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Vertically Integrated Projects – New



Experiential learning
that transcends
semesters and disciplines


Vertically Integrated Projects, or VIP, is a program at College of Innovation and Design that takes learning to a whole new level.  Students get real-world experience and earn credits over multiple semesters by working alongside faculty who are engaged in ambitious scholarship and creative activities. Teams are often interdisciplinary and all tackle real world challenges. Learn more about Vertically Integrated Projects here.

Register for a Vertically Integrated Project (VIP) course to earn credit for working alongside faculty pursuing ambitious research projects! All majors are welcome, there are no prerequisites, and there are opportunities for sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students.  Participate for multiple semesters for maximum reward. VIP credits can count toward your upper division biology credit requirement!

Active VIP Projects in Biology

Click the titles for full details and instructions on getting started.

Plasma is the fourth state of matter, an ionized gas containing ions, electrons, and neutral gas particles. Our group will study this new area of research by exploring the use of plasma for Medical, Agricultural, and Manufacturing Applications. VIP Coaches: Dr. Oxford (BIOL), Dr. Cornell (CHEM), Dr. Plumlee (ME), Dr. Jim Browning (ECE). Team meetings: Friday 2:00-4:00PM.

The goal of this project is to understand how biological systems innovate through the evolutionary process to make novel structures and functions. Our current focus utilizes data intensive DNA sequencing. VIP Coach: Dr. Eric Hayden, Microbiologist partnering with Physics faculty on microscopy.

Mapping and modeling ecosystem dynamics is a key part of natural resource management, from habitat restoration to wildlife conservation. Our team will develop new methods to forecast the success of ecological restoration in sagebrush steppe. We will conduct field work outside and in the computer lab, aimed towards research outcomes that can promote sustainable landscapes.

Work with raptor conservation researchers to advance conservation of birds of prey around the world, implement the Global Raptor Impact Network and revolutionize how raptor science is conducted and disseminated around the world. VIP Coach: Chris McClure, Director of Global Conservation Science at The Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey.

Join this team to examine and educate others on how climate change, land use change and loss of biodiversity impacts ecosystems.  VIP Coach: Marie-Anne de Graaff, Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences.