Student Research

Examples of student research, including fellowships and honors projects.

Student holding a starfish
President Summer Research Symposium

Efficient Computations of Flooding Scenarios for the Coast of Maine

By: Corrine Alini '18

Mentor: Laura Toma & Eileen Johnson

Current methods to produce flood grids and flood hazard maps utilize a labor-intensive ArcGIS mapping platform that handles large data sets poorly and is slow to implement the NOAA protocol. This research produced more efficient modeling of flooding scenarios by algorithm development utilizing FZG and DEM LiDAR geospatial data sets to automate the NOAA protocol sequence computations. Provided as a free and open source, the algorithm provides a drastic reduction in time required for computation that will help direct coastline flooding mitigation and policy decisions by modeling flooding scenarios in a much more efficient manner.

The Natural Resources Council of Maine (ES Fellowship)

By: Hannah Berman '18

Mentor: Pete Didisheim, Natural Resources Council of Maine

As the leading environmental advocacy organization in the state, the Natural Resources Council of Maine tackles issues and initiates action on matters of climate and clean energy, healthy waters, forests and wildlife, state house and federal issues, and sustainable Maine programs. I worked on a diverse array of projects, including legislative initiatives, solar energy constituency mobilization, evaluating congressional contribution data, and drafting advocacy articles. A July NRCM press release and media conference focused on the analysis I conducted of over 192,000 comments submitted on behalf of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. These experiences gave me insight into how state and federal environmental policy can be crafted to sustainably manage and protect the environment.

Summer with Stantec Consulting

By: Aaron Rubin '19

Mentor: Eileen Johnson

Mentor: Stantec collects data, including environmental impacts on bats at proposed wind farms, in order to help clients address environmental regulations. I created interactive tables and graphs in R Studio to help give the public and our clients an easier way to apply the field data we collected. Besides working in the field, my main project involved using the Shiny package in R to turn years of Stantec's data and analyses into interactive web applications. The R Shiny program allowed me to condense the coding for Stantec's graphs and make data preparation and visualization easier. This will help Stantec to analyze trends in data at different wind farms in new ways. Some of the long-term goals of the project included making existing data on bat and bird fatalities at wind farms easily accessible to the public and the state of Maine, and making contributions to the field of bat biology by using Stantec's acoustic data to analyze patterns of white nose syndrome by state and region.