Environmental Engineering: Measurements and Modeling in the Pacific Northwest

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

REU students present posters

Program Dates

May 29 – Aug 2, 2024

Application Deadline

February 21, 2024

Letters of Recommendation

Due February 29, 2024

The REU program is supported by the National Science Foundation.

The Summer 2024 Application Period is Open!

As part of your ONLINE APPLICATION, you must provide the following:

  • Personal Statement (6,000 characters or less) describing:
    • Additional experiences that demonstrate your ability to work independently and to be self-motivated.
    • What you hope to gain by participating in a research program at the Laboratory for Atmospheric Research.
    • Your short- and long-term goals, and how a summer research experience will help you realize them.
    • Previous experience you have in research, such as science projects, working with instrumentation, laboratory techniques, data analysis software, and/or related computer skills. For example, do you have any prior computer programming experience? If so, please describe. Are you interested in gaining programming experience? For example, we use Matlab, IGOR, Python among other packages for data analysis and we run air quality models in a Linux environment.
  • A PDF copy of your academic transcripts (unofficial copies are encouraged).
  • Two letters of recommendation.

*Deadline for applications is February 21, 2024
*Deadline for letters of recommendation is February 29, 2024
*Program Dates: May 29–August 2, 202

If transmission of application materials is not possible electronically, please email Shelley Pressley to make alternative arrangements.

Program Goals

The REU program goal is to provide undergraduate students in engineering and related fields an opportunity to participate in ongoing active research programs. Working closely with faculty and graduate students, the participants will gain hands onexperience with atmospheric chemistry measurements and modeling.

Who is eligible?

Participants must be currently registered at a two or four year college, and may not have received their Bachelor’s degree prior to July 2023. Participants must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident. Women, members of demographic groups traditionally underrepresented in engineering, and students from community colleges or institutions that do not offer research opportunities for undergraduates are particularly encouraged to apply.

Students at all levels of their undergraduate work are sought for this program, and majors such as civil engineering, environmental engineering, as well as students from chemistry, physics, math, and other technical majors are encouraged to apply. Yes, we take Freshmen to Seniors, we do hope to have a broad mix of students at various levels of their college careers, so don’t hold back from applying just because you haven’t had any environmental engineering courses.

LAR REU participant Dalynn Kenerson from Lewis-Clark State College presents his research at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) national conference.

Students will work on research projects ranging from air quality measurements in the laboratory to running water resource models. Each student will have a primary instrument, dataset or model they use during the summer. Students may work in collaborative teams with faculty and graduate students or more independently to accomplish specific research goals.

All participants will take a series of half-day workshops designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of environmental engineering, atmospheric chemistry, and measurements.  Workshops may include:

  • Climate Change
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Atmospheric Chemistry
  • Water Resources Engineering
  • Scientific Writing
  • Poster Presentation

Near the end of the 9.5 week session, students will prepare a poster and present their results during a poster symposium for all of the WSU REU programs.

In addition, students may have the opportunity to Visit the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a U.S. Department of Energy government research lab. In total, students will:

  • Participate in ongoing research projects.
  • Gain valuable research experience using cutting edge instrumentation or models and working in a team environment.
  • Have fun, make new friends, see the Palouse!

In addition to gaining experience with instruments and/or models currently used in government labs, regulatory agencies, consulting firms, and graduate schools, you receive:

  • A stipend of $5,700 for the 9.5 week session and free housing
  • Travel assistance for travel to and from Pullman, WA

We will provide housing in an on campus facility, with a shared kitchen and recreation facilities for all students.

Research Projects each summer are similar in nature to previous years.

  • Analysis of Modeled Atmospheric Deposition of Pollutant into Watersheds
  • Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) measurements in compost and wildfires
  • Improvement of forest fire smoke plume rise models using satellite data
  • Integrating agricultural water use for extreme-weather-management into climate change impact assessments
  • Atmospheric Chemistry of CH3OOH and PAN
  • Assessing the transport behaviors of microplastic fibers in porous media: 1. Meso-scale experimental design and analysis
  • Assessing the transport behaviors of microplastic fibers in porous media: 2. Numerical simulation and digital experimentation
  • Integration of satellite imagery and emissions data into ClearSky for enhanced modeling of agricultural burning and decision-maker support
  • Evaluating microbial sources of greenhouse gas emissions in compost
  • Integration of satellite imagery and emissions data into the AIRPACT-3 regional air quality forecast system

  • Dr. Tom Jobson, Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, trace organic gases in the atmosphere, trace gas instrumentation, tropospheric photochemistry, biogeochemical cycling, global climate change. (tjobson@wsu.edu)
  • Dr. Shelley Pressley, Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, trace gas measurements, eddy covariance flux methodologies, and agricultural emissions. (spressley@wsu.edu)
  • Dr. Von Walden, Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, remote sensing of the atmosphere, infrared spectroscopy, polar meteorology, regional climate change. (v.walden@wsu.edu)
  • Dr. Heping Liu, Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, micrometeorology, biosphere-atmosphere interactions, ecosystem-climate feedbacks. (heping.liu@wsu.edu)
  • Dr. Nancy Johnston, Lewis Clark State College, volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere and water, lead and other heavy metals and mercury in the environment (najohnston@lcsc.edu)
  • Dr. Nick Engdahl, Water Resources group, mixing and reactive transport in heterogeneous porous media, applications of groundwater age and residence time, integrated modeling of coupled hydrologic systems, geostatistics and subsurface characterization. (nick.engdahl@wsu.edu)
  • Dr. Courtney M. Gardner, Environmental Engineering Group, stormwater management, in situ microbiome engineering, ecological impacts of emerging contaminants, (courtney.gardner@wsu.edu)

REU program questions and interested applicants:

Dr. Shelley Pressley
Washington State University
Dept Civil & Environmental Engineering
Laboratory for Atmospheric Research
Email: spressley@wsu.edu

Previous Participants