Opportunities for Research by Undergraduate Students

Your education at Fort Hays State University can involve more than learning in a classroom. Research experience in the Department of Biological Sciences is available for undergraduate students, including students enrolled in the Kansas Academy of Math and Science (KAMS). Undergraduate students at all levels are encouraged to talk to their advisor or instructors regarding biology research opportunities.

Many undergraduate students conduct research in biology at FHSU, even during their first year. Moreover, many of our students present their research results at meetings of scientific societies in Kansas and elsewhere, and they publish their work in scientific journals. Research experience is extremely valuable. Students often remark that research experience can transcend experiences in the classroom by giving them a better understanding of the process of science. This process begins with asking relevant questions and forming hypotheses to be tested through experiments, during which students gather and analyze data. The results of this work are disseminated to others, typically through poster or oral presentations and published manuscripts. All of these steps are helpful for students, whether their goals are to pursue research, teaching, administration, or professional school. Skills learned during biology research are universally valuable across a wide range of disciplines, so even students who ultimately do not pursue a degree in biology participate in our research activities. While not a requirement in our degree program, there are opportunities to earn elective hours for research projects. Financial support for the research and travel to professional meetings is usually available. If you are interested, contact your advisor or instructor today to learn about research opportunities in the FHSU Department of Biological Sciences.

Summary of Undergraduate Research Activities: 2012-2013
  • Undergraduate Students Conducting Research: 18
  • Presentations by Students at Professional Meetings
    • Botanical Society of America: 2
    • Kansas Academy of Science: 9
    • Kansas Herpetological Society: 3
    • Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE): 3
    • Kansas Ornithological Society: 1
    • Kansas Natural Resources Conference: 1
    • Society for Range Management: 2
    • Southwestern Association of Naturalists: 3
    • World Aquaculture Society: 2
Undergrad Field Research
Undergraduate students
participating in conservation
research in the Red Hills
of south-central Kansas.
Recent Undergraduate Student Research Achievements
  • Undergraduate Oral Presentation Awards
    • Keri L. Caudle, 3rd Place, Kansas Academy of Science, 2013
    • Keri L. Caudle, 2nd Place, Kansas Academy of Science, 2011
Undergrads in Research Lab
Undergraduate students conducting
physiology research in the lab at the
Department of Biological Sciences.
  • Undergraduate Poster Presentation Awards
    • Bliss M. Betzen and Cera M. Smart, 3rd Place, Kansas Academy of Science, 2013
    • Keri L. Caudle, 2nd Place, Kansas Academy of Science, 2013
Undergrads at Meeting
Undergraduate students presenting
their research results at the
Kansas Academy of Science
annual meeting.
  • Research Qualifying for Scientific Competitions
    • Hayley L. Disney and Quentin C. Aker, International Science and Engineering Fair, Phoenix, Arizona, 2013
Undergrads at State Science Fair
Undergraduate students with their
medals at the Kansas State
Science Fair.
  • Grants Awarded to Students
    • Keri L. Caudle, $36,796 EPA Research Fellowship (including summer internship at research facility in Newport, Oregon), 2013
    • Jeff Carter, Student Travel Award from the Wilson Ornithological Society to attend the 5th North American Ornithological Conference, Vancouver, Canada, 2012
Keri in Oregon
Undergraduate student conducting 
summer research on
the Oregon Coast.
  • Undergraduate Research Students Moving On
    • Abigail Pflughoeft. Graduated from FHSU in May 2013. Accepted to the MD program at KU Medical Center (Class of 2017). Presented her research (oral presentation) at the World Aquaculture Society meeting in March 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee
    • Cassie Schmidtberger. Graduated from FHSU in May 2012. Accepted to the DVM program at KSU College of Veterinary Medicine (Class of 2016). Presented her research (poster presentation) at the World Aquaculture Society meeting in March 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada