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2023-2024 GradCAMP Scholars

  • Sara Alimoradi

    Sara Alimoradi

    Vermont Law & Graduate School | Climate & Environmental Policy

    I'm Sara Alimoradi, a dedicated scholar with a B.A. in Environmental Sciences from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Currently pursuing a masters in Climate & Environmental Policy from Vermont Law & Graduate School, I am deeply passionate about understanding and addressing critical ecological challenges. My primary research interests lie in the intricate realm of ocean acidification and its cascading effects on ecosystems. Through GradCAMP, I aim to synergize my academic foundation with practical insights, fostering innovative solutions to safeguard our planet's delicate balance. With an unyielding commitment to sustainability, I strive to drive positive changes that resonate on both local and global scales.

  • Gladys Adu Asieduwaa

    Gladys Adu Asieduwaa

    University of Maine | Ecology & Environmental Sciences

    Gladys Adu Asieduwaa is a second-year PhD student in Ecology & Environmental Sciences who is passionate about promoting food & nutrition security in a changing climate by creating resilient agricultural systems using Climate-Smart Agriculture practices. Vegetable growers in the Northeast struggle with short growing seasons, which limits their ability to establish cover crops on their fields over the winter. The soil becomes susceptible to erosion, nutrient leaching, and weed growth when it is left bare during the winter. As a result, her project aims to offer evidence-based recommendations for interseeding cover crops into late-season vegetables to greatly increase the total vegetable acreage planted to cover crops at the end of each season while maintaining soil health in this changing climate.

  • Mustahsin Ul Aziz

    Mustahsin Ul Aziz

    West Virginia University | Natural Resource Economics

    I am Mustahsin, a Ph.D. student in Natural Resource Economics at West Virginia University with research focusing on environmental economics. Prior to joining the Ph.D. I completed my bachelor’s and master’s in economics from the University of Dhaka and worked for the World Bank in South Asia. My interest in working on climate change stems from my experiences growing up in Bangladesh, as half the country is projected to be underwater by 2050. My aim is to work towards finding community-based approaches to tackle climate change and empowering people to save the environment. GradCAMP is a great opportunity to improve my understanding of climate mitigation factors and methods that I can utilize through my own work.

  • Abby Beilman

    Abby Beilman

    Clark University | Environmental Science and Policy

    Abby Beilman is an accelerated MS student in Environmental Science and Policy at Clark University, where they recently completed their BA with a major in Environmental Science/Earth System Science and a minor in Political Science. They are passionate about the intersection between natural and social science, as well as issues such as accessibility, LGBTQ+ rights, science communication, environmental policy, and climate justice and equity. Their research is primarily focused on the biogeochemistry and quality of freshwater in central Massachusetts in relation to climate change through field-based measurements, as well as the remote sensing of snow and ice.

  • Ali Bello

    Ali Bello

    University of Maine | Agroecology Lab

    Ali Bello was born and raised in a rural district of Kano state in west Africa, where farming is a way of life for almost everyone. After graduating from High School, he noticed that the agricultural sector in African countries was recording little progress due to climate change. That motivated him to study agriculture for his bachelor’s degree, where he specialized in crop science. He is currently a master's student at the University of Maine, and he is excited to learn more about climate change adaptation and mitigation techniques by participating in the GradCamp program.

  • Katherine Cann

    Katherine Cann

    Rutgers University | Department of Geography

    Katherine Cann is a PhD student in the Department of Geography at Rutgers University. Her research interests include climate justice, coastal land use, and adaptation interventions in urban environments in the Northeastern United States, with a focus on the New Jersey shore. Katherine works as a research assistant for the Consortium for Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast (CCRUN), a NOAA CAP team, and recently served as a review editor for the Fifth National Climate Assessment. She holds an M.S. and B.A. in Geography from the George Washington University.

  • Usoshi Chatterjee

    Usoshi Chatterjee

    University of Maryland | Environmental Science and Technology

    I am pursuing an M.S. in Environmental Science and Technology from the University of Maryland and hold another M.S. in Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering from Ohio State University. My research at Maryland involves poultry litter-derived biochar's effects on plant growth and pollution reduction. As a Graduate Research Assistant, I lead biochar application assessments, manage data, and ensure safe experiments. At Ohio State, I explored food processing parameters to save energy and food waste. With certifications like LEED Green Associate and skills in MATLAB and SolidWorks, I contribute to sustainable solutions. My passion lies in mentoring, sustainability, and innovative approaches. I'm thrilled to join GradCAMP with my interdisciplinary background.

  • Lauren Cheshire

    Lauren Cheshire

    West Virginia University | Entomology

    My name is Lauren Cheshire and I currently work as a graduate student studying Entomology (specifically dung beetles). My background is in wildlife and fisheries management, and I worked as a park ranger and naturalist before deciding to continue my education. Growing up in rural Appalachia has primed me to care deeply for our agricultural communities, and highlighted just how susceptible certain areas are to climate induced disasters. I am so looking forward to hearing from others who have developed the same passion, but from distinct backgrounds, and see how our collaboration can help make a difference.

  • Dominick Cifelli

    Dominick Cifelli

    West Virginia University | Global Change Biology Lab

    I graduated from WVU in 2020, earning my B.A. in Environmental Geo-science. Currently, I am pursuing my M.S. in WVU’s Global Change Biology Lab. My research focuses on the impact of forest management strategies on soil carbon dynamics, as the carbon credit market overlooks the below-ground soil carbon pool. I aim to validate the market's models while working towards integrating small family forest owners into this landscape. Beyond research, I enjoy exploring waterfalls, analyzing sports data, and attending concerts. I'm thrilled to collaborate with fellow researchers at GradCAMP to drive climate justice and contribute to a sustainable and inclusive future

  • Shannon Dickey

    Shannon Dickey

    Rutgers University | Ecology and Evolution

    My name is Shannon Dickey, and I am a Ph.D. student at Rutgers University studying ecology and evolution. I use environmental DNA to quantify the co-benefits of nature-based solutions in coastal ecosystems. I am passionate about preserving biodiversity and communicating its importance through public science and education. In my latest endeavor, I evaluated the impact of tidal forces on the fidelity and persistence of eDNA in marsh ecosystems, addressing fundamental questions about the capabilities of eDNA. My future goal is to enhance my expertise in climate justice to protect at-risk communities from the detriments of climate change.

  • Will Durkin

    Will Durkin

    University of Vermont | Field Naturalist Program

    Will Durkin is a second-year Masters student in the Field Naturalist Program at the University of Vermont studying climate impacts on forest ecosystem dynamics. In collaboration with five land trusts in western Maine, his home state, he'll integrate field collected data from conserved properties into a process-based forestry model. His goal is to predict how forests in the region might change over time under varying management and climate scenarios. Will is a strong advocate for science-backed stewardship practices and hopes his findings will help guide land trusts and private landowners with implementing effective climate-adaptive management strategies in the Northern Forest.

  • Griffin Kaulbach

    Griffin Kaulbach

    University of Maryland | Soil Microbial Ecology Lab + Agroecology Lab

    Griffin Kaulbach is a 1st year PhD student at the University of Maryland, College Park in the Soil Microbial Ecology Lab and the Agroecology Lab. She’s currently working on a project with the USDA Beltsville, MD long term farming systems project to develop predictive relationships between functional soil organic matter fractions, plant available nitrogen, and corn grain yields to improve soil fertility recommendations for organic farmers. Griffin’s research background before starting at UMD includes Chesapeake Bay ecosystem ecology, plant microbial ecology, and applied agricultural research, so she is excited to be studying soil microbiology and biogeochemistry questions that address both agricultural and environmental issues.

  • Beck Lienau

    Beck Lienau

    Northeastern University | Law and Policy

    Beck Lienau is a second year doctoral student of Law and Policy at Northeastern University. Beck is passionate about sustainability and climate adaptability in the northeast. Her research surrounds creating sustainable living shoreline and coastal resiliency in under-resourced and under-funded communities. Born and raised in rural Vermont and now living in Boston, her research looks at the socioeconomics of living shoreline adaptability and sustainability programs in rural and urban areas.

  • Michelle Nikfarjam

    Michelle Nikfarjam

    University of Vermont | Food Systems

    Michelle Nikfarjam is a PhD candidate in Food Systems at the University of Vermont (UVM) and is also pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Agroecology. Before coming to the UVM she received her MA in International Studies from the University of Oregon and her BS in Sustainable Food and Farming from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her dissertation research examines drivers and barriers to adopting agroforestry among farmers belonging to marginalized identities categories. Her project employs a participatory action approach to support collaborative models that generate diverse sets of adoption pathways that reconcile production, conservation, and biocultural objectives while also highlighting why equity must be a key consideration in the scaling up of agroforestry.

  • Wenqian Niu (Nina)

    Wenqian Niu (Nina)

    Cornell University | Landscape Architecture

    I am pursuing a graduate degree in Landscape Architecture at Cornell University, expected to graduate in 2025. My passion for the dynamic interplay between climate change and spatial development has marked my academic journey. My focus has led me to investigate the repercussions of sea level rise on residents and local species and the impact of escalating global temperatures on urban food systems. Learning about GradCAMP's emphasis on climate-related subjects, I am excited by the opportunity to participate. My research dovetails perfectly with this focus, exploring climate issues linked to coastal spaces and agricultural landscapes. As a landscape architect, I recognize the value of cross-disciplinary interaction and look forward to collaborating with exceptional scholars from diverse scientific and technological realms. This interaction promises to enrich my academic growth.

  • Davidson Obilor Nwaonu

    Davidson Obilor Nwaonu

    University of Delaware | Agricultural and Resource Economics

    Davidson Obilor Nwaonu is a graduate student of Agricultural and Resource Economics (MS) at the University of Delaware. His research interests are in the areas of climate driven consumer choice analysis, rural development, and policy. His current research focuses on unraveling the intricate relationship between carbon footprint, nutritional attributes of food, and consumer preferences. By delving into the relative significance of these attributes, he aspires to guide the shift towards more sustainable and equitable food consumption patterns. Davidson is a passionate soccer fan, loves music and enjoys surfing the web. He is an advocate of social, environmental and climate justice. At GradCAMP, he hopes to learn, share, and collaborate with other scholars

  • Anoob Prakash

    Anoob Prakash

    University of Vermont | Plant Biology

    Anoob Prakash is a Plant Biology PhD candidate at University of Vermont (UVM), investigating range wide variation and climate change adaptation in red spruce. Specifically, he utilizes population genomic and quantitative genetic approaches to understand the long- and short-term responses of long-lived organisms like forest trees to climate change and pave way for scientifically guided conservation efforts as well as sustainable land use practices.

  • Shane Querubin

    Shane Querubin

    Northwestern University | Environmental Engineering

    Shane Querubin (she/her/hers) is an incoming Environmental Engineering PhD student at Northwestern University. She received her B.S. in Environmental Science and Technology at the University of Maryland researching toxicological effects of PCBs on native fish species in the Anacostia watershed. Her interests lie in urban green spaces for stormwater management and improving water quality in connected waterways. She hopes to design green infrastructure that captures and retains emerging pollutants like salt, microplastics, and PFAS. She also hopes to utilize these technologies and focus educational programs in underserved areas to encourage science literacy and community engagement.

  • Alaina Ring

    Alaina Ring

    University of Maine | Agroecology Lab

    I am a master’s student in the Agroecology Lab at the University of Maine researching barriers to scaling up plant production for agroforestry in the US. I am conducting interviews with nursery managers to pinpoint reasons for limited availability of planting materials, understand decision-making behind species selection, and identify species-specific barriers to the production of nursery stock. My career goals include becoming a producer of nursery stock and assisting others in their goals to establish agroforestry systems. In my free time, I enjoy mountain biking, skiing, and reading.

  • Cielo Sharkus

    Cielo Sharkus

    University of Massachusetts Amherst | Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Cielo Sharkus is a PhD candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She uses hydrodynamic modeling, spatial analysis, and risk assessment tools to study how the socioeconomic landscape impacts exposure and adaptation to climate hazards. The research she conducts concentrates on examining the past and potential impacts on watersheds in varying streamflow conditions. In addition, she conducts socio-environmental analyses to identify potential risks to food, water, and energy systems. Cielo aims to understand the hydraulic linkages between the socioeconomic and hazard landscape, with a goal of helping communities facing intersectional tensions in climate change. With a deep-rooted passion for environmental and climate justice, Cielo actively engages in community-oriented research.