Research at UW Tacoma

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Recent Research Awards

Congratulations to the following sponsored research award recipients at UW Tacoma.

(Awards received between May 27-August 31, 2019) 

Andy James
, Center for Urban Waters
PSEMP 2019
Puget Sound Partnership/Environmental Protection Agency
Within the Puget Sound Partnership, the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program (PSEMP) exists to convene a collaborative network of subject matter experts from many monitoring organizations and different parts of the ecosystem to directly address management and science questions critical to recovery of the Puget Sound ecosystem.  This specific award is an ongoing collaboration that engages Dr. James’ expert research knowledge to identify, help coordinate, and make recommendations for monitoring programs related to the ecology, transport, fate, and effects of toxic contaminants in the Puget Sound ecosystem.   

Rachel Hershberg
, SIAS/Social, Behavioral and Human Sciences
Critical Reflection
Tufts University/Spencer Foundation

Critical consciousness is associated with positive outcomes for marginalized youth, particularly youth of color from low-income backgrounds (e.g., Diemer et al., 2016).  However, little research has focused on whether and how critical consciousness may manifest differently for individuals who have at least some privileged aspects of their identities (e.g., white men from low income backgrounds). Dr. Hershberg’s Intersectional Perspective on the Nature and Development of Critical Reflection among Adolescents and Young Adults project involves an in-depth investigation of critical consciousness from an intersectional and developmental perspective. Using a sequential exploratory mixed methods design (Creswell, 2013), it addresses three main research questions. First, how does critical reflection manifest for adolescents and young adults with intersecting group memberships, if at all? Second, are these manifestations of critical reflection related to adolescents’ and young adults’ engagement in critical actions? Third, what life experiences do these adolescents and young adults describe that may be associated with their critical reflection and critical action? How (if at all) are these experiences related to their intersectional identities?        

Rachel Hershberg, SIAS/Social, Behavioral and Human Sciences
Opening Up the Black Box:  Uncovering the Role of Adults in Youth Character Development
Montclair State University/S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

Dr. Hershberg’s proposed project is to define and validate adult practices that foster youth character development in Boy Scouts. By establishing SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, results-focused, and time specific) objectives to evaluate, scientifically validate, support improvement, and document significance of improvement, Dr. Hershberg hopes to provide clearly defined and evidenced adult practices that support youth character development for the Boy Scouts and other youth-serving organizations.  

Debasis Dawn
, School of Engineering and Technology
CHIP-BASED ADS-B for High Density, Low Altitude UAV
KalScott Engineering, Inc./National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Currently, there is a national initiative to integrate Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) into the national airspace safely. ADS-B (surveillance technology in which an aircraft determines its position via satellite navigation and periodically broadcasts it) is considered to be the primary protocol for enabling the safe integration of UAVs, since it is the accepted standard for air traffic control for manned aviation. However, ADS-B units which are currently available for manned aircraft are not suitable for hosting on small UAVs, due to their size, weight, power consumption and cost characteristics. Dr. Debasis’ Phase I effort will involve the design of the chip, and the fabrication and testing of key blocks of the design. In Phase II, a fully-integrated chip will be fabricated and tested, both in the lab and in flight. 

Ed Kolodziej
, Center for Urban Waters
Performance Evaluation of Engineered Hyporheic Zones in Urban Creeks
Washington State Department of Ecology

Scientific studies and biological indicators clearly show that urban stormwater is toxic and unhealthy for aquatic organisms. Recently, the Kingfisher Reach of Thornton Creek (Seattle) was restored by installing hyporheic design elements (HDEs) into the creek bed.   Dr. Kolodziej will build on preliminary work at Thornton Creek to understand how effective these systems are in improving water quality. This study directly addresses the Toxics in Fish Vital Sign (Regional Priority TIF2.1) by addressing stormwater treatment, especially for endpoints related to Coho pre-spawn mortality.

Ed Kolodziej, Center for Urban Waters
Development of Chemical Indicators to Detect, Track and Assess Pollutants
Washington State Department of Ecology

This project will improve water quality by identifying and quantifying a suite of chemical indicators representing legacy, novel and emerging chemical toxicants important to salmonid health and that impair water quality, especially in systems impacted by urban stormwater. Dr. Kolodziej and his team will survey the occurrence of chemical indicators in regional watersheds, particularly those in relation to watershed restoration efforts and evaluate treatment systems for identified chemical removal performance.

Yan Bai
, School of Engineering and Technology
Collaborative Research:  Colorado-Washington Security Scholars Program
National Science Foundation CyberCorps Scholarship for Service Program

University of Colorado Colorado Springs and UW Tacoma host strong cybersecurity degree programs and have close ties with the National Cybersecurity Center (NCC) and the local cyber/defense companies. This Colorado-Washington Security Scholars Program (CWSSP) will reinforce the cybersecurity programs at UCCS and UWT by providing scholarships to the CWSSP scholars and by implementing a team-highlighted curriculum and the student-driven conferences/workshops in the host institutions’ cybersecurity programs. Professor Yan Bai as a member of CWSSP will collaboratively work toward a model scholarship/education program and a framework for the other institutions constructing inter-institution education programs outside of the local partners. CWSSP will also involve the underrepresented students in the state of the art cybersecurity research and enable them to gain leadership/management experiences. 

Have you recently received an award not identified here? Let us know!

More Recent Awards

Office of Research Annual Report

Quarterly Office of Research Roundup

Recent Faculty Research Talks

Spring (May) 2019 Faculty-led Research with Undergraduates Lightning Talks


Spring 2019 CPES Presentations

In June 2019, seven UW Tacoma faculty presented their Collaborative Publicly Engaged Scholarship Fund projects.


Research news


UW Tacoma alumna Allison Kruse
October 9, 2019
UW Tacoma Associate Professor Sushil Oswal and recent graduate Allison Kruse co-authored a research paper on barriers to higher education for students...
Full Article »