Second Cohort of Learning Innovation Fellows Named
The Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub and the Gala Sustainability Learning Initiative at the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability continue to build on the success of last year’s Learning Innovation Fellows pilot program with a second cohort of fellows. The student fellows, hailing from a range of midwestern institutions, work with faculty advisors at the intersections of the Midwest Hub’s “Cyberinfrastructure and Data Sharing” and “Data Science Education and Workforce Development” themes. The program brings together data science and sustainability, delivering open-access, data-enriched learning tools on the Gala platform, along with experiences and mentoring for student fellows.
Alternative Transportation Scenarios
Shanshan (Shirley) Liu (Student Fellow)
Shanshan (Shirley) Liu is a PhD student from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include transportation electrification policy and planning, sustainable transportation systems, and transportation energy. Liu’s project is based around SEAS Professor Dr. Shelie Miller’s case study, “Assembling Our Transportation Future,” which asks readers to think about transportation policy hinge points in American history. She is using Python to create tools that allow students to analyze scenarios of alternative vehicle adoption and evaluate them from the perspective of energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Shelie Miller (Faculty Advisor)
Dr. Shelie Miller is a professor at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability. Her research uses life cycle assessment and scenario modeling to identify environmental problems before they occur. Miller's research group works on a variety of energy-related topics, including the energy-water nexus, bioenergy, refrigeration in the food system, and autonomous vehicles.
Modeling Rainforest Carbon Cycling
Anneke van Oosterom (Student Fellow)
Anneke van Oosterom is a sophomore double majoring in biology and data science at St. Catherine University. She is currently involved with the biology department at St. Kate's through the Biology Club and as a microbio lab prep assistant. Through the fellowship she is creating a systems model using the InsightMaker modeling tool to demonstrate carbon cycling in tropical rainforests for Dr. Ann Russell’s forthcoming case, “Healing the Scars: Tropical Rainforest Carbon Cycling” (developed through the OCELOTS network for tropical ecology).
Ann Russell (Faculty Advisor)
Dr. Ann Russell is a terrestrial ecosystems ecologist at Iowa State University, with special expertise in the biogeochemistry of tropical and managed ecosystems. Her research addresses links between traits of plant species and ecosystem processes, focusing on species and management effects on belowground processes, and subsequent implications for human impacts on soil fertility and carbon sequestration. Her research is designed to enhance our understanding of human impacts on the biosphere, improve biogeochemical models, and help guide selection of species for sustainable management of agroecosystems.
Scenario Planning for the Rouge River
Julie Arbit (Student Fellow)
Julie Arbit is in her final semester as an environmental policy and planning student at the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability. She works as a research associate for the U-M Center for Social Solutions, where her main project focuses on equity in flood risk, response, and recovery. Arbit is using ArcGis Online and Python to create scenario planning tools for the case, “The Rouge River: Redlining, Riverbanks, and Restoration in Metro Detroit.”
Perrin Selcer (Faculty Advisor)
Perrin Selcer is an associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the U-M Department of History. He works at the intersection of environmental history, history of science, and international relations.
Accessible Data Science Tools for Water Utilities
Thien Nguyen (Student Fellow)
Thien Nguyen is a second-year computer science undergraduate and sustainability enthusiast at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMN). He has previously worked with UMN's Institute on the Environment, writing geospatial analysis algorithms in Google Earth Engine to observe soil degradation in Senegal's Peanut Basin. Nguyen is working with PhD student Matt Vedrin to create tools for a PIT-UN funded collaboration working to help classrooms, communities, and workforces confront challenges in the monitoring and improvement of drinking water distribution systems.
Matt Vedrin (Faculty Advisor)
Matt Vedrin is a PhD student in Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan. In connection with one of the College of Engineering’s Blue Sky Initiative projects, “Remaking Water Infrastructure,” Vedrin is examining drinking water quality and perceptions in Ann Arbor with a particular focus on identifying and predicting water quality changes in the distribution system to help improve utility services. The research will draw from the city’s existing historical drinking water data, as well as generate new data to augment the city’s ongoing distribution system monitoring. Vedrin is working with Professor Lutgarde Raskin in U-M's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.