Closing out the summer at UC Reserve Quail Ridge

Bischel group retreat (September 2019). From left: Jeanne Sabin, Olivia Wright, Hannah Safford, Madison Hattaway, and Wenting Li

September marks the end of another academic year and the beginning of the next. The past year has certainly been one of personal and professional growth for myself, and I imagine for our whole team. The Bischel group met together last week for an overnight research retreat at the Quail Ridge Research Reserve to reflect on the past and upcoming year, and to hang out. We lucked out with amazing weather and a beautiful view of Lake Berryessa.

This past year, I was excited to share results from our group’s hard work at various research meetings and events. I co-chaired a session on water quality monitoring at the North America SETAC meeting in Sacramento, which included presentations by Wenting on suspect screening of PFAS and by Hannah on virus detection by flow cytometry. I presented at the¬†Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) meeting in Arizona and the Bay Area WASH Symposium at UC Berkeley, sharing results from Dani Peguero’s MS thesis on treatment of fecal sludge and opportunities for insect production from sludge.¬† We’re excited for Dani, who plans to begin a PhD in Switzerland at ETH and Eawag. Sharing Olivia and Madison’s research on woodchip bioreactors, I presented at the California Environmental Protection Agency for the Department of Pesticide Regulation’s Best Management Practices (BMP) Symposium and research collaborators meetings. It has been a new experience for me to present work done by my students, and I’m honored to have such a fantastic team to work with!

Wenting Li and Heather Bischel with visiting undergraduate researcher, Rain Hu (middle), for her GREAT Program summer research (July 2019).

Several congratulations are also in order: Wenting and Olivia both received travel awards for their presentations at the Norther California section of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemsitry (SETAC). Congratulations to our summer undergraduate visiting research, Yuhong (Rain) Hu, who received the UC Davis GREAT Summer Research award for her protein docking simulations with perfluorinated chemicals. Congrats to Hannah, who received an American Water Works Association scholarship, and a 2nd place finish on Jeopardy! We’re excited for Jeanne who is preparing for project work in India, where she’ll exchange ideas and work on resource recovery projects with IIT Madras in the Winter quarter. Jeanne also launched Team AGUA (Adruino Graduate and Undergraduate Allstars) as a way to develop skills in electronics, water quality sensors, and controls. Under Jeanne’s guidance, the team developed a chlorine dosing demonstration unit that we will use this Fall in ECI 140A. In August, Olivia and Madison presented to a team of researchers, scientists and stakeholders at Moss Landing Marine Labs, garnering valuable feedback on their research.

Finally we bid farewell to a few of group members, and we’re excited to see where their life and work take them. Jacob Newman graduated and is working on his MS in Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley. Undergraduate research Jeil Oh returned to South Korea to finish up his studies. And we wish Kylie Bodle well in her next adventures working for a startup in Montana!


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