Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Westminster College 2021 Student Symposium On The Environment Winners; 100+ Participate

2021 Student Symposium on the Environment was held on December 2nd and was once again hosted by Westminster College at the McKelvey Campus Center in Lawrence County and co-organized with the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition

The Symposium is an annual event providing students the opportunity to showcase their environmental projects, research, internships and artwork. 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 symposium was a hybrid event consisting of both in-person poster and oral presentations as well as pre-recorded video presentations that became available for viewing on YouTube on November 29. 

Viewers, judges and students were encouraged to comment, interact, and explore the virtual presentations. You can still watch the videos on the Student Symposium on the Environment YouTube Channel.

Nearly 100 students participated in the event, representing Allegheny College, Chatham University, Thiel College, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, Westminster College, and Youngstown State University. 

Winners List

The presentations were broken into four categories: Environmental Project Posters, Environmental Research Presentation, Oral Presentation, and Photography, which was a new category this year. 

For each category a winner and honorable mention were selected by a team of judges and a Video Viewer’s Choice Award was given based upon the number of views, likes, and comments.

The list of winners...

-- Sara Schmidt from Allegheny College won Best Environmental Project for “Regulations at Scale in Ecological Economics.” Claire Mock from Westminster College earned an honorable mention in the Environmental Project category for her video and poster on “Rehabilitation of Western Pennsylvania Mitigated Wetlands” from work done during a summer internship with Dr. Robert Whyte of California University of Pennsylvania.

-- Erin Garrett from Youngstown State University won Best Research Presentation for “The Use of Benthic Macroinvertebrates to Access Water Quality in Tributaries of The Mahoning River.” Honorable mention went to a team of students from Westminster College including Chris Dombrowski, Olivia Droese, Mark Eminhizer, Anna Grimenstein, James Gilbert for their video and poster on “Reckless Behaviors in Blue-leg Hermit Crabs (Clibanarius tricolor) Increase with Exposure to Microplastics.”

-- Jennifer Sabol from Chatham University won the Best Oral Presentation for her research “Exploring the potential for native shrub assemblage restoration in northeastern forests with high whitetail deer and invasive shrub.” Honorable mention went to a team of students from Westminster college including Ethan Brady, Trevor McCabe, Braden Minteer, Sammie Parsons, and Tyler Sportelli, for their presentation “Japanese Hops along the Little Neshannock Creek and the Effectiveness of Steam Treatments.”

-- Claire Mock of Westminster College won the Best Photography category with her photograph “Caterpillar in Stream.” Honorable mention went to Bella Buettner of Westminster College., for “Where the Sky Meets the Ocean,” and the photography Artistic Expression Award went to Stacey Badman of Westminster College for “Fungi.”

-- The Video Viewer’s Choice Award went to Olivia Postlewait from Thiel College for her research “Medicinal Uses for the Fungi of McKean County, Pennsylvania” which at the time of review had registered 335 views, 55 likes, and 18 comments. 

Congratulations to the winners and all of the students for their hard work. We greatly appreciate their efforts as well as the judges who volunteered their time and all of those who came to support the students. 

Hopefully next year we will be able to resume a fully in-person symposium. The event is scheduled to be held on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, so mark it down on your calendars! 

[Visit the 2021 Student Symposium on the Environment webpage for more information.]

(Photo: Westminster College students at the poster the evening of the Symposium.)

(Reprinted from the December Catalyst newsletter from the Slippery Rock Watershed CoalitionClick Here to sign up for your own copy.)

Related Article:

-- Video Showcase Now Open For Westminster College, Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition Student Symposium On The Environment

[Posted: December 28, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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