July 23, 2017

Research as Education Philosophy

The EREN model for collaborative ecological research among primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs) underscores the idea that research at PUIs not only enhances education, but through collaboration, can also provide significant contributions to ecological science and environmental policy. Although many of the broader and most pressing ecological questions cannot be fully addressed through small-scale research, combining the individual short-term studies typical of PUIs through networks of research teams can help more effectively identify and analyze important regional and national ecological patterns. Through the development of innovative research projects between students and faculty at different sites, EREN maximizes the engagement of students in the pursuit of authentic, transformative, publication quality data. This allows for integration of data across time, space, and biological scales, with implications extending well beyond the traditional laboratory and the individual college campus.