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Jason Jung '16 - Cleaning up the environment one engineer at at time

Hands-on research projects and the support of faculty mentors helped Jason Jung gain the competitive edge to receive a 2-year fellowship with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Civil engineering undergraduate student Jason Jung '16 was awarded a 2013 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowship. The fellowship provides financial support up to $20,700 per academic year for the junior and senior years of undergraduate study and up to $8,600 of support for a three-month internship at an EPA facility during the summer of the junior year.

Jung credits his involvement with the school of Engineering and Computer Science's Ecological Engineering Research Program (EERP) with helping him gain the experience and competitive edge to earn the fellowship.

"This is a terrific opportunity for me and helps bring a much needed spotlight on the work we do in the Ecological Engineering Research Program," said Jung.  

Jung has been interested in civil engineering from the start of his college career and has been committed to environmental research. He has worked in the EERP lab since his freshman year and participated in the Pacific undergraduate research symposium. Jung has been working with the EERP on projects related to water quality in the San Joaquin River and in biomass energy, and helped establish a dedicated Biomass Energy Lab on campus. In summer 2013, he conducted a research project studying carbon storage in wetland soil at the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge located near Los Banos.

"Over the last two years Jason has worked for the EERP, completing research related to water quality, agriculture, and energy in California and has demonstrated dedication, a strong work ethic and excellent project management and communication skills in working on these environmental projects," said Jung's advisor, civil engineering professor Mary Kay Camarillo. "Winning the EPA fellowship will allow him to grow academically and professionally. He also will be a great asset to the EPA after he completes his summer internship. Jason has a lot of wonderful opportunities, both now and in the future, based on these experiences."

William Stringfellow
Jason Jung worked on numerous environmental research projects with Professor William Stringfellow (above), director
of Pacific's Ecological Engineering Research Program, which helped gain important experience that helped him secure the
EPA fellowship.

Jung attributes his success in large part to the opportunities for environmental research through Pacific's EERP. Under the direction of  professor William Stringfellow, the EERP conducts water quality and ecosystem restoration projects for the San Joaquin River and has three dedicated labs for water quality, analytical, and biomass energy research. Stringfellow, who holds a joint appointment with University of the Pacific and Berkeley National Laboratory, has received more than $9 million in funding from both federal and state agencies over the last several years to support his critical research on quantifying the impact of non-point pollution on surface waters and mitigating pollution impacts using wetlands and natural systems. Through these research projects, Jung has been able to cultivate his passion for civil engineering and environmental research.

"Without Dr. Stringfellow and Dr. Camarillo, I would never have applied for this fellowship," said Jung. "And, without these projects and their recommendations, I would never have this opportunity that means so much to me and my family."

Pacific's School of Engineering and Computer Science places a strong emphasis on practical experience that will enhance and solidify the theoretical learning. Through coop internships and research opportunities such as these with the EERP, students learn the skills necessary to engineer solutions for problems affecting the community and the world today.

Working with the EPA, Jung will also gain insight on working with government agencies and will see first-hand what is necessary to succeed in such an environment. The opportunity also positions him well for opportunities for a career with the EPA after graduation.