Wetlands, known for their potential to sequester carbon dioxide, also contribute to a substantial proportion of global methane emissions. Currently, there is a large effort to restore wetlands in the Bay Area in order to create carbon sinks to help combat the effects of climate change. However, it is essential that wetland managers and restoration scientists understand what factors influence the release of methane from wetland soils, since the release of methane offsets the uptake of carbon dioxide in these ecosystems. To contribute to the refinement of these management practices, Metta will analyze soil methane emissions from Sherman Wetland, a restored wetland in the San Francisco Bay Area, to determine how factors such as soil moisture, temperature, and presence of vegetation impact the release of methane from wetland soils.
As of April 3rd, 2020, there are over a million coronavirus cases worldwide, with more people testing positive every day. With SARS-nCoV-2 being able to transmit from person to person without showing any symptoms, there is a high potential of the virus rapidly transmitting throughout a population undetected. A lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), rapid diagnostic tests, and proper ventilation equipment for those infected have contributed to the global public health crisis we see today. Candace Wang will test and optimize isothermal DNA amplification technologies followed by fluorescence detection in order to create a rapid point-of-care diagnostic test. If successful, this will provide a test that is easily accessible and widely available thus providing public health officials a better estimate of the severity of the problem we face globally.