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 November/December 2022:

  • Our students are divided into research groups and are collecting data about dune characteristics and species for their final project.
  • Project presentations are being created and data is analyzed before their presentation data of Dec. 1st. More information is available here.
  • Professor Deanna van Dijk is teaching in class on the subjects of dune management and human interactions on dunes.

A Year in FYRES

  • Applications open for FYRES Research Mentors and Coordinator for the next academic year.

  • FYRES Research Mentors prepare to present their research at the Michigan Academy conference in March.

  • Professor van Dijk guides Mentors in the research process as they create posters or presentations.

  • The FYRES Coordinator organizes travel to the Michigan Academy conference and prepares recruiting materials for next year's FYRES course for both students and Mentors.

  • Online application process for the Fall 2019 course opens.

  • 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.

  • In early April, we celebrate the many accomplishments of the FYRES year with a pizza supper followed by attending the Banff Films showing at Calvin University.

  • FYRES research mentors continue working on and finish writing the research reports for each team project.

  • Online applications continue to come in for the FYRES course.

  • In May, all applications received by the 10 May deadline are reviewed and successful applicants are notified that they are accepted into the course.

  • Professor van Dijk completes a report on the Michigan Space Grant Consortium Public Outreach Grant.

  • 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.

  • The FYRES students begin to learn about dunes from Professor van Dijk and the team of mentors.

  • FYRES Mentors prepare to present their research ideas to the students so students can join them in teams.

  • The FYRES Coordinator updates the FYRES website, bulletin board, and lobby display to reflect the new FYRES class.

  • FYRES students collect data for their research projects and create posters and presentations.

  • FYRES Research Mentors guide students in data collection and think ahead to the research reports they will write in the spring.

  • Professor van Dijk teaches students about dunes and dune processes in the FYRES course and guides students and Mentors in the research process.

  • The FYRES Coordinator orgainzes equipment and vehicles for the research teams and plans the research presentation event.

  • The FYRES students share their research results at the research presentation event.

  • The FYRES class wraps up with the end of the semester.

  • Everyone takes a break from classes for Christmas break.