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New undergraduate research on the connections between climate change and the integrity of soil systems and the structure of crystals is underway at West Virginia Wesleyan College (WVWC) thanks to two grants from the National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA) and the NASA-West Virginia Space Grant Consortium (WVSGC). The NASA-WVSGC Faculty Research Enhancement Award (REA) was given to Dr. Matthew Reid, an Assistant Professor of Biology at WVWC to pursue research on climate change and soil. In addition, NASA awarded a Faculty Research Award Grant to Dr. G. Albert Popson, Professor of Physics and Engineering at Wesleyan, to study the atomic structure of crystals.

NASA awards West Virginia Wesleyan College two grants for undergraduate research

BUCKHANNON — New undergraduate research on the connections between climate change and the integrity of soil systems and the structure of crystals is underway at West Virginia Wesleyan College (WVWC) thanks to two grants from the National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA) and the NASA-West Virginia Space Grant Consortium (WVSGC).

The NASA-WVSGC Faculty Research Enhancement Award (REA) was given to Dr. Matthew Reid, an Assistant Professor of Biology at WVWC to pursue research on climate change and soil. In addition, NASA awarded a Faculty Research Award Grant to Dr. G. Albert Popson, Professor of Physics and Engineering at Wesleyan, to study the atomic structure of crystals.

Both grants are for undergraduate research by Wesleyan students during the spring and summer of this year. The research will be led by both Reid and Popson.

“West Virginia Wesleyan continues to pursue the latest in scientific research on key matters such as climate change and atomic structure thanks to the generous support of partners like NASA,” said Dr. Joseph Wiest, the Chair of WVWC’s Department of Physics, who also sits on the board of the NASA-WVSGC program. Wiest noted that Wesleyan has a long history with NASA, with WVWC graduates going on to work at the space agency.

Popson concurred with the importance of these grant awards by NASA.

“These grants better support Wesleyan’s efforts to prepare our students for a future in science and engineering and help put them on a path of both educational and professional success,” Popson said.

Reid outlined that the grants will allow Wesleyan researchers, which include students, to seek answers to some of the most pressing issues facing society today.

“We continue to study the full impact of climate change and thanks to the NASA-West Virginia Space Grant Consortium, we will pursue scientific answers to how climate change impacts soil integrity, which could have real-life applications when it comes to farming and access to clean water,” Reid said.

The grants will cover the costs of stipends for undergraduate students and faculty, as well as the costs of supplies to conduct the research.

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