Summer 2024 REU Application Will Open in December 2023

Greetings to aspiring scientists and engineers interested in urban hydrological issues. California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA) is hosting a 10-week summer NSF REU program that will enable new research and educational opportunities for students nationwide. We will encourage participants to compete for technical and policy-oriented positions in academia, government, and consulting industry and to provide optimal experience and encouragement for those continuing to graduate school. The specific objectives of this REU program are to: 

  • Provide students with an enriching research and cultural experience under the guidance and mentorship of a core group of faculty with multi-disciplinary research expertise in urban hydrology.
  • Increase the number of students pursuing advanced degrees in water-related fields, such as hydrogeology, watershed analysis, and hydrologic modeling. Community college students are strongly encouraged to apply!
  • Increase the number of students, including underrepresented students and those that do not have access to research opportunities, providing exposure/training in research and opportunities for these students to pursue graduate degrees or employment.

Research activities

Research activities include investigations in 5 topical areas:

  1. Surface hydrology of urban areas,
  2. Climate-driven changes in urban groundwater,
  3. Meteorology and precipitation along urban corridors,
  4. Hydrologic and hydrochemical changes in urban watersheds/wetlands
  5. Microplastics in the hydrologic environment

Training Activities

Training Activities include half-day workshops held for undergraduate mentees covering:

  1. Unmanned Aerial Systems and Photogrammetry short course
  2. Basic Laboratory Analysis short course (using samples collected during the research and training activity)
  3. Poster/Oral Presentation short course

Mentoring Activities

Mentoring Activities include Friday afternoon meetings between REU students, REU faculty, and graduate students. Faculty and graduate students will lead informal discussions related to career and professional development and challenges (e.g., why a professional discipline was selected for a career; how graduate school was selected; graduate school application; preparation for the GRE, etc.).  We will hold sporting events about 30% of the time in place of Friday afternoon mentoring meetings. 

Social Activities

Social Activities include three-weekend social events that aim to create bonds between REU students and faculty peers. Early in the REU program, the first social activity will be a kickoff dinner or BBQ. The second one will be an organized Saturday hike to the Griffith Observatory. The third event toward the end of the 10-week period is a Sunday brunch for all REU students and faculty mentors.

Research and Training Activity

A combination of research and training activity includes a four-day field trip to California watersheds and groundwater basins, such as the Kern River system and Owens Valley. Faculty hosts will demonstrate geoscience and hydrology field methods for all students in the REU Cohort.