CZO REU/RET Program Has Concluded

The Critical Zone REU/RET program concluded after three years.

The goal of the CZO REU/RET program was to teach participants how to pursue collaborative, interdisciplinary research in order to better understand the interconnectedness of Critical Zone processes.

All participants were expected to create a poster or oral presentation demonstrating the results of their summer experience. In addition to posters, RETs are expected to develop curricular materials.

The Completed Research page has downloadable copies of the REU and RET presentations and curricula.

REUs and RETs Present Their Research at CUAHSI Biennial Conference

CZO REUs and RETs presented their research at the CUAHSI Biennial Colloquium, July 24-27, 2016, in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. The presentations marked the culmination of the 2016 CZO REU/RET program.

You can view their posters on the Completed Research page.

  • All of our summer research interns from the National Science Foundation’s CZO REU/RET program (Stroud Water Research Center, University of Delaware, and Penn State)
  • High school statistics/math teacher and RET, Dan Bondanza–he’s writing lesson plans to enable teachers to work with the EnviroDIY sensor networks.
  • Riley Brown, REU from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, assessed methods for studying submarine groundwater discharge
  • High school physics teacher and RET, Jill Dunscomb, studied streamside forests and the removal of invasive species.
  • REU Emma Gibson (Missouri State University) studied geomorphic and hydraulic controls on thermal regimes in stream pool habitats
  • REU Nate Watson (Cornell University) researched hydraulic, thermal, and geomorphic impacts on bacterial distribution in pool streambeds
  • REU Peter Wise (Goshen College) is developing the technology to add a low-cost turbidity sensor with the Stroud Center’s Mayfly Logger.

Summer research program boosts confidence, shapes careers

CZO REUs and RETs in the field

CZO interns dive right into field work during program orientation

“Hydrosphere! Lithosphere! Atmosphere! Biosphere!” students and teachers shouted during orientation for this summer’s Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) Research Experience for Undergraduates and Teachers (REU/RET). As a means to understand each day’s lessons, interns were asked to connect each of Earth’s four spheres to understand what the Critical Zone is all about.

The Critical Zone, loosely described as where rock meets life, extends from the tops of trees into the depths of groundwater.

A Nine-Week Journey

For nine weeks, 12 undergraduates and four teachers from across the United States embarked on a journey to study the Critical Zone and immerse themselves in science and research at the Christina River basin CZO site with Stroud Water Research Center and at the Susquehanna Shale Hills CZO site with Penn State University.

“We had an incredible group of very motivated and enthusiastic students and teachers this year,” said Tara Muenz, education programs manager for Stroud Center and the REU/RET program coordinator.

Summer research symposium featured

Stroud expands environmental awareness with its intern program

By Chris Barber


Anna Marshall (REU, Connecticut College) discusses her poster at the symposium

West Marlborough — The Stroud Water Research Center does more than count bugs in streams. As a result of its educational and scientific projects, hundreds of students grow up to be responsible stewards of the earth who pass that caring attitude onto their children and future generations.

This summer, the scientists at the center on Spencer Road alongside the White Clay Creek took on the pleasant challenge of working with college students and teachers as part of a three-year internship program.

This summer’s 10-week session ended on Tuesday with a class of 12 interns from as far away as California taking new knowledge and methods back to their classrooms and colleges.

Adria Bondanza, a science teacher from Sun Valley High School in Aston told the leaders at the conclusion of her stay, “I already have some ideas for next year’s science fair. I can show my students how environmental research is done and the value of interdisciplinary science.”

2015 Summer Research Presentations

Poster at ESA meeting

Katie Li (left, REU, Pomona College) and Anna Marshall (REU, Connecticut College) with their research posters at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America.

The 2015 CZO REU/RET program participants traveled to Baltimore, Maryland to make poster presentations of their research at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America.

The last event of the 2015 program was an End of Summer Research Symposium at Stroud Water Research Center.

The symposium featured oral presentations by the following undergraduates (REU) and teachers (RET) from Susquehanna Shale Hills CZO (SSH-CZO) and Christina River Basin CZO (CRB-CZO): Anna Schwyter (REU SSH-CZO), Sharon Dykhoff (RET SSH-CZO), Chrissy Wilson (RET CRB-CZO) , Meaghan Redmon (REU SSH-CZO), Adria Bondanza (RET CRB-CZO), Siobhan Donnelly (RET SSH-CZO) and Maggie Ruppel (REU SSH-CZO).

In addition, the following undergraduates made poster presentations at the symposium: Kelsey Bicknell, Sarah Granke and Meaghan Shaw (all from SSH-CZO), and Katie Li, Pinky Liau, Anna Marshall, Julianne Scamardo and Kelly Shen (all from CRB-CZO).

All presentations are available for download on the Completed Research page.

Research Wrap Up at CUAHSI Meeting

cuahsi-logoCritical Zone Observatory Research Experience for Undergraduates and Research Experience for Teachers program participants traveled to Shepherdstown, West Virginia to present their research at the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI) Biennial Meeting.

The theme of this year’s meeting was Water Across the Critical Zone: From Local to Global Hydrology. To see the posters visit the Presentations page and click on the links to view PDF versions.