The air bristles with anticipation inside Gilfillan Auditorium, whose perforated metal walls hum with the vibration of voices. Just moments before the championship round of a battle of the minds called Salmon Bowl at Oregon State University, everyone is focused on the two surviving teams.
Funding agencies are more explicitly requiring activities to expand the impact and reach of research. OSU is answering the call and strengthening our commitment to our land-grant mission by building a community to better connect people and resources. The goal is to help each other meet the impacts challenge with a focus on collaborative understanding, utilization and expansion of existing resources.
Making connections and advocating for students who seek real-world research practice is Kevin Ahern’s focus as the university’s director of undergraduate research.
When you tell people you work in a cryopreservation lab, it sounds like you’re in a sci-fi movie. But the students who work for Oregon State bioengineering professor Adam Higgins say there’s nothing fictitious about the learning they’ve acquired as part of his broader-impact program.
As we aim for success of OSU’s broader impacts, it’s important that we understand the national and cultural contexts for broader impacts among researchers and institutions. In November, the National Science Foundation (NSF) released a document titled Perspectives on Broader Impacts, summarizing perspectives of NSF administrators, university leaders, and researchers on the current state and future of broader impacts support infrastructure.
Citizen science, like many broader impacts activities, is rewarding, but comes with its own set of challenges. Many researchers shirk at the idea of using inexperienced individuals as data collectors, knowing that the ways in which volunteers may approach the natural world can be vastly different from that of scientists, leading to skewed data and rendering activities useless.