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

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

Marine Science Institute

Lizzy Wilbanks

Location:
2128 Noble Hall

Research Project

Our lab studies the activity, ecology and evolution of microbes in aggregates and biofilms from the oceans and salt marshes. We are working on phototrophic bacterial aggregates from an east coast salt marsh and on study systems in the Santa Barbara channel, such as the giant kelp microbiome and “marine snow”, aggregates of detritus colonized by bacteria. We are currently recruiting students for two different types of projects

1. Using high throughput metagenomic sequencing to characterize microbial populations. This will include molecular methods involved in sample preparation and potentially bioinformatics.

2. Culturing new microbes from marine aggregates and biofilms and describing their physiology. Research opportunities exist for both paid work and work for credit. We are staunchly committed to creating an equal and inclusive research group that reflects the diversity of the community at UCSB.

Undergraduate Contribution

All students working in the lab contribute to the general operation and maintenance of the lab, including making media, washing culture vessels, and preparing for field expeditions. Students will start out learning techniques for culturing and/or molecular biology and then move onto a specific project. Undergraduate contributions will involve DNA extraction, PCR, and preparation of samples for high throughput sequencing. Opportunities exist for students to pursue projects in bioinformatics and data analysis. Students are expected to devote several consecutive hours on days that they work in the lab. There is also a monthly lab meeting that students attend and periodically present their results.

Requirements

Students must be determined, hard-working, and excited about the research in our group. Students must be prepared to tackle a range of tasks from the exciting and high-tech, to the repetitive and menial. Students must bring to the project a great attitude in a team environment, resiliency in the face of failure, and the ability to maintain organized records.

Anthropology

Gregory Wilson

Location:
HSSB 1036

Research Project

This project investigates how and why the complex prehistoric society of Cahokia extended its influence over the North American midcontinent in the early 12th century A.D.. Cahokia, near modern-day St. Louis, Missouri, was the largest Pre-Columbian city in North America (AD 1050–1375) and its inhabitants spread aspects of Mississippian culture as far north as Wisconsin and Minnesota. However, little is understood about how Cahokians initiated these distant interactions, and how and why local groups participated in them. Recent archaeological excavations at the Audrey North village site in the lower Illinois River Valley uncovered two artifact filled Native American houses and numerous storage pits dating to a period of intensive cultural negotiations among Cahokians and local native American groups.  The analysis of these materials provides a great opportunity to better understand this culture contact dynamic.  This is a great experience for students interested in gaining basic artifact analysis skills as well as a nuanced understanding of the exciting Pre-Columbian history of Mississippian culture.
 
 

Undergraduate Contribution

The processing and analysis of artifacts recovered from the excavation of one thousand year old Native American houses and associated features from this summer's excavations at the Audrey site village located one hour north of the modern day city of St. Louis.

Requirements

You may enroll in ANTH 194P for 1-4 units. For each unit of credit you must work three hours per week, or a total of 30 hours per quarter (ten weeks long). The lab is generally open 9am-5pm Mon-Wed, and Friday mornings. Scheduling of lab time within these hours is flexible. There is no course work requirement outside of the lab. However, if you must miss a work period for any reason, you are obligated to make up the time through arrangement with the instructor.
 
Consent of the Instructor is required for enrollment. Please contact gdwilson@anth.ucsb if you are interested in participating in this project. Make sure to include information such as your GPA, Anthropology/Archaeology courses you have taken, other lab/field experience, and why you are interested in this particular opportunity. Add codes are currently available.

Sociology

Howard Winant

Location:
SSMS Bldg 3005

Research Project

RACIAL FORMATION THEORY/CRITICAL RACE THEORY (AND PRACTICE!)

The UCSB Center for New Racial Studies offers opportunities for undergraduates to develop their research, theory, and practice skills in area of race and racism.

We will welcome and help develop projects proposed by undergraduate students oriented to race and racism issues. Projects may take the form of independent study, supervised internship with an appropriate community organization, group research activity, or paid work-study activity with the UCSB CNRS. We are particularly interested in projects related to immigrants rights, racial profiling, incarceration, low-wage labor, race/class/sex-gender intersectionality, and environmental racism.  We are also seeking students with web skills to help develop our site.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduate contribution will depend on the type of work done. All academic work will be rigorous and will demand significant writing commitment. Community-based work will be conducted under academic/organizational supervision and will require meeting agreed-upon hourly commitments in the field and producing agreed-upon writing assignments. Work-study assignments will vary.

Requirements

Students interested should arrange to meet with Professor Howard Winant; email him hwinant@soc.ucsb.edu.

Students will generally have junior or above status and a declared major. GPA of 3.3 or above will generally be expected.

History of Art and Architecture

Richard Wittman

Location:
Arts 2314

Research Project

Your work will be a vital contribution to my book project on the reconstruction of the Early Christian basilica of San Paolo fuori le mura in Rome. This reconstruction was launched after a fire destroyed the old building in 1823, and it only ended more than a century later, in 1931. The main focus of my project lies in the period 1823-1860.

