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Public Invited to UVI's Fall Research Symposium

The University of the Virgin Islands invites the community to attend the 14th Annual Fall Student Research Symposium from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23, at the St. Thomas campus Administration and Conference Center. The symposium showcases the excellence and diversity of UVI student research and increases awareness of student research opportunities. During the summer, UVI students conduct research on both campuses along with off-island institutions such as Boston University, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Western Michigan University, the University of Puerto Rico, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Johns Hopkins University, Michigan State University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Texas A&M University, Southern Illinois University, and the University of Southern Mississippi.

More than 40 undergraduate and graduate students will make poster presentations to display the results of their research experiences. Titles to be presented include:

• Threats to Our Reefs: Lionfish Invasion in St. Croix, USVI and GIS Mapping of Distribution
• Preliminary Studies on Water Quality Parameters in Bioluminescent Mangrove Lagoon, St. Croix, USVI
• The Role of LMNA in Human Longevity
• Investigation in the Use of Optical Spectroscopy to Determine Metal-Ligand Binding Constants
• Utilizing Eye-Tracking to Determine Students' Comprehension of Chemistry While They Read
• Data Mining: Exploring the Association Between Semantic Categories and Attributes in Large Databases
• The SERV-ILEK Project: Social-Ecologically Resilient Visions using Integrated Local Environmental Knowledge
• Developing a PCR protocol for the Greater Bulldog Bat (Noctilio leporinus) in the Northern US Virgin Islands

A panel of judges will evaluate the presentations based on visual materials, clarity, and scientific content. Winners receive certificates of recognition and become eligible for travel awards. Among past Fall Symposium winners is Marisha Perkins, currently a UVI senior majoring in Chemistry. She received the prestigious UNCF/Merck Science Initiative Scholarship award this year. The award is granted to underrepresented students seeking careers in biomedical research. Undergraduate recipients receive up to $25,000 in scholarships and summer research internships at the Merck Research Laboratories.

The symposium is sponsored by the Emerging Caribbean Scientists (ECS) program and the College of Science and Mathematics. The mission of the ECS Program is to increase research training and promote excellence for students majoring in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), psychology, & nursing at UVI. The program provides funding for student research through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program, the National Institutes of Health's MARC and RISE programs, the South East Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (SEAGEP), and NSF's S-STEM grant.

For more information, visit the program's website at or contact Aimee Sanchez at or 693-1249.