Robert Rhew, Professor

Open (1) Soils and atmospheric chemistry

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

We are interested in quantifying the natural sources and sinks and understanding the terrestrial biogeochemistry of halogenated trace gases. Students will learn methods of prepping air sampling equipment, conducting laboratory chamber incubations, and analyzing samples on a gas chromatograph/ mass spectrometer (GC/MS) and GC-electron capture detector (GC-ECD). Students will also learn how to analyze soil samples for halide ion content, moisture, pH, and bulk density. There may be the opportunity to continue field and lab research with our group through the summer and for senior thesis research. Most URAP students participate for more than one semester, but prior commitment is not needed. Lab meetings every other week in addition to regularly scheduled work hours.

Tasks: Controlled experiments in the laboratory, note taking, soil measurements, analysis of results, some field work possible.
Learning outcomes: Knowledge of gas flow and measurement techniques, ability to keep good records, a sense of concentrations and good laboratory technique.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Yi Jiao, Graduate Student

Qualifications: Qualifications: Sophomore to senior undergraduates majoring in environmental science, physical science, chemistry, biological science, engineering or other sciences are very welcome for this position. Applicants must be able to do careful research independently, have a respect for data quality and be able to work in a team of scientists. If interested in field work, the field work can be physically challenging, and applicants should be able to do clean measurements under earthy conditions. Applicants should have taken at least one laboratory class. We expect to accept 1-2 new URAP students

Weekly Hours: 6-9 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: During week: on-campus

Related website: http://rhewlab.geog.berkeley.edu

Open (2) Measuring plant BVOC emissions with branch chambers

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

This project involves developing branch chambers and utilizing them to measure fluxes of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) from trees. Students will learn methods of prepping air sampling equipment and analyzing samples on a gas chromatograph/ mass spectrometer (GC/MS) and GC-electron capture detector (GC-ECD). There may be the opportunity to continue field and lab research with our group through the summer and for senior thesis research. Most URAP students participate for more than one semester, but prior commitment is not needed. Lab meetings every other week in addition to regularly scheduled work hours.


Tasks: Careful workup of analytical data, comparison with literature, and detective work to identify sources.
Learning outcomes: Gas chromatography instrument operation and data analysis, ability to read scientific literature.

Qualifications: Qualifications: Sophomore to senior undergraduates majoring in environmental science, physical science, chemistry, biological science, engineering or other sciences are very welcome for this position. Applicants must be able to do careful research independently, have a respect for data quality and be able to work in a team of scientists. Work may entail working at altitude so a tolerance for at heights is necessary. Applicants should have taken at least one laboratory class.

Weekly Hours: 6-9 hrs

Related website: http://rhewlab.geog.berkeley.edu

Open (3) Mapping air toxics

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

This project will entail mapping the distribution of air quality chemistry data over California. Students should have a strong concept of how to properly map and display pollution data. Describe GIS or spatial mapping skills in your application.

Tasks: Students will use GIS software to produce maps of air toxics, and identify hotspots of pollution in California. If there is time, field trips will go to these sites to pinpoint sources.

Qualifications: Seeking 1 URAP student. Required qualifications: Sophomore to senior. GIS skills and knowledge of air pollution. Preference for Geography majors, but not required.

Weekly Hours: 3-6 hrs

Open (4) Climate change in the eastern Sierra

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

This project entails the data analysis of climate data from both publicly available weather stations as well as the Sagehen Creek field station meteorological towers in order to determine a regional climate picture from the Truckee/Tahoe region. Suitable for senior research project.

The project will roughly entail the following: R to download meteorology data, spreadsheets to organize data, matlab or python to process time series of data, and plotting program to analyze results.

Qualifications: Knowledge of climate science and/or meteorology. Students must have the ability to deal with 'big data', so data science familiarity is a must. The field station results will need quality control checks so careful analytical skills are required. Knowledge of software packages and ability to work independently.

Weekly Hours: 6-9 hrs

Related website: http://sagehen.ucnrs.org/index.html