BEES Student & Alumni Stories
Kevin Sievers, BS Geoscience ’21
Degree: BS Geoscience ’21
Research Interests: Vertebrate paleontology and biodiversity
Co-ops: Field Assistant, Bighorn Basin Paleontological Institute
Extracurricular activities: Drexel Naturalist’s Association, Paleontology & Geology Club of Drexel University
Awards: Students Tackling Advanced Research (STAR) Scholar 2017
What kind of research are you interested in?
My research interests are wide ranging, but typically revolve around the evolution, extinction and life history of major vertebrate lineages through deep time. I have been applying these concepts toward our understanding of extant biodiversity and the modern environment. Recently, I’ve found myself dabbling in fish of the fin-to-limb transition (specifically Tiktaalik, a bit of a Drexel celebrity at this point), Jurassic dinosaurs, and the fossil fauna of my home state of New Jersey.
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Emily Carey BS Geoscience ’20
Degree: BS Geoscience ’20 (Applied Geology concentration), minor in Computer Science
Research Interests: Geochemistry, petrology, volcanology and machine learning
- Database Steward, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
- Volcanology Lab Assistant (Vanderkluysen Lab), Drexel University
- Geotechnical Engineering Assistant, Langan Engineering
Extracurricular activities: Vice President of the Paleontology and Geology Club
Awards: A.J. Drexel Scholarship
Have you had any travel experiences through Drexel?
My second co-op gave me the opportunity to travel to Indonesia for field research with Dr. Vanderkluysen and his graduate students, Dani and Christine. This was my first real experience with field research in geology. The month-long excursion involved seeing so many different parts of Indonesian culture — from northern Sumatra to eastern Java and the food that went alongside it (all equally delicious). I loved getting to know the Indonesian college students who worked on the project alongside us, and learning the similarities and differences between our lives and our respective geology programs. They are people who I still keep in touch with and will continue to stay in contact with, both personally and professionally.
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Sumita Gangwani, BA Environmental Studies & Sustainability + MS Science, Technology & Society ’20
If IKEA sounds like an unlikely co-op employer for an Environmental Studies and Sustainability major, it’s not news to Sumita Gangwani. The sophomore received questioning looks when she told friends that she would complete her first co-op in corporate communications at the Swedish retail giant’s North American headquarters. “My co-op position was definitely different — I was used to the hard sciences and field work — but I liked the idea of being on the consumer and retail side,” she says.
“With sustainability, if you can’t communicate the science, you’re never going to make a difference. Helping people understand the problem is the first step.”
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Jakub Zegar, BS Environmental Science ’20
Degree: BS Environmental Science '20
Research Interests: Conservation biology, herpetology, amphibian thermoregulation and disease spread
- Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Participant, the Richards-Zawacki Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh
-Research Technician, the Patrick Center for Environmental Research, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
Extracurricular activities: Drexel Naturalists’ Association, Undergraduate Research Leader
What kind of research are you interested in?
Broadly, I am in interested in conservation biology and herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians). Currently, my specific research interests lie within determining the best way to model amphibian body temperatures in the field. I use a variety of methods for my research including agar models, mechanistic niche modelling, and field collected data.
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Tarita Roy Choudhury, BA Environmental Studies and Sustainability ’19 + MS Urban Strategy ’19
Degree: BA Environmental Studies and Sustainability ’19 + MS Urban Strategy ’19
Extracurricular activities: Pennoni Honors College
Awards and Grants: DAAD Research Internship for Science and Engineering (RISE) scholarship, Drexel Global Scholars scholarship, Sea Education Associate (SEA) Semester merit grant, Dean’s List, two travel awards from the Office of International Programs
What kind of research are you interested in?
I am interested in urban coastal communities and how they are building resilience against climate change, and other environmental issues associated with it. There is so much that we can learn from local and traditional knowledge systems in terms of adaptation and mitigation measures for climate change.
Kelly Rozanitis, BS Geoscience ’19
Degree: BS Geoscience ’19
-Curatorial Assistant, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (two co-op cycles)
- Hydrogeologist, American Water
Extracurricular activities: President, Geology and Paleontology Club; College of Arts and Sciences Student Advisory Board
Awards: Aventis Scholarship
What motivates you?
