Nearly 200 attendees gathered at Westminster College’s 9th Environmental Symposium on Dec. 1 in McKelvey Campus Center.The symposium highlighted the research, projects, service work and environmental themed artwork of students from five regional colleges and universities (Westminster College, Geneva College, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, Slippery Rock University and Youngstown State University) and Wilmington Area High School.
The symposium presentations were split into three categories: Environmental Project, Research Poster and Oral Presentation.Westminster College and the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition, co-organizers of the event, came together to announce the award winners of this year’s Environmental Symposium.
Forty-three students presented at this year’s symposium. Cash prizes, sponsored by Stream Restoration Inc., were awarded to the top student work in each category. All awardees received a certificate.
Jackie Schultz ‘17, Laura Page ‘18, Justin Shaw ‘17, Terrell Cleckley ‘19 and David Austin ’18 were awarded Feature Presentation for their interdisciplinary approach of a non-science perspective to an environmental project. The students produced broadcasting communications project entitled “Explore, Experience, Experiment” that featured Westminster’s Outdoor Laboratory.
Senior environmental science major, Erin Hassett, earned top prize in the Environmental Project presentation category. Hassett interned with the Missouri Department of Conservation and presented her research on fish response to flow alteration.
This is Hassett’s third year participating in the Environmental Symposium and every year she is excited to showcase the research she has been dedicated to for months. “The symposium gives me, and other participants, the valuable opportunity to interact with and receive feedback from students and faculty in a professional setting,” said Hassett.
Brooke Mancuso, senior biology major, received Best in Research Poster category for her poster reflecting her research on the associations among microhabitat characteristics and patterns of nest site occupancy in American Kestrels. Cameron Yard ’17 earned Honorable Mention.
Jacob Booth ‘17, Adam Cheatham ‘17, Erin Hassett ‘17 and Natasha Pacifico ’17 were awarded Honorable Mention for their presentation on the detriments of water quality of natural springs in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio.