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.

Psychological and Brain Sciences

Nancy Collins

Location:
3821 Psychology Ea

Research Project

Social support processes couples – This project will examine the ways in which individuals interact with their romantic partners when thinking about a current personal stressor. In the first part of this study, participants will complete an online questionnaire and writing task designed to measure expressions of support need. In the second part of this study, romantic couples will come to the lab and be video-recorded discussing one partner’s current personal stressor. We will measure partners’ emotional responses to stress, as well as support seeking and provision.

Undergraduate Contribution

Research assistants will be involved in all aspects of the project including running participants, transcription, and coding language and behavioral data.

Requirements

No prior research experience required. Student must be enthusiastic about research, extremely responsible and conscientious, and able to commit 6 to 9 hours a week to the project.

Ecology Evolution and Marine Biology

Peter Collins

Location:
Bio. II, Room 2139
893-4425

Research Project

Our laboratory examines growth and life-history characteristics in nearshore marine teleost fish which can potentially be cultured as a food resource or incorporated into programs for wild stock enhancement. Our research is centered on two model fish namely a viviparous (live-bearing) species, rockfish and an oviparous (egg laying) species, cabezon. We are evaluating the dietary requirements and environmental conditions ( e.g. water temperature and oxygen concentration) necessary for optimal growth and survival in these two fish species. Our studies are aimed at establishing a comprehensive picture of developmental characteristics from birth or hatching through component phases of larval and juvenile life in fish.

Undergraduate Contribution

All students will be involved in maintaining fish broodstock and experimental populations in our marine facility. Individual students will be assigned to culturing or collecting from the wild a variety of microorganisms which comprise the complex dietary requirements of fish larvae. Dietary intake will be quantified and the efficacy of different dietary regimens will be compared by monitoring survival and growth performance. Some students will be involved in the development of experimental protocols designed to expose larval populations to different oxygen levels (hypoxia) and temperature and to evaluate the effect of these environmental parameters on fish larvae.

Requirements

Students must be reliable and adhere strictly to assigned tasks. Maintenance of vertebrate species such as fish requires daily monitoring to ensure conformance with standards established by UCSB's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Good record keeping skills are required. Development in larvae is monitored by reference to weight, linear dimensions and physical features determined by morphometric analysis by light microscopy. While we can provide in-house training in required laboratory skills, students with experience with microbalances and/or research microscopy would be highly desirable for this component of the study. Computer skills relating to data analysis are also desirable.

Carla D'Antonio

Location:
4017L Bren Hall

Research Project

The project involves investigating variation in plant traits across environmental gradients. We use a non-native woody species, Tamarisk, to answer questions related to how biomass accumulation, carbon allocation patterns, and physiological constraints change with increases in stressors. We are particularly interested in responses to different kinds of stress and their interactions, specifically salinity, increased temperature, and herbivory. Currently we are processing samples from a common garden site in Yuma, AZ and performing greenhouse experiments related to increasing levels of salinity.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduates involved in the project will work closely with graduate students to implement greenhouse experiments and process samples from the common garden. Greenhouse experiments will include learning how to grow and care for plants in the trials and constructing experimental designs. As the experiments progress students will help with tracking plant growth and entering those data. Students will gain skills in using tools to measure physiological activity in live plants, as well as processing plant material for analysis at the end of the experiment. Students involved in processing samples will gain experience in using lab equipment and helping with data analysis.

Requirements

Completion of introductory biology series

Attention to detail and good note taking abilities

Good attitude and willing to get dirty in the field and greenhouse

Music

Tim Cooley

Location:
Music Building 1101

Research Project

Ecology and American Folk Music: American folk music is not about the past, but is continually being reinvented, reimagined, and renewed. Ideally folk music cultures are part of local ecologies wherein human cultural practices contribute to sustainable living. The goal of this project is to identify updated academic research and media (recordings, films, webpages), and to gather information about local and regional folk and vernacular music performances and festivals.

