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York College of PA undergrad student research showcase features more than 30 faculty-student projects, some local

April 21, 2022
A student in a white blazer stands in front of a large research poster on an easel. She is in discussion with a woman.

More than 30 undergraduate students are presenting their research projects during the annual York College Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Showcase on April 22. 

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Showcase features the various forms of research conducted by students across all five schools of the College. Students develop their own research questions and conduct independent research under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Projects range from analyses of the environmental impact of the Battle of Gettysburg to experiments on how to detoxify wastewater runoff to protect aquatic life.

“The annual Undergraduate Research Showcase provides students from all disciplines with the opportunity to display their research projects and engage in stimulating discussions about the research process,” said Provost Laura Niesen de Abruña.

This year’s event features a partnership with President Gunter-Smith’s Task Force on Campus Sustainability. The Showcase highlights student research on environmental sustainability and the projects are noted throughout the program for the event. 

Examples of local projects include: 

Effect of Land Use on Microplastic Concentration and Characteristics in Freshwater Ecosystems of York County, PA
Student Researcher: Breah Kaliszak (Sophomore Biology major from Dallastown)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Bridgette Hagerty

As concern for microplastic contamination of aquatic ecosystems grows, streams have emerged as critical pathways of plastics to oceans. To understand microplastic pollution in local freshwater ecosystes, this study analyzed the role of land use in microplastic concentration and characteristics in urban and rural streams of York County, PA.

Where Should Riparian Buffers Be Placed in Lancaster County to Protect Waterways from Farm Runoff?
Student Researcher: Steven Iseman (Senior Mechanical Engineering major from Lititz)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Pomeroy

This project analyzes the risk to Lancaster waterways and recommends conservation efforts to protect them. 

Forgotten Losses: Nature and Agriculture at the Battle of Gettysburg
Student Researcher: Ian Miller (Senior Chemistry and History major from Littlestown)

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Corey Brooks

The Battle of Gettysburg was the largest in the North during the American Civil War and left the agriculture, landscape, and lives of the people of Gettysburg Pennsylvania altered for times to come. Looking at burials, nature, agriculture, and disease, this research sought to use accounts from the era along with historical documents to investigate environmental impacts on the region following the Battle of Gettysburg. Awarded York College of Pennsylvania Student Travel Research Grant to present at the American Chemical Society National Meeting

View the Program