Here are some descriptions for research assistants we've put out -- although we may still be looking for people to work on these projects, this is mainly a place to archive them for later reuse/repurposing.
UROP: software interface design/dev for DIY infrared balloon photography
Advanced work could include interfaces for compositing near-infrared balloon photography for assessing photosynthesis and monitoring environmental impacts: http://publiclaboratory.org/wiki/ndvi. Don't worry about the cartography/remote sensing; we just need people interested in clean, easy-to-use interface design who want a creative project to work on.
The software in its current state can be found at http://cartagen.org/maps
UROP: DIY spectrometer & thermal camera for open source hardware
Interested in a UROP to work on a DIY visible/infrared spectrometer (http://publiclaboratory.org/tool/spectrometer) and/or a thermal IR camera for <$100 (http://publiclaboratory.org/tool/thermal-camera) made from Legos. The ideal student would refine and test the tool in the field (detecting contaminants in, for example, the Charles River, with a possible trip to NYC to map toxins while canoeing in the Gowanus Canal: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/grassrootsgowanus) but also develop visual documentation -- videos, drawings, and tutorials -- as part of an open source community working with these tools.
If you're interested in working with residents of contaminated areas to measure pollution, and are willing to regularly document/publish your work online and collaborate with others, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org