ACEP interns explore Alaska’s uncharted waters

Joy Lomelino (left) and Evan Joyce (right) are Alaska-grown ACEP undergraduate interns.
Jeff Fisher
Joy Lomelino (left) and Evan Joyce (right) are Alaska-grown ACEP undergraduate interns.

Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) undergraduate summer interns Joy Lomelino and Evan Joyce are working under the mentorship of Erin Trochim this summer on the Coastal Mapping and Hydrokinetic Characterization Project. Their internship journey will take them deep into the mysteries that surround the subsurface layers of Alaska’s coastline.

Lomelino, in her sophomore year studying computer science at UAF, and Joyce, a senior in UAF’s geologic engineering program, are helping Trochim analyze and clean up geospatial data and interpret topobathy lidar data from along the Beaufort Sea. Lomelino and Joyce also had the opportunity to participate in fieldwork as a way to gain more understanding of the application of the data they are working with.

Lomelino is passionate about sustainable energy and interested in how climate change is affecting Alaska, but hasn't had experience in this space yet. This internship has expanded her knowledge and has encouraged her interest in these topics. 

“One of the exciting aspects about this work is that it will be open source, allowing other researchers access to data around the changing Arctic coastline,” said Lomelino.

Throughout this internship, she has gained a deeper understanding of how computer science is used in a variety of fields and has already learned a lot about the current and future uses of technology across various fields of research. She was also excited to participate in fieldwork and get a sense of other aspects of research. 

Lomelino has lived in Alaska her whole life. She grew up in the Mat-Su Valley, where in her free time she enjoys backpacking, climbing, paddle boarding, skiing and crocheting. 

Joyce’s work is similar to Lomelino’s. He has been analyzing the Alaska coastline from satellite images and cleaning lidar data to understand what the nearshore looks like underwater. He has been focusing on identifying and translating the land features that need to be classified for a training manual that is in development.

“I hope that the work that I am doing will be able to help provide accessible and sustainable energy solutions for communities across the state,” said Joyce. “It’s cool to think that the work that I am doing will inform planners from around Alaska in better understanding what the hydrokinetic energy potential is for communities.”  

Growing up in Wasilla, Alaska, Joyce has taken advantage of what the land has to offer, hiking the many trails and ridgelines close to his front door and foraging for what the land has to offer. When not pursuing his outdoor passions, you can find Joyce in the kitchen indulging in his love for cooking. 

Both Lomelino’s and Joyce’s efforts are sure to have a lasting impact on the Coastal Mapping and Hydrokinetic Characterization Project, which will bring a better understanding of sustainable energy solutions to Alaska communities. 

“We have been thrilled to have these two on our team this summer,” said Jeff Fisher, the 2022 ACEP Undergraduate Student Internship assistant coordinator.

This project was funded by the Office of Naval Research. For more information on the internship program, please contact Fisher at