Students at Lafayette have the opportunity to engage with faculty members in collaborative research projects on environmental topics.

Below is a partial list of research projects undertaken by students in recent years. Most of the projects listed below were funded through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The students undertaking these projects were Mellon Scholars.

2013-2014 Academic Year

Joseph Ingrao (Engineering Studies ’16) studied small farm infrastructure as a way to meet the needs of Lafayette’s Sustainable Food Loop and the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act. Specifically, he examined the economics, design, and implementation plans for packinghouses and greenhouses. The EXCEL research consisted of hands-on work at LaFarm, site visits to other small farms, literature review, and field interviews with USDA cooperative extension personnel and other small-scale infrastructure design experts. Faculty Advisor: Cohen

Matthew Plishka (History and Gov/Law, ’15) studied the origins of manufactured food through an investigation of pure food debates in the later 1800s. Those debates led to the founding of the FDA and followed from radical changes in agricultural production and distribution. His EXCEL research focused on mapping the growth of new commodities in the era, analyzing legislation about adulterated (contaminated) foods, and creating GIS maps to visualize the expanding range of food distribution before 1906. Faculty Advisor: Cohen

Alexa Gatti (EVST and Gov/Law, ’16), Andrew Goldberg (EVST, ’15), and Rachel Leister (Neuroscience, ’15) worked with Easton’s West Ward Neighborhood Partnership to study the ways increased access to fresh vegetables in the West Ward could improve community interaction and public health. Their field work enhanced the 2013 Tech Clinic project on the Veggie Van into a broader 10-week Vegetables in the Community (ViC) project. That shift involved cultivating produce on a 40′ x 40′ plot at LaFarm; organizing weekly pick-up and packing of over two tons of produce from eight community gardens and farms for ten weekly distribution nights in the West Ward; and producing a working guide to help build ViC into a sustainable community-based project within three years. Faculty Advisor: Cohen

John Paul Bisciotti, Amos Han, Scarlett Jimenez, Morgan McGuinness,
Taimoor Sohail, EGRS 480: Sustainable Solutions (EGRS 480) under the guidance of Professor Julia Nicodemus. As a cohesive unit, these students sought to improve the Lafayette College community with respect to sustainable initiatives. Specifically, they focused on campus recycling and acceded that it would be a complex, real-world, and multidisciplinary challenge. Faculty Advisor: Nicodemus

Opportunities at LaFarm

LaFarm now has a solar-powered irrigation system , thanks to the generosity of alum Art Hendrickson ’51 and his wife Ginny, and a team of faculty and students led by Prof. Brandes of CE. The project started in spring 2013 as a collaborative effort of art and engineering students led by Profs Brandes, Veshosky (CE & EGRS), Profs Gil and Toia (Art Dept) and farm manager Sarah Edmonds. The goal was an artistic and functional creation that would embody the sustainability, art, and engineering interests of the late Bryan Hendrickson ’10. The team decided to focus on a sustainable irrigation system to augment the existing rainwater catchment that serves the community plots. The system consists of a metal sculpture built from found materials that surrounds a 1700-gallon water tank; a 150-ft deep irrigation well located near the garden shed, a solar-powered pump, and all connecting piping, valves, etc. The sculpture was dedicated at a ceremony with the Hendrickson family and President Byerly in September 2013. During the fall 2013 semester students in CE 421 Hydrology worked with Prof Brandes on the design, configuration, and full-scale testing of the system. It was fully tested at the end of the fall semester, and final installation was completed in late spring 2014, with the help of Plant Operations, students in CE 351 Water Resources Engineering, and the Engineering Machine Shop technicians.

