Research Projects by Subject

Note: Each research project will involve background reading for the interns provided by their mentors. Each research project will involve a final presentation by the interns.

Interns are expected to work collaboratively on the same project and/or data set. This may preclude rising seniors from submitting papers based on such projects to the Regeneron Science Talent Search competition.

Environmental Studies

Code Research Project Descriptions
ENV-01 Title: Mountain Lion Ecology and Conservation in the Santa Cruz Mountains
Primary mentor: Veronica Yovovich
Location: Mix of UCSC main campus and home
Number of interns: 2

Project description: Mountain lions hold the dubious distinction of being California’s last top carnivore, and are a vital part of natural ecosystem balance and integrity.  Human development threatens their future persistence by encroaching on habitat, disrupting important dynamics, and killing them over conflict with domestic animals. We use a number of methods to study mountain lion behavior and ecology to try and promote their conservation, including motion-activated game cameras, government documents and reports, as well as many other techniques.   

Tasks: Depending on the data available over the summer, SIP interns will be involved with one or both of two research projects the mentor has going on. The first is the mentor's work using motion-sensitive camera traps as an effective, non-invasive way to document the activity of mountain lions, humans, and other species, to research how we all use our shared environment.  The second is using mountain lion-domestic animal conflict data collected by state biologists to find patterns that will help us prevent conflict. The SIP interns can expect to be involved in the data processing associated with these two projects, including data entry and graphing in Excel, as well as learning how to use the photo-processing program Picasa. 

Required skills for interns prior to acceptance: Comforrt using a computer
Skills intern(s) will acquire/hone: None
Program Week Number: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Mentor's availability: ON REM REM ON ON ON ON ON ON ON