The pages of this report were printed on carbon-neutral, 100% recycled FSC-certifed paper.

The
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifcation guarantees that trees used to produce this paper were
procured from responsibly managed forests. All copies were printed on a Xerox iGen 4 digital color
production press. The Xerox iGen 4 is ecofriendly; up to 97% of the machine’s components are recyclable
or remanufacturable.
In the summer of 2013, 72 Princeton undergraduates affliated with the
Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) held environmental assignments including positions
with faculty-led research projects and as interns with NGOS, government, industry, and
academic enterprises around the globe.
From their collective backgrounds in 22 academic disciplines, the 2013 summer interns
addressed scientifc, technical, policy, and human dimensions of global environmental
problems. Students beneftted from strong ties to the Grand Challenges Program – an
integrated research and teaching program designed to address critical global environmental
issues for the 21st century. Students explored a broad range of topics including: changing
climate and its environmental impacts, dynamics of the ocean and atmosphere, carbon
emissions and the terrestrial biosphere, land use and biodiversity, energy technology
innovation, environmental policy, ecosystem health and sustainability, and environmental
education and outreach.
Students travelled to internship destinations in 12 foreign countries, 5 American states and
the District of Columbia. Forty-nine (49) students held positions with faculty-led research
projects. Several students’ work contributed to the development of new technologies and
models. Others published journal articles and, in many instances, student summer experiences
are serving as the foundation for continuing research and academic study.
This booklet provides an overview of each student’s assignment as experienced through
the 2013 internship program. The diversity of students’ backgrounds, talents, interests, and
contributions is evident in the summary descriptions of their projects and experiences.
For more information, please contact us via e-mail at peintern@princeton.edu.
Pranav Badami ‘15 ..................... 29
Vincent Bai ‘14 ............................30
Emily Bobrick ‘15 ........................ 62
Ethan Campbell ‘16 ................... 31
Alison Campion ‘16 ..................... 6
Ismael Catovic ‘15 ...................... 32
Brian Chang ‘16 .......................... 33
Elliot Chang ‘16 ...........................34
Michael S. Chang ‘16 .................. 7
Tiffany Cheung ‘15 ...................... 8
Jonathan Choi ‘15 ...................... 63
Marius Constantin ‘14 .............. 35
Allanna Daniels ‘16 ...................... 9
Jacob Eisenberg ‘16 ..................36
Chantelle Ekanem ‘16 .............. 37
Bruna Favetta ‘15 ....................... 10
Elizabeth Gatto ‘16 .................... 11
Manali Gokhale ‘16....................64
Christopher Gordon ‘15...........38
Ray Grossman ‘15 ...................... 65
Sarthak Gupta ‘14 ...................... 39
Katrina Hall ‘14 ............................ 12
Eliza Harkins ‘14 ..........................66
Rebecca Haynes ‘15 .................. 13
David Hoyos ‘16 ......................... 14
Chamsi Hssaine ‘16 ...................2 8
Tzu-Yung Huang ‘15 ..................40
Ani Ivanova ‘14 ........................... 15
Peter Johnsen ‘15 ...................... 41
Kelsey Kane-Ritsch ‘16 ............. 67
Emily Kaplan ‘14 ......................... 16
Indira Kissoondyal ‘16 .............. 17
Amanda Li ‘16, ............................ 28
Kathryn Little ‘16 ....................... 18
Rebecca Lowy ‘16 ...................... 19
Jordan Lubkeman ‘16 ............... 42
Aidan MacDonagh ‘14 ............. 43
Nihar Madhavan ‘15 .................. 20
Nihar Madhavan ‘15 .................. 28
Nina Masters ‘14 .........................44
Eric Materniak ‘14 ...................... 45
Ryan McNellis ‘15 .......................46
Marina Nogueira ‘16 ................. 47
Sindiso Nyathi ‘16 ......................48
Caden Ohlwiler ‘15 .................... 28
Caden Ohlwiler ‘15 .................... 49
Olamide Oladosu ‘15 ................ 50
Imani Oliver ‘14...........................68
Andres Parrado ‘15 .................... 28
Elizabeth Paul ‘15 ....................... 51
Zhaonan Qu ‘15 .......................... 52
Gabrielle Ragazzo ‘15 ............... 69
Kevin Ross ‘14 .............................. 53
Kasturi Shah ‘16 .......................... 28
Jordan Shivers ‘16......................54
Delphine Slotten ‘15 ................. 70
Katherine Smith ‘15................... 71
Bethany Sneathen ‘16 .............. 55
Nicholas Szamreta ‘14 ..............56
Aleksandra Szczuka ‘14 ........... 21
Ian Tamargo ‘14 .......................... 57
Tyler Tamasi ‘15 .......................... 58
Benjamin Tien ‘15 ...................... 28
Elizabeth Tolman ‘15 ................ 59
Amy Tourgee ‘14 ........................22
Sean Treacy ‘16 ...........................60
Regina Wang ‘14 ........................23
Megan Wellons ‘15 .................... 24
Michael Wiest ‘15 .......................25
Claire Zarakas ‘16 ....................... 61
Nicole Zenes ‘15 ......................... 26
Jennifer Zhou ‘16 ....................... 27
INDEX OF ALL INTERNS ALPHABETICALLY
INDEX OF PROJECTS BY CATEGORY
Sustainability
Alison Campion ‘16 ..................... 6
Michael S. Chang ‘16 .................. 7
Tiffany Cheung ‘15 ...................... 8
Allanna Daniels ‘16 ...................... 9
Bruna Favetta ‘15 ....................... 10
Elizabeth Gatto ‘16 .................... 11
Katrina Hall ‘14 ............................ 12
Rebecca Haynes ‘15 .................. 13
David Hoyos ‘16 ......................... 14
Chamsi Hssaine ‘16 ................... 28
Ani Ivanova ‘14 ........................... 15
Emily Kaplan ‘14 ......................... 16
Indira Kissoondyal ‘16 .............. 17
Amanda Li ‘16, ............................ 28
Kathryn Little ‘16 ....................... 18
Rebecca Lowy ‘16 ...................... 19
Nihar Madhavan ‘15 .................. 20
Nihar Madhavan ‘15 .................. 28
Caden Ohlwiler ‘15 .................... 28
Andres Parrado ‘15 .................... 28
Kasturi Shah ‘16 .......................... 28
Aleksandra Szczuka ‘14 ........... 21
Benjamin Tien ‘15 ...................... 28
Amy Tourgee ‘14 ........................22
Regina Wang ‘14 ........................23
Megan Wellons ‘15 .................... 24
Michael Wiest ‘15 .......................25
Nicole Zenes ‘15 ......................... 26
Jennifer Zhou ‘16 ....................... 27
Climate & Energy
Pranav Badami ‘15 ..................... 29
Vincent Bai ‘14 ............................30
Ethan Campbell ‘16 ................... 31
Ismael Catovic ‘2015 ................. 32
Brian Chang ‘16 .......................... 33
Elliot Chang ‘16 ...........................34
Marius Constantin ‘14 .............. 35
Jacob Eisenberg ‘16 ..................36
Chantelle Ekanem ‘16 .............. 37
Christopher K Gordon ‘15 .......38
Sarthak Gupta ‘14 ...................... 39
Tzu-Yung Huang ‘15 ..................40
Peter Johnsen ‘15 ...................... 41
Jordan Lubkeman ‘16 ............... 42
Aidan MacDonagh ‘14 ............. 43
Nina Masters ‘14 .........................44
Eric Materniak ‘14 ...................... 45
Ryan McNellis ‘15 .......................46
Marina Nogueira ‘16 ................. 47
Sindiso Nyathi ‘16 ......................48
Caden Ohlwiler ‘15 .................... 49
Olamide Oladosu ‘15 ................ 50
Elizabeth Paul ‘15 ....................... 51
Zhaonan Qu ‘15 .......................... 52
Kevin Ross ‘14 .............................. 53
Jordan Shivers ‘16......................54
Bethany Sneathen ‘16 .............. 55
Nicholas Szamreta ‘14 ..............56
Ian Tamargo ‘14 .......................... 57
Tyler Tamasi ‘15 .......................... 58
Elizabeth Tolman ‘15 ................ 59
Sean Treacy ‘16 ...........................60
Claire Zarakas ‘16 ....................... 61
Development
Emily Bobrick ‘15 ........................ 62
Jonathan Choi ‘15 ...................... 63
Manali Gokhale ‘16....................64
Ray Grossman ‘15 ...................... 65
Eliza Harkins ‘14 ..........................66
Kelsey Kane-Ritsch ‘16 ............. 67
Imani Oliver ‘14...........................68
Gabrielle Ragazzo ‘15 ............... 69
Delphine Slotten ‘15 ................. 70
Katherine Smith ‘15................... 71
6 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
YAlison Campion ‘16
Geosciences
Project:
Maloof Earth History Group
Organization/Location:
Maloof Earth History Group, Princeton
University, 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 feld 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 infuence 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 feld 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 feld 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.
Sustainability
7 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
Y
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 ft 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 feld of cancer research. Through this
experience, I learned how to use quantitative assays, microplate readers, qPCR, epifuorescent
microscopy, and fuorescence 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.
Michael S. Chang ‘16
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
8 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
YTiffany Cheung ‘15
Geosciences
Project:
Ocean Acidifcation and Photosynthesis
Organization/Location:
Morel Lab, 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 acidifcation 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 fxation. Using the model organism Thalassiosira weissfogii, 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 feld excursion with the Sigman Lab at Sargasso Sea, aiding other researchers
in feld sample collections for future studies. My PEI internship, supported by the Smith-Newton
Undergraduate Research Funds, allowed me to refne 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 fxation rates, CO2/O2 selectivity)
of Rubisco in the model diatom Thalassiosira weissfogii in response to increasing temperature.
9 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
Y
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
specifc 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 feld. I also semi-conquered my fear of spiders after
working in the feld. After this internship, I am certain that I would like to do my independent
work mostly in a lab.
Allanna Daniels ‘16
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
10 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
YBruna Favetta ‘15
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 defned 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 frst version of the model was very rough and used various simplifcations,
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 infuenced the sort of career I’ll be
looking for after Princeton.
11 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
Y
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 acidifcation, 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 liquefed 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.
Elizabeth Gatto ‘16
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
12 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
YKatrina Hall ‘14
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 fsheries. 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 food years to see
if the infux of freshwater had any discernible effects, looking at monthly, yearly, and regional
data. I presented my fndings to a group of people affliated with Mississippi River Delta
restoration. This internship improved my graphics, data analysis, and self study skills, and
confrmed my interest in fsheries, which I hope to research for my senior thesis.
13 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
Y
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
confict is central to the conservation of endangered species in the area. Immersed in a
new ecosystem, I gained invaluable experience conducting scientifc research and learning
about social problems of conservation frst-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.
Rebecca Haynes ‘15
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
14 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
YDavid Hoyos ‘16
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
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 denitrifcation 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 Certifcate in Environmental Studies.
15 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
Y
This summer I interned at the architectural frm 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
@
certifed and that promotes and fosters dialogue on sustainability. I was involved
in the research part of this project (precedents, detailed study of LEED
@
Gold certifcation
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
feld reconfrmed 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.
Ani Ivanova ‘14
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
16 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
YEmily Kaplan ‘14
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.
17 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
Y
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 specifc receptors in the body, making it a
potential cure for certain types of cancer. This internship helped me see the practicality of
feld research in real world applications, and increased my desire to become a research
pharmacist.
Indira Kissoondyal ‘16
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
18 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
YKathryn Little ‘16
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 Orefce, Executive Director, Dining
Services; Sarah Bavuso, 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 fscal 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 refect 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.
19 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
Y
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.
Rebecca Lowy ‘16
Undeclared
Project:
Impact of Deforestation in Central America
on Regional Precipitation Patterns
Organization/Location:
Medvigy Lab, Atmospheric and Oceanic
Sciences (AOS), Princeton University,
Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s):
David Medvigy, Assistant Professor of
Geosciences
20 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
YNihar Madhavan ‘15
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 signifcant 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.
21 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
Y
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 infuenced my decision
to attend graduate school and pursue an environment-related degree.
Aleksandra Szczuka ‘14
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
22 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
YAmy Tourgee ‘14
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Project:
Role of Fire in Nutrient Cycling in Brazil and
the Pine Barrens
Organization/Location:
Hedin Lab, 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 Lab at Princeton
studying the role of fre in nutrient limitation. For one project, I worked on a meta-analysis
to determine whether there was a difference in composition of nitrogen-fxing woody species
along the forest-savanna gradient in neo-tropical areas of Brazil and Africa. Because savannas
in these areas experience a much higher fre occurrence than forests, the goal of the meta-
analysis was to determine whether fre might be a driver of this composition difference.
Another project also involved studying the interaction between fre and nutrient cycling,
but in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. I was able to design an experiment and conduct feldwork
in areas of the Pinelands that had drastically different fre 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
fnal results of the analysis later in the year.
23 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
Y
This summer I worked at Archipelagos Marine Institute to collect and flter sediment and fsh
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
fsh for stomach contents, and mixed both in saturated salt solutions that I then fltered 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 frst-hand
experience working in a nonproft conservation organization overseas. I also gained practical
skills through conducting feld work and designing my own project; and I collected potentially
useful data for my senior thesis.
Regina Wang ‘14
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
24 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
YMegan Wellons ‘15
Operations Research and Financial
Engineering
Project:
Native Plant Propagation 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 signifcance 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 fnal 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 confrmed 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.
25 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
Y
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 fnding 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 profcient at analyzing microscope slides for microplastics. This research has
reaffrmed my love of marine biology and it makes me want to introduce it into my major.
Michael Wiest ‘15
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
26 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
YNicole Zenes ‘15
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 offcial reports to the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission or Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection that
described my fndings. 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.
27 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
Y
As the summer intern for the Climate and Energy Policy team at the NRDC Beijing offce,
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 frst energy fow chart for 2011. I
was required at times to help with translation and editing of scientifc 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 Certifcate. This internship
certainly strengthened my data analysis and innovative thinking skills.
Jennifer Zhou ‘16
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
28 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
S
U
S
T
A
I
N
A
B
I
L
I
T
YEngineers Without Borders
Potable Water for la Pitajaya, Peru
Chamsi Hssaine ‘16
Amanda Li ‘16
Nihar Madhavan ‘15
Caden Ohlwiler ‘15
Andres Parrado ‘15
Kasturi Shah ‘16
Benjamin Tien ‘15
Adviser(s):
Professor Peter Jaffe, Professor of Civil and
Environmental Engineering
This summer our team travelled to Peru 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 fowing 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.
Woodrow Wilson School
Undecided
Computer Science
Mechanical Engineering
East Asian Studies
Undecided
Chemical and Biological
Engineering
29 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
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 feld further
once I look into other concentrations within the Electrical Engineering department.
Pranav Badami ‘15
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
Climate & Energy
30 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Vincent Bai ‘14
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 benefts of
working at a small company and has infuenced me to try to fnd 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.
31 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Ethan Campbell ‘16
Geosciences
Project:
Argo Floats
Organization/Location:
Sarmiento Research Group, 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 felds by inverting the sparse and noisy data from the
3600 Argo profling foats scattered within the world’s oceans? I investigated this uncertainty
by simulating Argo measurements at the positions of actual foats using output from a high-
resolution climate model, then reconstructing the model felds via a simple interpolation
scheme. Comparing the original and reconstructed felds produced estimates of reconstruction
error across different ocean basins; correlating that reconstruction error with metrics such
as density of foats and type of foat enabled further inference. Overall, the results affrm
the Argo array’s ability to capture large-scale felds where foats are present. This project
gave me a valuable glimpse into scientifc computing and earth science research, the latter
of which has convinced me to major in geosciences and consider research as a career
path.
32 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Ismael Catovic ‘2015
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Project:
Surface Reactions of Li Metal and Eutectics
for Plasma Facing Materials in Fusion
Organization/Location:
Surface Science Group, 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 specifcations 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
reconfrmed my commitment to its study.
33 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Brian Chang ‘16
Chemistry
Project:
Synthesis and Characterization of Novel
Photocatalysts for Solar Water Splitting and
Carbon Dioxide Reduction to Fuels
Organization/Location:
Koel Group, 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 suffcient 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 effcient but has not yet been
successfully synthesized. Over the summer I ran experiments where I attempted to frst
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 confrmed my interest in scientifc
research as a career path.
34 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Elliot Chang ‘16
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Project:
What Trees Could Learn from Alan Greenspan
Organization/Location:
Princeton Ecohydrology Lab, Princeton
University, Princeton, NJ
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.
35 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Marius Constantin ‘14
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
feld 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 signifcantly 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.
36 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Jacob Eisenberg ‘16
Undeclared
Project:
Feedbacks Between Tropical Forests, Climate,
and Earth’s Carbon Budget
Organization/Location:
Medvigy Research Group, Princeton
University, Princeton, NJ
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 scientifc research. It was also interesting to see frst-hand how a
research group functions and collaborates. This internship has defnitely confrmed my interest
in studying environmental science.
37 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Chantelle Ekanem ‘16
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 feld. As a result, I am now able to work well with professionals
producing tangible work—I know more formal lab procedures, and am more profcient 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 feld of Chemical Engineering. I am extremely
grateful to have played a small part in their story.
38 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Christopher Kwadwo Gordon ‘15
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Project:
Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Based
Electronic Devices
Organization/Location:
Loo Group, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s):
Yueh-Lin Loo, Professor of Chemical and
Biological Engineering; 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 specifc 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 defnitely recommend future
internships with the Loo research group and I will use this invaluable experience in looking
towards graduate school.
39 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Sarthak Gupta ‘14
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 specifed 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 effcient data handling, server side development and front-end
design. My time at Climate Central reaffrmed my decision to pursue a career in renewable
energy and provided some great senior thesis ideas!
40 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Tzu-Yung Huang ‘15
Electrical Engineering
Project:
Laser and Sensor Development for Trace Gas
Sensing
Organization/Location:
Mid-Infared Technologies for Health and
Environment (MIRTHE), Princeton University,
Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s):
Claire Gmachl, Eugene Higgins Professor of
Electrical Engineering
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 felds after my
undergraduate career, and I have learned the tools that will enable me to do that through
this opportunity.
41 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Peter Johnsen ‘15
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 feld will increase our ability
to design more energy-effcient 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 effciency of electron ejection. It is possible to
change this effciency 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 effciency
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 feld.
42 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Jordan Lubkeman ‘16
Undeclared
Project:
Shedding Light on Plant Respiration
Organization/Location:
Bender Research Group, Department of
Geosciences, Princeton University, 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.
43 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Aidan MacDonagh ‘14
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Project:
Magnetic Nozzle Research
Organization/Location:
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL),
Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s):
Dr. Samuel Cohen, Director, Program in
Plasma Science and Technology, P.I.,
Magnetic Nozzle & FRC Experiments, Plasma
Physics Laboratory
Magnetic nozzle research, such as the Magnetic Nozzle Experiment (MNX) at PPPL, involves
the study of the fow of plasma through spatial constrictions imposed by magnetic felds
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 effcient 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
Confguration 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.
44 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Nina Masters ‘14
Chemistry
Project:
Core-Shell Particles
Organization/Location:
McAlpine Research Group, MAE, 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 signifcant headway in preparing myself for my senior thesis.
45 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Eric Materniak ‘14
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.
46 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Ryan McNellis ‘15
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 feld 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.
47 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Marina Nogueira ‘16
Molecular Biology
Project:
Microbial Fuel Cells: Microfuidic Approaches
to Microbial Fuel Cells
Organization/Location:
Complex Fluids Group - Stone Lab, Princeton
University, Princeton, NJ
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 bioflm streamers in the clogging of porous materials.
Bioflms are bacterial communities that occupy most moist surfaces and are known for
clogging industrial fow systems and causing medical-device-associated infections. Previous
research in the Stone Lab showed that bioflms, in the presence of fow, 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 fltration systems, and whether these streamers dictate
clogging dynamics in real soil. I used microfuidic channels to mimic a soil-like environment.
I was then able to look at streamer formation in the channels and gather data, such as fow
rates and clogging times, to understand the dynamics in these systems. It was exciting to
see that bioflm 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.
48 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Sindiso Nyathi ‘16
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Project:
What Trees Could Learn from Alan Greenspan
Organization/Location:
Princeton Ecohydrology Lab, Princeton
University, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s):
Adam Wolf, Postdoctoral Research Associate,
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
I spent the summer working with four other undergraduates and Dr. 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-fow probes,
which measure the sap fow rate of trees. These trees were then artifcially subjected to
varying levels of water availability and their sap fow rates measured. The sap fow 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 effcient. 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.
49 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Caden Ohlwiler ‘15
Mechanical Engineering
Project:
What Trees Could Learn from Alan Greenspan
Organization/Location:
Princeton Ecohydrology Lab, Princeton
University, 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 fles 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 feld I am seriously considering for my career.
50 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Olamide Oladosu ‘15
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Project:
Hematite (FE203)-Based Photoelectrocatalysts
for Production of Renewable Hydrogen
Organization/Location:
Koel Group, 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 feld that seeks to harness the
power of the sun to effciently 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
fnd 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.
51 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Elizabeth Paul ‘15
Astrophysics
Project:
Advanced-Fuel Fusion Reactors
Organization/Location:
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL),
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
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 Confguration, 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 scientifc 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.
52 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Zhaonan Qu ‘15
Mathematics
Project:
Lithium Cooling in Tokamak Scrape-Off Layer
Organization/Location:
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL),
Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s):
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 confne 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 fux along the magnetic
feld 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
fux 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 fgure in plasma physics,
Professor Godlston.
53 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Kevin Ross ‘14
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Project:
Mitigating Climate Accelerants
Organization/Location:
Environmental Defense Fund, 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 hydrofuorocarbon (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 fulflling 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.
54 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Jordan Shivers ‘16
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Project:
Microbial Fuel Cells: Microfuidic Approaches
to Microbial Fuel Cells
Organization/Location:
Stone Research Group, Princeton University,
Princeton,NJ
Adviser(s):
Howard Stone, Donald R. Dixon ‘69 and
Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor of Mechanical
and Aerospace Engineering
Bioflms are antibiotic-resistant communities of bacteria that adhere to moist surfaces and
are responsible for numerous medical device-related infections. Under fow 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 bioflms, microfuidics, 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 scientifc research. These experiences defnitely
strengthened my interest in biology and chemistry. I plan to continue working on this project
during the school year.
55 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Bethany Sneathen ‘16
Molecular Biology
Project:
What Trees Could Learn from Alan Greenspan
Organization/Location:
Princeton Ecohydrology Lab, 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 certifcate in Global Health and Health Policy.
56 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Nicholas Szamreta ‘14
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 & 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 specifc 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 feld. My
fndings are promising and provide motivation for continued research, something that I plan
on doing as part of my senior thesis this coming year.
57 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Ian Tamargo ‘14
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.
58 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Tyler Tamasi ‘15
Chemistry
Project:
Designing Organic Small-Molecules for Use in
Organic Solar Cells
Organization/Location:
Loo Organic and Polymer Electronics Lab,
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Adviser(s):
Yueh-Lin Loo, Chemical and Biological
Engineering; Jia Gao, Postdoctoral Research
Associate, Chemical and Biological
Engineering
As an intern with the Loo Organic and Polymer Electronics Lab 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 feld, I gained immeasurable insight into both the world of
organic electronics and, specifcally, polymer and small-molecule solar cells. As a chemistry
major entering the feld 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.
59 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Elizabeth Tolman ‘15
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 confnes its plasma using a large electric feld. 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.
60 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Sean Treacy ‘16
Chemistry
Project:
What Trees Could Learn From Alan Greenspan
Organization/Location:
Princeton Ecohydrology Lab, 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 feld 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 feld research
as part of a career in environmental sciences.
61 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
C
L
I
M
A
T
E

&

E
N
E
R
G
Y
Claire Zarakas ‘16
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-fxing trees as compared to non-nitrogen-
fxing trees in tropical second-growth forests. I spent the frst half of the internship doing feld
work in Panama, where I helped design and implement an experiment that consisted of
collecting leaf samples from nitrogen-fxing and non-nitrogen-fxing 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 feld 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 scientifc research and a fascinating community
of scholars. It has inspired me to major in geosciences, solidifed my commitment to address
environmental change professionally, and excited me about the prospect of continuing
research at Princeton and beyond.
62 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
D
E
V
E
L
O
P
M
E
N
T
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 effcient. 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 feld work and research, and this
internship confrmed my interest in pursuing a research-related career in the future.
Emily Bobrick ‘15
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
Development
63 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
D
E
V
E
L
O
P
M
E
N
T
Jonathan Choi ‘15
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Project:
Impact of Fire and Grazing on Soil Respiration
Organization/Location:
Mpala Research Center, Laikipia District,
Kenya
Adviser(s):
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 fre 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 fre on various soil properties in the Laikipia District of Kenya at Princeton
University’s Mpala Research Center. I used various feld 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.
64 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
D
E
V
E
L
O
P
M
E
N
T
During my summer at Mpala Research Center, 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 specifc paths around Mpala and use rangefnders, 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 feld work, as well as of the ecosystem and conservation efforts
surrounding Mpala. The fulflling 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.
Manali Gokhale ‘16
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Project:
Reported Modeling of Line Transects Using
Distance Sampling
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
65 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
D
E
V
E
L
O
P
M
E
N
T
Ray Grossman ‘15
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, 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 identifed 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.
66 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
D
E
V
E
L
O
P
M
E
N
T
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 fow 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
scientifc research in real communities, how to balance social and engineering sciences,
and how to ft 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.
Eliza Harkins ‘14
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Project:
Water Use and Governance in the Mount
Kenya Region
Organization/Location:
Princeton Ecohydrology Group, Kenya
Adviser(s):
Kelly Caylor, Associate Professor of Civil and
Environmental Engineering
67 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
D
E
V
E
L
O
P
M
E
N
T
Kelsey Kane-Ritsch ‘16
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 signifcance 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 affrmed my intention to pursue a career in the feld of environmental
conservation.
68 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
D
E
V
E
L
O
P
M
E
N
T
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 feld exploration. I showed my students ice for the frst 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 feld of education policy development in
the U.S. to make policies that are best for students of all socioeconomic statuses.
Imani Oliver ‘14
Psychology
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
69 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
D
E
V
E
L
O
P
M
E
N
T
Gabrielle Ragazzo ‘15
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, 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 felds. This summer I helped assess the accuracy of the Project,
and also created a brief tutorial video explaining how to map felds. For the accuracy
assessment, I edited a collection of aerial images for South Africa and Zambia by drawing
feld 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 offce
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.
70 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
D
E
V
E
L
O
P
M
E
N
T
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 felds of development and natural resource management.
Delphine Slotten ‘15
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
71 2013 Environmental Research Experiences
D
E
V
E
L
O
P
M
E
N
T
Katherine Smith ‘15
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Project:
Plant water stress and source: Impacts of
herbivory in riparian zones
Organization/Location:
Mpala Research Center, 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; specifcally, a river’s interactions with other parts of the ecosystem, including
both fora 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 feld
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
feldwork as research for my senior thesis, particularly ecological feldwork with an emphasis
on conservation.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Funding for the 2013 environmental research experiences was generously provided by
the following supporters:

• Arthur M. Crocker ‘31 Fund in PEI
• PEI’s Director’s Fund (Anonymous)
• Carolyn and Jeffrey Leonard Fund in PEI
• Newton Family PEI Scholars Fund
• Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation
• Smith-Newton Undergraduate Research Fund in PEI
• Lucy R. Waletsky Fund in PEI
• Sandra Wilson W‘56 Fund in PEI

Affliated academic and administrative offces collaborating with PEI to assure the success
of the internship program include the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology,
the Keller Center, the Offce of Career Services, the Offce of the Dean of the College,
Princeton in Asia, the Offce of Environmental Health and Safety, and University Health
Services. We are grateful to the many individuals whose efforts have shaped and advanced
this year’s program.
Front Cover: Katherine Smith ‘15
Back Cover: Chamsi Hssaine ‘16, Amanda Li ‘16, Nihar Madhavan ‘15, Caden Ohlwiler ‘15, Andres Parrardo ‘15,
Kasturi Shah ‘16, and Benjamin Tien ‘15 with their technical mentor (top),Vincent Bai ‘14 (lower left), Elizabeth
Tolman ‘15 (lower right).
The information contained in this document was up-to-date at the time of printing. For the most accurate
information, please visit our website: www.princeton.edu/pei.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful