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.

Music

Janet Bourne

Location:
Music 1169

Research Project

The goal of this project is to study how listeners categorize music and how they attribute meaning to music. Part of this project involves running experiments on how listeners categorize musical patterns. The other part of the project involves running experiments on how listeners create meaning of conventional musical patterns. In both experiments, participants listen to music and answer questions.

Undergraduate Contribution

The student will be trained in how to run participants in an empirical behavioral study. The student will be the one in charge of running the participants. The student may also listen to music to find examples to play in the studies.

Requirements

Must be reliable and responsive.

Preferable: Background in music and/or psychology

Anthropology

Michelle Brown

Location:
HSSB 2045
893-4269

Research Project

This project examines energy balance, stress hormones, and personality in wild monkeys (redtail monkeys, blue monkeys, and grey-cheeked mangabeys in Kibale National Park, Uganda) in order to understand variation in cooperative and competitive behaviors. This research combines data from behavioral observations, hormone assays using urine and fecal samples, and botanical and vertebrate censuses.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduate students will assist by learning and implementing the following tasks: cataloging photos; extracting subsets of data; processing fecal samples in preparation for hormone extraction; and participating in basic statistical and spatial analyses.

Requirements

See course requirements for ANTH 99 or ANTH 199RA. Must have basic proficiency with Microsoft Word and Excel, the ability to learn additional programs (Adobe Lightroom, FileMaker Pro, EndNote, and basic spatial analysis programs) quickly, and be extremely detail-oriented. Students are accepted for FRAP projects only if s/he has previously enrolled in a course taught by Prof. Brown (ANTH 103, 123, 153T) and received a grade of B or higher. Interested students should contact Prof. Brown by email (mbrown@anth.ucsb.edu) ***in the first week*** of the quarter in which you would like to participate, with the following information: your GPA, list of previous and current anthropology or EEMB courses you have taken, other lab/field experience, and why you are interested in this particular opportunity.

Linguistics

Mary Bucholtz

Location:
3509 South Hall

Research Project

Research assistants are needed for the School Kids Investigating Language in Life and Society (SKILLS) project, which teaches first-generation college-bound high school students, primarily of Latina/o heritage, to conduct original research and activism projects on language, culture, power, and identity in their own lives and communities as academic preparation for college.

Undergraduate Contribution

Research assistants will work in multiple capacities for the project. In the fall, RAs will process existing audio and video data of classroom interaction as well as data collected by high school students, to help develop analyses for original research. In winter and spring, RAs may continue to work on data as well as collecting new data through fieldwork in local high schools and other settings.

Requirements

Desirable but not required: Previous coursework in Linguistics, Chicana/o Studies, and/or Education, Spanish or Mixtec language ability, experience in working with youth, experience in collecting, editing, and/or analyzing audio or video data, website experience, and/or coursework in sociocultural linguistics.

Anne Charity-Hudley

Location:
South Hall 3607 B

Research Project

I plan to write a book and several articles on language and culture in postsecondary contexts, with a focus on supporting the social and academic experiences of African-American students on predominately White university campuses. The book “Talking College” will include survey and interview materials.

Undergraduate Contribution

Students will help prepare a literature review designed for a general public audience on African-American language and culture.

Students will conduct interviews, do linguistic analysis of the interviews, and create materials designed to empower college going speakers of African-American English.

Requirements

Students should plan to take or have already taken LING 36 with Prof. Anne Charity Hudley or LING 136 with Prof. Mary Bucholtz

Ecology Evolution and Marine Biology

Deron Burkepile

Location:
MSRB 4312
(805) 893-3067

Research Project

The project involves assessing the role of consumer-derived nutrients on coral reefs. Prior research suggests that fishes play an important role in recycling nutrients back to the environment via excretion of limited nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) that are critical for coral reef ecosystem function. Seawater samples collected from over 1200 Indo-Pacific reef fishes will be analyzed to estimate excretion rates. These data will be used to understand variation in nutrient content and excretion rates among and within fish species to assess the importance of biodiversity for these nutrient processes.

Undergraduate Contribution

The undergraduate for this project will work closely with a graduate student. The undergraduate learn a variety of analytical chemistry methods to analyze seawater samples for ammonium, urea, and phosphorus concentrations. Student will be responsible for mixing chemical reagents, aliquoting samples, and processing samples using lab instruments including a fluorometer and UV spectrophotometer.

Requirements

Students interested in ecology, chemistry, or general biology are encouraged to apply. No prior analytical chemistry skills necessary, but must be willing to do repetitive work that requires attention to detail and organization.

Location:
MSRB 4312
(805) 893-3067

Research Project

This project seeks to determine how nutrient run-off and sedimentation may interact with predation events to alter coral physiology. Coral predators remove coral tissue and skeletal structure, leaving the preyed coral exposed to external stressors that are likely to further compromise coral health. Last summer, we used a factorial experimental design to assess how coral predation may interact with nutrient run-off and sedimentation to alter coral mortality, bleaching, and physiology. The fieldwork portion of this project was completed during the summer of 2017, so this quarter will focus on the physiology portion of the project.

Undergraduate Contribution

The undergraduate for this project will work closely with a PhD student in our laboratory. The undergraduate will assist in all aspects of coral physiology, including Chlorophyll a analysis, quantifying total protein and total lipid content, and determining Symbiodinium densities. The undergraduate is also expected to assist with seawater analysis and some computer work analyzing photos. He/she will become proficient at pipette work, microscopy, and computer work – all skills transferable to other aspects of the biological sciences.

