September 28, 2022

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Conservation Research Job

https://www.wm.edu/offices/iic/undergraduate-program/conservation-research-program/year-long-conservation-research-program/index.php

Interested in advancing real-world conservation solutions? The Institute for Integrative Conservation is excited to announce that we are seeking W&M undergraduate students for the 2023 Conservation Research Program. The Program matches W&M students with external conservation partners and faculty mentors to complete interdisciplinary, applied research designed to advance real-world conservation outcomes. Starting in January 2023, students complete a research proposal in the spring, receive a stipend and travel support to complete the research over the summer, and complete a research report in the fall. Open to students pursuing all majors, we are looking for students who are eager to apply their unique talents to advance integrative conservation solutions.

We’re manufacturing!

The Makerspaces at William & Mary are open and the community is producing. Printers are running across campus, labs are doing research, LASERs are shooting photons at things, and the fall semester is well underway! Below you can see a little sign recently made on a CNC router in the makerspace center in W.J. Small Hall.

Timelapse of routing a sign in W.J. Small Hall (with a CNC ‘cheat’ procedure to correct the first engrave).
A CNC routed sign being made in Small Hall

Welcoming the ’22-’23 academic year!

Welcome back everyone! While you were away, or hadn’t yet been here, we had quite a busy summer. Between fixing equipment, setting up new stuff, helping out with the School of Educations’ Camp Launch, or aiding in the construction of new UAV payloads for environmental sensing; the Makerspaces have been quite active. That said, we are over-the-moon excited to see all of the new faces rolling into Williamsburg ready for a great year!

The Makerspaces will officially open Wednesday, August 31st, alongside the start of classes. However, as we’re almost entirely run by (the best, most awesome-est) students; it will take a few days to get our scheduling setup and posted online.

If you’re new to using the Makerspaces, here’s the basic synopsis: Log into our ticketing system (see the ‘Make an Appt.’ tab above) and request training or usage and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Don’t worry about whether you know how to use something, we’re here to help.

Welcome back, now let’s get to work.

Setting up the environmental testing UAV on the docks at the Chickahominy Boathouse, Summer ’22
A near crash while flying in autonomous mapping mode with the environmental sampling UAV.
9th Grade students in Camp Launch participated in a classic engineering challenge. Using LASER cutting systems to produce the parts themselves; they designed and constructed bridges that held over 100lbs using just 3mm acrylic (plastic)!

Summer 2022

We are here. We are making things daily.

If you’re around campus this Summer guess what? So are we! We’ve started gearing up and getting ready to help with the School of Educations’ Camp Launch July 17th-30th as well as already starting to get ready for the Fall Semester! To get ready we’re cleaning, organizing, and training! If you are around and want to learn laser cutting, embroidery, CNC machining, or anything else with which we can help then schedule a session with us in the ‘Make an Appointment’ menu link. All summer long we’ll be here but by appointment only.

Laser Cutter Training
Training on basic embroidery
William & Mary School of Education, Camp Launch July 17th-29th.

CGA, VIMS & Makerspaces at WRL

This past weekend was a great one if you like GIS, drones & books. The Center for Geospatial Analysis, the Virginia Institute for Marine Sciences, and the Makerspaces at William & Mary were at drone day at the Williamsburg Regional Library in Toana. It was a great day to engage with interested peoples of all ages, demonstrate larger scale UAVs such as those used in mapping coastline changes at VIMS, and get younger kids’ hands-on with small drones flying them through an obstacle course. If this sounds like fun, stay tuned for upcoming events with the CGA, VIMS, and the Makerspaces.

Building buildings

A throwback photo from a year ago, here a student used 3D printers and laser cutters to produce his vision for a class project in architectural design.

Maker-made

One particularly creative maker just shared the creation she’s been working on, 3D printed nails! This designer created 3D models for the nails and mapped them onto her scanned finger models. To highlight the maker-made community here at William & Mary, she is also accessorizing with a number of pieces from other community makers. Make sure to check out her work in more detail upcoming in the Flat Hat.

Dancing with Drones

Ever wonder what it’s like to dance with a drone? Here are two EPAD (engineering, physics & applied design) students doing the compass calibration dance in order to, well, calibrate the magnetometer onboard a large sUAS. Lastly, a quick video of the first (successful 🙂 ) test flight of a large octocopter sUAS.

That’s the hot stuff.

Here at William & Mary students are afforded all sorts of awesome opportunities, especially when it comes to working in the labs and gaining experience in undergraduate research. One critical component of the labs is the equipment, and a critical part of being a researcher is understanding the equipment; what better way is there to understand the equipment than to learn how to repair, rebuild, and operate it?

(Below) We helped one particularly talented undergraduate researcher repair and rebuild a tube furnace in one of the labs in the Integrated Science Center. While a tube furnace is little more than a fancy oven, it’s an oven which can go up to over a thousand degrees celsius! This means that in order to repair and rebuild it this particular student learned about high current DC electricity, material science and more.


What’s really important though? She persevered and got it working again (At very bottom)! Good job.

Fix the equipment and now it’s time to science again! 🙂

An undergraduate research student working hard to rebuild laboratory equipment
The rebuilt tube furnace, courtesy of one very talented undergraduate research student!

Water you up to?

This past UAV flightclub day (every Friday morning, 8-11 @ Albert-Daly Field), some senior EPAD students working on their research project were gathering data for their autonomous water sampling payload. Shown in the video below, they are testing the flight characteristics of hanging a scaled down Niskin bottle with and without water. Once completed, and scaled up to our much larger UAV, this tool will be able help provide 1.1L water samples, autonomously, from the Chesapeake Bay watershed to scientists at VIMS and elsewhere.

If you’re interested in learning more about UAVs and getting some flight time in, feel free to stop by the field on Friday mornings! #FlightClub