Two Undergraduates Awarded to PEI’s Environmental Scholars Program

Holly P. Welles ・ High Meadows Environmental Institute

Two undergraduates have been selected to the Environmental Scholars Program by the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI). This two-year award was given to mathematics major, Zhaonan Qu ’15, and ecology and evolutionary biology major, Rebecca Haynes ’15.

With an inaugural gift from Elizabeth A. Smith and Ray E. Newton III ’86, the Environmental Scholars Program was established to support advanced undergraduate scholarship in the broad area of environmental studies. It is honorific in nature and designed to reward students who have shown exceptional promise in their academic coursework and in select summer research apprenticeships under the guidance of Princeton faculty.

Through the Program, the scholars will continue research apprenticeships with a member of the Princeton faculty in the summer following their sophomore year and on a continuous basis culminating in field study as an integral component of their junior and senior independent work.

Students are nominated during the fall semester to submit application materials for admission to the program. Selection is made by committee and admitted students are eligible to receive up to $15,000 to support their research agenda over a two year period.

PEI Environmental Scholars: Awarded in 2013

Zhaonan Qu
Zhaonan Qu

Zhaonan Qu ‘15, Newton Family Scholar

Major: Mathematics

Research Topic: Lithium Cooling in Tokamak Scrape-off Layer
Adviser: Robert Goldston, Astrophysics, former director of Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Qu’s research during the summer of 2013 and the next two years will focus on establishing and developing a model that predicts the cooling rate and heat flux reduction of several different impurity elements in the fusion plasma. In the summer of 2012, under the supervision of Professor Goldson, Qu worked at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory investigating the cooling efficiencies of several different elements in fusion plasma. Since entering Princeton, he has also pursued a rigorous course of study in math, physics, and engineering.

Rebecca Haynes
Rebecca Haynes

Rebecca Haynes ’15, Newton Family Scholar

Major: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Research Topic: A Study of Polices and Attitudes Concerning the Conservation of Central American Felines.
Advisers: David Wilcove, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; co-director, Program in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP), Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs. Andrew Dobson, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Through her project, Haynes is investigating the conservation of felines found in Central American Rainforests. She will study the relationship between the jaguar, puma, ocelot, margay, and jaguarondi population sizes and the attitudes of people living near their habitats. In the summer of 2012, Haynes taught environmental conservation in Kenya. Her coursework includes: chemistry, ecology, biology, politics, Chinese, and Spanish. She is enrolled in the Environmental Studies Program and is pursuing a Certificate in Environmental Studies.