Requirements

-3.0 GPA or higher

-Upper division standing

-Ecology, Biology, or Aquatic Biology major

-Taken 142AL

-Attention to detail

-Punctual

-Good attitude and willingness to learn laboratory skills

Geography

Leila Carvalho

Location:
6808
805-893-7351

Research Project

Approximately 30-50 km above the earth surface in the stratosphere lies an atmospheric layer rich in ozone (O3). Ozone can be toxic to life and damaging to materials but high in the atmosphere it serves to shelter life on the Earth’s surface from powerful lethal ultraviolet radiation. Without the ozone layer to absorb ultraviolet it would be virtually possible for life to inhabit Earth's land areas. Ozone is constantly being formed and destroyed by chemical reactions in the upper atmosphere and the balance between formation and destruction determines the concentration of the molecule. Clorofluoercarbons (CFCs) produced by human activity are very effective in destroying the ozone layer. However, water vapor in the stratosphere can also affect the concentration of ozone and the temperature of the stratosphere. There is evidence that global warming has affected atmospheric instability and the intensity of the thunderstorms in many regions in our planet. Subtropical South America is among the areas with the largest frequency of powerful thunderstorms in the world that are able to reach the lower stratosphere. The goal of this research is to evaluate the role of deep thunderstorms in modifying the content of water vapor and concentration of ozone in the lower stratosphere over subtropical South America. We will use multiple satellite Aqua’s Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) V6 level 3 standard retrieval data (from 2002 to 2016) to investigate the influence of deep convective clouds in this region and examine the contributions of these storms to changes in the upper tropopause-lower stratosphere ozone with focus on the Austral spring and summer.

Undergraduate Contribution

Students will work on satellite data processing and analysis. She/he will learn how to download satellite data used in these analyses and do simple statistics. The student will work along with the instructor and the graduate student working on this project. Students are expected to have periodic meetings with the instructor and the graduate student and will be encouraged to discuss results in local conferences.

Requirements

We expect interest in physical sciences in general and atmospheric sciences and basic statistics in particular. We also expect that the student knows how to use Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, create simple graphics and perform basic statistical analyses. The use of other programming languages to perform calculations, produce graphics and statistics is optional.

Location:
Ellison Hall 6808
805-893-7531

Research Project

Offshore gusty downslope winds accompanied by rapid warming and decreased relative humidity are considered among the most significant fire weather conditions affecting coastal areas of Santa Barbara County. These downslope winds are locally known as “sundowner winds” or “sundowners”, because they typically intensify in late afternoon to early morning, contrasting with the more typical onshore flow. These strong northerly winds are observed when atmospheric sea level pressure increases north of the Santa Ynez Mountains, which has a distinctive east-west orientation. Sundowners are a major concern during wildfire season because air heats and dries as it descends from the mountains to the sea level, increasing the chance of rapid fire spread in an event of a fire. Such conditions have affected the evolution all major wildfires in the area as, for instance, the Painted Cave (1990), the Tea House (2008), the Jesusita (2009), the Sherpa (2016), which are some examples of events responsible for loss of life, injuries, millions of dollars in property loss, and significant environmental impacts. This research will explore all available station and regional model data to evaluate a) the frequency and intensity of these events; b) the ability of the Weather Research & Forecast (WRF) model to simulate the magnitude and intensity of these events; c) examine local impacts on evapotranspiration and net radiation and other properties that are important to assess drought conditions.

Undergraduate Contribution

Students will examine wind gusts, temperature and relative humidity (when available) obtained from stations and model simulations during the occurrence of sundowner events. Students will be exposed to instrumental analysis and will be trained on simple statistical methods.

Requirements

Interest in atmospheric sciences and meteorology. Knowledge of Microsoft Excel and/or programming language (such as matlab, IDL, python or any other) to perform simple statistics and create graphics.

Chicana and Chicano Studies

Dolores Ines Casillas

Location:
1705 South Hall

Research Project

I am currently conducting research within the areas of U.S. Spanish-language Media; Chicana & Latina Popular Culture; Radio & Sound Practices; Racial Politics of Language; Accent Studies; and Language Learning Technologies. I use these areas to examine specific issues in regard to race and citizenship. The work includes an overview of primary and secondary sources, academic and popular, including print, television, radio, and social media. 

Undergraduate Contribution

I am on sabbatical during the fall 2018 quarter. I am in need of a research assistant during the winter and spring 2019 academic quarters. Research activities include library database searches and some Internet research to double check bibliographic sources. Some assistance tracking down specific URLs, books, and articles as well. An ongoing love for detail and libraries is a huge plus.

Requirements

A two-quarter commitment, punctuality, good attitude, sincere interest in popular culture as a site of scholarly assessment. Junior or senior standing preferred, CHST major or significant courswork in CHST a plus.

Feminist Studies

Grace Chang

Location:
SH 4704

Research Project

I require research assistance for a book project underway on human trafficking from an immigrant rights and sex worker rights perspective.

Undergraduate Contribution

The research assistant will help me to complete the following tasks:  locating popular culture treatments of the issue online and in films; locating legal cases and journal articles/books; fact checking and citations; some copy-editing.

Requirements

Student should be a junior or senior who has taken one of my undergraduate survey classes (FS30 or FS50) with me previously, and has demonstrated attention to detail, responsibility, initiative, follow-through and research skills.

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