UROCers fan out across the country for research experiences

For some college students, summer is a time to put the books away for a few months and kick back.

Mitchell Takata working at Bird Rock, Catalina IslandThat’s not the case several dozen CSU Monterey Bay students involved with the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center or UROC. Those students are spending their summers conducting experiments, gathering data and summarizing their findings in research papers.

They are spread out across the United States and beyond. Many are working in labs on other university campuses and at research centers, and some are working on projects based at CSUMB. One is doing an ethnographic study in Leon, Spain.

And while most are majoring in a field of science, a dozen are pursuing degrees – and research topics – in math, psychology, kinesiology, human communication, global studies and social and behavioral sciences.

Learn more about UROC here.

A sampling of the work students are doing this summer:

Alexis Ingram (human communication): At the Digital Media and Learning Hub at UC Irvine, Alexis will study “geek” culture.

Alison Aceves (marine science): Alison will work at the Hatfield Marine Science Center at Oregon State University, studying host-parasite interactions of salmon in the Columbia River.

Andrea Valdez (biology): At UC Santa Barbara, Andrea will study genetic diversity in sea urchins.

Annette Verga-Lagier (biology): At Hopkins Marine Station, Annette will continue studying the effects of thermal stress on marine life.

April Makukhov (biology): April will work with CSUMB professor Cheryl Logan, investigating the impacts of ocean acidification on rockfish.

Brady Latham (environmental science, technology, policy): At UC Davis, Brady will investigate how levees on the Cosumnes River affect groundwater flow.

Breanna Orozco (kinesiology): At USC, Breanna will study an exercise intervention program designed to improve metabolic syndrome in breast cancer survivors.

Briana Becerra (ESTP): Briana will conduct research in forest ecology at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire.

Cristina Villalobos (marine science): Cristina will work at Western Washington University’s Shannon Point Marine Center, investigating the impacts of ocean acidification on zooplankton.

Elidia Mendoza (psychology): At CSUMB, Elidia will examine how students’ abilities to identify thoughts and feelings of others affect their academic performance.

Elisabeth Carrillo (biology): At UC Santa Cruz, Elisabeth will study alternative gene splicing.

Elizabeth Alger (biology): At the University of Texas at Austin, Elizabeth will conduct genomics research on the effects of climate change on a prairie grass species.

Elizabeth Hensley (human communication): At Northwestern University, Elizabeth will compare privacy policies of social media networks in the U.S. and the European Union.

Elizabeth Snider (psychology): Elizabeth will participate in the National Institute on Drug Abuse Summer Research program. At the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, she will study the consequences of substance use on impulse control in adolescents.

Emily King (marine science): At Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, Emily will conduct research on larval fish behavior.

Jason Rodriguez (biology): At Dartmouth, Jason will study methods for inhibiting enzymes associated cell growth in cancers.

Jenny Brown (biology): Jenny will conduct research at the New York State Department of Health, working on the Mouse Models Mammalian Genomics project.

Joshua Smith (marine science): At UC Santa Cruz, Josh will assess the affects of ocean upwelling on rockfish larva.

Karly Beavers (psychology): At Hunter’s School of Public Health in New York, Karly will work on developing a theoretical model of the association between risky sexual behavior and alcohol consumption in young adults.

Kirsten Boyer (marine science): At Hopkins Marine Station, Kirsten will study how proteins that trigger cell death affect the survival of corals faced with climate change.

Lauren Sommers (ESTP): At the University of Rhode Island, Lauren will work to monitor the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.

Lilyana Gross (math): At Harvard’s School of Public Health, Lilyana will conduct research on statistical methods used in HIV/AIDS research.

Maria Cervantes (social and behavioral sciences): Maria will conduct a community ethnography study in Leon, Spain. Specifically, she’ll look at how trauma affects cultural identity.

Megan Golbek (math): At CSU Chico, Megan will incorporate calculus and differential equations into models of water flow.

Mitchell Takata (ESTP): At the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Mitchell will study the long-term movement patterns of white sharks in the Northeastern Pacific.

Molly Fredle (marine science): At Moss Landing Marine Labs, Molly will continue her research on the effect of water temperature on leopard sharks in Elkhorn Slough.

Rebecca von Oepen (psychology): At Northern Arizona University, Rebecca will investigate the neurological basis for compassion.

Rhiannon McCollough (marine science): At CSUMB’s Institute for Applied Marine Ecology, Rhiannon will analyze and predict the abundance and distribution of prawns in Southern California.

Serena Thurston (marine science): At UC Santa Cruz, Serena will assess the dispersal and transport of kelp rockfish.

Shiyla Goodie (psychology): At Louisiana State University, Shiyla will examine how learning about key elements of a plot beforehand affects viewers’ engagement with media.

Susan Dyar (global studies): Susan will expand her research on the development and expression of identity for members of the queer communities in the Basque country in Spain.

Mitchell Takata working at Bird Rock, Catalina Island
. Courtesy of Dr. Corey Garza