Students Work at Three Rivers Archeological Site

During the fall 2005 semester, students worked with Dr. David Carmichael of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in a geophysical project at the Three Rivers Archeological Site north of Tularosa, New Mexico. They investigated what sort of geophysical techniques work best to delineate features of archeological interest to aid the archeologists in planning the field season for futurer sessions. If they can determine how many rooms and the size of rooms that a particular structure has, then it makes it easier for them to decide how to best excavate the structure. The students have been making geophysical measurements of ground conductivity, magnetics and ground penetrating radar in our studies. The students in the photo are shown with two magnetometers (on long poles beneath the umbrella and a ground conductivity meter (far right, blue object with white tube). A computer is being used to quickly download and check data quality from the instruments. The students shown are (from left to right) Alenjandro de la Pena (MS student in geophysics), Jaime (Jimmy) Hincapie (PhD student in geological sciences), Oscar Dena (PhD student in geological sciences).


Edith Jaurrieta

Edith Jaurrieta was one of three undergraduate students hired by Dr. Craig Tweedie to assist with the gathering of summer data for a multimillion dollar Arctic research biocomplexity project in Barrow , Alaska. She used DGPS to measure water level fluctuations in 20 tundra ponds. This data will serve as a baseline for initiating the manipulation planned for 2006 at the biocomplexity site. Furthermore, the study will report an initial analysis of these data, which will be used to engineer, monitor and regulate water levels within the experimental manipulation. This Biocomplexity Project is supported by the National Science Foundation Grant Award No. OPP0221587.


Laura Lopez

I started the ESE PhD Program at fall 2003. I have been working under guidance of Drs. Gardea-Torresdey and Peralta-Videa whose research has significantly impacted on me. I have found great pleasure doing research in Dr. Gardea's lab because it has afforded me the opportunity to acquire a lot of experience in several analytical techniques. I think environmental research is the most wonderful way to spend our life time. I have presented my research findings in several National and International scientific meetings in places such as Marble Falls TX, Austin TX, Washington DC, ESE seminar at UTEP and I will be presenting at South Padre Island TX at the end of this month.


Michael Arriaga

The summer of 2005 was great and the most eventful summer I had ever had. I knew that this summer was going to be one that I would remember when the day after school had let out for the summer; I received an email from a professor at the university. The letter was from Dr. Renato Aguilera, and it stated that I had an interview for the Biological Undergraduate Research Scholar program (BURS), which allows undergraduates access to research laboratories at the university. I was ecstatic, since I had been trying to get an interview for this program since I found out about the opportunity to perform research a while back. To make a long story short, I got the position and chose to work with Jianying Zhang MD, PhD, who studies various types of cancer.


Josefina Maldonado

Josefina is an undergraduate majoring in chemistry and minoring in biology; her advisor is Dr. Jorge Gardea-Toresdey, chair of the department of chemistry. During the summer of 2005, she worked with Dr. Gardea and with Dr. Felicia Manciu from the department of physics on an ongoing project of Dr. Gardea's research group - finding gold particles in plants.


Grace Ng

I attended the Michael E. DeBakey Summer Surgery Program in Houston, Texas, this summer where I gained tremendous clinical experience. Dr. DeBakey, a cardiovascular surgeon who was among the first to discover coronary bypass surgery, began this program to give college students the chance to experience "life as a surgeon" firsthand which has indeed lived up to its reputation.


Rhys Adams

Rhys is a Masters student in Bioinformatics; his advisor is Dr. Ming Ying Leung. During the past year, Rhys, along with fellow Masters student Deepak Chandran and Dr Leung, worked on a research project that examined the herpes virus genome to predict origins of replication. Essentially, this means they studied the part of the genome that replicates itself. Because of his work on this project, Rhys was accepted as an intern in the BBSI summer program at the University of Pittsburgh.


Nam K. Tonthat

Nam attended UCLA this summer as part of a research internship. He worked with two proteins that make up the shell of a carboxysome of a cyanobacteria (Synechocystis). His work consisted of profiling the dimension and electrostatics potential of the pore that was formed by the protein complex, as well as doing homology modeling and molecular dynamics on other homologus genes.

Nam plans to pursue a Ph.D. in structural biology. He states that he is interested in ion channels, in particular, using molecular modeling to see how the protein would interact in certain environments, substrate binding, docking, and the energetic behind it.

Nam states that his experience at UTEP has been absolutely wonderful because of the faculty. He especially credits Dr. Leung, Dr. Aley, and Dr. Walsh, in particular, because of their unending support.


Deepak Chandran

As a research assistant at UTEP, Deepak has been involved with research on virus genome for the past year. He attended a summer internship at the University of California San Diego. He plans to continue on to a Ph.D. in computational systems biology. He has several ideas for research that he would like to pursue.


Eva-Marie Rumpfhuber

Eva completed an internship in the R&D division of Shell International Exploration and Production in Houston, Texas during the summer of 2005. While there, she contributed to the development of a new rapid scanning technique using gravity and magnetic data. This new technique can be applied to oil exploration. She was also involved with quality control on various projects.

Dr. Randy Keller, her advisor, urged her to apply for the internship when Shell came to UTEP to interview students. She states that the internship provided her with new insights into the workings of the oil industry. She felt this internship was invaluable and urges other students to apply. Eva is currently working on her Ph.D. in geological sciences at UTEP.


Jorge Ramos

Jorge Ramos is a senior student majoring in Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Biology. During the summer of 2005, Jorge worked with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and was part of the National Abnormal Amphibian Project in different refuges in Alaska. In early August, he attended the 2005 National ESA-INTECOL (Ecological Society of America-International Ecology) Meeting in Montreal, Canada where he presented his research and received the ESA-SEEDS Research Fellowship for undergraduates. He then flew to Barrow, Alaska, where he met with Dr. Craig Tweedie and his crew, who are part of BASC (Barrow Arctic Science Consortium). In Barrow, AK, 340 miles above the Arctic Circle, he helped different US and international scientists in their research projects: coastal erosion, water levels, ornithology, carbon fluxes, small mammals, botany, etc. Jorge also had the honor of meeting with senators Hillary Clinton, and John McCain; and with NSF's Dr. Arden Bement, and Dr. Margaret Leinen.


Francisco Avila and Eleazar Vazquez Spend Summer in Czech Republic

UTEP's graduate student Francisco Avila (Mathematics) and undergraduate student Eleazar Vazquez (Engineering) spent two months in summer 2005 doing research in Computational Science with Dr. Pavel Solin at the Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic. They also had time to explore the country with its unique history and culture. More details can be found on the home page of UTEP's Finite Element Group.


Adrian Bustillos

As part of Dr. Joan Staniswalis' Statistic 2381 class, students design studies to address specific questions of their choice using proper experimental design and the Scientific Method. One such study, head by Adrian Bustillios, involved the study of baseball team salaries. Specifically, were salaries a good predictor of wins.

Adrian, who is an undergraduate biology recruited a team of other biology majors and presented several projects to them. They decided on the baseball questions because their time was short and the data was readily available and because they loved baseball.


Paul Alvarado Lenhart

Paul is an undergraduate majoring in ecological and evolutionary biology with a minor in geology. His advisors are Dr. William Mackay and Dr. Jerry Johnson. He states that these two individuals have been an invaluable source of help.

He attended a University of Arizona insect biodiversity course given in Sonora, Mexico. Seven U.S. students and seven Mexican students were enrolled in the course. They collected insects and participated in a multi-year longitudinal study of insect biodiversity.


Antony Adair

Antony is an undergraduate majoring in physics. He spent the summer traveling and studying. He was granted a research internship at Brigham Young University, where he was involved in research exploring High Harmonic Generation. He worked with the Laser Physics Group, headed by Dr. Justin Peatross, inducing lasers to produce synchrotron radiation.

