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Nanomaterials in the Environment, Agriculture & Technology -  Organized Research Unit (NEAT ORU) - UC Davis

About the Program
(The NEAT-IGERT program ended on June 30, 2005)

History of the Program

This IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education, Research, and Training) program is part of a large initiative (NEAT - Nanomaterials in the Environment, Agriculture, and Technology). NEAT supports interdisciplinary research, education and training at the interface of materials science and environmental science. Nanophases, small particles with very high surface areas, occur ubiquitously and interact strongly with living matter. The underlying characterization and fundamental science of nanomaterials is similar wherever such particles occur.

This IGERT will educate students in four interrelated areas: the fundamental science and technology of nanomaterials, the transport and transformation of nanophases in the environment, the interaction of nanophases with the biosphere, and the policy issues raised by nanoparticles in the environment. Students will come from backgrounds as diverse as solid state physics, geology, and microbiology. A set of courses, lab rotations, internships, and research opportunities will educate these students broadly in more than one discipline.

With the California State College system, the community colleges, and other educational institutions, we recruit students from a wide range of cultural and economic backgrounds. The demographics of the State of California, and of the Central Valley agricultural area in particular, provide a rich pool of potential applicants from underrepresented groups. We are building strong interactions with Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories, the U. S. Geological Survey, and industrial partners.

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  • To provide courses and seminars that establish a strong and interdisciplinary technical base, an understanding of societal and ethical issues, and an ability to understand and communicate among disciplines
  • To broaden the research experience and provide meaningful contacts at the professional research level with several disciplines and diverse work environments
  • To provide access to state-of-the-art specialized research to ensure depth as well as breadth
  • To develop an emphasis on meaningful human interactions and development of communications and mentoring skills

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Required Elements

  • Fall NEAT Seminar: Introduction to NEAT and to interdisciplinary research.
  • Winter Seminar: Special topics course aimed at increasing cross-disciplinary understanding aimed at the professional in one field who wants to get a basic working knowledge of another field. This is a substantive technical course in one or more subjects.
  • Spring Ethics Seminar: Issues of communication, authorship, collaboration in one's profession and broader issues of science and society and personal responsibility.

    NOTE: The above three courses are usually taken in the first year but there is flexibility in special cases.
  • You must have an interdisciplinary advisory committee, including the primary thesis adviser and a co-adviser from another discipline who takes a serious role in mentoring the student and guiding the project. One of these two advisers needs to be one of the original 14 NEAT-IGERT PIs; the other need not be. The NEAT-IGERT advisory committee is consists of the two co-advisers and the NEAT-IGERT director. Once the advisers and general topic is chosen, the student must write a short proposal outlining the focus of research and applicability to the NEAT-IGERT program. This should be turned in about six months after joining NEAT-IGERT and will provide the framework for your future research. The two co-advisers must sign it.
  • Research Rotations: To sample serious research in more than one discipline, NEAT-IGERT students are required to spend significant time and make a significant intellectual investment in at least one research group outside their own. This requirement may be met in a number of ways -- working in another research group at UCD or at another university, summer internships in industry or federal labs. The exact nature of this rotation is decided by the student and his/her NEAT-IGERT advisory committee.
  • The student must meet with the NEAT-IGERT advisory committee as a group once a year, sometime in the spring, and submit a short written report.
  • The student must respond, in a timely manner, to requests for information, including the surveys required by NSF. Even after graduation your input is important. Once an IGERT Student ALWAYS an IGERT Student. NSF wants to know how the program impacts you after leave the program. This information is critical for the program and NSF to assess its success.
  • A NEAT-IGERT student is considered part of the program for his/her entire time in a graduate program at UCD, regardless of the funding source, and as long as the interdisciplinary research project forms the basis for the Ph.D. thesis. Normal time to thesis completion is 4-5 years.
  • Upon graduation, submit a copy of your department exit paperwork and a copy of your thesis.

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  • The student generally receives two years support from
    NEAT-IGERT. On a case-by-case basis, students may
    participate in NEAT-IGERT for one year and support is
    modified to the one-year level.
  • Stipends for six academic and two summer quarters (modified for qualified one-year students)
  • Fees for six academic quarters (modified for qualified one-year students)
  • Non-Resident Tuition for one year, when applicable, and in conjunction with major professor's department
  • Travel expenses up to $1,500 a year for two years, justified by a short proposal, submitted prior to expense, signed by the student and principal adviser
  • Research expenses up to $1,500 a year for two years, justified by a short proposal, submitted prior to expense, signed by the student and principal adviser

Introduction to Nanoscience

Introduction to Nanoscience Presentation PDF

Original presentation by Vincent Seaman
Modified for online viewing by Wendall Nicholson
PDFs require the free Adobe Reader.

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