Student Research/Creative Activity grant programs call for applications

There are new funding tracks available for Student Research/Creative Activity grants.

The “TRADITIONAL” STUDENT GRANT TRACK, funded by the College at Oneonta Foundation and the Alumni Association, awards funding of up to $1,500 (+ student and faculty fellowship stipends) for independent research/creative activity (CA) projects conducted by students with faculty sponsorship. APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, March 19 at 5 p.m.

In addition to the “Traditional” grant track, the Committee on Research is pleased to announce three new opportunities, funded by an award from the Strategic Allocation of Resources (StAR) program, intended to strengthen and grow student research and creative activity through “tiered” opportunities for faculty to expose students to such activity early in their college careers, and to encourage students to engage in more advanced participation as they progress toward graduation.

(1)    The *NEW* RESEARCH/CREATIVE ACTIVITY “SHADOWING” TRACK is intended to broaden student engagement in research/CA, whereby a student with little-to-no experience (freshmen, sophomores, first year transfer students) would join a faculty member’s endeavor as an “observer” or a junior team member. Budgets can include up to $500 for project expenses (+ stipends for the faculty mentor and the ‘shadow’ student). APPLICATION DEADLINE: Online applications, to be submitted by full- or part-time faculty only, are accepted on a rolling basis.

(2)    The *NEW* “SUMMER FELLOWSHIP” TRACK assists undergraduate students with costs related to participating in summer research/CA, including: campus-based independent research/CA with faculty mentorship, or assistantships for campus-based faculty projects; off-campus directed field work or other research/CA endeavor with a SUNY Oneonta faculty mentor; formal research/CA experiences at other institutions; participation in external field schools, artist residencies, etc. Applicants may apply for funding up to the maximum allowed for the specific type of summer research experience, as detailed in the program guidelines (funding ranges from $1,000 to $2,000 + faculty stipend). APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, March 19 at 5:00 p.m.

(3)    The *NEW* “CLASSROOM-BASED” RESEARCH/CREATIVE ACTIVITY TRACK is intended to support course-related activities that expose students to the breadth, depth, and application of scholarly/creative activity. Faculty can apply for funding of up to $1,000 for activities that would enhance the research/CA element of a course (Fall 2018 or later). APPLICATIONDEADLINE: Monday, March 19 at 5:00 p.m.


Questions? Contact a member of the Committee on Research.

The Seminar Series in Biology to host graduate student presentations Friday

The Seminar Series in Biology will host presentations by graduate students Friday, Feb. 16, at 4 p.m. in Science I, room 121. Hosted by the Biology Department, this series is offered several times throughout the semester to provide our student community with opportunities to learn about scientific research and professions. Speakers may include our own department faculty or students, as well as biologists and other professionals from elsewhere. All are welcome.


Featured presenters:

David Andrews is a graduate of SUNY ESF. He has worked in various fisheries positions including recording quota monitoring and stock assessments of ground fish, as a fisheries technician with the MA DMF, and monitoring river herring spawning runs along with acoustic studies of striped bass, American shad and cush.

David’s presentation, “Butterfield Lake NY,” will examine some unique management concerns including coliform bacteria pollution, an unsuccessful walleye stocking program and multiple invasive species. David will be discussing how he plans to address each of the management areas; fisheries, nutrients, macrophytes and coliform pollution. He will also touch on the challenges of completing multiple projects, each with the potential to be a masters thesis in its own right, within the time we have available.


Samantha Cassata is a graduate of the SUNY Oneonta Biology Program. Aside from a strong interest in insects, Samantha has worked on the Croton River Survey. Samantha’s presentation is titled “Identification of fireflies (Coleoptera: Lampyridae) at Thayer Farm, Otsego County, NY.”

Thayer Farm, a 256-acre property, is home to hundreds of species, including fireflies (Coleoptera: Lampyridae). Prior to an intraspecific examination of genetic diversity in luciferin and luciferase, exact species identifications needed to be established. A combination of morphological and molecular traits was used to identify species. Based on available keys, 8 Photinus species were identified. Examination of a 600 bp region of Cytochrome Oxidase I, 2 Photinus species were identified, including many individuals of P. macdermotti, which was not included on semi-regional keys. Some molecular identifications (based on n-BLAST similarity) may be suspect, as some GenBank results suggested multiple species names that differed by less than 1% (well below insect species boundaries for this gene).

Hayley Dower is a graduate of the SUNY Oneonta Biology Program. Hayley’s presentation, “Population Dynamics of Spawning Walleye in Otsego Lake, NY,” will examine the result of NYSDEC stocking efforts of 0.6 million Walleye in Otsego Lake from 2000 through 2014. The goal of the proposed research is to provide information about the recently established walleye population in Otsego Lake NY for regional fishery managers. Dower will 1) investigate spawning behavior and demographics (e.g., sex ratio, age, and size structure), 2) estimate annual survival rates, and 3) estimate abundance of Walleye in spawning tributaries and in the lake. This will be achieved by applying passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags that allow for the identification of individual fish, and physically recapturing Walleye throughout the year to inform quantitative estimates of population parameters. This work will build on previous efforts and provide information necessary for making informed resource management decisions.

Letter-writing event planned for Feb. 19

The Luminous Letter Project of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, the Multicultural Center, Phi Sigma Iota and HOLA invite you to a letterwriting event Monday, Feb. 19th at 6 p.m. in Fitzelle 352 to write and send letters of support and friendship to LGBTQ+ immigrants in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers and across other detention facilities in the United States.

This is a great opportunity for expressing kindness and the shared humanity of people, regardless of their immigration status. We will be sending letters with words of encouragement and support. Let’s shed some light into the shadows of detention. A suggested $1 donation is encouraged in order to support Phi Sigma Iota’s induction ceremony this semester. There will be crackers and brownies for sale as well.