URAP Summer Program

Each year, the program offers a small number of stipends to allow some URAP apprentices to continue work on their mentors' research projects over the summer. To be eligible, students must have been working with the same mentor for at least two semesters. Mentors nominate their students. These stipends are generously supported by a number of private donors.

Displaying 1 - 46 of 46

Soil Health across Diversified Farms in Yolo County, CA

Zeltzin Angon : Geography, Society & Environment, Summer 2019

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... Read More

Researching the Cellular Processes of Powdery Mildews

Elizabeth Applegate : Integrative Biology, Summer 2019

This summer, I will be finishing up my year-long honors project. My project involves the overexpression of powdery mildew-secreted effector proteins in seedlings of its plant host. My mentor and I hypothesize that these effector proteins are causing a crucial process called endoreduplicaiton to occur in plant host cells, so my project allows us to test this hypothesis... Read More

Past Imperial Foodways at the City of Huari (AD600-1000): Experimental Archaeology of Bean Identification

Clarissa Baskin : Anthropology & Conservation and Resource Studies, Summer 2019

This project is a crucial part of the Past Imperial Foodways project in the McCown Archaeobotanical Laboratory at UC Berkeley. Over the past year, we have discovered that a major component of the diet in the early urban environment of Huari (capital of the Wari State of the highland Andes, South America) is the bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). This is a rare discovery in... Read More

Spatial phylogenetics of native vascular plants in the Mojave National Preserve

Dean Berkowitz : Geography, Summer 2019

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... Read More

Exploring the Urban-Rural Divide via Social Media Analysis

Luke Birdsong : Geography, Society & Environment, Summer 2019

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.


Health Effects of Identity Denial

Brianna Blair : Sociology, Summer 2019

This summer, I will be piloting a study on the mental and physical health effects of identity denial among people with marginalized identities. I hope to analyze the effects of downplaying a visible marginalized identity and how this can have detrimental health consequences. I will also continue assisting graduate students and Professor Jacoby-Senghor with their... Read More

Methyl Halide Pollution - Emphasis on Chloroform in Drinking Water

Ryan Bowers : Chemistry B.S., Summer 2019

This summer I will be studying chloroform pollution in drinking water around the UC Berkeley campus. Initial measurements of chloroform in water near campus indicate that while chloroform levels don’t surpass legal requirements, they may surpass recommended health limits. Therefore, I will spend this summer researching the extent of this pollution and evaluating the... Read More

Quantifying Sleep-Related Gene Expression in Cassiopea Jellyfish

Henry Chen : Molecular and Cell Biology: Neurobiology, Summer 2019

This summer, I will work towards understanding why Jellyfish exhibit sleep-like behavior from a gene-expression standpoint. The frequency in which genes are expressed can give us insight into the biological mechanisms in many organisms. For the Cassiopea jellyfish, I intend to explore the genetic basis behind sleep by measuring how certain genes, specifically sleep-... Read More

Cloning of Putative Tardigrade Ice-Binding Proteins

Kylie Cheng : Molecular and Cell Biology, Summer 2019

My mentor's project aims to develop tardigrades (also known as water bears) as a model for physiological adaptations to freezing, specifically investigating molecular mechanisms for cold tolerance. One suspected mechanism that tardigrades may use is making antifreeze proteins that bind ice crystals to prevent their further growth. So far, several possible ice-binding... Read More

Trust and Technology

Naz Dundar : Psychology and Molecular and Cell Biology, Summer 2019

This summer, I will be running laboratory and field experiments to understand what makes people willing to share their personal information with machines (or other humans). We are trying to understand whether things such as the mode of communication affect how humans build trust with one another or machines. Accordingly, one of the primary experimental manipulations we... Read More

Research Assistant in the California Archaeology Laboratory

Kathryn Field : Anthropology , Summer 2019

This summer I will be working on various projects in the California Archaeology Lab. The Cal Lab performs research on archaeological materials from various sites, predominantly in California. This past year I have been working on projects from sites in the Oregon Great Basin and on the Santa Cruz coastline under the guidance of PhD students Gabriel Sanchez and Michael... Read More

Historical Sociology

Bernard Gburek : Sociology, Summer 2019

I will be researching race movements in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s including the Civil Rights movement, the Black student movement, the Chicano, Native American, and Asian American movements of the late 1960s, and the white reaction to these movements.

Sustainable Groundwater Management

Phoebe Goulden : Environmental Sciences, Summer 2019

Water is a precious resource in California and in many Western states, but it often hasn’t been managed as such. Impacts of overuse on surface water are easy to see, but groundwater, which occupies the spaces between pieces of rock and soil underground, is more easily overlooked. In 2014, California passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, SGMA, which... Read More

Understanding Sports (NBA/MLB/NFL) Ticket Prices

Cheenar Gupte : Data Science, Summer 2019

This summer I will continue the research I have been a part of since Fall 2017, primarily working on updating and refining the code used to gather and query data. Additionally, my group has been collecting additional data from a variety of sources to try and see how different factors ranging from weather and air quality to availability of housing affect consumer ticket... Read More

Measurement of Degradation of Historical Sound Records Due to Physical Wear

Melanie Hamaguchi : Physics, Summer 2019

Even in the face of overwhelming digital documentation, the majority of audio in the historical record is still stored on physical sources. The Project IRENE team is working to save these valuable recordings using non-contact digital imaging and analysis. Wax cylinder recordings, produced between 1888-1902, were the first commercially viable recordings and often used... Read More

The Role of Lactate in Exercise-Induced Hyperventilation

Homza Hireed : Molecular & Cell Biology, Summer 2019

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... Read More

Individual and Social Decision-Making Across the Lifespan

Siyana Hristova : Data Science, Cognition , Summer 2019

This summer I will be working on analyzing neurological data from consumer memory studies aimed at differentiating between and better understanding the neurological processes that occur during decision-making in the human brain. 

Determining the Sex Ratio of Mosses

Jordan Jomsky : Data Science and Molecular Cell Biology, Summer 2019

This summer, I will be participating in both wet lab and dry lab research. While I extract and compile genetic data from moss samples, I will be performing statistical analysis and creating data visualizations for the genetic sex data of the moss samples. Further, I will be also attending the Botany conference in July to present on the undergraduate lab experience with... Read More

Field School at Nemea, Greece

Emily Kinnaman : History + Molecular Environmental Biology, Summer 2019

This summer, I will be continuing my work with the Nemea Center by helping on their ongoing excavation in Nemea, Greece. We will be excavating at the cemetery of Aidonia as well as doing conservation work and assisting in the museum. The artifacts at this site range from prehistoric to Byzantine periods, so it is really helpful for learning more about a broad range of... Read More

Study of Lactate Supplementation on Recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury

Anika Kumar : Molecular and Cell Biology, Summer 2019

My project seeks to understand the major metabolic pathways such as gluconeogenesis and how they respond to lactate supplementation in rats that have been subjected to traumatic brain injury (TBI). I am specifically working on developing and running assays with the Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer using isotope tracers to track important analytes as they progress... Read More

Asking for Advice: Actual vs Predicted Impressions

Madeline Kushner : Psychology, Summer 2019

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... Read More

Biochemical and Cryo-EM studies of telomerase regulation

Rosa Lee : Molecular and Cell Biology - Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Summer 2019

Telomeres are repeats of DNA bases that cap the ends of chromosomes, involved in protecting our genetic information.  Telomerase is the enzyme responsible for maintaining telomere length – when activated, it adds repeats to telomere ends.  Consequently, telomerase activity is implicated in aging and cancer, carrying important therapeutic implications.   For the past... Read More

Dengue Virus Pathogenesis in a Mouse Model

Jeff Li : Public Health , Summer 2019

Dengue virus is one of the most increasingly concerning mosquito-borne diseases that infects almost 400 million individuals annually at tremendous cost to not just afflicted patients but entire healthcare infrastructure systems. My research this coming Summer is a continuation of my work in the Harris lab since Fall 2017 where I have been investigating the role of... Read More

