LEWIS & CLARK COLLEGE
Name: Greg Hermann
Forming cellular compartments: Dr. Hermann’s research group studies the formation of a lysosome-related organelle called the gut granule during embryonic development in the model system C. elegans. Lysosome-related organelles comprise a varied group of cellular compartments that include melanosomes, pigment granules, and lytic granules in humans. Interestingly, they each have unique contents and functions while sharing significant overall similarity to the conventional lysosome. Dr. Hermann’s group is using genomic approaches to identify all of the genes that contribute to the construction of these important cellular compartments .
OREGON HEALTH & SCIENCES UNIVERSITY
Name: Michael V. Danilchik, Ph.D., Professor, Dept. of Integrative Bioscience
The main goal of the laboratory is to understand the cellular basis of embryonic morphogenisis – how cellular activities, movements, and cell-fate decisions are coordinated to carry out the dramatic tissue rearrangements that shape early embryos. We use eggs and embryos of the frog Xenopus laevis as our model system. Xenopus readily lay thousands of eggs at any time of year. The embryos are exceptionally hardy, so they have become one of the most useful model systems for studies involving direct cell manipulations, and microsurgery to investigate key cellular behaviors such as cell locomotion, prostrusive activity, and cell rearrangements. Two current projects in the lab are focused on 1) membrane and cytoskeletal interactions involved in large-scale cellular activities, including cell division and cell rearrangement; and 2) how cells communicate with each other across relatively large distances within the embryo. In conjunction with the mentor, the teacher would develop a project oriented around one of the main research aims of the lab, essentially to test a discrete hybothesis directed at a cellular process important for early vertebrate development. This research will involve the teacher becoming familiar with rearing and handling Xenopus adults for the purpose of harvesting eggs and embryos. Learn how to fertilize and culture embryos to various stages, learn microinjection, microsurgery, and various microscopic techniques, including time lapse micrography, confocal microscopy, immunofluorescence labeling techniques, and how to analyze captured image data with various image-analysis software packages.
Name: William Messer, MD, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases and Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
The Messer lab focuses on dengue virus, a pathogen transmitted by mosquitos and endemic throughout the tropical and sub-tropical world. His particular interest is in viral genetics and evolution and how those factors affect viral fitness, viral pathogenicity and the human immune response to dengue virus infection. Dr. Messer’s lab has three areas of active research: 1) the genetic determinants of virus fitness in the mosquito vector Aedes aegypti, 2) strategies to identify the critical targets of neutralizing antibodies following dengue infection and, 3) using biochemically derived RNA structural models and dENV reverse genetics to identify RNA secondary structures critical to dengue virus viability. As a former middle school science teacher, Dr. Messer has a particular interest in advancing science education at the secondary school level and have several years experience as an outreach educator working with middle school students. The teacher/intern would be given the opportunity to be come competent in the fundamental tools of virology, including tissue culture, molecular virology, including PCR, sequence analysis, nucleotide mutagenesis and cloning methods. Together, the teacher and Dr. Messer would develop a self-standing project within the framework of the current work to develop and test a specific hypothesis regarding the role of dengue virus genetics in one of several spheres of virology in which they work. The teacher intern will take the lead in the design, execution and evaluation of the results of his/her experiments The teacher/intern would also have the opportunity to function as a full member of the lab, including presenting at lab meeting, journal clubs, and, if opportunity arises, regional or national meetings.
