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June 8, 2018 - Week 1 Newsletter

RECCS is a 9-week summer student research program in critical zone science for Colorado community college students funded by the National Science Foundation and coordinated by CIRES Education Outreach and the Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory.

For more recent RECCS happenings, check out the RECCS blog.

Meet the 2018 RECCS Student Researchers (left to right): Prudence Crawmer, Susannah Rozak, Joe Brown, Davin Duke, James Butts, Sean Will, Jason Chalmers, Mike Moore, Kelly Sullivan, Jessica Ghent, and Cora Ruteledge.

Welcome to RECCS 2018!

This week CIRES Education Outreach and the Boulder Creek CZO welcomed their fifth cohort of community college students participating in the RECCS summer research program. Ten students from five community colleges across Colorado, and one student from CU Boulder, had an exciting activity-filled introductory week. At the meet & greet lunch the students and mentors got to know each other and discuss plans prior to starting their research projects next week. The team participated in field visits and hands-on sessions to learn what it means to be a scientist and how to conduct scientific research. A two-night stay at the University of Colorado Mountain Research Station and team building rounded out a fantastic week and the start of what is sure to be a great summer of science!
Snapshots From the Week
The RECCS introductory week kicked off with a student & mentor luncheon. Beforehand, the students discussed their ideas about what makes a great mentor, questions they'd like to ask their mentors, and what they need to do to have a successful research experience.
The RECCS group joined Jen Morse and Robbie Andrus at the Mountain Research Station (MRS) to learn how to do field observations and how to keep a field notebook.

Deb Kulcsar of Environmental Learning Associates led a team-building session with the RECCS cohort at the CU Mountain Research Station.

Communication Workshop Update

On Thursday, the RECCS interns participated in their first scientific communication workshop. Over the course of the summer, this workshop series will guide the students through the process of preparing and presenting a scientific poster and presentation and putting together a conference abstract showcasing the research they're doing in the program.  At this first workshop, we talked about what scientific communication involves, why we do it, and what we will be presenting for RECCS. We really appreciated having graduate students, Ariel Morrison and Hannah Holland-Moritz, come and present their work for us as an example of how to give a great scientific talks through a poster and an oral presentation; we also looked at several posters to help demystify these scientific communication formats. We also talked about informal science communication, and how we might describe our research to someone who asks what we're doing this summer. Students also learned how to develop research projects and read scientific papers.

RECCS Student Tips

  • Check your email for RECCS updates
  • Ask your mentor and RECCS staff for support
  • Be curious, ask questions
  • Have fun!

RECCS Deadlines

  • Poster Session at UCAR on August 2 from 2:00 to 5:30
  • Presentations at CIRES Auditorium on August 3

Mentor Tips

  • Remember that the first couple of weeks in RECCS can be a bit overwhelming. It may be helpful to connect with your student researcher and see how they are adjusting to working in Boulder, in RECCS, and in a scientific workplace. Independent research is very different from college!
  • Check the mentor tip sheet in your inbox for many good suggestions for mentoring.
Copyright © 2018 CIRES Education Outreach, All rights reserved.

RECCS is funded by the National Science Foundation Grant Award Number EAR 1757930

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