CSUB receives $5 million to launch science and technology research center

CREST grant The Department of Geological Sciences at California State University, Bakersfield, has been awarded $5 million over five years by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST). The center focuses on research topics important to the economic future of the San Joaquin Valley's agriculture and petroleum industries.

The research projects include projecting the timing and amount of water resources delivered to the valley from the Sierra Nevada over the next several decades, and geological site characterization for potential underground carbon storage facilities. The grant proposal received several endorsements from regional water agencies and institutes, major oil companies, cooperating Ph.D. granting universities throughout the western United States, and several national laboratories and agencies.

The grant was awarded after a highly competitive proposal process.

"The NSF recognized that the past record of student and faculty accomplishments in the Geological Sciences Department justified a large investment toward future peer-reviewed scientific research at CSUB, a university that serves a student population that is underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics disciplines," said Rob Negrini, a professor of geology at CSUB.

The bulk of the research will be conducted by CSUB students recruited from the Bakersfield area, several of whom will receive annual stipends, tuition and travel support. The total support for undergraduates will be about $20,000 per year for undergraduates and $30,000 per year plus benefits for graduate students. Students involved in the center will receive research experience, education, and skills necessary for eventual Ph.D. study at collaborative universities and/or leadership positions in local industry and government.

The faculty members associated with the grant are Drs. Dirk Baron, Jan Gillespie, Bob Horton, Staci Loewy, Pat Mickler, and Rob Negrini of the Department of Geological Sciences and Dr. Eduardo Montoya, a statistician from the Department of Mathematics. For more information contact Dr. Negrini at 654-3027 or rnegrini@csub.edu.

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