Research Opportunities

Explore + Discover

Our undergraduates have numerous opportunities to participate in faculty-sponsored research. Talk with your academic advisor or ask your professors about these and other projects in the subfields listed below. Students who participate in research are encouraged to consider pursing an Earth and Atmospheric Sciences honors degree.

Douglas Edmonds
  1. Field research on rivers and floodplains, including discharge, sediment, and topography measurements.
  2. Quantifying landscape change in remote sensing applications such as google earth.
  3. Sediment size analysis.
  4. Stratigraphic characterization.
  5. Numerical modeling.
Brian Yanites
  1. Analyze topography from DEMs (digital elevation models) using GIS (geographic information system).
  2. Perform physical experiments on rock samples undergoing erosion processes.
  3. Join in field campaigns measuring river morphology/characteristics.
Claudia C. Johnson, P. David Polly, Jackson Njau
  1. Assist graduate students and faculty with measurements, photography, and analyses of fossil specimens housed in our IU Paleontology Collection.
  2. Examine historical and modern photos for biotic changes across time.

Opportunities exist for research projects on fossils in the IU Paleontology Collection, three-dimensional scanning, analysis of fossil data, and curatorial work.

Erika R. Elswick
  1. Digestion and analysis of soils developed over abandoned mine tailing sites. Sequential extraction of metals in different phases in the soils will give us a better understanding of metal mobility in a subalpine setting.
  2. Attempt to correlate historic discharge patterns with pine bark beetle and spruce bud worm blights in the Tobacco Root mountains using USGS (United States Geological Survey) gaging station and USFS (United States Forest Service) records.

I have an undergraduate student in my lab to measure the effectiveness of methane-oxidizing microbes in Indiana soils. A suitable rock/soil cover over point-sources of seeping natural gas from abandoned gas or oil wells may reduce the emission of the strong greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere.

Chen Zhu
  1. Water resources under different climate scenarios towards the end of this century.
  2. Laboratory experiments on isotope spiked reaction kinetics.

Integrated Program in the Environment

Sustainability Research Development Grants

  1. Funding for sustainability-focused research proposal from any discipline
  2. Up to $3,000 for undergraduates / $10,000 for graduate students
  3. Due by March 13th, 2020

Research & Teaching Preserve Environmental Science Grants

  1. Funding for undergrad/graduate students for environmental science research on RTP properties.
  2. Up to $4,000
  3. Due by March 13th, 2020
Chanh Q. Kieu, Cody Kirkpatrick, Paul Staten

Learn a broad range of skills including experiences with conducting model simulations on the high-performance computing environment, advanced knowledge about nonlinear dynamical systems, as well as statistical methods in big data science.

Michael W. Hamburger, Brian Yanites, Kaj Johnson
  1. Rudman-Pavlis Undergraduate Research Fellowships in Geophysics
  2. Gain experience collecting seismic data in the field and analyzing the data with computer programs.
  3. Analyze geophysical data sets and compare numerical model results to the data.