UAF students present their research at the Midnight Sun Science Symposium

The Midnight Sun Science Symposium is an annual event organized by the Biology and Wildlife Graduate Student Association (BGSA). Rachel Voight and Molly McDermott are the co-presidents of the BGSA and the main organizers of the symposium. The keynote speaker for this year’s symposium is Roman Dial, a professor of Biology and Mathematics at Alaska Pacific University. Josh Hartman/ Sun Star

The Midnight Sun Science Symposium is an annual event organized by the Biology and Wildlife Graduate Student Association (BGSA). Rachel Voight and Molly McDermott are the co-presidents of the BGSA and the main organizers of the symposium. The keynote speaker for this year’s symposium is Roman Dial, a professor of Biology and Mathematics at Alaska Pacific University. Josh Hartman/ Sun Star

Josh Hartman / Sun Star

The Biology and Wildlife Graduate Student Association (BGSA) will host the 7th annual Midnight Sun Science Symposium on April 7 and 8. For the symposium, graduate and undergraduate students will present their research in the various scientific disciplines.

This is the first year the symposium will feature research by undergraduate students. The BGSA wants to be more inclusive to undergraduate students and to foster the relationship between the undergraduate and graduate students, according to Molly McDermott.

McDermott and Rachel Voight are the co-presidents of the BGSA and main organizers of the symposium.

Both days will feature oral presentations and poster sessions. There will be a reception dinner at 5:30 p.m. on the second day, April 8.

“The Midnight Sun Symposium provides a more comfortable, UAF-centered environment for people to get exposure,” McDermott said about giving students practice with presenting their research.

Roman Dial, a Biology and Mathematics professor at Alaska Pacific University, will give the keynote speech for the Symposium. He was chosen by a vote of the members of the BGSA. 

Dial is an author or co-author of about 40 scientific papers on topics such as forest canopy science, glacial biology, theoretical ecology and conservation biology. He has also written magazine articles, book chapters and a book on outdoor adventuring. He received his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University.

“This seminar attempts to offer some humble advice, gained through trial and error, on how to live a somewhat balanced life based in Alaska,” Dial wrote in the abstract for his keynote speech.

This presentation  will also serve as that week’s International Arctic Biology Life Science Hour Seminar on Friday, April 8 at 3 p.m. The talk is titled: “Science, Adventure, Family, and Friends” and will be in the Murie Auditorium of the Murie Building.

“Pursue science as a meaningful way to contribute to and engage with society,” Dial writes as one of his pieces of advice.

Science students will showcase and sell their artwork during the reception dinner. The BGSA is still accepting photography, paintings, sculptures and music to be showcased. The artwork does not have to be science themed, but it does have to be created by a science student.

The symposium’s schedule is on the 2016 Midnight Sun Science Symposium website.

The BGSA has been putting on this event since the organization was formed in 2010. Over the six years that it has occurred the symposium has had 175 participants.

The BGSA meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 1 p.m. in room 201 of the Irving I Building. At their meetings, they plan events, set up workshops, organize the symposium and eat pizza, according to their description on the BGSA Facebook page.

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