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Yosemite Summer Students in Public Symposium Aug. 15

August 7, 2008

MERCED - The University of California, Merced, and Yosemite
National Park have hosted nineteen students from UC Merced and
other institutions around the United States in
two programs in the
park this summer.

As the students finish their summer experience, they will share
the knowledge they have gained in a public symposium Aug. 15 from
8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Search and Rescue Training Room in
Yosemite Valley. (Directions are included at the end of this document.)

“Anybody is welcome to attend the whole day of presentations or
stop in for the topics that interest them,” said UC Merced

Wawona Research Station

Eric L. Berlow

The schedule of presentations is as follows:

Morning Session: Yosemite Leadership Program

8:45 - 9:00 Introduction (Eric Berlow, UC Merced
Sierra Nevada Research

9:00 - 9:15 Marie Armstrong (University of California, Merced)

“Through interpretation comes stewardship: Keystone
connections between UC Merced and Yosemite”

9:15 - 9:30 Gesha Uminskiy (University of California, Merced)

“Giardia in the Sierra Nevada: What do we know?”

9:30 - 9:45 Orion Agnew (University of California, Merced)

“Yosemite’s soundscape: Noise and neurological well-being”

9:45 - 10:00 Jeannette Barron (University of California, Merced)

“Behind the scenes of an archeological site in Yosemite
National Park: What it takes to do a dig”

10:00 - 10:15 Money Hothi (University of California, Merced)

“Nutritional influence on peak performance in mountaineering sports”

10:15 - 10:30 Break

10:30 - 10:45 Zander Kurnizki (University of California, Merced)

“Human hydration: how I stopped worrying and learned to love
the filter”

10:45 - 11:00 Chris Hubach (University of California, Merced)

“Physiological effects of backpacking”

11:00 - 11:15 Renee Smith (University of California, Merced)

“The Invasion: Exotic vegetation in Yosemite National Park”

11:15 - 11:30 Yesi Medina (University of California, Merced)

“A wilderness state of mind”

11:30 - 11:45 Raj Bolla (University of California, Merced)

“Making a friend out of fire in the Sierra Nevada”

11:45 - 12:00 Alvaro Luna (University of California, Merced)

“Discovering the Southern Sierra Miwok Language”

12:00 - 1:15 Lunch Break

Afternoon Session: Research Experiences for Undergraduates program

1:15 - 1:30 Introduction (Benoit Dayrat, University of
California, Merced)

1:30 - 1:50 Brenda Nieto (University of Texas, El Paso)

“Estimating meadow vulnerability to climate change”

1:50 - 2:10 Alejandro Miró Co (University of Puerto Rico)

“Environmental DNA barcoding of Yosemite freshwater
invertebrates - Part 1: Survey of the Tuolumne and Merced
watersheds diversity”

2:10 - 2:30 Cymphonee Robinson (University of California,

“Environmental DNA barcoding of Yosemite freshwater
invertebrates - Part 2: CO1 DNA sequences as an innovative tool for
biodiversity assessment”

2:30 - 2:50 Break

2:50 - 3:10 Dannique Aalbu (University of California, Merced)

“The future of Sierra water: study and implications of ground
water and surface water interactions in the upper Merced River”

3:10 - 3:30 Cliff Tonsberg (University of Tennessee)

“Flow paths in the South Fork of the Merced River, Yosemite
National Park”

3:30 - 3:50 Nathan Helms (Columbia College)

“Instrument transect along Tioga Pass Road: a new paradigm
for hydrologic and climate monitoring”

3:50 - 4:10 Break

4:10 - 4:30 Sunny Grunloh (University of California, Merced)

“Prescribed fire effects on surface soil and biomass carbon
of Yosemite National Park forests”

4:30 - 4:50 Tevis Blom (University of Colorado)

“Atmospheric deposition of toxic metals in Yosemite National
Park high altitude lakes: reconnaissance survey, summer 2008”

Parking and Directions

* Visitors should park in Day Use Parking and walk or use
park shuttles to reach the SAR Training Room.

* Board the shuttle at stop 1 (Day Use Parking) and disembark
at stop 5 (Visitor Center).

* Walk to Village Drive and make a right.

* Go past the stop sign into the employee parking lot and
head to the gas pumps.

* Turn left into the lot between the SAR Training Room and
the Wilderness Patrol/SAR Cache (located at 9000 Lost Arrow Drive).

* The SAR Training Room is on your right. If you get to the
stables, you’ve gone too far.

For more information on UC Merced’s summer programs in Yosemite
National Park, visit


UC Merced opened September 5, 2005 as the 10th campus in the
University of California system and the first American research
university of the 21st century. The campus significantly expands
access to the UC system for students throughout the state, with a
special mission to increase college-going rates among students in
the San Joaquin Valley. It also serves as a major base of advanced
research and as a stimulus to economic growth and diversification
throughout the region. Situated near Yosemite National Park, the
university is expected to grow rapidly, topping out at
approximately 25,000 students within 30 years.