OREGON NATIONAL PRIMATE RESEARCH CENTER
The Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) is an institute of Oregon Health & Science University, located on OHSU’s West Campus, in Beaverton, OR. One of 7 National Primate Research Centers located throughout the country and supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), ONPRC serves as a national resource to biomedical scientists who require nonhuman primate models for their research. To learn more about the research programs conducted at ONPRC, visit www.ohsu.edu/onprc
The following ONPRC scientists are interested in mentoring a high school teacher during the summers of 2018 and 2019. If you are interested in partnering with one or more of these scientists, please contact Diana Gordon (503-346-5055 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Name: Antonio Frias, MD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Scientist, Division of Reproductive & Developmental Sciences
The overall goal of the Frias laboratory is to understand normal pregnancy, and to develop tools that will identify pregnancies that are compromised by placental dysfunction. Specifically, the Frias group focuses on developing non-invasive methods to study and understand the placenta during pregnancy, and to correlate in vivo function with in vitro analysis post-delivery. In vivo ultrasound and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) techniques implemented in nonhuman primate models of perturbation (e.g., maternal dietary manipulation), are used in combination with tissue collection for in vitro analysis of placental structure and function. This approach facilitates correlation of blood flow to the placenta, as the main determinant of maternal supply, with how the placenta functions in order to optimize development of the baby.
The teacher/intern will perform cellular and molecular studies of the placenta. The teacher/intern will have the opportunity to participate in studies designed to quantitate the expression of proteins by Western blot, and cellular localization of protein expression using immunohistochemistry.
Name: Jon Hennebold, PhD, Professor and Chief, Division of Reproductive & Developmental Sciences
The Hennebold laboratory focuses on defining the processes occurring in the ovary that are necessary for female fertility. Based on data obtained from recent genomic studies conducted in our laboratory, our group’s research interests include defining the molecular and cellular pathways responsible for rupture of the ovarian follicle, the release of an egg that is competent to undergo fertilization and subsequently develop into a preimplantation embryo, as well as the formation of the corpus luteum. The teacher will participate in studies that ultimately contribute to the development of novel approaches to control fertility, including the identification of processes that promote fertility in women seeking to have children or for the development of non-hormonal female contraceptives. The Hennebold laboratory is also interested in Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) and the use of recently developed gene editing tools, such as CRISPR or TALENs, for creating relevant models of human disease.
The teacher/intern will perform cellular and molecular studies of the primate follicle and/or corpus luteum. The teacher/intern will have the opportunity to participate in studies designed to quantitate the level of specific mRNAs using state of the art real-time or microfluidic PCR, the expression of proteins by Western blot, and cellular localization of protein expression using immunohistochemistry. Research opportunities are also available that involve generating and testing CRISPR/TALEN gene editing reagents.
Name: Kristine Coleman, PhD, Assistant Scientist, Division of Animal Resources
As Head of the Behavioral Sciences Unit at the ONPRC, Dr. Coleman’s role is to oversee the psychological well-being of the non-human primates who live at the Center. In addition to making daily observations of the monkeys for husbandry and scientific purposes, she and her staff are engaged in a number of behavioral research studies. Such studies have included the influence of behavioral inhibition (shyness vs. boldness) on the trainability of animals, mate selection behavior and dominance in group-housed animals, and the effects of density on group dynamics.
The teacher/intern will learn behavioral methodology, including the design and use of ethograms, how to use software specifically designed for behavioral observation, and statistical methods. S/he will also learn about species specific monkey behavior and will have the opportunity to use operant conditioning (positive reinforcement) to train monkeys to cooperate with husbandry and research procedures.
Name: Mary Zelinski PhD, Research Associate Professor, Division of Reproductive & Developmental Science
Dr. Zelinski and her team are studying the development, growth and maturation of the ovarian follicle and its enclosed oocyte (egg) in nonhuman primates. Current studies center on cryopreservation of ovarian tissue prior to cancer therapy for subsequent transplantation in vivo and/or oocyte maturation in vitro to eventually obtain an offspring. Additional research is focused on preventing follicle and oocyte damage induced by cancer treatments (radiation and chemotherapy) to develop new therapies for preserving fertility in female cancer patients. Studies on the basic processes whereby follicular growth is stimulated and disrupted are aimed at producing novel agents to alleviate infertility or control fertility.
The teacher/intern will learn cellular approaches to studying ovarian function in the rhesus monkey. He or she will learn how to use general laboratory equipment as well as the techniques of cryopreservation, ovarian hormone assays, immunohistochemistry, and statistical analyses of experimental data.
