A two-day visit to Yosemite gave University of California President Janet Napolitano an up-close look at UC Merced’s partnership with the neighboring national park, including some of the students whose lives have been transformed by their experiences there.
MERCED, Calif. — From disposable drones mapping wildfire perimeters to increasing the number of young students interested in science, technology, engineering and math studies, this year’s engineering capstone and Innovate to Grow teams have real, impactful work to show off.
The annual Innovate to Grow competition and expo at UC Merced takes place Friday, May 16, across campus, with a variety of events including demonstrations of each team’s work, plus blue-ribbon panels and cash prizes. The events are free and open to the public.
Graduate student Ryan Lucas is living a mountain-lover’s dream through his research.
As part of engineering Professor Martha Conklin’s meadows-hydrology lab, he gets to spend a lot of time in the Sierra Nevada in Yosemite and Sequoia-Kings Canyon national parks, collecting data on how much water is flowing through the meadows, how it’s moving and by what process.
As the Rim Fire continues to burn in and around Yosemite National Park, a former UC Merced student’s work related to the fire burned up the Internet this week.
Paul Doherty, the first Yosemite park ranger to complete a doctoral degree at UC Merced, graduated in the spring and now works as a public safety technology specialist for Esri, a company that provides GIS mapping for a variety of applications.
Just because it’s summertime doesn’t mean research at UC Merced comes to a halt.
Just the opposite.
This summer, professors and students at all levels are conducting a variety of research projects on campus, off campus, in the oceans and forests and around the world.
Up in Yosemite National Park, for example, nine undergraduate students are getting a summer experience to last them a lifetime, conducting research with faculty researchers from UC Merced, scientists from the U.S. Geologic Survey and from the park.
Many universities offer the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, but they don’t have what UC Merced has to offer.
“Yosemite really draws people in,” said Professor Stephen Hart, one of the REU program leaders. “Other REUs might take students into the field, but not into a national park.”
Graduate student Kaitlin Lubetkin and several sure-footed assistants spent much of the summer in Yosemite National Park.
From the white, sugary sands of Hawaii to the white, powdery slopes of the Sierra Nevada, Natural Sciences Professor Stephen Hart has his eye on climate change.