How to Get Started in Research

Research Position Opportunities:

Internship/Research Position(s) for Climate Education Project (CEP) sponsored by the National Science Foundation

In collaboration with SDG&E, we obtained hourly energy use data for over 800 households in San Marcos during the period of January 2013 to January 2014. The goal is to determine factors of residential energy use in relation to weather patterns, housing characters, and socioeconomic conditions. Based on limited access to the address data, we hope to extract housing and socioeconomic variables from various sources, including census data. Then we will investigate how these different factors influence energy use during the study period. Students will learn different methods of data processing and analysis and the results can be used for Senior Seminar projects.

Depending on the availability of selected candidate(s), participation may be at minimum 1 semester or continue through summer and fall. For spring and fall semesters, the workload is expected to be 4-5 hours/week for 1 unit of MARS/ENVI 496/497. During the summer, the workload will be equivalent to two units of MARS/ENVI 496/497. A summer research stipend will be available.

Position Requirements

Student Qualifications
  • Strong data processing skills (Microsoft Excel and/or Access)
  • Statistical Analysis using SPSS or other software packages
  • GIS skills
  • Familiarity with census data preferable
  • Strong oral and written communication skills

Travel Expenses: The intern should have his/her own car as frequent trips to the Cal State San Marcos campus may be needed to access the household address database. The mileage expenses will be reimbursed by the grant.

Position Type: Course Credit

Number of Positions Available: 3

Hours Per Week: 4-5

Opportunity Timing: Spring 2015, Summer 2015

Appropriate Student Majors: Biology, Business Economics, Economics, Environmental Studies, Interdisciplinary Humanities, Liberal Studies, Marne Science, Psychology, Sociology

Start Date: Immediately (with a late addition of ENVI/MARS 496/499/498 units)

Summer Stipend: The project is expected to continue into the summer. To provide help for summer living expenses, the project will pay a stipend of $2,000 for working on the project during the summer. The summer workload will be equivalent to two units of MARS/ENVI 496/499/498

Faculty Mentors: Dr. Zhi-Yong Yin (EOSC), Dr. Nilmini Silva-Sand (EPIC)

How to Apply: Interested applicants must submit a cv and cover letter to

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