This week we officially welcome Michael Schaefer, PhD graduate from Stanford University, to the UCOP Catalyst Drought and Carbon Management project team. He will lead experiments based in Southern California focused on characterizing carbon chemical changes under various irrigation and carbon management practices in orchards. Amy and Michael have worked together before during Amy's internship as a SURGE participant at Stanford in 2015, so it's nice to have the family together again!
Congratulations to MJ and Kevin on their acceptance into the 2016 cohort of the Stanford Summer Undergraduate Research in Geosciences and Engineering (SURGE) Program! MJ was accepted into the Fendorf lab in the department of Earth System Science and will be working with Dr. Marie Muehe on arsenic uptake in rice, while Kevin was accepted into the Payne Lab in Geological Sciences. We hope you have a blast in your summer program and don't forget to take pictures!
Shima and Andrew graduated on June 11th and are off to pharmacy school! Shima has been working on determining the trace metal and metalloid content of Chinese herbs along with helping Claudia with her urban ag sampling for more than a year. We'll miss her dearly and hope she has time to come back and visit. Andrew has been helping on multiple projects throughout the lab including Alex's Salton Sea project determining the source and composition of aerosols in the vicinity of the drying sea, You've both brought so much fun and awesomeness to our group, best of luck from all of us and come visit soon!
Shima (left) and Andrew (right) with their Grad balloons.
To say congratulations to our graduating seniors, Shima, Andrew, and Anya (not pictured) and to send MJ and Kevin off to SURGE, we had our end of year potluck in the beautiful Sci Lab 217 conference room. Shima and Andrew are off to pharmacy school and Anya will be returning home to the bay area to prepare for graduate school. We're going to miss our awesome seniors! Don't forget to come back to our parties!
From left to right around the table: Mariejo (MJ), Kevin, Alex, Weiwei, Claudia, Rebecca (not sure why she's pointing at Claudia so angrily), Amy, Phil (in hallway), Shima, and Andrew.
Claudia was selected to receive one of UC Office of the President GFI Fellowships with an award of $4,000! Claudia gets to represent our university as one of the ambassadors for global food security and will travel to Sacramento and other UCs to discuss food security projects with other fellows, faculty, and UCANR members. Big congratulations Claudia! Very well deserved!
Claudia and Rebecca headed off to the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) to analyze samples from Rebecca's experiment examining the oxidative power of iron oxide coated manganese oxides on trace metals and metalloids. With training and expert guidance from Juan Lezama (Stanford/SSRL), Claudia and Rebecca were able to get through all their samples on beamline 11-2 and even developed an online cookbook for loading and running samples on the line. Not only did nothing break (which Sam definitely did when she first started), but they got excellent data and beam never crashed. Excellent job Rebecca and Claudia on a very successful run.
Claudia (back) and Rebecca (front holding the sample holder) in the SSRL beamline 11-2 hutch loading Rebecca's iron oxide samples.
Juan Lezama of Stanford Earth System Science and SSRL testing out a liquid sample reactor for Cr analysis (collaborative project with Prof. Haizhou Liu of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, UCR) in BL11-2 hutch. Thank you Juan for your help and ingenuity at the beam, we're so glad we have the chance to work with you!
Amy and Claudia traveled to San Francisco this month to present their summer work at Stanford (Amy) and progress of urban ag project (Claudia) at the Annual AGU meeting in San Francisco! Congratulations to both!
Congratulations to Claudia and Alex who presented their project and project progress at the UCR hosted Persistent Toxic Substances Symposium this year. The symposium was very successfully organized by Prof. Jay Gan and his team on campus with hundreds of presenters. A highlight was that my old boss (meaning previous, not implying anything about his age) Scott Fendorf came to give a keynote presentation on arsenic in drinking water sources. Always great to see you Scott!
Fantastic news came in that ends the BGC Group's 2015 with a big bang! We were informed that our UC Catalyst proposal was one of four to be awarded this year. With this award ($1.69M), we aim to establish a University of California Consortium for Drought and Carbon Management (UC DroCaM), which will design management strategies based on understanding soil carbon, the soil microbiome and their impact on water dynamics in soil.
The timeliness of this grant couldn't be better for us to further the public's understanding and appreciation of soil during the International Year of Soils! Our team consists of phenomenal UC faculty and researchers doing cutting-edge agricultural and soil carbon research: Kate Scow and Sanjai Parihk (UC Davis); Eoin Brodie and Margaret Torn (UC Berkeley); Asmeret Berhe and Teamrat Ghezzehei (UC Merced); and Peter Nico and William Riley (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory). We're extremely excited to have this opportunity to work with such an amazing team. Also, I want to thank our group for being so patient during the summer while this proposal was coming together!
To read a little more about the project and UC Catalyst aims:
UCR Today: Studying Soil to Understand Drought
UC president announces 2016 Research Catalyst Award recipients
Kevin's project discussing trace metal bioaccessibility in community agriculture of Southern California was selected for oral presentation at the Research in Science and Engineering (RISE) Symposium! Thanks to Claudia's mentorship and help from the whole lab, Kevin did an awesome job this summer and we are lucky that he will continue in our lab during the academic year. For more about the program click here: http://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/31127.