Investigating the DNA sensing abilities of TFIID

Audrey Litvak : Mathematics/MCB, Summer 2019

I have been working in the Nogales Lab through URAP this past academic year with graduate student Avinash Patel. Previous work within the lab has shown that the general transcription factor TFIID binds promoter DNA at two major points: the downstream and upstream regions. Our research aims to understand how the downstream contacts are formed and to discern what the... Read More

Digital Neighborhood Surveillance

Ziheng Liu : Economics & Statistics, Summer 2019

Throughout this summer, I will be participating in a project about digital surveillance in neighborhood. Specifically, I will be locating resources about the examples of digital street surveillance in the cities across the United States. Digital street surveillance is one of the chapters in this project. 

The Role of Prdx6 in Ferroptosis in Human Lung Endothelial Cells

Diamond Luong : Integrative Biology, Summer 2019

Ferroptosis is a newly described form of iron-mediated cell death, triggered by intracellular increases in lipid hydroperoxides. Gpx4 has been identified as an important modulator of this process as it participates in the reduction of lipid hydroperoxides. Prdx6 is highly expressed in the lung, and it is also capable of reducing lipid hydroperoxides and repairing lipid... Read More

Producing Stable Transformants in Maize using Proprietary Transformation Vectors

Olivia MacDonald : Molecular and Cell Biolgoy, Summer 2019

This summer I will be continuing my two years of effort to produce a stable maize transformant. I will be using a proprietary strain of agrobacteria, a bacteria that inserts its genome into that of plants to insert my genes of choice into embryos of maize and seteria. This process does not provide reliable transformants yet, so I will be testing how the plant’s... Read More

Hospital Gaming to Avoid Penalties

Nicolas Pappas : Environmental Economics / Public Health (minor), Summer 2019

The Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP), a Medicare value-based purchasing program, was established in 2012 to reduce the number of hospital readmissions by improving the quality of health care. This would not only improve patient health care, but also save each person’s tax dollars by reducing excess readmissions. Excess readmission ratios are used to... Read More

Security Institutions and Domestic Instability

Lindsey Parnas : Global Studies (Peace and Conflict/Middle East), Summer 2019

Using secondary materials, online sources, encyclopedias, and other reference material, I will continue my research of the past year investigating when particular paramilitary forces came into existence and ceased to exist, the size of these forces, and which ministries commanded the forces. I will write brief summaries of their insights that will form the backbone of... Read More

Global Great Power Competition at the Berkeley APEC Study Center

Tianyu Claire Qiao : Political Science, Summer 2019

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... Read More

Lifeways of Prehistoric Hunter-Gathers in Japan

David Reid : Anthropology, Summer 2019

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... Read More

Sustainable Shared-Prosperity Policy Index

Simon Sällström : Economics, Summer 2019

As climate change is endangering the prosperity of future generations and the fruits of economic growth is no longer widely shared, we need new ways to understand what our goals are. Simply pursuing economic growth was a simple and informative proxy for how well a country was doing. As countries grow richer, the policies they choose to pursue becomes increasingly... Read More

Examining Security Institutions and Violent Instability (Constitutional Legal Frameworks)

Destiny Saucedo : Political Science, Summer 2019

This summer I will be continuing my work with Dr. Matanock as a research assistant. My primary job is to take information listed in the constitutions of selected countries and code them. The coding protocol focuses on variables that can be coded using country’s constitutions and amendments. Our data set covers developing countries between 1980 and 2017, and we seek to... Read More

State Personal Belief Immunization Exemptions

Kourtney Shaw : Sociology, Summer 2019

I will be researching the 17 states who have or have had previously state codes with exemptions from mandatory immunizations of school children on the basis on personal, philosophical, and/or religious reasonings, and will be writing memos on the historical developments of their immunization statutes. Several states, such as Oregon, Maine, and Washington, are currently... Read More

Inferring the biophysical properties of a neuron from stimuli using a CNN

Anand Siththaranjan : Computer Science, Summer 2019

Currently my work is in helping to create a convolutional neural network that can effectively ascertain the various properties of a neuron based of the its response to stimuli. Over the summer, my work will be focused on improving our current CNN to take into account the "peeling procedure", which is a domain-specific technique in neuroscience that can help improve the... Read More

