• 2018 Honors Day Participants

53% of students participate in undergraduate researchNorthland’s annual Honors Day Poster Symposium is presentation of over fifty student-led capstone, research, and project-based work. Presentations span several different academic majors. The public is welcome to attend.

We’re proud of the fact that over half of our students participate in student-faculty led research during their time at Northland. Undergraduate research provides our students with the opportunity to apply what they have learned in their courses and co-curricular activities to answer a question of interest or importance, develop a line of reasoning or a methodology, or investigate a passion more deeply. The process fosters creativity and exploration, and allows students to seek new understandings and find innovations and solutions.

2018 Poster Symposium

Poster Presenters

A Sampling of 2018 Poster Presentations

Jena Miles & Hannah Hoff
Long Island coastal wetland response to changing Lake Superior water levels

John Aguirre, Christopher Langsted, Ariah Law, and Samuel Paulson 
Converting Biorenewable Sources into Biodegradable Plastics Using Reversible Bonds

Abby Keller and Jordyn O’Gara
Risk-averse Scansorial Behavior in Gray Fox is Driven by Height and Size of Potential Food

John Aguirre, Christopher Langsted, Ariah Law, Samme Paulson 
Converting Biorenewable Sources into Biodegradable Plastics Using Reversible Bonds

Jane Dahlgren
Babies Behind Bars: Investigating the Intersection of Motherhood and Mass Incarceration in the United States

Aidan Johan
Chequamegon Bay Region Bicycle Plan

Matthew Koszuta
Temporal and Spatial Trends in the Greater Northwest Wisconsin Temperature Climatology

Laura Loucks
Solar Public Art in Ashland

Katie Nolan
Successful Land Management around the Globe: Environmental Perspectives from Bhutan, Antarctica, and the United States

Ryan Raschle
Aiding Management of a Sensitive Species: Natural History and Habitat Requirements of the Chryxus Arctic Butterfly

Danny Simpson
In Defense of Agriculture: Analyzing the Militarized and Industrialized Rhetoric of Early Twentieth Century USDA Farmer’s Bulletins

Schmitty Smith
Exploring the Mass Balance and Sea Level Contribution of Global Glaciers During the Last Interglaciation and Mid-Holocene

Rosie Smith
Thomas Cole’s Landscapes of Nationalism: Reconciling Nature and Nation on Canvas in 19th Century America

Sam Tharpgeorge
Status and change of a State Threatened orchid, Neottia convallarioides (Sw.)

Marisa Ulman
Quantifying the distribution of phosphorus fractions in sediment of Chequamegon Bay, Lake Superior

Jack Warosh
Chemistry and Significance of Carbonate Concretions within Glacially Derived
Clay in the Northern Wisconsin Lake Superior Region

2019 Honors Day Resources

Who Can Participate

Any senior completing capstone, research, thesis, or fine arts creative projects this academic year is invited to prepare a poster and abstract to be presented at the Honors Day Poster Symposium. Students who are not seniors who are collaborating on research or capstone projects, or juniors who are completing a capstone or capstone course are also welcome to participate.

The goals of the symposium are to celebrate student research and capstone projects and provide students with an opportunity to professionally develop and present an abstract and poster.

2019 Deadlines

Registration deadline:

Student presenter must email poster title and faculty advisor to scraig@northland.edu by Wednesday, March 13. in order to participate.

Copy deadline:

Abstract and final poster title are due on Monday, April 1. Faculty supervisor must review and edit abstracts prior to this.

If  your faculty or project supervisor is unable to review and edit, Library Director Julia Waggoner is available to assist. Email Jwaggoner@northland.edu to schedule a meeting with her.

Submit your final copy in a Microsoft Word document to scraig@northland.edu by April 1, 2019.

2019 Honors Day Schedule

Set-up and photos:

9:00 am-10:30 am

Poster pre-view session:

10:30 am-12:30 pm

Student presentations:

12:30 pm-2:30 pm

How to Layout Your Poster

Most participants use PowerPoint to design a poster. The slide is formatted to the size of the plotter printer and content is arranged using both written and visual elements to communicate the project.

A PowerPoint poster template formatted to work with our plotter is provided to all participants. The poster display boards we have are for horizontal posters. We do have wall spaces for a few vertical poster displays, but participants are encouraged to design horizontal posters.

Poster background colors:

  • When designing your poster, DO NOT USE  dark background colors. Use white whenever possible. In this way, the plotter’s ink will last longer.

Set poster size

(if you don’t use the poster template):

  • The available plotter paper is 36 inches wide. For a horizontal poster, the maximum dimensions are 36 inches by 48 inches. With these maximum dimensions, posters hang 2-3 inches over the sides of the display boards, so some students choose slightly smaller dimensions.
  • Set the size of the poster in the settings of the program (i.e., PowerPoint) that you will use to create the poster BEFORE you start creating your poster (see instructions below).
  • Place a 1-inch border inside the PowerPoint slide to leave space for a white border around the poster. (The printer does not print to the very edge of the paper).

