Environmental Engineering Grad Students Receive Sustainability Fellowships

Urban Natural Resources Sustainability Fellowships

Onja Davidson (left) and Renan Valenca (right) selected as 2021-2022 fellows

Jul 13, 2021

UCLA Samueli Newsroom
Two UCLA civil and environmental engineering graduate students — Onja Davidson and Renan Valenca — have received the 2021-2022 Science Fellowships from the Los Angeles Center for Urban Natural Resources Sustainability.

The fellowship program provides research and science-delivery opportunities for graduate students from diverse academic disciplines. The center selects research projects that contribute to its mission to enhance urban natural resources and quality of life throughout the greater Los Angeles area.

Davidson is studying the effect of wildfire residues on stormwater biofilters that remove pollutants from runoff.

Valenca is looking at the role that fungi can play in restoring water and soil quality following wildfires.

Both projects have policy implications for the region and California. Each fellow received a $5,000 stipend and will present their findings at the end of the fellowship period.

Davidson and Valenca are both advised by civil and environmental engineering assistant professor Sanjay Mohanty. They are members of his Subsurface Engineering & Analysis Laboratory (UCLA SEALab), which explores subsurface processes that affect soil and water quality.

There are six fellows selected by the center this year, including a third UCLA student, Noam Rosenthal, of the Institute for the Environment and Sustainability.

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