Explorations in Science Research:
An Undergraduate Summer Program [  Printable flyer ]

Online Application ]
Faculty Reference Form ]
Due: Apr 2, 2013

2013 is the International Year for Mathematics of the Earth

Our planet is the setting for dynamic processes of all sorts, including the geophysical processes in the mantle, the continents, and the oceans, the atmospheric processes that determine our weather and climates, the biological processes involving living species and their interactions, and the human processes of finance, agriculture, water, transportation, and energy. The challenges facing our planet and our civilization are multidisciplinary and multifaceted, and the mathematical sciences play a central role in the scientific effort to understand and to deal with these challenges.*mpe2013.org

In the Explorations in Science Research workshop, students will learn about new research, instruments, data, and analytic tools that are producing results at the nexus of science, public understanding and policymaking.

Importantly, students will get a chance to work with data. The advent of enormous repositories of information presents us with an interesting challenge: how can we represent and interpret such complex, abstract and often socially important data?

During this workshop, we will focus on the (unsolved) puzzle of the contemporary carbon cycle, beginning to address questions such as,
  • Why is the concentration of atmospheric CO2 changing at the rate observed?
  • What are the terrestrial and oceanic processes that add and remove carbon from the atmosphere?
  • What are the processes responsible for long-term storage of carbon on land and in the sea?
  • What are the carbon management strategies under discussion? 
  • How can emission protocols be verified? 

Emphasis will be placed on the observations and modeling needed to evaluate hypotheses (and/or claims) of carbon sources and sinks. Students are encouraged to gain hands-on experience with the available data, and learn modeling skills and to develop a hierarchy of models to assess various hypotheses of the carbon cycle.

This seven day workshop is designed so that students learn how earth & planetary scientists, approach large, complex problems. Students will also gain a basic understanding of computing and visualization tools.

Join Us!
Dates: June 15 - June 23, 2013 Students will receive support to cover travel expenses to attend the workshop as well as full room and board. Only US citizens and permanent residents will be considered.

Applicants are expected to have some basic quantitative skills, including a freshman or sophomore level background in calculus and physics. Quantitatively-inclined undergraduates majoring in earth & planetary science, computer science, physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, statistics, engineering are all encouraged to apply.

A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.

Women and underrepresented minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. Our short program is designed to encourage students to attend graduate school in the sciences. It is aimed at undergraduates who are rising juniors or seniors.

Inez Fung, Earth & Planetary Science
Deb Nolan, Statistics
Contact berkeleyscienceconnections-at-berkeley.edu for more information.

This program is made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation.