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.

Anthropology

Anabel Ford

Location:
1041 North Hall
(805) 893-8191

Research Project

Dr. Ford’s research focuses on the ancient Maya and the tropical forest of Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico. Archaeological field and laboratory work has concentrated in the upper Belize River area and El Pilar, and has both basic and applied components. Working on the development of complexity and land use change, data have been collected on settlement patterns, vegetative distribution, and a variety of other themes.

Undergraduate Contribution

With a large collection of data available, students will have opportunities to participate in research at the intersections of Archaeology, Environmental Science, and Geography while strengthening and expanding their technical fluency. Opportunities to expand practical skills include web mapping with ArcGIS Online, geo-statistics and analysis with R and ArcGIS Desktop, database management and system optimization, ArcPy and task scripting, cartographic curation with Illustrator and Photoshop, and further undergraduate research opportunities.

Requirements

The ideal undergraduate researcher is enthusiastic, creative, and dependable. Classes in anthropology, geography, GIS, and Spanish are helpful but not required.

Location:
North Hall 1043
(805) 893-8191

Research Project

A multidisciplinary anthropological archaeological project in the Maya forest of El Pilar. Lab work includes work in a variety of arenas: archaeological collections, historical documentation, community assessment, tourism potentials, GIS, data input and review of vegetation, site maps, independent research related to data. Work in Anthropology, archaeology, geography, botany, fauna, community outreach are just some of the facets of the work.

Undergraduate Contribution

Student volunteers, interns and directed studies will involve students in the multiple aspects of the project leveraging on their specific interests. Artifact photography and inventory, ceramic sorting and evaluation, mapping and drawing related to field maps and artifacts, as well as reviewing and organizing artifact collections and historical materials. The opportunities are as diverse as they are engaging.

Requirements

Interest, enthusiasm, and dependability. Classes in anthropology, geography, and Spanish helpful.

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Peter Ford

Location:
4649C PSBN
2443

Research Project

The Ford lab researches biologically relevant small molecules such as CS2, NO, and CO. Projects involve synthesizing small molecule donors as well as nanoparticles to create systems for light activated small molecule release. In particular we have demonstrated the release of CS2 from dithiooxalate (DTO), a CS2 donor, and further studies are directed towards other reaction products. For example, the photocatalyzed reaction using quantum dots and DTO releases CS2.

Another project is concerned with developing new procedures for the conversion of biomass to chemicals and fuels.  We are working with catalysts prepared from Earth-abundant elements thus avoiding the consumption of irreplaceable rare elements

See website for details.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduates are fully involved in the projects including synthesizing nanoparticles, small molecule donors, and studying their release using various instrumentation and techniques with guidance from graduate student mentors.

Requirements

Completion of the General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry sequences and the associated labs. The other essential requirement is the strong desire to participate in a creative process that requires intellectual involvement and commitment.

East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies

Sabine Frühstück

Location:
HSSB 2232

Research Project

Gender and Sexuality in Modern Japan. In nine short chapters, this book will provide an introduction to the experiences of and debates about sex, gender, and sexuality with regards to males and females in modern and contemporary Japan. It will draw from and integrate historical, ethnographic, and cultural studies scholarship and emphasize moments of debate and conflict. In addition, it will include critical assessments of a select number of black and white visuals. Each chapter will be accompanied by both a short bibliography of key scholarship and a list of literary and film examples that represent or address the historical moments and issues described in the text—all in order to facilitate further exploration by a broad range of readers in and outside the academy.

Undergraduate Contribution

Reference search and verification, creation of a bibliography, summaries of publications, image searches.

Requirements

Excellent English, basic research and documentation skills, reliability, time management and communication skills. Good Japanese language skills a plus.

English

Patricia Fumerton

Location:
2506 South Hall
708-0540

Research Project

English Broadside Ballad Archive, http://ebba.english.ucsb.edu. This project is devoted to mounting online facsimile images, citations, transcriptions, and recordings of broadside ballads of the seventeenth century and earlier. Broadside ballads are large sheets (hence "broad) on which are printed many illustrations, a song, and a tune title.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduates work alongside graduate students to create "facsimile transcriptions" (in which the student opens up a facsimile of the ballad in Photoshop and a transcription in Word, and then carefully replaces the original text of the ballad with the transcribed text, matching font size and spacing and preserving the ballad's ornamentation). Students also help catalogue ballads and convert ballads into TEI/XML using a handy easy-to-follow program called X-Balled. Students in the process learn much about early printing techniques, popular culture, Photoshop, and text encoding.

Requirements

Detail-oriented, reliable, and a basic knowledge of Photoshop.

Psychological and Brain Sciences

Shelly Gable

Location:
Bldg.251, Rm.3837

Research Project

Our research looks at topics such as approach and avoidance motivation (the desire to go after positive outcomes vs. the desire to avoid negative outcomes), relationship and personal goals, personal goal support, relationship motives, capitalization, positive emotions, etc. A number of projects centered on motivation and relationship research will be going on in the lab. We conduct observational studies with couples, questionnaire studies, diary studies, as well a number of experimental studies.

Undergraduate Contribution

Responsibilities include running participants, coding data, entering data, brainstorming ideas for follow-up studies, preparing study materials, etc.

Requirements

We are looking for bright, responsible and reliable research assistants (no prior experience is necessary). Please complete our lab's application, located here:
https://collinslab.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_b9JeQub9geWGmrP

Earth Science

Phillip Gans

Location:
1034 Webb Hall
893-2642

Research Project

Investigation of the geologic evolution of various localities through a combination of field and analytical work. Geologic mapping, sample collecting, compilation of field data using GIS software, preparation of presentation graphics, statistical analysis of structural data, preparation and analysis of geologic samples using a variety of methods, including radiometric dating (40Ar/39Ar, U-Pb), petrographic studies, SEM and Microprobe.

Undergraduate Contribution

Assisting with field work, preparation of samples for petrographic and microstructural work, compilation and analysis of data using Excel, computer graphics using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, preparation of high purity mineral separates for geochronological analysis (crushing, grinding, sieving of rock samples, density and magnetic separations)

Requirements

Prefer some geologic background - ideal for entry level earth science majors. Experience with Excel and Adobe Creative Suite are desirable for some of the work.

Mechanical Engineering

Fredric Gibou

Location:
Engineering II Bld
805 893 7152

Research Project

The focus of our lab is the design and applications of novel computational methods. Applications range from the study of fluid flows to the simulation of solidification processes to the study of bioengineering topics.

Undergraduate Contribution

Typical undergraduate contributions range from the design and implementation of computational methods to the application of such methods to physical and biological phenomena.

Requirements

Good programing skills is viewed positively. Motivation and good analytical skills.

Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology

Claudia Gottstein

Location:
6313 Bio II

Research Project

The longterm goal of the project is i) to investigate differences in surface marker expression of cancer stem cells compared to normal stem cells and mature cancer cells, ii) to correlate these differences to other cellular phenotypes and iii) to exploit these differences therapeutically. We work with antibody phage display libraries to isolate specific antibodies to breast cancer stem cells, and we investigate the surface expression patterns on cytospins and tissues of breast cancer cells and normal cells.

Undergraduate Contribution

A subproject is to stain breast cancer tissues and normal tissues with candidate antibodies for breast cancer stem cells. This entails sectioning of frozen tissues, and immunofluorescent staining of these tissues, as well as microscopic analysis of the sections. There is a possibility to also assist in protein expression and cell culture later in the project, depending on the general project results.

Requirements

Experience in tissue sectioning and handling is a plus but not required. Please submit CV, transcripts, cover letter and the contact information of one reference. GPA reqs for MCDB199.

Environmental Studies

Summer Gray

Location:
Bren 4027

Research Project

This project investigates the social implications of the 2018 debris flow in Montecito, California. Particular attention is paid to the intersection of biophysical hazards, infrastructural instabilities, diverse knowledges, and uneven social vulnerabilities. Questions concern income inequality, disparities in housing, language barriers, access to information, stories of loss and recovery, views on climate change, and visions for the future.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduate students will assist in creating a database of materials including analytical logs of filmed community meetings and media coverage, transcriptions of audio recordings, public information about individuals and organizations, and targeted internet searches using key phrases.

Requirements

Interest in community resilience and climate change. In the first week of the quarter in which you would like to participate, email Prof. Gray (summer_gray@ucsb.edu) with the following information: 1) your GPA, 2) current/previous related courses you have taken, 3) your major, 4) why you are interested in this particular opportunity.

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