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Intern Research Projects

Katie McKnight

Katie McKnight in Lab

SULI Intern Fall 2013

Education: 

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, B.Sc. Environmental Science

Research Focus:

Microalgae is a promising bioenergy feedstock alternative to address climate change concerns posed by fossil fuels. Some advantages of using microalgae include renewability, carbon neutrality and adaptability. My group in the Earth Sciences Division at LBNL plans to develop an outdoor high-rate algal pond facility of industrial scale to further research algae as a bioenergy source. My research focused on exploring microalgae cultivation techniques and how changing growth conditions can make algae a more feasible feedstock option. My main findings were that salinity stress optimizes lipid production, but too much salinity led to less than optimal lipid concentrations; growing more than one algae simultaneously can be a lot more productive than just growing one by itself; and a 10X scale-up factor was very effective in establishing healthy algae populations and avoiding potential scale-up shock.

Research Paper

Research Poster

Helen Bergstrom

Helen

SULI Intern Summer 2013

Education: 

Brown University, Providence, RI
Candidate for B. Sc. in Biochemical and Chemical Engineering

Research Focus

Increased demand for and over-allocation of fresh water resources in the San Joaquin River Basin has necessitated the creation of real-time water quality management (RTWQM) strategies to ensure that downstream water quality objectives are met. The Grasslands Water District, 47,795 acres of natural and artificial seasonal wetlands, has been identified as an area of priority for real-time salinity management. Salinity in the Grasslands Water District is of special concern as wetland drainage release periods that correspond to periods of low assimilative capacity in the San Joaquin River Basin and the irrigation season of salt-sensitive crops. The goal of my research is to verify the proposed RTWQM model, Watershed Analysis Risk Management Framework (WARMF), using the concept of mass balance. Through this study, I have gained a profound understanding of the WARMF conceptual model.

Research Paper

Research Poster

Noémie Borel

Noemie

Intern April-August 2013

Education: 

Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA) de Lyon, Villeurbanne, France
Candidate for Diploma in Energy and Environmental Engineering

Research Focus

High salinity loads is presently a major issue in the San Joaquin River Basin. Excess salt loads can degrade the habitability of fresh water environments but more importantly degrade irrigation water used for valuable salt-sensitive crops.  Real-time water quality management models such as the Watershed Analysis Risk Management Framework (WARMF) model have been developed in order to better manage water quality. WARMF is a water-quality forecasting model used to improve the timing, coordination and management of agricultural drainage and reservoir releases into the San Joaquin River. My research concerns improving the WARMF model’s accuracy through adding new point sources at different locations. The hope is if more inputs are provided to the model, the simulations will more accurately represent real observed data. 

Monique de Brito Guedes

Science Teacher at Berkeley High School, Berkeley, CA
IISME Intern Summer 2013

Education: 

University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
B.A. Environmental Studies, B.A. Politics

Research Focus

My research concerns the scale-up of algae growth for biofuel production and the presentation of this method in a high school classroom environment. I have developed protocols for scaling-up Scenedesmus Sp. Algae for production from starter cultures to open algae raceway ponds. Additionally I am working on experimental design lessons creating algae photobioreactors with students.

Research Poster

Thomas Connor

Thomas

SULI Intern Spring 2013

Education: 

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
B.Sc. Natural Resources

Research Paper

Research Poster

Virginia Lehr

ELP Intern 2012

Education: 

University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA
Candidate for B.Sc. in  Electrical Engineering

Research Focus

My main objectives were to develop a theoretical data flow model to be used for the seasonal wetland salinity management Decision Support System, and to Implement the core components of the DSS using the WISKI hydrologic data management system.  The Decision Support System must undergo additional development before it will achieve it’s full potential, as the data network currently used encompasses intervals, which could potentially botch the continuous stream of data. HEADS group will continue to develop this Decision Support System to improve water quality through the availability of real-time data

Research Poster

Taiki Murakami

Taiki Murakami

ELP Intern 2012

Education: 

Los Medanos College, Pittsburg,
CAA.Sc. Engineering

California Polytechnic State University , San Luis Obispo, CA
Candidate for B.Sc. in Civil Engineering

Research Focus

Water Quality Forecasting in the San Joaquin River Basin
In the San Joaquin Valley, efforts are being made to restore wetland ecosystems in the Grasslands Water District (GWD) through seasonally managed flooding designed to simulate the natural flooding that once sustained the area.  In this study, two water quality forecasting models used in aiding water management decisions (WARMF and SJRIODAY) were compared to determine forecast accuracy of flow and electric conductivity.  WARMF is anticipated to phase out the SJRIODAY model with its enhanced capability to simulate watershed processes.  Historical salt load trends were also looked at to determine if a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) objective set for 2014 could be met
.

Research Poster

Olga Epsthein

Olga

SULI Intern Summer 2012

Education: 

Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona
B.S.E.  Civil Engineering
Candidate for M.S. in Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering

Research Focus

My research focuses on wetland delineation and remote sensing-based ET estimation in the San Joaquin River basin to support the development of a real-time basin-scale water resource management decision-support model.

Research Paper

Research Poster

Debra Miller

Debra

Science Teacher at Lincoln Unified School District, Stockton, CA
IISME Intern Summer 2011

Education: 

University of California Stanislaus, Stanislaus, CA
B.Sc. Geology and Earth Science

Research Poster

Kevin Randeni

Kevin

Intern June 2010-December 2011

Education: 

University of California  Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
B.Sc. Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Paper

Research Poster

Lance Webber

CCI Intern Summer 2010

Education: 

Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles, CA
Civil Engineering 

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Candidate for B.Sc. in Civil Engineering

Research Paper

Research Poster

Miranda Spang

Middle School Math Teacher at Ascend School, Oakland, CA 
IISME Intern Summer 2009

Education: 

M.A./M.S. in General Education
B.A./B.S. in Biology

Research Paper

Research Poster

Christian Pederson

BLIPS Intern Summer 2009

Education: 

Albany High School, Albany, CA

Research Poster

David Krauth

SULI Intern Summer 2009

Education: 

University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
MPH Public Health
B.Sc. Environmental Science 

Research Paper

Research Poster

Dylan Stankus

SULI Intern Summer 2008

Education: 

Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
M.S. Chemical and Environmental Engineering

University of South Carolina- Columbia, Columbia, SC
B.Sc. Civil Engineering 

Carlton Grizzle

Math & Science Teacher at Alameda Community Learning Center, Alameda CA
VFP Intern 2008 

Education: 

University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
M.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering

B.Sc. Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Focus

Carlton Grizzle is a high school teacher with a background in Civil and Environmental Engineering – having worked as geotechnical engineer before teaching.  Carlton’s summer project involved the development of spreadsheets that computed flow and salinity balances for twelve wetlands in Grassland Water District. The spreadsheets are provided 15 minute monitoring station for inflow, outflow and both inflow and outflow electrical conductivity.   The spreadsheets demonstrated the difficulty in obtaining good flow and salinity balances in these  wetlands – although these results are the best obtained for seasonally managed wetlands in the western San Joaquin Basin to date.

Mass Balance Model Documentation

Mass Balance Model Example Excel Spreadsheet

Robert Deitz

SULI Intern summer 2007

Research Chapter

Adam Hall

SULI Intern Summer 2007

Education: 

Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME

Research Paper

Research Poster

Heather Graham

Heather Graham

SULI Intern Summers 2004 & 2005

Education: 

Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA

2004 Research Paper

2005 Research Paper 

Sara Feldmann

SULI Intern 2003-2004

Education: 

California State University- Hayward, Hayward, CA
Environmental Science

Wetland Guide

Research Paper 

Adele Gelvin

Intern Summer 2000

Education: 

Northeastern Junior College, Sterling, CO 

Research Focus:

Two current projects being conducted in the San Joaquin Valley of California are the Grassland Water District Real-Time Water Quality Management project and the Panoche Drainage District Algal-Bacterial Selenium Removal System project. The Grassland Water District project focuses on the concentration of salinity in the 90,000-acre wetland area and the amount that is released to the San Joaquin River in the spring. The high salinity is a problem for farmers in the early spring irrigation because the salinity interferes with water uptake by the plant which causes poor germination and growth, resulting in poor production. Panoche Drainage District Algal-Bacterial Selenium Removal System utilizes algae and bacteria to reduce nitrate and selenate found in tile drainage water. The project incorporates two pilot systems to determine the most effective and cost efficient system in which a larger plant can be built. The nitrate is a problem because it influences unwanted algae growth in the canals. The selenate poses a threat to waterfowl and their offspring by acting as a teratagen. My role was to create a web page explaining the importance, location, and nature of each project.

Research Paper

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