PULLMAN – An unprecedented number of undergraduate students in the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences will have an opportunity to conduct hands-on science thanks to a series of grants from the college specifically aimed at supporting undergraduate research.

“Experiential learning and applying basic science and research to real-world issues and challenges are cornerstones of what our college is about,” said Kim Kidwell, CAHNRS associate dean for academic programs. “The lessons learned by actually conducting research are much more impactful than those learned solely by listening in a lecture hall.”

Last year approximately 10 projects received grants of between $500 and $1,200. This year, the program has been expanded to fund more than 30 projects. “The student projects were chosen for funding based on the soundness of the science and research methods they proposed,” Kidwell explained. “The level of quality and innovation is impressive.”

The students, working in teams with CAHNRS faculty and graduate students, will conduct research on everything from developing wheat for celiac patients and dietary health to enhancing seed germination in sweet cherry breeding programs, from environmental design of the modern golf course to attribution of blame to victims of sexual abuse.

A complete list of the projects is available at http://cahnrsnews.wsu.edu/reportertools/news/2008/ugrad-res-2008-12.html. Students will present findings from their research at the CAHNRS Awards Banquet at the end of the Spring 2009 semester.

The undergraduate research grant program is funded by the WSU Agricultural Research Center and the CAHNRS Office of Academic Programs.