From April 4-7, 2018, six undergraduates from the University of Guyana (UG) and the Assistant Director of the Office for Undergraduate Research (OUR) attended the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Central Oklahoma, USA. Held under the theme ‘Connection to Place’, the conference attracted more than 4,000 undergraduates from across the country and beyond – including Guyana.

Undergraduates from UG’s Tain and Turkeyen Campuses made oral presentations on the following topics:

  • An assessment of vinasse as an organic fertilizer on crops belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family – Shavon Sharif (Department of Agriculture)
  • Evaluation of coated urea on sugarcane – Yassin Mohamed Razack (Department of Agriculture)
  • An investigation of the ethno-meteorological knowledge of the Kapon Akawaios of Kako and Phillipai, Upper Mazaruni – Romario Hastings (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences)
  • A comparison study of the use of Chrysopogon zizanioides (Vetiver grass) and Spartina alterniflora (Spartina grass) in facilitating natural regeneration of mangroves – Nkasse Evans (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences)
  • Application of an external interception device to enhance radiation therapy beam delivery to target sites – Kushnanan Hanarine (Faculty of Health Sciences)
  • The use of local alternative materials as structural shielding for diagnostic radiological facilities – Schimze Sagon (Faculty of Health Sciences)

In addition, students had the opportunity to attend pre-workshop conferences and other presentations, and to explore possibilities to network, advance their studies and publish their work. Student Shavon Sharif said: “The few days that I spent at the conference were remarkable. To be among fellow researchers, professors and mentors was a great opportunity to share knowledge, gain experiences, and be an ambassador for the University of Guyana.”

Fellow student Romario Hastings ensured UG took centre stage at the opening ceremony when he performed the role of an indigenous flag carrier. He described the trip as an “enriching experience” that demonstrated the importance of getting into research early. “One significant recommendation derived from my overall observation is to support the need for an earlier introduction and engagement in research in all programmes offered at the University of Guyana,” he said, “and equip lecturers or mentors with the tools and skills required to foster improved research practices and techniques by students.”

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