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Thinking outside the classroom

Life as an undergraduate in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math typically involves going to lectures, doing course projects and sometimes conducting controlled experiments in the lab or the field. The Solar Energy-Water-Environment Nexus-funded Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) aims to give students that little bit extra to prepare them for the outside world by engaging them in real research projects. Students at any institution within the Nevada System of Higher Education can either apply to do a 10-week summer or nine-month academic year project. Whether accepted into the program or not, they learn one critical skill during the application process: formulating a testable research question. For professional scientists, the first stage of a research project involves asking a question and, from that question, formulating a hypothesis to test in their research. Shown here: Climbers, including UROP student Chris Stevens, descend from the summit of Vallunaraju in Peru, 5,686 meters above sea level, after taking snow samples and albedo measurements.

Visit Website | Image credit: Chris Stevens/University of Nevada, Reno