

2001: Cole Robinson

2000: Gabrielle Diamond, Joel Diamond


Synopsis: Burrowing owls (Athene curnicularia) are a state-sensitive species. Pairs of owls are dependent on other fossorial mammals for establishing burrows for breeding and individuals may be additionally prone to ground predators and human disturbance. Knowledge about return rates of individuals and reproductive success in Utah is not currently well known; this information is important for the future management of sensitive populations in Utah. This study currently is focused on locating and monitoring individuals and reporting reproductive success for pairs.

Misconceptions about Evolution:

Student Involvement:
2001: Cole Robinson, Jon Christiansen, T.J. Jensen

Synopsis: By the time a student enters a university, the student likely has to some degree been exposed to the subject of evolution. Many misconceptions surround this subject, including those that might originate from the notion that evolutionary theory runs counter to religious convictions. The purpose of this research was to determine S.U.U. students' perceptions and understanding of evolution. Specifically, this research team determined 1) how prevalent misconceptions are, 2) if evolution subject matter taught at the university helps to clear those misconceptions, and 3) how well students in different disciplines understand the theory of evolution.

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