Research, creative activities, service-learning to be showcased at IdeaFest & Graduate Forum 2009 at The U

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota will celebrate student research, creative activity and academic engagement at the 2009 IdeaFest & Graduate Forum, March 31 and April 1, at the Muenster University Center.

Undergraduate and graduate students will explain their projects through oral and poster presentations, live performances, readings, exhibits and displays at the IdeaFest & Graduate Forum event, which was initiated in 1992 as a celebration of academic and cultural diversity at The U. Now an annual event each spring, this event showcases the academic success of more than 225 USD students.

Student presentations begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 31 and will be followed by a Graduate Student Presenter Luncheon at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday's keynote address by Alan Robock, Ph.D., will begin at 12:30 p.m. Robock, professor of climatology in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University, will deliver the presentation, "Global Warming Is Real and What You Can Do About It." A poster session and additional student presentations wrap up IdeaFest and Graduate Forum Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday's schedule begins with student presentations at 9 a.m. followed by a poster session at noon and more student presentations at 1:30 p.m. The Undergraduate Student Presenter Banquet is at 6 p.m. for presenters, advisers and other guests. At 7:30 p.m., Tyrone Hayes, Ph.D., biologist and herpetologist at the University of California – Berkeley, will give the keynote address, "From Silent Springs to Silent Night, What Have We Learned?"

"IdeaFest & Graduate Forum provides students with an extraordinary opportunity to present results of their work to their peers and USD community," said event chair Brennan Jordan, Ph.D., assistant professor, department of earth sciences at The U. "It provides a venue in which the university community can see how research and other academic activities enhance the education of graduate and undergraduate students."

For more information about IdeaFest & Graduate Forum 2009, including a schedule and speaker biographies, please visit www.usd.edu/engage/ideafest/.

A photo of Alan Robock is available for download at www.usd.edu/urelations/images/Alan_Robock.jpg. An image of Tyrone Hayes is available for download at www.usd.edu/urelations/images/Tyrone_Hayes.jpg.