Apr 172012
 

Kathy Cottingham is a Professor of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth.

Dear Class of 2016:

Welcome to Dartmouth!  I hope you give us a close look!

I do research and teach ecology and biostatistics in the Department of Biological Sciences, which is housed within the wonderful new Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center.  One of the many reasons I like Dartmouth is that I am able to meld my research and teaching in new, exciting, and fun ways.  This is especially true during summer quarter, which is the busy “field” season for most ecologists – we work very hard to collect lots of data and samples during the all-too-short New Hampshire summers.

Last August, I brought the 12 students enrolled in Methods in Ecology to Lake Sunapee, one of my primary study sites.  The students learned about aquatic ecology firsthand while helping our research team to sample the sediments (the muck at the bottom of the lake) at six sites around one cove.  We had great weather and it was a win-win outing – that level of sampling would have taken our research team weeks, but instead took just two afternoons, and I think the students had a lot of fun helping out!

In addition to classroom involvement in research projects, Dartmouth offers undergraduate students numerous opportunities to conduct independent research. For example, the Honors thesis of alumna Cayelan Carey ’06 helped launch our project on nuisance cyanobacteria in Lake Sunapee and other low-nutrient lakes across northern New England.

If you’re looking for an institution where you can take classes with faculty doing cutting-edge research – and then work side-by-side on research projects with those same faculty members, Dartmouth might be the right place for you.

Hope to see you in the fall!