The 17th Annual Northeast Natural History Conference (NENHC) took place in Cromwell, Conn. from April 21-23, 2017. As the largest regional forum of its kind, the NENHC brings together researchers, natural resource managers, students, and naturalists to discuss the most current information in applied field biology and natural history in the Northeastern U.S.
Kirsten Martin, Ph.D., and Michelle Kraczkowski, Ph.D., both assistant professors of Biology at USJ, and three students from the department were in attendance to share their latest research. Kraczkowski presented her work on Dace fish, while Martin gave two poster presentations – one about her work on the Scantic River E.coli Monitoring Project and the other on the USJ Grasslands Project being done in collaboration with the CT Master Gardener Program.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to connect with other scientists and to investigate new collaborations with my colleagues from other universities and agencies,” said Martin. “These conferences are a great way to help my research students network. It was also an opportunity to highlight the work that USJ is doing in regards to environmental monitoring and research.”
Students Shanelle Haughton ’16, Renamargaret Kousournas ’17, and Rachel Silva ’17 also found the Conference to be a rewarding experience.
Haughton, who graduated in 2016 with her bachelor’s degree in Biology and is currently enrolled in the USJ master’s degree Biology program, presented her work, “Pharmaceutical Pollution: Exploring the Effects of Aspirin and Amoxicillin on Chloroplasts of Lemna Minor.”
“It was wonderful being around like-minded individuals who are deeply invested in solving the many issues existing in our environment,” remarked Haughton. “I got positive feedback and useful tips from my peers while presenting. Attending conferences like the NE Natural History Conference and sharing my work with others provides additional support and motivation to continue developing my research and to grow as a scientist.”
Kousournas felt similarly while presenting her project, “The Impact of Acidity and Temperature on Lemna minor Respiration, Chloroplast Count, and Glucose Levels.”
“Being able to present my own research to others has been a wonderful experience,” she stated. “Not only was I able to practice my public speaking skills, but I was also able to share the work that I had been doing all year in the lab with others who are also enthusiastic and eager to hear about my findings.”