Graduate Fellows

"The GCSC effectively brought me to the University of Utah. My advisor's affiliation, the financial support, as well as the promise of interdisciplinary training were simply too good to pass up. I have been elated by the opportunity to dive into collaborative, interdisciplinary work, and even more appreciative of the passionate community within the GCSC."

- Chris Zajchowski, GCSC Fellow

The GCSC First Year Fellowship helps attract top students who have research interests around the broad themes of the environment and sustainability, and who seek graduate training that extends beyond the scope of a single discipline. While these students will receive their degrees from different departments across campus, the GCSC provides interdisciplinary training experiences that will help prepare students for broad engagement and collaboration in the professional realm.

Fellows are also eligible to apply for GCSC's small grants in support of research and travel to professional meetings.

For information on fellowship requirements and the nomination and selection process, see  About the First Year GCSC Fellowship.

GCSC Fellow Cohorts

Amelia Muscott
Department of Geology & Geophysics

Growing up among the mountains, oceans, and forests of the Pacific Northwest fostered my love for our natural world and inspired me to earn a B.A. in Geology. During my time at Occidental College, I participated in paleoclimatology and sedimentology research and became excited about studying past climate change to answer important questions surrounding current and future environmental change. While working with Dr. Sarah Crump at the University of Utah, I will pursue a paleoecology project that applies ancient sedimentary DNA to reconstruct past ecosystem change in Summit Lake, Nevada. Our goal is to work closely with the Summit Lake Paiute tribe to observe how the lake system responded to Holocene megadrought events, which will ultimately inform environmental management and conservation efforts in the Great Basin.

Rexford Osei Owusu
Department of City & Metropolitan Planning

I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Human Settlement Planning from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana. I went on to receive my Master of Science degree in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation specializing in Urban Planning and Management from the University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands. During my master’s studies, I developed a strong interest in researching human-nature interactions. Hence, as part of my Ph.D. program in Metropolitan Planning, Policy, and Design at the University of Utah, I would like to further explore my interest in fostering human-nature interactions for sustainable development with my advisor Dr. Alessandro Rigolon.

Sandra Ramirez Garcia
Department of Geology & Geophysics

I received my B.S in Earth Sciences from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. My experience with magnetism and rocks led me to work with Dr. Peter Lippert. My goal as part of the Ph.D. program of Geology is to asses air quality problems in urban environments and to enhance regulations for improving it. I will particularly focus on air quality problems at Salt Lake City basin and I would like to address similar problems in my hometown, Mexico City. This work will integrate both earth science and medical expertise.

Daniel Ritter
Department of City & Metropolitan Planning

Since receiving a bachelor’s degree in public policy from American University, I worked for the Partnership for Public Service in Washington, DC. In my role, I was responsible for monitoring and evaluating our leadership development programming, as well as managing a leadership program for senior executives at a cabinet-level agency. As a master’s student in the Department of City and Metropolitan Planning, I plan to focus on transportation and public land usage. I will be working with Professor Keith Bartholomew to study sustainable transportation options in both gateway and natural amenity regions and urban areas. Transportation is intertwined with public health, climate change, and systemic inequality and is a critical aspect of planning for sustainable cities and regions.

The sun is shining on a smiling Maggie, standing in front of mountain bolders and green foliage.Maggie Scholle
Environmental Humanities Graduate Program

I graduated from the University of San Diego as a student of Environmental Science, and am now pursuing study in the Environmental Humanities. I am eager to collaborate with students in the sciences, and am particularly interested in studying the intersection between the social and scientific study of water and climate systems. My academic interests lie largely in telling stories of landscape deformation and changes in relationships to land, in addition to studying communication theory to develop a framework for deriving action from engagement with negative environmental news.

Ean Warren
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

I received my bachelor's degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and master's in Environmental Science. Since then I've been working at the U.S. Geological Survey studying degradation of contaminants in the subsurface. My work has primarily focused on developing field and laboratory techniques to determine biodegradation rates. As a graduate student at the University of Utah, Department of Environmental Engineering, I will work with Dr. Jennifer Weidhaas on transport and mitigation of water-borne contaminants. My goal is to assist developing regions with water quality issues after graduating.


Anahi Yerman
Department of Anthropology

Through my life I have lived in many places including Mexico, New Zealand and several states in the US which gave me a deep appreciation for the intersection of anthropology and the environment. I combined my passions and received an Anthropology BA and Philosophy of Science BS at the University of Utah. I will continue studying Anthropology under the mentorship of Dr. Shane Macfarlan focusing on field-based ethnographic research on the Baja California peninsula with traditional ranchers located in the Sierra de la Giganta Mountain Range.