LSAMP Alumni Profile

Cheyanne Koran
Student, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Past Clubs/Organizations
UW-Milwaukee Geoscience Club UW-Milwaukee WiscAMP UW-Milwaukee McNair UW-Milwaukee WiscAMP Excel Program UW-Milwaukee GO FoRWARD

Past Research
Currently working on two research projects within the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Geoscience department. One of my projects is with Scott Schaefer in the paleoecology lab. I work with microfossils sampled from Fossil Prairie Park in Rockford, Iowa. I use the scanning electron microscope to take high resolution images of these microfossils for a field guide to be used at Fossil Prairie Park by educators, researchers, students, etc. The field guide contains both macrofossil and microfossil images with detailed notes, images with important morphological details, and likely places to find specific fossils. We also used this information to pinpoint possible echinoid locations. My mentor, Caige Tubic, found a rare echinoid that was previously unknown in this location. Echinoids will feed on specific microfossils. Finding locations that have an abundance of those microfossils could help us find more samples of echinoids to study. My second project is with Dr. Lindsay McHenry in the mineralogy and grain size labs. We are studying Olduvai Gorge core samples. Our goal is to get a better idea of the mineral content within our specific sample area. This will help us corroborate other nearby locations when it comes to mineral content. Our main goal is to better understand the environment during early hominin evolution and the potential impact climate change had on hominin evolution. I use x-ray diffraction to test for mineral/chemical (example: one sample can have lots of quartz and the x-ray diffractor will indicate this) contents in each sample and then place it through the grain analysis machine. We can piece together past environments from this information based on what is in the sample as specific minerals correlate to certain environments.

Cheyanne Koran

I am very passionate about research. I will be finishing my undergraduate career within the academic year and in the process of applying to graduate schools. I want to continue to do research in graduate school and then continue doing research as a job. I also like teaching so I see myself in academia further down the road. I want to be able to show students that there are lots of options when it comes to my fields. I also hope to diversify my fields. We need more women, particularly POC, in these fields. This is really important to me. Promoting STEM majors and careers to minorities is a strong passion of mine and I have learned a lot from my time in WiscAMP, McNair, etc. I got the chance to mentor students and see things from a different perspective. I am still an undergraduate myself but have finished my CES and biology degrees about two years ago. I know it's hard sometimes. I spent so many nights on the verge of giving up, but having a good community filled with STEM majors, faculty, professionals, etc can really make a difference. They are either going through it as well or have. They all know what it's like. Fall back on them when you need it, reach out when you need it, and take care of yourself. It's important to learn about yourself and your limits. Once you learn your limits, you can adjust and come up with a better course of action/next steps. Keep going! I want to continue to be a resource for LSAMP and STEM members. I think it is so, so, so important to have a community like this. I enjoy hearing about others and their paths as well. I have truly found that it is true that not one person is alike. Each STEM student comes from a different background, has different interests, different strengths and weaknesses, and different goals. I hope to help others realize this and use it to their advantage and as a tool. Other passions or interests of mine include: paleontology, geoscience, conservation, wildlife biology, hiking, museums, documentaries, traveling, history, puzzles, and aquariums!

I am available to mentor in the following ways
Attend Conferences, Host Workshops

My areas of expertise include
Grad School Process, Networking, Public Speaking, Research Abstracts, Research Posters, Research Presentation, Resume/CV