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Tag: research (page 2 of 9)

Climate Change Research Assistantship, Summer, Tufts University

Synopsis:

A 75-hour summer research assistantship is available for a Tufts undergraduate student interested in contributing to a climate change adaptation plan currently being developed for a coastal community (Exeter, New Hampshire). This project, conducted in collaboration with the University of New Hampshire and the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, aims to demonstrate a process for identifying long-term planning options for coastal communities facing the uncertainty of climate change. The town is seeking assistance with making decisions about long-term infrastructure projects that take into account the uncertain impacts of climate change. For example, how do increased flooding hazards from climate change affect their decision regarding where to locate a new wastewater treatment plant? What is the economic value of the riverfront land where a popular commercial street lies?  This work will involve accounting for direct and indirect costs of flood hazards from rivers, urban drainage networks and coastal storm surge. It will also take environmental impacts, namely water quality, into account. In addition to practicing standard cost-benefit analysis methods, the student will gain some experience with modified methods that take future uncertainty into account. This work will also contribute to the dissertation research of Jory Hecht, a Ph.D. student in both the Water Diplomacy program and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tufts University. Students are encouraged to use this internship as an opportunity for launching a senior project or another independent study.

Compensation and Logistics:

The compensation for this small internship based at the Medford campus of Tufts University is $10/hour ($750 total). This research is funded from part of a Tufts Institute of the Environment Ph.D. fellowship grant awarded for the 2014-15 academic year. Work schedule is flexible, but would generally be completed at a rate of 5-15 hours per week and can be distributed over a period from May through August.  There may be occasional opportunities to travel to New Hampshire and meet with other project team members as well as community stakeholders, who are a central part of this project.

Qualifications:

Students should be comfortable with quantitative analysis, Microsoft Excel® and Internet-based research. Coursework or experiences with economics (especially cost-benefit analysis, engineering economics and environmental economics), probability and statistics, hydrology and land use planning are desired. Students who are not majoring in economics but have coursework or other experiences with economic analysis are strongly encouraged to apply. Past research experiences are also a plus.

Contact Information:

If interested, please contact Jory Hecht at Jory.Hecht@tufts.edu and send a short cover letter and résumé. Promising candidates will be contacted to schedule on-campus interviews as soon as possible.

Sustainability Data and Metrics Research Fellow, MIT (MA)

MIT’s Office of Sustainability is seeking a student Sustainability Fellow to assist in researching, developing, analyzing and refining a suite of sustainability metrics and analytic tools to assist in the quantification, assessment, and communication of MIT’s current sustainability activities.

Data will be related to campus energy, water, waste, food, transportation, procurement, buildings, and more.

This position will be full-time for summer 2014 (8-10 weeks, June-August). Specific start/end dates and hours will be finalized upon hire. Pay ranges from $12-$17/hour depending on student level and ability. Open to both MIT and non-MIT students.

Learn more.

Project Manager, Marine Information Analysis, Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (Boston)

The MWRA Environmental Quality Department is seeking an Intern to provide technical support for MWRA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Compliance Program (NPDES). Tests and evaluates data reporting applications. Assemble data sets, track compliance paperwork, and assist with preparation of permit-required reports. Applications are available online at www.mwra.com or from the Human Resources Department. Please submit a completed application along with a cover letter and resume to: Susan Carter, Human Resources Specialist Massachusetts Water Resources Authority 100 First Avenue Boston, MA 02129

More information and other internships available here. Contact: douglas.hersh@mwra.com

Lunch and Learn Recap: Elena Naumova, Environmental Indicators of Enteric Infections and Water Safety in Southern India

Elena Naumova, director of the Tufts Initiative for the Forecasting and Modeling of Infectious Diseases (InForMid) and Associate Dean for Research at the Tufts School of Engineering, spoke last week as part of the Tufts Environmental Studies and Tufts Institute of the Environment Lunch and Learn program. Her presentation on the Environmental Indicators of Enteric Infections and Water Safety in Southern India covered student research projects sponsored through a collaboration between the Tufts School of Engineering and Christian Medical College in Vellore, India.

 A mathematician by training, Naumova emphasized the importance of translating data into usable information that allows for action and policy.

Naumova began by laying out the importance of preventing waterborne diseases. Globally, there are 4 billion cases of diarrhea annually, 2.2 million of which lead to death. Of those 2.2 million, 80% of the deaths are among infants. Unsafe water is a large factor in these diseases.

Modern mathematical tools allow for an understanding of waterborne outbreaks in “temporal and spatial patterns”, Naumova said. “Practically all waterborne diseases exhibit strong seasonal patterns distinct for a specific pathogen in a given population [and] locality”, in a phenomenon known

as seasonality. An example familiar to New England residents, of course, would be the peaks of flu that occur in the winter. “Variability in seasonal characteristics can provide clues on important factors influencing disease occurrence, exposure, [and] spread.” These environmental factors, when they are within human control, could be a key to disease prevention. Climate change, however, will affect our ability to use these seasonal indicators as the patterns we have come to recognize begin to shift radically.

Naumova further presented statistics on the seasonality of cryptosporidiosis in the United States and the United Kingdom, salmonellosis in the United Status, and rotavirus in India.

She then laid out two studies conducted by some of her students, Dr. Stefan Collinet-Adler, Andrea Brown, Alexandra Kulinkina, and Negin Ashoori. Both studies examined the transmission of infectious diarrhea in 300 urban and rural households in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, India. The first study focused on the role of flies, which can carry pathogens such as norovirus, salmonella, and rotavirus. In the tests conducted, 72% of the flies tested positive for potential human pathogens. The second study used GIS to map ground water quality and distribution systems in Vellore.

Naumova here noted the importance of recognizing the difference between water quality and quantity: the focus of these studies was on quality, for lack of water leads to other severe problems but obviously cannot cause waterborne diseases.

Elena said she is always looking for students who are interested in going abroad and conducting research and will do whatever she can to make that possible!

Director, Environmental Research Institute, University of Buffalo (NY)

On February 6, 2014, Charles F. Zukoski, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, announced the search for the Director of UB RENEW (Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water).

Learn more.

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