On April 9th, I was able to participate in Undergraduate Research Day (URD) here at the University of Oklahoma. While URD had to be virtual this year, it was still incredibly exciting and rewarding to present on my own research for the first time. It was also a great space to get experience presenting on my topic, which will hopefully set me up well if I ever get the opportunity to present at a conference.
Because my project is largely an independent one, I can sometimes feel as if I am operating in a bubble. Getting to share the beginnings of my findings with others was very motivating. Hearing others’ feedback and excitement about my project was very satisfying and has helped motivate me to keep working diligently on my project through the end of semester stress of finals. Answering questions and hearing others’ suggestions allowed me to hear about my research from new perspectives and consider aspects I had not considered before. It also showed me areas where I maybe do not know as much as I wish I did. I definitely came out of URD with new directions to explore as well as renewed inspiration to continue working hard on my project.
Another great part of Undergraduate Research Day was getting to hear from other researchers in the Environmental Sustainability Working Group about their projects. While I read their blog posts and occasionally hear from them in overlapping Zoom check-ins, I haven’t had the chance to really learn about their projects. I loved seeing such a wide diversity in research topics. It is exciting to see how many areas there are to be explored under the environmental sustainability umbrella. I also thought it was encouraging to hear from others who are much further into their project than I am into mine. It was inspiring to see their results and how they are working towards publication. I hope to follow in their footsteps soon.
I want to thank my mentors Dr. Person and Dr. Peppler for their assistance and continued support in my project so far. I would not have been able to give such a successful presentation without their guidance. I also want to extend a congratulations to the other researchers that presented at Undergraduate Research Day. Everyone did a great job discussing their research, despite the challenges presented by a virtual platform. If you would like to hear more about my research, you can watch my URD presentation, read my introductory blog post, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.