STEM Summer Research - Granada Courses

You will earn 6 research credits over 8 weeks, conducting a faculty supervised, hands-on, directed study research project with results that will culminate in the preparation of a research paper.

You will complete a minimum of 240 hours on research in and out of the laboratory.

To prepare for this experience you will speak with your research mentor before arriving in Spain to work on literature review.

  • Please review your project with your academic or study abroad advisor to ensure it will transfer back to your home school and that you are following your home school’s policies.

Choosing Your Research Project

  • Review Project titles and descriptions below.
  • List 3 (in order of preference) in your personal essay.
  • Program is highly individualized, with limited enrollment.
  • You will need to complete a brief Literature Review in consultation with your research supervisor prior to departure before the start of the program. More details here.
  • We encourage you to contact Arcadia’s Assistant Dean of STEM programs, Dr. Jessie Guinn, to discuss your particular research interests further.


Environmental Sciences, Physics & Math Research with a CEAMA Course

Course ID Title Credits Syllabus
GRAN RSLW 392S International Independent Research in STEM Fields 6 PDF

2018 Research Projects

  • On the Relationship between air pollution and noise levels in the Granada Urban Area (read more)
  • Can Pollen Particle Matter be monitored by Sun-Photometric Techniques (read more)
  • Atmospheric Particles influence on Clouds: Why are those clouds there? (read more)

2018 Research Project Descriptions

On the Relationship between air pollution and noise levels in the Granada Urban Area

Atmospheric pollutants associated with traffic emissions such as NO, NO2, CO or black carbon have been demonstrated to have negative effects on human health. Despite being a less frequently considered type of environmental pollution, noise also has a major negative impact on the quality of life, especially in cities where road traffic is one of the main source of ambient noise. The main objective of this project is to characterize the levels of noise and air pollutants in the Granada urban area and check the compliance with the European legislation concerning both noise and atmospheric pollutants. As a second objective, this project aims at investigating the inter-relationship between noise and air pollutants levels and their covariance over time. To achieve these objectives, the student will analyze data gathered during 2014 and 2015 with sonometers and air quality monitors at different sampling sites within the urban area.

Can pollen particle matter be monitored Sun photometric TECHNIQUES?

Airborne pollen is a form of biogenic air pollution. It is recognized as one of the major agents of allergy-related diseases such as asthma, rhinitis, and atopic eczema, and these effects might increase due to the climate change. Many reasons have caused a growing interest in research of pollen in the last years. Among others, the intense urban growth, with the incorporation of exotic species, which in turn may cause allergic reactions in human beings previously not exposed to specific types of pollen; and the adaptive capacity to plant species to new environmental and climatic scenarios, which is causing alterations in the usual atmospheric pollen spectrum, both quantitative and in the allergenic potential of the same.

Studies on pollen started in the United States and Europe already in the 1960s based on in-situ techniques, and were mainly focused on the morphological identification and determination of the airborne pollen concentrations to establish thresholds of response in sensitive population. However, pollen, which is injected into the air during the pollination period, can also act as environmental pollutant by decreasing the visibility through scattering of sun light. Previous studies reported that solar coronas may be used as a simple indicator of the existence and the concentration of pollen because the shape of the corona is strongly correlated with the shape of the pollen. On this premise, the goal of this project is to explore Sun-photometric techniques as tool for pollen monitoring in order to answer the question: can pollen particle matter be monitored by Sun-photometric techniques? The student will manage dataset of pollen concentration from the Andalusian Aerobiology Network (RAA) and of aerosol properties from the global network AERONET (maintained by NASA). As ancillary information, the student will use forecast models such as NMMB-DREAM, NAAPS and SKIRON, diagnostic tools such as HYSPLIT model, and aerosol properties retrieved from the instrumentation operated by the Andalusian Institute for Earth System Research (IISTA-CEAMA).

Capacity: Number of students who can work on the project (doing different tasks) is two (one focuses on total pollen load analysis, one focuses on a differential pollen-type analysis).

Atmospheric particles influence on clouds: why are those clouds there?

Today Climate change is affecting all regions in the World, causing a wide range of impacts on society and the environment. Further impacts are expected in the future, potentially causing high damage costs. In this regard, the European Union has developed a European Strategy on adaptation to Climate Change. However, to be able to take decisions on how best to adapt, it is essential to understand atmospheric processes. For example, the influence of particles suspended in the air on clouds remains still blurred for the scientific community and thus, it is a research field in the spotlight of science. Researchers at IISTA-CEAMA are currently working on this topic. To do so, they use lidar and radar measurements to characterize the aerosols and clouds at different temperatures which allows to find aerosol-cloud relationships. This project is now open to pro-active students interested on instrument operation and data analysis. Specifically, the student will operate research instrumentation (e.g., lidar and radar) together the responsible researchers, will analyze measurements to retrieve aerosol and cloud properties and finally, will discuss with the researchers to figure out how atmospheric aerosols influence cloud formation.

Grade Scale

The following information is vetted and provided by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) on the Electronic Database for Global Education (EDGE).

Spanish Abbreviation Translation Numeric U.S. Equivalent
Sobresaliente SB Outstanding 9 - 10 A
Notable NT Very Good 7 - 8.99 B+
Bien B Good 6 - 6.99 B
Aprobado AP Passing 5 - 5.99 C
Suspenso S/I Fail 0 - 4.99 F