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 The S​URGE Participant will:
  • increase their academic and social integration with other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) students, faculty, professionals, and industry creating pathways to: 
    • working with faculty and/or industry advisors in defining research goals, processes and data analysis
    • conduct small scale research projects that involve data collection and analysis 
    • creating and presenting a research poster at the COS STEM Symposium or at a National STEM Conference
    • create opportunities for summer research internships and/or summer jobs related to their field of study
    • travel scholarships for professional conferences
    • educational funding and scholarship opportunities
 Check out COS STEM Symposium Books with STEM student projects: Fall 2015 STEM Symposium Book ​  
                                                                                                            fall 2014 Symposium Book.pdf​ 

 

Available Projects

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Majors
  
  
  
Abstract
  
  
  
Project TitleAbiotic and Biotic Factors Influencing Vernal Pool Biota
College/Industry CollaborationCollege of the Sequoias
Mentor/AdvisorBobby Kamansky
MajorsAll STEM Majors
Number of Students1-3
Required Courses & SkillsMust have completed a college biology course with a grade of C or better.
Abstract

This project explores water and soil physical-chemical properties and their relationships to vernal pool invertebrate presence and absence. Investigators will sample soils and water along with collecting biological data to determine the relationships among aquatic environments and the biota living within the wetlands. After field investigations collecting appropriate data, lab and statistical analyses will correlate the presence/absence of various wetland invertebrates with water and soil physical-chemical properties.

 

StatusOpen
TimelineVariable days and times depending on faculty lead schedule
Application Deadline5/25/2016
 
Project TitleApplication of Ascophyllum nodosum (Acadian Seaplants) extract to pistachio for mitigation of drought stress.
College/Industry CollaborationCollege of the Sequoias
Mentor/AdvisorDr. Elizabeth Fichtner
MajorsAll STEM Majors
Number of Students2
Required Courses & Skillsstudent must be willing to do field work in heat, basic excel skills, interest in agriculture, plant science, or related fields
Abstract

Research by our team in 2015 determined that Acadian, a commercially available extract from a seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) induces resistance of pistachio rootstocks to soilborne fungi.  We similarly found that application of trees with Acadian in the laboratory mitigated plant water stress, as determined by measurement of stem water potential.  To test the hypothesis that the product is of benefit to pistachio trees in marginal soil, a large scale field trial was established in April 2016.  A pistachio grower/cooperator in Fresno,Co. applied Acadian through the irrigation system within a commercial block, leaving untreated blocks in the orchard.  The product will be applied monthly throughout the growing season.

During the summer of 2016, we will test whether the application of Acadian to the roots affected plant water stress and plant nutritional status.  The SURGE intern will travel to the field site with mentor to measure midday stem water potential in treated and untreated blocks.  Additionally, leaf samples will be taken from treated and untreated blocks to determine if differences in plant nutrient status result from Acadian treatment.

 Student will have the opportunity to collect data in the field and then analyze and interpret the data in the lab.  Student will learn basic statistics (mostly t-tests) and how to read foliar tissue analysis tables. ​

StatusOpen
TimelineJune, July, August various days
Application Deadline5/24/2016
 
Project TitleCan pre-plant treatment of walnut roots with mycorrhizal inoculum (beneficial fungi) enhance growth and plant nutritional status?
College/Industry CollaborationUniversity of California
Mentor/AdvisorDr. Elizabeth Fichtner
MajorsAll STEM Majors
Number of Students1
Required Courses & Skills
Abstract

To test the putative benefit of mycorrhizal fungi, plant growth promoting bacteria, and resistance-inducing products to commercial walnut, a research trial was established in April 2016 at the Lindcove Research and Extension Center in Exeter, CA.  All treatments included in the study are either fit the description of “organic” or are considered “bio-rationale.” At planting trees were inoculated with a commercially available mycorrhizal product (MycoApply EndoMAXX, Valent).  Approximately 10 days post-plant, a subset of trees were treated with a mixture of root colonizing bacteria (Bacillus spp.) (Activate, Natural Resources Group) or a natural extract of willow and walnut (Root Rx, Redox Chemical). Plots were set up in a randomized complete block design and therefore, all data collected will be analyzed statistically.

 During the summer of 2016, a student intern will take data including:  tree height, midday stem water potential, foliar nutrient analysis, and rootstock girth. Student will be independently responsible for data collection (with help), entering data, and will actively assist in the statistical analysis of data.​ 

StatusOpen
TimelineJune, July, August various days
Application Deadline5/24/2016
 
Project TitleEcological Restoration Design and Student Mentoring for Eleanor Roosevelt Community Learning Center
College/Industry CollaborationCollege of the Sequoias
Mentor/AdvisorBobby Kamansky
MajorsBiology, Chemistry, Plant Science, particularly with interest in agriculture, Agricultural Science, Soil Science
Number of Students1-3
Required Courses & SkillsMust have completed a college biology course with a grade of C or better.
Abstract

Investigators will utilize the restoration vision for the 7-acre ERCLC campus and its 5-7 restoration zones developed by students, staff and Kamansky’s Ecological Consulting to design and begin implementing a restoration program on the Campus. The program will utilize ERCLC students, mentored in direct field work and planning by COS students, ERCLC staff and professionals to develop planning and implementation project-based learning experiences. The program will yield a deeper appreciation for the local ecology, plant, animal and human interactions and foster an appreciation and conservation of the local environment.

 

StatusOpen
Timeline
Application Deadline5/26/2016
 
Project TitleEpidemiology and strain diversity of bacteria causing mastitis within and among dairy cattle herds
College/Industry CollaborationDairyExperts
Mentor/AdvisorDr. Alfonso Lago, DVM, Diplomate ABVP, PhD
MajorsAll STEM Majors
Number of Students2
Required Courses & Skillsmicrobiology coursework, intellectual curiosity, attention to detail and hard worker, interest in health science and research
Abstract

Low diversity of bacteria strains isolated from mastitis cases suggests contagious transmission of the disease within a herd. Conversely, high diversity suggests the environment as the source of infection. The aim of this study is to evaluate strain diversity of bacteria causing mastitis within and among dairy cattle herds. Isolates from mastitis cases will be compared using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR typing. To compare the strain diversities between isolate populations from milk and from other sources, Simpson's index of discrimination (SID) and its 95% confidence interval (CI) will be used.​

 

 

StatusOpen
TimelineJune thru July 2016
Application Deadline5/24/2016
 
Project TitlePlant Science for the future - Woodlake Water Conservation
College/Industry CollaborationBravo Lake Botanical Garden
Mentor/AdvisorManuel Jimenez
MajorsAll STEM Majors
Number of Students2
Required Courses & Skills1. They need to have a personal computer. 2. They need basic skills in Word software. 3. They need transportation to the community of Woodlake.
Abstract

Project A: WaterConservation The City of Woodlake is currently installing water meters. This is the perfect time to help the community learn about water conservation while saving money on their monthly water bill. The information will also be useful for all communities through California.

This project will include collecting data on local water use patterns, research existing and “state-of the-art” water conservation concepts and practices, develop practical water use practices that will foster improved water conservation while maintaining  the quality of life and assure the health and beauty of their landscape plants and home gardens. The students will develop a poster what will educate the community about the critical need to conserve water. Describe specific ways they can reduce water consumption. In addition the poster will be placed on the kiosks of the Bravo lake Botanical Garden and made available to Garden stores and nurseries throughout the County.

StatusOpen
TimelineJune, July, August
Application Deadline5/31/2016
 
Project TitleRelationship between vernal pool physio-chemical parameters and vernal pool biota.
College/Industry CollaborationCollege of the Sequoias
Mentor/AdvisorBobby Kamansky
MajorsAll STEM Majors
Number of Students1-3
Required Courses & SkillsInterest in local ecology and biology, some coursework in chemistry, biology, and/or physics
Abstract

This project explores water and soil physical-chemical properties and their relationships to vernal pool invertebrate presence and absence. This project is in its third year of research and manuscript publication is expected.

Investigators will sample soils, water along with biological data to determine the relationships among aquatic environments and the biota wetlands house. After field investigations collecting appropriate data, lab and statistical analyses will correlate the presence/absence of various wetland invertebrates with water and soil physical-chemical properties.​ 

StatusOpen
TimelineResearch for this project is on-going. However, a phase of the research will be complete by July, 2016.
Application Deadline5/24/2016
 
Project TitleRestoration Design and Student Mentoring for Eleanor Roosevelt Learning Center
College/Industry Collaboration
Mentor/AdvisorBobby Kamansky
MajorsAll STEM Majors
Number of Students3
Required Courses & SkillsInterest in local ecology and biology
Abstract

Investigators will utilize the restoration vision for the 7-acre ERLA campus and its 5-7 restoration zones developed by students, to design and begin implementing a restoration program on the Campus. The program will utilize ERLA students, mentored in direct field work and planning by COS students, ERLA and professionals to develop planning and implementation project-based learning experiences. The program will yield a deeper appreciation for the local ecology, plant, animal and human interactions and foster an appreciation and conservation of the local environment.

 

 

StatusOpen
TimelineJune, July, August
Application Deadline5/24/2016
 
Project TitleThe science behind Clinical Laboratory Science profession
College/Industry CollaborationCollege of the Sequoias
Mentor/AdvisorNina Cano and Bill Fleming
MajorsAll STEM Majors
Number of Students1
Required Courses & Skillscompletion of chem 20 or chem 1, Bio 20, Algebra II
Abstract

Students will spend one week in both the clinical and microbiology labs for a total of 40 laboratory hours. During this time students will get to observe the science behind the clinical laboratory profession as well as complete a project.

Projects will include clinical case studies:

Sepsis- instruments and tests used to diagnose sepsis, chemistry behind these tests, chemistry changes within the body, source of sepsis, pathogens causing sepsis.

Urinary tract infections- tests used to diagnose UTI, chemistry behind these tests, percent positive UTI’s seen in the clinical microbiology lab, analyze one weeks of data identifying most common pathogens by percent.

New instrument installation- instrument setup, methodology comparison (new vs. old), intended purpose of testing, instrument methodology, fluorescent microscopy technology.

Additional projects:

Hematology- Learn instrument methodology, flow cell technology, instrument engineering.

Chemistry- Learn the chemistry behind each test, instrument engineering.

Urinalysis- Learn instrument methodology, instrument engineering.

 ​

StatusOpen
Timeline
Application Deadline5/23/2016
 
*The COS Student Undergraduate Research Group Experience (SURGE) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
Last Updated: 2/18/2016 10:46 AM