Faculty Research Assistance Program (FRAP) Directory

The FRAP Directory allows students to identify UCSB faculty who are looking for undergraduate students to participate in their research projects or creative activities. Please use the links below to find opportunities by discipline. Students, if your desired discipline is not listed, please contact the Undergraduate Research Initiatives office at 805-893-3090 or urca@ltsc.ucsb.edu for assistance. Faculty, if you would like to post your research or creative activity opportunity, please complete the online submission form.

Sociology

Professor Zakiya Luna

Location:
3409 Social Science and Media Studies

Research Project

Mobilizing Millions: Engendering Protest Across the Globe Professor Luna , faculty collaborators and students nationwide collected surveys from participants in the 2017 Women’s March in Washing D.C. and in location across the country, including: Austin, Boston, Los Angeles, Oakland, Philadelphia, Portland and St. Louis.

Our purpose was to understand what brought people to participate in a march of this scale, and at a critical historical juncture in our country’s political landscape. For the first phase, we developed a survey about the motivations and experiences that brought millions of people to the marches globally. For a second phase, we conducted interviews with some participants. Finally, we are conducting social media analysis.

Timeline: Contact Professor Luna for an application.

Select students will be interviewed in first week(ish) of the quarter. Select interviewees will then be invited to join the FRAP team. Spots are typically filled by the second week of each quarter. In Sociology, FRAP Students register for Soc 91 ( 2-unit course). This research experience requires some meetings and readings to meet the requirements of Soc 91 as a learning experience. Preference for the few spaces will be give to student who can commit to multiple quarters, at 6 hours per week (2 units). Up to five students will be selected to be a part of the FRAP research team through which you will learn new skills, meet new people and help produce sociological research. Students with interest in research on social change, gender, race, are especially encouraged to apply.

Professor Luna’s website: http://www.zakiyaluna.com

Mobilizing Millions Website: http://mobilizingmillions.org

Undergraduate Contribution

This is an ongoing project. Over 15 undergraduates have assisted with various aspects since January 2017. Depending upon interests and skill, FRAP students will assist with a range of research activities including:

− Assist with database maintenance as appropriate to the student’s skill level (e.g. inputting survey information)

− Download information from internet

− Engage in library and on-line research

− Gather publicly available information about individuals and organizations

− Meet with fellow research team to discuss progress

− Perform targeted internet searches using key phrases

− Read research articles and book to increase familiarity with the field

− Transcribe audio recordings

− Write brief analytic memos

Requirements

− Personal access to a computer

− Personal access the internet;

− Facility with MS Word including how to cut and paste from the web;

− Facility with MS Excel;

− Willing to learn Zotero and other digital filing or bibliographical database system.

− Participate in periodic research team meetings

− Ability to follow directions

− Comfort or willingness to learn about subject matter (gender, politics)

− Commit an average of six hours a week to the research during the quarter (flexibility for exams , etc)

Zakiya Luna

Location:
3409 Social Science and Media Studies

Research Project

Reproductive Justice project

Social movements scholars have consistently been interested in understanding the consequences of movements. Movements can shift public policy, create new identities, influence other movements’ goals and become part of the institutions they previously challenged such as government and higher education. When the phrase “reproductive justice” was coined in 1994 it represented an exciting paradigm shift away from the divisive abortion debate. Their vision was to focus their advocacy efforts on how issues of racism, homophobia, poverty, disability, and citizenship differently affected the people’s opportunities to have children (e.g., for same-sex couples) and to parent their own children (e.g., for incarcerated people). Fast forward to 2016: talk show hosts use the phrase one major city health department has taken on an RJ focus and major universities have RJ research centers. Using archival data, observation, interviews, and a unique dataset of media hits, this project explores how movement ideas become part of major social institutions including media and education.

Timeline: Contact Professor Luna for an application. Select students will be interviewed in first week(ish) of the quarter. Select interviewees will then be invited to join the FRAP team. Spots are typically filled by the second week of each quarter.

In Sociology, FRAP Students register for Soc 91 ( 2-unit course) . This research experience requires some meetings and readings to meet the requirements of Soc 91 as a learning experience. Preference for the few spaces will be give to student who can commit to multiple quarters, at 6 hours per week (2 units). Up to five students will be selected to be a part of the FRAP research team through which you will learn new skills, meet new people and help produce sociological research. Students with interest in research on social change, gender, race, are especially encouraged to apply.

Professor Luna’s website: http://www.zakiyaluna.com

Undergraduate Contribution

This is an ongoing project. Over 15 undergraduates have assisted with various aspects since September 2016. Depending upon interests and skill, FRAP students will assist with a range of research activities including:

− Assist with database maintenance as appropriate to the student’s skill level (e.g. inputting survey information)

− Coding documents

− Convert physical documents to electronic files

− Download information from internet

− Engage in library and on-line research

− Gather publicly available information about individuals and organizations

− Meet with fellow research team to discuss progress

− Perform targeted internet searches using key phrases

− Read research articles and book to increase familiarity with the field

− Transcribe audio recordings

− Write brief analytic memos

Requirements

− Personal access to a computer 

− Personal access the internet; 

− Facility with MS Word including how to cut and paste from the web; 

− Facility with MS Excel;

− Willing to learn Zotero and other digital filing or bibliographical database system. 

− Participate in periodic research team meetings 

− Ability to follow directions

− Comfort or willingness to learn about subject matter (reproduction, politics) 

− Commit an average of six hours a week to the research during the quarter (flexibility for exams , etc)

Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology

Zach Ma

Location:
3119 LSB
893-4745

Research Project

Research in our group focuses on the unconventional functions of histone H3 lysine 4 methyltransferase complexes (H3K4MTs), an epigenetic machinery which methylates histone H3 lysine 4 in the nucleus.  In particular we are investigating the surprising roles of H3K4MT subunits in cell division, ciliary function and infection/immunity. H3K4 methylation is a hallmark of active transcription. Mutation and misregulation of H3K4MT subunits is directly linked to cancers, life span/aging, immunity, diabetes, mental retardation, and stem cell differentiation. Current literature almost exclusively focuses on the relationship between H3K4MT complexes and transcription; however, whether these proteins have any cytoplasmic functions is little known. Discovering these non-transcriptional activities is key to clarifying the association of H3K4MTs with pathophysiological events.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduates will typically spend the first one or two quarters being trained in basic molecular, cellular and biochemical skills. Then the undergraduate will contribute to the research in one of the three areas mentioned above (cell division, ciliary function or infection and immunity). The undergraduates will be placed in teams of 3-4 people and will each work individually towards a common goal. 

Requirements

There are no specific course requirements, although a strong passion in research is required. Most projects will require a minimum time commitment of 10hrs per week.

Psychological and Brain Sciences

Diane Mackie

Location:
Psych East 1823
805-893-2858

Research Project

Current research in our lab focuses on a) the emotions that people feel because they belong to a group, and how those emotions contribute to both positive and negative relations among groups; b) the extent to which people's opinions and attitudes reflect the influence of those around them; and c) the behavioral consequences of perceptions of power, and d) the prosocial outcomes of global identity ad connections, and e) identifying the process by which narratives (both written and visual) influence people's perceptions of themselves, the groups to which they belong, and of outgroup members. To learn more, please visit the website.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduate research assistants help in all aspects of the research experience, from serving as experimenters, library research, data coding and entry, and assistance in manuscript preparation.

Requirements

We prefer a three-quarter commitment and require a GPA above 3.0.  Good grades in PSY 5, 7 ,and 102 are always welcome but a passion for research is the best prerequisite. Research assistants must have blocks of time (at least an hour, preferably more) available between 8AM and 5PM at least 2 days of the week.

Brenda Major

Location:
Psychology East 38
893-7238

Research Project

Current research projects examine the impact of organizational diversity initiatives on minorities’ and majorities’ perceptions of fairness and acceptance within organizations, and the impact of perceived ethnic, gender, and weight-based discrimination on physiological stress responses, health behaviors, and interpersonal relationships.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduates who work in my lab are involved with a variety of research tasks. They help to recruit, schedule, and run participants in laboratory and field experiments, enter self-report data into the computer and help to code physiological and nonverbal responses. They also assist with library research and a variety of support tasks (e.g., editing, copying).

Requirements

  • Grade point average of 3.3 or better.
  • Grade of B or better in Research Methods and Statistics
  • Ability to work well with others, show initiative, attention to detail
  • Skills with computer programming and/or audio/visual equipment desirable but not essential.

History

Harold Marcuse

Location:
HSSB 4222

Research Project

I've scanned a rare and little-known historical journal published 1946-1948 by Holocaust survivors in Bavaria. It is in Yiddish written with Hebrew letters. I have set up a wiki to crowdsource the this work: <http://yiddishhistoryjournal.wiki-site.com/index.php/Main_Page>. The research assistant would work on expanding the wiki site, perhaps also doing some sample transcribing/transliterating the Hebrew into the Roman alphabet. Knowledge of Hebrew alphabet essential, knowledge of German or Yiddish desirable. 

Undergraduate Contribution

Phonetic transcribing from Hebrew letters into the Roman alphabet. Trials with translation engines, and work posting to and developing wiki site. Once we have worked out a basic system for translation, there are a host of research possibilities.

Requirements

Familiarity with the Hebrew alphabet is essential. Experience setting up web pages desirable, depending on tasks. Some knowledge of Holocaust history, and/or German or Yiddish language would be helpful.

