D. Env in Environmental Science and Engineering

Problems Course

During the second year, Environmental Science and Engineering students focus on the Problems Course.

The Problems Course consists of a supervised research project directed towards the solution of a current environmental problem. The intensive research effort in the Problems Course typically occurs over a 12-15 month period, and leads to one or more peer-reviewed journal articles.

Although Problems Courses take many forms, from field studies or laboratory projects to application of models and database analyses, they typically involve technical problems with policy implications. Concurrently with the Problems Course, students participate in a Problems Course Workshop that focuses on developing oral presentation and technical writing skills.

Recent Problems Courses

  • Shannon LeaveyThe Formation Potential of Nitrosodimethylamine, a human Cacingogen, During Drinking Water Treatment of Effluent Dominated Streams Advisor: Irwin Suffet
  • Amy Zimmer-Faust – Specificity and Performance of the Immunomagentic Separation/ Adenosine Triphosphate (IMS/ATP) Method for Rapid Assessment of Coastal Water Quality
    Advisor: Jennifer Jay
  • Omar Asensio – Behavioral Responses to Real-Time Individual Energy Usage Information
    Advisor: Magali Delmas
  • Lisa Fong – The effects of concrete bank armoring and restoration on ecological structure and function of streams in Southern California
    Advisor: Richard Ambrose
  • Setal Prabhu – The evolution of Tree Nursery Offerings in Los Angeles County over the Past 110 Years
    Advisor: Stephanie Pincetl
  • David Quiros – Ultrafine Particle Emissions from Mobile Sources along Roadways
    Advisor: Yifang Zhu
  • Khadeeja Abdullah – Safe handling practices of nanomaterials in the research lab setting
    Advisor: Hilary Godwin
  • Erica Alvarado – Determination of methodologies to identify odor thresholds for menthyl tertiary butyl ether in drinking water
    Advisor: Irwin Suffet
  • Tiffany Yap – Investigating long-term patterns of rockweed distributions and abundances in the rocky intertidal along the west coast of the USA
    Advisor: Richard Ambrose
  • Valerie Chan – Modeling the effects of climate change on the extent and distribution of wetland vegetation in southern California
    Advisor: Richard Ambrose
  • Meng-Horng Hsu – Developing a hazardous potential index for hydrophobic organic pollutants in natural and treated waters
    Advisor: Irwin Suffet
  • Leila Lackey – Black and elemental carbon emissions from a diesel generator operating on soybean, canola, and yellow grease biodiesel
    Advisor: Suzanne Paulson
  • Nicholas Narin-Birch – An Analysis of Corporate Carbon Footprints and Financial Performance
    Advisor: Arthur Winer
  • Stephen Estes – Attenuation of fecal indicator bacteria and human-specific Bacteroides in two California coastal wetlands
    Advisor: Richard Ambrose
  • Glenn Sais – Effects of urban runoff on rocky intertidal communities in southern California
    Advisor: Richard Ambrose
  • Todd Bear – Establishing Goals for Restoration of Coastal Wetlands in Southern California Based on Historical and Contemporary Habitat Distributions
    Advisor: Richard Ambrose