Opinion | Student exemplifies initiative Miami University encourages with undergraduate research
Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 22:10
This past summer Miami University junior Alex McFarland participated in Earth Expeditions, researching orangutans and primate conservation in Borneo.
Earth Expeditions is part of Project Dragonfly, a program created by Miami faculty and students in 1994 that supports community engagement in science.
McFarland was accepted into the Earth Expeditions program in Borneo and used his trip as the basis for his research for Miami’s Undergraduate Summer Scholars (USS) program. He wanted to compare orangutans in the wild to orangutans in captivity at the Cincinnati zoo.
The Miami Student editorial board would like to not only congratulate McFarland on his achievement this summer, but also acknowledge the spotlight that is currently being put on undergraduate research.
Earth Expeditions is a Miami program that is offered mostly to master’s degree candidates and teachers, but accepts select undergraduate students.
As an undergraduate student, he was able to accomplish a project that was above and beyond undergraduate level work. He did more than the usual request of balancing class work and an extracurricular or two by undertaking both applying for the project and completing the research over the summer.
We also commend Miami for allowing an undergraduate to do this sort of research. Putting quality of research before seniority in school years is admirable and, we hope, leads to the most high quality work.