The overarching project investigates the drivers of near-surface groundwater availability in wet meadow ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada. It combines field study and remote sensing data analysis, building upon studies and instrumentation at UC’s Sagehen Field Station by the Kondolf Lab. This summer, I will be continuing fieldwork, monitoring groundwater levels in established well transects, and working to process a combined set of satellite and phenocam imagery. The high resolution satellite imagery will be processed in a time series analysis looking at the phenology of a number of defined plant groups in the meadow system. Paired with an analogous processing of the phenocam imagery, this work will provide insight into plant phenological response to localized near-surface groundwater variability.
In light of COVID-19, the unhoused community has been rocked but this situation has also presented the unique opportunity to assess how pandemics affect the community. This summer research project will be specifically assessing the needs of unhoused youth in reaction to the difficulties COVID-19 has led to (loss of jobs, closing of resource centers, lack of support for the homeless, etc). I will be working on dissemination of a report regarding computer provider needs compiled during the spring, then putting together a crowd-sourcing survey to assess how unhoused youth have perceived changes in their needs in the Bay Area, and final I will work to lay the foundation for future research that looks at youth homelessness and COVID-19 on the state level. Our initial project has changed due to the different circumstances, but the Y-SE lab is continuing to move forward in acknowledging and supporting youth voices and needs.
This summer, I will be working with my post-doc researcher to attempt and study rates of cell death in Pseudomonas aeruginosa infected corneal epithelial cells. We will compare and contrast the different effects that different strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa have on the corneal cells to learn the details of how this bacteria enters, infects and kills cells. Because most of the research will now be remote, I will be working more on the data analysis portion of the research, studying microscope images and quantifying the data within them.
Our motor system has an impressive ability to adapt to changes in our environment, even without the involvement of our awareness. For example, we can step from a slippery floor onto a carpet and adjust the way we walk, all without conscious planning. Recent results indicate that people adapt to a different degree when they re-experience a previously encountered environmental change. In my project, I plan to study factors that might affect these motor adjustments. Specifically, during a remote behavioral study, I will vary the amount of participants’ initial experience with an environmental change.
Studying oral histories allows us to prioritize the experiences of common people in the context of broader historical events. Oral history performance presents these experiences to the public, placing the voices of multiple people in conversation with each other. This summer, I will continue transforming my oral history performance script about the diversity of Chinese-American life in the Bay Area from the 1920s to the 1950s into an episode of the Berkeley Remix, a podcast from the Oral History Center. This script explores themes such as second-generation identity, discrimination from the playground to the housing market, and varying experiences with language. I will then work with my mentors, Amanda Tewes and Roger Eardley-Pryor of Berkeley’s Oral History Center, to complete a journal article about the process of researching and creating this
I will be researching image sources for works by Neapolitan artist Jusepe de Ribera (1591-1652).This work will aim to assist Professor Olson on his upcoming work focused on the artist. The goal is to have desired image permissions in order so that the content of the work can flow well with images to be used in the publication. I will be collaborating with international museum archives and graphic department staff to process image requests.
During the summer I will be collecting and researching the various art objects by Latin American Artists within the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA). I am investigating how objects trace the long history of colonization of the Spanish and Portuguese Americas. Understanding how the world’s expansion and growth during the late 15th Century led to a more globalized New World, I’m researching how the transfer of knowledge during this time transitioned into knowledge that artists then used in their own art practices. Collecting information on each artist and art pieces within the collection to better understand the continuation of written history and how colonization is depicted in the forms of art, literature, and film.
This summer I will be working on several projects examining the three forms of overconfidence: overestimation, overprecision, and overplacement. This phenomenon affects people’s judgments in daily life and has serious implications for the decisions people make and the outcomes they experience. This line of research raises an important epistemological question: do we actually know what we think we know?
This summer, I will assist Professor Aila Matanock to research on projects in Colombia’s peace process and security concerns. I will work on preparing literature reviews, compiling and cleaning data, gathering and processing information available in government documents. This research project examines when and why peace agreements and international interventions occur empirically and what effects they have. I will deepen my knowledge on how to conduct social science research by collecting data, operationalizing variables, and testing theories empirically. We will also be doing some focused work on the causes and consequences of such an intervention by the U.N. in Guatemala (CICIG), collecting both qualitative and quantitative data.
The precise connections between gustatory receptor neurons (GRNs) in the fruit fly brain is not understood. My research seeks to better understand the connection between GRNs identified as water-sensing and GRNs identified as sugar-sensing. The relationship can be characterized on a behavioral basis with optogenetic activation or knockout experiments measuring the frequency of response to water and sugar stimuli. It can also be visualized by imaging fluorescently labeled dissected brains. This summer, I hope to continue collecting data with these approaches and explore other ways to fully understand the connection between the two taste modalities.