As part of Dr.Russell Chianelli's research group, he visited Stanford University and the University of California at Berkley. At Stanford, he attended seminars and had "hands on" experience at the Stanford Linear Acceleration Center. At Berkley, he also attended seminars and had "hands on" experience at the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory.

Antony states that these internships opened a new world of physics to him and helped him focus his area of study. He would encourage other students to apply for these areas of study.


Nancy I. Rivera

Nancy is a Masters student in Environmental Science; her advisor is Dr. Thomas Gill. During the summer, Nancy interned for the third time with SOARS, Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science, in Boulder, Colorado.

Her internship included beginning her Masters thesis project, Characterizations of Dust Storms in Southwestern U.S. and Northern Mexico Using Remote Sensing Imagery. Her project mentor, Dr. Jennifer Hand of Colorado State University helped her begin the research at Boulder, and Nancy will complete it at UTEP. Her research indicated some new sources of dust storms near the border region.

While an undergraduate student at the University of Puerto Rico, Nancy applied for the first of these internships. She credits the internships with helping her find her research direction.


Steven Dilks

Steven is a sophomore in biology. During the summer of 2005, he accompanied Dr. Jerry Johnson to the Indio Mountains Research Facility to help graduate students track rattlesnakes Part of the study included the ecology, movement patterns, behavior, and basic life styles of the various rattlesnakes.

From the rattlesnake's blood drawn during the summer, Steven plans to extract the DNA so that he can study the relationship between the various species of rattlesnakes. Part of the study is to determine the genetic diversity of the snakes. Steven hopes to publish his findings.


Jorge Muñoz

Jorge spent the summer at the California Institute of Technology after receiving a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. He joined Brent Fultz's group and worked under the supervision of Olivier Delaire.

Preliminary results were obtained towards the determination of whether the source of anharmonic behavior in vanadium is due to phonon-phonon or electron-phonon interactions.


Hongling Yang

Hongling Yang graduated Spring 2005 with an MS in Statistics. Her MS thesis was written under the direction of Dr. Joan Staniswalis focusing on the Historical Functional Linear Model with applications to modeling associations between daily mortality and air-pollution. She will continue her education in the Statistics doctoral program within the Math Dept. at Arizona State University, funded by a Teaching Assistantship.


Yolanda Munoz Maldonado

Yolanda Munoz Maldonado graduated with an MS in statistics Summer 2000 under the direction of Dr. Joan Staniswalis. She was awarded a PhD degree from Texas A&M Department of Statistics in Spring 2005 and is currently an Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biostatistics in Univ of Texas-Houston Health Science Center.
Banner bearer 2010

Maryam has been chosen to represent the College of Science as the Undergraduate Banner Bearer at the 2010 spring commencement ceremony. She graduates with a major in biomedical sciences with a minor in chemistry with an overall GPA of 4.0.

She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, and was graduated from Franklin High School in 2007. Both her parents received their education at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), and currently two of her siblings attend UTEP. Maryam’s mother received her Master’s degree in Linguistics, and her father received two Masters degrees, one in Mechanical Engineering and one in Civil Engineering, and a PhD in Environmental Science and Engineering.

It was Maryam’s childhood dream to become a physician to help people and help cure the ill. She witnessed her mother’s struggle with a fatal disease and always wished she could somehow help her and cure her so that her mother would be in her life longer. The passing of her mother when she was only 11 years old provided the motivation to help others through medicine.

Even though she had the opportunity to attend other universities inside and outside of Texas, she chose to attend to UTEP. Her father researched the quality of undergraduate courses at UTEP and found that they were very similar to those at top universities in the United States. She chose UTEP because of the quality courses, outstanding faculty, and the proximity to her home. She studied biology and chemistry to prepare for medical school.

While at UTEP, she participated in the peer leader program in chemistry under the guidance of Dr. James Becvar. Maryam states that her involvement with the peer leader program helped her develop confidence and leadership skills. Being part of the Alpha Lambda Delta honors society also helped prepared her for a life after graduation.

After graduating from UTEP she will be go to Norway to study Medicine.