Mosaic 2019 Spring Edition

Page 60

Randall Research Scholars

The Randall Research Scholars Program (formerly Computer-Based Honors) is a nationally recognized undergraduate research program which pairs exceptional students directly with leading research professors and cutting-edge computing technology to complete scholarly research projects in any field of study.

Kayla Meeks

I am currently working on a project in the Geography department with Dr. Michael K. Steinberg in partnership with the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust. We have been given a collection of Belizean marine habitat maps that I am digitizing into a Geographic Information System (GIS) format so that different types of habitats, such as seagrass, rubble, patch reef, sand, and cayes, can be singled out into individual components called layers. With this information, I am able to compare data about habitat preferences of certain species of sport-fish, such as tarpon, permit, and bonefish, and report areas of critical importance to various conservation and sportfishing agencies. Currently, the only data available for these organizations are individually printed maps, hindering any sharing of information between the two. The purpose of the project is to make information about the different habitats more readily available so that it is easier to identify the areas that require higher levels of protection for sustainable population growth.

Abby Gorbett For the past three semesters, I have been working on research with Paul Drnevich and Kris Irwin in the management department. My project studies how changes in countrylevel economic, political, regulatory and cultural factors affect cross-border merger and acquisition (M&A) flows. There are two separate focuses to the project: understanding the overall effect sizes of these factors, which shows which factors are the most important factors in cross-border M&A activity and understanding how the effect sizes of these factors changed during the recovery from a financial crisis. This project allows a better understanding of what factors drive foreign direct investment, particularly how the economic and regulatory policies in a country impacts businesses and the FDI flows in and out of the country.

Ilham Ali During her time at the Capstone, Ilham Ali has participated in two academic research projects with UA faculty. In the Department of Geography, she worked in the Surface Dynamics Modeling Lab under Dr. Sagy Cohen. Her research looked at modeling and helping to predict water levels from extreme flooding. This work is contributing to greater accuracy in tracking real-time disasters and is valuable in protecting public safety. In the College of Education, Ilham also completed a research project under Dr. Bedrettin Yazan. They explored family language policy, or the ways in which languages are passed from one generation to another. This project was motivated by Ilham’s own bilingual background and upbringing. She led the project from study design to data collection and analysis. The work has now been accepted to a refereed journal and will be published in 2019. 60 • Honors College