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Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program

2018 Summer Internship Opportunities

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Expected Start Date: The program is 10 weeks in duration, starting May 21, 2018. Start date is flexible based on laboratory and candidate availability.

Application Deadline: January 12, 2018

Location: Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM

Salary: Selected candidate will be compensated by either a stipend or salary, and may include one round trip domestic travel to and from the host laboratory. Stipends and salaries will be commensurate with cost of living at the location of the host laboratory. Housing information will be provided to interns prior to arrival at the host laboratory, and will vary from lab to lab.

Hours: Full-Time

Environmental Surveillance & Wildlife Adaptation DOE-MSIPP-18-1-LANL

The successful candidate will be a current undergraduate or graduate student pursuing a degree in a biological or environmental science discipline, computer science, mathematics, or related field.

Desired skills: Work will entail field work, minimal laboratory work, and statistical analysis. All interns will be trained on all specific skills and capabilities. The capability to work in outdoor conditions is required. Interests to include: statistics, wildlife, infectious disease, epidemiology and environmental change. General computer skills required and other favorable skills would include: experience with statistics and R programming (but not limited to), general office computer skills, experience with bioinformatics and working with metagenomic sequence data.

This project will study the changes in arthropod-borne diseases with respect to climate pressures and environmental conditions in a migratory bird population and in mosquitoes over a latitudinal gradient. Using a long-term population study site of a cavity-nesting bird, the western bluebird (Sialia mexicana), in the southern Rocky Mountains (New Mexico) in combination with additional study sites located along the range of the Rocky Mountains (Colorado, Wyoming, Montana) (Fig. 1), we will explore the relative impacts of these environmental variables on the dynamics of arthropod borne diseases. We will use statistical models to estimate correlations between changes in abiotic and biotic factors related to climate and mosquito-borne disease in the system, allowing for nonlinear responses. We will then adapt mechanistic disease and population dynamics models to our system, informing parameters with the statistical analysis, allowing for prediction of system states under future climate regimes and novel fusion of mechanistic and statistical models that leverages strengths of both approaches. We will leverage the genomic expertise at LANL measure the metagenome and Plasmodium in mosquitoes at the different latitudes. We will use an abundant cavity-nesting species, the western bluebird (Sialia mexicana) and will model the demographics and dynamics of this population and the relationship to pathogens found in mosquito populations along a latitudinal gradient of the Rocky Mountains. 

We will leverage a long-term monitoring project on cavity-nesting birds in New Mexico and to compare to three northern Rocky Mountain populations and analyze past Plasmodium prevalence in the southern population over the last 20 years. Environmental factors will vary between the four sites, and we predict that infection status will vary widely with them. This monitoring is novel in that prevalence in both birds and mosquitoes as well as seroprevalence of Plasmodium will measured. We will use Plasmodium data to examine competing hypotheses regarding the impact of these climate-driven stressors on known mosquito borne diseases and other pathogens collected in mosquitoes.


Environmental Science with a Background in Chemistry and Hydrology DOE-MSIPP-18-2-LANL

The successful candidate will be a current undergraduate or graduate student in earth and geosciences, environmental sciences, hydrology, social science, mathematics, chemistry, or related field. 

Desired skills: Experience with data analysis and contaminant fate and transport. Candidate should have a background in environmental science with some hydrology and chemistry. 

Los Alamos National Laboratory is seeking a summer semester intern to help with environmental data analysis to determine background concentrations and fate and transport of pollutants.

Quantifying Uncertainties of Flow and Contaminant Transport in Subsurface DOE-MSIPP-18-3-LANL

The successful candidate will be a current undergraduate or graduate student pursuing a degree in computer science, engineering, environmental sciences, applied math, statistics, computational sciences, geosciences, or related field. 

Desired skills: Strong background in mathematics, and code experiences.

This project will focus on quantifying uncertainties of flow and contaminant transport in subsurface because of the uncertainty of material interfaces. It is well-known that porous media in subsurface, consisting various hydrostratigraphic units that differ in hydraulic properties, are spatially heterogeneous, and that the hydraulic properties of these media are highly uncertainty, partially due to limited data available.   Substantial studies have been done in literature on quantifying the uncertainty of flow and transport due to the uncertainty of hydraulic parameters, while research on the effect of uncertain interfaces among hydrostratigraphic units remains untouched. This work will be significant in solving many practical problems, such as predicting transport and fate of pollutants in the environment, remediation of contaminated sites, and waste treatment and disposal.

