Blum Summer Field Internship | 2017

This is the third year that a team of UCSD and UC-wide students have worked at the EarthLab during the Blum Summer Field Internship. The interns work in supervised interdisciplinary teams to conduct community-based research and participate in local ongoing collaborative projects. This summer, they participated in two summer science academies at Earthlab. They worked alongside local teachers and EarthLab naturalists to engage students in science and eco-literacy lessons and hands-on activities. In the first academy, a 4-week long science literacy program for 3rd graders, the interns helped teach STEM-related curriculum and led the students in experiential science activities at the EarthLab. For example, the students learned about animal adaptations and would then look for evidence of such adaptations around EarthLab. Similarly, in the second academy, which focused on environmental conservation for 6th graders, the interns aided teachers in the classroom in various lessons and then guided students in hands-on projects at the EarthLab. They also produced a short promotional video of the science academy at the end of the internship

2017 EarthLab interns (from left to right): Alon, Kara, Aya, Rabiah, Kim, Aaron, Warren, and Wilson.

Aaron and Wilson leading an activity about water pollution during the 6th grade Science Academy.

Debriefing with teachers at a day at the 6th grade Science Academy.

In addition to the participating in the educational programs, the interns worked on multiple projects relating to renewable energy, environmental education. The Electrical Program Investment Charge (EPIC) is a California Energy Commission project that aims to create advanced energy communities throughout California. The summer 2017 BLUM interns worked with the non-profit GroundWork San Diego on developing an energy plan for the neighborhood of Encanto. The interns combined physical surveying of the community and google maps data to analyze the solar potential of the community. Looking at metrics including solar irradiance, available residential and commercial space for solar installation, and neighborhood energy demand, interns estimated the potential for renewable generation to meet the energy needs of the community.

Map of Southeast San Diego census tracts. Interns surveyed tracts 1-5.

They then developed a report comparing varying levels of community participation in solar production to EPIC renewable energy production goals.

Meeting at Groundwork San Diego with Bill Torre, Program Director for Energy Storage Systems at UCSD, to discuss solar panel potential energy in Encanto (part of EPIC project).