We live in a time in which science, and especially environmental sciences, are more important than ever. We are facing a climate crisis and experiencing issues with biodiversity and environmental disasters, which are becoming more and more common. As a young scientist, I think it is crucial to be well educated and trained so that the scientific community as a whole can continue to devise innovative solutions to global issues.
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Sarah Stalcup, BA Environmental Studies and Sustainability + MS Environmental Policy '19
Degree: BA Environmental Studies and Sustainability + MS Environmental Policy ’19
Research Interests: Citizen science, environmental justice
- Watershed Protection Program Co-op, Patrick Center for Environmental Research of the Academy of Natural Sciences
- Office Manager and Laboratory Technician, Delta County Mosquito Control District No. 1
- Curatorial Assistant, Department of Malacology of the Academy of Natural Sciences
Extracurricular activities: Drexel Naturalists Association
Awards: Outstanding Junior Award, Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science, Intel International Science Fair Scholarship, Drexel University, Jane and John Bales Co-op award, A.J. Drexel Scholarship, Dean’s List
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Michaela Jackson, BA Environmental Studies & Sustainability + MS Science Communication ’18
Degree: BA Environmental Studies & Sustainability + MS Science Communication
Minor: Public Health
-Campaign Assistant, The Humane League
- Developer’s Assistant, EDF Renewable Energy
-Green City, Clean Waters Engagement Intern, Philadelphia Water Department
Michaela Jackson on her co-op with the Philadelphia Water Department: “The Philadelphia Water Department works with the Mural Arts Program of Philadelphia to bring water-themed murals and art pieces around the city,” Jackson says. “These are the Fountain Steps, which were created by international artist Paul Santoleri. I had the pleasure of working with him to create a mural on a green infrastructure site in Roxborough.”
Extracurricular activities: Clinton Global Initiative, Italian Club, Sierra Club
Michaela Jackson has carved a unique path through the fields of environmental studies and communications, gaining experience in the government, nonprofit and industry sectors and confidence in her voice as an environmental communicator.
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Emily Ostrow, BS + MS Environmental Science '18
Degree: BS + MS Environmental Science ’18, Concentration in Ecology and Conservation
Research Interests: Ornithology, parasitology
Co-ops: Student Research Associate/Jim Stewart Memorial Co-op at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (three co-op cycles in this role)
Extracurricular activities: Drexel Naturalists Association, Undergraduate Research Leaders
Awards: National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, STAR (Students Tackling Advanced Research) Scholarship, Drexel Fellowships Ambassador, Goldwater Scholarship honorable mention, Fulbright Scholarship alternate
Environmental Science major Emily Ostrow has taken her passion for birds from the classroom to the field, conducting advanced research through Drexel’s partnership with the Academy of Natural Sciences.
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Vincent O'Leary, BS Environmental Science '18
Degree: BS Environmental Science ’18, Minors in Geoscience and Mathematics
- Geographical Information Systems Research and Field Research Assistant, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (ANS)
- Database Designer, ANS
- Paleontology Research Assistant, ANS, and Hollings Scholar Intern, National Centers for Environmental Information (two three-month co-ops)
Awards: NOAA Hollings Scholarship, Udall Scholarship, Truman Scholarship, Drexel STAR (Students Tackling Advanced Research) Scholarship
From monitoring climate change at Pennsylvania’s Lake Lacawac to exploring tribal water rights in Michigan, Environmental Science major Vincent O’Leary has embraced his department’s motto of “Field Experience, Early and Often.”
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Jillian Adair, BS + MS Environmental Science '16
This article appeared in the 2015 issue of the College of Arts and Sciences' Ask magazine.
“I’ve always loved nature, but I never thought I could turn that passion into a career,” says Jillian Adair, a junior in Drexel’s Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science.
The once skeptic took a 12-week adventure last summer with the Sea Education Association, studying marine science and maritime history, and then sailing around New Zealand.
Read more about Jillian
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