RECCS Student Researchers 2018

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Joseph Brown

Project Title: GAMMA Portable Radar Interferometer with Satellite DinSAR from Sentinel 1A/B at Slumgullion Landslide, Colorado, USA.

Mentors: Mylene Jacquemart and Kristy Tiampo, CIRES/Department of Geological Sciences at CU

Bio: Joseph (Joe) is originally from Florida, but currently resides in Denver, Colorado, and is studying civil/environmental engineering. Directly after high school, he chose to jump into a finance degree program thinking that making as much money as possible would make him happy. After getting into the finance field, he realized that he should follow his interests and passions for the physical sciences rather than just choosing a career for the money. He learned that money will never buy happiness and that sitting behind a desk all day seems like not his way to live his life.

Upon taking more science classes, researching careers, and communicating with others, he is leaning towards a career path in the hydrology side of the engineering world. Joe is very excited about this summer to learn how to do proper research and hopes that this experience will help guide him closer to choosing a niche in the physical sciences.


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James Butts

Project Title: Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasting: The Gap in Our Ability to Predict Hazardous Weather.

Mentors: Juliana Dias and John Albers, NOAA/ESRL

Bio:  James currently lives in Greeley, Colorado, but grew up in the small town of Byers in eastern Colorado. He enjoys multiple hobbies, such as gaming, computer technologies, reading, running cross country, biking, and swimming.  In addition, he has always enjoyed math and science courses.

James earned his Associates of Science in Biology in Spring 2017, but continued at Northeastern Junior College (NJC) in Sterling, Colorado for a third year to finish up some extra classes. This upcoming Fall 2018 semester, James plans to transfer to the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) in Greeley, Colorado. At UNC, he will pursue a bachelor's degree in both Biology and Software Engineering. What he plans to do after graduating is unknown, but he may attempt to become an Optometrist or a Microbiologist. 

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Jason Chalmers

Project Title: Linearity of Cloud Feedbacks in Idealized Climate Modeling Experiments.

Mentor: Jen Kay, CIRES/ATOC

Bio: Jason is originally from the flatlands of Ohio, but is currently a student at the University of Colorado Boulder. When he is not studying Chemical Engineering, you can usually find him hiking, backpacking, or skiing in Colorado’s beautiful mountains.

Jason plans to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from CU Boulder. He also plans on minoring in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. His career interests are still broad, ranging from researching or designing renewable energy sources to studying climate change through models and field data.

Note: Jason is funded through an NSF REU Supplemental Award to Prof. Jennifer Kay.


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Cora Rutledge

Project Title: The Effect of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Emitted from Compost on Soil Microbes.

Mentors: Noah Fierer and Mallory Choudoir, CIRES/EBIO      

Bio: Cora is originally from Denver, Colorado where she spent most of her time reading, playing piano and participating in the high school marching band. From there she moved to Sterling, CO, a much smaller town in the middle of a farming community, to attend Northeastern Junior College (NJC). She entered college with the understanding that she wanted to study science, but it was at NJC that she realized that she was most interested in the field of microbiology. While she plans to take microbiology classes in the future, she took advantage of a work-study opportunity as a student to assist in the preparation and clean-up of the microbiology labs. This hands-on experience including assisting microbiology students with their projects has greatly influenced Cora and inspired her to want to learn more about the abundant, invisible communities of microorganisms.

At the end of her two years at NJC, Cora received an Associate of Science degree. She plans to attend a four-year university in the fall and later go on to obtain a master’s degree in microbiology which she will use to go into field research.


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Prudence Crawmer

Project Title: Using CrowdMag App to Catalog Magnetic Anomalies from Urban Infrastructure and Geologic Features

Mentors: Rick Saltus, Neesha Schnepf, and Manoj Nair, NOAA/NCEI/CIRES

Bio: Prudence (Pru) Crawmer is originally from the beautiful Green Mountain State of Vermont. She loves to hike, bike, trail run, cook, travel, scuba dive, and enjoy life. She moved to Colorado seven years ago, where she started an independent massage therapy practice in Colorado Springs.
Pru is currently enrolled at Pikes Peak Community College to earn an Associate of Arts degree in Geography. She then plans on attending the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs (UCCS) where she will receive her bachelor's degree in Geography and Environmental Studies. Her dream is to work outside in the science field and to learn more about nature and sustainability. 


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Davin Duke

Project Title: A New Approach to Measuring Nitrogen Deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP).

Mentors: Eleanor Browne and Jennifer Berry, CIRES/Chemistry

Bio: Davin Duke is a Colorado native. He was born in Colorado Springs and then grew up in the small town of Monument, Colorado. An avid skateboarder throughout his primary education, Davin enjoyed learning and achieving good grades throughout high school. Now residing in Colorado Springs, he attends Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC). He spends most of his time committed to his studies. In Spring 2018, Davin achieved the first college degree within his immediate family—an Associate of Science with designation in Biology.

