2013 – 2014 GCSC Fellows

La’Shaye Ervin
Department of Biology

In many ways, I am a city girl. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY. However, I have developed a very strong passion for the great outdoors. Growing up, I was interested in how people in cities connected to nature. My interests lead me to gain my B.A. from Bowdoin College (Brunswick, ME), where I doubled in Biology and Africana Studies and minored in English.

I am starting my PhD with Dr. Diane Pataki. My research will explore the links between pollution and sociodemographics. I plan to use nitrogen stable isotopes as indicators of pollution in Salt Lake City.

Logan Frederick
Department of Geology & Geophysics

I am from Arlington, VA. I attended Skidmore College in Upstate New York where I played varsity basketball. I have been a volunteer firefighter for the last 7 years. I will be studying under Bill Johnson with a focus in hydrology.

I am interested in surface groundwater interactions. Eventually, I would like to research the implication of forest fires on surface and groundwater systems.

Derek Jensen

Department of Mechanical EngineeringI grew up in Sandy, UT, where at a relatively young age I realized that I had a natural talent for math and I enjoyed discovering the way things worked. Mechanical engineering seemed like the obvious career choice. After serving a church mission in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, I came home with a strong interest in sustainability and renewable sources of energy. I am also interested in thermodynamics, heat transfer and fluid mechanics, and have been working in the Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at the U.

My current research involves the parameterization of turbulent transport of momentum, heat, and scalars over rough and mountainous terrain. I am using data that we acquired during the Mountain Terrain Atmospheric Modeling and Observations Program (MATERHORN) to evaluate current parameterizations and to explore alternatives. MATERHORN is a large, multi-institution, cross-discipline study centered on a field experiment that took place in Utah’s West Desert at Dugway Proving Ground in the fall of 2012 and the spring of 2013.

Zachariah Levine
Department of City and Metropolitan PlanningI currently split my time between Moab and Salt Lake City. I chose to live in southeastern Utah because of the lifestyle amenities it offers — outdoor recreation, wild landscapes, and an eclectic mix of people. Before moving here, I spent time in Malawi (sustainable community development) and India (interfaith peacebuilding). I received a B.S. in industrial engineering and operations research from the University of California, Berkeley.I am a transdisciplinary thinker that operates from a systems worldview. As a PhD student in City and Metropolitan Planning, I look at the interdependence of people, place, and design. Emphasizing the roles of water in the West, I am interested in applying our understanding of human-nature relationships to (re)create healthy communities. I am a founding member of the Ecological Planning Center and the Metropolitan Water Lab, and will work on the iUTAH– opens new window project in 2013-14.
Emily Nicolosi
Department of GeographyOriginally from the New York metropolitan area, I studied Anthropology and Studio Art as an undergraduate at the University of Vermont. As an Anthropology student, I focused on environmental problems and globalization, particularly looking at conflicts involving indigenous communities. I studied abroad for one year with the International Honors Program “Rethinking Globalization,” which was a mind-bending and informative investigative process in the extreme.At the University of Utah, I am working through the Geography department to study climate change science and policy. I am interested in investigating how the science of climate change can be communicated in a way that promotes climate change mitigating efforts. I am excited about cultivating a holistic understanding of climate change, with the goal of supporting a career in advocacy for climate change mitigation.


Emily Schulze
Department of Biology

I am originally from Indiana, but mostly grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico.  I graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, CO and traveled back to New Mexico for a post-baccalaureate position at Los Alamos National Laboratory for a year.  I was primarily involved with groundwater monitoring and environmental remediation; performing field work, collecting data, and lending technical support.

Currently I am working in a biogeochemistry group and will soon begin a project exploring ecohydrology of riparian trees and hydrogeology. I am particularly interested in the soil/plant and water interface, and the cycling of nutrients and energy between these systems.  I look forward to working with ecological stable isotope experts in both biology and geophysics, as well as collaborating with peers throughout the U of U.


Megan Walsh
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA where I developed a fascination with rivers and streams, since they are abundant in that region. I attended Penn State University where I received my bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and my master’s degree in Environmental Pollution Control.  I have worked in both the public and private sectors in Maryland, Texas, and Utah.  Throughout my career, I have been most interested in sediment transport, fluvial geomorphology, and stormwater runoff.

Currently, I am working towards a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering where I plan to research the effects that the shale oil & gas industry has on sediment transport and geomorphology of receiving streams.

Return to graduate fellows page.