Elizabeth’s research aims to identify the relationship between residents of Pathways of Hope and at-home gardening, with a particular focus on the New Vista garden on-site. To this end, she will facilitate a focus group to qualify the interaction, familiarity, motivations, and needs of residents with regards to at-home gardening. She hopes to gain an understanding of related life-skills that residents would find useful while at the center, and to produce take-away information that is tailored toward the real needs and perspectives of the residents. Elizabeth is also working with U-ACRE associate Sandra Contreras on a bi-weekly garden newsletter that contains regular updates, recipes, nutritional information, folklore, and poetry associated with the vegetables available, as a means of encouraging exploration of the garden in a variety of ways.





Jennifer Pai-Yu Cheng is designing a market research study to measure university students' knowledge about their on-campus arboretum, as well as collect students' opinions about potential appeal factors and their interests in the institute. "This research project will focus on the students at Cal State Fullerton and the analysis will be presented to the Fullerton Arboretum to assist with future educational developments".



Cynthia Chavez is investigating whether or not native flowering plants will increase pollination in an urban garden. "I feel this is an important area of study because due to colony collapse disorder many food crops are not being pollinated at the rate that they used to," said Chavez. "There has been a tremendous amount of research done on the honey bee and other bee species but not specifically in our community". This research plans to observe the abundance of all pollinators in the garden before and after the placement of native flowering plants. "This is important in learning how to deal with the bee crisis and learning if there are native pollinators and native plants we can depend on to increase food production".



Sandra worked with Future Foods Farms and conducted survival analysis on tilapia in the hatchery. She was able to provide the chef and farmer of Future Foods Farms with essential information about tilapia survivorship in his hatchery compared to tilapia research facilities.







Tiffany Duong is studying water conservation as it applies to urban agriculture. Duong is applying a type of soil amendment in different ways to obtain a better understanding of which method conserves the most water. Applying the most water conservative method would reduce gardening costs and hopefully be beneficial to the world's water supply.



Holly Eeg is completing a preliminary GIS analysis for potential risk zones of lead levels in Urban soils near the Fullerton and greater Orange County area. She is specifically focusing on lower income areas, homes near major freeways and old industrial complexes that were built before the 1970's. Her intent is to gather soil data and use GIS to map out areas that have potential risk and may be used for personal home-gardens and recreation. Additionally, she is interested in teaching the community on how to be safe in preparing a home garden by using affordable at-home soil tests and looks forward to working on tutorials for children and presenting to the public.



A vegetarian, Jose Gonzalez said he's noticed that at community gardens in dense neighborhoods near busy highways, plants can get contaminated from fumes and dust delivered by passing vehicles. So, for his master's thesis, he is working on a project aimed at blocking such air pollution.





Phyllis Liang is investigating food safety among college students at California State University, Fullerton. As young adults are more likely to practice unsafe food handling, she will be surveying CSUF students to see their food safety knowledge and practices. She also plans to design and implement a hands-on tutorial on how to handle produce safely. She hopes that this study will help CSUF students learn and practice safe food handling.



Calvin Lung's research topic is to understand the effect a particular diet has on worm casts, produced specifically by Eisenia fetida. "These worms can break down organic matter, such as food wastes, and turn them into a nutrient-rich soil amendment that plants can easily uptake," said Lung. "By harvesting these worms, we can reduce the amount of organic matter that ends up in landfills and turning it into a highly valued commodity in the gardening community".



Jenae Melendez is currently investigating the affects of antioxidant intake (found in food) and its effect on dental health. She plans to work with her surrounding community to form a group of individuals ranging from fifty to ninety years of age. Jenae would like to take those individuals dental record, rate their dental health and compare it to the amount of antioxidants they consume based on a food frequency survey. She hopes that this study will enlighten her audience and promote the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables.



Jonathan Monahan-Wiggs is working on an agriculture-based culinary education program that will be placed at Ladera Vista Junior High. Lesson plans and activities are being developed in collaboration with various community partners (including teachers from the junior high and partners at the Fullerton Arboretum). A pre and post assessment will be used for students enrolled in the program.



Miriam Morua is currently researching Water Conservation Efforts and Urban Agriculture Studies. Morua is researching two different irrigation systems: Microjet Irrigation vs. Soaker Hose Installations in order to assess which system is better for a small scale urban gardens that provide the most productivity of capsicum chilies.



I am interested in understanding how food sourcing and presentation in cafeteria lunches affects fruit and vegetable consumption in junior high school students. My methods include sorting food waste by food type and weighing the individual food types to determine what food junior high students are not consuming. In order to assess what food types are proportionally least popular with junior high students, a daily lunch schedule will be obtained from the school cafeteria. Once the least consumed fruits and vegetables are identified, I will change the presentation of those fruits and vegetables to determine if presentation style influences fruit and vegetable consumption.



Major: Health Science
College: California State University, Fullerton
Hometown: Fullerton, CA
Community Site: Pathways of Hope, HUB of Hope





Andrew Shensky is using GIS and web design technologies to create an interactive map for the school garden program at Ladera Vista Junior High. He is conducting community-based research that will bring together Ladera Vista Junior High students, faculty, and Fullerton Arboretum staff in a collaborative effort to effectively integrate technology into school garden lesson plans. Through his research, Andrew hopes to improve garden management, expand students' understanding of food systems, and facilitate learning in and outside of the classroom.



Tara started research into Native Seed Search and focused in on making sure that the source of seeds was linked to web corresponding pages and material about the cultural groups who provided the seed. Her focus and interest was on environmental food justice and food sovereignty.



Lorenzo Vinluan's focus is in child health and nutrition, specifically on the barriers and constraints that affect fruit and vegetable consumption. "I intend to focus on junior high students because early adolescence is a critical time period for the establishment of healthy eating habits," said Vinluan.