Bass Connections Program to Feature Nine Environmentally Focused Research Projects

January 13, 2017

Contact: Tim Lucas, 919/613-8084,

DURHAM, N.C. – This year, the Bass Connections program is offering Duke University students the opportunity to take part in 43 cutting-edge research projects, including nine focused on environmental themes and led by faculty members at the Nicholas School of the Environment.
Started in 2013, the program teams graduate students and undergraduates with faculty members, PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and community partners to tackle some of the most complex and pressing issues facing society today.

Working on interdisciplinary teams, students have the opportunity to conduct research across five broad themes: Brain & Society; Information, Society & Culture; Global Health; Education & Human Development; and Energy.
Duke students from all levels and schools can take part in the Bass Connections program.  Most programs last for two semesters, while some have a summer component. Course credit and summer funding are available.

Applications for spots on this year’s teams open on January 24 and run through 5 p.m. February 17.

Nicholas School faculty will help lead nine of the projects offered this year.  They are:

* “Energy Data Analytics Lab: Electricity Access in Developing Countries from Aerial Imagery,” co-led by Timothy Johnson, associate professor of the practice in energy and the environment;

* “Decisions on Complex Interdisciplinary Problems of Health and Environmental Risk (D-CIPHER),” co-led by Richard Di Giulio, Sally Kleberg Professor of Environmental Toxicology, and supported by faculty members Prasad Kasibhatla, Drew Shindell, Robert Wolpert, and Lori Bennear;

* “Human-Wildlife Interactions at Sea,” co-led by Lisa Campbell, professor of marine affairs and policy, and Andrew Read, Stephen A. Toth professor of Marine Biology, and supported by research analyst Danielle Waples and PhD students Joseph Fader, Alejandro Garcia Lozano and Hillary Smith;

* “Energy and the Environment: Design and Innovation,” co-led by Emily Klein, professor of earth sciences;

* “Disaggregating and Projecting Electricity Demand in China,”  co-led by Dalia Patiño-Echeverri, Gendell Assistant Professor of Energy Systems and Public Policy, with support from postdoctoral researcher Mingquan Li;  

* “Governance and Adaptive Regulation of Transformational Technologies in Transportation,” co-led by Lori Bennear, associate professor of environmental economics and policy;

* “Ocean Energy: Products and Pollutants,” co-led by Zackary Johnson, Arthur P. Kaupe Professor of Molecular Biology in Marine Science, Patrick Halpin, associate professor of marine geospatial ecology, and Douglas Nowacek, Repass-Rodgers University Associate Professor of Conservation Technology, with support from faculty members Lori Bennear and Jay Golden, and associate professor of the Practice of Sustainable Systems Analysis; and postdoctoral researcher Elizabeth DeMattia;

* “Environmental Epidemiology in Latin America: Impact of an Oil Spill in the Peruvian Amazon,” co-led by Joel Meyer, associate professor of Environmental Toxicology, Bill Pan, assistant professor of global environmental health, with support from Heather Stapleton, Dan and Bunny Gabel Associate Professor of Environmental Ethics and Sustainable Environmental Management;

* “Digital Cities and Cyberarchaeology,” co-led by Dave Johnston, assistant professor of the practice of marine conservation ecology.
To learn more, stop by the Bass Connections Fair from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. on January 24 at Gross Hall, or visit the program’s website.


by Sean Rowe, mutimedia/web content specialist