Robert Rhew, Professor

Closed (1) Soils and atmospheric chemistry

Applications for Spring 2018 are now closed for this project.

SPRING 2018: We are seeking 1-2 new URAP students to join the team working on this project. 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



Closed (2) Expanding field research opportunities in the eastern Sierras

Applications for Spring 2018 are now closed for this project.

SPRING 2018: we are seeking one motivated undergraduate for this unique internship. The undergraduate intern will work with the professor to help develop a multi-week summer undergraduate volunteer program to conduct research and maintenance at the Sagehen Creek Field Research Station in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains. The intern will conduct an academic review of the research history conducted at Sagehen and incorporate that research into an academic program that can be used at the field station. This position may include multi-day field trips to the Sagehen Creek research station.


Tasks: Library research and scientific literature review, fieldwork, and organization of logistics for a multi-week program.
Learning outcomes: Ability to collect, review and summarize scientific literature. Ability to organize schedules and people. Ability to communicate research goals.


Qualifications: Required qualifications: students need a strong scientific background, with a preferred (but not required) background in freshwater ecology, hydrology, or forest management. Skills with spreadsheets, word-processing, and web design are valued. Students should have excellent organization and communication skills, be creative, be able to work in a diverse group and be willing to explore the outdoors.

Weekly Hours: 3-6 hrs

Related website: http://rhewlab.geog.berkeley.edu
Related website: http://sagehen.ucnrs.org/

Closed (3) Mapping air toxics

Closed. This professor is continuing with Fall 2017 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Spring 2018.

This project is currently closed for Spring 2018, but if you are really interested in this project, please indicate this, as the program may have opportunities to join. 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

Closed (4) Climate change in the eastern Sierra

Applications for Spring 2018 are now closed for this project.

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. In the spring semester (2018), we are expanding this program to develop field based sensors that can communicate wirelessly to transmit additional information.



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/