The students found a water source for the university.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- A team of three Youngstown State University students is among 60 such groups selected to present research at a national event in Washington, D.C.
This is the first time YSU students were chosen to participate in the Council for Undergraduate Research's Posters on the Hill event April 19 at the Rayburn House Office Building.
The students -- Dan Bole of Poland, Ginger Cartright of Niles and Nicole Danish of New Middletown -- along with Jeff Dick, YSU coordinator of undergraduate research and an associate professor of geology, conducted research to determine if there is an underground water source for YSU's campus sprinkler system.
The team discovered a shallow underground aquifer after drilling 10 shallow wells on the corner of Lincoln and Fifth avenues, near the Beeghly College of Education.
The results showed that the aquifer has a sufficient amount of water for YSU to use for its lawn sprinklers. The students and Dick will share the findings with the college's maintenance department. The department asked Dick in 2002 to find a water source on campus for the sprinkler system.
YSU's water source is the city of Youngstown, which purchases its water from the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District. The MVSD operates Meander Reservoir.
The students' project is called "Scientists to the Rescue: A Solution to a Water Conservation Problem."
The students will take 24 slides -- showing their research through pictures and graphs -- and place them on a poster board to be displayed at the Rayburn Building, said Danish, a senior geography major with a minor in environmental geology.
"We found a useful alternative for the sprinkler system," she said. "It's a very interesting project, and it was a rewarding experience. It's a pretty big honor to be selected."
The Council for Undergraduate Research is a national organization that supports and promotes undergraduate student-faculty research. The 60 selected presentations were from hundreds submitted by universities nationwide.
Posters on the Hill raises awareness of undergraduate work among federal lawmakers and helps to garner more support and funding for research projects.
The students going to D.C. also will visit the offices of their U.S. House representatives and U.S. senators.
Bole, a senior geology major and the project's principal author, said being among 60 college student projects is a tribute to YSU's geology department.
Bole, Danish and Cartright, a master's student in environmental studies who first worked on the project as an undergraduate, will present the research Tuesday at YSU's Quest annual forum for student scholarships. Dick coordinates the Quest program.
The 16th annual Quest program will feature 149 research projects by 292 students. Winners will be recognized at the YSU Honors Convocation, and their research will be part of the Academic Alliance Regional Symposium at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. The convocation and symposium are scheduled for later this month.