2009 Undergraduate Research Symposium - Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science
The URS in the Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science was held the weekend of November 6-8 at The University of Chicago. A total of 91 students and faculty members from all 14 Consortium member campuses participated in the meeting. Costs for participants including transportation, lodging and meals were covered by the Consortium.
The meeting included two poster sessions with more than 20 research posters and four oral sessions with 22 total oral presentations by undergraduates.
On Friday evening, the second Annual Janet Andersen Award Lecture was given by Dr. Robert Jacobel from St. Olaf's Physics Department. The title of his lecture was "Climate Change in the Polar Regions."
Prof. Jacobel's abstract: The United Nations IPCC Fourth Assessment Report on climate change predicts that global average temperatures will increase by somewhere between 2 and 4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century, primarily due to increases in anthropogenic greenhouse gasses. Because of non-linear feedback processes, those changes will be amplified in the earth’s polar regions, already experiencing the largest transformations in climate on the planet. For a number of years, the geophysics research group at St. Olaf College has been involved in studies of ice and climate change in Greenland, Antarctica and other polar and alpine environments. Robert Jacobel, Grace Whittier Professor of Physics, will speak about climate change research in polar environments and some of his group’s results using remote sensing techniques to answer questions about how the earth’s icy regions are responding to climate change.
On Sunday morning, Pamela Martin, Assistant Professor in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences presented a lecture on her research.