Environmental Engineering Sciences

Project Title: Developing methods to assess corals resilience to ocean deoxygenation
Department:
Environmental Engineering Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Andrew Altieri, andrew.altieri@essie.ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): N/A
Terms Available:
Fall, Spring, Summer
Student Level: Sophomore; 1 student for the summer 2019/fall 2019/spring 2020 period
Prerequisites:  None, but experience with coral and aquarium systems a plus.
Credit:  0-3 credits via EGN 4912
Stipend: None unless selected for University Scholars
Application Requirements: Basic online application, Resume, Faculty interview, email one pdf file with all application requirements to andrew.altieri@essie.ufl.edu.
Application Deadline:
None
Website: www.altierilab.org
Project Description: Ocean deoxygenation is a poorly understood but growing threat to coral reefs worldwide. The student will examine multiple stress responses in corals to determine how their onset is related to duration of exposure and whether they are reliable indicators of time until death.

Project Title: Fish Behavior in Coastal Wetlands
Department:
Environmental Engineering Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Christine Angelini, christine.angelini@essie.ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): Julie Walker
Terms Available:
Fall, Spring
Student Level: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior; 1 student per term
Prerequisites:  None
Credit:  2 credits via EGN 4912
Stipend: None unless selected for University Scholars
Application Requirements: Resume, statement of research interest, contact information for two references; email one pdf file with all application requirements to Julie Walker, Julie.walker@ufl.edu
Application Deadline:
None
Website: https://www.uf-stri-marineconservation.com/
Project Description: Our research aims to compare the quality of fish habitat of saltmarsh and mangroves for feeding and refuge. This is important because with climate change mangroves are moving northward and intruding into saltmarsh. Although these systems have been attributed with many of the same ecosystem services little research has been done to compare how these systems are used by faunal communities. Fish are particularly important in coastal ecosystem by transferring nutrients from feeding in tidal inundated wetlands to the marine environment. Changing from a grassy to a woody vegetation may have important consequences on the ability of fish to successfully hunt for prey and inversely hide from predators, changing the flow of nutrients and ecosystem structures. To determine the effect of changing vegetation on fish feeding and refuge we will be conducting mesocosm and field experiments. Mesocosms will be set up as a choice arena with Spartina alternaflora (smooth cordgrass), Avicennia germinans (black mangroves), and Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove). Arena will be used to test prey fish affinity for each habitat both with and without the presence of a predatory fish, as well as predatory fish ability to successfully hunt in each vegetation type. In the field we will be capturing prey fish in Spartina, Avicennia , and Rhizophora to determine any species changes from habitat types. We will also be tethering prey in field at these different habitat types to compare relative predation rates in each.

We are looking for someone for 10-15 hours a week to analyze fish behavior from videos that we will be collecting, helping with fish identification, and potentially help with some of the field work.

Project Title : Engineering Education Collaborative
Department:
Environmental Engineering Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Elliot Douglas, edouglas@ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): N/A
Terms Available:
Fall, Spring, Summer
Student Level: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior; students per term varies depending on current projects
Prerequisites:  None
Credit:  0-3 credits via EGN 4912
Stipend: varies depending on current projects or via University Scholars
Application Requirements: Resume, Faculty Interview; email one pdf file with all application requirements to Professor Elliot Douglas, edouglas@ufl.edu
Application Deadline:
None
Website:  https://faculty.eng.ufl.edu/elliot-douglas/
Project Description: The Engineering Education Collaborative conducts research in various aspects of engineering education, including engineering problem solving, diversity and inclusion in engineering, and engineering ethics/environmental justice. Research is conducted using qualitative methods such as analysis of interviews and documents. Availability of undergraduate research positions depends on the state of current projects in any given semester. Contact Professor Elliot Douglas, edouglas@ufl.edu, to find out what specific projects are currently available.

Project Title: Evaluating the Effects of Salt Water Intrusion on the Natural Organic Matter Removal Efficiencies of Lime Softening, Anion Exchange and Coagulation Processes for Drinking Water Treatment
Department: Environmental Engineering Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Katie Indarawis, katie.indarawis@essie.ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): n/a
Terms Available: Fall, Spring
Student Level: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, 2-3 students per semester
Prerequisites:  None unless selected for University Scholars
Credit:  0-3 credits via EGN 4912
Stipend: none unless selected for University Scholars
Application Requirements: Basic online application, statement of research interest, faculty interview; email one pdf file with all application requirements to Katie Indarawis, katie.indarawis@essie.ufl.edu, to request an interview
Application Deadline: March 1 for Fall term; November 1 for Spring Term
Website:  n/a
Project Description: Determining the prevalence of salt water intrusion in source waters for drinking water treatment plants in the State of Florida, and then evaluating the effect of salt water intrusion on conventional drinking water treatment processes such as coagulation. Lab work consists of coagulation experiments on jar testers. Assistance is needed to make simple solutions, clean labware, and filter water samples. Lab help will be needed on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Project Title #1: Evaluating the Raz-Rru tracer system for use in Florida Springs
Department: Environmental Engineering Sciences
Faculty Mentor: David Kaplan, dkaplan@ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): Nathan Reaver, nreaver@ufl.edu
Terms Available: Summer
Student Level: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, 1 student per semester
Prerequisites:  none
Credit:  0-3 credits via EGN 4912
Stipend: none unless selected for University Scholars
Application Requirements: Resume, faculty interview; email one pdf file with all application requirements to Dr. Kaplan, dkaplan@ufl.edu
Application Deadline: March 1 for Summer and Fall terms; November 1 for Spring Term
Website:  www.watershedecology.org
Project Description: “Smart tracer” methods such as the resazurin-resorufin (Raz-Rru) system have been introduced to quantify hyporheic exchange and microbial metabolism in hydrologic studies and provide insight as to the biogeochemical activity of stream systems in addition to hydraulic parameters describing advective transport and transient storage. However, preliminary reach scale tracer tests performed in small streams did not yield transformation of Raz likely due to insufficient residence times and inactive, homogeneous soils. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of Raz-Rru as an indicator of biogeochemical potential in areas where high rates of water-sediment exchange are expected.

Project Title #2: Development of a Laser-Based Water Level Sensor for Fine-Scale Ecohydrological Measurements
Department: Environmental Engineering Sciences
Faculty Mentor: David Kaplan, dkaplan@ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): Kevin Henson, kevinh1212@ufl.edu
Terms Available: Summer
Student Level: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, 1 student per semester
Prerequisites:  none
Credit:  0-3 credits via EGN 4912
Stipend: none unless selected for University Scholars
Application Requirements: Resume, faculty interview; email one pdf file with all application requirements to Dr. Kaplan, dkaplan@ufl.edu
Application Deadline: March 1 for Summer and Fall terms; November 1 for Spring Term
Website:  www.watershedecology.org
Project Description: Evapotranspiration (ET) is a critical component of the global water cycle. It is the process by which water is transferred from the land to the atmosphere by evaporation from soil and other surfaces (evaporation) and from the stomatal surfaces of plants (transpiration). It is a critical process, but one that is difficult to pinpoint due to a lack of accurate and affordable sensor technology. One low-cost approach to measuring site-specific ET is to take advantage of the diurnal fluctuations in surface water and groundwater driven by ET in areas where the water table is close to the surface. This method requires highly sensitive equipment that is able to accurately quantify water table variation. The goal of this work is to develop and test a laser-based water level sensor (LB-WLS) to improve the estimate of ET via diurnal variation in water level.

Project Title: Engineering Sorbents for Air/Water Quality
Department:  Environmental Engineering Sciences
Faculty Mentor: David Mazyck, dmazyck@ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): None
Terms Available: Fall, Spring, Summer
Student Level: Sophomore, Junior, Senior; 1 student per semester
Prerequisites:  Comfortable working with microbiology and chemicals in the lab. Prior lab experiences preferred, though not required.
Credit:  1-3 credits via EGN 4912
Stipend: $500 per semester unless selected for University Scholars
Application Requirements: faculty interview; dmazyck@ufl.edu for an interview request
Application Deadline: March 1 for Summer/Fall terms and November 1 for Spring term
Website:
  n/a
Project Description: Traditionally when sorbents do not meet the desired air/water quality, the industry looks to alternate solutions. The intent of this ongoing research is to engineer sorbents for specific applications. Engineering focuses on improving sorbents physical and chemical attributes.

Project Title: Super-Efficient Sampler for Airborne Viruses
Department:  Environmental Engineering Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Chang-Yu Wu, cywu@ufl.edu
Ph.D. Student Mentor(s): None
Terms Available: Fall, Spring, Summer
Student Level: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior; 1 student per semester
Prerequisites:  Comfortable working with microbiology and chemicals in the lab. Prior lab experiences preferred, though not required.
Credit:  0-1 credits via EGN 4912
Stipend: none unless selected for University Scholars; available through federal work-study program and will help apply to scholarships
Application Requirements: UF unofficial transcripts, faculty interview; email all materials in one pdf file to Chang-Yu Wu, cywu@ufl.edu
Application Deadline: applications accepted any time
Website:
  n/a
Project Description: Invisible viruses are the cause for numerous diseases, but the detection of airborne viruses has been challenging to existing technologies due to their ultrafine size. We are engineering a next-generation super-efficient sampler for airborne viruses. Such a sampler will allow early warning of a pandemic among humans or animals. It will also help better understand the role of viruses in the environment and allow development of better strategies to prevent disease transmission.