In 2004, Psychology professor Lauren Fowler began working with the U.S. Air Force to study circadian rhythms and fatigue in fighter pilots, looking for ways to reduce fatigue-related errors. A National Science Foundation grant the following year allowed her to expand her research to include shift workers in law enforcement and other military personnel.
Fowler works closely with students, acting as a mentor on undergraduate research projects related to her own work, including a project that student Kristena Kons was invited to present at Posters on the Hill in Washington, D.C., in 2007.
Nearby Hill Air Force Base provides an excellent learning opportunity for her students, Fowler says. "We've had a great response from various squadrons on the base that were interested in having our students study the effects of fatigue on their specific roles. It's been a great partnership, and one we hope to continue."*