Name: Tatiana Shnitko, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Division of Neuroscience/ Kathleen Grant, PhD, Senior Scientist & Division Chief, Division of Neuroscience
Cognitive functions such as memory, cognitive flexibility, self-control, learning and attention enable an individual to achieve favorable outcomes throughout the lifespan. Alcohol use and abuse might have dramatic negative consequences on the cognitive functions. In our laboratory, we use non-human primates to study alcohol-drinking behavior, effects of chronic alcohol intake on cognitive functions and whether assessment of cognitive functions in individuals might help to predict heavy alcohol us.
Summer undergraduate research assistant will participate in experimental work that was designed to explore and compare cognitive flexibility in male and female non-human primates. She/he will learn about cognitive testing and experiment design in animal models and how the experimental results might be translated to human disorders. She/he will contribute to the research by helping with data acquisition during the experiments and post-experimental data analysis.
Name: Rita Cervera Juanes, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Primate Genetics Section, Division of Neuroscience
Our research interests focus on the study of the genetic and epigenetic contributions to diseases. Of particular interest for Dr. Cervera-Juanes is in understanding the role the genes and their regulatory mechanisms (throughout epigenetic regulation) in establishing risk to develop substance use disorders. She is also interested in investigating the interactions between substances of abuse and the genes, and how those interactions modulate future behaviors, such as dependence and relapse. An additional area of interest for Dr. Cervera-Juanes is to decipher the epigenetic mechanisms underlying the heritability of risk for substance use disorders. The identification of the specific molecular targets that respond to drug abuse will aid in the development of more specific pharmacological approaches for the treatment and prevention of these disorders.
The teacher/intern will learn general molecular techniques including DNA and RNA isolation, bisulfite conversion, reverse transcription, PCR and real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry, next-generation sequencing library preparation and data analysis.
Research that takes place at ONPRC/OHSU is undertaken to improve understanding of human health and disease. Animal models are essential in this pursuit, and applicants need to be aware that in certain cases invasive animal procedures are necessary. Ethical issues associated with research in humans and other animals can evoke strong controversy, yet animal research is presently our only means of answering certain critical questions that we hope will lead to improved therapies and/or cures for disease. Federal law mandates adherence to regulations that ensure our research procedures are both humane and justified in terms of their contribution to knowledge and medical practice. Persons who apply for apprenticeship positions at ONPRC should support the ethical conduct of animal research that is carried out in compliance with federal laws and regulations.
OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY
Name: Kerry Mc Phail, Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry
Structurally complex natural products from diverse biological organisms continue to be a critical source of new chemical entities that serve as lead compounds for drug development and as molecular research probes. Taking advantage of recent advances in a range of analytical techniques, with an emphasis on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry, our laboratory focuses on the discovery and characterization of natural products relevant to cancer and infectious disease research.
Name: Malgorzata Peszynska, Professor, Department of Mathematics
M. Peszynska’s research is in applied and computational mathematics with applications in geosciences and alternative energy engineering such as mathematical and computational modeling of carbon dioxide sequestration, or groundwater flow, contamination, and remediation, or solar cells. She is working on problems which involve computations at microscopic scales using x-ray images of rock and engineered materials as well as at large scales. Some new computational models that she is developing involve fluid particles and change transport in semiconductors. Peszynska‘s interdisciplinary projects and educational activities in computational and applied mathematics attract many students and are open to further participants from high school.
Name: Rich G. Carter, Professor and Chair of Chemistry Department
Our group is interested in the development of new reactions in organic chemistry and their application to natural products. In our reaction development, we have been recently focused on an environmentally friendly family of organocatalysts call proline sulfonamides. These catalysts have significant potential to provide safer and chemical alternatives to traditional chemical processes. Our natural product work is focused on the development of new therapeutic leads – including in the areas of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease as well as new antibiotics.
Name: Jerri Bartholomew, Professor/Director John L. Fryer Salmon Disease Laboratory
Professor Bartholomew is the director of the John L. Fryer Salmon Disease Laboratory, and her research focuses on diseases in salmon, specifically the pathogens that affect the health of wild Pacific salmon populations, particularly myxozoan parasites, which have a complex life cycle, requiring both a fish and annelid host.
Name: Douglas Keszler, Director, Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry
Summer research opportunities are primarily focused on the study and development of aqueous based chemistries of interest for the production of advanced electronic materials. Research is conducted through the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry, which offers programs for advancing student achievement in Oregon high schools.
Name: Alena Paulenova, Associate Professor, Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics
Radioanalytical, separation and speciation of actinides and fission products, radiochemical sensors environmental and biomedical applications of radiotracers. Chemistry of actinides and fission products, and their speciation in aquatic matrices; Spectroscopy and mass spectroscopy of f-elements; Research in actinide solid phases as waste forms or fuels; Advanced nanomaterials, nanoradiochemistry and nuclear material science.
Name: David Ji, Assistant Professor, Chemistry Department
We work on solutions for high energy and power batteries based on device-level methodologies and chemistries. One approach is to prepare light, highly conductive and robust 3D monoliths as electrode current collectors. We draw upon preparation techniques from sol-gel chemistry, solid-state chemistry, and nano-fabrication methods, including e-beam, and atomic layer deposition. We also work on novel high-energy capacitors with a mechanistic combination of the advantages of capacitors and batteries. We are interested in investigating electrochemical phenomena on tailored material platforms, such as electrodeposition, solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) formation, electrical double layers, and their applications in energy storage and conversion.
Department of Physics
Name: James Butler
Research Interests: The nonlinear optics group does experimental studies of materials whose optical properties depend on the intensity of light incident upon them. Currently the group is working on projects in two primary areas: (1) Optical Limiters where the goal is to do the basic science research that will help in the development of materials that can protect sensitive equipment (including human eyes) from high intensity laser damage and (2) the development and characterization of Quantum Dots that have the potential to be used as tools in performing diagnostic measurements of cancer cells.
Name: Andrew Dawes
Research Interests: The photonics and quantum optics research group studies light-matter interactions, specifically the effects that arise when coherent (laser) light interacts with atoms in the vapor state. Current projects include atom cooling and trapping, nonlinear wavelength conversion, and optical pattern formation. Future projects will also include more fundamental explorations of quantum optical effects as we develop new techniques for measuring the quantum state of light.
Department of Biology
Name: Gyorgyi Nyerges
Research Interests: Nyerges investigates the presence of antibiotic resistance bacteria in soils using molecular methods.
Name: Stacey Halpern
Research Interests: Halpern studies the ecology and evolution of plant-insect interactions. Her current research asks whether insect herbivores help regulate populations of a weedy and invasive plant. She is starting new projects in how clonal plants send signals of damage between connected stems, and how that affects overall plant performance.
Department of Chemistry
Name: Joel Gohdes
Research Interests: Work in our lab focuses on stabilizing metal coordination complexes in highly-porous, cross-linked polymers. We are developing these materials for potential catalysis and gas separations applications. The work involves organic and inorganic synthesis as well as physical measurements of reactivity.
Name: Kevin Johnson
Research Interests: Johnson utilizes computational tools to investigate chemical questions. He uses Density Functional Theory to investigate novel optical properties of phthalocyanine based compounds. He also uses Classical Molecular Dynamics methods to study the effects of surfactants at the interface between water and oil.
PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY
Department of Biology
Name: Anne W. Thompson, Research Assistant Professor
Phytoplankton in the oceans are responsible for half of the oxygen in our atmosphere and have been important in shaping the atmosphere of Earth as we know it today. These abundant and ubiquitous populations of microorganisms are also the foundation of marine food webs and play important roles in the global carbon cycle. In our lab, we study the ecology of the very abundant cyanobacterium called Prochlorococcus, which is the most abundant photosynthetic cell on the planet Earth. Prochlorococcus is very diverse at the genetic level, but the consequences of this diversity to their role in global processes is poorly understood. In my lab, we study natural populations of Prochlorococcus in the open ocean and laboratory cultures to discover the relationship between genetic diversity and ecosystem function. Projects in my lab could involve techniques such as field sampling in the open ocean, flow cytometry, molecular biology, microbiology, and bioinformatic analysis.
Department of Chemistry
Name: Dean Atkinson, Associate Professor
We measure atmospheric aerosol properties via their interaction with light. We use an interesting laser based technique to make in situ and laboratory measurements of extinction, scattering and absorption. This can tell us about the physical and chemical nature of the particles that are out there, which helps us estimate their impact on Earth’s climate and on public health.
Name: Robert M. Strongin, Professor
Research in the Strongin group is focused on the synthesis of new redox and chromophore materials for biomedical applications, including the early detection of ovarian cancer as well as a range of metabolic disorders. A research partner might work on a variety of different projects including synthesizing new dyes as biomolecular indicators, developing new methods for biomoledule detection, or examining the spectroscopy and fundamental properties of functional new organic dyes.
Name: David H. Peyton, Professor, Department of Chemistry
Research in the Peyton Laboratory is centered on medicinal and biophysical chemistry, with emphasis in understanding how structures impact functioning in biological systems, and developing therapies to overcome drug resistance, particularly in malaria.
Name: Erik Johansson, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry
Research in the Johansson group is focused on inorganic materials for solar-to-electrical energy conversion. A research partner might work on many different projects, including high-temperature synthesis of single crystals, quantum-dot synthesis, electrochemistry of solar cell materials, and solar cell assembly and testing.
Name: Shankar B. Rananavare, Research Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry
Research in the Rananavare group is focused on synthesis, characterization, and device application of nanomaterials. A research partner might work on a variety of different projects, synthesizing new doped nanoparticles/nanowires for chemical sensing applications, creating new wet etch chemical formulations, or developing new sub-50nm lithographic techniques working in partnership with local semiconductor companies.
Name: Niles Lehman, Professor of Chemistry, Portland State University
Research in the Lehman lab focuses on catalytic RNA (ribozymes) as a model system to study the origins of life on the Earth. A research partner could expect to be given a project involving the study of how RNA molecules can replicate themselves in solution in the absence of a protein replicase enzyme. The lab uses standard molecular biological techniques including PCR, RNA transcription, gel electrophoresis, and DNA sequence analysis. No prior expertise in these techniques is required, only a willingness to learn and work in a very clean and sterile environment.
Name: Dirk Iwata-Reuyl, Professor of Chemistry
Research in the lab focuses on problems at the interface of chemistry and biology, and addresses diverse aspects of protein function, mechanism, structure, evolution, and design. The inspiration for all of our research is post-transcriptional processing of RNA, specifically the phenomena of nucleoside modification in the maturation of transfer and ribosomal RNA. This process results in the generation of a rich mosaic of structurally modified nucleosides, and we’re working to discover the biological roles of nucleoside modification, elucidate the biosynthetic pathways responsible for the formation of these fascinating molecules, and understand the biochemistry of the enzymes making up the pathways. We employ a multidisciplinary approach that includes enzymology, kinetics, molecular biology, and organic synthesis, and our close collaborations with other research groups allow us to further broaden the scope of our work to include structural biology, computational genomics, genetics, and physiology.
Name: David R. Stuart, Assistant Professor
Research in the Stuart group is aimed at the discovery of new chemical reactivity for the advancement of organic synthesis. A particular focus is placed on the development of sustainable synthetic methods that obviate the use of toxic and expensive reagents. Research partners that are imaginative and enjoy the process of creating (analogy to cooking) may find our research particularly rewarding. Research partners may anticipate being involved in the preparation of reagents that will aid in the discovery process, exploring the breadth of scope of a newly discovered reactivity, or applying a newly discovered method to the synthesis of a biologically active molecule.
