LEWISTON, Idaho - Dr. Keegan Schmidt, LCSC Professor of Earth Science for the LCSC Natural Sciences & Mathematics Division, was recently selected as an EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) Ambassador by the National Science Foundation Idaho EPSCoR Program. The program is funded by a consortium comprised of the major universities in the state of Idaho.
The EPSCoR program is designed to provide research funding opportunities to states such as Idaho that are underserved by the National Science Foundation. The main research program funded for the current five-year grant cycle is MILES (Managing Idaho’s Landscapes for Ecosystem Services), which focuses on the urban-wildland interface, with the objective of Idaho gaining national research expertise in managing this socially and environmentally sensitive area.
The basic premise behind this research focus is that healthy ecosystems provide valuable services to urban communities, but they are adversely impacted by population growth in these same communities. Finding ways to minimize human impacts and maximize ecosystem benefits is the main emphasis. There are a wide variety of academic disciplines involved with the program including Social Sciences, Economics, Humanities, Wildlife Biology, Agricultural Science, Forestry, Environmental Science, Computer Science, and Education. More information can be found at Idaho EPScoR.
One of the goals of the Idaho EPSCoR program is to involve all Idaho colleges and universities, and as an ambassador advocating and recruiting for STEM education, Schmidt’s job is to serve as an LCSC campus representative and encourage LCSC students and faculty to participate in EPSCoR opportunities. This benefits LCSC by providing opportunities for LCSC students to apply for research internships with research groups that participate in the program. Students involved in research will work at sites outside of LCSC with researchers from other institutions with or without the participation of LCSC faculty.
The organization has an annual meeting that provides opportunities for student researchers to present the results of their research.
For more information, please email Keegan Schmidt at [email protected] or call 792-2283.