Setting poster size using PowerPoint:

  • Click the DESIGN tab on the top of the PowerPoint screen. Click on SLIDE SIZE located near the right end of the ribbon.
  • Click Custom Slide Size. In the new window, under “Slides sized for,” select CUSTOM (bottom of the list).
  • Enter your poster width (48” maximum) and height (36” maximum).
  • On the right side of that same window, check that the orientation for your slide is LANDSCAPE for a horizontal poster. Click OK.
  • In the new window that pops up, click on Ensure Fit.
  • When done creating the poster, save it as a PPT. Plan to print the poster using a PPT (PowerPoint) file.

How to Print Your Poster

Posters can be printed at any time but we encourage you to print ahead of time to avoid bottlenecks at the printer the week of the symposium. Print posters in CSE 252 using the computer closest to the plotter. Sign in as yourself. Poster printing is free for your first poster and $20.00 for any additional posters. You may print anytime the lab is open. If you would like assistance with formatting and printing, Professor Cyndi May has office hours on Tuesdays.

Download the Poster Printing Guide

Developing an Abstract

Abstracts should be between 200-250 words. They are not included on the poster. We will format and print abstracts and have them available as handouts at your table at the symposium. Your faculty supervisor or research/project supervisor must review your abstract before you submit it on the Monday, April 1st deadline.

Although abstracts vary somewhat by discipline, all abstracts are a succinct summary of a completed work or work in progress.  An abstract condenses a larger piece of writing (a thesis, research project, performance, etc.), highlighting its major points and concisely describing the content and scope of the project.  For purposes of the poster session, you will need to produce an informative abstract. Your abstract should include the following elements:

  • Rationale

    Why should the reader care about the problem/issue you’ve chosen to explore? This section should focus on the importance of your work and the potential impact it might have if successful.

  • Problem statement/purpose

    What problem are you trying to solve? What issue did you set out to explore? What do you hope to learn from it?

  • Methodology

    How did you go about solving or making progress on the problem? What method did you use to explore you problem (sampling, experimentation, trial and error)? If you did not do a research project, make note here of any theoretical framework or methodological assumptions that underlie what you did.  If in the arts, this section should outline the media and process you used to develop your project.

  • Results/findings

    What did you discover/uncover during your research? Your explanation of the significance of your results (completed, unexpected, negative, and partial) is more important than the results themselves. If your research is not completed, this section should list the expected results or outcomes.

  • Conclusions/implications

    What are the implications of your findings? How does your work contribute to your field of study?  Are there implications for future work in this area?

Review your work:

  • Is it complete—covering all the major parts of the project?
  • Is it cohesive—flowing smoothly from start to finish?
  • Is it concise—containing no unnecessary words or information?
  • Is it clear—remaining readable for all your audiences, even in its abbreviated form?
  • Is it correct—grammatically? Visually?
  • Have your faculty advisor review your abstract and submit it as a Microsoft Word document by April 1 to scraig@northland.edu

Additional Resources

Additional resources to help you write an abstract are available at Dexter Library.

LB 2369 .R87 2006

How to write a successful science thesis: the concise guide for students /  by William E. Russey, Hans F. Ebel, Claus Bliefert.

Q 180.55 .M4 B66 1995

The craft of research / by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams.

Example Abstract



Allison M. DeRose, Emily K. Heald, and Dr. Paula S. Anich

Northland College

April 4, 2013

Abstract:  The Woodland Jumping Mouse (Napaeozapus insignis) is an old-growth boreal rodent species.  Woodland Jumping Mice play an important role in forest ecosystems because they disperse the spores of fungi that are only found on coniferous tree species.  The distribution of this species in Wisconsin and its interactions with other small mammal species are not well understood.  Prior to 2011, the Woodland Jumping Mouse was represented statewide only by 48 museum specimens.  Due to its perceived rarity, the Woodland Jumping Mouse has been listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. This study analyzes the influence of other small mammal species on the presence of Woodland Jumping Mice.  Over a period of 3 months in the summer of 2012, (6,600 trap-nights) we set Sherman-live traps in 14 different sites in Ashland, Bayfield, Price, and Sawyer counties within the Chequamegon National Forest.  We targeted late-succession spruce-fir and hemlock sites in order to locate populations of Woodland Jumping Mice.  We captured 7 definitive Woodland Jumping Mice, one of which was a recapture.  In addition to the target species, we captured 593 animals of 10 species.  We sexed and measured standard morphometrics (mass, total body length, ear length, tail length, hind foot length) for each animal trapped.  We looked for statistically significant relationships between the presence of Woodland Jumping Mice and small mammal species diversity using the program R.  We discovered that Woodland Jumping Mice are associated with sites that have high small mammalian species diversity.  This relationship suggests that the presence of Woodland Jumping Mice at a particular site is an indication of pristine, unfragmented wildlife habitat.

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