Each year the Bailey College of the Environment provides faculty-student research grants to provide faculty and their students an opportunity to conduct research that would not have been otherwise possible. Research in the O’Neil lab is focused on understanding the structure-function relationship of proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases, specifically ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease) and Alzheimer’s Disease. Thanks to a COE faculty-student research grant and a COE summer fellowship, Alison O’Neil, assistant professor of chemistry, Gloster Aaron, professor of biology, and Aaron Berson ‘24, an NS&B (neuroscience and behavior) and IDEAS (Integrated Design, Engineering, Arts & Society) major with a minor in chemistry, were able to collaborate on Professor O’Neil’s investigation of cis-chlordane as an environmental trigger of ALS.
Isaac Ostrow ’26 recently returned from Egypt, where he met with international climate activists and attended the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27), thanks to support from sources that included the Robert F. Schumann Institute of the College of the Environment.
From Isaac: Thank you to my generous supporters, Wesleyan University’s College of the Environment and Temple Isaiah, for making this opportunity a reality. The views I express here are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of the Jewish Youth Climate Movement (JYCM), Hazon, Wesleyan University and/or its College of the Environment, Temple Isaiah, or any other individual, group, or entity.
Hello to all of those following my journey!
Every year, the COE awards fellowships to fund summer research opportunities for Wesleyan students across all majors and class years. SISP and environmental studies major Bella Barocas ’24 spent the summer exploring regenerative agriculture in jewish community through farming at Zumwalt Acres in Sheldon, IL.
Every year, the COE awards fellowships to fund summer research opportunities for Wesleyan students across all majors and class years. Chemistry and earth & environmental science major Kelly Fenton-Samuels ’23 spent the summer working with Professor Suzanne O’Connell, studying Antarctic ocean floor sediment core samples dating back to the Pliocene Epoch.
This summer, I had the opportunity to work in Professor O’Connell’s lab, studying Antarctic marine sediment cores collected by the International Ocean Discovery Program. Specifically, my summer research project utilized deep sea sediments dating back 2.4 million years to reveal Antarctic climate changes during that time. I began researching with Professor O’Connell a year ago, after reaching out to her to discuss the work conducted in her lab. Her work both on Antarctic paleoclimate and on communicating climate science to a general audience aligns strongly with my interest in using climate change research to further climate justice.
Every year, the COE awards fellowships to fund summer research opportunities for Wesleyan students across all majors and class years. Most recently, the COE awarded 31 summer fellowships and 3 fall fellowships to Wes students. Learn a little bit more about each, below!
Every year, the COE awards fellowships to fund summer research opportunities for Wesleyan students across all majors and class years. Joel Rader ’23 is a film and environmental studies major who spent summer 2022 investigating how resilience has been “seeded” within the social-ecological system of the island of Culebra, Puerto, Rico, in the wake of the devastation wrought by hurricanes Irma and Maria. To view Joel’s amazing fellowship project website, click here!
Tell us about your summer research project!
My project explored the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico, as a Social-Ecological System (SES), including the integral contributions to SES resilience made by small business owners, activists, scientists, and environmentalists. The project focuses in particular on the significant work that the nonprofit organization Sociedad Ambiente Marino (SAM) does toward resilience efforts in Culebra. SAM’s efforts are not just important for the Culebra SES itself, but could be a replicable model for other island communities throughout the Caribbean that are among the most exposed to climate change impacts today. Among SAM’s important current projects is the restoration of endangered coral species that are important to this region of the Caribbean.
Every year, the COE awards fellowships to fund summer research opportunities for Wesleyan students across all majors and class years. English major Ava Danieu ’23 spent the summer as a research assistant for Professor Claire Grace, who is exploring the status of air in 1960s artistic practice.
Tell us about your summer research project!
These past few months, I’ve been a research assistant for Claire Grace, associate professor of art history, who is exploring the status of air in 1960s artistic practice. I contribute to the project by providing contextual information that includes historical news coverage of air pollution in Los Angeles, the United States military’s use of air delivered chemicals in the Vietnam War, and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. Beyond reviewing archival sources to find media coverage, I compile reading lists concerning historical accounts of the Clean Air Act and information on specific firework companies active in the Los Angeles region in the 1960s.