Your University Maryland Student Researchers Projects


ID: 461
Faculty Name: Byoung-Suk Kweon
College: AGNR
Department Plant Science and Landscape Architecture
Email: kweonb@umd.edu
Contact Email: kweonb@umd.edu
Project Title: The effects of green school environments on students' academic performance
Project Description: Safe and healthy school environments are critical for children to learn, play and grow. There have been national efforts to build and improve new and existing school environments. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency developed the first national level school siting guidelines in 2011 mandated by the Congress. Also, the Obama administration announced the first-ever 78 Green Ribbon Schools in 29 States and Washington, DC in 2012. Although research focusing specifically on the academic performance benefits of green spaces is limited, the current research does in fact point to the link between greater amounts of trees on campuses and higher academic performance. Wu et al. (2014) found that students with higher exposure to green space demonstrate higher academic performance than students with lower exposure. Also, students who had greater access to nature and who spent more time outdoors performed better on standardized tests, had higher graduation rates, and were more likely to have plans to attend a four-year college (Matsuoka, 2010). Although we are beginning to develop an understanding of the benefits of trees, few comprehensive studies have been performed that measure the effects of trees on academic achievement. We examine the relationship among green spaces, students’ socio-economic factors, and their academic performance by using spatial analysis methods in GIS.
Keywords: Green Space, school, academic performance, tree coverage, children, environment, GIS
Required Skills: Writing and Statistics
Web Site Address:
ID: 383
Faculty Name: vanEngelsdorp, Dennis
College: AGNR
Department Entomology
Email: dvane@umd.edu
Contact Email: dvane@umd.edu
Project Title: Preserving historical materials
Project Description: The vanEngelsdorp Honey bee lab is looking for a Library Science or Journalism major to help scan and make electronic copies of historic entomological (mostly honey bee) photos and other miscellaneous materials stored at the USDA and UMD libraries. These libraries contain century old materials. Work will involve information technology, archival techniques and records management.
Keywords: Records management, Electronic copies, information technology, archival techniques, archives, preservation, library, vanEngelsdorp, journalism
Required Skills: We are looking for motivated, hardworking individuals. Ideal applicants should have experience with organization and preservation , good attention to detail and, the ability to work independently.
Web Site Address: http://www.vanengelsdorpbeelab.com/dr-dennis-vanengelsdorp.html
ID: 469
Faculty Name: Johnson, Lea
College: AGNR
Department Plant Science & Landscape Architecture
Email: leaj@umd.edu
Contact Email: leaj@umd.edu
Project Title: Urban Forest/Restoration Ecology
Project Description: Urbanization and other human-caused environmental changes are transforming landscapes at a rapid rate. At the same time, land managers want to know what approaches will be most effective for solving environmental problems, preserving biodiversity, and providing valuable ecosystem services to people. Undergraduate assistants have the opportunity to engage in research projects that address these challenges, such as long-term effectiveness of urban ecological restoration, plants that thrive in urban environments, and effects of multiple stresses on coastal urban forests of the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. Activities may take place in the laboratory, herbarium, and/or in the field. Academic year lab members may be considered for summer research positions.
Keywords: forest, urban, plant, ecology, restoration, environmental science, environment, GIS
Required Skills: Meticulous attention to detail and a strong work ethic. Ability to work both independently and as part of a team. GIS experience, familiarity with Excel/MS Access, and plant identification skills are desirable.
Web Site Address: https://psla.umd.edu/people/dr-lea-johnson
ID: 120
Faculty Name: Weil, Ray
College: AGNR
Department Environmental Science and Technology
Email: rweil@umd.edu
Contact Email: rweil@umd.edu
Project Title: Assessing Soils and Soil Management for Soil and Water Quality in Ecosystems
Project Description: Soils are the basic resource that underlie the value and productivity of forest, farm, and grassland ecosystems. Soil management must not be degrading of soil quality, but rather, land managers must strive to improve soils to as close to their natural potential as possible. Organic matter is a dynamic component of soils that is responsible for many of the desirable properties that enable soils to produce food, wildlife habitat and protect watersheds. The nutrients nitrogen and phophorus are essential for all plants, but are also the most widespread form of water pollutants. This project is focused on balancing nutrient cycles and learning the role of active soil organic matter and developing ways to monitor progress in improving soil quality. Student will assist with gathering field soil, plant, and water samples from various sites in Maryland, preparing them for analysis, conducting lab analyses and conducting statistical analyses on the data.
Keywords: soil, soil ecology, water quality, nutrients, sustainable, agriculture, cover crops, organic matter, nitrate, phosphorus, sulfur, plant nutrition, crops, farming, groundwater, environment, Weil
Required Skills: working knowledge of MS Excel, MS WORD, at least one lab course in chemistry, ability to work outdoors in any weather, intellectual curiosity, interest in sustainable agriculture and/or natural ecosystems
Web Site Address: http://enst.umd.edu/people/faculty/ray-weil
ID: 244
Faculty Name: Biswas, Debabrata
College: AGNR
Department Animal and Avian Sciences
Email: Dbiswas@umd.edu
Contact Email: Dbiswas@umd.edu
Project Title: Zoonotic (foodborne) Diseases and Control
Project Description: Pathogens transmitted from animals to human via contaminated food and water cause up to 33 million cases (>50% of human infectious diseases) of reported illness each year in North America. Six bacterial species including Campylobacter jejuni, Enerohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), non-typhoid Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Clostridium perfringens and Staphylococcus aureus account for over one half of the illness. Reducing levels of these bacterial pathogens in food-producing animals and prevent the cross contamination in the food processing plants are effective ways to reduce food safety risks for humans. Dr. Biswas’s research projects focused on the reduction of pre- and post-harvest levels of colonization and contamination these foodborne bacterial pathogens in foods specifically meat and meat products and development of vaccines that prevent colonization of animals by E. coli O157, C. jejuni and Salmonella enterica species which may reduce human gastrointestinal infections. In addition, Dr. Biswas’s researches also focus to develop the monoclonal antibodies against foodborne bacterial pathogens to improve the detection of pathogens in food and other polluted materials.
Keywords: Zoonotic, pathogens, contamination, infectious, disease, bacteria, food safety, infection, pollution, biology, animal, avian, AGNR, Biswas
Required Skills: Biological Science Major
Web Site Address: http://ansc.umd.edu/people/debabrata-biswas

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