2016 Interns


Adrián Lugo Bendezú | Airborne Observation Platform

Affiliation: University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus; Integrative Biology major

Mentor: Tristan Goulden

Project: Traditionally, expensive software tools have been a necessity for working with hyperspectral data; Adrian’s internship project was to develop a software tool that allows QGIS (an open source software package) to open, read, and use NEON’s hyperspectral data.




Frances Janz | Terrestrial Microbial Ecology

Affiliation: University of Colorado at Boulder; Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (EBIO) major, Philosophy minor

Mentor: Lee Stanish

Project: Determining whether there are differences in the types and amounts of organisms found in soil collected at NEON field sites using two different soil sampling methods. This analysis will help NEON scientists make more informed decisions on the best soil sampling procedures at field sites.



Ian Flores Siaca | Ecoinformatics

Affiliation: University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus; Biology major, Sociology minor

Mentors: Christine Laney, Claire Lunch

Project abstract: Every day, we produce petabytes of data, which are stored in large and complex datasets. This big data, as it is known, is hard to analyze using the classical statistical frameworks. The scientific community has suggested the use of new visualization techniques with more advanced statistical frameworks to deal with the increasing data. However, multidimensional data analyses have been used as one of the frameworks to tackle this situation, yet, development of these tools has been extremely limited. This is a bigger problem if we take a look at how many of these tools are applicable to spatial ecology. To tackle this, we made use of the core fundamentals of the Information Visualization Reference Model, which allowed us to build a web-based application making use of the Shiny and R infrastructure. The resulting application allows users to visualize relationships of variables in up to three dimensions. In addition to these, it also allows for the visualization of the different spatial patterns that the species exhibit. It also allows for different spatial analyses such as Ripley’s K and its modification, Ripley’s L.



Justin Ripley | Engineering & Calibration

Affiliation: The Colorado School of Mines; Environmental Engineering major

Mentors: Janae Csavina, Doug Kath, Ted Hehn

Project: Working in NEON's Calibration and Validation lab analyzing the uncertainty associated with the collection, measurement and storage of pressurized gases used for the “state-of-health” testing of carbon dioxide sensors mounted on the NEON towers.



Kyle Feldman | Terrestrial Ecology/Instrumentation

Affiliation: Bard College; Biology major

Mentor: Cove Sturtevant

Project: Kyle worked closely with NEON scientists to help analyze the potential effects that Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety lighting may have on the flux tower sensors that analyze radiation (visible light and heat). Currently, there are two NEON towers required to have FAA safety lighting due to their height.



Sharon Williams  |  GIS

Affiliation: University of Montana Western; Geology major with a focus in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) mapping

Mentor: Melissa Slater

Project: Creating dynamic web maps of each NEON domain to be used by field operations staff across the NEON network. The maps included key geographic markers such as tower and aquatic site locations, field sampling locations, boundaries, pictures and more.


More alumni and projects:

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