Scholars Forum Success Stories: Danielle Lewis from Environmental Geography

Posted on 3/16/2016 11:34:22 AM

The Undergraduate Scholars Forum (USF) is a yearly event allowing students to present their findings and development for those interested in research. Students interact with scholars, professors, and other individuals who seek interest in the occasion. Today’s story comes from the Geography Department, Danielle Lewis, who is a senior and president of IUP’s Women STEM club and a McNair Scholar.

Danielle presented her research on the land use patterns along the Mississippi river. With the help of Steve Hovan from the Department of Geoscience, they focused on urban land use region. They tried to find if surface runoff correlated with the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, and if there was an influx of nutrients during the years of flooding. If they were correct during the years of drought, then it would be smaller. If not, then the dead zone would be larger.

Her research proved to find that during the flooding years the land use patterns were larger, and were smaller during the drought years. However, they could not say that urban land use is the only cause to this issue. There are other factors as well: agriculture, warming of the oceans, etc. Their outcome did eventuate that urban land use plays a major role in the damage.

Lewis presented in a formal style rather than display. “I did a presentation style of presenting my research. I kind of like to do that. I’ve done posters in the past, but I’m more comfortable with presentation,” said Lewis. For someone who seeks further education in her field, the USF was a great introduction for conferences in the near future.

(Story compiled and written by Nakisha Cohen, English/Writing Studies)