Meet the Researcher - Aayushi Dhebar

Breakout Room: 7

Aayushi_Dhebar_Photo150Researcher Name: Aayushi Dhebar
Title of Research: Carbon Dioxide and Temperature Levels of Areas with Varying Tree Density
Division Representing: Chemistry
Institution: Bellevue College
Institution Location: Washington State
Home State: Washington State
District Number: 9
Advisor/Mentor: Sonya Doucette
Funding Source: N/A

Research Experience: 
The student researcher, Aayushi Dhebar, is a dual, college and high school student pursuing an Associate's Degree in Science Track 1 at Bellevue College. She is a highly driven individual with hope for environmental change. Previous volunteer experience includes serving on the local YMCA's youth board in order to better the community in ways such as becoming an assistant badminton coach for young kids and taking on environmental healthiness projects. The student researcher is also a part of the high school's National Honor Society, where she mentors a high school student. She has also served as a VOICE mentor with the school district for the past three years to mentor young elementary-aged children. Other experience includes volunteering at a long-term nursing home, serving as a juror on her school's traffic court for the last three years, and recently serving as a juror for the county's youth traffic court. This research experience is the first research experience of the student researcher, with hopes to pursue further undergraduate research.

Presentation Experience: 
The student researcher has presented the research twice, with hopes to present at two more events. The first presentation was to the student researcher's college chemistry class. It was an 11-minute oral and PowerPoint presentation diving into the specifications of the research as well as the impact on the scientific community. This was an academic presentation tailored for undergraduate science students and a professor with a Ph.D. in the subject matter. The second presentation was to the Bellevue Parks Board and community in Washington State, since the research was geared toward making an impact in that specific community. It was a 3-minute oral presentation to non-academic community members giving an overview of the project, as well as what changes could be made in the community after having done the research. The student researcher wishes to present at the Posters on the Hill as the third event, and the University of Washington Undergraduate Research Symposium as the fourth, which will be a 10-minute oral presentation. 

Significance of Research: 
Climate Change is undeniably a major issue in the 21st century. While the effects of climate change and global warming cannot be reversed in one day, with cumulative efforts from individual communities, it is possible to slow down its effects, with hopes to even reverse climate change's destruction in the future. Additionally, with the rapid development of major companies in cities, more foot and vehicle traffic are bound to follow, along with higher levels of carbon dioxide being released in the air. The research study, which took place in Bellevue, Washington, tested the effect of the density of trees in an urban and park area, on its carbon dioxide and temperature levels. A series of data at the Robinswood Park, a well-forested area, and the Bellevue Downtown Shopping center, an area with minimal trees, was taken over a two-week span, with measurements occurring twice a day; one in the afternoon, and once in the evening. The goal was to see if a higher density of trees would lead to lower temperatures and lower carbon dioxide levels. After the study, an analysis of the data occurred using data correlation graphs, to reveal that a higher density of trees did indeed lower carbon dioxide and temperature levels. In fact, even the mere presence of trees lowered these levels. Therefore, with the addition of low impact, low maintenance trees to urban areas, carbon dioxide, and temperature levels can be reduced. This study provides insight into a smaller scale of a very wide issue, which can only be improved with mounting efforts from many communities. 

Uniqueness of Research: 
The research was done with the aim of finding ways to reduce the effects of climate change in an urbanized area, which can be re-applied to many different communities in the nation. Produced on a smaller scale, the research results proved they were just as effective as research done by major facilities with funding. 


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