NCSE Drawdown 2021: Poster Presentations

NCSE Drawdown 2021 Conference


Return to the NCSE Drawdown 2021 Agenda

In a poster presentation, the presenter(s) illustrate research findings using graphs, photos, diagrams, and a small amount of text in a virtual poster.

Conference attendees can view a short video walkthrough of each poster and the virtual poster in advance of the conference. During the scheduled session time, poster presenters will answer questions and engage with attendees in real time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Letters in parentheses refer to a session's thematic pathway.


A Sustainable Industrial Model for Bioethanol Production in Puerto Rico (D)

BBfuels of Puerto Rico, LLC is a green company that proposes a novel approach to biomass conversion to produce bioethanol.

  • Presenters:
    • Jorge L. Nina Espinosa, M.S. Environmental Health, Graduate Research Assistant, Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico


    Can Recycling Education Programs Promote Recycling Rates in the U.S.? (E)

    It is known that recycling education has positive effects on recycling behaviors, thereby increasing recycling rates. Using the US EPA's Environmental Education Grants database, this study empirically tests the relationship between publicly funded recycling projects and the U.S. recycling rates.

    • Presenters:
      • Younsung Kim, Ph.D., Associate Professor, George Mason University
      • Chan-ho Oh, Student, Langley High School
      • Aashna Sawhney, Student, Duke University
      • Tarun Sivanandan, Student, Oakton High School


    Considering Hazardous Ecosystems in Early Care and Education Programs and Policy (C)

    Chronic toxicity increases health risk for children. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's CSPECE program, in collaboration with key partners, supports health departments in protecting children from potential exposures in and around early care and learning environments.

    • Presenters:
      • Adelaide Appiah, MPH, Senior Program Analyst, Maternal Child and Adolescent Health, National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
      • Hester Paul, M.S., National Director, Eco-Healthy Child Care®, Children's Environmental Health Network (CEHN)
      • Tobie Bernstein, M.S., Director, Indoor Environments and Green Buildings Program, Environtmental Law Institute (ELI)
      • Jennifer Freed, MPH, REHS/RS, Environmental Health Scientist, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
      • Samantha Ritter, MPH, Director, Maternal Child and Adolescent Health, National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)


    Exploring Agrophotovoltaics in Guatemala to Foster Positive Change (E)

    Agricultural schools in Guatemala are responding to challenges in the sector (e.g., migration, food insecurity, climate change, poverty, etc.). Agrophotovoltaics combine solar photovoltaics with agriculture and may be an approach to enhance the sector and respond to other emerging rural challenges.

    • Presenters:
      • John Ignosh, M.S., Extension Specialist, Virginia Tech
      • Mario Buch, Research Department, Escuela Nacional Central de Agricultura (ENCA) Guatemala


    Indoor Environmental Dust Collection Techniques for Accurate Microbial Exposure (D)

    We spend 90% of our time indoors where we are exposed to a complex mixture of microorganisms, which can impact human health. We characterized collection efficiencies for two common methods to prevent underestimation of exposure, with implications for allergies and asthma.

    • Presenters:
      • Ashleigh Bope, Ph.D. Candidate, Ohio State University


    It Is Out of Sight, but Can No Longer Be Out of Mind (E)

    The shortage of operators in the water industry led Bristol Community College to apply for a National Science Foundation Advanced Technology Education Grant for the New England Water Treatment Training (NEWTT) Project. With the awarded funds the college created the hands-on Blue Center for Water Technologies and two training certificates. 

    • Presenters:
      • Robert S. Rak, M.S., Professor of Environmental Technology, Bristol Community College


    Relocalization: Challenges and Strategies (D)

    Moving production of goods and services closer to the end users can have significant economic and environmental benefits. The carbon emissions and other impacts from thousands of miles of transportation can be eliminated. Local communities can be empowered by retaining employment opportunities.

    • Presenters:
      • Robert Amundsen, Ph.D., Director, Energy Management, New York Institute of Technology


    Teaching in the Zone: Water, Land Use, and the Earth’s Critical Zone (E)

    Roanoke College has partnered with the Calhoun CZO to develop teaching materials related to Earth’s thin surface layer that is critical for the health and wellbeing of nearly all terrestrial life. Here, we discuss insights from this program with emphasis on the teaching of land and water dynamics.

    • Presenters:
      • Katherine O'Neill, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Environmental Science, Roanoke College


    Watershed Conservation for Water Provision in Rural Chilean Patagonia (A)

    Our study shows the importance of forest conservation in Patagonia to ensure the provision of fresh water. A maximum water harvest occurs in winter months (5.0 m3/s); in others the flow is 1.5 m3/s. In June a 15% of the demand by the nearby communities could be satisfied.

