Tribal College Students Win in Research Competition

May 15th, 1992 | By | Category: 4-1: Breaking Down the Walls: Confronting Alcohol, Drugs and Family Violence, Tribal College News
By Jennifer Gray Reddish

Recent winners in a minority honor student science contest submitted research on topics ranging from rubber tire disposal to the impact of herbi­cides on freshwater mussels. The American Indian Higher Education Consortium, along with twelve other Department of Energy funded consor­tiums, was invited to enter the competi­tion. Six tribal college students won, including recent D-Q University gradu­ates, Tim Grant and William Wyatt.

The research of the students stemmed from their experience in Project STAR (Summer and Transfer Achievement Readiness Program in Math and Science). This program allowed Grant and Wyatt to attend physics and calculus classes at the University of California, Berkeley and take part in an internship at Lawrence Livermore National Lab.

Their research with professionals in top- notch lab facilities enabled them to ven­ture into the intricacies of environmental protection. Grant examined difficulties related to rubber tire disposal in overflowed landfills. Wyatt’s project, entitled Effects ofHerbicides on the Respiratory Metabolism of Freshwater Mussels, studied the detrimental effects of runoff contami­nation on freshwater invertebrates.

Wyatt and Grant credit Project STAR for their success and for their desire for graduate level study. Roth students will continue their studies at University of California, Davis. Grant, who used to work as a truck driver, transferred to the university this past spring as an environ­mental science management major. Wyatt, who is participating again in the STAR program, will begin classes this fall as an environmental toxicology major.

For these students, environmental studies seems more a calling than a disci­pline. “Being a native American, my philosophical interests are for the preser­vation and clean-up of Mother Earth,” said Wyatt. “I hope to use my skills to make communities in California a safer place to live.”

All of the winners will attend Spectrum ’92, a conference on nuclear and hazardous waste in Boise, Idaho. However, Wyatt of D-Q University and Rita Joy Staples of Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College, who was also a winner, were chosen to present their papers at the meeting and to publish their research.

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