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Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Geography


Graduate Research

Undergraduate Research

The Department of Geography is committed to involving and engaging undergraduate students in research projects. Our belief is that these experiences increase student enthusiasm for learning and knowledge, serve as a practical springboard for success in graduate research programs, and provide a valuable laboratory for students to engage and evaluate the world using theories and skills developed in the classroom.

Several of the department's faculty have organized undergraduate student research projects. A few examples are:

An Evaluation of a Depth-Proportional Intake Device for Automatic Water Samplers Measuring Suspended Sediment. Orrin Beasley, an honors student in the Chemistry Department (Advisor: Lecce), presented his research at the 2006 Undergraduate Research Symposium at ECU.

Antiques Tourism: Selling Heritage in Eastern North Carolina. Kimberly Jones completed the department's first honors thesis (Advisor: Alderman) in spring 2003. Ms. Jones presented her research at the 2003 Undergraduate Research Symposium at ECU and was one of five students selected from the university to participate in the "Research in the Capitol" symposium, where she explained her work to state legislators in Raleigh, NC.

The Aftermath of Hurricane Floyd: Assessment of the Geomorphic Effectiveness of the 1999 Flood on the Tar River, North Carolina. Undergraduate students have been employed for the past two years on an interdisciplinary project consisting of geographers and geologists funded by the National Science Foundation (PI’s Lecce, Pease, Gares, & Rigsby). These students have helped with field data collection and laboratory analysis of sediments deposited by the 1999 flood, the largest ever recorded on the Tar River.

The Changing Economy of Tobacco in Eastern North Carolina, 1968-1998: Joint publication (in North Carolina Geographer) by Dr. Holly Hapke and students in her field methods class.

Carolina Thunder Revisited: Toward a Transcultural View of Winston Cup Racing (.pdf file): Joint publication (in Professional Geographer) by Dr. Alderman and students (Preston Mitchell, Jeff Webb, and Derek Hanak).

When Walmart Doesn't Come to Town: Competitive Responses of Incumbent Merchants in Edenton, North Carolina. Joint publication (forthcoming in Geographical Bulletin) by Dr. Derek Alderman and students (Preston Mitchell, Jeff Webb, and Dustin Stancil).