David Reid

The work this summer will entail laboratory analysis of prehistoric food remains, such as charred nutshells and fruit seeds, retrieved from archaeological soil samples, which will take place at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature in Kyoto. We will also collect additional soil samples at the Jomon period Goshono site in Iwate Prefecture, and do museum research at the Saru River Historic Museum, Hokkaido.

Zeltzin Angon

I am passionate about working on issues of climate justice and climate change, focusing on synergies between the natural and built environment–specifically land remediation. Having previously created maps of farms located in Yolo County, this summer I will continue my apprenticeship by sampling and processing farmers’ soil in order to learn about soil health and farmers’ practices.

Kevin Xu

We are interested in understanding the biomechanics of various organisms by analyzing how physical structure affects the organism’s mechanical functions in nature. From amoeba pseudopods to barnacle larvae antennae, we are primarily interested in understanding the feeding and locomotive mechanisms of different organisms and figuring out what advantages these specific mechanisms confer to each organism. By studying the interface of organism biomechanics and system fluid/solid mechanics, we can elucidate the basic physical rules that govern different kinds of organisms.

Tianyu Claire Qiao

In this summer I plan to assist Professor Vinod K. Aggarwal to research on the Global Great Power Competition, especially the Geo-Economic and Geo-strategic Dimensions between the U.S. and China in the 21st Century. We will look at the contours, dynamics, and characteristics of this new rivalry and who are the main contestants and what are the main areas of competition.

Ann Sun

I will be responsible for managing a database of over 6,500 senior government officials in African countries from 1980 to 2010. Focusing on women government officials in particular, I will develop new measures to assess their professional trajectories with new information on the positions held, including policy portfolios, promotions, years in office, and previous professional background. This work will entail tracking down hard-to-find biographical information, coding new data, and undertaking preliminary statistical analyses.

Homza Hireed

During Exercise, there is an increased demand for energy. To produce energy required to perform work and sustain physical activity, respiration must match the elevated metabolic demand. Although the signaling mechanisms is unknown for the acute ventilatory response to exercise, lactate is known to accumulate in the blood stream. To determine lactate’s role as a chemical signal, I will be conducting behavioral experiments to assay whether lactate and other metabolites play a key role in exercise-induced hyperventilation through activation of the carotid body. I will be doing treadmill experiments as well as whole animal plethysmography to assay lactate’s role in increasing ventilation.

Madeline Kushner

I’m particularly interested in how mentorship relationships form in the workplace and academic settings, and what may precede or facilitate their development. One essential component of a mentor-mentee relationship is the ability to feel comfortable asking for advice. This summer I will begin data collection on a project examining gender differences in how people think they think they will be perceived when they ask a superior for advice, versus how they are actually perceived.

Luke Birdsong

I will distill Tweets from 10 different individuals and organizations that are recognized as leaders in the alternative food movement in regards to how they (or how they fail to) mention, portray, and discuss farmers and their contributions to the food system.

Dean Berkowitz

Biodiversity is essential for providing ecosystem services to humans in addition to supporting ecological networks. While conservation efforts have prioritized protecting biodiversity hotspots in recent years, desert biomes remain undervalued, even as climate change threatens dryland ecosystems. For the past two semesters, I have worked on a project which seeks to better understand how environmental variables have shaped evolutionary processes underlying biogeographical patterns of native vascular plant communities in the Mojave National Preserve. This summer, I will learn wet lab techniques to extract and sequence genetic information from the specimens I collected during a field survey, which I will use to construct a phylogenetic tree of the plants in my study site. Additionally, I will apply geospatial techniques to analyze species occurrence data in order to determine the extent to which abiotic components influence the distribution of organisms within this ecosystem.

Oia Walker-van Aalst

Under guidance from Professor Bowles and his graduate student (Ansel Klein), I will assist in quantifying soil health based on nutrient cycling and microbial activity metrics. I will assist in visiting 15 organic farms and subsequent field sampling of two fields per farm, taking soil samples using an auger and placing them in labelled bags to be brought to the lab for analysis. Specific field and lab measurements will include: potentially mineralizable N, POXC, total organic C and N, and microbial biomass C and N. The results will be analyzed in conjunction with farmer interviews to determine linkages between farmer knowledge of soil health and measurable indicators.