Environmental Engineering: Measurements and Modeling in the Pacific Northwest

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

Summer 2023 participants. First row, left to right: Avery Gray, Grace Tiegs, Molly Jobson. Back row, left to right: Galileo Defendi-Cho, Tyler Medina, Tanner Miller.

Program Dates

May 29 – Aug 2, 2024

Application Deadline

February 25, 2024

Letters of Recommendation

Due March 3, 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 25, 2024
*Deadline for letters of recommendation is March 3, 2024
*Program Dates: May 29–August 2, 2024

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, environmental science and other related majors an opportunity to participate in ongoing active research. Working closely with faculty and graduate students, the participants will gain hands-on experience with environmental engineering 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 2024. 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 strive 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 experience or environmental courses.

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

Student presenting project to another student.

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.

You will also have the opportunity to attend a National Conference and present your research. Conferences typically attended include the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Annual Meeting or the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Annual Meeting. Historically about 40-50% of participants from this program attend one of these meetings.

Student standing in front of her project poster.

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 the opportunity to present their research at a Professional meeting.
  • 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.

  • 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. Tim Ginn, Civil and Environmental Engineering, biogeochemical reactive transport, aqueous nonlocal transport processes and modeling, water quality and treatment, and hydrogeology (tim.ginn@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. Fabio Vale Scarpare, Water Resources group, integrating agricultural water use for extreme-weather-management into climate change impact assessments (fabio.scarpare@wsu.edu)
  • Dr. Heping Liu, Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, micrometeorology, biosphere-atmosphere interactions, ecosystem-climate feedbacks. (heping.liu@wsu.edu)
  • Dr. Indranil Chowdhury, Civil and Environmental Engineering, environmental applications and implications of nanotechnology in the context of water infrastructure, food-energy-water nexus, and climate change. Fate, transport and removal of emerging contaminants in water, soil and sediment (indranil.chowdhury@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. Karl Englund, Civil and Environmental Engineering, polymer and natural fiber composite processing, evaluation of structural and physical performance of composite materials, and recycle/reuse of waste materials for value-added products (englund@wsu.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)

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

  • Tyler Medina (University of Redlands)
  • Grace Tiegs (Lewis-Clark State College)
  • Cameron Longwith (Washington State University)
  • Molly Jobson (Washington State University)
  • Ruby Pascual (Cornell University)
  • Avery Gray (Mississippi State University)
  • Galileo Defendi-Cho (Colorado College)
  • Alex Castronovo (Saint Mary’s College and University of Notre Dame)
  • Tanner Miller (Millersville University)
Group photo: Front row Left to right: Alex Castronovo, Grace Tiegs, Shelley Pressley, Molly Jobson, Ruby Pascual.
Front row Left to right: Alex Castronovo, Grace Tiegs, Shelley Pressley, Molly Jobson, Ruby Pascual Back row Left to right: Galileo Defendi-Cho, Tyler Medina, Cameron Longwith, Tanner Miller (not pictured Avery Gray)