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The Sustainability Undergraduate Research Experience Program at Arizona State University

The SURE program offers a tiered approach to research opportunities for undergraduate students in the School of Sustainability. The three levels of the program provide different types of involvement, experiences, and time commitments.

1. Research Apprentice – Discover current research opportunities and careers while also learning about graduate school through the 1-credit course, SOS 294: Exploring Sustainability Research. Students will explore research opportunities in which they can become involved (though no commitment is required). The course will host several guest speakers including ASU faculty as well as graduate and undergraduate researchers. The class involves a “Y = Satisfactory” grading system, and the main requirements are attendance and in-class participation. Visit the full description and link to enroll for this Fall SOS 294.

2. Research Assistant – Gain substantive research experience by participating in an approved, faculty-supervised project for at least one full semester. Research Assistants chosen for a SURE project will enroll for 3 credits of Individualized Instruction with their faculty supervisor. This amounts to a 6-8 hours per week of work on the project. Depending on the level of the student (e.g., first year to senior), the course numbers are SOS 194, 294, 394, or 499. Talk to your SOS advisor to determine which credits are most appropriate for you, find the Individualized Instruction form HERE. Juniors and Seniors interested in earning capstone internship credit should review the information on this page and talk to Internship Coordinator Caroline Savalle to register for SOS 484.

3. Research Fellow – Advance beyond the Assistant level by taking SOS 394: Sustainability Research Design and Practice. In this course students will develop practical research questions, receive training in graphic and visual communication, and create poster presentations in collaboration with their research supervisor and the class. To enroll, students must simultaneously enroll for at least 2 credit hours of Individuals Instruction (see course numbers above). For Barrett students, your Research / Thesis hours (HON 492 / 493) may also apply for these independent credit hours.

Research-based course credits may apply to student’s upper-division electives or electives in your chosen track or related discipline. The SOS advisors can help students decide which coursework is best suited to their studies. Sustainability students can also gain research experience through relevant Workshop (SOS 498) courses, Internship (SOS 484) hours, or other research-based credits. Ask your SOS advisor how to get involved.

How to Get Involved

If you are interested in exploring opportunities and developing a fundamental understanding of sustainability-focused research, for the 1-credit SOS 294 course, Exploring Sustainability Research, in fall term. To continue participating in the program, apply to work on an approved project (see 2021 projects) with a sustainability scientist or scholar (check with your academic advisor to determine if credit is appropriate) and take SOS 394, Sustainability Research Design and Practice.

Spring 2021 SURE Project Application is due October 21, 2020. Students must be logged into their ASU account to access the application form.

For students who demonstrate financial need, we are pleased to offer a range of Scholarships to help support your enrollment in research hours in Spring 2021. The Scholarship Application will be available in October.

If you have questions about the program, contact your SOS Advisor by emailing:

Highlights from SURE 2019-20

2020 SURE poster presentation group photo

2020 SURE poster presentation group photo.

SURE Student of the Year Award

Andie Wilkerson, “Green Purchasing Implementation and Success in Italian Muncipalities” (Supervised by Nicole Darnall)

Best Research Poster Award

Sydney Millerwise, “Implications of Nitrogen Enhancement as an Integrative Pest Management (IPM) Strategy” (Supervised by Dr. Arianne Cease and Dr. Rick Overson)

Syndey Millerwise headshot