Our department offers abundant research opportunities for students both during the academic year and during the summer months. Our faculty are engaged in research projects which lend themselves to undergraduate participation. Participation by all students is strongly encouraged, as it builds a greater appreciation of the nature of the earth and chemical sciences, and their chosen field. The opportunity to perform independent research has motivated many of our students to continue their education either in an accredited graduate program or in a professional school in several related fields.
Often, faculty and students jointly present their research results either at national professional meetings, research presentations held on campus or as written research papers submitted to scholarly journals.
Independent Research & Study (GEO, ENV, or MAR and CHE, BCH, or PHY-490)
During the academic year, students can elect to do independent research for up to four credits per semester. Before the start of each semester in which research credits are obtained, the student and their faculty research mentor develop a plan for the student's research. This plan will outline the research project, relevant past research and expected results. Once approved by the department, the plan is also submitted to the Dean of the College and/or the Associate Dean of Science. During the semester, it is expected that the student and faculty mentor maintain regular contact to discuss the student's progress. Toward the end of the semester, the student is expected to submit a written report of their results. Up twelve credits of a 490 course may be counted towards graduation.
Given independent research of sufficient depth, a student may also develop an honors thesis in their senior year based upon the work done during their independent research studies. An honors thesis should have more breadth than the usual end-of-semester report.
Summer research opportunities
Summer research opportunities in our department provide a student with the experience of full immersion in research. It is not uncommon for students to participate in summer independent research at Rider in the summer before their senior year to initiate work on a project for which they intend to write an honors thesis. Summer research can be done for college credit as above. However, more commonly, individual faculty members can provide summer research students with a salary for their work. Often our faculty members use research grant money to support research students.
A scientific internship in an industrial setting allows our students to reinforce and expand upon the skills and knowledge that they have acquired in the classroom by applying it in the workplace. This real-world experience also allows students to test their career goals and build their professional foundations while giving them a competitive edge in the job market. At Rider University, we have established contacts and partnerships with many local chemical and pharmaceutical industries to facilitate the placement of students from our chemistry program through internships.
- Timothy Forrest with additional research from Amanda Schopf, revised and updated by Jack Sangillo and Ashley Murphy: Rider University Wildlife Guide
- Loreena Avery: The Marriage between Evolutionary Origins and the Genesis Story of Creation
- Alina Bardaji: Determining Pith Offset of Pine and Oak Species Using Geometric Method
- Olivia Barone: The Impacts of China’s National Sword Policy on Rider University
- Carissa Moore: Using tree ring analysis to determine if the Canadian Hemlock on the West Lawn at Mount Vernon was the original planted during Washington’s era
- Patrik Rollefson: Problem Solving Capabilities of Coati Mundis in Captivity
- Joseph Warker: Deicing salts impact on sodium concentrations in Centennial Lake Watershed: Soil Retention and Vertical Translocation of Sodium and Chloride
- Joseph Warker: Effect of Scents as a Form of Enrichment on Movement and Behavior of American Alligators
- Loreena Avery: Impacts of Captive-born Giant Pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) on Understory Species Richness
- Alina Bardaji: Dendrochronological Analysis of Mont Alto, Pennsylvania Black Oak
- Maria Chaves: Attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Demographic and Environmental Factors in the United States
- Maria Chaves: A Dendrochronological Case Study of Ewing Presbyterian Church’s Historic White Oak, 1593-1954
- Timothy Forrest: Topography and Tree Growth at the Fernow Experimental Forest, WV
- Timothy Forrest: A Rider Wildlife Guide: Bridging the gap between the digital and natural world
- Tiffany Girado: Environmental Enrichment Project on White Bengal Tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) at Six Flags Great Adventure
- Taylor Grieshaber: Salt loading and retention in the Delaware River and Centennial Lake Watershed
- Imani Guest: Strengthening a Historical Climate Record in South-Central Pennsylvania with Tree Rings Dating Back 600 Years
- Naomi Jainarine: Assessing potential changes in reproductive life histories of female Sebastes melanops during changing climates in Newport, Oregon
- Casey Kaufmann: Weekly monitoring of abiotic factors and the plankton community in Centennial Lake, New Jersey
- Rachel Pereira, Melissa Holley, Ashley Feliciano: Fish Population Assessment of Centennial Lake at Rider University
- Joshua Schiariti: Seasonal Growth Patterns of Invasive Plant Species Purple Loosestrife Lythrum salicaria at Centennial Lake
- Amanda Schopf: Data Gathering to Determine the Species on Rider Campus (Lawrenceville)
- Thomas Stein: When up is down and down is up: the case of Gravity Hill, Titusville, NJ
- Meg Tomayko: Photosynthesis, Respiration, Growth and Grazing of the Plankton Community in Centennial Lake, NJ
- Nicole Donato: Identifying High-Potential Areas for Water-Supply Wells and Estimating Groundwater Recharge in Northern Kenya
- Loreena Avery, Olivia Barone, Timothy Forrest, Veronika Geiger, Lauren Margel, Julia Ragazzo, Aleesha Rouse, Amanda Schopf, Michael Shea, Joseph Warker: Natural Resources of Rider University via Google Tour
- Timothy Forrest, Joshua Minnich, Olivia Barone: A proposed expansion of the Rider Woods trail system
- Mickey Bagnato: Age and condition of Largemouth Bass in Centennial Lake
- Kelly Catino: Effect of meteorological conditions on behavior of captive bison at Six Flags Wild Safari Park
- Ambria Dell’Oro: Geochemical identification of erosional pathways of garnets from the Wissahickon Formation, PA
- Nicole Donato and Maria Chaves: Variations of lead concentrations in soil profiles near an Interstate highway in New Jersey (student co-authors of a paper presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America Northeast Section)
- Ian Flynn: Past and future rates of stream erosion along Crosswicks Creek, Mercer County, NJ (student co-author of a paper presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America Northeast Section)
- Tim Forrest, Maria Chaves, and Imani Guest: Tree growth correlations and spatial distributions in an acid deposition treatment watershed at Fernow Experimental Forest, WV (student co-authors of a paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Ecological Society of America)
- Julia Galayda: The effect of algal density and diversity on organisms in New Jersey
- Imani Guest: Strengthening a historical climate record in south-central Pennsylvania with tree rings dating back 600 years (student co-author of papers presented at the Annual Meetings of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Ecological Society of America and at the SAEOPP McNair/SSS Scholars Research Conference)
- Imani Guest: The provenance of New Jersey barrier island garnets
- Rachel Pereira: Biodiversity study of macroorganisms with algae communities in Centennial Lake at Rider University
- Miranda Rosen: Examining the effects of coastal zone management techniques on population characteristics of Mole Crabs (Emerita talpoida) along the New Jersey shore
- Miranda Rosen: Examining music as a type of environmental enrichment on two California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus) at Six Flags Great Adventure
- Vicki Trucksess: Meerkat lookout behavior in the Philadelphia Zoo's newest attraction: Meerkat Maze (student author of a paper presented at the 2016 Philadelphia Zoo Research Symposium)
- Vicki Trucksess: Precipitation and population variability on South Carolina Firefly populations (student co-author of a paper presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers)