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Meet PEI and Grand Challenges Past Interns: 2013

Pranav Badami, 2015, Electrical Engineering

Project: QCD System Design
Organization/Location: Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and Environment (MIRTHE), Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Claire Gmachl, Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering. Vice Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Science

Quantum cascade detectors (QCDs) can be used to detect the presence of certain gases in the atmosphere. As a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) intern at Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and Environment (MIRTHE), I worked towards designing a commercially-viable QCD system for the detection low-wavelength light which is absorbed by potent greenhouse gases like methane. Similar QCD systems have been developed in the past using slow growth methods; our system was grown using Metalorganic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) which is fast and industrially viable. In order to detect low-wavelength light, we opted to build a Gallium Nitride (GaN) system which has a high conduction band offset. Much of the internship was focused on hands-on cleanroom processing, where we fabricated GaN QCDs. After device processing was complete, we moved toward testing and characterization of the QCD. I acquired skills in photolithography, etching, and data analysis techniques; I also learned how to take measurements to determine if a QCD is functioning. I was able to present my initial data at the MIRTHE Summer Workshop. I learned a lot over the summer and gained new skills; I am considering exploring the field further once I look into other concentrations within the Electrical Engineering department.

Vincent Bai, 2014, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Project: Developing Energy Solutions Through Lightening Energy
Organization/Location: Lightening Energy, Dover, NJ
Adviser(s): Michael Epstein, Lightening Energy

The overall goal of my summer internship was to contribute to the ongoing research/development and operations at Lightening Energy. Lightening Energy is a small energy company that is working towards developing energy solutions for the future, especially with regards to transportation and grid storage. I engaged in a variety of activities over the course of the internship. For one ARPA-E grant proposal, I worked on a heat transfer analysis to demonstrate the feasibility of the solid-state lithium ion battery that was proposed. I also performed market research for several different projects and grant proposals that were ongoing during my time at Lightening Energy. I learned much about the dynamics of a workplace and how to interact with co-workers. My internship showed me the benefits of working at a small company and has influenced me to try to find a job at an energy startup. It also helped me to narrow down my thesis topic; I will be performing research on the assembly of supercapacitors.

Emily Bobrick, 2015, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project: Field Research at Mpala Research Center
Organization/Location: Mpala Research Center, Kenya
Adviser(s): Daniel Rubenstein, Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology. Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Chair, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Director, Program in African Studies

This summer I worked as an intern at Mpala Research Center in Kenya helping to collect data used to monitor the Center’s wildlife population. Every six months, Mpala performs a rigorous survey of the wildlife population using distance sampling; I collected data for their June and July 2013 samplings. The Center could then compare the data I helped collect with data from a more easily executed survey the rangers conducted to ascertain whether the ranger-based method was reliable and efficient. I spent early mornings and late afternoons with another Princeton student and some members of the Mpala staff driving along two kilometer-long transects collecting information about species sighted, size of herds, and distance from the road to the animal. The data we collected could then be analyzed using a computer program, Distance, that provided an estimate of the population density of each species at Mpala. I learned a lot about the nature of field work and research, and this internship confirmed my interest in pursuing a research-related career in the future.

Ethan Campbell, 2016, Geosciences

Project: Argo Floats
Organization/Location: Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS), Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Joseph Majkut, Ph.D. candidate, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

I worked with AOS graduate student Joe Majkut in Professor Jorge Sarmiento's group this summer. My goal was to answer the following question: How accurately can one reconstruct real-world ocean biogeochemical fields by inverting the sparse and noisy data from the 3600 Argo profiling floats scattered within the world’s oceans? I investigated this uncertainty by simulating Argo measurements at the positions of actual floats using output from a high-resolution climate model, then reconstructing the model fields via a simple interpolation scheme. Comparing the original and reconstructed fields produced estimates of reconstruction error across different ocean basins; correlating that reconstruction error with metrics such as density of floats and type of float enabled further inference. Overall, the results affirm the Argo array's ability to capture large-scale fields where floats are present. This project gave me a valuable glimpse into scientific computing and earth science research, the latter of which has convinced me to major in geosciences and consider research as a career path.

Alison Campion, 2016, Geosciences

Project: Maloof Earth History Group
Organization/Location: Maloof Earth History Group, Australia
Adviser(s): Adam Maloof, Associate Professor, Geosciences

I spent the summer assisting a geoscience graduate student collect rock samples in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia. The samples we collected formed 2.7 billion years ago and contain magnetic minerals that recorded the orientation of Earth’s magnetic field at the time of formation, which can be correlated with the latitude at which the rock formed. Using this technique, we will be able to model how the Australian continental plate was moving during the Archaean, a time period in which scientists are unsure how a warmer mantle would influence plate movement. I was not only able to spend my summer hiking and camping in beautiful Western Australia, but I was also able to work closely with professors and graduate students, which was an incredible experience. I learned how to conduct geological field research, how to interpret detailed observations to better understand the natural world, how to read geological maps, and how to overcome unexpected challenges in the field all of which will be invaluable when it comes time for me to conduct my own research in the geosciences department for my junior papers and senior thesis.

Ismael Catovic, 2015, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Project: Koel Research Group
Organization/Location: Princeton Plasma Physics Lab (PPPL), Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Bruce Koel, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

I was fortunate this summer to work with the Surface Science group at PPPL, headed by Professor Bruce Koel, preparing an Ultraviolet Photoelectron Spectroscopic (UPS) instrument for use in the lab. Using techniques such as UPS, the Surface Science group analyzes chemical interactions at the atomic level with the aim of determining the properties of plasma-facing component materials to be used in plasma fusion reactors. UPS works by generating ultraviolet light, which strikes the surface being analyzed and causes a valence electron to be emitted. By measuring the kinetic energy of the emitted electrons, also called photoelectrons, one can accurately determine which molecular species are adsorbed or bonded to the surface as well as their orientation. I researched various types of UPS instruments and prepared a home-built Helium UPS instrument. I also took measurements and specifications of the UPS instrument so that it could be duplicated in the future. My experience working at PPPL opened my eyes to some of the extensive applications of Chemical Engineering and reconfirmed my commitment to its study.

Brian Chang, 2016, Chemistry

Project: Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Photocatalysts for Solar Water Splitting and Carbon Dioxide Reduction to Fuels
Organization/Location: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Bruce Koel, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

The goal of my PEI summer internship was to develop a better catalyst for solar-powered water splitting, mainly to serve as a hydrogen fuel source. Hydrogen can be used as a zero-emission energy source. However, current methods of generating sufficient quantities of hydrogen are problematic in that they are either energy-intensive or create large quantities of greenhouse gases. Photocatalytic water splitting is a promising method of generating hydrogen, and should theoretically only require a source of sunlight and water and an appropriate catalyst. I sought to test an alloy of zinc oxide and manganese oxide for use as a photocatalyst. This alloy has been theorized to be highly efficient but has not yet been successfully synthesized. Over the summer I ran experiments where I attempted to first synthesize very small zinc oxide nano-particles, then attempted to combine them with manganese oxide, then characterized the resulting product in terms of particle size and geometry using various materials science techniques. This internship taught me about independently carrying out a research project, and further confirmed my interest in scientific research as a career path.

Michael S. Chang, 2016, Molecular Biology

Project: Sea Urchin Research
Organization/Location: Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), Bermuda
Adviser(s): Dr. Andrea Bodnar, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences; Dr. Helena Reinardy, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences

The molecular biology lab team with which I interned this summer focused on using sea urchins as a model for anti-aging and cancer research. Sea urchins have an incredible range of natural life spans (including extreme longevity and negligible senescence) and have shown very few instances of cancer in comparison to other marine organisms. My independent work investigated the DNA integrity of sea urchin larvae and their capacity to repair DNA damage after exposure to two commonly used genotoxicants, UV-C radiation and hydrogen peroxide. My project fit within a larger effort to measure the extent to which different types of sea urchin cells and tissues could reduce DNA damage—and to isolate the genes responsible for this repair. Ultimately, this information will increase our understanding of genetic repair pathways, which is important in the field of cancer research. Through this experience, I learned how to use quantitative assays, microplate readers, qPCR, epifluorescent microscopy, and fluorescence in-situ hybridization. I loved researching and working with full-time scientists in the lab this summer, and I cannot wait to explore more research opportunities later at Princeton.

Elliot Chang, 2016, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project: What Trees Could Learn from Alan Greenspan
Organization/Location: Princeton Caylor Lab, Princeton, New Jersey
Adviser(s): Adam Wolf, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Working with a team of other undergraduate Princeton students, I studied water distribution among competing oak and pine trees in the Silas Little Experimental Forest. Using four sheltered and irrigated plots linked to large tanks of isotopically labeled water, we were able to label the water applied to the territory around one focal tree. This label allowed us to determine how much water neighboring trees “stole” from this focal tree. Sampling soils, tree stems, and roots, I learned how to use cryogenic vacuum distillations to collect the water from these samples. Using a Picarro isotopic analyzer to study isotopologues of water, including HDO and H218O, we examined which competing tree obtained the isotopic water. On a sub-project, I assembled a Decagon Hyprop device to study the volumetric water content of soils across varying water potentials. I plan on continuing my research with the Hyprop device to attempt long periods of data collection. The troubleshooting of the Hyprop software and hardware was highly rewarding, and I was able to learn how engineers work on a day-to-day basis. My summer research helped me learn more about isotopic hydrology and inspired me to do research in ecohydrology for my junior independent work.

Tiffany Cheung, 2015, Geosciences

Project: Ocean Acidification and Photosynthesis
Organization/Location: Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): François Morel, Albert G. Blanke, Jr., Professor of Geosciences

The goal of my summer project in the Morel lab was to address and understand the role of ocean acidification on the photosynthetic pathways of phytoplankton. As this is my second year working on this project, I chose to narrow my research focus on Rubisco, a crucial enzyme in carbon fixation. Using the model organism Thalassiosira weissflogii, a tropical diatom, I examined the effects of increasing temperature, light intensity, and diel cycling on Rubisco in this diatom. In addition to performing laboratory studies, I also embarked on a week-long field excursion with the Sigman Lab at Sargasso Sea, aiding other researchers in field sample collections for future studies. My PEI internship, supported by the Smith-Newton Undergraduate Research Funds, allowed me to refine my laboratory skills, collaborate with other researchers, and develop my own project interests for my junior paper. My geosciences junior paper will examine the role and physiology (carbon fixation rates, CO2/O2 selectivity) of Rubisco in the model diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii in response to increasing temperature.

Jonathan Choi, 2015, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project: Impact of Fire and Grazing on Soil Respiration
Organization/Location: Mpala Research Centre, Laikipia District, Kenya
Adviser(s): Professor Kelly Caylor, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Terrestrial world’s soils provide the second largest carbon sink in the world after the oceans. Understanding how these soils give off and take in carbon dioxide as a result of different environmental pressures from grazing and fire is crucial to understanding the role of African savannas in the global carbon budget. This summer, I spent 10 weeks researching the effects of herbivores and fire on various soil properties in the Laikipia District of Kenya at Princeton University’s Mpala Research Center. I used various field methods within the Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment (KLEE) to measure a variety of different soil properties and their relative role in climate change. I learned a lot about geochemistry and research methods through this internship. My experience at Mpala opened my eyes to the world of academic research and spurred my interest in potentially pursuing a career in academia. While I am unsure if I will continue to focus on soil biology, I’d like to continue exploring the intersection of land use, public policy, and the environment.

Marius Constantin, 2014, Physics

Project: Lithium Radiation in Plasmas
Organization/Location: Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Robert Goldston, Professor of Astrophysical Sciences

During the summer of 2013 I interned at PPPL, one of the world’s leading laboratories in the field of fusion energy research specializing in tokamak reactors. As the scale of the reactor experiments increases, one of the key challenges that presents itself is the controlled cooling of the plasma layer that is the closest to the reactor wall. Under the guidance of Professor Robert J. Goldston, my co-intern and I took a step in addressing this challenge by focusing on the charge exchange processes between neutral deuterium and ionized lithium, which coexist inside the plasma. We found that although these processes did not significantly alter the cooling rate in the temperature and density regimes of current experiments, they could provide the dominant cooling mechanism for experiments operating at the parameters required to make fusion a viable energy source. Building on previous knowledge from the “Science and Technology of Nuclear Energy class," I gained valuable insights into how numerical simulations, scaling laws, and heuristics can become powerful tools in pushing the boundary of fusion energy research. Moreover, this internship gave me the opportunity to work within an exceptional community of scholars, and it reinforced my aspiration to pursue a career in applied physics.

Allanna Daniels, 2016, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project: Conservation of Montane Frogs
Organization/Location: Asociación para la Conservación de la Cuenca Amazónica, Peru
Adviser(s): Alessandro Catenazzi, Southern Illinois University

This summer, I worked as a research intern with Professor Alessandro Catenazzi to study the impact and prevalence of the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytritium dendrobatidis, on amphibian species on the eastern slope of the Andes in Peru. We studied amphibians at three different biological stations, each at different levels of elevation, to determine if the survival rates of specific species correlated to changes in elevation and/or temperature. We collected over 1,000 samples from mountain roads and hiking trails to determine prevalence and ran PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests to study the fungus. I swabbed frogs for the fungus, performed dissections, and at one station assisted a graduate student with his project to determine which species of frog, if any, was a possible carrier of the disease. As a side project, I also collected soil samples to study pH and moisture levels of previously sampled leaf litter plots. I now have a better understanding and command of DNA extraction techniques and sample collection in the field. I also semi-conquered my fear of spiders after working in the field. After this internship, I am certain that I would like to do my independent work mostly in a lab.

Jacob Eisenberg, 2016, Undeclared

Project: Feedbacks Between Tropical Forests, Climate, and Earth’s Carbon Budget
Organization/Location: Princeton University, United States
Adviser(s): David Medvigy, Assistant Professor of Geosciences

The overarching goals of my research group were to develop a complex computer model that would simulate the effectiveness of the terrestrial biosphere as carbon sink, and to determine how climate change has, and will, alter that effectiveness. Over the course of the summer, I learned how to use the Ecosystem Demography model version 2 (ED2). I then began running the model on small patches of forests in the Amazon, using a database containing information on those patches to initialize the model, and ultimately to determine the accuracy of the model. I consulted with Professor Medvigy about changing some of the parameters in the model that weren't yet fully understood, to see if it would increase or decrease accuracy. While I spent some time learning about the general issues of the work the group was doing, the most valuable aspect of this internship for me was learning about the structure, complexity, and technical issues of a large computer model, and how such a model can be used in scientific research. It was also interesting to see first-hand how a research group functions and collaborates. This internship has definitely confirmed my interest in studying environmental science.

Chantelle Ekanem, 2016, Chemical Engineering

Project: Engineering for Advanced Energy Storage and Distribution
Organization/Location: Lightening Energy, Dover, NJ
Adviser(s): Michael Epstein, Lightening Energy

This summer I was an intern with Lightening Energy, a company that develops Lithium-Ion batteries for applications ranging from vehicles to military equipment. Our projects focused on aiding the company’s battery development, engineering, and commercial product design for methods of energy storage and distribution. I helped build battery cells, conduct research and complete write-ups for reports, and test new battery materials. From these tasks, I gained insight into numerous aspects of running a business. I observed lab work, research, insurance proceedings, meetings with donors, and more. I also explored diverse aspects of the engineering field. As a result, I am now able to work well with professionals producing tangible work—I know more formal lab procedures, and am more proficient in Microsoft Excel. After being exposed to these tasks, I learned that I have a passion for hands-on activities such as lab work and various physics experiments. Thanks to this internship, I think that I want to pursue something more hands-on for my career. The company taught me that there is so much more to explore in the field of Chemical Engineering. I am extremely grateful to have played a small part in their story.

Bruna Favetta, 2015, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Project: Whale Migration: Where, When and Why
Organization/Location: Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS), Princeton University, Princeton, NJ and Sweden
Adviser(s): James Watson, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

The goal of this research project was to further our understanding of baleen whale migration. There are a variety of locations where whales have been spotted feeding and calving but it is not yet well defined why these whales go where they go. To help improve our understanding of the factors involved, the team constructed a model that synthesized these possible factors and predicted regions where whales could feed and calve. I began the development of such model in the python language, a process that also required an extensive literature search. While the first version of the model was very rough and used various simplifications, the model evolved with the use of more sophisticated modeling software. Seeing the end product of the internship, a map that describes critical feeding and calving zones for baleen whales, allowed me to experience and appreciate the more computer-oriented part of lab work in biology. I discovered that I really enjoy the overlap between biology and computer science (computational modeling) and learning how powerful and relevant these models are (the same model can be used to help predict whether climate change will put whales under even more migratory stress). This experience has influenced the sort of career I’ll be looking for after Princeton.

Elizabeth Gatto, 2016, Woodrow Wilson School

Project: Economic Policy in Environmental Markets
Organization/Location: Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), New York, NY
Adviser(s): Jonathan Camuzeaux, Environmental Defense Fund

As an intern with the Economic Policy team at EDF, I worked on projects related to the social cost of carbon, cap and trade, and climate effects of natural gas. In particular, I researched and analyzed monetary damage functions on sea level rise, ocean acidification, and freshwater resources, which estimate future losses in these sectors as a result of climate change. I composed a memo on gasoline price elasticity and cost pass-through rates in the United States with respect to the cap and trade program instated by the California Global Warming Solutions Act. I also located data on methane leakage and upstream carbon dioxide emissions for compressed and liquefied natural gas systems. Through this internship, I gained valuable insights into the importance of public policy and economics in environmental efforts. My rewarding experience at EDF reinforced my aspirations to pursue a career in environmental services.

Manali Gokhale, 2016, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Project: Reported Modeling of Line Transects Using Distance Sampling
Organization/Location: Mpala Research Centre, Kenya
Adviser(s): Daniel Rubenstein, Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology. Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Chair, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Director, Program in African Studies

During my summer at Mpala Research Centre, I worked to measure the population trends of important wildlife species of the Mpala area. The data collected on the populations of several mammal and bird species, many of which are threatened or endangered, was then compared with previous years as part of an ongoing project. In the future, this data will be compared to data from a newer, ranger-based method of measuring populations, in order to test the effectiveness of the newer method. To collect my data, I would systematically travel in specific paths around Mpala and use rangefinders, compasses, and GPS devices to keep a record of sightings. From my internship, I came away with a greater understanding of the challenges involved in field work, as well as of the ecosystem and conservation efforts surrounding Mpala. The fulfilling nature of carrying out an independent project over the course of my internship encouraged me to continue pursuing research science. As a chemical engineering major interested in conservation, I found this opportunity to begin contributing to environmental efforts immeasurably rewarding.

Christopher Kwadwo Gordon, 2015, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Project: Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Based Electronic Devices
Organization/Location: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Yueh-Lin Loo,Theodora D. '78 and William H. Walton III '74 Professor in Engineering. Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Associate Director for External Partnerships, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment; Jia Gao, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Chemical and Biological Engineering

I really enjoyed my summer research internship with the Loo Group at Princeton University. My project involved using an inkjet printer to deposit carbon nanotubes onto preprocessed silicon wafers to make simple electronic devices (Field Effect Transistors). This technique is scalable to industrial levels of production and it offers precise control over the location and quantity of deposited material. As such, cost, materials, and energy consumption as well as the environmental impact of production can all be greatly reduced. This in turn would likely make technology cheaper and more accessible and thus address the world’s energy challenge. I spent the majority of my internship perfecting the preparation and dispensation of the “carbon nanotube ink” in order to achieve working devices. I learned how to construct and conduct systematic studies, how to troubleshoot effectively, and how to sift through various books and research papers to obtain specific relevant information. This internship stimulated and sharpened my interest in doing research at a higher level while allowing me to work in a friendly yet challenging environment. I would definitely recommend future internships with the Loo research group and I will use this invaluable experience in looking towards graduate school.

Ray Grossman, 2015, Mathematics

Project: UAV's and their Possibilites for Ecology
Organization/Location: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Lyndon Estes, Associate Research Scholar, Woodrow Wilson School and the Program in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy. Lecturer in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

I spent most of my summer working with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and studying their possible applications for ecology. First, I assisted with a project that used a UAV to take aerial photos of a cranberry bog, and stitched the photos together using software. Later, we hope to calculate the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) of the photos, which is essentially a measure of the amount of chlorophyll in various plots, representative of their overall health. Additionally, I worked on a literature review that looked at current studies in ecology and identified their spatial and temporal scope, to identify possible gaps in collected ecological data. Finally, I spent some time learning how to pilot a UAV, so I could continue the project over the school year when one of the graduate students had left.

Sarthak Gupta, 2014, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Project: Solar Electricity Forecaster
Organization/Location: Climate Central, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Eric Larson, Research Engineer, Princeton Environmental Institute

One of the biggest impediments to the spread of domestic solar photovoltaic (PV) energy in the United States is lack of public awareness – a lot of people tend to think it is unsuitable for their house without looking at the numbers. In the summer of 2013, I worked at Climate Central developing a solar electricity forecasting tool that aims to address this issue. The tool not only calculates the average monthly electricity production for a specified U.S. location and panel size, but also tries to predict the output for tomorrow and the day after tomorrow using a cloud cover regression. Working out of the Princeton, NJ headquarters of Climate Central, I was responsible for both the PV energy research and web development aspects of the project. On the research side, I gained a detailed understanding of the chain of PV energy conversions and loss mechanisms. On the web development side, I acquired a number of skills including efficient data handling, server side development and front-end design. My time at Climate Central reaffirmed my decision to pursue a career in renewable energy and provided some great senior thesis ideas!

Katrina Hall, 2014, Woodrow Wilson School

Project: Potential Fisheries Responses to Mississippi River Delta Restoration
Organization/Location: Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Washington, DC
Adviser(s): Brian Jackson, Environmental Defense Fund

Facing severe coastal erosion, the state of Louisiana has developed a plan to create sediment diversions to nourish and rebuild the coastline. As an intern with EDF this summer, I studied how such diversions in the Mississippi River Delta area might impact the aquatic species that are most central to Louisiana's recreational and commercial fisheries. Working primarily with data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, I ranked species by value and weight caught. I created timelines and life history summaries for species, focusing on how salinity and temperature preferences shifted throughout the seasons. I analyzed Louisiana catch data during and following Mississippi flood years to see if the influx of freshwater had any discernible effects, looking at monthly, yearly, and regional data. I presented my findings to a group of people affiliated with Mississippi River Delta restoration. This internship improved my graphics, data analysis, and self study skills, and confirmed my interest in fisheries, which I hope to research for my senior thesis.

Eliza Harkins, 2014, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project: Water Use and Governance in the Mount Kenya Region
Organization/Location: Princeton Environmental Institute, Kenya
Adviser(s): Professor Kelly Caylor, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

The goal of my project was to examine the current water systems of 25 rural communities and, from there, create models and predictions of future water availability for those communities, factoring in climate change and increased agricultural activity. My personal role in the project centered on the physical and hydrological concerns. On the one hand, I was responsible for creating GPS maps of each community, and I also helped in the conception and collection of pipe flow measurements. On the other hand, I was creating documents that succinctly summarized our projects for the communities and outlined the methodologies and equipment we were using. Through this internship, I learned technical skills such as how to use GIS software; but beyond that I learned about the practicalities of scientific research in real communities, how to balance social and engineering sciences, and how to fit the needs of the research with the desires of the community. Working with a team of PhD students has led me to consider pursuing additional academic, furthering my education after my undergraduate degree.

Rebecca Haynes, 2015, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project: The Conservation of Costa Rica's Felines: a Study of the Ecosystem and the People
Organization/Location: Osa Conservation, Costa Rica
Adviser(s): Andrew Dobson, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Peter Molnar, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

I spent the summer of 2013 on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica. The dense, biologically diverse rainforest where I lived was the perfect place to study the conservation of jaguars, pumas, and ocelots, whose populations have decreased in size and range due to poaching and destruction of habitat. I investigated this problem by studying both the forest and the people living around it. I set up motion-sensored camera traps to take photos of animals in the area, estimating the community composition of the forest, and comparing the data collected on my cameras to the data of another researcher. I also interviewed local Costa Ricans, with a focus on farmers, to see how they felt about the presence of wild cats near their farms and homes. Understanding problems and attitudes surrounding human-wildlife conflict is central to the conservation of endangered species in the area. Immersed in a new ecosystem, I gained invaluable experience conducting scientific research and learning about social problems of conservation first-hand. I will spend this year analyzing my data and writing up results. I may continue similar work next summer for my senior thesis, hoping to continue on the path to a career in ecological conservation.

David Hoyos, 2016, Undeclared

Project: Agricultural Nitrogen Pollution and Export in the Agricultural Mississippi Delta
Organization/Location: University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS
Adviser(s): Lars Hedin, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Princeton Environmental Institute. Director, Program in Environmental Studies

Growth in the anoxic (lack of oxygen) “dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico is attributing to nitrogen fertilizer runoff from farms into the Mississippi River, ultimately killing marine animals. In order to understand how the environment is reacting to the increasing levels of nitrogen attributed to agriculture, another Princeton student and I examined the roles that denitrifying microbes had in reducing increasing ambient nitrogen levels. We collected soil and water samples from the Mississippi Delta region in order to: analyze soil/water carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus concentrations; perform isotope analysis on the samples; search for denitrifying gene presence in the microbial communities; and quantify denitrification rates. I assisted in organizing a sampling/laboratory plan in order to collect and analyze the samples. This internship was unforgettable! It helped me to begin to unravel the fabric of environmental nutrient cycling—and what humans are doing to change it. This internship heightened my interest in pursuing a Certificate in Environmental Studies.

Tzu-Yung Huang, 2015, Electrical Engineering

Project: Laser and Sensor Development for Trace Gas Sensing
Organization/Location: Mid-Infared Technologies for Health and Environment (MIRTHE), Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Claire Gmachl, Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering. Vice Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Science

I spent my summer internship at MIRTHE. In my project, we aimed to develop a III-nitride based quantum cascade laser which could be used for longer wavelength trace gas sensing in environmental applications. The main challenge we encountered and aimed to resolve during the duration of this project was the high contact resistances of the device, which we aimed to improve by trying different recipes of metal contacts. I spent the majority of this internship fabricating devices in the clean room and obtaining their electrical characterization, which provided me the invaluable opportunity to familiarize myself with the equipment and to learn the many important skills involved in conducting research and fabrication. This internship has furthered my interest in doing research work in related fields after my undergraduate career, and I have learned the tools that will enable me to do that through this opportunity.

Ani Ivanova, 2014, Architecture

Project: Sustainable Design Principles: Tectonic Detail to the Urban Environment
Organization/Location: EFGH Design Studio, New York, NY
Adviser(s): Hayley Eber, Visiting Lecturer in Architecture; Frank Gesualdi, Columbia GSAPP and The Pratt Institute

This summer I interned at the architectural firm EFGH, hoping to familiarize myself with the implementation of environmental thought at each step of the architectural design process. I started by learning how to use essential software (Autodesk® Ecotect® Analysis, Grasshopper, and Kangaroo) that facilitates the environmental design process. In the meantime, our team was selected along with two other teams (out of 126 applicants) to develop a design proposal for the renovation of the Van Alen Institute (VAI) headquarters. We had to propose a design that is LEED® certified and that promotes and fosters dialogue on sustainability. I was involved in the research part of this project (precedents, detailed study of LEED® Gold certification requirements, material use), and in the design process; I focused on the development of proposals for a parklet/street seat maintained by VAI. Being involved in the development of a project that aims to further the sustainability discourse in the architecture/urbanism field reconfirmed my desire to be an urban designer and to foster environmental awareness. My advisers strengthened my conviction that environmental awareness is best achieved if practitioners are actively engaged in academia as well; I hope that in my future professional career I will be involved in both.

Peter Johnsen, 2015, Physics

Project: Velocity Controlled Molecular Beam Scattering
Organization/Location: Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (MPIBPC), Germany
Adviser(s): Alec Wodtke, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry

Surface science plays a key role in catalytic converters, fuel cells, and even the destruction of the ozone layer. Furthering our understanding of this emerging field will increase our ability to design more energy-efficient industrial processes, improve the cost-effectiveness of fuel cells, and combat the chemical activity that occurs on atmospheric microcrystals. I spent this summer with scientists at the MPIBPC in an attempt to test the validity of the best theoretical models for energy transfer between molecules and surfaces, and to develop new theories for explaining these phenomena. We were able to scatter a beam of electronically excited carbon monoxide molecules with tunable velocity off a gold surface and detect when electrons are ejected, then calculated the efficiency of electron ejection. It is possible to change this efficiency by carefully sticking molecules onto the surface of the gold, and we were able to induce up to 770% more electron emission, giving the process an efficiency of roughly 85%. The current theories for molecule-to-surface energy transfer cannot explain this result, and the development of a new model will bring us closer to understanding complex surface-molecule interactions. My work at the MPIBPC has given me an interesting perspective on physical chemistry and I am taking additional quantum mechanics courses to further my knowledge of this field.

Kelsey Kane-Ritsch, 2016, Undeclared

Project: Teaching Assistant for Conservation Clubs
Organization/Location: Northern Kenyan Conservation Clubs, Kenya
Adviser(s): Daniel Rubenstein, Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology. Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Chair, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Director, Program in African Studies

During the summer of 2013 I worked in Kenya as a teaching assistant at 10 schools with the Northern Kenyan Conservation Clubs¬—after-school programs that provide students with an understanding of the natural world and the impact that humans have on their environment. The communities in which I taught depend on the land for survival and have experienced severe environmental degradation due to a lack of education in resource management. As a teacher with the clubs, I helped design lesson plans that addressed key local environmental issues through hands-on activities and experiential learning. I brought the students outside for lessons that ranged from studying the great significance of insects to teaching the students how to end erosion in their own school compound. In addition, I helped make a lasting impact by exposing the local club teachers to experiential learning methods. This internship has reinforced my belief in the necessity of environmental education. I saw many of my students change from warily acknowledging conservation efforts to eagerly embracing the opportunities that wildlife coexistence offers to their people. This spectacular summer experience has affirmed my intention to pursue a career in the field of environmental conservation.

Emily Kaplan, 2014, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project: Terrestrial Conservation in Samos: Investigating the Golden Jackal
Organization/Location: Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation, Greece
Adviser(s): Anastasia Miliou, Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation

As an intern with Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation, I studied the population and behavior of Canis aureus, the golden jackal, on Samos Island, Greece—currently the only island in the Mediterranean with jackals. This summer I helped Archipelagos gather data about the species so that they can better protect them as well as create educational material to teach locals about them. My experiments included acoustic surveys of the island for the purpose of acquiring data on the population and distribution of jackals. Additionally, I analyzed several past acoustic surveys to look for trends in the population. I also designed and executed an experiment using camera traps to study the behavior and diet of these scavenging animals. This internship allowed me to assist in other research of the organization as well, ranging from water quality analyses to censuses of marine life, so I gained experience in many different conservation projects over the course of the summer. I also hope to use my research at Archipelagos for my senior thesis.

Indira Kissoondyal, 2016, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project: Conservation of Montane Frogs from the Amazon to the Andes
Organization/Location: Amazon Conservation Association, Peru
Adviser(s): Alessandro Catenazzi, Southern Illinois University

The pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytritium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused a massive decline in semi-aquatic frog populations throughout the eastern Andes for the past two decades. The main goal of this conservation project was to study and monitor the growth of this disease at differing elevations (2900, 1400, and 600 meters). We did so by testing over one thousand individual frogs, belonging to around 130 species, within a two-month period. To accomplish this, as a team of seven, we went out on daily night transects, searching for frogs along the side of a main road in addition to side trails. A central objective of the project was to identify a reservoir for the disease, in order to hypothesize techniques to eradicate Bd. Another main subject that my internship addressed was the level of alkaloids in a particular poison dart frog species; these alkaloids target specific receptors in the body, making it a potential cure for certain types of cancer. This internship helped me see the practicality of field research in real world applications, and increased my desire to become a research pharmacist.

Kathryn Little, 2016, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project: The Food Project Analysis of Dining Services Purchases and Food Miles Carbon Project
Organization/Location: Princeton University Dining Services, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Stu Orefice, Executive Director of Dining Services, Dining Services; Sarah Bavusom, Special Events Manager, Dining Services

During my summer internship with Princeton University Dining Services, my main responsibility was to produce an analysis/metric of the food products purchased by the university over the past fiscal year. This food metric sorts the food items into categories based on sustainability factors such as local foods, organic foods, and social responsibility on the part of the companies. In addition to updating the old data to reflect this year’s purchases, I also added many previously uncategorized items, broadening the metric’s scope and thereby improving its accuracy. Because this internship recurs each summer, the food metric I produced can be compared to past and future metrics as a means of monitoring the University’s progress on its sustainable dining initiatives. I also had the opportunity to help categorize dining hall recipes according to carbon footprint. In the process, I became familiar with trends between food type, preparation methods, and overall environmental impact. It was fascinating to see how a large institution obtains its food, and I now have a much more informed perspective on my own food choices. I am now more certain of my decision to continue studying sustainability in some form.

Rebecca Lowy, 2016, Undeclared

Project: Impact of Deforestation in Central America on Regional Precipitation Patterns
Organization/Location: Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS), Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): David Medvigy, Assistant Professor of Geosciences

This summer I conducted research on the effect of deforestation on precipitation in Central America. While several previous studies have analyzed the precipitation over long spans of time in the area, few include the recent decade. I accessed satellite data from NASA that measured rainfall in the Central American region, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), from 2001-2011. The analysis we conducted looked at Central America as a whole, as well as three distinct areas with different degrees of deforestation. I wrote code on MatLab to both access and analyze the data, which was a completely new experience for me as I have never written code before. I learned a great deal about tropical rainforests and their role in regional climates, and about how to use MatLab. The experience gave me an appreciation for the expanse of available data on the web and valuable skills in data analysis. My interest in the environment was reinforced, and I hope to use my new skill set in my future academic studies, which almost certainly will include geosciences.

Jordan Lubkeman, 2016, Undeclared

Project: Shedding Light on Plant Respiration
Organization/Location: Princeton Environmental Institute, Department of Geosciences, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Michael Bender, Professor of Geosciences; Paul Gauthier, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Geosciences

The objective of my summer internship was to help develop and use a new technique for studying leaf respiration in the light, using stable isotope measurements. Leaf respiration in the light is one important parameter in our understanding of the global carbon cycle and climate change. However, most models assume in their calculations that a plant’s respiratory metabolism occurs at the same rate in the light as it does in the dark. This might not be the case, as respiration is inhibited in the light. Data on this phenomenon have been considered too scant to be incorporated into models. Through our research, we hope to change this and improve the accuracy of those models. During my internship, I got to participate in every step of the research process. I germinated seeds and grew them into plants for experimentation, helped calibrate and perform maintenance on instruments and alter the experimental design, ran experiments and collected data, processed these data, read many journal articles, and participated in lab meetings. I learned a great deal about plant physiology, climate change and modeling, the nuances involved when working with living plants, and the many facets of academic research.

Aidan MacDonagh, 2014, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Project: Magnetic Nozzle Research
Organization/Location: Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and Program in Plasma Science and Technology (PPST), Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Dr. Samuel Cohen, Director, Program in Plasma Science and Technology, P.I., Magnetic Nozzle & FRC Experiments, Plasma Physics Laboratory. Lecturer with the rank of Professor in Astrophysical Sciences. Co-Director, Program in Plasma Science and Technology

Magnetic nozzle research, such as the Magnetic Nozzle Experiment (MNX) at PPPL, involves the study of the flow of plasma through spatial constrictions imposed by magnetic fields and physical boundaries that effectively form an analog of the physical nozzle. This research has important applications in both magnetic fusion technology and in spacecraft propulsion technology. This summer I worked under Dr. Samuel Cohen at PPPL, where I conducted particle-in-cell (PIC) code simulations of plasma detachment from a magnetic nozzle. This process of detachment is considered crucial to both thrust production in a propulsion system and efficient energy generation in related fusion technology. My own work and the work of my co-interns addressed various components of Dr. Cohen’s Princeton Field-Reversed Configuration Experiment (PFRC), a reactor concept that could provide small-scale clean and sustainable power generation through nuclear fusion. Thanks to this internship, I not only developed a unique skill set relevant to my research area, but I also gained an understanding of the state of nuclear fusion technology and its importance to our future energy needs. I greatly enjoyed my work at PPPL under Dr. Cohen, and I am looking forward to continuing this work as my senior thesis this coming year.

Nihar Madhavan, 2015, Computer Science

Project: Geodynamics Research in Australia
Organization/Location: Australian National University (ANU), Australia
Adviser(s): Paul Tregoning, Australian National University

My work this summer was with the Geodynamics Research Group of the Research School of Earth Sciences at the Australian National University. Geodynamics, an offshoot of geophysics, studies changes in the earth and geologic phenomena. My project related to levels of ice in the polar regions; my focus was on altitude data from IceSAT, a project run by NASA to measure ice levels in the polar regions. Unfortunately, the satellite taking data was very slightly imprecise; if it was supposed to measure the same area twice over a period of time, the measurements would be slightly off (up to a few hundred meters). This could result in huge mistakes if one directly compared data from different times. The group I worked with was developing a new method to reconcile this data; I worked toward implementing this into a tool that could be generalized and used by others around the world. Although my tool was not completed, I made significant headway, so I truly feel that I contributed to the project. I was also immersed in the research process, and had a direct look into how a research project operates. Although doing this type of work may not be in my future, I found this to be a very valuable experience.

Nina Masters, 2014, Chemistry

Project: Core-Shell Particles
Organization/Location: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Michael McAlpine, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Through my internship this summer, I was able to step outside of the research opportunities typically available to a chemistry major and try my hand at something different—materials science engineering in a mechanical engineering lab. Throughout this experience, I gained valuable skills and made significant headway in preparing myself for my senior thesis.

Eric Materniak, 2014, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Project: Engineering for Advanced Energy Storage Technology
Organization/Location: Lightening Energy, Dover, NJ
Adviser(s): Mike Epstein, Lightening Energy

As an intern at Lightening Energy this past summer, I performed many tasks related to energy storage technology. Lightening Energy, a small company, submits many proposals for military contracts. One such proposal was for a vehicle battery with an increased charge retention life. On just the second day of my internship, we needed to perform a heat transfer calculation to verify the charge retention life of this vehicle battery. This kind of atmosphere made the internship very exciting. As Lightening Energy is considering manufacturing their lithium ion batteries in the near future, I developed a cost model for a lithium ion battery manufacturing plant to determine if the company could compete with large scale manufacturers in Asia. In order to make the batteries affordable on a large scale, Lightening Energy also wanted a new simple and cost-effective case design for their lithium ion cell, which I designed using CAD software. Another part of my internship involved researching alternative materials for fuel cell interconnects. These energy technologies can be used to reduce dependence on fossil fuel power plants which provide extra power to the grid. I thoroughly enjoyed my internship this summer and am considering a career related to energy storage technology or alternative energy.

Ryan McNellis, 2015, Operations Research and Financial Engineering (ORFE)

Project: Models for Energy Distribution and Banking
Organization/Location: Lightening Energy, Dover, NJ
Adviser(s): Michael Epstein, Lightening Energy

My internship with Lightening Energy (LE) this summer was both rewarding and challenging. LE is a company specializing in technology for advanced battery and rapid recharging for electric motor vehicles and military applications. I was responsible for developing the mathematical models and computer code for a new web application that the company is creating. I constructed the web page/user interface for the app and provided presentations on the utility of the app to shareholders and customers of the company. This internship gave me a chance to apply what I learned in my academic studies at Princeton to a real world problem. I’m now considering getting a PhD in operations research after I graduate since what I have learned thus far in the field as an undergraduate prepared me well for the issues I tackled this summer. It also gave me invaluable professional experience; for example, I learned how to make the most out of business meetings and how to present and pitch ideas effectively. Finally, my time at LE helped me to see what it is like to work for a small company, in contrast to doing research at a university, as I did last summer.

Marina Nogueira, 2016, Molecular Biology

Project: Microbial Fuel Cells: Microfluidic Approaches to Microbial Fuel Cells
Organization/Location: Complex Fluids Group - Stone Lab
Adviser(s): Howard Stone, Donald R. Dixon '69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

This summer I investigated the role of biofilm streamers in the clogging of porous materials. Biofilms are bacterial communities that occupy most moist surfaces and are known for clogging industrial flow systems and causing medical-device-associated infections. Previous research in the Stone Lab showed that biofilms, in the presence of flow, can form three-dimensional structures, which bridge the spaces between obstacles and cause sudden and rapid clogging. This summer, we were interested to see if streamers form in porous materials which are used in various filtration systems, and whether these streamers dictate clogging dynamics in real soil. I used microfluidic channels to mimic a soil-like environment. I was then able to look at streamer formation in the channels and gather data, such as flow rates and clogging times, to understand the dynamics in these systems. It was exciting to see that biofilm streamers could form in porous materials like soil and may play a role in the clogging dynamics. I really enjoyed my experience this summer and I was encouraged to keep researching. I will continue to work on the project during the semester and I now know that I would like to pursue a career in science research.

Sindiso Nyathi, 2016, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project: What Trees Could Learn from Alan Greenspan
Organization/Location: Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Adam Wolf, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

I spent the summer working with four other undergraduates and Prof. Adam Wolf assessing the possible effects of changing climate on transpiration and water use in trees–primarily the white oak, black oak and pitch pine. My role was to determine how different levels of water availability affect transpiration in trees. I did this by constructing sap-flow probes, which measure the sap flow rate of trees. These trees were then artificially subjected to varying levels of water availability and their sap flow rates measured. The sap flow rates were then used to calculate transpiration at different times of day and at different water availability levels. In addition to constructing, installing, and maintaining the probes, I wrote the programs used to analyze the data collected. I conducted research to investigate how previous researchers had determined estimates of transpiration, attempted to replicate these methods, and determined which was the most efficient. I gained practical skills in circuit design and circuit construction, working with languages such as CRBasic and Matlab, and working with Dataloggers. The internship has encouraged me, among other things, to further investigate the application of automated computer systems in the monitoring of environmental conditions.

Caden Ohlwiler, 2015, Mechanical Engineering

Project: What Trees Could Learn from Alan Greenspan
Organization/Location: Princeton Ecohydrology Lab, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Adam Wolf, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Current research efforts in Princeton’s ecohydrology lab include studying how trees respond to drought and conducting low-cost environmental monitoring. This summer, I worked on two projects: Designing both a leaf chamber and attachments for the Princeton University Low-Cost Sensors for the Environment (PULSE) sensor project. For the leaf chamber project, I met with a plant researcher at Princeton who advised me on the design and construction of a chamber and provided me with design files for his chamber. I designed a chamber and compiled a parts list. I plan to begin construction of this chamber this fall to study the photosynthetic response of leaves under simulated drought conditions. For the PULSE project, I designed and prototyped attachments for a sensor pod currently being developed in the lab which will provide a low-cost, modular sensor platform suitable for real-time environmental and agricultural monitoring in developing countries. These attachments include connectors for a variety of sensors, an adjustable solar panel mount, and zip-tie attachments for the pod. By using the lab's 3D printer, I was able to move quickly from a conceptual design to a physical part, and iteratively redesign parts based on real-world testing and feedback from my advisor. This internship furthered my interest in product design and rapid prototyping, a field I am seriously considering for my career.

Olamide Oladosu, 2015, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Project: Hematite (FE203)-Based Photoelectrocatalysts for Production of Renewable Hydrogen
Organization/Location: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Bruce Koel, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

I spent my summer immersed in the world of photocatalysis, a field that seeks to harness the power of the sun to efficiently run the reactions that will power our world in the future. I began by doing background research into the role of hematite and other semiconducting materials in catalyzing the splitting of water into its constituent parts. This reaction looks particularly promising because the hydrogen created can be stored and later burned cleanly in oxygen, creating energy and water as the only products. Current research focuses on balancing dopant concentrations and surface morphology in the catalysts in order to find a happy medium that maximizes the turnover of either photocurrent density or gas product for given wavelengths of light. Through the work of assembling and tuning a quadrupole mass spectrometer, I gained experience in the process of analyzing a photocatalyst candidate using temperature programmed desorption (TPD). This internship gave me an in-depth look into the proper design and execution of experimental systems and has really inspired me to pursue research into renewable energy sources as a career path.

Imani Oliver, 2014, Psychology

Project: Teaching Assistant for Conservation Clubs
Organization/Location: Northern Kenyan Conservation Clubs
Adviser(s): Daniel Rubenstein, Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology. Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Chair, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Director, Program in African Studies

During the summer of 2013 I interned with Northern Kenyan Conservation Clubs, based in rural Kenya. The goal of our program was to make young Kenyan students the “new stewards of the land,” using experiential learning as the platform to encourage conservation. Each week, another intern and I taught environmental conservation lessons consisting of hands-on model making and field exploration. I showed my students ice for the first time in their lives, making our lesson on glaciers and global warming more comprehensive. I spoke with educators and program coordinators about ways in which environmental education could be integrated permanently into the national curriculum. The culture of student-teacher and student-household relationships seemed to have an impact on receptivity of information for students. It became evident that these teacher-student interactions could positively supplement an already evolving education system. I believe that examining this important relationship together with teaching strategies in Kenya could even help us with public schools in my hometown. Some day, I hope to enter the field of education policy development in the U.S. to make policies that are best for students of all socioeconomic statuses.

Elizabeth Paul, 2015, Astrophysics

Project: Advanced-Fuel Fusion Reactors
Organization/Location: Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Samuel Cohen, Director, Program in Plasma Science and Technology, P.I., Magnetic Nozzle & FRC Experiments, Plasma Physics Laboratory. Lecturer with the rank of Professor in Astrophysical Sciences. Co-Director, Program in Plasma Science and Technology

Nuclear fusion has long been regarded as a potential alternative to fossil fuels and a technology that could ensure a safe energy future. An advanced fuel fusion reactor, the Field Reversed Configuration, is especially promising as it is smaller and cleaner than the more widely studied tokamak. My project explored the transfer of energy between the very energetic particles produced in the fusion reaction and the plasma in the scrape-off layer, the relatively thin outer layer of the reactor. By the end of the summer I began to understand how to optimize the simulation of this process, and explored new methods of energy dissipation, such as through excitation of plasma waves. As a result of this project,,I gained valuable skills in running and debugging plasma simulations software, data analysis, and navigation of scientific literature. More importantly, my research experience piqued my interest in computation physics and provided me with an appreciation for the interesting physics involved in the study of plasmas and fusion.

Zhaonan Qu, 2015, Math

Zhaonan Qu

Project: Lithium Cooling in Tokamak Scrape-Off Layer
Organization/Location: Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Professor Robert Goldston, Professor of Astrophysical Sciences

Fusion energy is among one of the several most promising new energy resources. The Tokamak is a relatively developed fusion reactor that has been utilized to confine fusion plasma, whose temperature could reach 100 million degrees Celsius, so that fusion reactions can take place. However, a major technical issue remains unsolved for fusion energy reactors: Temperature in the Scrape-Off Layer (SOL, the part of the plasma immediately in contact with reactor walls) remains hard to control, which could lead to severe damage to reactors, breaking a sustainable fusion reaction. To stabilize the temperature in SOL, impurity ions with high radiative power are introduced into the plasma, so that much of the power is dissipated through various atomic and ionic reactions. In short, reduction of heat flux along the magnetic field lines is a crucial step towards a stable temperature. My research for the summer of 2013 focused on establishing and developing a model that predicts the cooling rate and heat flux reduction of several different impurity elements in the fusion plasma. This summer's research position at PPPL provided me with the great opportunity to further develop my work at PPPL last summer, and to work closely with an inspiring figure in plasma physics, Professor Godlston.

Gabrielle Ragazzo, 2015, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project: Crowdsourced Mapping of African Cropland
Organization/Location: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Lyndon Estes, Associate Research Scholar, Woodrow Wilson School and the Program in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy. Lecturer in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

The overall goal of the Mapping Africa Project is to obtain more accurate data concerning agricultural distribution for Sub-Saharan Africa by using an Internet mapping initiative on Amazon Mechanical Turk website. In this initiative, online workers are shown a series of aerial images and paid to map the fields. This summer I helped assess the accuracy of the Project, and also created a brief tutorial video explaining how to map fields. For the accuracy assessment, I edited a collection of aerial images for South Africa and Zambia by drawing field boundaries within them using the spatial analysis software program Quantum GIS. Those images were compared to the workers’ to determine the accuracy of their mapping. I learned how to use the software programs on a fairly advanced level, as well as how to create a video. I also gained insight as to what it is like to work as a researcher in an office setting. While it was a great experience to be closely involved with such a worthwhile project, this internship made me realize that I would like to try something more hands-on in the future.

Kevin Ross, 2014, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project: Mitigating Climate Accelerants
Organization/Location: Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Boulder, CO
Adviser(s): Peter Zalzal, Environmental Defense Fund

This summer, I was an engineering intern on the Climate and Air team for EDF. The majority of the work I performed was based on researching mitigation options for non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. In particular, I was heavily involved in EDF's efforts to develop a strategy for hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) mitigation. HFCs are extremely potent greenhouse gases that are mostly emitted from refrigeration and air conditioning technology. Throughout the summer, I produced a document that outlined mitigation options for HFCs in the U.S. and internationally and for how EDF could begin to pursue these options. In addition to my work on HFCs, I also did research on mitigation of black carbon emissions in the U.S., volatile organic compound emissions in Northern Colorado, and potential green jobs in Ohio. My experience with the EDF was pivotal in determining what I would like to pursue once I graduate. I woke up every morning excited about what I would do at work that day, and it was extremely fulfilling to be working on projects that I believed could make a real difference in the enviornment. As a result, I hope to continue my career in environmental protection.

Chamsi Hssaine, 2016, Amanda Li, 2016, Nihar Madhavan, 2015, Caden Ohlwiler, 2015, Andres Parrado, 2015, Kasturi Shah, 2016, Benjamin Tien, 2015

Project: Potable Water for la Pitajaya
Organization/Location: Princeton University; Perú
Adviser(s): Professor Peter Jaffe, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Associate Director for Research, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

This summer our team travelled to Perú for six weeks to build a potable water system in the community of La Pitajaya, which has no access to drinking water. We aimed to complete the water system for the part of the community at a higher altitude (La Pitajaya Alta), to collect data in the lower part of the community (La Pitajaya Baja) which will inform our technical designs for the Baja water system to be built in summer 2014, and to introduce our educational project of 13 environmental lesson plans in the local school of Samne. Three kilometres of trenched pipeline, one pressure break, several tapstands, hundreds of data points, and multiple school visits later, we are happy to say that we completed the objectives for this trip Potable water is now flowing in la Pitajaya Alta! Facing the problems that inevitably arise with completing a developmental project and being abroad, developed our independence and greatly honed our problem-solving abilities, teamwork skills, and adaptability. Now more than ever before we can appreciate how truly privileged we are. This project has inspired some of our team members to work in international development and humanitarian engineering, for organizations like the Peace Corps and Doctors Without Borders.

Jordan Shivers, 2016, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Project: Microbial Fuel Cells: Microfluidic Approaches to Microbial Fuel Cells
Organization/Location: Princeton University, Princeton,NJ
Adviser(s): Howard Stone, Donald R. Dixon '69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Biofilms are antibiotic-resistant communities of bacteria that adhere to moist surfaces and are responsible for numerous medical device-related infections. Under flow conditions in non-uniform environments, certain bacteria form 3D streamers which span across gaps and can cause rapid clogging. During my internship with the Stone Research Group, I studied some of the mechanics behind the formation of these streamers in several strains of Staphylococcus aureus and the idea of modifying gene expression to control the adherence of these streamers to surfaces. While working on the project, I learned a tremendous amount about biofilms, microfluidics, and bacterial quorum sensing as well as the nuances of working with bacteria in the lab. The internship allowed me to experience the practical application of many ideas I had learned in my biology classes and gave me valuable insight into the challenges and rewards of conducting scientific research. These experiences definitely strengthened my interest in biology and chemistry. I plan to continue working on this project during the school year.

Delphine Slotten, 2015, Woodrow Wilson School

Project: Assessing the Impact of Holistic Management on Cattle Health, Vegetation, and Wildlife
Organization/Location: Grevy's Zebra Trust, Kenya
Adviser(s): Daniel Rubenstein, Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology. Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Chair, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Director, Program in African Studies

My internship work was part of a greater study to determine how two different livestock grazing regimes – traditional and “holistic” – affect the health of livestock; the quantity, quality, and diversity of vegetation; and the presence of wildlife in the West Gate Community Conservancy (WGCC) of Samburu County, Kenya. Some pastoralists in West Gate have adopted “holistic management” practices – namely rotational grazing. However, few quantitative assessments have been conducted to determine the impact of these practices on cattle health, vegetation, and wildlife. Thus, with the principle goal of obtaining quantitative data for analysis, I measured the body conditions, movement, and distance travelled, bite/step rates, and parasite loads of representative samples of distinct cattle populations in WGCC. Because we were in West Gate during the dry season and no notable differences in the effects of the two grazing regimes, if any were observed at all, would be observable until the rainy season, my research partner and I also trained two community members to monitor the project and to continue collecting data after our departure. An unparalleled opportunity and an incredibly rewarding experience, this internship has reinforced my desire to work in the fields of development and natural resource management.

Katherine Smith, 2015, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project: Plant water stress and source: Impacts of herbivory in riparian zones
Organization/Location: Mpala Reserach Centre, Kenya
Adviser(s): Kelly Caylor, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

My project brought together ecology and chemistry, as I worked for both an ecology professor and an engineering professor with an interest in ecohydrology. I spent my time this summer focusing on water; specifically, a river’s interactions with other parts of the ecosystem, including both flora and fauna. I examined the role of grazing on water stress in plants near rivers, as well as the differences in water source in plants located on different bank slopes. On a given day, I would collect soil, grass, and water samples and bring them back to the lab, where I would process the samples to analyze soil moisture and to get an isotopic signature of the water in the plants and soils. These signatures allowed us to quantify the plants’ water sources and their levels of water stress. I learned a great deal about sampling methods and field research biology, both through my project and through other researchers at the center. This project opened my eyes to potential job opportunities, both in formal academia and in managing projects for professors after graduation. I am looking forward to doing more fieldwork as research for my senior thesis, particularly ecological fieldwork with an emphasis on conservation.

Bethany Sneathen, 2016, Molecular Biology

Project: What Trees Could Learn from Alan Greenspan
Organization/Location: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Adam Wolf, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

During my summer internship with the Caylor Lab in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of Princeton University, I studied water transport during drought in oak and pine trees in the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. Global climate change increases the likelihood of droughts to occur and to be increasingly severe; knowing how various tree species respond to drought aids predictions of how an ecosystem will respond to drought. My lab group pursued this topic by inducing drought in some trees while irrigating others with “heavy” water. By doing this, we could analyze the change in certain parameters of plant hydraulics in the drought trees, such as leaf conductivity and turgor loss point, while the leaves and stems of the irrigated trees could be analyzed to determine the isotopic ratios of water as time passed. Through this internship, I learned how imperative teamwork and adaptability are to the operation of a lab. Although my experience with environmental research was enlightening in various ways, I intend to apply the new skills I acquired from this internship to other academic endeavors, as I pursue a concentration in Molecular Biology and a certificate in Global Health and Health Policy.

Nicholas Szamreta, 2014, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Project: Measuring the Intrinsic Capacitance of Graphene/Ionic Liquid Interfaces for High Energy Density Supercapacitors
Organization/Location: Ceramic Materials Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Ilhan Aksay, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering; David Bozym, Ph.D. candidate, Chemical and Biological Engineering

This past summer, I had the pleasure of working in the Ceramic Materials Laboratory at Princeton University, where I researched the potential applications of functionalized graphene sheets (FGSs) and room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) in supercapacitors. Supercapacitors present advantages over batteries, because they have much higher power densities and cycle lives. In other words, they charge and discharge more quickly than batteries and remain stable for a large number of these cycles. However, the energy density of such devices needs to be increased substantially to compete with batteries. The energy density of a supercapacitor is dependent upon the total voltage applied to the device and the capacitance of the electrode material. The coupling of FGSs and RTILs addresses both of these factors: RTILs remain stable over a large voltage window, while the high specific surface area of FGSs allows for more charge storage. I spent the summer investigating the capacitance that is intrinsic to the interface between these two materials. In addition to becoming experienced with electrochemical methods, such as impedance spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry, I also obtained data that are both interesting and relevant to the field. My findings are promising and provide motivation for continued research, something that I plan on doing as part of my senior thesis this coming year.

Aleksandra Szczuka, 2014, Chemical Engineering

Project: Mercury Uptake in the Shewanella Oneidensis
Organization/Location: Morel Lab, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): François Morel, Professor Albert G. Blanke, Jr., Professor of Geosciences; Jeffra Schaefer, Research Scholar, Geosciences

The overall goal of my project in the Morel lab was to explore the accumulation of mercury as methylmercury in the environment. Alongside research scholar Jeffra Schaefer, I compared the rates of mercury uptake in the mercury methylating bacterium Geobacter and the non-mercury methylating bacterium Shewanella. This was done by comparing the amount of Mercury taken up in the presence of different thiols and various metals. While my work this summer does not necessarily point to the purpose of methylmercury formation, I was able to learn new laboratory techniques that included growing cells under anaerobic conditions, harvesting cells, and washing cells. Through this experience I gained insight into the ups and downs of experimental work and learned to adjust accordingly. I enjoyed my summer experience in the laboratory, and I plan on continuing and building on my project through the course of my senior year. My summer experience has influenced my decision to attend graduate school and pursue an environment-related degree.

Ian Tamargo, 2014, Chemistry

Project: LED Displays
Organization/Location: McAlpine Research Group, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Michael McAlpine, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

As a chemistry major with limited exposure to disciplines outside of chemistry and molecular biology, I have learned much about research in mechanical and electrical engineering, and particularly in materials science during this internship. The research that I have done this summer will contribute to my senior thesis. As I am interested in pursuing an MD-PhD degree after college, this internship has encouraged me to consider a PhD in biomedical engineering.

Tyler Tamasi, 2015, Chemistry

Project: Designing Organic Small-Molecules for Use in Organic Solar Cells
Organization/Location: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Yueh-Lin Loo,Theodora D. '78 and William H. Walton III '74 Professor in Engineering Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering Associate Director for External Partnerships, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment; Jia Gao, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Chemical and Biological Engineering

As an intern with the Loo Organic and Polymer Electronics Laboratory in the Princeton Chemical and Biological Engineering Department, I worked on making new organic small-molecules for use in solar cells. These compounds centered around an isoindigo core. Throughout my project, I began to elucidate how differences and variants of this chemical structure affect performance in solar cells. From carrying out novel organic synthesis to meeting with and learning from experts in the field, I gained immeasurable insight into both the world of organic electronics and, specifically, polymer and small-molecule solar cells. As a chemistry major entering the field of energy technologies and hoping to contribute to solving the global energy crisis, being able to work with individuals that have such insight into the current status of organic electronics has created an invaluable springboard for my future research and opportunities.

Elizabeth Tolman, 2015, Physics

Project: The Relationship between Spectroscopic and Probe Measurements in the TU/e Fusor
Organization/Location: Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
Adviser(s): Maarten de Bock, Eindhoven University of Technology

This summer, I worked with the fusion department at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. One of the department’s experiments is an advanced fusor, which is a fusion reactor that confines its plasma using a large electric field. Although not likely to produce net energy, the fusor could one day be a commercial source of neutrons; it also provides opportunities for studying the general behavior of plasmas. As part of my internship, I automated the fusor’s pressure and voltage measuring systems. In addition, I researched the relationship between potential measurements made with a probe inserted into the fusor and spectroscopic measurements of light coming from the fusor. The internship allowed me to gain more knowledge of plasma physics and also to gain more familiarity with experimental physics. I enjoyed these experiences, so I hope to continue learning about plasma physics in the future through my independent work at Princeton. In addition, I am now considering going to graduate school in plasma physics.

Amy Tourgee, 2014, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project: Role of Fire in Nutrient Cycling in Brazil and the Pine Barrens
Organization/Location: Hedin Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Adam Pellegrini, Ph.D. candidate, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

This past summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to work in the Hedin Laboratory at Princeton studying the role of fire in nutrient limitation. For one project, I worked on a meta-analysis to determine whether there was a difference in composition of nitrogen-fixing woody species along the forest-savanna gradient in neo-tropical areas of Brazil and Africa. Because savannas in these areas experience a much higher fire occurrence than forests, the goal of the meta-analysis was to determine whether fire might be a driver of this composition difference. Another project also involved studying the interaction between fire and nutrient cycling, but in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. I was able to design an experiment and conduct fieldwork in areas of the Pinelands that had drastically different fire regimes and soil fertility. Working in the Hedin lab was always fascinating because we were trying to answer a question that had never really been explored before. Overall, the internship was a transformative experience as I learned about the rigors of research, and subsequently grew tremendously as a scientist. I’m continuing work on the meta-analysis for my thesis, and I look forward to sharing the final results of the analysis later in the year.

Sean Treacy, 2016, Chemistry

Project: What Trees Could Learn From Alan Greenspan
Organization/Location: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s): Adam Wolf, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

This past summer I worked in the Caylor Ecohydrology lab helping to develop a model that describes how trees manage limited water resources. I primarily used a Scanning Electron Microscope to characterize xylem microphysiology in Pine and Oak species from the New Jersey Pinelands during different climate conditions. I learned to use MATLAB and create bash scripts in the terminal. Using both, I made a program that created and stored continuous data visualizations for the isotope analyzer in the lab. During my PEI internship, I developed more programming skills and had the opportunity to use advanced and primitive technologies to perform ecological research. I now know much more about laboratory and field research across various disciplines. Working as a team to complete various goals, my coworkers and I forwarded the frontier in our understanding of tree ecology. I plan to use the experience I have gained to engage in more environmental research projects and focus my studies around biological and environmental chemistry. I hope to someday conduct field research as part of a career in environmental sciences.

Regina Wang, 2014, Geosciences

Project: Testing for Microplastic Contamination in the Eastern Aegean Sea
Organization/Location: Archipelagos Marine Institute, Greece
Adviser(s): Anastasia Miliou, Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation

This summer I worked at Archipelagos Marine Institute to collect and filter sediment and fish samples that I hope to analyze for microplastic contamination back at Princeton as part of my senior thesis. Throughout the summer, I snorkeled to collect sediment samples, dissected fish for stomach contents, and mixed both in saturated salt solutions that I then filtered and shipped back to Princeton. I also participated in underwater visual census surveys to track invertebrate populations and prepared entries for a wildlife library on the habitat and behavior of common species found in the region. Throughout the internship, I gained first-hand experience working in a nonprofit conservation organization overseas. I also gained practical skills through conducting field work and designing my own project; and I collected potentially useful data for my senior thesis.

Megan Wellons, 2015, Operations Research and Finanacial Engineering

Project: Native Plant Propigation Optimization Research
Organization/Location: American Native Nursery, Pennsylvania
Adviser(s): Mark Brownlee, American Native Nursery

The goal of my internship with American Native Nursery was to research native plant propagation methods and to develop an Excel model that nurseries can use to run experiments to maximize their yield. For the model we used the Taguchi method. In traditional models, all combinations of levels (amount or type) of all factors (e.g. fertilizer, soil drainage) need to be tested to calculate results. The Taguchi method allows you to determine the optimal level of several factors and their relative significance with a much smaller number of experiments. In order to develop a good model I spent several weeks researching propagation methods. I then determined which factors should be tested and began building the models in Excel. Once my models were completed, I spent the final weeks of my internship tweaking the models’ user interface and writing user’s manuals so the models could be used and understood by laymen. Through this internship I gained a lot of experience in running my own long-term technical project and creating a mathematical model that is easy to use and understand. This internship has confirmed my desire to use mathematical models–both in my academic study and in life beyond Princeton – in order improve processes that are not typically analyzed.

Michael Wiest, 2015, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Project: Microplastics in the Aegean Sea
Organization/Location: Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation, Greece
Adviser(s): Anastasia Miliou, Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation

My research this past summer focused on analyzing microplastic concentrations in Aegean Sea sediment and in Aegean sea cucumbers. Microplastics are a growing threat not only to international waters but also to the health of marine life and humans; they endure for an extremely long time and accumulate organic toxins which can be transmitted into the trophic chain. My main project consisted of sampling sediment in the sea along the shore, at depths of 3 meters and 6 meters, and finding sea cucumbers and collecting their excrement. I then compared the microplastic concentration of the excrement to that of the surrounding sediment. I altered the methodology for sampling sediment and sea cucumbers to make the data more comparable on a per mass basis. I also prompted the research to analyze organic toxin concentrations in the collected microplastic samples. I gained many skills related to collecting samples and the proper ways of storing and organizing them. I also became very proficient at analyzing microscope slides for microplastics. This research has reaffirmed my love of marine biology and it makes me want to introduce it into my major.

Claire Zarakas, 2016, Geosciences

Project: Scaling and Coupling of the Atmosphere with Land Ecosystems
Organization/Location: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Panama); Medvigy Group (Princeton University)
Adviser(s): David Medvigy, Assistant Professor of Geosciences

This summer I investigated herbivory in nitrogen-fixing trees as compared to non-nitrogen-fixing trees in tropical second-growth forests. I spent the first half of the internship doing field work in Panama, where I helped design and implement an experiment that consisted of collecting leaf samples from nitrogen-fixing and non-nitrogen-fixing trees and setting up a comparative branch enclosure study. I then returned to Princeton where I worked with the Ecosystem Demography Model 2 to simulate how herbivory impacts the accumulation of biomass in secondary succession. I feel very fortunate to have experienced both field research and computational research through PEI; I will continue the computational component with David Medvigy during the academic year. In addition to developing my technical skills, this internship exposed me to a wide range of scientific research and a fascinating community of scholars. It has inspired me to major in geosciences, solidified my commitment to address environmental change professionally, and excited me about the prospect of continuing research at Princeton and beyond.

Nicole Zenes, 2015, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project: Impacts of Natural Gas Pipeline Construction in the Delaware River Watershed
Organization/Location: Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN), Pike County, PA and Sussex County, NJ
Adviser(s): Joseph Zenes, Delaware Riverkeeper Network

This summer I worked with the DRN monitoring the construction of a natural gas pipeline by Tennessee Gas Company (TGP). My father works as an environmental scientist for DRN and I joined his project of monitoring the work done by TGP, making sure they followed proper environmental regulations. Almost daily visits were required to different locations on the pipeline; we mainly focused on sites along a 12-mile section. We documented violations when they were discovered. I was required to write official reports to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection that described my findings. This internship also offered opportunities to network and attend larger conferences. I gave a presentation at the National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia detailing the work I had done over the summer. I also helped to develop a program to train local volunteers as watchdogs to help monitor pipelines being constructed elsewhere. While this was an extremely rewarding experience, I realized that I want to focus more on marine biology and research as a career instead of public outreach and environmentalism.

Jennifer Zhou, 2016, Woodrow Wilson School

Project: Energy Analysis and Advocacy in China
Organization/Location: National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), China
Adviser(s): Alvin Lin, National Resources Defense Council

As the summer intern for the Climate and Energy Policy team at the NRDC Beijing office, my primary project was NRDC's Climate and Energy Map. The Map was designed as an innovative and interactive platform with which the public could access and better understand China's energy portfolio and climate data. My role in the project was primarily updating the data for all the maps and graphs for 2011. I was also part of the pioneering team that would collect and analyze energy data to create China's first energy flow chart for 2011. I was required at times to help with translation and editing of scientific reports as well as presentations for the climate team. Through this internship, I learned about and contributed to the true fundamental importance of data transparency, accessibility, and agglomeration, all issues that the Chinese government struggles with. Although I am just a freshman, my work with the Climate and Energy Map allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of energy consumption, production, and renewable source potential, which has really stimulated me to think about the possibility of an Environmental Studies Certificate. This internship certainly strengthened my data analysis and innovative thinking skills.