Undergraduate Student Research

Virtual Lab Tour by Victor French                    Undergraduate Research Information

The R2S2 Undergraduate Student Research program provides students with the opportunity to conduct research in a Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Health (STEM-H) field under the guidance of a UNM-Valencia faculty member. Students have access to a complete research lab, DNA sequencer, electron microscope, green house, water well, robotic equipment, and more! This is a full year program with the opportunity to present research and participate in a variety of academic research conferencess and symposiums.

Research Images

Undergraduate Research Class

Students interested in STEM-H careers are strongly encouraged to enroll in “Undergraduate Research," a small face-to-face topics class. Students learn basic laboratory skills that include pipetting, cell counts, DNA extraction, PCR, gel electrophoresis, electron microscopy and other research skills. The goal of the class is to provide students with skill sets which increase the likelihood of success in future academic and job opportunities.

  • There are no prerequisites for the course.
  • The class will meet from 1:30-2:55 pm on Mondays and is worth 2 elective credits.
  • If you are interested in this opportunity, the course details are as follows: Undergraduate Research I: BIOL 2996.501, CRN #66769.
  • For information, please contact Victor French, R2S2 Undergraduate Research Coordinator, at vfrench@unm.edu.

To learn more about Academic Research and to complement the Undergraduate Research Class, students can also register for -

  • T: Research Topics I: BIOL 2996.503, CRN #68544
  • T: Research Methods: UNIV 102.501, CRN # 70153

Benefits of the Undergraduate Research Class

Exposure to research enriches classroom learning and builds a broad range of skills such as critical thinking, communication, teamwork, creativity, problem-solving, and intellectual independence. Undergraduate research can also provide opportunities to present and publish research, build a network of support for continued research at a 4-year college where students can become prime candidates for graduate school recruiters.

Past Research Projects

  • Chemical and mineral compositions and compositional trends of two Pliocene Paleosols from the Taos Plateau, N.M.
  • Arsenic Comparison of Irrigated and Non-Irrigated Soils in the Middle of Rio Grande Valley
  • Molecular Systematic of Pinon Pine in Central New Mexico
  • Real World Application of Teaching Basic Mathematical Proofs
  • Medicinal Plant Extraction and Analysis
  • FarmBot
  • Use of an XRF-Scanner to Map Elemental Composition Responsible for Coloration in New Mexico Quartz
  • Effects of Plant Community, Land Use, and Soil Moisture Properties on Soil CO2 Respiration in Valencia County, New Mexico
  • Finding the Equation of a Linear Function Without Using the Slope
  • Does Driving an Electrical Load Lower the Temperature of a Photovoltaic Panel?
  • Historical Trends in Water Table Fluctuations and Chemical Properties in the Surficial Aquifer in Valencia County, New Mexico
  • Metagenomic Analysis of Bacteria in the Middle Rio Grande

Undergraduate Research Presentations

Presenting Research at State and National Research Conferences

  • New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation (AMP) Conference, Las Cruces, N.M.
  • Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI) - held at various colleges across the country
  • New Mexico Academy of Science Research Symposium, Albuquerque, N.M.
  • UNM STEM Research Symposium, UNM Main, Albuquerque, N.M.
  • UNM Biology Research Day, UNM-Main, Albuquerque, N.M.
  • New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting, NM Tech, Socorro, N.M.
  • New Mexico Tech Student Research Symposium, NM Tech, Socorro, N.M.
  • UNM-Valencia Undergraduate Research Day, UNM-Valencia, Los Lunas, N.M.
  • New Mexico Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges - held at various colleges across the country

Connecting Students to Research Opportunities at a Research University in New Mexico

The R2S2 program also provides support for students transitioning to one of New Mexico’s research universities to complete a bachelor’s in a STEM field of study and connects students to resources which include opportunities for students to continue engaging in research.

  • UNM-Main
  • N.M. Tech
  • NMSU