Undergraduate Contribution

You would be working with photographs of primary archival documents in Italian, or sometimes with published historical documents in Italian. Depending on the situation, you would either be going through them with me, or reading and summarizing them on your own. Requirements: An excellent knowledge of both Italian and English

Requirements

You must be a careful reader and attentive to detail. The work will also be much more fun if you have a taste for history, and you enjoy working out what people long ago were thinking, doing, and aspiring to.

Political Science

John Woolley

Location:
Ellison 3714

Research Project

The American Presidency Project archives documents related to the presidency and presidential campaigns.  We have a large database already (over 110,000 documents) and expect to be visited by around 6 million users in the 2016 election year.  
 
In the current campaign presents special challenges.  We are trying to track speeches and important interviews by presidential candidates.  We are also trying to prepare the contents of the White House blog for addition to our archive.  

Undergraduate Contribution

We are looking for students to take on the monitoring of specific candidates.  They will acquire and categorizing the candidate's speeches and interviews, and prepare them in a standardized format for uploading to a searchable database.  The "white house blog" part of the project will involve extracting individual documents from the WH blog together with relevant information about the author, date, and topic(s).  

Requirements

For the candidate portion the main requirement is some facility with computer searches and use of readily available software to prepare files.  For the WH blog portion, more computer skills will be extremely helpful for extracting information from files that have been captured from the WH website.
 
The main requirement is that students need to be interested in learning a lot more about specific candidates (not necessarily their favorite by any means), and about campaigning.  
 
Some experience with websites will be helpful.

Art

Kim Yasuda

Location:
Arts Building #534 Office # 1316
805-893-2153

Research Project

Isla Vista Community Arts Internships.
 

Undergraduate Contribution

Student interns will develop and execute an IV-centered,Capstone project, exploring their individual and collaborative research and/or production skills through meaningful and effective community dialogue and engagement. Participants will research a broad range of local history and sites in IV, including but not limited to: residential neighborhoods, housing, parks, parking lots, streets, county-owned buildings, community and education centers, co-ops and food/retail storefronts. Those living in Isla Vista will explore their own residential environments and neighborhood streets/parks as potential settings for their research/work. Students may also look at models for social programming, including event resource development, planning-execution, county/city ordinance process and other critical infrastructures that support off-site, public arts development. 
 
 
 

Requirements

Community engagement and arts interested undergraduates of any discipline.

Location:
Arts Building #534 Office # 1316
805-893-2153

Research Project

Research project: Light Works, Isla Vista: May 20-23, 2016
 

Undergraduate Contribution

Various research opportunities include: Administrative (organizational and coordination/facilitation of artist projects and site visits, as well as installations); Call for Artists Review (assist in coordination of online artists review process through slideroom, facilitate review process with curators); Social Media (branding and promotion on line and in print (web, print posters, etc), Development (both crowd-sourced, private and other); Artist facilitator (work with artist to help them develop their works on site in Isla Vista during Winter/ Spring quarter 2016). 
 

Requirements

Should have creative interest and flair in public, community based projects that enhance the visual quality of life in our immediate environments. art fabrication, solid state LED engineering/lighting technologies and graphic design, web design, social media skills valuable, but not required. Enthusiasm and commitment to the vision a must!

Ecology Evolution and Marine Biology

Hillary Young

Location:
Noble Hall 2116

Research Project

Our community ecology lab is working to understand how human-driven changes to natural systems (species loss and invasion, habitat loss, climate change) affect ecosystem structure, stability and function. One of the primary ways we measure ecosystem structure is by representing them as networks of interacting species.

We are currently building food webs for a series of islands in the south pacific to better understand:

1. How do island size and productivity affect the distribution and diversity of species?

2. How does variation in these species interactions affect system stability and function?

Undergraduate Contribution

Students will work to understand how ecosystem size and productivity affect the distribution and diversity of various orders of arthropods, and will be involved in all aspects of the project including data collection, analyses and communication.

Requirements

Students that have taken basic coursework in biology are preferred, but it is not required.

Location:
Noble Hall 2116

Research Project

We are seeking undergraduate support on two Projects. Both seek to understand how biodiversity loss affects community composition and function.

  1. The first project examines the effects of land-use change and biodiversity loss on rodent-borne disease risk in East Africa.
  2. The second project examines what factors (phylogeny, lifehistory, etc) determine a species vulnerability to disturbance (e.g. local extinction risk) and how this relates to host competence in carrying diseases.

Undergraduate Contribution

1. The first project will be lab based and will include analysis of parasite loads in wildlife blood and fecal samples (including slide staining, fecal floats, and time under a microscope looking for parasites). There will also be basic organizational tasks, such as sorting and labelling samples.

Requirements

  1. Experience working on a microscope is needed. Attention to detail, good organizational skills, independence, and interest in the question are also critical!
  2. Strong quantitative skills and experience (or interest in learning) how to read scientific literature are required. Experience in R or with CMA software would be an enormous asset. Again, attention to detail, independence, good organizational skills, patience, and interest in the questions will be critical.

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