Research grant offered to students to create a sustainable society


Sophomore biology major Tony Lieng in the Office of Student Research. The Office of Student Research is offering a grant to students with the initiative to do sustainability research. Photo by Carson Hager | The Appalachian

Nicole Caporaso

For the second consecutive year, the Office of Student Research and the Research Institute for the Environment, Energy and Economics are offering students or student groups research grants for initiatives focused on creating a more healthy and sustainable society.

The grant makes $500 available for undergraduate students or graduate students and $1,000 for groups.

Grace Plummer, the program associate for the Appalachian Energy Center and the Research Institute for the Environment, Energy and Economics, said the purpose of the grant is primarily to support data collection or travel related to data collection, or instruments and materials used for research.

Plummer said the research is related to not just environmental sustainability, but also economic and social.

According to, examples of possible projects, problems or questions that can be assessed with these grants include, “exploring factors that impact conservation practices on ASU, a city or county or state, projects that examine energy conservation practices, art forms that convey messages and the interaction of natural and human systems.”

John Pine, the Director of the Research Institute for the Environment, Energy, and Economics, said that last year the grant funded 20 students or student groups, but that there is not a limit to the number of grants.

Pine said he hopes that the number for grants awarded this year is far greater than the 20 last year.

“Appalachian students have a very rare opportunity to be engaged in research efforts with our faculty and student engagement in research is a part of our goal to build a strong research culture at Appalachian,” Pine said. “I believe that faculty can inspire students to be a part of a strong research culture in higher education and these grants are a way to make this possible.”

Last year, research projects came from the College of Education, College of Health Sciences, College of Business, College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Fine and Applied Arts.

“I think the concept of creating a healthy, just and sustainable society can address many problems our society faces and it is beyond a single discipline,” Pine said. “This is very broad grant and there is lots of room for students to get some experience and it really prepares them to show employers what they are capable of doing.”

Pine said with the grants awarded, students were able to cover a wide variety of topics. He provided the example of a student in the College of Education who examined the value in teaching preschoolers the values of gardens. He also said students in the College of Arts and Sciences researched using remote controlled aircraft in data collection.

“I am quite proud of the contribution that our students make in student research, and I believe that our faculty feel the same way,” he said.

The deadline to apply for this grant is Nov. 14. Anyone who wishes to apply must have a faculty mentor complete a recommendation form and must also submit a grant application.

Story: Nicole Caporaso, News Reporter