Alice Suh ’12


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project Title

Ecohydrology and Vegetation Structure in Dryland Ecosystems

I spent the summer at Mpala Research Center and Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya as an intern at the Princeton Ecohydrology Lab. As one of three undergraduate ­interns, I assisted Professor Kelly Caylor and Dr. Keir Soderberg with the lab’s ­ongoing ­research on the hydrological cycle in the semi-arid savannah, and its interaction with ­dryland ecosystems. This research involves the long-term monitoring of rainfall, ­vegetation, and soil moisture, including the analysis of isotope signatures in water ­samples ­collected in the field. My focus was on conducting and improving the monitoring of ­vegetation. I conducted several types of vegetation monitoring transects at key ­locations around Mpala, and developed a non-destructive procedure for measuring ­above-ground ­biomass. I also performed comparisons of instruments used for ­measuring leaf ­water potential and stomatal conductance, which will inform future protocol for ­monitoring water stress and transpiration as well as research in isotope fractionation during transpiration under various degrees of water stress.

Internship Year


Project Category



Princeton University, Kenya


Kelly Caylor, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Keir Soderberg, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Civil and Environmental Engineering