    • Presenters:
      • Alejandro León, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Universidad de Chile
      • Lucas De la Fuente, Eng., Associate Researcher, Universidad de Chile
      • Jorge Soto, Eng., Associate Researcher, Universidad de Chile
      • José Vistoso, Eng., Consultant, Asociación de Municipalidades de la Cordillera de la Costa de la Región de Los Ríos

    Wednesday, January 6, 2021

    Letters in parentheses refer to a session's thematic pathway.


    Citizen Science in Action: Water Quality Monitoring Using Arduino Sensors (F)

    Non-point source pollution in waterway tributaries is a serious threat to water quality, however monitoring tools are often too expensive to be widely distributed. This study uses Arduino based devices in conjunction with citizen science to bridge that knowledge gap.

    • Presenters:
      • Alandra Kahl, Ph.D., Associate Teaching Professor of Environmental Engineering, Penn State Greater Allegheny


    Microplastic Hazards on Water Quality and Human Health (F)

    • Presenters:
      • Hina Talib, M.S., Researcher, Jinnah University for Women, Karachi, Pakistan


    Molecular Inclusion Complexes of CLD and β-HCH with CD's for Water Treatment (F)

    CLD and β-HCH causes severe affectations to health. Their interaction with several cyclodextrins(CD) for water depollution was studied. The more stable complexes were obtained for γ-CD. These results suggest the feasibility of using CDs for the management, purification and water treatment.

    • Presenters:
      • Queiroz Portorreal, Masters of Engineering Student, Research Assistant, Instituto Tecnologico de Santo Domingo


    Pedestriant Thermal Comfort Evaluation of Multi-Modal Corridors in Tucson, Arizona (I)

    Extreme heat is increasing the heat stress of pedestrians, especially in low-income communities. This research aims to document ambient and radiant temperatures to understand heat stress's effect on individuals' heat vulnerability and thermal comfort level.

    • Presenters:
      • Ida Sami, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Arizona


    The COVID-19 & Climate Change Syndemic: Recognize Global Threats & Opportunities (I)

    Using simulation strategies, we deployed a workshop to educate medical students about the unprecedented public health threats of the syndemic of climate change and COVID-19. They developed plans for future prevention and mitigation to advocate for their patients and planetary health.

    • Presenters:
      • Holly Rosencranz, M.D., Clinical associate professor of medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine
      • Japhia Ramkumar, M.D., Clinical associate professor of medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine
      • Leslie Herzog, M.D. (Retired)

    Thursday, January 7, 2021

    Student Posters

    Letters in parentheses refer to a session's thematic pathway.


    Showcasing Diverse Voices for Ocean Research and Solutions With ArcGIS StoryMaps (D)

    To reach solutions that address ocean challenges, there is a need for connections across generations, cultures, and disciplines. ArcGIS StoryMaps compile current research for educating and mobilizing citizen engagement. View at:

    • Presenters:
      • Isabella Briseño, Student, Pennsylvania State University
      • Laura Guertin, Professor of Earth Science, Pennsylvania State University


    Aerial Hyperspectral Imagery for Assessing Field Scale Heterogeneity in Crops (B)

    This research hypothesized that Hyperspectral imagery is better than Multispectral imagery for assessing field scale heterogeneities and if observed field scale heterogeneities can be linked to farm management options. The goal is to develop methods and algorithms to find discrimination in crop plot

    • Presenters:
      • Habibur Howlider, Graduate Student, Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Texas at El Paso


    The Role That Values Play in the Interactions of Social and Ecological Systems (C)

    I emphasize the role of values to illuminate the impact which values shape different disciplines. My aim is to bring some of this literature to light in order to outline some of the ways in which the values of various disciplines can achieve synergistic outcomes and sustainability.

    • Presenters:
      • Nico Clarke, Student, University of Dayton


    Exploring the Adoption of Hemp as a Sustainable Agricultural Crop in Nebraska (H)

    Hemp cultivation became legal for the first time in nearly a century and has the capacity to improve sustainable agricultural systems. Fifteen first-year hemp farmers were interviewed to explore the diffusion of hemp in the Midwest and to document perceived challenges and success.

    • Presenters:
      • Christine Rost, Student, Doane University
      • Bailey Gasseling, Student, Doane University
      • Blake Colclasure, Assistant Professor, Doane University


    Factors that Motivate Cacao Farmers’ Agricultural Decisions in Jamundí (D)

    • Presenters:
      • Kelsey Foster, Student, The Evergreen State College, Master of Environmental Studies program


    Spatial Distribution of Forest Products Manufacturers in North Carolina (D)

    This study examined and provides knowledge on the spatial distribution of forest products manufacturers, major business hotspots, potential business clusters, and factors influencing the location of forest products manufacturers’ in North Carolina State.

