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.

Linguistics

Mary Bucholtz

Location:
3509 South Hall

Research Project

Research assistants are needed for the School Kids Investigating Language in Life and Society (SKILLS) project, which teaches first-generation college-bound high school students, primarily of Latina/o heritage, to conduct original research and activism projects on language, culture, power, and identity in their own lives and communities as academic preparation for college.

Undergraduate Contribution

Research assistants will work in multiple capacities for the project. In the fall, RAs will process existing audio and video data of classroom interaction as well as data collected by high school students, to help develop analyses for original research. In winter and spring, RAs may continue to work on data as well as collecting new data through fieldwork in local high schools and other settings.

Requirements

Desirable but not required: Previous coursework in Linguistics, Chicana/o Studies, and/or Education, Spanish or Mixtec language ability, experience in working with youth, experience in collecting, editing, and/or analyzing audio or video data, website experience, and/or coursework in sociocultural linguistics.

Anne Charity-Hudley

Location:
South Hall 3607 B

Research Project

I plan to write a book and several articles on language and culture in postsecondary contexts, with a focus on supporting the social and academic experiences of African-American students on predominately White university campuses. The book “Talking College” will include survey and interview materials.

Undergraduate Contribution

Students will help prepare a literature review designed for a general public audience on African-American language and culture.

Students will conduct interviews, do linguistic analysis of the interviews, and create materials designed to empower college going speakers of African-American English.

Requirements

Students should plan to take or have already taken LING 36 with Prof. Anne Charity Hudley or LING 136 with Prof. Mary Bucholtz

Geography

Leila Carvalho

Location:
6808
805-893-7351

Research Project

Approximately 30-50 km above the earth surface in the stratosphere lies an atmospheric layer rich in ozone (O3). Ozone can be toxic to life and damaging to materials but high in the atmosphere it serves to shelter life on the Earth’s surface from powerful lethal ultraviolet radiation. Without the ozone layer to absorb ultraviolet it would be virtually possible for life to inhabit Earth's land areas. Ozone is constantly being formed and destroyed by chemical reactions in the upper atmosphere and the balance between formation and destruction determines the concentration of the molecule. Clorofluoercarbons (CFCs) produced by human activity are very effective in destroying the ozone layer. However, water vapor in the stratosphere can also affect the concentration of ozone and the temperature of the stratosphere. There is evidence that global warming has affected atmospheric instability and the intensity of the thunderstorms in many regions in our planet. Subtropical South America is among the areas with the largest frequency of powerful thunderstorms in the world that are able to reach the lower stratosphere. The goal of this research is to evaluate the role of deep thunderstorms in modifying the content of water vapor and concentration of ozone in the lower stratosphere over subtropical South America. We will use multiple satellite Aqua’s Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) V6 level 3 standard retrieval data (from 2002 to 2016) to investigate the influence of deep convective clouds in this region and examine the contributions of these storms to changes in the upper tropopause-lower stratosphere ozone with focus on the Austral spring and summer.

Undergraduate Contribution

Students will work on satellite data processing and analysis. She/he will learn how to download satellite data used in these analyses and do simple statistics. The student will work along with the instructor and the graduate student working on this project. Students are expected to have periodic meetings with the instructor and the graduate student and will be encouraged to discuss results in local conferences.

Requirements

We expect interest in physical sciences in general and atmospheric sciences and basic statistics in particular. We also expect that the student knows how to use Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, create simple graphics and perform basic statistical analyses. The use of other programming languages to perform calculations, produce graphics and statistics is optional.

Location:
Ellison Hall 6808
805-893-7531

Research Project

Offshore gusty downslope winds accompanied by rapid warming and decreased relative humidity are considered among the most significant fire weather conditions affecting coastal areas of Santa Barbara County. These downslope winds are locally known as “sundowner winds” or “sundowners”, because they typically intensify in late afternoon to early morning, contrasting with the more typical onshore flow. These strong northerly winds are observed when atmospheric sea level pressure increases north of the Santa Ynez Mountains, which has a distinctive east-west orientation. Sundowners are a major concern during wildfire season because air heats and dries as it descends from the mountains to the sea level, increasing the chance of rapid fire spread in an event of a fire. Such conditions have affected the evolution all major wildfires in the area as, for instance, the Painted Cave (1990), the Tea House (2008), the Jesusita (2009), the Sherpa (2016), which are some examples of events responsible for loss of life, injuries, millions of dollars in property loss, and significant environmental impacts. This research will explore all available station and regional model data to evaluate a) the frequency and intensity of these events; b) the ability of the Weather Research & Forecast (WRF) model to simulate the magnitude and intensity of these events; c) examine local impacts on evapotranspiration and net radiation and other properties that are important to assess drought conditions.

