Campus: CSU, Chico -- May 16, 2000

CSU, Chico Student Researchers Win Statewide Competition

California State University, Chico students won first- and second-place awards in the 14th annual CSU Student Research Competition, held at Cal Poly Pomona May 5-6. One hundred forty-four student entrants from 21 CSU campuses took part.

College of Agriculture seniors Wes Schager and Sara Livingston came in first and second, respectively, in the Biological and Agricultural Sciences division of the competition. Both will receive cash prizes for placing in the competition.

Other CSU, Chico students who entered the competition were undergraduates Heather Dye, Elizabeth Paslay, Melissa Wolf and Sarah DeForest and graduate student Rebecca O'Flaherty. All seven CSU, Chico students competed in the Biological and Agricultural Sciences category.

Peter Schuler, of the School of Graduate, International and Sponsored Programs, and agriculture professor Cindy Daley accompanied the students to the competition.

The annual research competition is the largest student achievement event of its kind in the CSU. The competition's founder, Vivian Vidoli, dean of the division of graduate studies at CSU, Fresno, has said the size and format of the CSU competition makes it unique in higher education.

Students enter in different subject-based categories, usually competing on their home campuses for the right to compete in the systemwide competition. Each CSU campus can send up to 10 students to the systemwide competition, which is held on a different campus each year on a rotating basis. CSU, Chico hosted the competition in 1998.

The title of Schager's research was "A Comparison of Compost Quality Using an In-Vessel Composting System for Agricultural Waste Management." Schager determined the feasibility of a composting process that removes livestock manure and rice straw from waste. The purpose of the process was to create a product that enhances agricultural land and avoids ground-water and air pollution. Schager's project was funded through the California Urban Environmental Research and Education Center.

The title of Livingston's research was "Effect of Stress on Early Embryonic Mortality in Domestic Species." Livingston studied the impact of stress on embryonic pregnancies. Her data showed animals are highly sensitive to stressors during this period. Livingston's project was funded by the United States Department of Agriculture.

The students, both integrated animal systems majors, were also funded through grants obtained by Daley through the College of Agriculture. Daley also served as their faculty sponsor for the competition. Preparation for the student presentations were the combined efforts of faculty involved in the college's Agricultural Experimental Research course, including professors Marian and Richard Baldy, Cindy and David Daley, Wes Patton and Richard Rosecrance.

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