College of Creative Studies students at UCSB have freedom to fashion their own curriculum. Linder's courses emphasize study of evolutionary biology. She has been working with Bill Rice, a professor of ecology, evolution and marine biology, in his evolutionary genetics lab. Drosophila melanogaster is a species of fruit fly often used in genetic research.
Earning honorable mention were Leah Ow, a mechanical engineering senior from Concord, and Johnpaul Cross, a business economics senior from Berkeley. Ow's project was titled, "Santa Barbara Channel Coastal Long Term Coastal Research Project," and was done with support from UCSB's Institute for Computational Earth System Science and its Marine Science Institute.
Cross's project was "Sport Utility Legislation Loopholes and the Resulting Social Impact."
About 25 percent of all undergraduates at UCSB are involved in organized research efforts, working on teams with graduate students and faculty mentors. The campus awards about $200,000 per year in undergraduate research grants.
The UCSB Emeriti Association is an organization of retired UCSB faculty. The undergraduate research competition was organized to encourage and recognize outstanding research by junior and senior students at UCSB. The first contest drew 19 entries. The Association recognized Linder, Ow, and Cross at its Spring Luncheon.