Women in African Governments: Tracking the Appointment and Promotion of Women Cabinet Ministers

Ann Sun : Political Science, Summer 2019

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... Read More

Genetic Basis of Tooth Development in the Stickleback

Shivani Sundaram : Molecular and Cellular Biology, Summer 2019

In my project, I will attempt to determine whether an isolated population of threespine stickleback fish from Scout Lake has undergone natural selection within a period of six years. I will do this by counting tooth number and determining if there has been a change in average tooth number across multiple generations. In addition, I will be investigating the different... Read More

Microchannel Plate Detectors

Casey Vo : Physics & Applied Mathematics, Summer 2019

In the Experimental Astrophysics Group at the Space Sciences Laboratory, I work on the testing and characterization of michrochannel plates for their use in NASA sub-orbital and satellite instruments. The MCPs are thin plates made of highly resistive materials with a honeycomb pattern of slant mircochannels. Photons are sent through the channels and bounce against the... Read More

Laboratory Animal Care and Enrichment

Macyn Vogel : Molecular Environmental Biology: Animal Health and Behavior, Summer 2019

This summer, I will continue my apprenticeship with the Office of Laboratory Animal Care, learning all the different aspects that go into the proper care of the laboratory animals on UC Berkeley campus. During the school year, my role as a URAP is to assist my mentor, Dr. Frohlich, and the Animal Health Technicians, with triage and treatment of research animals. I have... Read More

Farmland diversification in Yolo County: Understanding organic farm diversity across social, ecological, and spatial scales

Oia Walker-van Aalst : Conservation and Resource Studies, CalTeach minor, Summer 2019

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... Read More

Cartilage permeability and disc degeneration

Linshanshan Wang : Data Science, Molecular & Cell Biology, Summer 2019

Low back pain is the leading cause of disability and is closely linked to disc degeneration. Intradiscal biologic therapy is a promising strategy for managing disc degeneration. However, an unresolved issue is whether a degenerated disc has adequate nutrient supply to support the higher metabolic demands required by these therapies. The overall premise of our project... Read More

Husband Killers and the New Unwritten Law

Addie Wilson : Rhetoric, Summer 2019

Many people are familiar with the musical ""Chicago,"" which follows the stories of women imprisoned for murdering their (often abusive) husbands. In reality, however, a vast majority of women in 1920's Chicago who killed their husbands were exonerated by all-male juries. This phenomenon has been described as the ""new unwritten law."" Women in Chicago were protected... Read More

Biomechanics of how organisms interact with their physical environments

Kevin Xu : Chemical Engineering, Summer 2019

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... Read More

Judicial Opinions from U.S. Court of Appeals on Issues Affecting Access to the Civil Justice System

Coco Xu : Legal Studies & Media Studies , Summer 2019

This summer, I will continue to work on this research project which studies issues affecting access to the civil justice system by reading judicial opinions from U.S. Court of Appeals. These issues include class certification, damages, standing, sufficiency of pleadings and attorney’s fees. Judges from federal appellate courts have great discretion in deciding these... Read More

Influence of Coastal Marshes on Sedimentation

Candace Yee : Civil and Environmental Engineering, Summer 2019

This summer I'll be using an ecomorphology flume— an artificial channel of water made to simulate the movement of water through a deltaic marsh— in McCone Hall to determine how wetland vegetation, particularly the biofilm that grows on the vegetation, influences sedimentation rate. I’ll be helping to set up the experiments, collect water samples from a pump attached to... Read More

The Role of TOX3 in Cardiomyocyte Regeneration

Amy Zhong : Molecular and Cellular Biology, Summer 2019

Over five million Americans today live with a heart failure and many suffer from a loss of heart cells and deterioration of the organ. Although there’s been a lot of research done on the genetic and pharmacological approaches to cardiomyocyte regeneration after cardiac injuries, the mechanism behind the regenerative potential of the mammalian heart is still unclear.... Read More