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College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

College of Humanities and Sciences


African American Studies

Research in the African American studies program is largely focused on getting students to enter their work in UMCur. Students conducting research within this program have the opportunity to tell a new story, or to look at an old story in a completely new way. Undergraduate students have a particular advantage in this area because they are not as immersed in the field as master or doctoral level students. Since they are not as immersed in the subject matter, they often ask the outlier questions that those more deeply in the field do not think of.

Anthropology

The Anthropology Department's faculty research currently includes ethnicity, Native American linguistics, comparative indigenous issues, anthropological demography, paleoanthropology, Southwestern archaeology, Northern Plains archaeology and ethnohistory, Asian ethnology, cultural heritage promotion and management, and gender issues. Our various research agendas span four world areas, although the department maintains a strong regional and North American focus. Those interested in pursuing Undergraduate Research in Anthropology should contact the Department's Chair, Gilbert Quintero.

Biological Sciences

The Division of Biological Sciences at The University of Montana offers Bachelor's degrees in Biology, Microbiology, and Medical Technology. The Division is lead by a diverse group of faculty whose research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the National Institutes of Health. The faculty bring into the classroom their knowledge, insight and excitement about the biological sciences. They also have amazing opportunities for undergraduates to get actively involved in independent research projects with faculty members. Hands-on experience is one of the best (and most fun and exciting!) ways to learn about the biological sciences.

Chemistry and BioChemistry

The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry offers undergraduate and graduate students research opportunities in the areas of chemical education as well as organic, inorganic, environmental, physical, biological, analytical and medicinal chemistry. The goal is to stimulate applied and basic research in chemistry, provide an experienced technical work force to address contemporary chemical problems, and to increase job opportunities for chemists within the state of Montana. Students interested in pursuing undergraduate research in this field should visit the department's research page.

Computer Sciences

The Department of Computer Sciences has multiple faculty members that support undergraduates in their research pursuits. Some examples of these faculty members and their projects include Dr Mike Rosulek who had a high school student that he worked with over the summer on his cryptography research.  Dr Jesse Johnson who hired two undergraduate research students over the summer and has continued them through the fall semester to help with his ice sheet modeling work.  Dr Ray Ford who helped to support two undergraduates who went to Indiana for a summer internship to work on the Northern Tier Networking project. Other faculty members within the department also support undergraduate research and information can be found at each professor's individual page.

Geosciences

The Department of Geosciences conducts research on all continents except Antarctica.  They also focus many research efforts in the western United States. The department's faculty and their students travel to Alaska to study how mountain glaciers move, set out high precision survey equipment that telemeters data by satellites in Pakistan, Tajikistan, and India to assess stress build up and the potential for catastrophic earthquakes.  They delve into the boiling waters of Yellowstone to suggest how life may have formed on Mars, monitor and model how hundreds of thousands of tons of sediments trapped behind dams are transported downstream after dams are removed, unravel the ancient history of coral reef development and effects of climate driven ocean pH changes on modern corals, and tease out signals of climate change from stream flow records of mountain headwater streams. Students interested in pursuing research in a geosciences field should find and contact the appropriate professor from this list or may look into other research opportunities at the link provided above.

Economics

People often think that economists study the stock market, tax tables and money, but they are wrong.  Economics has a much broader scope.  It examines how the world uses its limited resources to satisfy human needs and desires. Economics studies the choices people make.  Since every choice involves giving up alternatives, economists focus on tradeoffs. Economists deal with questions such as:

  • What do Montanans receive to compensate them for low salaries?
  • What policies are needed to keep the U.S. out of a recession and what do they cost?
  • What tradeoffs are necessary in order to save a tree, a species or an ecosystem?
  • What are the costs of environmental damage and what sacrifices must be made to avoid the damage?
  • What would an effective strategy to help under-developed countries improve their standard of living cost developed nations?

UM Economic faculty members are researching many areas between Applied Economtrics to Public Economics. Discover and if you would like to research in these areas and contact the faculty. Have your own economic research idea? Find a faculty member who may advise you.


Physics and Astronomy

Interested in pursuing research on photoionization of astro-physically relevant positive ions and surface characterization of nano-structures? How about getting involved in the MINERVA Project and searching for small earth-like planets outside of the solar system? Undergraduates conducting research with the Department of Physics and Astronomy have also worked on UM-BOREALIS involving giant ripple marks created by the glacial lake Missoula ice age floods and many other projects. Opportunities abound within this department, click on the link above or talk to one of your professors to learn about them and find out how you can get involved.