Elaina Hancock

Elaina (Laina) Hancock came to UConn as a graduate student and earned her master’s degree in microbiology in 2009. Laina first dipped her toes in writing for the Ka Leo student newspaper while studying pre-medicine at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Though she never became an M.D. or Ph.D., Laina kept writing and brings experiences of being a student, researcher, and teaching assistant to her storytelling for UConn Today. After moving more than a dozen times growing up as an Army brat, she now lives in Storrs with her family but still travels whenever possible and dreams of returning to a more nomadic life someday. When not at work, you can find Laina in her garden, on a bike, lost in a book, or at a protest.

Author Archive

Aerial view of solar panels installed as shade roof over parking lot with parked cars for effective generation of clean electricity. Photovoltaic technology integrated in urban infrastructure.

CIRCA Researchers Helping CT Towns Get Wired in for a Clean Energy Transition

The Inflation Reduction Act is putting unprecedented amounts of money into renewable energy, UConn researchers are helping CT towns access those funds

UConn students and faculty members at the United Nations climate conference in Egypt.

UConn@COP 27: Looking for Solutions to the Climate Crisis

Students who attended the United Nations conference reflect on what they'll take away from it

Aeration tanks in a sewage treatment plant.

A Solution for Reclaiming Valuable Resources Flushed Down the Drain

UConn researchers are turning a sewage treatment plant problem into biofuel

An illustration of people standing around drinking coffee while observing people digging in the backyard archaeological site

UConn Magazine: Caribou and Coffee

How a chance discovery at a quirky coffee shop turned up one of Connecticut’s most significant archaeological sites.

The Cook County Department of Corrections (CCDOC), housing one of the nation's largest jails, is seen in Chicago, Illinois, on April 9, 2020.

Learning about American History and Politics through American Jails

'We must take jail politics seriously; these are places that reflect our values'

The sign to the Badwater Road turnoff is left in the debris of flood waters downstream from where dozens of cars were damaged as Death Valley National Park partially reopens two weeks after record-setting rainfall caused a historic flash flood, on August 20, 2022 in Death Valley, California. Heavy rainfall from cloudbursts across California's deserts has caused major damage in many areas. Death Valley National Park, Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park are still recovering and only partially reopened. Park representatives said that the storm that shut down Death Valley on August 6 was a once in a thousand years event and could be the most widespread catastrophic event in the park's history, damaging 60 vehicles and trapping 1,000 people.

Using Monsoons of the Past to Predict Climate Conditions of the Future

A team of researchers used ancient climate data to predict how the summer monsoon may change in the North American southwest

The researcher team led a field tour in June attended by DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes, Deputy Commissioner Mason Trumble, Director of the Office of Climate Planning Rebecca French, and State Forester Christopher Martin.

‘The Problem is Nature Just Isn’t Natural Anymore’

As Connecticut’s trees are pushed to the brink by climate change, UConn researchers are working to help make New England woodlands more resilient

Hot weather. Thermometer in hand in front of an urban scene during heatwave.

Smart Responses to Immediate Needs: Assessing the Scale of CT’s Urban Heat

CIRCA researchers are working to pinpoint the hottest spots in cities and help direct mitigation and policy strategies and build resilience in a changing climate

A woman in chest waders stands in a stream, taking scientific measurements.

The Travails of an Alewife: Dams, Drought, and Climate Change

UConn researchers are studying the alewife – a threatened species and vital food web component -- for clues on how CT waterways and their inhabitants will adapt to climate change

Earth’s night lights as observed in 2016 based on NASA’s Black Marble Product.

Viewing Earth from Space at Night: Tracking Our Changing Black Marble

Turning on the lights when the sun goes down offers great insights into a range of human activities. Now scientists have a way to make better use of satellite data monitoring nighttime light changes