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January 9, 2014

Past winners of Undergraduate Research Award on display in the Knight Library

The deadline to submit thesis and research projects for the Undergraduate Award is rapidly approaching, February 10th is only a month away! To provide a little inspiration, the UO Libraries have created an exhibit highlighting past winners. The exhibit is located in the flat cases in the north entrance of the night library. Past winners’ majors span from Environmental Studies to Anthropology and Music. Some of their projects are highlighted in the exhibit.

A team of nine students  in the Environmental Leadership program won in 2013 for their two studies titled “Monitoring Bee Pollination Services on Willamette Valley Vaccinium Farms” and “Pollinator Conservation Plan for the Berggren Demonstration Farm.” The students used library resources in their secondary research including elements of mapping, landscape design, applied ecology, environmental education, and riparian conservation.

Megan Brogan, an International Studies major, also won the award in 2013. Her thesis titled “An Environmental Anthropology: The Effect of the Yacyreta Dam on Communities in Misiones, Argentina, in Comparison to the Economic and Environmental Well-being of the Pilcomayo River Basin.” Her research relied heavily on the use of databases available at the library.

Phoebe Peterson, a History major studying in the Clark Honors College won in 2013 with her single term paper titled “No Man’s Land: A Herstory of Lesbian Intentional Communities in Southern Oregon as a Manifestation of the Pastoral Dream.” Phoebe utilized the expertise of librarians in Special Collections and University Archives to conduct her research on intentional communities.

Erik Erlandson, also a History major in the Clark Honors College won for his thesis, “Cattle Plague in NYC: The Untold Campaign of America’s First Board of Health, 1868.” This very impressive project won Erik the top prize of $1,500 in 2013. He utilized many librarians in Social Sciences and History, as well as in the Document Center and Microforms. An Abstract of Erik’s work can be found in the flat cases and the entire paper can be seen here:

The last project highlighted in the flat case display is from James Bean in the School of Music and Dance. James is a Music Composition major, his piece “Ground: For Four Players and Their Instruments” required over 600 hours spent on library computers utilizing music software that the library provides.

This is just a small sampling of the projects that have won the Undergraduate Research Award in the past. This award is a great chance to win money for work that you have already done. For more information on eligibility, evaluation criteria, and application materials, ask a librarian or visit

January 6, 2014

Tips for a New Term

The first week of a term always comes with a shock. On the trek up north from my hometown in southern California the temperature dropped 40˚, and I was reminded of the work that I had in front of me. Luckily, last term, I discovered a handful of library services that helped me tremendously in getting through the rough ten weeks of the term.

The front desk of the Knight is run by people who are eager to help, and provides students with services that go far beyond what one would expect from a library. Since I am focusing on video, the service that I found particularly helpful was the free one-hour headphone checkout that they offer. Just flash your ID card and you’ll be given large, padded headphones to use as you please for the next sixty minutes.

With my headphones in hand I make my way upstairs, and go back towards the Cinema Studies lab; an overlooked study spot with state of the art technology. Each computer comes equipped with a massive screen, the latest adobe suite, and a slew of other programs and accessories to help you get through a project. Don’t be alarmed by the title, the Cinema Studies Lab is available to all students. Just sign in with your name, date, and major, and you’re on your way.

When I’m working on a large paper that requires a lot of sources, I make sure that I utilize the Summit services that the University offers. Summit is a program that shares books and other resources with neighboring universities in the Pacific Northwest. Place your request online at the UO library website, and within 5 business days your book has arrived. This process is a lot faster than requesting that the university buy your material, and usually the amount of time given to check it out is longer.

Knowing about these services now, instead of late into the term, will help me relax while professors go over lengthy syllabi, and hopefully allow me to have a successful winter term.

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