Honors Symposium Highlights Student Research

By John Christensen, Campus Communications Manager


Six different undergraduate students will present and take questions about their research findings at the Fall Undergraduate Research / Honors Symposium Tuesday December 11 from 5:30-7pm in the Rodems Room on the UW-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County campus.  This public event will showcase stimulating research in a variety of disciplines from across the campus.

Student presenters and topics include:


Estimating Genetic Contribution to Milk Production in Goats

“My family runs a three-generation dairy goat farm.  I am interested in improving our milk production from our herd of 230 goats.  In order to do this, I wanted to estimate the heritability (genetic contribution) of milk yield in our herd.  I will use these results to guide future breeding efforts.”

Presenter: Esther Considine

Advisor:  Professor Noah Anderson, Biology


On Friendship

“Without a good system for determining what characteristics are found within friendship, it would be impossible to distinguish a friendship of virtue over a friendship of utility or pleasure. Therefore, I will be clarifying the classical Greek idea that there are many forms of friendship, and instead argue that friendship is a place-holder term for a spectrum of friendly manifestations”

Presenter:  Timothy Sveum

Advisor: Professor Dale Murray, Philosophy


Milk Prices and Dairy Farmers in Wisconsin

“A quantitative study on current dairy farmer crises, due to low milk prices and over- production, in Wisconsin. Consumer surveys uncover milk consumption trends among consumers while farmer interviews identify coping strategies of dairy farmers. The research also provides policy recommendations to mitigate the crises.”

Presenters: Tarek Horkan, Abbey Buelow, and Kiara Willger

Advisor: Associate Professor Musa Ayar, Business and Economics


Prairie Grass Diversity in Sauk County:  Quantification of Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) Genetic Diversity by Microsatellite Analysis.

“This project involved measuring the genetic diversity of local plant species.  Sauk County is home to some prairie remnants that could be used to provide seed stock for local restoration efforts.  We collected Little Blue Stem leaf samples and quantified genetic differences between individuals.  Using seed from remnants with high genetic diversity will help new prairies flourish.” 

Presenters:  Danielle Baker and Emma Kozel

Advisor: Assistant Professor David Olson, Biology


The Benefits of Student Internships

Through reporting on her own experience with MSA Professional Services, learn about the benefits of internships to students, and employers, including:

Hard skills - introduction to business software systems as well as reporting on government labor management and tracking forms, therefore compliance

Soft skills - the importance of concise and clear communication to clients of the firm, internal team members, and local stakeholders; confidentiality relating to funding and prevailing wages; time management, and working independently.

Presenter:  Janna Saiia

Advisor: Sandra Snow, Instructional Academic Staff, Business and Economics


Water Quality in the Little Baraboo River

“Contamination levels were monitored at six river sites throughout the growing season, and compared with watershed geography and agricultural practices. The goal is to help develop a long range Sauk County plan for improving water quality by working with farmers to reduce runoff and contamination levels in surface waters.”

Presenter:  Paul Arellano – Wisconsin Water Research fellow

Advisor:  Assistant Professor Stephen Swallen, Chemistry

The symposium program is coordinated by Professor Kirthi Premadasa of the Mathematics Department. Competitively selected presenters will participate in further public events featuring students from across the UW System, and may also be submitted to peer-reviewed journals.

For more information, or to interview any of the presenters before or after the symposium, contact John Christensen, Campus Communications Manager at 608-355-5365 or christensjoh@uwplatt.edu.


John Christensen