Caroline Ladlow (Geology, ’16): Creating a Sea Surface Temperature Record for the Miocene using Alkenones to research the development of the Eastern Equatorial Cold Tongue. Faculty Advisor: Lawrence

2011-2012 Academic Year

Melissa Homsher ’14 and Carly Feiro ’12 (Biology): Maintaining an Established Asclepias SPP Reservoir to Investigate Alteration in Sex Determination Following Atrazine Exposure in Danaus Plexippus the Monarch Butterfly. Faculty Advisor: Waters

Danielle Steele and Carolyn Cabrey (Biology, ’12): Environmental Characteristics and Phytoplankton Dynamics in the Eutrophic Raritan Bay, NJ.  Faculty Advisor: Rothenberger

Tyler Germanoski  (Geology ’12) Status and Trends of  Macroinvertebrate Communities as Indicators of Water Quality: A Tool for Assessing Dam Removal.  Faculty Advisor: Brandes

Jesse Kendra (Environmental Engineering ’14) An Investigation of Surface Water and Groundwater Interactions in a Slate/Carbonate Terrain. Faculty Advisor: Germanoski

Hannah Griesbach (Civil and Chemical Engineering ’13)  and Stacey Dorn (Civil Engineering ’12) Nitrogen Enhancement for Municipal Compost. Faculty Advisor: Kney

Brendan Grayson-Wallace (Civil & Environmental Engineering ’14) A Tale of Two Incinerators: Environmental Policy Lessons from Pennsylvania. Faculty Advisor: Soll

Thomas Golaszewski (Engineering Studies ’12) and Sarah Welsh-Huggins (Civil Engineering ’12) Sustainable Re-Population and Development of New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward. Faculty Advisor: Veshosky

Nicholas Carboni (Computer Science 13′) Dashboard Ecospace Project-Overall Program Architecture Design and Implementation.
Faculty Advisor: Li

Ian Crawley (Mechanical Engineering ’15), Kayo Yamada (Computer Science ’12), Sarah Hardy  (Civil & Environmental Engineering ’14), Rebecca Stewart (Art ’13), Sam Strong (Art ’12), Christa Martinez (Mechanical Engineering ’13), Kathryn Panto (Industrial Design ’12), Se Hyung Kim (Civil & Environmental Engineering ’13), Imogen Cain (Art ’12) Proposal/Exhibition Call for Installations Along the Karl Stirner Arts Trail, and Art & Science Exhibition. Faculty Advisor: Kerns

Summer 2011

Julia Seidenstein (Geology ’12) Organic Pest Control for the Lafayette Garden. Faculty Advisors: Bell and Wilson Brooke Kohler Anthropology and Sociology ’13) and Jephord English (Policy Studies ’12) studied the abundance and spatial distribution of the green iguana in the U.S. Virgin Islands,  and researched cattle and their effect on the landscape and ecology of the U.S. Virgin Islands including administering surveys and interviewing historians and island natives.  Faculty Advisor: Fortwangler Thomas Golaszewski (Engineering Studies ’12) Sustainable Re-Population and Development of New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward. Faculty Advisor: Veshosky

2010-2011 Academic Year

Szu-Ying Chen (Chemical Engineering, ’13): Energy Recovery from Ion Exchange. Faculty Advisors: Kney and Greenleaf

Donald Ellis (Engineering Studies, ’11): The New Orleans Lower 9th Ward Art, Culture, and Civic Engagement Center. Faculty Advisor: Veshosky

Jon Martin (Civil & Environmental Engineering, ’11):The New Orleans Lower 9th Ward Art: Carbon Modeling. Faculty Advisor: Professor Veshosky

Brian C. Peacock (Mechanical Engineering, ’12): The Effect of Variation of Environmental Conditions on Inorganic, Microbially-Mediated Contaminant Transformation Processes in Wetlands. Faculty Advisors: Kney and Caslake

Summer 2010:

Jennifer Bell (Geology & Environmental Geosciences, ’11): Organic Gardening and Soil Management: Sustainable Production in an Institutional Setting. Faculty Advisors: Brandes and Wilson

Mitchell Bennett (Engineering Studies, ’11): The New Orleans Lower 9th Ward Art, Culture, and Civic Engagement Center. Faculty Advisor: Veshosky

Professor Veshosky and Donald Ellis ’11 discuss renovations of an abandoned public school in New Orleans.

Luke Calvano (Policy Studies/Economics, ’12):Economic Empowerment through Sustainable Coffee Farming in Honduras. Faculty Advisor: Hutchinson

Raphael Cuomo (Biology, ’11):Status and Trends of Macroinvertebrate Communities as Indicators of Water Quality: a Tool for Assessing Dam Removal. Faculty Advisor: Rothenberger

Richard Durham (Economics/Spanish, ’11): Economic Empowerment through Sustainable Coffee Farming in Honduras. Faculty Advisor: Hutchinson

Donald Ellis (Engineering Studies, ’11): The New Orleans Lower 9th Ward Art, Culture, and Civic Engagement Center. Faculty Advisor: Veshosky

Jon Martin (Civil & Environmental Engineering, ’11):The New Orleans Lower 9th Ward Art: Carbon Modeling. Faculty Advisor: Veshosky

Hannah Rhadigan (Art, ’11): Empowered: A Photographic Essay of Honduras. Faculty Advisor: Hutchinson

Michael Thompson (Civil & Environmental Engineering, ’12): Using Electronic Conductivity and Hardness Data for Rapid Assessment of Stream Water Quality. Faculty Advisor: Brandes

2009-2010 Academic Year:

Alysia LeComte (Geology & Environmental Geosciences/English, ’10): An Investigation of Surface Water and Groundwater Interactions in a Slate/Carbonate Terrain. Faculty Advisors: Germanoski and Brandes

Lindsay Weir (Biology/Policy Studies, ’11): Developing Locally Sustainable Drinking Water Resources. Faculty Advisor: Jones

Summer 2009:

Michael Adelman (Civil & Environmental Engineering, ’10): Reducing Watershed Nutrient Loading Through Compost Nitrogen Management. Faculty Advisor: Kney

Andrew Baldridge (Civil & Environmental Engineering, ’10): An Investigation of Surface Water and Groundwater Interactions in a Slate/Carbonate Terrain. Faculty Advisors: Germanoski and Brandes

Jennifer Bell ’11 at the campus organic garden.

Jennifer Bell (Geology & Environmental Geosciences, ’11): Towards a Sustainable Food Loop at Lafayette and Other College Campuses. Faculty Advisors: Kney and A. Smith

Kelsey Boyd (Policy Studies, ’11): The Cost of State Environmental Regulations.Faculty Advisor: Crain

Ting Chiu (English/Psychology, ’11): Economic and Social Empowerment for Rural Water Systems. Faculty Advisors: Hutchinson and Jones

Jacqueline Gowdy (Engineering Studies/International Affairs, ’11): Analyzing Sustainable Redevelopment Alternatives in New Orleans.  Faculty Advisor: Veshosky

Dietrich Hoefner (Engineering Studies, ’10): Delineating the Tarawera Watershed and Preliminary Data Collection and Analyses to Establish Long-Term Cooperative Research Between Maori Tribal Youth and Lafayette College Students. Faculty Advisors:Kney and Germanoski, with Dr. Darren Gravley (University of Auckland) and Anthony Olsen (Secretary to the Nagati Umutahi ki Tiepataua Marae Trust)

Bryan McAtee (Geology & Environmental Geosciences, ’11): Reducing Watershed Nutrient Loading through Compost Nitrogen Management. Faculty Advisor: Kney

Jayne Miller (Policy Studies, ’10): The Provision of Potable Water in Angola.  Faculty Advisor: Crain

Zainab Nandawula (Chemical Engineering, ’11): Fuels from Food Wastes. Faculty Advisor: Tavakoli

Leslie Raucher (Geology & Environmental Geosciences, ’10): Delineating the Tarawera Watershed and Preliminary Data Collection and Analyses to Establish Long-Term Cooperative Research Between Maori Tribal Youth and Lafayette College Students. Faculty Advisors:Kney and Germanoski, with Dr. Darren Gravley (University of Auckland) and Anthony Olsen (Secretary to the Nagati Umutahi ki Tiepataua Marae Trust)

Katherine Reeves (Economics/Bio-environmental Studies, 11): Sustainable Market-based “Green” Urban Economic Recovery in New Orleans; A Public Scholarship Approach. Faculty Advisor: Hutchinson

Michael Thompson (Civil & Environmental Engineering, ’12): Collaborative Research on Stream Behavior Near a Bedrock Interface. Faculty Advisors: Brandes and Germanoski