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Meet PEI and Grand Challenges Past Interns: 2014

Sustainability


Colleen Baker, 2016
Anthropology
Globally, 87% of assessed fish stocks are either overexploited or fully exploited. Overfishing is pushing our oceans to a breaking point. The Environmental Defense Fund advocates "catch shares" as a solution to this problem. A management technique that financially incentivizes sustainable fishing, catch shares have proven incredibly successful. read more >>



Raymond Bartolucci, 2017
Chemical and Biological Engineering
The two principle goals of our field research group were to collect geological samples of hard-bodied Ediacaran fossils (specifically Cloudina) for three-dimensional morphological analysis back at Princeton, and to observe the context in which these samples were found, in order to gain an understanding of the climatic environment in which these organisms lived. read more >>



Eric Bolton, 2015
Geosciences
This summer I did field work in Australia with two graduate students in the Geosciences Department at Princeton University. The topics of their research were different, but were focused on the same region in Western Australia: the Pilbara Craton. One goal of our research was to use paleomagnetism and geochronology to retrace the geographical location and movement of the craton through study of the 2.7 Ga. read more >>



Ethan Campbell, 2016
Geosciences
Under the guidance of Professor Stephen Riser of the University of Washington’s School of Oceanography, I spent the summer analyzing data from Argo profiling floats drifting in the Weddell Sea region of Antarctica. The Weddell Sea is an area of great interest due to its marginal stability and influence on global heat, carbon, and freshwater budgets, yet it is historically under-sampled. read more >>



Alison Campion, 2016
Geosciences
The Late Paleozoic Ice Age occurred approximately 300 million years ago and is an ancient analogue to the Plio-Pleistocene Ice Age, our modern climate system that is characterized by alternating cold glacial climate and warm, interglacial climate. During this ice age, England was a tropical platform, recording environmental information in the deposition of carbonate and siliclastic rocks. read more >>



Alex Dominguez, 2016
Chemical and Biological Engineering
My summer was spent addressing the problem of over-nitrification in the Mississippi River. The river has a watershed that encompasses a massive area, causing a great deal of nitrate-based farm fertilizer to make its way into the river. Ultimately, these nitrates are the catalyst of hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. The first step to solving this problem is understanding how nitrogen can be removed from the system. read more >>



Jacob Eisenberg, 2016
Chemistry
The goal of my summer internship was to investigate plant respiration, and whether or not it is inhibited in the daytime at high latitudes. There has been previous work that suggests that the rate of respiration, which results in CO2 being released into the atmosphere, is lower in the daytime than the nighttime. read more >>



Atleigh Forden, 2016
Geosciences
The overall goal of my project this summer was to study how plant respiration behaves in the 24-hour daylight of summer in the high arctic of Swedish Lapland. My partner and I spent the first part of this project on campus in the lab, familiarizing ourselves with the various systems we would be using in the field in Sweden. read more >>



Kevin Griffin, 2017
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
This summer I researched a process called anaerobic digestion, which converts food waste into compost and natural gas by using bacteria cultures to decompose organic matter. To study this phenomenon, I built a system called a biodigester on Princeton’s campus. This system will be used as a research platform for studying how anaerobic digestion responds to changes in temperature, changes in pressure, the introduction of bacterial cultures and enzymes. read more >>



Corrie Kavanaugh, 2017
Civil and Environmental Engineering
The Peru team of Engineers Without Borders - Princeton University has worked to provide clean water to the community of La Pitajaya, Peru since 2011. The water pipeline for the upper half of the community was completed in the summer of 2013. This summer, five Princeton students and I traveled to Peru to build a water pipeline to bring potable water to the lower half of the community, La Pitajaya Baja. read more >>



Matteo Kruijssen, 2016
Operations Research and Financial Engineering
Crop production experienced a rapid increase during the Green Revolution (1960-1980), a time of widespread adoption of better crop management techniques. However, this production has recently stalled. Given a quickly rising world population and climate change, the ability to accurately predict crop yields and to optimize management practices is becoming increasingly important. read more >>



