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Spotlight on Student Research & Outreach

2014 Award Winners

The Spotlight on Student Research activities were held Tuesday, April 15 and Wednesday, April 16th for both undergraduate and graduate students. Participation by both groups was very high, with approximately 75 posters for undergraduates and 73 for graduate students.

Based on judging by an esteemed group of ESF alumni, faculty and graduate students, the following awards were presented at the Spotlight Awards Ceremony, held April 16th in Nifkin Lounge:

Undergraduate Posters:

Tie for 1st Place:
1st place ($125) Chemistry Student Eoghan Connors, "Green Synthesis of Pharmaceuticals Facilitated by Water-Soluble Dendritic Palladium Complexes"
Environmental Studies Student Teagan Dolan, "Engaging and Empowering Appalachian Coal Communities through Water Quality"

Tie for 3rd Place:
3rd place ($75) Chemistry Student Josh Harris, "The Role of Genes PA2003-PA2005 in the Regulation of D-3 Hydroxybutyrate Metabolism in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1"
Environmental Science Student Marie Panossian, "Re-Evaluation of SUNY-ESF's CAP for Carbon Neutrality by 2015"

Graduate Posters:

1st Place ($125) Environmental Studies M.S. Student Katelind Batill, "Drilling Between the Lines: A Multi-State Media Analysis of the Risks and Benefits to Hydraulic Fracturing in the US"

2nd Place ($100) Environmental and Forest Biology Ph.D Student William Helenbrook, "Impact of Changing Landscapes on Gastrointestinal Parasite Communities in People and Mantled Howler Monkeys (Alouatta palliata aequatorialis)"

3rd Place ($75) Environmental and Forest Biology M.S. Student Emily Gavard, "Exploring the Potential for Parasite-mediated Competition: New England and Eastern Cottontails, Invasive Vegetation and Parasites in the Hudson Valley, NY"

Special thanks go out to: All of our talented undergraduate and graduate students who presented posters; the Faculty Governance Committee on Research; the Alumni Office for sponsoring undergraduate awards; the Office of Research Programs and our Academic Departments for sponsoring the graduate awards and providing refreshments; the Graduate Student Association; our Alumni, Faculty and Graduate Student Judges; Dr. Quentin Wheeler for providing the Keynote Address and to the Spotlight Planning Committee comprised of: Jessica Clemons, Gregory Boyer, Elizabeth Folta, Isabelle Fernandez, John Wasiel, Thomas Taggart and Theresa Kaier-May.

About Spotlight

ESF's annual Spotlight Symposium is a dynamic forum where graduate and undergraduate students share the results of their research and community service projects. The Spotlight is a student poster session highlighting your scholarly efforts.

The Spotlight on Student Research and Outreach is your time to shine!


Abstracts may be submitted under "research," "outreach," or "class project" categories. Posters will primarily be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, particularly for posters resulting from class projects, only one to two posters per class may be selected if there are space constraints. Abstracts must include an informative title (200 character limit), a list of authors and their affiliations, and the following in the body of text (250 word limit):

Research abstracts: Rationale and objectives of study, key methods and results, main conclusions and implications.

Outreach abstracts: Objectives of activity, target audience, partners, and outcomes.

Abstracts should not include references or citations, and must be written using plain text (no special characters or formatting.) Abstracts should be reviewed and approved by a faculty advisor prior to submission. Ill-prepared submissions and those not conforming to guidelines will be rejected.

Graduate students will choose a time period they will be able to be present at their poster on Tuesday, April 15th. There are two time periods available: 12-1pm and 1-2pm.

Undergraduate students should plan to be at their posters from 12:45 to 2:00 (during the common hour), on Wednesday April 16th, assuming they do not have any conflicts with scheduled classes. Students must be present at their posters to be considered for an award.

Poster Requirements

Posters should be presented using a "Portrait" layout, with maximum dimensions of 36 inches wide by 48 inches tall. If you choose to present your poster using a "Landscape" layout, please note that posters can be no more than 36 inches wide.

For more information on producing and printing your posters for the event see the ITS links below:

Questions should be directed to Jessica Clemons, Chair of the Committee on Research


The Spotlight is organized by the Ad-Hoc Committee for Spotlight on Student Research, a sub-committee of the Faculty Governance Committee on Research (COR). The Committee would like to thank the campus departments and individuals that contributed funds for awards and supplies:

  • The ESF Alumni Association
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of Environmental and Forest Biology
  • Department of Environmental Resources Engineering
  • Department of Environmental Science
  • Department of Environmental Studies
  • Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management
  • Department of Landscape Architecture
  • Department of Paper & Bioprocess Engineering
  • Department of Sustainable Construction Management & Engineering
  • Office of Research Programs

We would also like to express our gratitude to the Alumni, graduate students, and faculty who volunteered to judge the posters.