ND EPSCoR State Conference 2010 in Grand Forks

I spent this morning and early afternoon at the North Dakota EPSCoR 2010 State Conference. EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) is a federally funded program to fund states that need additional infrastructure in order to improve their research output. It is funded competitively, and then those funds are distributed within the state towards research projects, facilities, and scholarships. I learned today that North Dakota is the only state that has been funded continuously since the program’s inception in the early 80s. Part of this is supposedly because the state agrees up front beforehand to match the federal money given, something I guess other states aren’t able to do.

The posters (graduate student research projects) were generally very good, although a lot of walking was involved to see everything because of placement on the walls down the main corridor of the Alerus Center. Several of my Geology and Geological Engineering colleagues presented posters, most of them luckily in high-traffic areas. A lot of the material was biochemical in nature, which tended to make me (since I’m not a chemical biologist) gloss over some things I probably shouldn’t have; I would suggest to EPSCoR that in the future the posters be arranged more according to topic, which might have the added benefit of getting students from different institutions to talk to each other about their similar topics.

I’ve scanned the poster session program (includes abstracts), and for general entertainment I shot some photos, shared below.

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A geologist explains his project.
Breakfast, the introductory speaker, and some of the many posters were on display in this room.

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Student posters went all the way down the hall.
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A biologist explains her work.
Lunch was surprisingly good for being free.

To do: make sure I have a list here of all the GGE students who presented.

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