Summer Activities

Here are some activities and accomplishments of  the IGERT Fellows during Summer 2015:

This summer Amy Johnston has been researching the paleoclimate of the Gulf of Maine during the recent Holocene (past 5,000 years). She has been working on the analysis of mollusk shells from the Turner Farm Site in North Haven, Maine, and sites on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. The mollusk shells for this research project are from archaeological shell middens and will be used to study the stable isotopic chemistry and trace element chemistry of the samples. Read more

Despite Connor Capizanno’s transition between graduate programs, his summer has been quite eventful with various research opportunities. In hopes of providing accurate data necessary for fish stock assessments and fishery management plans, Connor extended his Master’s degree research in evaluating the mortality associated with capture and releasing undesirable fish (i.e. discard mortality). More specifically, he uses acoustic telemetry to assess fish discard mortality for those individuals captured in recreational rod-and-reel fisheries within the Gulf of Maine. Read more.

This summer, Debra Butler has been working on a research project at Massport, which is a large and complex air, ground and maritime system. The Port Authority of Massachusetts manages Logan International, Hanscom and Worcester Airports, Conley Terminal, the Cruise Port and Port of Boston. The facility owns waterfront property throughout Boston and manages/leases approximately 585 acres of maritime, industrial, and commercial waterfront property in the municipalities of South Boston, East Boston and Charlestown, including East Boston Piers Park, the East Boston Shipyard, and Piers 1-5. Read more.

In May of 2015, Jamila Gilliam graduated with an MBA from UMass Boston College of Management. She decided to vacation for one-month in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands. While on vacation she also visited the University of Virgin Island’s Caribbean Green Technology Center, and appreciated a formal tour of the beautiful campus. Read more about Jamila’s summer update.

Jeremiah Asaka spent most of his summer in the mid-western state of Ohio. A huge chunk of his time this summer has been spent preparing for comprehensive exams due in the first week of August 2015 (which he passed successfully). However, he also managed to set aside time to engage in one collaborative and two independent research projects that are explained here.

During the summer of 2015, Kaley Major focused on two different research projects. First, she collaborated with the Christian laboratory in the Biology Department on their Tidmarsh Farm Restoration project. This research assesses the effectiveness of an active restoration effort on a disused cranberry bog. As a member of the Poynton laboratory, Kaley’s involvement in the project focused on answering several different questions by using field-collected and laboratory populations of the freshwater amphipod, Hyalella azteca. Read more about Kaley’s research.

The Yale University campus does not rest while students are on summer break. Residential colleges fill with high school students from all over the world, eager to participate in a variety of summer educational and experiential programs. Linda Holcombe had the opportunity to work as a Lead Instructor for one of the more coveted programs: the Yale Young Global Scholars (YYGS). Admission is competitive and the students are incredibly smart, driven 15-18yr olds from a staggering variety of countries. This summer, YYGS welcomed students from 92 different countries and all across the United States. Read more about Linda’s summer.

Climate change has often been proclaimed as humanity’s greatest challenge, with the expectation that it will affect every industry, every sector of society, and every individual’s lives. Thanks to the efforts of researchers, NGO’s, outreach organizations, government institutions, and others, we now understand many of the complex, interlinked the human and natural mechanisms behind climate change well enough to make predictions about the future. Read more about Alex Metzger’s summer research.

It was a busy summer for Michael Denney both here at UMass Boston and away at his summer fellowship at Purdue University in Indiana. He started the summer off at Purdue as a fellow at the Borlaug Summer Institute on Global Food Security. Along with 39 other aspiring food security professionals, Michael attended dozens of lectures by food security luminaries from a host of disciplines. Read more about Michael’s summer activities.

It has been many months of expectations, wonders and butterflies in Miranda’s stomach. Miranda Chase has been waiting for her PhD program to start at UMass Boston since there was still snow on the ground. Now it is mid-summer and things are almost ready. This is a little bit about what Miranda has been up to during this preparation phase. Read more.

Patrick Sheldon had a busy summer collecting samples, testing upward/downward radiance, and preforming vertical cast with CTD on the Boston Harbor surface. Here is his research report of a summer day on the water.

The first half of the 2015 summer Paul Case was focused on research for, and the development of the final round of UMass Boston’s application for the Global Resilience Partnership. Along with the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network, Ecoagriculture Partners, and numerous local partners – including local universities and NGOs – Paul’s team proposed an innovative development project focused on land use and food security in Laikipia Kenya, the Central Rift Valley in Ethiopia, and semi-urban areas of Djibiouti. Read more about Paul’s research here.

Roger Hart was  involved in Bob Chen’s Energy course that provided understanding in the physical basis of energy through cross-cutting concepts in the natural sciences. In addition, Roger participated in a graduate course focusing on the Solar System. He has also been working on his dissertation proposal in the earth and space sciences that will incorporate a coupling of geoscience and astronomy education research focusing on deep time concepts.

Sean McCanty‘s research is investigating the effects of active stream channel restoration in an agricultural setting. Specifically Sean is looking at how the ecology of the system changes with respect to biological community assemblage and diversity, greater stream network connectivity, and ecological functionality in terms of matter and energy flow. His study system is a decommissioned cranberry bog in Plymouth, MA, which has been out of service for four years.

Although Thomas Dimino has no major updates from this summer’s research yet, he was able to do a significant amount of field work. Sampling this summer involved taking fish and habitat measurements from 4 different locations, with 3 to 4 stations at each. His focus has not changed greatly since the spring semester, as he is still primarily interested in investigating the evolutionary response to stream restoration.

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