Are you curious about some of the research happening inside the laboratories at UC Merced? Interested in hearing how chemicals are affecting certain amphibian populations? Or, need to figure out the best way to prepare for graduate school?
Students, faculty, staff and the general public can learn the answers to those questions as UC Merced gears up for its annual Research Week  event, April 7-9.
Research Week  is a time when people can learn what the university’s scientific explorers are studying and imagine the impact their discoveries could have on society.
“Research Week gives us the opportunity to show what drives much of the learning at UC Merced,” said Vice Chancellor for Research  Samuel J. Traina . “It is our way of sharing and showcasing the work of our outstanding professors, students and scientists.”
The week kicks off on Tuesday, April 7, with Student Research Day. The day’s main event is the third annualresearch poster forum  and competition. That event allows students, from undergraduates to doctoral candidates, to present the contents of their research to the broader community.
Students create posters that summarize their research and compete for a cash prize for the best poster. During the judging, poster presenters will have 10 minutes to discuss their project with two faculty judges. Two first place prizes will be presented to the best undergraduate and graduate posters. Students interested in participating in the poster forum have until Wednesday, April 1, to electronically submit an abstract. Detailed instructions and poster guidelines are posted on the Research Week 2009 Web site.
The winners will be announced on April 9.
The Vital and Alice Pellissier Family Distinguished Speaker Series  is the other pillar of Research Week. This year’s guest speaker is UC Berkeley biologist and herpetologist Tyrone B. Hayes. His lecture, “From Silent Spring to Silent Night: What Have We Learned,” covers who environmental changes impacts amphibian development, growth and reproduction. The lecture starts at 6 p.m. in Classroom and Office Building Room 105. A reception will follow at 7 p.m on the main floor of the Kolligian Library. Both the poster competition and Pellissier Speaker Series events are free and open to the public. Those who want to attend the reception must RSVP at (209) 228-7787 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
While the poster forum and speaker series are both open to the general public, there are other activities scheduled that are geared more for current UC Merced students. On April 7, from noon to 4 p.m., graduate students from the Quantitative and Systems Biology  graduate group will host an informal research forum, where they will discuss their research. That event will be in Classroom and Office Building Room 120.
On Wednesday, April 8, the focus is on research and graduate school  preparation, with workshops on laboratory safety and graduate school preparation.
A full schedule of Research Week activities can be found here .