Research and awards:

Recent accomplishments 

Faculty research and awards 

Student research and awards  

Student research opportunities

Laboratory for Applied Social Research (LASR)

The Laboratory for Applied Social Research in the Department of Sociology and Social Work was created to guide education in applied social research while offering research services for the community. We provide the following kinds of research opportunities:

  • applied social research experiences for undergraduate and graduate students
  • customer/client-driven research, data collection, and analysis for organizational interests and programs
  • a data collection and analysis facility for customer/client projects, advanced educational training, and post-graduate research

The services we offer include:

  • Survey Research
  • Telephone Surveys
  • Program Planning and Evaluation
  • Field Interviews and Observation
  • Data Management & Analysis

Contact us about a potential project using the form below.

Student Media Center

The Student Media Center (SMC) in the School of Communication is a working media lab designed to train students for the rapidly changing environments of reporting and production. The SMC offers students the opportunity to get hands-on experience working on print, radio, television, and multimedia web journalism. In an era of converging media and transforming modes of newsgathering and reporting, students need to gain experience working with new digital technologies to produce stories for a variety of media platforms.

In the SMC, students work on:

  • The Lumberjack, NAU’s weekly student newspaper
  • NAZ Today, a live-broadcast nightly television news program serving the university and the Flagstaff region
  • KJACK Radio, NAU’s student radio station
  • UTV62, a channel devoted to student produced television programming

All of these outlets have an online web presence, as well. Working in the SMC provides  students with an opportunity to put their writing, technology and critical thinking skills in practice to create multimedia stories that reach audiences near and far. Students gain experiences and skills they will need for futures in the media industries.

Northern Arizona Justice Project

 With generous support from the Arizona Bar Foundation, the Northern Arizona Justice Project (NAJP) investigates Arizona cases where wrongful and unlawful conviction has been alleged. Students form the nucleus of the innocence project. Through NAJP, they have the opportunity to apply the conceptual and theoretical knowledge of criminal procedure they learn in the classroom to real-world case investigations. Students involved in NAJP conduct all case-related research and produce case reports.

In the process, students:

  • critically analyze cases
  • prepare case briefs
  • professionally manage case materials and interactions with law enforcement and forensic professionals
  • develop research, computer, reading and writing skills
  • demonstrate competence in post-conviction criminal procedure and sentencing practices

In addition to the case-related research activities, students generate scholarly papers that address key issues surrounding crime scene investigation and due process known to generate wrongful and unlawful convictions. For example, recent students have produced Master’s theses on topics such as life after exoneration, the harmless error rule, and the felony murder rule. Much of this work will eventually be published. The most promising students frequently accompany faculty mentors to national meetings to present papers and network with seasoned professionals in the field.

The Psychology Undergraduate Research Center

The Department of Psychology is committed to the integration of research and scholarship with teaching. Students can participate in faculty-directed research, student-initiated research, and collaborative faculty-student research. The Psychology Undergraduate Research Center highlights the Department’s commitment to the integration and infusion of undergraduate and graduate education with scientific inquiry and scholarly work. Faculty and students use this designated space for research group meetings, data collection, data analysis, and research poster development.

Collaborative projects between faculty and students provide valuable opportunities for inquiry-based learning outside the classroom. In fact, recently collected assessment data show that one-third of all NAU graduating Psychology seniors participated in at least one semester of research guided by a faculty member. Most psychology majors present posters based on their work at on-campus events as part of the curriculum. However, the most successful students present their research at regional and national meetings and publish their work in professional journals.

Some even win awards: At the 4th Annual Arizona Undergraduate Psi Chi Conference, NAU psychology students received awards for Best Poster Presentation and Best Statistical Analysis! A paper co-authored by a distinguished faculty member and 7 students won the 2006 Walter G. Klopfer Award bestowed by the Society for Personality Assessment for an article that makes a distinguished contribution to the literature in personality assessment!

Quotes from graduating psychology senior survey:

"Undergraduate Research has been the most important and influential thing that I have participated in at NAU. It has helped me understand research in a new light and help me to understand my own interests.” 

Geography, Public Planning and Parks and Recreation Management

Through research, students in Geography, Public Planning and Parks and Recreation Management programs are building better communities and a better world.

In Geography, undergraduate students:

  • engage in research projects during their senior capstone class
  • present their results at the GPR Senior Seminar Research Conference
  • and display professional level posters at the SBS Celebration of Achievement.

Geographic Information Science (GIS) students gather and analyze geo-spatial data which assists in the protection and preservation of land and water resources, fish and wildlife habitat, and areas with special designations, like wilderness.

GIS students work with a variety of federal and state agencies including:

  • the City of Flagstaff
  • Coconino County
  • and private entrepreneurs

Public Planning students engage in professional planning projects with cities and towns throughout Arizona. Projects range from mixed use development plans, creation of city/county ordinances, to visionary plans, such as expanding Sedona’s City Hall Complex.

Students in the Parks and Recreation Management (PRM) work with local communities in park and recreation departments, state parks, National Parks, and with a host of non-profit entities. PRM students also organize large special events, such as the Sedona St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Verde River Canoe Challenge.

Finally, GPR faculty involve students in faculty research projects, collecting data for recreation impact assessments, remote sensing research, GIS applications, and community development research.