Undergraduate Research in Scientific Inquiry with J. Neitzel
Fall 2014, Winter 2015 and Spring 2015 quarters
Rigorous quantitative and qualitative research is an important component of academic learning in Scientific Inquiry. Research opportunities allow science students to work on specific projects associated with faculty members’ expertise. Students typically begin by working in an apprenticeship model with faculty or laboratory staff and gradually take on more independent projects within the context of the specific research program as they gain experience. Students can develop vital skills in research design, data acquisition and interpretation, modeling and theoretical analysis, written and oral communication, collaboration and critical thinking. These are valuable skills for students pursuing a graduate degree or entering the job market.
Jim Neitzel (biochemistry) uses methods from organic and analytical chemistry to study biologically interesting molecules. A major focus of his current work is on fatty acids; in particular, finding spectroscopic and chromatographic methods to identify fatty acids in complex mixtures and to detect changes that occur in fats during processing or storage. This has relevance both for foods and in biodiesel production. The other major area of interest is in plant natural products, such as salicylates. Work is in process screening local plants for the presence of these molecules, which are important plant defense signals. Work is also supported in determining the nutritional value of indigenous plants. Students with a background and interest in organic, analytical or biochemistry could contribute to this work.
Fields of Study
Preparatory for studies or careers in
Location and Schedule
Offered during: Day