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31 March 2023 Mentoring and engaging undergraduate students in authentic research in mammalogy
Karen E. Munroe
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Undergraduate research is a high-impact educational practice that helps students develop essential professional and personal skills. These skills include tangible field methods and lab techniques, critical thinking, effective communication, integrated and complex problem-solving, metacognition, self-confidence, collegiality, information literacy, and identity development. Participation in undergraduate research experiences increases academic performance, program retention, degree completion, and the number and diversity of students pursuing postbaccalaureate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics degrees. Mentors (faculty, postdoctoral fellow, and graduate students) also benefit from the undergraduate research process by generating publishable scholarship, improvement in leadership skills, and developing rich personal mentoring relationships. Further, a university or college itself benefits from increased institutional reputation and visibility within the scientific community. Nonetheless, many barriers impede students from pursuing research experiences, including a lack of awareness of research opportunities, unfamiliarity with the benefits of a research experience, personal or financial constraints, noncompetitive grade point averages, financial and family needs, maturity, and imposter syndrome. To help mitigate these issues and build a culture of undergraduate research, pathways for implementing undergraduate research in the field of mammalogy are discussed, in addition to advice on mentorship.

Karen E. Munroe "Mentoring and engaging undergraduate students in authentic research in mammalogy," Journal of Mammalogy 104(4), 675-684, (31 March 2023).
Received: 19 March 2022; Accepted: 5 January 2023; Published: 31 March 2023
undergraduate research experience (REU)
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