Summer 2024 REEU Application Will Open in December 2023 - REEU SITE WILL RUN FROM June 16, 2024 to August 16, 2024

Greetings to aspiring scientists and engineers interested in urban natural resources and urban agricultural topics and issues. California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA) is hosting a 9-week summer USDA-NIFA REEU 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 and government and to provide optimal experience and encouragement for those continuing to graduate school. We are especially interested in developing skills in participating students that will lead to employment and/or connections with the US Department of Agriculture, and other Governmental agencies. The specific objectives of this REEU 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 natural resources management and urban agriculture.
  • Increase the number of students pursuing advanced degrees in related fields, such as forestry, watershed analysis and hydrochemistry, ecohydrology, plant resources, biological and natural resources, and policy. 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 7 topical areas:

  1. Natural and Amended Soil Microsystem Development in Urban Agriculture
  2. Competitive Water Availability for Urban Agriculture and Urban Greenspace
  3. Fire Ecohydrology in LA Basin
  4. Heat Island Effect Related to Urban Greenspace and Urban Agriculture
  5. Chemical Imprint of Microplastics on Urban Water
  6. Biodiversity and People in Urban Gardens and Farms
  7. Environmental Justice and Tree Canopy Cover in the Inner City

Training Activities

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

  1. Spatial and Temporal Data Analysis Short Course
  2. Technical Writing/Abstract Preparation Short Course
  3. Poster/Oral Presentation Short Course

Mentoring Activities

Mentoring Activities include Friday afternoon meetings between all REEU students, REEU 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 and how graduate school was selected). During the Friday afternoon mentoring events, three REEU students will also discuss their research during a 10-minute semi-formal presentation.

Social Activities

Social Activities include three weekend social events that aim to create bonds between REEU students and faculty peers. The first social activity early in the REEU program will be a kickoff on campus social cookoff. The second will be an organized trip to hike along Arroyo Seco in the San Gabriel Mountains, above JPL. The third event will be a beach outing at one of the popular local beaches. We will also host Friday afternoon volleyball and basketball events.

Research and Training Activities

A combination of research and training activity includes a four-day field trip scheduled for the beginning of the third week. The trip will leave starting Monday morning and will end Thursday night. A focus of part of this trip will be to demonstrate ecohydrology field methods for all students in the REEU Cohort. Students will visit and see successful urban farms, urban forested areas, US national forests, wetlands, and water delivery infrastructure. Students will also research their own topics and perform 15-minute roadside talks on pertinent components of agricultural and environmental systems.