Undergraduate Contribution

Students will examine wind gusts, temperature and relative humidity (when available) obtained from stations and model simulations during the occurrence of sundowner events. Students will be exposed to instrumental analysis and will be trained on simple statistical methods.

Requirements

Interest in atmospheric sciences and meteorology. Knowledge of Microsoft Excel and/or programming language (such as matlab, IDL, python or any other) to perform simple statistics and create graphics.

Elizabeth Chrastil

Location:
Ellison 5806
805-880-2566

Research Project

The project involves understanding how people navigate in new environments. We will build immersive virtual environments, and test participants in their knowledge of these environments. The lab is particularly interested in individual differences, why some people can navigate easily while others struggle. Some projects in the lab also involve neuroimaging data, such as fMRI and EEG.

Undergraduate Contribution

Students will assist in designing virtual environments and computer programming to run the virtual worlds. Students will assist in data collection and the organization and coding of data.

Requirements

GPA of 3.0 or above is preferred, with a strong background in human geography or cognitive psychology. Previous experience with programming (especially Matlab and Python) is preferred but not required. Students should be excited about spatial cognition or neuroscience. This is an excellent opportunity to gain more research experience in this area.

Chicana and Chicano Studies

Dolores Ines Casillas

Location:
1705 South Hall
805-893-3213

Research Project

I am currently conducting research within the areas of U.S. Spanish-language Media; Chicana & Latina Popular Culture; Radio & Sound Practices; Racial Politics of Language; Accent Studies; and Language Learning Technologies. I use these areas to examine specific issues in regard to race and citizenship. The work includes an overview of primary and secondary sources, academic and popular, including print, television, radio, and social media. 

Undergraduate Contribution

Currently, I am in need of someone willing to do library database and some Internet research to double check bibliographic sources. Some assistance tracking down specific URLs, books, and articles as well. An ongoing love for detail and libraries is a plus.

Requirements

A two-quarter commitment, punctuality, good attitude, sincere interest in popular culture as a site of scholarly assessment. Junior or senior standing preferred, CHST major or significant courswork in CHST a plus.

Feminist Studies

Grace Chang

Location:
SH 4704

Research Project

I require research assistance for a book project underway on human trafficking from an immigrant rights and sex worker rights perspective.

Undergraduate Contribution

The research assistant will help me to complete the following tasks:  locating popular culture treatments of the issue online and in films; locating legal cases and journal articles/books; fact checking and citations; some copy-editing.

Requirements

Student should be a junior or senior who has taken one of my undergraduate survey classes (FS30 or FS50) with me previously, and has demonstrated attention to detail, responsibility, initiative, follow-through and research skills.

History

Miroslava Chavez-Garcia

Location:
3257 HSSB

Research Project

Race, Gender, and Juvenile Justice

Undergraduate Contribution

I am looking for a student to carry out newspaper research, review archival documents and images, bibliographic searches, and related research for a project on girls in the juvenile justice system in 20th century California.

Requirements

Student must have familiarity with the subject, be an advanced undergraduate, detail-oriented, punctual, and a strong writer. Student must have taken a course with me in the recent past.

Mhoze Chikowero

Location:
HSSB 4214

Research Project

I am looking for student assistance with my project on colonial urban policy, particularly with regards to African alcohol in early colonial Zimbabwe.

Undergraduate Contribution

The student assistant will search on-line newspapers and microfilms for articles relating to alcohol in African locations, citing and collecting the articles.

Requirements

The right candidate: a student who has taken at least one African history course and can work with on-line sources and microfilms.

Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology

Rolf Christoffersen

Location:
Bio II, Rm 3125
893-3500

Research Project

The chemical analysis of volatiles produced during yeast fermentation of grape must to produce wine aromas and flavors. We are using small scale laboratory fermentation to model the process used in production wineries. The goal is to determine environmental and yeast genetic factors that contribute the production of fine wines.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduate students will set up fermentation experiments, collect liquid and volatile samples, analyze them by various chemical assays including gas chromatography, HPLC, and other laboratory assays.

Requirements

Upper division biology or chemistry major. Students who have take one or two upper division laboratory courses are preferred.

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