2012 – 2013 GCSC Fellows

Kenneth DudleyKenneth Dudley
Department of Geography

I graduated from the University of Utah in Environmental and Sustainability Studies B.S., Japanese B.A., and Geography B.S. in December 2011. I am currently a part of the Geography M.S. program. I was born and raised in Salt Lake City. I participated in a one year study abroad program in Japan where I discovered a profound interest in man-nature relationships and geographic differences between areas.I study the use of remote sensing to identify plant species and species level characteristics at large spatial scales. I am focused on the use of remote sensed imagery in tracking and assessing invasive species distribution and vegetation responses to climate change.

Derek Malliamallia
Department of Atmospheric Sciences

I grew up in Upstate New York just outside of Albany. I did my undergraduate studies at the University at Albany with a B.S. in Atmospheric Science. I received my M.S. degree in Meteorology at Plymouth State University where I did my thesis on the modeling ice accretion in cold and alpine environments.Currently, I am investigating the sources and sinks of air pollution in the Salt Lake using the Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport Model (STILT) coupled with Weather Research and Forecast model WRF-ARW which will output the meteorological fields needed to drive the STILT model. This model will allow us to quantitatively identify the upstream regions that are producing the most air pollution (both anthropogenic and natural sources).

Sabrina McNewSabrina McNew
Department of Biology

I am from Albuquerque, New Mexico and graduated from Pomona College in 2009 with a BA in Biology. I have lived and traveled throughout South America. Here in Salt Lake I am enjoying learning and teaching at the U as well as exploring Utah’s fantastic wilderness.I am fascinated by the ways that organisms interact with each other- from the mutualisms between plants and seed dispersers to host-parasite relationships. As global change reshapes species’ ranges, novel contacts between organisms will continue to increase and understanding their impact on one another will be key for species’ management and conservation. I joined the Clayton-Bush Lab at the University of Utah in 2009 to study malaria parasites of invasive birds. I hope to better understand how parasites shape host behavior.

David ProffittDavid Proffitt
Department of City and Metropolitan Planning

I am a Ph.D. student in the Urban Planning, Policy & Design program. Before coming to Salt Lake City, I spent 2011-2012 researching the urban heat island in Pune, India as a Fulbright scholar. I also worked at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Lower Sonoran Field Office in Phoenix. Planning is a second career; I started professional life as a journalist at The Arizona Republic newspaper, Dwell magazine, America West (Airlines) Magazine, and other publications. I hold a Master’s in Urban & Environmental Planning and a bachelor’s in English literature, both from Arizona State University.My broad research interest is urban environmental policy that linking urban systems to natural resource use, air pollution, and climate change. At the U, I am working on projects dealing with the urban heat island, international governance for sustainable development, and regional climate change mitigation policies.

Jeffrey Rossskiier
Department of Biology

I am from the Northwest Angle #33 First Nation in Ontario, Canada. I hold degrees from the University of Montana (B.Sc.) and Yale University (M.F.S.). Prior to moving to Utah, I was employed as an Environmental Specialist for a consulting firm in Winnipeg, Canada. In this position, I advised several First Nation communities on environmental issues related to hydroelectric development in Northern Canada.My proposed PhD research will assess the responses of several important aridland native herbaceous species and one invasive species to changes in climate and competitive interactions. I will assess the responses of these herbaceous species to changes in the seasonal distribution and amounts of precipitation, since this is the most likely climate change driver that will impact species distributions.

Pratibha Sapkota
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

I am currently a doctoral student in Civil Engineering department at University of Utah. I completed my Masters in Civil Engineering from University of Toledo, Ohio.

My master’s research was focused on modeling pollutant removal using constructed wetland.  After completing my master’s, I returned to my home county Nepal and worked in International Water Management Institute (IWMI) as a consultant for over a year. My research in IWMI focused in surface water quality modeling area.  I have experience modeling the influence of land use change and climate change impacts using WEAP (Water Evaluation and Planning) model. My specific research interests are in the areas of stormwater management, climate change impacts and sustainable water resources management.

Kimberly SmithKimberly Smith
Department of Atmospheric Sciences

I grew up in Boise, Idaho. In elementary school, I become deeply fascinated by weather. In junior high school, I fell in love even more with the Earth sciences, and I studied geosciences (specifically hydrology) and applied math at Boise State University.

I am currently studying the projected changes in the climate of the Wasatch Front and Range, specifically the changes in precipitation timing, type, and amount, and the effects these changes will have on water availability for those of us living along the Wasatch.


Hassan Tavakol-Davani
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

I was born in the capital city of Iran, Tehran. I pursued my elementary and higher education there, as well as my bachelor and master in Civil Engineering. Both my bachelor and master theses focused on water resources engineering, which guided me towards my professional career in Iran.

I am working on Urban Water Infrastructure Sustainability Evaluation (uWISE) project. The goal of the uWISE is to develop a stormwater model for the studied area, Toledo, Ohio, to evaluate the performance of Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) system in terms of sustainability, flood control and environmental impacts; then the optimum scheme of the area according to the usage and placement of RWH system will be proposed for current and future conditions. It studies the advantages of RWH system in controlling the impacts of climate change, land use change and urban expansion which are supposed to take place in future.

Rebecca TerryRebecca Terry
Department of Mathematics

I am from Schenectady, a city in upstate NY. Growing up, I would spend Sunday afternoons on my paternal grandparents’ farm and summers in the Adirondack Park with my maternal grandparents. As a result, I became interested in the impact humans have on the environment at an early age. As an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, I majored in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Economics. After working as a research assistant in the field of Environmental Economics, I realized I was most interested in the mathematical techniques used in the development of models that helped explain natural phenomena and anthropogenic effects. Before entering the Mathematics Ph.D. program at the University of Utah, I received a Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Mathematics from the Center for Women in Mathematics at Smith College.

My research areas of interest include climate modeling, natural resource modeling, mathematical biology, and dynamical systems.

Crystal Tulley-CordovaTulley-Cordova
Department of Geology and Geophysics

I am an enrolled Navajo tribal member, and grew up on the Navajo Nation. I am a Ph.D. student in the Geology and Geophysics Department at the University of Utah. I received a M.W.R. in Water Resources and a B.S. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from the University of New Mexico.

My research interests span the fields of hydrology, chemistry and geology, which is reflected in the breadth of past and current research projects.   Studying stream water isotopes in Red Butte Creek will provide hydrological data for the Red Butte Creek system.  The collected data will be effective in understanding the human impacts on a natural system by conducting high frequency monitoring.

David WheatleyDavid Wheatley
Department of Geology and Geophysics

I am originally from Corona del Mar, CA. I did my undergrad at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL and received a B.S. in geology. In addition to my geologic interests, I am interested in archaeology, especially of the ancient near East.

My research focuses on clastic liquefaction features and their associated soft sediment deformation in the Jurassic Carmel Formation in Southern Utah. These liquefaction features called clastic pipes or injectities can further our understanding of reservoir characterization and can be used as analogs for Martian geomorphic features. Additionally, these features have specific formation conditions, which allow for paleoenivornment and paleoclimate reconstruction.

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