    • Presenters:
      • Olakunle Sodiya, Graduate Student, Graduate Research Assistant, North Carolina State University


    Coastal Management and Federal Consistency: A Policy Tool for Coastal Resilience (C)

    Using a shared governance lens, this research explores the role of CZMA federal consistency as a planning tool for climate adaptation and hazard mitigation.

    • Presenters:
      • Heather Wade, Ph.D. Student, Texas A&M University


    Building a Call to Action for Science and Solutions in New Virtual Communities (I)

    Students play a valuable role in assisting informal education efforts involving technology, such as compiling podcast listening lists and questions for virtual discussions. The continued teaching of environmental topics left community members online wanting to be involved in environmental advocacy.

    • Presenters:
      • Dallas Barber, Former NCSE Student Podcaster/Undergraduate Research Ambassador, Pennsylvania State University
      • Laura Guertin, Professor of Earth Science, Pennsylvania State University
      • Karen Theveny, Assistant Teaching Professor of Communications, Pennsylvania State University


    Urban Areas at Great Risk From Flood Damage (C)

    While floods cost billions annually, outdated/incomplete regulatory maps put homeowners at risk. We harnessed big data and machine learning to estimate flood susceptibility throughout the U.S. Our results suggest that regulatory maps largely bypass flood risk experienced in urban areas.

    • Presenters:
      • Elyssa Collins, Ph.D. Student, North Carolina State University, Center for Geospatial Analytics


    The Impacts and In-Depth Study of the Environmental Contaminant PFOS (F)

    This poster aims to bring more new accurate information and awareness to the environmental contaminant, PFOS.

    • Presenters:
      • Karla Salazar, Graduate Student, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley


    Innovative Behavior: Increasing Litter Collection on Public Lands and Waters (C)

    Through collaborative engagement, this project has led to the development of a sustainable behavior change innovation that can decrease litter and evolve with an aging generation: a mobile application that motivates users with prize incentives provided by local businesses.

    • Presenters:
      • Maria Gilbert, Graduate Student, North Carolina State University


    Microbial Diversity and Antibiotic Production of Tree Hole Ecosystems (D)

    Antibiotic resistance and lack of novel antibiotics is a public health issue. In this study, we identified 10 antibiotic-producing bacterial isolates from tree hole water. This study demonstrates that various microenvironments should be considered when investigating for novel producers.

    • Presenters:
      • Jessica Charles, Student, Long Island University - Brooklyn


    Oxybenzone Sunscreen Alters Stress and Behavioral Patterns in Sheepshead Minnows (F)

    Oxybenzone sunscreen alters cortisol levels and behavioral patterns in Sheepshead Minnows. Minnows were exposed to varying doses of oxybenzone sunscreen and monitored for abnormal swimming/feeding behavior. Study found that sheepshead minnows elicit a physical and hormonal response to oxybenzones.

    • Presenters:
      • Kalle Simpson, Undergraduate Student, North Carolina State University


    Energy Justice through Solar: Social Construction of Low-Income Households (C)

    Energy justice, social construction, target population, low-income solar programs, policy design, Massachusetts

    • Presenters:
      • Yutong Si, Ph.D. Student, Northeastern University


    Human dimensions of growing bioenergy trees among farmers in North Carolina (C)

    Science has proven the benefits of growing bioenergy trees in the ecosystem. However, the social factors influencing its adoption among farmers are still unknown. To bring research to action, this poster addresses factors that influence the human dimensions of growing bioenergy trees among farmers.

    • Presenters:
      • Omoyemeh Ile, Student, North Carolina State University


    Resilience for Refugee Women Through Social and Environmental Solutions (D)

    This research investigates the challenges women face in refugee camps as well as the relationship between social and environmental issues to exhibit how one-off solutions may solve more than one problem and increase overall resilience for female refugees.

    • Presenters:
      • Iliana Lukasik, Student Research Assistant, Oberlin College
      • Md Rumi Shammin, Professor of Environmental Studies, Oberlin College


    Initial Assessment of Soil Antibiotic-Producing Bacteria in a Large, Urban Park (D)

    Discovery of new antibiotics is needed to combat antibiotic resistance. We found that habitat type had a significant influence on antibiotic producing bacteria in a large urban park. This study demonstrated that examining a wide range of source locations is needed for novel antibiotic discovery.

    • Presenters:
      • Minna Abdelaziz, Student, Long Island University Brooklyn
      • Aman Kaur, Student, Long Island University Brooklyn
      • Engy Dous, Student, Long Island University Brooklyn
      • Sarah Saji, Student, Long Island University Brooklyn


    Investigating Mineral Precipitation and Dissolution During CO2 Injection (H)

    This research investigates the physical and chemical changes that take place in the subsurface during CO2 sequestration. The major objectives were to efficiently store away CO2 and observe deformations in the sediment pile.

