URSCA 2018

4th Annual Undergraduate Research in Science Conference of Alberta 

April 29 - 30, 2018 | Full Schedule

Registration Fee $60 | Register Here

Abstract deadline: March 29, 2018

The Undergraduate Research in Science Conference of Alberta (URSCA) is a celebration of Alberta discovery and innovation at the earliest stage of postsecondary education. Gone are the days when most researchers began their original research at the graduate level. Increasingly, student-focused, research intensive institutions are not only encouraging hands-on research in the laboratory and in the field at the undergraduate level but are also providing a wide range of experiential education opportunities, from independent and applied studies, to co-operative education and work-integrated-learning placements, study abroad programs and groundbreaking, publishable research with faculty mentors. Bright, liberally-educated minds are our future – and they are putting theory into practice in laboratories and in the field across this great province.

The University of Lethbridge is proud to have the opportunity to showcase the outstanding original research produced by Alberta’s undergraduate students at URSCA 2018. The keynote speaker for this event is Dr. David Naylor from the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Dr. Naylor will present Developing the Technology for the Next Generation of Space Exploration Missions. Over 50% of the electromagnetic radiation detected from the Universe lies in the far infrared spectral range. This range is inaccessible from the ground and requires spaceborne instrumentation for its detection. Moreover, the instrumentation must be cooled to cryogenic temperatures (50 mK to 4 K) so that it does not introduce an unwanted signal component due to self-emission. Virtually all space instrumentation contains moving components. The actuation and precise measurement of the position of such components is a serious challenge for space exploration missions, made more challenging when they have to operate at <4 K while being able to survive the forces experienced during launch. Dr. Naylor will describe the technology development activities being conducted at the University of Lethbridge, the lead Canadian institution in the ESA/JAXA SPICA mission.

During the opening reception on April 29, Dr. Ute Kothe (Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry) will present The Citizenship Opportunity of Being a Researcher. What does it mean to be a researcher? What does it mean to be a good citizen? And how are the two related? Based on Dr. Kothe's own experience in undergraduate research and her experience in supervising more than 50 undergraduate researchers in biochemistry, she will share how undergraduate research equips students with transferable skills to the benefit of students’ careers as well as to our entire society. Dr. Kothe will inspire students to grow as researchers and as citizens by applying principles learned in research to all areas of their lives. She will argue that supporting early research experience thus fosters a knowledge-based, respectful and innovative society.

Dr. Ute Kothe is an Alberta Innovates Strategic Chair, elected Member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada, winner of the U of Lethbridge Distinguished Teaching Award 2014 and supervisor of the Lethbridge Let’s Talk Science program.

For more information, please contact matthew.letts@uleth.ca