Davin plans on continuing his studies with one more semester at PPCC and then later transferring to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, for a bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering. As a native of Colorado, he plans to stay local and find a career and/or keep studying; he knows the learning will never end.


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Jessica Ghent

Project Title: The Impact of Ground Control Points on drone-based Structure-from-Motion photogrammetry, Chalk Cliffs debris flow basin. 

Mentors: Katy Barnhart and Greg Tucker, Department of Geological Sciences at CU 

Bio: Originally from Florida, Jessica grew up in western Michigan, moved to California, and has been a Colorado resident for 3 years. Her greatest passions (outside of geology) include singing, hiking, and traveling. Her recent adventures include visiting Iceland, Mexico, England, Costa Rica, Belgium, and France—and she hopes to travel to Chile later this year! 

Jessica is a geology major at Front Range Community College-Westminster and is approaching the completion of her associate's degree. She plans to transfer to the University of Colorado Boulder to complete a bachelor's degree in geophysics and would like to pursue a PhD in volcanology immediately following her undergraduate studies. Jessica's career goals include working for the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program; she is particularly interested in volcanic hazards and geodetic monitoring of ground deformation.


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Mike Moore

Project Title: Creating Aerosol Profiles from Doppler Wind LIDAR Measurements. 

Mentors: Aditya Choukulkar and Sunil Baidar, NOAA/ESRL

Bio: Michael (Mike) is a Colorado native, and currently studying at Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, Colorado. Right after high school, Mike joined the Army as a Medic initially pursuing a career in medicine. However, after taking an Environmental Health class, he changed career paths to study the environment and the effects of human activity. When not in class, he enjoys hiking, backpacking, playing ultimate frisbee, and exploring local coffee shops/breweries. 

In Fall 2018, Mike will be transferring to CU Boulder to pursue a bachelor's degree in Geology (possibly Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) with a certificate in Hydrology.  Mike hopes to go on and address some of the world’s most challenging environmental problems, particularly surrounding water.


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Susannah Rozak

Project Title: Determining Student Engagement in Climate Change Education with the Use of Hand Sensors.

Mentors:  Jen Kay and Ariel Morrison, CIRES/ATOC

Bio: Susannah grew up in a small town in the Sierra Nevada mountains, but after graduating high school began to travel the world. She has lived in five different states and has visited six countries on four continents.  Being able to explore different environments enhanced her appreciation for the natural world and inspired her to go back to school to get a degree that would allow her to share this love of biology and ecology with everyone around her.

Two years ago, she moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, from Honolulu, Hawaii, and began working towards a biology degree at Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC). After getting her associate degree at PPCC, she plans to attend the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs where she will get her Bachelor of Science in Biology.  Her ideal career would be to work for a wildlife rescue organization helping to coordinate public outreach and education through interactive events that would allow the public to learn more about the uniqueness of their local ecosystem. 


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Kelly Sullivan

Project Title: Quantifying the Error in Magnetic Field Models Near Geostationary Orbit by Comparison to GOES Measurements.

Mentor: Sam Califf, NOAA/NCEI

Bio: Having moved around with the Air Force for most of her life, Kelly is a nomad. She has developed a passion for travel and experiencing new cultures but is still seeking a place to call home. Currently residing in Colorado Springs, she enjoys a good dose of nature by hiking the Front Range with her chocolate lab, Guinness. She just received her Associate of Arts at Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC) at the end of the Spring 2018 semester and plans to continue her studies there as well as her role working to spearhead the first STEM club at PPCC. From there, she is considering a degree in Environmental Design or Urban Planning at one of the University of Colorado campuses. 

Kelly has always enjoyed the fusion of what is creative with what is logical and hopes to bring that creative thinking into a career in sustainable architecture and green building. She has a passion for protecting and preserving the environment and in finding ways to reduce our human impact through sustainable development. Her philosophy is: "Tread lightly, live thoughtfully, and always have empathy."


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Sean Will

Project Title: Hydraulic Condusivity of Beaver Dam and Beaver Pond Soils.

Mentors: Emily Fairfax and Eric Small, CIRES/Department of Geological Sciences at CU

Bio: Born in Seattle, Sean spent his childhood in Florida exploring the wilderness. He has always been fascinated by the natural world and enjoys any activity or work that takes him into the less traveled areas of the country. Since moving to Colorado, he has been determined to find obscure trails and campsites.

Originally a Chemical Engineering major, Sean is currently enrolled at the Community College of Denver (CCD) and is working towards a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a Water Management and Hydrologic Science concentration from Metro State University (MSU) in Denver. He intends to use this education and the skills obtained through RECCS to jump into a career in environmental studies and hopes to transition from that to teaching at a later point in his career.


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