2017 iFellow Research Project Themes


iUTAH research opportunities encompass a broad range of focus areas.  The descriptions of the five 2017 iFellows Program research themes and preferred skills are listed below. Successful applicants will be placed in the lab of an iUTAH researcher to conduct research that aligns with one of the five stated research themes.  


On your application, you will be asked to rank your research theme preferences from 1 (most interested in) to 5 (least interested in), and will also be asked to include a brief description in the boxes provided on why you chose your top 4 themes.  Your ranks and explanations of your top 4 choices will help the hiring committee place successful applicants with the best possible research projects



To gain a better understanding into ecological effects of water along the Wasatch Front Metropolitan Area and to examine how anthropogenic climate change may affect future forest growth, research projects in this theme will involve investigation into non-tidal wetlands surrounding the Great Salt Lake, examining bird species and fish habitat, exploration of cyanobacteria and harmful algal blooms, or measurement of physiology and gas exchange on plants.


Preferred Skills: Interest in ecology and/or climate change, as well as learning basic programming skills in Matlab, R, or Python. Additionally, projects may call for some of the following: students with patience, willingness to learn new skills, ability to conduct field and laboratory research and work occasional Sundays, GIS coursework/experience, basic skills in bird and plant identification, fundamental knowledge about water quality, aquatic ecology, analytical chemistry, and biogeochemistry, a driver's license.  For one project, experience in physiology or gas exchange measurements on plants preferred, but not required.  


Physical Science

How does soil influence water chemistry? Are metals more easily leached from soils relative to local bedrock? Examine these questions and more through collection and analysis of soil samples.


Preferred Skills: Interest in geology or chemistry


Regional Water Modeling

Collect, organize, and input water supply, demand, reservoir, infrastructure, return flow, and other data to help build a systems model for the Bear River basin including Idaho, Bear Lake, Wyoming, and the Uinta Mountain headwaters.


Preferred Skills: Ability to work with large data sets and read maps.


Social Science

This theme explores a range of human-related Social Science research.  iFellows may examine the impact research experiences have on academic and career outcomes of undergraduate students, or contribute to the analyzing and mapping of weather-related warnings posted on social media.


Preferred Skills:Successful applicants may need experience with ArcGIS or equivalent GIS software. Experience in data management and statistical analysis of survey data or GEOG 1800 or equivalent introductory GIS course may be preferred, but not required. 


Urban Water Management

Urban water management covers a wide range of areas.  This research theme will examine a diverse range of urban water management practices, including stormwater and landscaping. 


Preferred Skills:  Projects may call for familiarity with tree species Identification skills, experience in chemistry and biology, interest in environmental science and engineering, willingness to work hard and learn techniques and issues related to environmental sampling and analysis.

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