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Witsell and Lynch Participate in SUPERB Summer Institute

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Thursday, August 29, 2019

ANHC’s Chief of Research, Theo Witsell, and Aquatic Ecologist, Dustin Lynch, recently participated in the Students United in Preserving, Exploring, and Researching Biodiversity (SUPERB) Scholarship Program’s Annual Summer Institute. SUPERB is a three-year scholarship program at Arkansas State University (A-State), Murray State University (MSU), and Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). It provides support to undergraduate and graduate students studying biology with an interest in biodiversity, conservation, and natural history collections.

SUPERB aims to ensure that each student excels academically, graduates on time, gains research experience, and is prepared for the next step in his or her professional life. Participating students are provided with travel support to scientific conferences, financial support for research projects, peer mentoring, faculty and life coach mentorship, access to professional development seminars, and the four-day summer institute.

Witsell and Lynch have provided professional development at two of the past three summer institutes. At this year’s institute, Witsell gave an overview of biodiversity in Arkansas’s ecoregions and Lynch gave an overview of the aquatic fauna of Arkansas, by ecoregion. Lynch served on a panel discussion about ethical practices in natural history collecting. The institute also included poster sessions, nature hikes, and group activities that culminated with group presentations on the last day. ANHC is excited for our staff to participate in this unique program, which aims to ensure each student’s academic and future professional success.


Top left -- Students discussing their research at one of the SUPERB Scholarship Program's Summer Institute's poster sessions. 

Top right -- Students discussing their research at one of the SUPERB Scholarship Program's Summer Institute's poster sessions.

Bottom -- SUPERB Scholarship Program's Summer Institute participants during one of the program's field trips. 





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