Dr. Harry Augensen
Professor of Physics & Astronomy
Student Travel & Conferences
Each year students and faculty from the Science Division travel to the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research. Students and faculty from the Science division also visit Washington, D.C. for the annual Council on Undergraduate Research Posters on the Hill presentation to showcase undergraduate research.
Widener University is one of 14 member institutions which form a consortium known as the National Undergraduate Research Observatory (NURO). Member institutions are allowed to conduct research with the 31-inch diameter telescope located at the Lowell Observatory. This is located at an altitude of over 7000 feet on the Anderson Mesa, near Flagstaff, Arizona. Widener professors travel to the site twice a year, accompanied by two science undergraduates.
The Widener group uses the CCD camera mounted on the large telescope to monitor the light variations in special types of stars. The team uses the telescope for five consecutive nights, working from dusk until dawn under extremely dark and transparent skies.
Over the past five years, Dr. Steve Madigosky and Dr. Itzick Vatnick — along with several undergraduate students — have been collaborating on a long-range research project that involves the collection of botanical and high-resolution meteorological data from an undisturbed forest location in northeast Peru. The area is located within a pristine rain forest environment within the Amazon Conservatory for Tropical Studies (ACTS), Iquitos, Peru.
This facility has an interconnected walkway system that extends horizontally over a kilometer throughout the tree-tops and reaches a maximum height of nearly 40 meters. This system of aerial platforms and pathways allows scientists to study, observe previously inaccessible parts of the rainforest.