Summer Internship Sites

Summer 2021 Internship Sites have been awarded! Congratulations to High Rocks, Marshall University, University of Charleston, WV School of Osteopathic Medicine, WV State University, WVU- Tech and WVU! In addition, Green Bank Observatory will be hosting a site through separate funding. Find out more about each site, the research being offered, and the internship dates for 2021 below. Unless otherwise stated, the internships are open to first generation or other under-represented students entering their freshman year of college majoring in a STEM field, and to upper class students who will serve as mentors.

  1. Green Bank Observatory. August 1-14. Open to rising freshmen and sophomores. Availability: 10 students and 2 mentors
    1. Research area: The Green Bank Observatory is building an innovative receiver that will dramatically improve the Green Bank Telescope for low frequency research. A key problem to be solved in order to make this new technology work is Radio Frequency Interference, or RFI. The Green Bank Telescope is the world’s largest fully steerable dish, and as such is incredibly sensitive; to signals from the Universe and to unwanted signals from earth-based technologies. Interns will be directly contributing to the development of this new cutting edge receiver, by characterizing radio frequency interference for future machine learning algorithms.
    2. Faculty advisors: Dr Ryan Lynch and Sue Ann Heatherly
  2. High Rocks. July 15-30, 2021. Open to female students. Availability: 10 students and 2 mentors
    1. Research Area: Interdisciplinary science that spans dendrochronology, forest pathology, entomology and microbiology. Interns will contribute to an active forest management plan with their findings supporting stewardship of the ecosystem surrounding High Rocks.
    2. Faculty Advisors: Amy Metheny, Dr. Brian Lovett, West Virginia UniversityMarshall University.
  3. Marshall University. July 18 – July 30, 2021. Availability: 8 students and 3 mentors.
    1. Research areas: Marshall will map projects onto the population of students selected to participate at the Marshall site and tentatively anticipates projects in Chemistry (Nanotechnology applications of DNA), Biology (Neuroscience) and Physics (Physical processes in water filtration).
    2. Faculty Advisors: Drs. Mike Norton, Sean McBride, Nadja Spitzer, Wendy Trzyna
  4. University of Charleston. June 28-July 11, 2021. Availability: 10 students and 2 mentors.
    1. Research area: It has been shown that natural wetlands can be resilient to metal rich acidic waters over time but there is scarcity of information on Acid Mine Drainage exposed natural riparian areas in direct comparison to water and sediment. Furthermore, the use of zooplankton or microbial community function (measured via Biolog EcoPlates and Metabarcoding analyses) as indicators in these systems is understudied. Interns will look at the effects of long-term acid mine drainage input in riparian areas on these biological indicators. Information regarding the aquatic and terrestrial community’s functional capabilities and trophic structures may aid in the design of remediation systems such as constructed wetlands used to mitigate the effect of acid mine drainage.
    2. Faculty Advisors: Drs Aida Jimenez, Heather Arnett
  5. WV School of Osteopathic Medicine. July 18-30, 2021. Availability: 8 students and 2 mentors
    1. Research area: The project will be an environmental science project analyzing soil samples. With guidance from faculty and mentors, the students will then come up with original research questions. With research questions established, students will begin sample collections at locations to be determined based on their hypotheses (and feasibility), followed by laboratory investigations, data acquisition, and data analysis to assess characteristics such as soil density, characteristics, fertility (nitrogen, phosphorus,and potassium content), infiltration, gravimetric moisture, particle density, size distribution, pH and temperature.
    2. Faculty Advisors: Drs. Christopher Pankey and Shinichi Asano, Physiologists; Jandy Hanna and Kristen Stover, Functional Morphologists; Tuoen Liu, Pharmacologist.
