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.

Earth Science

John Cottle

Location:
Webb 2028

Research Project

Using geochronology to determine the geologic history and tectonic evolution of the Himalaya and Transantarctic Mountains.

Undergraduate Contribution

The student will measure chemistry and ages of accessory phase minerals in the samples and assist with data interpretation and presentation. The student will gain significant experience in advanced analytical techniques including using the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Electron Probe MicroAnalyzer (EPMA), and Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (LA-ICPMS).

Requirements

mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry

Phillip Gans

Location:
1034 Webb Hall
893-2642

Research Project

Investigation of the geologic evolution of various localities through a combination of field and analytical work. Geologic mapping, sample collecting, compilation of field data using GIS software, preparation of presentation graphics, statistical analysis of structural data, preparation and analysis of geologic samples using a variety of methods, including radiometric dating (40Ar/39Ar, U-Pb), petrographic studies, SEM and Microprobe.

Undergraduate Contribution

Assisting with field work, preparation of samples for petrographic and microstructural work, compilation and analysis of data using Excel, computer graphics using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, preparation of high purity mineral separates for geochronological analysis (crushing, grinding, sieving of rock samples, density and magnetic separations)

Requirements

Prefer some geologic background - ideal for entry level earth science majors. Experience with Excel and Adobe Creative Suite are desirable for some of the work.

Bradley Hacker

Location:
2120 Webb Hall

Research Project

Dating of rocks and minerals using the U-Pb and other isotopic methods. Determining metamorphic pressure and temperature using thermobarometry.

Undergraduate Contribution

Mineral separation, petrography, electron-probe micro-analysis, electron-backscatter diffraction, ICP mass spectrometry.

Requirements

Mineralogy

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. 

Susannah Porter

Location:
Webb 1117
805-893-8954

Research Project

Studies of animal and protistan microfossils with the goal of understanding the evolution and ecology of early life (ca. 500 to 1000 million years ago).

Undergraduate Contribution

Student will assist with sample preparation and processing, including acid dissolution of rocks and microfossil picking, and light and/or scanning electron microscopy.

Requirements

B+ or better in Earth 111.

Roberta Rudnick

Location:
Webb 1031
805-893-3082

Research Project

The project is to investigate the geochemical behavior of nominally chalcophile elements in Earth's mantle. In particular, mass balance calculations will be performed for the following elements in sulfide-bearing peridotites: Cu,Ga, Ge, As, Mo, Ag, Cd, In, Sn, Sb, Tl, Pb, and Bi in order to assess recent suggestions that these elements are hosted primarily in silicates and oxides rather than suflides.

Undergraduate Contribution

The undergraduate student will perform analyses of the major minerals within the peridotites using both the electron microprobe (for major elements) and laser ablation ICP-MS (for trace elements). The student will read and discuss relevant literature, will present his/her findings to my research group, and will write a senior thesis on this topic.

Requirements

EARTH2

EARTH114 (optional, but recommended:

EARTH124 and EARTH102A)

Alexander Simms

Location:
2041 Webb Hall
893-7292

Research Project

We have several projects using cores from local estuaries reconstructing past sea-level, climate, and tectonic changes.

Undergraduate Contribution

We are looking for students to help run some of the analysis of the cores (e.g. grain size, looking at microfossils, etc.).

Requirements

Background in geology and basic math and statistics. Having had sedimentology is a plus (Earth 122).

Toshiro Tanimoto

Location:
Webb Hall 2112
893-8375

Research Project

I have two projects:
1. Tracking hurricanes/typhoons by dense seismic arrays. Hurricanes generate strong ground motions from which we can learn interesting spatial and temporal features.
2. Analysis of rotation seismograms. Measurements of rotation, as opposed to strain, have not been made historically. We have some ring-laser data from Germany that we want to analyze.

Undergraduate Contribution

The main tasks are to analyze time-series data. The data can be seismograms or ring-laser data from US, Japan and Germany.

Requirements

Some basic understanding and experience in programming (e.g., C, C++, Matlab) are required. Also some knowledge of Fourier analysis are helpful. Recommended courses are Earth 134, 135, 136, and ECE 130. But they are not required.

Syee Weldeab

Location:
Webb Hall, Room #1113

Research Project

Using stable isotope geochemistry to determine the climate history of Central Asia and oceanographic evolution of Indian Ocean

Undergraduate Contribution

The student will prepare samples and measure stable isotope and trace elements of stalagmite (cave deposit) and marine micro-organisms and assist with data interpretation and presentation. The student will gain significant experience in advanced analytical techniques including using Stable Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (SIRMS), the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Electron Probe MicroAnalyzer (EPMA), and Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (LA-ICPMS).

Requirements

Geochemistry, paleoclimate, climate