UC Merced

UC Merced sets April 12-16 as Research Week

UC Merced announces April 12-16 will be Research Week, marking the first time the annual celebration of faculty and student research has stretched over an entire week.

Research Week's traditional mainstay events -- the Research Poster Competition and the Vital and Alice Pellissier Distinguished Speaker Series -- return again this year. And they are joined for the first time by what is becoming an established tradition of its own, the Sigma Xi Spring Symposium. All three events are open to the public, the university said in a news release.

The April 13 poster contest is a showcase for student research, with monetary prizes for those deemed to have created the best posters depicting their research -- including a $1,500 scholarship for the graduate contest winner, courtesy of Comcast. The undergraduate poster session begins at 10 a.m. and the graduate session at 1 p.m.

The Pellissier speaker series, made possible by a donation from the Pellissier family, draws its speaker from campus for the first time. Mark Aldenderfer, the new dean of UC Merced's School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, will lend his experience in archaeology as this year's speaker.

Aldenderfer's lecture, which explores how our species evolved to live the "high life" using human genetics, cognitive science, glaciology, paleoclimatology and ecology, will begin at 6 p.m., April 13.

The Sigma Xi Spring Symposium, hosted by UC Merced Prof. Anthony Westerling, will focus on global climate change.

The symposium's speakers -- scientists Richard Somerville, Catherine Gautier-Downes and Steven Schneider -- will touch on various dimensions of global climate change, from the latest research available on the subject to the reluctance of the public and the media to buy into the science of it. The symposium, which runs from 1:45 to 5 p.m. April 15, will include brief question-and-answer segments with each speaker.

Research Week also has a number of events geared specifically toward the campus community or segments of it. These include a workshop on how to find research funding, a research-themed movie night and a presentation about the research opportunities available at the university's Yosemite Field Station.

A complete schedule of events can be found at