Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Undergraduate Research Stories

Capturing cowboys on canvas

Maeghan Watkinson

Maeghan Watkinson, whose grandparents own a ranch near Lillooet, and whose dad has spent his life as a cowboy, knows that ranching is tough, messy and dirty, and yet the image of the ranching lifestyle is often one of sweeping vistas, with cowboys that are young and vital. The fourth-year visual arts student spent the summer completing a UREAP project, and used brushes and paints to capture images of working ranches on her canvas. The project, "The Ranching Lifestyle: The Romanticized Ideal Associated to Ranchers and Cowboys," broke her out of her comfort zone. As a portraitist, she had to broaden her scope, and she learned many lessons along the way. Read more...

Regional politics, past and present

Steve O'Reilly

When offered the opportunity to develop his own research project, fourth-year Bachelor of Arts student Steve O'Reilly didn't hesitate. Supervised by political scientist Dr. Terry Kading and Canadian historian Dr. Tina Block, O'Reilly embarked on his own UREAP title: "The Significance of the Bellwether Distinction: A Historical Examination of Voting Behaviour in the Kamloops Region." The project was timely, in that he completed it shortly before the 2015 federal election, providing him with some unique insights. O'Reilly's project drew interest from local media, and he was interviewed on CBC Daybreak and Radio NL. Read more...

Why do employees stay or leave a snow sport resort?

Sarbjit Gill

Employee retention is a phrase often heard within the tourism industry, and a concern Bachelor of Tourism Management student Sarbjit Gill decided to investigate through his successful UREAP project, "Understanding Employees' Sense of Place at a Snow Sport Resort and its Role in Serving a Competitive Advantage for Retention of the Staff." The idea was to acknowledge the tethers binding employees to a place in order to better understand what brought them to the resort and why they stay. Read more...

Contributing to our knowledge of White Nose Syndrome

Baylee Out

Several common species of bats are now endangered because of a fungus that causes White Nose Syndrome. With the help of a UREAP grant, microbiology student Baylee Out spent her summer working collaboratively with Parks Canada to determine whether the fungus is present in caves used by hibernating bats in Glacier National Park. Out collected samples in the caves and is now doing preparatory work so that she can run DNA tests on the samples. Parks Canada will use the results of Out’s research to determine best measures for protecting hibernating bats in the park. Out will present her work at the BC Parks and Protected Areas Research Forum in December. Read more...