Suk Yung (Mike) Lee, 2016
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
The goal of the Rapid Forest Triage project, the focus of my summer internship, was to survey a forest autonomously with a quadcopter. Using stereo vision, the quadcopter would traverse the forest while noting the location and diameters of trees to estimate a forest's biomass. The quadcopter would also take microclimate data measurements with an onboard sensing unit. read more >>



Amanda Li, 2016
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
This past summer, I had the amazing privilege of working together with the community of La Pitajaya, trenching with them along the side of the Andean foothills, carrying needed materials up the mountain and searching for solutions to all of the problems that we inevitably faced in building a system to bring clean, potable water to the community. read more >>



Weimen Li, 2017
Electrical Engineering
My internship with the Mid-Infared Technologies for Health and Environment (MIRTHE) research group involved modeling and designing a waveguide for 16 μm quantum cascade lasers (QCLs). The primary purpose for the development of an infrared laser at this wavelength was to allow for sensing of trace gases in the environment, whose absorption spectra lies dominantly around λ=16 μm light. read more >>



Andrew Licini, 2016
Chemistry
I was able to perform research this summer on the properties of reversible electrochemical mirrors (REMs), a promising field that deposits metal electrochemically onto surfaces to create controllably reflective layers on otherwise transparent panels. These panels, would generate enormous energy savings, since windows allow in extravagant amounts of heat—REM windows could be “switched off” to reflect heat away when rooms are not occupied. read more >>



Jason Manley, 2017
Physics
The Molecular Discovery Lab at Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) uses the sea urchin to study the processes of aging and cancer, since sea urchins do not appear to show any signs of deteriorative aging or development of cancers. My project branched off this to look at their remarkable regenerative capacity, which is critical for maintenance of tissues over their long life span. read more >>



Ahmed Musse, 2017
Electrical Engineering
My summer internship, hosted by MIRTHE in conjunction with PEI, focused on infrared sensing of the environment. Our goal was to build what is called an Optical Coherence Tomography system. This system would provide cross-sectional images of biological systems allowing for the detection of toxic compounds within biological tissue. read more >>



Eric Principato, 2016
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
The goal of my project this summer was to develop a workflow for ecological observation with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). UAVs offer advantages over other remote sensing technologies like satellites or manned aircraft because of their spatial and temporal resolution. The resolution collected from UAVs is comparable to that of satellites, but because UAVs are much cheaper to fly and can be flown on demand, they can be a smart alternative to other techniques. read more >>



Natalie Saenz, 2015
Chemistry
How do we know that we have accurate estimates for incorporating plant respiration when calculating carbon dioxide fluxes in the atmosphere? For my project this summer, I aimed to understand the influence of light intensity on plant metabolism. More specifically, I used stable carbon isotopes to uncover the metabolic origins of the Kok effect—a phenomenon not fully understood and that is seen in plants at low light intensities. read more >>



Kasturi Shah, 2016
Physics
The goal of my summer internship was to investigate the evolution of Himalayan glaciers under changing climate conditions. Using raw data from automated weather stations in the Himalayas as well as climate model output from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL), I investigated the correlation between temperature and precipitation over the last 60 years. read more >>



Zoe Sims, 2017
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Tropical rainforests are among the earth’s most productive and diverse ecosystems. Yet, while they have potential to sequester carbon from the atmosphere, perhaps mitigating climate change, their growth is limited by low soil nutrient levels. How do the dynamics of nutrient limitation vary across tree species and functional types? How are they affected by light availability? read more >>



Stephen Soerens, 2015
Civil and Environmental Engineering
As part of the Princeton Ecohydrology Lab this past summer, I investigated how trees use water in response to different environmental conditions. The way in which tree species will respond to drought and other consequences of climate change is an important variable in climate models. read more >>



Connor Stonesifer, 2016
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
As an intern for the Bermuda Bio Optics Program, I worked with scientists at the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences (BIOS) to investigate a class of dissolved organic molecules within the ocean known as chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM). CDOM acts as a kind of sunscreen, regulating the amount of UV-Vis light that penetrates the subsurface ocean. read more >>



Michelle-Ann Tan, 2016
Molecular Biology
In the Department of Commerce Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab (GFDL), scientists have developed a computer model called the ESM2M, meant to portray physical and chemical trends and interactions in the ocean and atmosphere all over the world. However, there has been a discrepancy between the way the model portrays chlorophyll concentration seasonality in the Southern Ocean and our observations of this seasonality. read more >>



Adrian Tasistro-Hart, 2017
Geosciences
Ray Bartolucci and I worked for two months as field assistants to a PhD student, Akshay Mehra, in Namibia. Our work focused on finding and mapping 540-million-year-old reefs in which one of the first bio-mineralizing organisms, Cloudina, is present in large quantities. Whenever we encountered a reef, we studied its overall shape as well as the morphologies of the structures within it. read more >>



Sol Taubin, 2016
Civil and Environmental Engineering
In the last decade, Brazil has seen millions of hectares of its native biomes logged and burned in response to rising global demands for raw goods and cheap food sources. These explicit regional changes in land use, in conjunction with global climate trends, have spilled over to affect local climactic patterns, energy fluxes, and ecosystem health, and have further marginalized populations already vulnerable to anthropogenic and climactic pressures. read more >>



Joshua Umanksy-Castro, 2017
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
This summer, I worked in Peru as part of Princeton's Engineers without Borders travel team to finish building a water system for the community of La Pitajaya. Our third implementation trip, we had already brought water to the upper part of the community, La Pitajaya Alta, and were now starting the water system for the Baja part of the community. read more >>



Adam Yabroudi, 2015
Electrical Engineering
The retrieval of dendrometric measurements in forests can be time-consuming and imprecise. Autonomous micro-aerial vehicles, like quadcopters, have the ability to gather data much faster and more accurately than humans. One measurement of significance in forest ecology is diameter at breast height (DBH). This measurement is generally taken 1.3-1.4 meters off the ground. read more >>



Vivian Yao, 2017
Undecided
This summer I interned for the Climate and Energy Team at the Asian headquarters of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) where I focused on coal cap and shale gas research. Stationed in the world’s most polluted city and China’s capital, Beijing, I had the opportunity to travel to all corners of the city to meet influential experts and policymakers in the field of environmental protection. read more >>



Young Yi, 2017
Geosciences
I worked as a summer intern with Keith Rodgers, a researcher in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS) department, to study the impacts of climate change on the Pacific Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC). The EUC is of interest because it is a bottleneck where waters from several different origins mix together and flow across the entire Pacific Ocean along the equator. read more >>



Bridget Zakrzewski, 2017
Environmental Engineering
Though the ocean as a whole is mysterious, the most perplexing region is perhaps the Southern Ocean. The Southern Ocean surrounds Antarctica and is particularly difficult to study due to freezing temperatures, sea ice, and seasonal darkness. The goal of my project was to study whirlpool-like currents in the Southern Ocean called “eddies” in order to gain a better understanding of the current systems and mixing properties in this region. read more >>



Réka Zempléni, 2016
Economics
I spent this summer with the Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation in Ecuador, working with a women’s micro-enterprise development project. I spent eight weeks in the tiny community of Camarones helping a small group of women develop their soap-making micro-enterprise. The project provides a source of income for the women, who would otherwise have limited access to any jobs. read more >>



Jennifer Zhao, 2016
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
It is widely acknowledged that fishing efforts affect marine populations, though to what extent is less understood. Analyzing the impact of fishing intensity on marine systems can inform policy on redirecting fishing efforts, but first this diversity must be quantified. This summer, I joined a project on the U.S. West Coast, a forefront of marine research. I modeled patterns of fish diversity using government trawl survey data. read more >>



Angela Zhou, 2016
Operations Research and Financial Engineering
Traditional fisheries management policies remain uninformed by an understanding of the social dynamics and connectivities of fishing communities. Fishermen make decisions—which are affected by their social communities, different norms and economic incentives—to compete or collaborate for resources. read more >>




Baik Ej, 2016
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is contributing to global warming, a fact which underlines the importance of monitoring methane leakage sources around the world. Abandoned oil and gas wells are a significant source of methane that has not been explored before. For this internship, I was responsible for looking at the geologic formations of the abandoned oil and gas wells we measured. read more >>



Scott Bechler, 2017
Geosciences
The focus of my project this summer was to determine the environmental effects that a new solar material, organometal (lead) halide perovskites, could have if it was used commercially. This solar material has seen rapid increases in efficiency, but it is still unstable compared with its counterparts, silicon based solar panels, which are currently in use today. read more >>



Conleigh Byers, 2015
Civil and Environmental Engineering
I spent the summer in the Energy Transformation Group at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources, which leads government efforts to promote international energy security. My placement was in the Office of Electricity and Energy Efficiency, which works globally to transition power systems to more sustainable fuels and technologies and achieve sustainable and global access to electricity. read more >>



Joan Cannon, 2015
Geosciences
My PEI summer internship in the Sigman Lab focused on developing a method for measuring the carbon isotopic ratios of organic matter trapped in planktonic foraminifera fossils from a tropical Atlantic sediment core using a mass spectrometer. Our goals were to better understand the carbon cycle over the past 800,000 years and to investigate how biological and chemical changes in the ocean affected past atmospheric carbon concentrations. read more >>



Elliot Chang , 2016
Environmental Engineering
My PEI summer internship in the Sigman Lab focused on developing a method for measuring the carbon isotopic ratios of organic matter trapped in planktonic foraminifera fossils from a tropical Atlantic sediment core using a mass spectrometer. Our goals were to better understand the carbon cycle over the past 800,000 years and to investigate how biological and chemical changes in the ocean affected past atmospheric carbon concentrations. read more >>



Emily Chen, 2017
Geological Engineering
In contrast to the Arctic sea ice, which has been decreasing, the Antarctic sea ice has been growing at a small but significant rate in the past decades. My PEI summer internship aimed to understand the mechanisms that are driving the sea ice growth around Antarctica. read more >>



Tiffany Cheung, 2015
Geosciences
In contrast to the Arctic sea ice, which has been decreasing, the Antarctic sea ice has been growing at a small but significant rate in the past decades. My PEI summer internship aimed to understand the mechanisms that are driving the sea ice growth around Antarctica. read more >>



Carol Chiu, 2016
Chemical and Biological Engineering
For my PEI internship this summer, I focused on two projects in the Geosciences Department. My first project was to study nitrogen fixation occurring in microbial samples taken from Sippewissett Marsh in Massachusetts and the Everglades in Florida. I measured the N2 fixation rate in these samples using the acetylene reduction assay (ARA). read more >>



Bristee Das, 2016
Chemical and Biological Engineering
This summer, I worked on a research project optimizing the performance of organic field effect transistors (OFETs). The field effect transistor is a major component of modern electronics and circuitry. In particular, the OFET is a type of field effect transistor made up of a polymer or organic small molecule. read more >>



Allen Fang, 2017
Math
As a research assistant studying the New Jersey Pine Barrens, I used and modified the Ecosystem Demography 2 model to analyze how periodic gypsy moth defoliation affects the ability of the Pine Barrens to act as a carbon sink. The New Jersey Pine Barrens is a unique environment where pines and oaks are the dominant tree species. In an undisturbed environment, oaks thrive better than pines. read more >>



Jesse Goodman, 2017
Computer Science
Protein-loaded microspheres have recently gained influence through promising applications such as drug delivery and tissue engineering. However, it has always been challenging to control the release rate of the loaded protein(s). This summer, I worked to understand how certain fabrication parameters affect the release profiles of these microspheres. read more >>



Abby Grosskopf, 2017
Chemical and Biological Engineering
My internship with the Loo Group exposed me to the world of materials science and organic electronics. This summer I worked with Triethylsilylethynyl anthradithiophene (TES ADT), a solution-processable organic semiconductor. Thin films of TES ADT spherulites, a type of crystal, have lots of exciting applications such as solar cells, and organic thin film transistors. read more >>



Stacey Huang, 2016
Electrical Engineering
There is a continuing need for sensitive and durable gas sensors for use in fields such as environmental monitoring and regulation of emissions. Quartz-Enhanced Photoacoustic Spectroscopy (QEPAS) is a flexible technique that takes advantage of a quartz tuning fork to sense pressure changes induced by modulated laser light in a gas sample. read more >>



Elijah Kolmes, 2015
Physics
The primary goal of my internship at PPPL was to study fast ion slowing-down rates in a background plasma. I used software called LSP to simulate fast ions slowing down under the conditions that might be found in a field-reversed configuration (FRC) device. FRCs are a potential alternative to the mainline approach to magnetic confinement, with a couple of significant advantages. read more >>



Nicholas Lavrov, 2015
Chemical and Biological Engineering
With the increasing costs of fossil fuels and the continual introduction of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, providing clean, renewable energy has become an intense area of research. One alternative fuel source is hydrogen gas obtained from water splitting. In order for hydrogen fuel to become a viable fuel source, however, efficient means of water splitting must be developed. read more >>



Jonathan Lin, 2017
Computer Science
This summer, I collaborated with Keith Rodgers of the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences department in calculating the effects of human-induced changes on marine organisms and ocean ecosystems. Specifically, we used the trends and noise of the ESM2M model to calculate when ocean acidification, ocean warming, ocean de-oxygenation, and biological changes would emerge and become measurable. read more >>



Daniel Ma, 2017
Operations Research and Financial Engineering
Although methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas (AOG) wells constitute a significant percentage of total U.S. methane emissions, few attempts have been made to accurately quantify these emissions. Working with a team of other students, I took methane samples from AOG wells in western Pennsylvania. In order to accurately estimate methane emissions, we designed, constructed, and prepared containers to collect and store these gas samples. read more >>



Ryan McNellis, 2015
Operations Research and Financial Engineering
This past summer, I worked as a research intern in the Computational Stochastic Optimization and Learning (CASTLE) lab based in the Operations Research and Financial Eningeering (ORFE) department at Princeton University. My first project involved estimating the effect of high levels of wind and solar energy on the transmission grid. read more >>



Alana Miller, 2015
Civil and Environmental Engineering
The goal of this project was to better understand the methane fluxes from abandoned oil and gas wells. Since the orders of magnitude of methane emissions vary so much from well to well, it is important to gain more insight into the dynamics of these emissions to effectively target the high emitting wells for immediate remediation efforts (i.e. proper plugging). read more >>



Jacob Miller, 2015
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Turning agricultural waste products or energy crops like switchgrass (both which are characterized as biomass, inedible plant matter) into fuel provides humanity a renewable, plentiful source of energy to replace fossil fuel usage in a variety of applications. One critical area in need of innovation is biomass conversion to transportation fuels. read more >>



Rachel Myers, 2015
Physics
While nuclear fusion is a promising future source of energy, many challenges still exist with regard to its implementation. One concern is the need to effectively control the heat and particle flux leaving the fusion plasma, since it can potentially damage plasma-facing components. read more >>



Derek Ou, 2015
Mathematics
Diatoms are responsible for 20% of carbon fixation via photosynthesis globally,and are therefore an important contributor to the carbon cycle. However, their physiology, unlike that of plants, is not well understood. read more >>



Kevin Pardinas, 2016
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Fusion energy has the possibility to change the world; it can provide a clean, safe, and nearly limitless source of energy. I spent my summer at PPPL, one of the world's leading research institutions in the field of fusion energy. At PPPL, I studied the secondary electron emission (SEE) properties of materials used in plasma reactions. read more >>



Austin Pruitt , 2017
Mechanical Engineering
This summer I initiated research into the concept of evolutionary dynamics and how they can be used to modify microorganisms such as algae. Through this research we hope to create algae that is hardier and is able to produce high levels of biofuels through photosynthesis. read more >>



Sarah Sacco, 2016
Chemical and Biological Engineering
This summer I worked on a project concerning the environmental behavior of indium, a trace metal used in high-tech applications. I studied the relationship between indium and a common iron oxide, ferrihydrite, which are both found in natural waters. Indium usage has seen a boom in the last few years due to the high-tech nature of its applications in solar cells, touch screens, LCDs, and semiconductors. read more >>



Kasturi Shah, 2016
Physics
The goal of my summer internship was to investigate the evolution of Himalayan glaciers under changing climate conditions. Using raw data from automated weather stations in the Himalayas as well as climate model output from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL), I investigated the correlation between temperature and precipitation. read more >>



Emily Shuldiner, 2016
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
This summer I worked in the Medvigy Geosciences Group, editing the Ecosystem Demography (ED2) atmospheric model to incorporate the effects of selective insect herbivory in Panamanian rainforests, observed by Suchana Costa in her 2014 senior thesis. This thesis noted that insects consume nitrogen-fixing plants at a rate approximately three times that with which they consume non-fixers. read more >>



Levi Stanton, 2015
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Air pollutant models tend to be accurate when looking at a large-scale area, but when one compares data from near a source to what the model predicts for that area, a great discrepancy can be seen. Understanding pollutants near the source is extremely crucial, as a higher-than-accounted-for concentration of pollutants could cause local ecosystem damage and unsafe air quality. read more >>



Rebecca Terrett, 2016
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Coral bleaching, the phenomenon of corals turning white under stress, is a well-studied area of coral pigmentation. Yet little else is known about the connection between coral pigments and environmental conditions. Preliminary work in this field suggests that the relationship is not fixed; in fact there appear to be season-dependent trends. read more >>



Aditya Trivedi, 2016
Physics
This summer, I developed a web-based tool to predict wind energy generation and its potential. Using publicly available data from the National Weather Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, I created an interface that allows a user to specify a location as well as a distance from that location to search for wind farms. read more >>



Matthew Walsh, 2015
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
This summer, I investigated the shielding requirements for a future small-scale fusion reactor, the PFRC-4, currently being developed by Samuel Cohen at PPPL. The reactor will burn Deuterium-Helium-3 with a power density of about one megawatt per meter of reactor length. It will serve as a propulsion system for space missions to other planets. read more >>



Olivia Watson, 2015
Chemistry
As a member of the photoelectrocatalysis (PEC) team in the Koel research lab, I helped with the characterization of various plasma-treated metal surfaces in the pursuit to identify a catalytic surface that would improve the efficiency of the water splitting reaction. read more >>



Jack Zhou, 2015
Woodrow Wilson School
This summer I interned in the Sigman Lab at Princeton University where I worked on the nutrient cycle between corals and their photosynthetic symbionts and how it changes in a warming world. One of the most salient signs of global warming is coral bleaching, the phenomena where corals eject their symbionts in response to a change in temperature. read more >>




Aubree Andres, 2017
Undeclared
I worked at the Mpala Research Centre outside of Nanyuki, Kenya for six weeks with Professor Dan Rubenstein. For this project, I went out with my research partners every day to collect data in the field. We were looking for a legacy of a holistic grazing system on the land where local goats and sheep were grazing during the dry season. read more >>



Benjamin Culver, 2016
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
This summer, Katie Grabowski and I were interns for Professor Rob Pringle. We primarily worked with one of his graduate students on research for his doctoral dissertation. We studied three species of plants in the Kenyan rangelands within a genus called Barleria. read more >>



Katie Grabowski, 2016
Civil and Environmental Engineering
I spent this summer at the Mpala Research Centre in Kenya. This was my first opportunity to do field research, and I was fortunate to be able to assist with two research projects. The first project involved working with Tyler Coverdale, an Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) PhD candidate. read more >>



Devansh Gupta, 2017
Electrical Engineering
This summer, as part of the implementation team of the Princeton University Chapter of Engineers Without Borders, I worked on providing clean, accessible drinking water to the residents in the community of Muchebe, Kenya. I helped design and build a 67,500L rainwater catchment system that harvested water from the roof of Muchebe Primary School. read more >>



Brendan Hung, 2017
Operations Research and Financial Engineering
The Kenya team of the Princeton University Chapter of Engineers Without Borders is working on providing clean, accessible drinking water to the residents in the community of Muchebe, Kenya. As part of a five-year commitment with the local community, our team helped design and build a 67,500L rainwater catchment system that harvested water from the roof of Muchebe Primary School. read more >>



Haley Lane, 2016
Civil and Environmental Engineering
The area surrounding Mt. Kenya is unique due to the sharp precipitation gradient the peak generates. Because of this precipitation disparity intrinsic to the Laikipia Plateau, the region is home to both large scale industrial farming and communities afflicted by serious drought. read more >>



Jessica Luo, 2015
Civil and Environmental Engineering
The Kenya team of the Princeton University Chapter of Engineers Without Borders is working on providing clean, accessible drinking water to the residents in the community of Muchebe, Kenya. As part of a five-year commitment to the local community, our team helped design and build a 67,500L rainwater catchment system that harvested water from the roof of Muchebe Primary School. read more >>



Dee Luo, 2016
Operations Research and Financial Engineering
The Mapping Africa project was formed as an initiative to collect a more accurate understanding of farmland distribution in Sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, the project uses crowd-sourcing to collect mapped data, which can be costly and inefficient. This summer, I worked with PhD student Stephanie Debats to develop a random forest algorithm to take satellite imagery of land in South Africa and accurately classify fields based on feature extraction. read more >>



Dayton Martindale, 2015
Astrophysical Sciences
The Northern Kenya Conservation Clubs, formed through Mpala Research Centre’s ties with local schools, are experiential after-school sessions that teach children basic biology and Earth science. For six weeks I stayed at Mpala and helped teach these classes, engaging in interactive lessons that included games, artistic projects, and experiments. read more >>



Taylor Morgan, 2016
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Along with fellow intern Haley Lane, I spent nine weeks in central Kenya this past summer conducting both field and lab work for PhD student Drew Gower. We looked at local climate-dependent water availability from rivers flowing through and around Nanyuki, Kenya, coming off of centrally located Mount Kenya. read more >>



Anchal Padukone, 2016
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
This summer, while based at the Mpala Research Center in Kenya, I studied the effects of holistic cattle management on livestock and rangeland health, people's livelihoods, and on wildlife. Holistic grazing methods involve concentrating livestock in small areas and moving them frequently across grazing patches. read more >>



Annelies Paine, 2016
Woodrow Wilson School
During my PEI internship I worked as a teacher for the Northern Kenyan Conservation Clubs, an after-school program that promotes conservation and sustainability through experiential learning. My colleagues and I prepared and taught lessons for primary and secondary school students on a variety of topics from evolution to endangered species. read more >>



Marcus Spiegel, 2017
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Desiccation cracking in the black cotton soils of Kenya influences both the flow of water into the ground and the drying of the soil. An understanding of these physical processes is integral to our knowledge of the water cycle and Earth-atmosphere greenhouse gas exchange. read more >>



Alex Wheatley, 2016
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
As a teaching assistant with the Northern Kenya Conservation Clubs, I taught ecology, biology, and the basic principles of conservation to schoolchildren in 11 rural schools in Laikipia County. The program also works with teachers to promote experiential learning techniques. read more >>



Helen Yang, 2015
English
This summer, I had the opportunity to participate in an internship that was created through the collaboration between Program in Teacher Preparation and PEI. Our primary goal was to bridge communication and experiential learning about conservation and the environment between the Kenyan and American classrooms. read more >>



Katherine Zhao, 2017
Undecided
This summer, I worked at Mpala Research Center in Laikipia, Kenya as an intern studying the photosynthetic characteristics of the African Acacia trees. I learned to use instruments such as the Li-Cor 6400 to record photosynthesis and transpiration rates. read more >>