Name: Theresa M. McCormick, Assistant Professor
In the McCormick group we are focused on developing new molecules that can transform light into chemical or electrical energy. In my group you would have the opportunity to synthesize complexes that absorb light and study their utility in energy storing reactions. You will be trained to use a variety of techniques including computational chemistry, air-free synthesis, and a spectroscopic analysis while you are contributing first hand to solar energy research.
Name: Marilyn R. Mackiewicz, Research Assistant Professor
Professor Mackiewicz’s research is designed to bridge concepts in inorganic, analytical, and nanomaterials chemistry in efforts to engineer new materials using rational design of functional inorganic nanomaterials for technology transfer in renewable energy, environmental and biomedical sectors. We envision that fundamental chemistry developed in our lab will help improve our understanding of major diseases that impact the quality of human life. This is key to other efforts in our lab geared towards the design of sensors and therapeutics for the very same diseases whose mechanism we aim to elucidate.
Department of Physics
Name: Pui-Tak Leung
Professor Leung’s research is in mainly the theoretical study of nano optics. A research partner might work in plasmonics which studies the response of the free electrons in metallic nanostructures; or in metamaterials which are fabricated optical materials with unusual properties like negative refration. The partner can help in both literature research and in computer modeling of the various phenomena studied in these areas.
Name: Jack C. Straton, Associate Professor, Physics & University Studies
Professor Straton’s research includes the theoretical study of atomic excitations via particle scattering. Because the atomic states and interactions are simple functions, one does not need extensive background in theory to be a productive partner in this process. Depending on your interest, I could use help at any of the three stages of solving a problem: algebraic manipulation of terms that contribute to the process, solving integrals involving exponentials and powers, and modifying computer code for the new problem.
Name: Ralf Widenhorn, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics
Digital sensors are ubiquitous in today’s society and found in places ranging from the Hubble space telescope to cell phones. There are two main types of digital sensors: Charge-Coupled Devices (CCDs) and Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductors (CMOS). Dr. Widenhorn studies the performance of these sensors with the goal to understand the characteristics better and improve image quality. He also investigates other material properties of semiconductor devices.
Department of Environmental Sciences
Name: Cat de Rivera, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Science & Management
We are investigating the effects of sea level rise and dike removal on salt marsh habitat and communities. We are interested in whether the regeneration and uphill spread of this important habitat can keep pace with sea level rise, whether the disturbance of changed inundation favors invasive species, and whether restoration via dike removal should be accompanied by plantings or other assisted colonization. Partner teachers can join a collaborative team investigating how soils (Dr. Martin Lafrenz, PSU Geography), plants (Dr. Sarah Eppley, PSU Biology), and animals that live in the mud (this project) change at each elevation when salt water newly inundates mudflat and marsh areas. The project will entail some field work on the Oregon coast for data collection and experiments and also microscope work back in Portland sorting out and identifying the polychaetes, clams, crustaceans, and other animals we find.
Department of Geography
Name: Martin Lafrenz, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography
In my research I study the possible impacts of sea level rise on coastal ecosystems. Through fieldwork, laboratory analysis, statistical testing, and modeling with a Geographic Information System (GIS), I investigate the nature of shifting habitat mosaics along an environmental gradient of intertidal, salt marsh, transitional marsh, and uplands. I specialize in the analysis of soil conditions and work with other researchers to collaborate on vegetation dynamics (Dr. Sarah Eppley, PSU Biology) and animal community composition (Dr. Cat de Rivera, PSU Environmental Science) of these changing environments. A teacher working with me would learn how to conduct a field project in marsh soil analysis including field collection, laboratory processing of soil samples, and GIS mapping of results. This project would assist a teacher in gaining real-world experience toward implementing the Oregon Common Core State standards in math related to functions, modeling, and statistics as well as the Oregon State standards in Science for H.2 Interaction and Change and H.3 Scientific Inquiry.
