MESA Engineering Program/Chico STEM Connections Collaborative

CSC² Natural Sciences

The CSC² Natural Sciences program offers participating students a variety of services to assist them with navigating college life and natural sciences courses.

Services include academic assistance, paid summer undergraduate research opportunities, professional development, employment opportunities, financial aid and scholarship application assistance, peer mentoring, as well as access to the CSC² Natural Sciences Student Study Center. 

Study Center: Students are provided on-going support through the CSC2 Natural Sciences Student Study Center, which has several amenities including a computer lab, study space, and space to prepare food with a microwave, sink, refrigerator, and coffee maker.

Advising and Academic Assistance: CSC² Natural Sciences offers advising, tutoring, study groups, individualized support, and supplemental instruction. For more information about academic assistance, contact the CSC² Natural Sciences Program Coordinator. For more information visit the Student Learning Center Supplemental Instruction webpage.

Professional Development and Employment Opportunities: The program helps students develop their professional skills by offering assistance with cover letters, resumes, interviews, and internship and job search assistance. Students are also offered career advising, faculty mentoring, financial support for travel to professional conferences, and networking opportunities. Paid employment opportunities are also available, including tutoring, student assistant, and peer mentoring positions within CSC2.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Application Assistance: Assistance for applying for financial aid and scholarships is also available.

Summer Undergraduate Research Program: CSC2 Natural Sciences offers summer undergraduate research (UGR) opportunities.  The UGR opportunities are available to CSC2 students who have reached the second semester of their sophomore year. Students will receive hands-on experience with a research topic in their field of study, learn to balance collaborative and individual work, determine an area of interest, and jump-start their careers as researchers.

Through exposure to research as undergraduates, many students discover their passion for research and continue on to graduate studies and faculty positions. Students receive a stipend of $3,500 for participating in the UGR summer program. For more information, contact the CSC² Natural Sciences Program Coordinator.

Exploiting the Chemistry of Coenzyme B12 for the Synthesis of Drug-Like Molecules

Drug discovery and development relies heavily on synthetic methods to create new pharmaceuticals. Jenny Caro, a chemistry major, is working with Dr. Dan Everson, a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, on “Exploiting the Chemistry of Coenzyme B12 for the Synthesis of Drug-Like Molecules”. According to Dr. Everson, this research will help develop new methods that use non-precious metal catalysts and reduce hazardous wastes to aid pharmaceutical chemists in their quest for new and better drugs. This experience will also help Jenny reach her goal of becoming a chemist.

Faculty Mentor: Dan Everson, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CSU, Chico 

Students: Jenny Caro

Physical and Chemical Monitoring of the Hydrothermal System at the Lassen Volcanic Center

Angelica Rodriguez is a geology student conducting research with Dr. Rachel Teasdale, a professor in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences. Her research project on “Monitoring the Lassen Volcanic Center Hydrothermal System” will provide scientists with a better understanding of volcanoes.  When asked why she enjoys research Angie said “You get to ask a question and maybe you get lucky and you answer it. And when you answer a question in science, it makes you want to ask more.”

Faculty Mentor: Rachel Teasdale, Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, CSU, Chico 

Students: Angelica Rodriguez

Conservation of Chinook Salmon in the Sacramento River

“California’s salmon populations are in dire straits,” according to Dr. Mandy Banet, an aquatic ecologist in the Department of Biological Sciences. Chinook salmon play a major role in the economy, recreation, culture and the environment. Thus, their growing absence has widespread consequences. Carlos Estrada, a community college transfer student, expected to spend his summer working in a department store. Instead, the biology major is working closely with Dr. Banet on the “Effects of Side Channel Restoration on Juvenile Chinook Salmon.” “I never dreamed I’d be doing this at this point in my life. I think, ‘Wow, I’m getting paid for this.’ I’m very lucky.”

Faculty Mentor: Mandy Banet, Department of Biological Sciences, CSU, Chico

Students: Carlos Estrada

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