Undergraduate Contribution

The Research Assistant will advise Cooley on current academic and popular literature and media on folk music. They will produce an annotated bibliography and mediography. The Research Assistant may aid Cooley in arranging undergraduate field trips and other related campus or local events.

Requirements

Basic research and bibliographic skills. Ethnographic training a plus. No course prerequisites though Music 176a or any of the Music 175 or 168 classes are a bonus.

Timothy Cooley

Location:
1101 Music Building

Research Project

The goal of this project is to collect and evaluate media on music related to tourism globally. Tourism is an over-one-trillion USD industry and has become a key employment opportunity for musicians and other performers. In the academic research on tourism and music, the most vibrant debate is about its benefits or detriments for local musicians. The particular research emphasis will be on the Disney Corporation—arguably the largest employer of musicians in the world.  

Undergraduate Contribution

Students will advise Cooley on current academic and popular literature and media music and tourism. Students will aid Cooley in arranging a one-day undergraduate seminar to be held at Disneyland (during appropriate academic quarters).

Requirements

Basic research and bibliographic skills. Ethnographic training a plus.

Timothy Cooley

Location:
Music 1101
893-3261

Research Project

The goal of this project is to collect and evaluate media on music related to surfing globally. This research builds on Cooley’s 2014 book Surfing about Music, which expands ethnomusicological thinking about the many ways musical practices are integral to human socializing, creativity, and the formation of community.

Undergraduate Contribution

Students will advise Cooley on current academic and popular literature and media concerning surfing culture. They will update the Surfing about Music webpage and facebook page.

Requirements

Basic research and bibliographic skills. Ability to create webpages a plus. 

Global and International Studies

Timothy Cooley

Location:
Music 1101
893-3261

Research Project

The goal of this project is to collect and evaluate media on music related to surfing globally. This research builds on Cooley’s 2014 book Surfing about Music, which expands ethnomusicological thinking about the many ways musical practices are integral to human socializing, creativity, and the formation of community.

Undergraduate Contribution

Students will advise Cooley on current academic and popular literature and media concerning surfing culture. They will update the Surfing about Music webpage and facebook page.

Requirements

Basic research and bibliographic skills. Ability to create webpages a plus. 

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

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Mattanjah de Vries

Location:
Chemistry 4221
(805) 893-5921

Research Project

The de Vries lab combines a number of innovative Physical and Analytical chemistry techniques for a novel approach to the study of individual molecules. Included are studies of complex molecules, isolated biomolecules and clusters, and surface analytical applications. See website for details

Undergraduate Contribution

Participate under the guidance of graduate students

Requirements

Major in Chemistry or Physics. Strong interest in Physical chemistry. Second or third year student.

Geography

Qinghua Ding

Location:
Ellison Hall 6806

Research Project

Over the last decade, statistically significant warming has been noted across the Arctic and West Antarctic. Studies that have investigated the mechanisms associated with the warming all agree that changes in the regional atmospheric circulation are at least a consistent if not a causal mechanism.The project aims to understand the atmospheric circulation changes consistent with, and perhaps causing, the ongoing warming trends across the polar regions, which are some of the strongest warming trends on Earth. This improved understanding has the capacity to further our knowledge about ongoing ice sheet loss in West Antarctica and Greenland and the resultant sea level rise, and is therefore of global significance.

Undergraduate Contribution

The undergraduate student will conduct the statistical analyses to interpret changes in some surface temperature modes analyses (either in frequency, magnitude, or progression between them over time), and the connection that the modes have with large-scale climate in the Southern and Northern Hemispheres and sea ice across the Arctic and Antarctic. This project will provide valuable education and training opportunities for a part-time undergraduate to become familiar with the reanalysis and model data and gain experience with the techniques to handle large climate data sets. Students will learn “Big Data” skills in processing large volumes of model output and learn data processing system based on Python, Matlab and Grads.

Requirements

Useful skills that are helpful would be previous experience with computers and programming (e.g., C, C++, Matlab, Python, Fortran). Everything else can be learned.

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