2016 VT EPSCoR Undergraduate Intern Bios

33 RACC summer interns have been placed with a research team of faculty and graduate students working on the transdisciplinary RACC research program. Read more about this year's interns below!

My name is Nasser Abdel-Fatah and I am a graduated senior from Johnson State College. My degree is in Environmental Sciences with a double minor in Chemistry and Wellness and Alternative Medicine. Currently I am working on Microclimate Evaluation with Dr. Tania Bacchus to observe climate data from the Saint Johnsbury area. This data from 2000 to 2015 will be correlated with other weather stations in the Northern Tier of Vermont (Morrisville, Johnson, and Burlington).

My name is Laura M. Albino Díaz, I study Geography with an emphasis at technical applications at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus. I’m going to be working on Q3 this summer, investigating Land use land cover change under different socio-economic conditions with Dr. Yushiou Tsai. I’m looking forward for this new experience and to learn more about Research on Adaptation to Climate Change.

My name is Robert Beauregard and I am a senior at Johnson State College. I am a Mathematics major, but I plan to graduate with a minor in both Environmental Science and Chemistry. This summer I am working with Dr. Tania Bacchus at Johnson State College to research major weather events and severe storm frequency in the northern tier of Vermont. I will also be collecting weather data from a number of weather stations to expand the Johnson State College weather database.

My name is Efrain Yadiel Carcaño-Ramirez. I study geography with an emphasis in technological applications at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus. This summer I will be working as an intern in the University of Vermont “Question 3” Team on Policy & Governance research. My main work inside the research will be focused in Soil Health Management under the mentoring of Sarah Coleman. My future goals are to join graduate school and obtain a master degree in geographic information system.

My name is Chelsea Cole. I am a sixth year student at Johnson State College majoring in Biology with a secondary licensure. I hope to teach 7th/8th grade science after graduation. I will be working with Robert Genter and Saul Blocher this summer at JSC analyzing water samples for nitrogen and phosphorus levels. This is my third year with the RACC program.

My name is Rory Cummings and I am currently enrolled in Community College of Vermont’s Environmental Science degree program, with a focus in natural resources. A resident of Montpelier, Vermont, I live only a few meters from the banks of the Winooski River, where I have a daily view of part of the Lake Champlain watershed. Over the summer, I’ll be working on RACC’s Integrated Assessment Model with Dr.’s Gabriela Bucini and Patrick Clemens.

My name is Nate Dooley, and I am a rising junior at Saint Michael's College, where I study Spanish and Environmental Studies. This summer I am working in the water quality lab at Saint Michael's under Janel Roberge, analyzing the total suspended solids (TSS) in the Missisquoi and Winooski watersheds. I am excited to develop a better understanding of the ins and outs of environmental research this summer, and hopefully spend plenty of time outside.

My name is Jonah Fanelli, and I am from Clinton, Connecticut. I will be a junior at Saint Michael’s College this upcoming fall and am pursuing a major in Environmental Studies with a minor in Sociology. This summer I will be working with the Question 3 team examining past, present, and future governance and policy models in the Lake Champlain Basin. In my free time I enjoy hiking, skiing, cycling, and generally exploring the great outdoor playground that is Vermont.

My name is Paige Fernandez and I am a biology major at Middlebury College. I am on the Middlebury College track and field team and enjoy hiking, backpacking, camping, and traveling. I am working with Dr. Andrew Stroth and Dr. Dongjoo Joung on watershed and lake biogeochemistry. The goal of this work is to understand watershed and lake processes that promote algal blooms in Missisquoi Bay and its watershed.

Hello, my name is Cristina Gandía-Vice, I’m currently studying Physical and Environmental Geography at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus. In this summer I will be working on “Question 2” the watershed processes and lake resulting from non-linear dynamic of the climate drivers, Lake Basin processes, social behavior and policy decisions with Drs. Donna Rizzo, Mandar Dewoolkar and Arne Bomblies as mentors. I’ll be integrating Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing projects in the group.

My name is Mike Greenough and I am currently attending CCV-Rutland pursuing a degree in environmental science with a focus on natural resources. This summer, I will be working with Donna Rizzo and her team on Q2, watershed processes. In my free time I enjoy fishing, ATVing, and spending time with friends and family.

My name is Kaylee Jackson, and I am a rising senior at Saint Michael’s College studying Biology and Environmental Studies. I am working at Saint Michael’s in the Water Quality Lab under Janel Roberge and Declan McCabe, looking at the total suspended solids (TSS) in both the Missisquoi and Winooski watersheds. Last summer, I researched the effect of rainfall and land use on TSS in the Missisquoi watershed, and I would like to expand on that research by studying buffer zone composition and how that affects TSS.

My name is Amanda Keilty and I am a junior at Johnson State College majoring in Environmental Science and Wellness and Alternative Medicine. This summer I will be working with Dr. Genter and Saul Blocher researching the water quality of Lake Champlain specifically, looking at nitrogen and phosphorus levels. I have a strong passion for protecting this planet and I intend on keeping the environment clean, while being the best person I can be.

My name is Maxwell Landsman-Gerjoi and I am an environmental science major at the University of Vermont with a concentration in water resources. I am working with Dr. Stephanie Hurley and Paliza Shrestha on the bioremediation monitoring system at the UVM camp. I will continue my studies at UVM in the fall and plan on graduating at the end of the semester. My biggest interests include studying biogeochemical processes that affect soil-water interactions.

My name is Rory Malone and I am an Environmental Sciences major at UVM with minors in astronomy, physics, and English. I am from Fairfield, Vermont and this is my first internship. I will be working with Matthew Vaughan, Ryan Sleeper, Dr. Andrew Schroth, and Dr. Andrew Vermilyea on continuous water quality monitoring in the Lake Champlain Basin, which will consist of both lab and field work, such as maintaining the sensor installations and taking grab samples. The data is used to calibrate the sensors and evaluate their accuracy, and to map stream ecology, dissolved organic matter, and nutrient cycling in streams in locations around northern Vermont that have different land usage. I’m excited to be working outdoors in the woods this summer!

My name is Nicole Mehr and I am currently a senior studying geology at Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY. I will be studying lake biogeochemistry with Lindsay Barbieri this summer. I plan to pursue a graduate degree in hydrology after graduation.

Hi my name is Isabel Molina. I am an Environmental Science student at the University of Vermont. This summer I will be working with Sarah Coleman on the policy and governance of agriculture for climate adaptation and water quality management. My team will be collaborating with farmers to learn more about the practices they currently apply and improvements they want or can make to their farms. I am excited to be doing this work because I am passionate about increasing sustainability in agriculture and making systemic changes to improve our quality of life and the environment.

My name is Nichole Enid Montero Marín, my major is on Biotechnology and also I have a minor degree in Industrial Chemistry at InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón campus. I have been selected to work in Question 1, understanding nutrient loading as response of drainage from urban area to the Lake Champlain. During this summer I’ll be working in a project called “Urban water quality runoff monitoring”, I’ll be part of the group that examines the use of green storm water infrastructure to absorb some of the pollutants of the lake. I hope this internship expand my knowledge in Biotechnology and other areas.

Hi, my name is William Morse and I am entering my final year, pursuing two degrees in environmental policy and philosophy at Green Mountain College. With RACC I am working on question three: researching how public policy landscapes affect social and environmental conditions. The catastrophic dangers presented by global climate change demand that we reconsider how our entire lives are oriented. The collaboration between science and law represented in the RACC initiative presents a strong path forward to navigate these complex issues.

My name is Richard Moyer, I am a senior in the Environmental Studies program at Albright College in Reading, PA. My research this summer will evaluate the environmental impact of land-use policy and governance using geographic information systems. I hope to develop my data analysis skills with this experience and apply them to a topic I am passionate about: waste reduction and management. Reduce, reuse, recycle!

My name is Adamaris Muñiz Tirado, I am a rising senior majoring in biology at the University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez. This summer I will be working with the Q1 team in watershed and lake biogeochemistry to understand eutrophication in Missisquoi Bay. As a member of the Society for Freshwater Science, I am very excited to continue my research on nutrient flow in aquatic ecosystems and further scientific knowledge on this important topic.

My name is Bill Nupp and I am a rising senior at the University of Vermont with a major in computer science and a minor in environmental studies. This summer, I am working in the social- ecological gaming lab at UVM to create decisions based games that measure how people deal with risk. These simulations will mainly be focused on agricultural issues.

My name is Elise Prehoda. I am entering my sophomore year as a transfer at UVM. I will be working alongside the VT EPSCoR CWDD to assist in the functioning of the RACC program. This involves a combination of lab, field, and computer work, as well as other tasks to keep the program running smoothly. I am looking forward to aiding in the logistical aspects of preserving our environment.

My name is Henrique. I am an exchange student at University of Vermont. I am a computer science major and also a chemical engineering major in my home country, Brazil. I am part of the Integrated Assessment Model (IAM) team with Dr. Gabriela and Dr. Patrick. My fields of interest are focused on multidisciplinary subjects. They involve: game programming and design, software development, control systems, computational models applied to chemical, biochemical and environmental engineering and chemical process simulation and optimization.

My name is Wileyshka and I am a student at "La Universidad Metropolitana" in Puerto Rico. I am currently studying cell and molecular Biology and will be a junior in the fall of 2016.During the summer I will be working with the Q1 team which will focus on understanding nutrient loading and harmful algal blooms in the lake as a response of runoff. This is my first research experience. Wish me luck!

My name is Carly Robbins, and I am a junior at Clark University in Worcester, MA. I am majoring in Geography and minoring in Environmental Science. After having completed my undergraduate work, I will likely pursue a master's degree in Geographic Information Science at Clark. This summer at EPSCoR, I am studying watershed processes under the influence of climate change in the Lake Champlain Basin with Dr. Donna Rizzo and Dr. Mandar Dewoolkar.

My name is Rebecca Roman. I am a rising senior at the University of Vermont studying Environmental Science focused on conservation biology and biodiversity. This summer, I will be working with Don Ross, Beverly Wemple, and Vanesa Perillo researching sediment and phosphorus movement from forested areas into the Missisquoi River. I look forward to learning more about the Vermont landscape and the chemical interactions that take place and affect the water quality of Lake Champlain.

My name is Valeria Santana-Pruna, I'm studying Chemical Engineering and specializing in Environmental Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. Over the summer I'm going to be working in Question 1, specifically in lake processes where the sediments and pollutants are going to be determined in soil and streams. It is an opportunity where I get to work in the laboratory and also in the field collecting the samples; it's going to be an enriching experience for my career.

Hey! My name is Anabel Sosa and I am a rising Junior at the University of Vermont, studying Political Science and Environmental Studies with a concentration in green building. This summer with RACC, I will be working with the Q3 team doing research on land policy and governance, focusing on the implementation of Vermont legislation and the relationships between networks.

Alexander Graham, creator of the telephone, wanted people to answer the phone by saying ‘Ahoy’, but Thomas Edison believed that ‘Hello’ was more appropriate. Ahoy, my name is Dakota and I love fun facts. I am entering my senior year at UVM, with majors in Environmental Studies and Political Science. This summer I will be working with Steve Scheinert on Q3 by inputting financial data into models.

My name is Luke Trinity and I am a junior at the University of Vermont. My major is Computer Science with a minor in Business Administration. This summer I am working with Scott Merrill as a part of the Social Ecological Gaming & Simulation lab. Data from these games will be used to analyze how rational decision makers behave in situations with risk and uncertainty

My name is Joanne M. Velez Otero and I'm from Puerto Rico. I'm studying Environmental Technology at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico San German Campus. This summer I will be working with the Question 2 on the Team on Watershed Processes Research in the Mad River. My future goals are to Graduate School to study my Master Degree on Natural Resources and my careers goals are to work with National Parks or with any other environmental agency.

My name is Austin Wilkes and I am a senior at the University of Vermont. I am currently studying environmental science with a focus in chemistry and this summer I will be working with Andrew Schroth and his team to examine the export of iron, phosphorous and carbon from forested watersheds in Vermont. I look forward to expanding my knowledge of biogeochemical interactions that ultimately affect nutrient loading to Lake Champlain.

Hello, my name is Daniel Wilkinson. I am a rising third year student at Johnson State College studying biology with an endorsement to teach science at the secondary level. This summer I will be working on Question 1 with Robert Genter and Saul Blocher in the water quality laboratory at Johnson State College. In my free time, I enjoy reading, music, and spending time with people.

My name is Mariah Witas and I am studying biology at Saint Michael’s College, where I will be a junior in the fall. I’m originally from western Maine and this is my second summer in Vermont working with EPSCoR. I am passionate about preserving our environment and working to minimize the effects of climate change and I am so thankful to be here contributing to a project specific to these issues. This summer I will be working with Janel Roberge in the water quality lab, where my fellow interns and I will process water samples from the Missisquoi and Winooski watersheds.

My name is Jacob Woodworth. I am a student at Community College of Vermont in Winooski, majoring in environmental science. As a member of the research Question 1 team here at RACC, I will be working with Paliza Shrestha and Dr. Stephanie Hurley to analyze urban storm water runoff filtered through bioretention cells

Hello, my name is Colleen Yancey and I am majoring in Biological Science at the University of Vermont. In EPSCoR, I will be studying soil nutrients and chemistry with Carol Adair and Stephanie Juice in the Q1 group. My interests include learning more about the concentrations of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in soil, their impact on algal growth, and how this effects climate in the long run.