  6. WV State University. July 18-30, 2021. Availability: 10 students and 2 mentors.
    1. Research areas: Students will be engaged in one of six potential research projects: 1) Ligand synthesis used in water monitoring to detect pollutants. Students will be trained in chromatography, crystallization, distillation and thin layer chromatography. 2) Recovery of critical elements from passive acid mine drainage systems which assistsin improving mine reclamation processes and evaluating water quality. Students working in this lab will be trained on soil sample collection, processing, and analytical techniques. 3) Research on a new generation of neural networks based on biological science. Students working in this lab will investigate deep learning such as target recognition in images,speech recognition, and prediction of information utilizing computational and biological models. 4) Investigating how hormones affect brain tumors, students in this working in this lab will learn how to culture glioblastoma cells, conduct treatments to examine pathways for hormone synthesis, as well as analyzing and interpreting results using various scientific methods. 5) Evaluating the selectivity of insecticides against the beneficial insects in behavioral assays. 6) Investigating how capsaicin can affect gene expression in fruit flies.Students will learn how to rear, treat, and analyze fruit flies who have been fed capsaicin.
    2. Faculty Advisors: Drs. Micheal Fultz, Organic Chemistry, Amir Hass, Analytical Chemistry, Fred Wu, Computer Science and Modeling, Gerald Hankins, Cancer Biology, Barbara Liedl, Horticulture, Umesh Reddy, Plant Genetics.
  7. West Virginia University. July 18-30, 2021. Availability: 15 students and 4 mentors.
    1. Research areas: students may be involved in one of several research projects: Project 1 – Determining the Modulation Transfer Function of Smartphone Cameras. Smartphone technology provides a multi-purpose sensor that can be used to collect biometric samples ranging from voice recordings to fingerprint and face images. However, even though some recent phones boast 50Mp+ imaging sensors, the relatively small aperture and fixed focal length of the camera optics often do not meet the strict standards for image information transfer from the object to the digital realm. In this project, interns will take photos of calibrated test targets to measure the modulation transfer function (MTF) of their cellphone camera and compare their results against NIST and FBI standard documents to determine if their phone cameras could be used for fingerprint image capture. Project 2 – Land Use Impacts on Water Quality. Interns will collect and analyze water quality data to answer questions related to how contemporary land use practices affect the environment. Project 3 – Fish in a Dish. Interns will be exposed to fields related to biomedicine and developmental biology through experiments using live zebrafish embryos. Project 4 – Mapping Appalachia. Interns will map rural Appalachian communities’ most pressing social-economic development needs. Interns will be trained in web-based mapping software and will identify key local, socio-economic development issues that are not currently represented. These issues could range from lack of access to grocery stores, concentrations of health/well-being problems (e.g., illicit drug houses), communities with populations high in first-generation students, areas prone to flooding, or other local development issues. Project 5 – Exploring Metal-Catalyzed Coupling Reactions. Carbon-carbon bonds are the cornerstone of organic chemistry and are often formed from transition-metal catalyzed cross-coupling reactions. These reactions are widely used in the synthesis of pharmaceutically relevant and biologically-active molecules and also provide access to functional materials. In this project, each intern will synthesize a new acid with unique substitution in the b-position. The resulting series of acids will be submitted to transition-metal catalyzed coupling conditions for a comparison of how the substituents influence the coupling reactivity.
    2. Faculty Advisors: Drs. Jeremy Dawson, Electrical Engineering & Biometrics, Jason Hubbart, Hydrology & Institute of Water Security and Science, IWSS, Sadie Bergeron, Biology, Brent McCusker, Geography/Geology, Jessica Hoover, Chemistry.
  8. WVU-Tech. July 18-30, 2021. Availability: 10 students and 3 mentors
    1. Research areas: Projects targeted primarily for students pursuing CS&IS degrees include data analysis using Machine Learning. Interns will analyze building sensor data using Machine Learning. Machine learning algorithms are currently popular to analyze various information from data using computers, which otherwise would be difficult to extract. In this project, students will first learn the basics of python programming, then learn about machine learning and then implement machine learning models on data sets available from building sensors. The students will then analyze the data and interpret the results.Projects targeted primarily for students pursuing ECE degrees will engage students in investigating the effects of tilt angle and shading on Solar Panels. Students will work with commercial size solar panels and illumination sources at WVU Tech’s Power Laboratory and conduct research on observing and proving the effectiveness of the tilt angle and shading on Solar Panels. Students may also investigate the effects of load changes on the system voltage stability: Students will work with generators and loads at WVU Tech’s Power Laboratory and build circuits to conduct research on the effects of load changes on the system voltage stability.
    2. Faculty Advisors: Drs. Sanish Rai, Department of Computer Science and Information Systems (CS&IS) and Kenan Hatipoglu, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE)