ESP Biography

BEN SCANDELLA, MIT grad student in environmental science

Major: CEE

College/Employer: MIT

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Ben Scandella

Brief Biographical Sketch:


I'm a fifth-year grad student in Environmental Science, researching how lakes fart. Really? Yeah, lakes belch methane just like cows and people, and the chemistry and physics of how it happens are really interesting. A side project looks at the climate impacts and energy prospects of methane hydrates, AKA ice from the seafloor that burns. Outside of school I like to read, hike, run, swim, bike and occasionally play the saxomophone. Hope you take our class!

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

S6394: Hydro Carnival in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
Step right up! Come get your hands wet tackling the most challenging challenges, solving the most mysterious mysteries in the known hydrosphere! This year's Hydro Carnival features three midway games that test your brain and your brawn: 1) Lungs of Steel 2) A Sinking Feeling 3) Cloud in a Bottle Rocket Come for the prizes or come for the thrill, but might learn something! Each activity has various difficulty levels to complete, so come ye come all, there is truly something for everyone.

S4774: Getting to Know H2O in HSSP Summer 2011 (Jul. 10, 2011)
Think water comes from the tap? Think again! This interactive course will take you on an exploration of the water processes that surround us, from rainstorms to groundwater recharge. Impress your friends with a deep understanding of the water cycle, informed opinions on issues threatening our water supply today, and experience in conducting experiments that test the physics of water. With a hands-on demonstration or experiment every class – from flowing dye through a giant ant farm* to trying sampling methods on the Charles River – be prepared to get your feet (well, at least your hands) wet! *no ants will be harmed in this experiment

S4305: Energy sources of the future - Flowing through the cracks in Splash! 2010 (Nov. 20 - 21, 2010)
Society can’t run without energy, but demand is quickly outstripping the supply. We'll explore two emerging energy sources – shale gas and methane hydrates – which are extracted by flow through cracks in rocks. Learn about fluid flow through fractures by injecting air and Kool Aid into JELLO! In the real world, fractures exist miles underground. How can we predict flow gas flow through fractures without knowing where they are? Particle tracking simulations can do exactly this! You will see such a simulation and have a chance to run it.

S3230: Climate Change and…the Underworld! in Spark! 2010 (Mar. 13, 2010)
When most people think climate change, they look up at the sky. But important processes controlling the Earth system happen underground. Come learn about how fluids flow through rocks and soil, and how that action is changing our lives. How can we understand what is happening underground without digging up the entire planet? After seeing a laboratory demonstration, you will play with a computer model to reproduce what you observe, if you can!