USU and U. students present research at Capitol, coming to BYU


By Adam Droge

SALT LAKE CITY — Students from Utah State University and University of Utah presented research projects to lawmakers and other visitors in the state Capitol rotunda on Thursday, Jan. 30. They’ll be part of the Utah Undergraduate Research Conference at BYU at the end of February.

Jill Baeder, head of research at University of Utah, said, “This is our 14th year doing this at the Capitol. It’s a really fun event to do every year.”

Natalie Schvaneveldt, a Wildlife Science major at Utah State, presents her research on Mexican Spotted Owls

All of the undergraduate presenters, ranging from freshmen to seniors,  had graduated high school in Utah, and were there to present their research to hometown legislators.

Research varied, ranging from the impact of presidential assassination attempts on the culture of U.S. Secret Service to research on Mexican Spotted Owls in southern Utah.

Natalie Schvaneveldt, 26, a senior from USU focused on the diet of Mexican Spotted Owls that occupy canyon habitats She compared diets of current owls to research that had been done 20 years ago.

Schvaneveldt, who majors in wildlife science, concluded, “I found that there is no significant difference in the diets of the owls now as compared to the diets of the owls 20 years ago.”

Another example comes from Jared Glenn, a 28-year-old senior from USU majoring in sociology.  He studied which gender of professor male students preferred. He said previous research stated females prefer female professors, but not much had been researched on males.

“I found that male [students] prefer male professors because male professors seem to be more challenging,” said Glen.

In addition to presenting their research to their legislatures at the capital, many of these students will be a part of the annual Utah Conference on Understanding Research. The conference includes students from various colleges all over Utah who will present their research.

This year, the conference will be held at BYU on Feb. 28, where there will be over 400 students presenting.

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