Over 30 Tritons will represent the University of Guam at the largest multidisciplinary and multicultural STEM diversity event in the country next week as the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) presents the National Diversity in STEM conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Student researchers funded under the National Science Foundation Guam Established Programs to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and the Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science Supporting Emerging and Aquatic Sciences (INCLUDES SEAS) programs will take the stage to present the findings of their recent research projects.
“UOG is taking big steps to make STEM careers more accessible to our local students,” explained principal investigator Austin Shelton, Ph.D. “Supported by grants, our students will present their research at the national level and get exposure to hundreds of new career and scholarship opportunities.”
A total of five students from EPSCoR and four students from INCLUDES SEAS were selected from student submissions from all over the country to present their research, which is the largest number of student researchers ever accepted from UOG.
Through the grant-funded trip, students like Antoni Badowski, an undergraduate biology major at UOG and a Guam NSF EPSCoR student researcher, will have the opportunity to meet with students, mentors and teachers from around the world.
“I am very excited to go to SACNAS and present my research,” said Badowski. “This will be my first off-island conference and I look forward to gaining experience and networking with others in my field of interest.”
Badowski will present his research regarding the genetic barcoding of amphidromous shrimp species native to Guam. Amphidromous shrimps migrate between freshwater and saltwater. Once the barcoding is complete, photo documentation along with preserved specimens, tissue biopsies, and genomic DNA extracts will be entered into the UOG Biorepository. This study will allow more extensive genetic analyses to be conducted in the future and serve as a guide for effective conservation efforts. He is under the mentorship of Daniel Lindstrom, Ph.D.
Along with grant-provided funding and local scholarships from the Research Corporation of the University of Guam, about half of the student researchers were awarded travel scholarships by the SACNAS organization.
The SACNAS conference will be held from October 27 through October 29 and will be held in-person for the first time since 2019. The conference was held virtually in 2020 and 2021 due to pandemic restrictions.