Every year the KU Center for Undergraduate Research holds the Undergraduate Research Symposium, an opportunity for students to present their work. The Center fosters research throughout the year, providing information, workshops, funding opportunities and more to help fuel research by KU undergraduates. Both Geography and Atmospheric Science students presented at this year’s symposium.
The KU Geography Capstone Class had three student groups present work, and food insecurities was a major theme for the class. KU Geography students Arun Dayal, Madelin Lemus-Espinoza, Eric Marshall and Kimberly Goggles won an Outstanding Presentation Award for their research, “Lettuce Taco 'Bout It: Food Insecurity Amongst KU Undergraduate Students”. The students were mentored by Jay Johnson & Stephen Egbert.
Abstract: With the increasing cost of college in the United States, food insecurity for college undergraduates has become an increasing problem. Research that addresses the unique issue has grown in the past half century or so, though little of the existing research addresses the University of Kansas’ student population directly. Such research reveals that college students across the US who identify with a minority population tend to experience food insecurity at a higher rate. A significant portion of the KU undergraduate population experiences food insecurity, part of the problem is being addressed by the community resources available. Still other KU undergraduates are not receiving the support they need. Our group conducted a survey of 174 KU undergraduates, which focused on gathering information on the extent of food insecurity amongst them and identifying potential contributing factors to food insecurity. We found that a significant portion of the KU student body has had problems with accessing and maintaining a healthy diet. In order to continue addressing the food insecurity problem amongst KU undergraduates it is necessary to ensure that information on community resources are readily available.
Other departmental undergraduate research presentations included:
Jade Steffensmeier (#48), Remote sensing of low-cloud behavior over the Eastern North Atlantic from ground-based profiling cloud radar, mentored by David Mechem.
Alexandra Harmon, John Donart, James Newsome, & Turner Beilman (#31), The Pursuit of KU Calves: A Survey of Student Transportation Decisions, mentored by Jay Johnson & Stephen Egbert.
Rebecca Chambers, Levi Sedlock, & Yane Tan (#33), Fake News? KU Undergraduate Students’ Attitudes Toward Climate Change, mentored by Jay Johnson & Stephen Egbert.