The research involves mathematical derivations of stochastic flow/transport equations, numerical implementation, and code verification using synthetic cases. Some preliminary work has been done and is promising. The intern is expected to write manuscripts for publication in leading journals.

Augmented Reality for Environmental Management Internship DOE-MSIPP-18-4-LANL

The successful candidate will be a current undergraduate or graduate student in computer science, or related field.

Desired skills: Experience using a Microsoft Hololens and the Unity Software, work with computer vision is a plus.

A primary concern for the Department of Energy - Environmental Management mission is ensuring that critical infrastructure maintains its structural integrity over the course of many years. If the structural integrity of holding tanks, pipe lines, pressure vessels or other key infrastructure is compromised the result could be the unintended release of dangerous waste or chemicals into the environment. The impact of such a release include damage to the environment, health hazards for humans, and a degradation in the public trust of the DOE. Unfortunately, to date the tools available to structural inspectors to perform structural inspections has been very limited. In many cases inspectors are limited to using their eyes, ears, a tape measure and a hammer to perform an inspection. Notes are taken using a pad of paper and a pencil. In some cases a tablet computer might be used to take notes along with a digital camera for documentation. Unfortunately these techniques are clumsy and result in very few data points being measured and recorded. In some cases thermal imagers or ultrasonic non-destructive testing techniques might be used, but these techniques are expensive, and bulky to deploy. In this work we will focus on developing novel structural inspection tools for environmental management applications based on emerging augmented reality technology. Augmented reality technology allows for holograms to be placed in the real world. It represents an exciting new way for inspectors to both collect, interact with, visualize, and analyze inspection data. For example, modern augmented reality devices typically come equipped with a depth imager. This imager can be used to make high-resolution 3D models of critical infrastructure on-the-fly during an inspection. This data could be used to precisely track how concrete beams or steel panels are corroding. A high-resolution 3D measurement of a corroded area could be made. If measurements are made year after year, inspectors will be able to instantly overlay the measurements from the prior year to visually compare how the structure has changed. A plot can be made on-the-fly showing how the volume of corrosion has changed. Furthermore, RGB imaged can be taken all over the structure and used to compare with prior year inspections. Eventually all this data can be fed to machine learning algorithms and finite element models to provide additional insight into structural integrity. Another major advantage of augmented reality devices is that they are typically hands-free, thus providing the inspector the use of their hands to perform tap tests or to navigate difficult terrain or to even better operate while repelling off the side of a structure. Augmented reality itself could be interfaced with other sensors to not only record data, but to also overlay data from ultrasonic or thermal imagers onto the actual structure as desired in order to get a more complete picture of structural integrity. The goal of this work is to develop the first generation of augmented reality – based tools to enable the structural inspector of the future. These tools will allow for unprecedented data collection and analysis in order to ensure critical infrastructure is safe and secure for use and to ensure environmental release of waste do not occur. Furthermore, this work will directly impact the future development of smart-PPE for use across the DOE to achieve the Environmental Management mission.


Cyber-Security Internships (2 Internships) DOE-MSIPP-18-5-LANL

The successful candidates will be current undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a degree in computer science, computer/electrical engineering, mathematics, or related field.

Desired skills: Independent, self-starter who takes initiative to improve education. Collaborative, team-player who contributes to discussions and focuses on solutions. Experience in data analytics, programming, IT/OT, computer sciences or electrical engineering would be beneficial.

Background/field of study in one or more of the following: computer engineering, electrical engineering, computer security, cyber-physical, internet of things, control systems security, embedded programming, firmware, computer architecture, encryption, computer system modeling.

This project involves conducting cybersecurity needs and vulnerability assessments for environmental systems (ex. waste treatment, recycling facility, solar electric grid, etc.). Collaborating with other interns to gather requirements, complete assessment tasks, and generate a final report with recommendations. Contributing to proposal writing to gain funding for cybersecurity improvements, following assessments.