UNIVERSITY OF OREGON
Department of Physics
Name: Dr. Benjamin McMorran, Assistant Professor
Electron microscopes can be used to image specimens and materials with unprecedented detail. An important tool for research in a variety of scientific and engineering fields, the electron microscope can also be a useful tool for education purposes. For example, the ease with which these instruments can be used to image a variety of materials and objects, and their ability to rapidly zoom in smoothly from millimeter to nanometer feature sizes without refocusing, provides students with a visceral understanding of lengthscale, as well as detailed knowledge about the composition and structure of specimens. Furthermore, the operating principles of the electron microscope itself can also be used to educate. Concepts central to an electron microscope – electromagnetism, electrons, gas pressure, optics, atomic composition of matter – are accessible to high school science students. The McMorran Lab uses these instruments for fundamental experiments in electron optics and quantum physics. This work involves development of cutting edge nanoscale manufacturing techniques and application of advanced physics concepts, yet nevertheless much of this is accessible to new students of physics. This lab is looking to partner with K-12 educators who are interested in contributing to this research, and who would like to help develop curriculum featuring these tools.
Name: Dr. Frank Vignola
The University of Oregon Solar Radiation Monitoring Laboratory operates a 30 station solar monitoring network to characterize the region’s solar resource. The network includes monitoring of photovoltaic systems to help assess the performance of PV systems in the northwest. The reference station is in Eugene at the University of Oregon and is where we perform tests to calibrate and characterize the performance of solar monitoring instruments. This summer we will be performing spectral radiation measurements to more fully characterize the performance of photodiode based pyranometers and the performance of solar cells under a variety of weather conditions. We are seeking assistance in these measurements and the data analysis. Preliminary analysis of winter data are being presented at the World Renewable Energy Form this May. In addition we are continuing work on our PV lesson plans and lab kit. Information on our publications and the PV lesson plans can be found on our website is http://solardata.uoregon.edu.
Name: Eric I Corwin, Assistant Professor
Self-assembly describes the formation of ordered structures or patterns via the autonomous organization of components without human intervention. Self-assembly processes are largely governed by the structure and nature of the components involved and random forces typically (but not always) related to temperature. Understanding these processes is key to designing components for application that organize themselves into desired patterns that perform a desired function. We have designed a macroscopic analog for microscopic self-assembly using the “Cheerios” effect (surface tension induced interactions) as our driving force. Small Teflon discs will spontaneously organize into two-dimensional crystals when placed on a water surface. By exciting random vibrations on the water surface we are able to mimic thermal forces acting on the Teflon disks. This summer we hope to use this system to explore two-dimensional melting and crystallization/glass formation. We will record data with a video system and analyze collective particle motions and positional order using computerized tracking algorithms.
Department of Biology
Name: Alice Barkan, Professor
My laboratory investigates the genes and mechanisms underlying the biogenesis of the chloroplast, the subcellular organelle in plants that carries out the process of photosynthesis. Projects in my laboratory use “genetic” and “biochemical” approaches. We take advantage of mutant plants with non-functional chloroplasts to identify relevant genes, and we investigate mechanisms by which such genes act through detailed biochemical studies of their gene products. Our projects focus primarily on understanding how genes in the nuclear genome promote the proper expression of the small genome in the chloroplast, which was retained from the chloroplast’s bacterial ancestor.
UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND
Name: Angela Hoffman, Assistant Professor
Plants and fungi can’t get up and move when they are challenged with competing organisms like insects or pathogens. They protect themselves from such environmental challenges by making interesting compounds that humans may find useful. Professor Hoffman’s lab isolates and studies these compounds for their antimicrobial, anticancer or pesticidal properties. These natural products studies integrate concepts and techniques used by chemists (extraction, chromatography and chemical characterization), biologists (assays of biological activity) and environmental scientists (interactions between organisms).