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December 13, 2002

Media Contacts: Michael Dabney, (858) 822-3432


Winning UCSD undergraduate Melanie Zauscher (center) poses with Jacqueline Azize-Brewer, Ph.D.(left), of UCSD's Academic Enrichment Programs, and UCSD computer engineering student Fabiola Navarro at the SACNAS research conference.

Melanie Zauscher, an environmental chemistry major at the University of California, San Diego, was recently recognized for research excellence at the national conference of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). The conference was held in Anaheim, CA.

Zauscher, a participant in UCSD’s California Alliance for Minority Participation in Science, Engineering and Mathematics (CAMP) program -- a unit of UCSD's Academic Enrichment Programs (AEP) -- was awarded for her research poster presentation in the category of Ecology and Environmental Science based upon work performed during the 2001-2002 academic year. She received a certificate of accomplishment and a $250 cash prize for her poster titled, Age Determination of Bowhead Whales Through Aspartic Acid Racemization, representing research she performed under her CAMP mentor, UCSD professor Jeffrey Bada of Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO). Co-author on the poster was UCSD undergraduate Maria Young. The research was funded by Nasa Specialized Center of Research and Training (NSCORT) and by North Slope Borough, New England Aquarium and New England Consortium.

Also representing UCSD at the conference was Fabiola Navarro, another CAMP student. Navarro, an undergraduate, presented a poster in the Engineering category. Her poster was titled, Development of a New Meteor Radar for Measuring Upper Atmosphere Winds.

An annual event, the SACNAS conference is “an excellent forum for undergraduate and graduate students to present their findings in a supportive and intellectually stimulating environment,” says Jacqueline Azize-Brewer, Ph.D., UCSD’s CAMP coordinator. This year’s conference saw 340 students from across the country make poster presentations, and 33 graduate students make oral presentations.

“The SACNAS conference, which complements several AEP programs that are designed to expose students to research experiences and motivate them to attend graduate school, also provides avenues for students to network with established scientists, to attend scientific lectures, to connect with mentors, and to learn about fellowships and other funding opportunities,” says Azize-Brewer, who also serves as senior learning skills counselor for AEP’s McNair Program, another undergraduate research initiative, under the UCSD Student Educational Advancement Division.

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