    • Presenters:
      • Varsha Swaminathan, Undergraduate Student, Pennsylvania State University
      • John Hooker, Assistant Teaching Professor, Pennsylvania State University


    A Tale of Three Cities: A Worldly Approach to Innovative Urban Water Management Strategies  (A)

    Increased anthropogenic pressure and extreme weather events threaten the sustainability of freshwater resources. The inadequate infrastructure of many urban landscapes often intensifies this trend. We will highlight unique and transformative strategies from Copenhagen, Singapore and Melbourne’s water management plans to address the challenges faced by Toronto, Canada, in meeting freshwater demands.

    • Presenters:
      • Keeva Fitzpatrick, Student, Sir Sandford Fleming College
      • Kate Greer, Student, Sir Sandford Fleming College
      • Erin Moffatt, Student, Sir Sandford Fleming College


    The Digital Divide: A Lesser Known Symptom Impacting Communities During the COVID-19 Pandemic (B)

    Rural areas are disproportionately affected by internet requirements during COVID-19. Our poster will examine the feasibility of Broadband Over Powerline infrastructure as a solution to providing reliable internet to rural areas in an ecologically sound and cost-effective way, enhancing opportunities for economic contributions from rural areas.

    • Presenters:
      • Sydney Shepherd, Student, Sir Sandford Fleming College
      • Danielle Douglas, Student, Sir Sandford Fleming College
      • Morgan Lane, Student, Sir Sandford Fleming College


    Turning Over a New Leaf: Increasing Accessibility to Urban Parks Through Creative Land Use and Infrastructure Solutions (I)

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, urban parks have provided one of the few safe venues for recreation and social interaction in cities. We propose that under-used lands in cities can be developed into urban parks, and access to existing parks can be enhanced through creative infrastructure solutions.

    • Presenters:
      • Jacqueline Weber, Student, Sir Sandford Fleming College
      • Alexandra Poirier, Student, Sir Sandford Fleming College
      • Hilary Wright, Student, Sir Sandford Fleming College


    Mapping Bull Kelp Forests of Puget Sound With Consumer-Level UAV Image Platforms (B)

    This project seeks to evaluate the efficacy of using consumer-level UAV (or drone) image platforms to survey floating bull kelp forests in Puget Sound. To achieve this, aerial surveys were conducted in collaboration with the Washington Department of Natural Resources during the 2020 summer season.

    • Presenters:
      • Tyler Cowdrey, Masters Student, The Evergreen State College


    The CST: A Study of Tourism Certification and Sustainability in Costa Rica (C)

    This poster outlines the Introduction, Methodology, Results, Limitations, and Conclusions of independent summer research on the Certificate for Sustainable Tourism (CST) in Costa Rica.

    • Presenters:
      • Caylea Barone, Undergraduate Research Fellow, the Lampert Institute for Civic and Global Affairs, Colgate University


    Reducing Dining’s Carbon Foodprint at Penn State ​(D)

    Diet is an often unrecognized, but large contributor to our carbon footprint. This project studies Residential Dining at Penn State University. It explores strategies to lower the carbon footprint through dining choices centered around more plant-based foods, sourcing food locally, reducing food waste, and using alternative materials for to-go containers.

    • Presenters:
      • Divya Jain, Student, Pennsylvania State University


    Has Transportation Behavior Changed After COVID-19? Is This a Permanent Change? (I)

    This exploratory research is relevant: it will determine if our personal transportation behavior after COVID-19 affected carbon emissions. We will better understand which of these changes of behavior will remain after the COVID-19 crisis is over.

    • Presenters:
      • Paula Gallegos, Student, Dallas College- Cedar Valley College
      • Tiffany Vuong, Student, Dallas College- Cedar Valley College
      • Susan Dallas, Student, Dallas College- Cedar Valley College
      • Donna Duong, Student, Dallas College- Cedar Valley College
      • Thea Loza, Student, Dallas College- Cedar Valley College


    Calming a Stressed Planet: Alternative Futures for Socio-Ecological Systems (I)

    This session focuses on case studies linking Earth’s physical systems and socio-ecological impacts due to climate change. Posters must include the vulnerabilities of a built and natural system, consequences of inaction, solutions, and adaptation strategies to promote resilience in 5 to 15 years.

    • Presenters:
      • Michael Timm, M.S., Graduate Student, University of Miami


    Getting Out of Hot Water: Moving From Ideas to Action (I)

    Presenters use single-instrumental case study methods to explore the links between changes in Earth’s physical systems and socio-ecological impacts and solutions. Evidence of global change is explained at global, regional and local scales with adaptation strategies highlighting ideas to action.

    • Presenters:
      • Pamela Fletcher, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Broward College
      • Michael Timm, M.S., Graduate Student, University of Miami