From the glimmer of a research idea to collecting data at the dunes and on to presenting results in final format, research can span a year or more.
Research is a dynamic process which may seem to move slowly at times or have everything happening at once. But don’t worry—the FYRES course is completed during the standard Calvin semester! It takes a community, working on different parts and stages, to fully realize a FYRES research project from beginning to end.
What’s happening now?
In September/October 2022:
Our Fall 2022 FYRES Course is in full swing, with our 21 students learning important data-gathering methods that help us understand the Michigan dune environments, such as GPS mapping, capturing and quantifying sand transport by wind, and using total station surveying equipment.
Professor Deanna van Dijk is teaching in class on the subjects of dune shapes, formation, and how wind interacts with sand.
FYRES research mentors present their team research projects at the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters conference. Students from the recent FYRES class attend the conference to see team results presented and experience a professional conference. In 2019, six FYRES students joined us at the conference at Alma College in Alma, Michigan.
Professor van Dijk is notified about her application for Michigan Space Grant funding for the upcoming year.
The FYRES research reports go through the final stages of formatting, editing and proofreading. Then copies are printed for each Mentor, each team member, the dune manager of the property and the FYRES archive.
Working with dune managers and others, Professor van Dijk generates a list of research topic ideas for the fall.
Upcoming FYRES Research Mentors go to campus for a two-day training session before the semester begins.