Cecilia Méndez

Location:
HSSB 4227

Research Project

I am working on two interrelated projects. The first one studies the long-term legacies of the 1780-1781 Túpac Amaru II rebellion against the Spanish Crown in Peru’s national imaginings, from its aftermath to the present. I trace both official and popular memories of this rebellion --and its erasure-- through written as well as visual sources. Concurrently, I work on a book project on nineteenth-century civil wars, local governance, and state formation which draws inspiration in Peru’s most recent civil war (1980-1900s), when peasants banded together with the army to the defeat the Shining Path terrorist insurgency.

Undergraduate Contribution

The student assistant will help me locate, organize, and transcribe newspaper articles that contain specific terms (I will indicate which) in an online Latin American newspaper collection. Other tasks include assistance with scanning, bibliographical searches, and transcription of Spanish texts.

Requirements

Interest in the history of Latin America, and Spanish reading proficiency are essential. Having taken Latin American history courses is desirable but not required. Familiarity with Excel is a plus.

Ecology Evolution and Marine Biology

Susan Mazer

Location:
4119 Life Sciences
893-8011

Research Project

EVOLUTIONARY CHANGE IN WILDFLOWERS: PREDICTING THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON LIFE HISTORY AND FLORAL TRAITS. Several research projects in the Mazer lab are designed to detect evidence for adaptation and genetically based variation among wild plant populations of several species in two groups of insect-pollinated wildflowers.  The first is the genus Clarkia (known as Farewell-to-Spring), a widespread genus of beautiful California wildflowers that are among the last group of wildflowers to flower each spring.  The second group is the genus Streptanthus (jewelflower), which includes many species with the unusual ability to tolerate the high metal content of serpentine soils.  One of our primary goals is to examine geographic variation in traits that evolve in response to local climatic conditions in order to predict the effects of climate change on the evolution of plant life history and reproductive traits in plants. For example, if plant populations living at warm, low-elevation sites have evolved to flower earlier and produce smaller flowers (which lose less water than large flowers) than populations living at cooler, high-elevation sites, then we may predict that as the climate warms, all populations will evolve to flower earlier and to produce small flowers. In addition, if the pollinators of these populations don't emerge earlier to match the flowering time, then these populations will be at risk of failing due to insufficient pollination.

Undergraduate Contribution

You will participate in greenhouse experiments that will include a combination of greenhouse work (planting seedlings, pollinating flowers, recording data, collecting buds and seeds, and maintaining and cleaning up experimental supplies), data management, and lab work (examining plant organs under a microscope, weighing seeds, creating germination media). You'll be expected to work 8-10 hours a week, including weekly lab meetings to be scheduled when all lab members are available to come, where we will plan training sessions, trouble-shoot any technical problems that come up, discuss the broader research topics being explored in the Mazer lab, and read and discuss the current literature in plant evolutionary ecology (the study of natural selection and evolution in wild populations). You'll have the opportunity to conduct a senior thesis project in the lab if you demonstrate sufficient independence, care, and responsibility.

Requirements

Students may join this research project in Fall, Winter or Spring, but we prefer students who join in the fall and stay all year. Students are expected to have completed (or to enroll in during Winter 2017) EEMB 127 (Plant Biology and Biodiversity). Other useful (but not mandatory) courses include EEMB 127L (the lab for Plant Biology & Biodiveresity), Evolution, MacroEvolution, Ecology, Genetics and/or Population Biology. A good sense of humor and strong work ethic are also necessary! Please check out my lab's other research projects at: www.usanpn.org/cpp and www.baselineseedbank.org/

Douglas McCauley

Location:
Building 408

Research Project

Research in my laboratory focuses on understanding how wildlife communities are affected by changes to the environment. Current projects center upon research in coral reef ecosystems in the central Pacific and on hippopotamus ecology in East Africa. We are presently looking for motivated students to join our lab group doing a diverse set of research tasks in both domains. Example projects include using remote sensing to study self-organization in wildlife herds, tracing energy flow across ecosystems using biogeochemistry, and studying animal interactions using wildlife cameras.

 

Undergraduate Contribution

Students will be encouraged to take ownership over a particular project and works towards doing their own independent research.

Requirements

Students that have taken basic coursework in ecology and biology are preferred. A background in field or laboratory research will be helpful for beginning on advanced assignments.

Marine Science Institute

Robert Miller

Location:
MSRB 2310
6174

Research Project

We are investigating the impact and spread of a marine invasive species, a bryozoan, off the Santa Barbara Coast. Questions addressed by the research include Does diversity of native species influence colonization? Do cleaning activities on offshore structures facilitate spread of the species? and How does the species affect ecosystem structure and function?

Undergraduate Contribution

The student would quantify diversity and abundance of marine invertebrates and algae in photos of the seafloor and manmade structures. This will involve a lot of computer time but will greatly add to your knowledge of local marine life. If the student is a scientific diver, there are also opportunities to participate in fieldwork. This is an unpaid position although that could change over time.

Requirements

-Minimum commitment of 5 hours per week
-Excellent work ethic and attention to detail
-Prefer student that has completed Invertebrate Zoology

Please contact me with a short statement of interest and a copy of your unofficial transcript.

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