We engage the Portland, Oregon scientific and technical community to enhance the health of the scientific research enterprise, provide opportunities for the next generation of scientists and engineers, and promote the public's understanding of science and technology. We are comprised of faculty and students from several colleges and universities in the Portland area, as well as colleagues in local business, industry, federal and state agencies, and medical centers. We focus many of our programs on enhancing the experiences of students at all levels. Many of our members are retired scientists and engineers who have relocated to the Portland area and find a community of interests through the activities of the chapter.
Save the date!
22 Feb 2017: registration deadline for Sigma Xi's national Student Research Showcase, an online poster exhibit, which will be judged in April.
08 Mar 2017: Sigma Xi lecture by Paul Manson, Mapping the public: co-production of ocean and coastal management knowledge on the Oregon Coast. 7:30 pm, PSU Smith Memorial Union 238.
15 Mar 2017: deadline for student proposals for Sigma Xi Grants in Aid of Research (GIARs). See below for recent local recipients of these grants.
12 Apr 2017: Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer Todd Surovell, Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Wyoming, will give a chapter lecture entitled What happened to the mammoths? Exploring the cause of North America’s most recent mass extinction. 7:30 pm, PSU Smith Memorial Union 026.
14 Nov 2017: Columbia-Willamette Chapter's 14th annual Student Research Symposium.
Sigma Xi holds a worldwide competition for student grants in March and October every year. The next deadline to apply for a grant is 15 Mar 2017. The following local students recently earned GIARs for their projects. Each of them also received a modest supplemental grant from our chapter.
Brian Wendel, Cell Biology / Biochemistry, Portland State University: Determining the mechanism by which DNA replication completes. (October 2016 competition)
Adam Baz, Conservation Biology, Portland State University: Habitat use and minimum area requirements of woodpeckers in an urban landscape. (March 2016 competition)
Caitlin Maraist, Ecology, Portland State University: Effects of endophytic fungi on sexual effort and chemical cues of the dioecious moss, Ceratodon Purpureus. (October 2015 competition)
Jess Millar, Cell Biology/Biochemistry, Portland State University: Horizontally acquired tRNA facilitates adaptation to an extreme environment. (October 2015 competition)
Previous GIARs have been earned by students at Portland State, University of Portland, Washington State University Vancouver, and Willamette University. We encourage students at all academic institutions in the Portland area to apply. Membership in Sigma Xi isn't required, but 75% of the grants are reserved for student members and advisees of faculty members.
In the Fall 2016 cycle, Sigma Xi awarded 115 grants totaling $91,205 to students in four countries: 20 undergrads, 28 master's students, and 67 doctoral candidates. These amounted to 17.7% of the 651 applications received. More grants could be awarded in future cycles if more support is received.
Sigma Xi Annual Meeting, Atlanta, 10 - 12 Nov 2016
Srikar Rao Darmakkolla student presenter
(In the background is the chapter's new poster, designed by Karen Thiebes with suggestions from the chapter's board.) Anh and Srikar received travel stipends from our chapter because their research posters had earned first-place awards at our chapter's November 2015 Student Research Symposium. At the Atlanta meeting, Anh's research earned further recognition (see below).
Utility of a low-volume imaging assay to assess the granular phenotype and activity of neonatal platelets. She's a grad student at Oregon Health & Science University.
Srikar Rao Darmakkolla, who also presented his research at the Atlanta meeting, wrote: "I learned many things from this conference...key note lectures are my all time favorite... Unlike other conferences, this gave us great opportunity to mingle and improve our network."
Amie Romney won the first-place award in Cell and Molecular Biology, plus the President's Award, at the Sigma
Xi NW/SW + AAAS Pacific Division Annual Meeting, San Diego, in June 2016, for her poster presentation: Epigenetic regulation of alternative developmental trajectories in an annual killifish. She's a PhD student in biology at Portland State University, and she's pictured at left with her former undergraduate advisor, Jon Clark, who attended the meeting as Sigma Xi Northwest Regional Director.
Quoting Amie, "I had an amazing experience at the 2016 AAASPD conference in San Diego. Through my newly-formed connections with Sigma XI, I was introduced to many wonderful people. Everyone there demonstrated genuine support for young researchers in scientific practice as well as career development. I would have never had such an opportunity to build a network of professional contacts. Thank you to everyone who made the trip possible for me!"
The Chapter provided partial travel support for the above students, and others, to present their research. Similar awards earned earlier by local students at regional and national Sigma Xi meetings are listed in Student awards.
Sigma Xi C-W Chapter Student Research Presentations
04 November 2016
Ballroom, Smith Memorial Student Union, Portland State University
Sigma Xi Columbia-Willamette Chapter held its thirteenth annual Symposium of poster papers by undergraduate and graduate students in the sciences, social sciences, mathematics, and engineering on Friday 04 November 2016, at Portland State University in the Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom. The posters-only Symposium is open to students affiliated with colleges and universities in the Portland area. Awards are given for the best undergraduate and graduate posters in several categories. Support for the Symposium was generously provided by PSU's Office of Research and Strategic Partnerships.
At this year's event, 37 student research posters were reviewed by 17 judges, and 18 cash prizes for best poster presentation were awarded. The primary student authors were affiliated with 3 local academic institutions (PSU, UP, OHSU). The Symposium provides practice for presentations at regional and national meetings in students’ own disciplines. The Symposium is open to the public, and admission is free.
Our next Student Research Symposium is scheduled for Thursday, 14 November 2017, in the Smith Ballroom at Portland State.