MAILED: July 17, 1998|
EAU CLAIRE -- From the Apostle Islands to the cranberry bogs of Wisconsin, four University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students and assistant professor of geography Harry Jol are taking their knowledge of geography and technology and applying it across the country this summer.Funded in part by UW-Eau Claire's Office of University Research, the College of Arts and Sciences, differential tuition and the U.S. Geological Survey, the work is multi-funded and multi-faceted.
"We're getting new research equipment up and running." Jol said. "Students are setting up, testing and going out in the field and collecting data."
The group already has traveled a great deal this summer. And trips to Virginia with geology assistant professor Karen Havholm and to Washington are planned in the weeks ahead.
Ground penetrating radar is among the equipment the group is testing. The radar, if testing proves successful, can help in a number of community related issues such as coastal erosion, aggregate mining and groundwater problems. It will be used in UW-Eau Claire geography capstone courses.
After two years of geography classes, senior Tony Viavattine became involved with the project this year.
"I wanted to expand my horizons and my education," Viavattine said. "It's a chance to learn some high-tech equipment. It's been good _ very informative."
A geography and history double major, senior Paul Haughton heard about the research opportunity through other students and his geography class. The practical experience is a key for him.
"It seems that's what you need for pretty much anything these days," he said. "This is different from other summer jobs. I've learned more in the last three weeks than in a whole semester of classes."
"It's a different kind of learning," senior Beth Wenell said. "You're learning so much more when you're applying. You usually don't get this kind of experience until grad school."
Senior Brian Thayer, who has worked on several projects with Jol and has written a few grants for the research, agreed.
"It's an incredible amount of experience that most graduate students don't get," he said. "It's one-on-one, hands-on experience."
Jol said the projects will continue well into the fall semester. In addition
to presenting their papers at next year's Student Research Day,
the students will create Web pages detailing their work. Pages
can be accessed at http://www.uwec.edu/jolhm/jolConceptPage/Subpages/1998research.html.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: July 17, 1998