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.

Geography

Charles Jones

Location:
Ellison Hall 6810
(805) 893-5824

Research Project

Two research projects are available for undergraduate students.

1) Climate change in South America The monsoon in South America is the main climatic feature in the continent with significant influence in the distribution of precipitation and temperature. This project use a regional climate model to understand how warming in the continent has affected the variability of the monsoon in South America. The low-level jet on the eastern slopes of the Andes plays a crucial role in transporting moisture and generating storms and precipitation. The regional model is being used to understand how climate change is affecting the dynamics of the low-level jet

2) Regional model simulations in southern California A regional model is being used to simulate several types of weather phenomena in the Santa Barbara such as the marine layer, fog and Sundowner winds. Simulations with the regional model need to be validated against observations from meteorological stations and moored buoys in the Santa Barbara Channel.

Undergraduate Contribution

In both projects students will download data from the internet, perform quality control checks and format the data for comparison with model simulations. Student will additionally perform statistical analyses to quantify model errors.

Requirements

Motivation and desire to learn are the first requirements. Programming skills are needed. Computer and programming skills are needed. Computer experience is necessary especially with programming (e.g., fortran, matlab, python or IDL).

Location:
6810 Ellison Hall

Research Project

Research project includes analysis of extreme precipitation events in the Santa Barbara area and how they impact the hydrological cycle and landscape. We are interested in students to help in preparing and analyzing time series of precipitation from local stations.

Undergraduate Contribution

Downloading and preparing time series of precipitation from several rain gauges.

Requirements

Computer skills is needed especially knowledge of spread sheet software (e.g., MS Excel). Knowledge of programming (e.g., fortran, matlab, IDL) is highly desired.

Jennifer King

Location:
5812 Ellison Hall

Research Project

The King Laboratory for Biogeochemical Research in the Department of Geography is seeking an undergraduate student to assist with field and laboratory work for a project focused on evaluating greenhouse gas emissions and soil properties at the North Campus Open Space Restoration Site. The project focuses on evaluating greenhouse gas exchange and ecosystem carbon cycling at the North Campus Open Space (previously the Ocean Meadows Golf Course), which is undergoing restoration to natural wetland areas.

Undergraduate Contribution

The contribution of an undergraduate student on this project will be to assist with gas flux measurements in the field and analyses in the laboratory, as well as soil sampling and analysis, and data entry and management. The student will also contribute to other research group activities, including laboratory work and weekly research group meetings. This project provides an opportunity for students to gain field and laboratory experience in biogeochemistry and ecosystem ecology in a research setting.

Requirements

Successful upper division students majoring in Geography, Environmental Studies, EEMB, Earth Science, and related departments may apply. Preferred qualifications include field or laboratory experience, time availability for field work, and interests and coursework in biogeochemistry, ecosystem processes, and related topics. We are seeking students for the 2017-2018 academic year, with possibility to continue during summer. The commitment is 12 hours per week on average. This time commitment translates to enrollment in 4 units of Geog 199 RA or a similar course. To apply, please prepare a resume and cover letter describing your skills and your reason for applying. Email these to Professor King (jyking@geog.ucsb.edu).

English

Melody Jue

Location:
SH 2704

Research Project

My project is about developing a theory of media specific to the ocean environment. I look at key terms in media theory--information, database, inscription, interface--and look at how our understanding of them necessarily changes in the representations of the ocean (science fiction, film, and digital media). As a part of the project, I want to develop a digital archive of ocean science fiction for future scholars.

Undergraduate Contribution

Student researchers will compile an annotated bibliography of ocean-related science fiction novels, short stories, film, games, and digital media. 

Requirements

Student(s) should be organized, reliable, curious, and be adept at using search engines/databases and finding obscure material!

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Kalju Kahn

Location:
PSB-N 2623
(805) 893-6157

Research Project

Theoretical prediction of conformations, chemical properties and spectra (such as IR and VCD) of organic and bioorganic compounds.

Undergraduate Contribution

Testing the suitability of different computational strategies by benchmarking the accuracy and resource usage of different computer programs. Establishing efficient workflows for the calculation of desired properties and spectra.

Requirements

A student should have completed the organic chemistry course at UCSB with grade B+ or better. Attention to detail, ability to troubleshoot, and perform serious work with computers is expected. A student should be willing to learn to work in Linux environment.

Location:
PSB-N 2619
805-893-6157

Research Project

Development and testing of biochemistry experiments for undergraduate laboratory courses.

Undergraduate Contribution

Evaluation and optimization of lab procedures, clarification regarding lab instructions.

Requirements

A student should have completed the biochemistry lab series at UCSB with grade B or better. Attention to detail, ability to troubleshoot, and work with literature is expected.

Political Science

Cynthia Kaplan

Location:
Ellison 3844
3110

Research Project

Project Description: The project focuses on processes involved in the collapse of the Soviet Union. The book and a series of projected articles utilize both quantitative survey data and qualitative sources. The major themes focused on include ethnic identity, social mobilization, political participation, issues of legitimacy, and the role of leaders. A book manuscript has already been accepted for publication, but some revisions are being made focusing on new data from Russia. Although all former Union Republics of the USSR are included in the analysis, Estonia and Russia receive special attention, in part, because public participation took different forms in these two essential cases.

Undergraduate Contribution

The undergraduate researcher will be asked to locate journal articles focused on specific themes of the book and articles. Most of this work will be related to Russian language journals. The student might be asked to create a database of these materials classifying materials found.

Requirements

Russian language for research. This means an ability to read articles quickly in order to identify needed evidence. A knowledge of other languages of the former USSR would be a plus. Some familiarity with Excel, or SPSS could be useful. A background in statistics for the social sciences is not a requirement, but would permit additional types of assistance.

Earth Science

Ed Keller

Location:
Webb 1109

Research Project

The purpose of the proposed research is to quantify the extent of coastal change in beaches and sea cliffs as a result of both the expected El Niño storms during the winter of 2015-2016 and the rise in sea level as a result of El Niño. We are using a specialized remote sensing technology called terrestrial LiDAR (light detecting and ranging) to scan 9 locations along the coast of Santa Barbara (including UCSB) before, during, and after El Niño. We will use the terrestrial LiDAR scans to create 3D models of the beaches and seacliffs which we will then be able to use to make comparisons and use differencing techniques to calculate the amount of erosion that has taken place from each large El Niño storm. The data will then be used to create tools, maps, and models to inform coastal agencies on adaptive management solutions to coastal erosion and sea-level rise.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduate students that are part of this project and will assist in the collection, processing, and interpretation of terrestrial LiDAR data. Students will also learn about the principles of coastal change and techniques used to determine the ages of the sea cliffs by assisting in working with storm data, measuring rock strength, and collecting and prepping radio-carbon samples. Students may be involved in public outreach at the university and surrounding schools in the Santa Barbara area. The opportunity provided to collect field data, work with real data, and talk to the community will provide valuable experience for future endeavors. Undergraduates from the Earth and Environmental Science programs as well as Geography and the Bren School will be working closely with graduate students on this project. By involving students in several disciplines, we will be providing valuable experience for STEM students.

Requirements

Students best suited for this project will be working towards a degree in Geography, Earth, Environmental, or Marine Sciences, have taken math up to calculus, and have completed at least two of their upper division courses. 
 
Knowledge in remote sensing, GIS, coastal processes, and geology is desirable, but not required. 

Counseling Clinical and School Psychology

Maryam Kia-Keating

Location:
Education 2115

Research Project

Photovoice Research Project: Seeking students as undergraduate Research Assistants to work for two quarters with a UCSB clinical psychology faculty member on a Photovoice project at San Marcos High School (SMHS). The program will take place Monday through Friday from 8-9:30 a.m. in the photography class at SMHS.

Undergraduate Contribution

Students will participate in two photography classes each week, as well as receive weekly supervision.

Requirements

PLEASE NOTE: a 2-quarter commitment and bilingual speakers are preferred. If interested please fill out the SURVEY (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HYPC37W) and CONTACT Diana Capous at dcapous@education.ucsb.edu to set up an interview.

Psychological and Brain Sciences

Heejung Kim

Location:
Psychology East 38
X6180

Research Project

Our main focus of research is how culture shapes psychological functioning in areas as diverse as interpersonal communication, religion, physiology, and genetics. To learn more about our laboratory, feel free to 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 ask for at least two quarter commitment and 3.0 or higher GPA. If you are interested, you may download an application form from the website. Please complete and email the application to Professor Kim.

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