Guest post by Dan Dougherty, Geography/History ’12
Bucknell’s summer GIS students recently got the opportunity to showcase their work at two separate poster symposiums. It helps to know a little bit about research/poster symposiums, for those who are unfamiliar. They are fairly straightforward. Participants set up their posters in a preassigned display location. Standing close by their posters, students field questions from interested attendees who wander the showcase, viewing posters of interest. The posters generally outline the basics of the research project first, before moving on to explain the more detailed aspects, like methodology and an analysis of the results. Space is limited so not everything can (and should!) be explained on the poster – and the student therefore must be prepared to answer fully any questions an attendee might ask. Many poster sessions are judged, with the winner awarded a prize (usually monetary). However, neither symposium the GIS students attended was judged.
GIS students attended their first symposium on Wednesday, July 27, 2011. The Sigma Xi Poster Session was held in Bucknell’s Terrace Room, located in the Elaine Langone Center. Approximately 50 students presented their work; six GIS students with eight separate posters were among them. Dozens of people turned out to view the posters, including Bucknell faculty, administrators, and members of the local community. Provost Mick Smeyer was among the attendees, and was so impressed with the quality and consistency of the work that he asked all attendees to repeat the session again in September for Bucknell’s President, John Bravman, and the Board of Trustees.
Students attended a second symposium on August 9, 2011 from 10am to 3pm. The First Annual Susquehanna Valley Undergraduate Research Symposium was held at the Geisinger Center for Health Research in Danville, Pennsylvania, about 30 minutes from Bucknell’s campus. Students from both Bucknell University and Bloomburg University were in attendance to showcase their summer research projects to their peers, interested academics, and Geisinger staff members. Bucknell’s GIS students contributed seven posters to the symposium, all of which received substantial praise and recognition.