Scientific Connections RAP Fall 2014

This RAP is ideal for first-year students who have a passion for scientific exploration, the environment, creativity, and research. 

This RAP is open to students who are interested in science, math, or engineering. This is a unique opportunity for students with a desire to approach their studies from an interdisciplinary perspective that considers the societal and environmental context of scientific challenges.

When you join this RAP you will:

  • Work with talented and passionate instructors (graduate students and faculty) to design and carry out innovative team-projects that emphasize the application of scientific method, with a focus on the connections between chemistry, ecology, and other disciplines.
  • Share your living-and-learning experience with a community of high-achieving students who share your interests.

In this unique RAP seminar you will...

Be immersed in a scientific process that prepares you for future interdisciplinary study:

  • Learn how faculty from different disciplines such as chemistry and ecology approach problems.
  • Work in a small team to identify research problems that could be solved by incorporating elements of chemistry, ecology, and other fields.
  • Collect data that you will analyze to address a scientific question.
  • Use tools from mathematics and statistics for quantitative analysis of your data.
  • Draw conclusions, refine, and present your research project.
  • Reflect on your research experience.

Learn and refine important scientific skills:

  • Working in teams to solve problems.
  • Investigating and practicing how science works.
  • Developing scientific questions.
  • Data collection and analysis.
  • How to use the techniques of mathematics and statistics in interpreting data and answering scientific questions.

Become a part of the UMass scientific community:

  • Meet and work with researchers from many disciplines.
  • Establish personal and working relationships with peers.
  • Explore the pioneer valley, learning about the environment, natural history, and scientific challenges presented by the area.
  • Discover the questions and methods of research that make UMass a unique and special place to do science.

Join a community of like-minded peers who are motivated to explore learning as a scientist. You will make connections to graduate students and faculty, and learn about the goals and opportunities available within the participating departments. 

Visit the How to Join page on this website to learn about the process and important timelines you must follow to become a member of this fantastic program! 

Meet the Faculty

Seminar Intructors:

Lena Fletcher, PhD student in Environmental Conservation

Lena Fletcher is a PhD student in Environmental Conservation. She studies forest ecology and invasive plants. She has been an instructor with the iCons program for 2 years. Her passions include many outdoor activities, particularly rock climbing and sea kayaking.

Justin Fermann is a Chemistry Professor. Although his academic credentials are in molecular electronic structure theory, his passions range from blacksmithing to backpacking, and on campus he puts most of his energy towards undergraduate education and the iCons program.


Fall 2014

ALL students in the Scientific Connections RAP will enroll in the following classes taught in the residential area:

"RAP Seminar" UNIV 190R
1 credit


"Introduction to Philosophy"- Philosophy 100 (Gen Ed AL),
4 credits


"College Writing" - English 112 (Gen Ed CW), 3 credits, a limited number of sections will be offered in the residential area both Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters.

Spring 2015

  • No required RAP classes.
  • Small sections of Gen Ed classes will be offered in each residence area.


Students will live together in Mary Lyon Hall in Northeast area of campus.

Pamela R. Marsh-Williams, Ph.D.
Assistant Provost & Dean

This website is part of Undergraduate Advising & Learning Communities. We provide undergraduate students a variety of opportunities and services designed to facilitate the best academic experience possible. 609 Goodell Building, UMass Amherst.

UA&LC Units: Undergraduate Advising, Residential Academic Programs, Domestic Exchange Programs, Five College Interchange