Undergraduate Research Opportunities for Fall 2021

TITLE RESEARCH DESCRIPTION LOCATION NUMBER OF POSIT-IONS REQUIRED SKILLS/ COURSES PREFERRED SKILLS/ COURSES LINK FOR MORE INFORMATION
Water Quality Monitoring We sample weekly from Santa Cruz Wharf, as well as obtaining samples from around the state via partners. The Wharf samples are analyzed for nutrients, fecal indicator bacteria, phytoplankton, and harmful algal bloom toxins. Projects available range from helping with processing samples (lab work), collecting weekly data (field work), or developing a project (such as a Senior Thesis) looking at some aspect of the data. Past students have looked at toxins in market squid, the relationship between bacteria and nutrients, etc. On Campus 1-3 A STEM background Some lab experience (e.g. CHEM or BIO classes) https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Xw-E88NCXCsWwzA8UBR-ED2l9PTudtEGDA77_GE_Dn0/edit?usp=sharing
Paleontology research projects Various research projects about mass extinctions and ecological change (see link for more details) On Campus Multiple None Coding skills with R (or Python) are useful https://docs.google.com/document/d/11JZlADC7mGhViWce2shD50DeOVION27ZJahWFL1MVu0/edit?usp=sharing
Introduction to Marine Microbial Ecology using Molecular Techniques Our lab looks for N2-fixing organisms (diazotrophs) in the ocean using molecular tools. These organism act like fertilizers, enriching nutrient-depleted ocean zones with bioavailable nitrogen. Predictors and constraints on these organism are still debatable. Recently we participated in a large mesocosm experiment in which large tanks of sea water from just off O'ahu, HI, were manipulated to try to learn more about the controls on diazotroph presence, abundance, and grow rates. Samples were taken and now we need to extract the DNA and amplify the nifH gene using established primer/probe sets to look for specific diazotrophs across the two week experiment. This is a great introductory to marine microbial ecology and basic molecular techniques. We need two students. One will focus on DNA extraction and the other will amplify the nifH gene using our state of the art digital droplet PCR (ddPCR). Students need to have at least a three hour chunk of time available to do this work. On Campus 2 None Jon Zehr's Microbial Ecology https://www.jzehrlab.com

e-mail Britt:

bhenke AT ucsc DOT edu

Deep Learning of Remote Sensing Data We will develop and apply machine learning algorithms on large remote sensing datasets to explore global measures of the ocean (e.g. sea surface temperature, phytoplankton) Remote 1 Python programming Familiarity with data (e.g. pandas) https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p2Mx_U8yXRXDnYH4LqkGJXgtzgtQlVtsYWf9xBSvO-I/edit?usp=sharing
Unlocking the Spectral Dimension of the Ocean’s Surface We will couple technological advances in unmanned aerial vehicles (i.e. drones) and artificial intelligence with a novel camera to observe the coastal ocean’s surface with high-cadence, high-fidelity spectroscopy. On Campus 2 N/A Hands-on experience, e.g. Raspberry Pi, drones https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Q-zZko__VoEAi_iKwnkZhfWEfDusPQd_RJdjKZ7nzrs/edit?usp=sharing
Various topics in cloud physics My research group studies clouds using a variety of data sources, including aircraft data that we collect ourselves. Research in my group utilizes these data to learn about how clouds work, interact with their environment, and are represented in climate models. Remote 1-2 N/A N/A https://people.ucsc.edu/~pchuang/
Stable isotope lab assistant Support for stable isotope ratio analysis. Weighing standard reference materials and other incidental lab operations tasks. on campus 1-2 Good communication skills, computer literacy Intro chemistry http://www.careercenter.ucsc.edu/ers/erspub/main.cfm?er_id=19321&jt=workstudy&action=displayER
Titan and exoplanet atmospheres I am a fully-funded postdoc in EPS but my specialty is the planetary side. I have a range of student projects on Titan and exoplanets. I mainly want someone who is interested in exoplanet atmospheres through data processing or modeling, but I would be happy to take someone who is interested in Solar System planets (my specialty are planets in the Outer Solar System). Data project: use the existing transit data for solar system planets and explore the implications for future exoplanet observations. Modeling project: use an open-source photochemical code and model the atmospheric evolution of exoplanets. I also have a range of Solar System projects with a focus in laboratory experiments (or reducing laboratory experimental data) and then making theoretical predictions on Titan, Pluto and Triton. Most of the things will be remote unless you want to do laboratory experiments, which will be in person. Start date: preferred start date would be the end of the fall quarter (can be earlier or later though) Logistics (based on my previous experience): The student will be working with me through the winter quarter, this should give ample time for the student to review relevant literature and for knowledge preparation. The project starts in the spring quarter. But the student is expected to conduct the major chuck of the project during the summer. I have funding to pay the student over the summer at around $14/hr (max 15-20 hrs/week). Ideal candidates: risings sophomores/juniors. First-years are welcome if you want to dive in research early, and seniors if you decide to take a gap year doing research at UCSC. Application: Please directly email me (Xinting Yu) at xintingyu@ucsc.edu, including your CV and transcript (you can cover up your grades -- I just want to have an idea of what classes you have taken). If you are unsure, feel free to schedule a zoom meeting with me through email and then decide. Remote 1-2 an intro to planetary science course, physics introductory courses, and calculus planetary atmospheres taught by Xi Zhang and/or planetary surfaces taught by Francis Nimmo -- but these courses can be taken later http://xintingyu.com/group-members-and-research/