2021 -2022 R.S.C Student Stewards
Shaun McGrath is a Master of Environmental Management Candidate, studying with an emphasis in Sustainable and Resilient Communities. She refers to herself as a ‘plant loving soil scientist’. Her studies in soil carbon sequestration through land management techniques fueled her interest in continuing graduate school and her goal of becoming a consultant for agricultural producers and land owners. Going into her second year with the Resilient Studies Consortium, she hopes to help cultivate a stronger network that works together on a resiliency project that comes from the creative and diverse ideas needed to tackle the negative consequences brought on by the changing climate.
My name is Jonathan Enriquez Madrid and I am a senior pursuing my B.S. in Biology at Northern New Mexico College. My career goals and educational goals are to continue learning for the rest of my life. My interests are in evolution, ecology, and behavior. I have worked on the social and sexual preference of pupfish from The Bahamas, the mating tactics of large and small male pupfish, and how diet affects hormone concentrations in primates. I plan to attend Indiana University and attain my Master’s in Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior. At Indiana University I plan to work with a system that consists of a nematode and bacteria symbiosis. Together the nematode and bacteria find a host, infect it, and use its resources to reproduce for one to three generations. In some cases there can be co-infections with different species of nematodes that carry their own strain of bacteria. Some strains of bacteria produce bacteriocins, which are costly toxins that can kill other strains of bacteria, other bacteria strains are resistant to such toxins, while other strains are highly virulent and reproduce quickly. Bacteriocin producing bacteria outcompete virulent bacteria, resistant bacteria outcompete bacteriocin producing bacteria, and virulent bacteria outcompete resistant bacteria. The co-infection combination will determine which nematode and bacteria symbiosis has a fitness advantage. With such a system, questions about the symbiosis relationship between the nematode and bacteria can be asked, questions about the spiteful production of bacteriocins can be asked, questions about how the environment and social context can affect the fitness of the nematode and bacteria symbiosis, and which nematode species and bacteria strain will be favored under what context can be asked, and questions about the resistance towards bacteriocins, which can be used as anti-bacterial agents, can be asked. Along the way, I plan to share my knowledge with the world and inspire others who pursue their goals. One way that I share my knowledge and experiences with the world is through my science Instagram page, The Future Animal. I upload fun and educational videos for the community so that we can all grow and learn as one.
Jonathan Glazer, Roosevelt University, Senior, Sustainability Studies - “I have always had a passion for writing. The major I am studying allows me to apply that enthusiasm to both the natural and social sciences. My dream job would be to work in prison sustainability advocating for or orchestrating environmental programs and green job training. I believe that one factor that has led to mass incarceration is an out of sight, out of mind attitude. However, just like with waste management, there is no away. I am convinced that we should be investing more in evidence-based rehabilitation. It is the only way to break the mold of a mentality that treats prisoners as lost causes.”
2020-2021 RSC Student Stewards
Jonathan Madrid, Northern New Mexico College Junior, BS in Biology - "I enjoy viewing the world through a scientific lens. I am especially fascinated by animals and their behavior. My ultimate goal is to have my own television show on the wonders of the animal kingdom in the near future. Through my studies, I find myself beleiving more and more that all living organisms are connected, and that human beings are not all that different from other organisms. I want to share these beautiful mysteries with the world, and in doing so, be an educator to the world."
Kelsey Ripperger, Kansas Weslyan University, Senior, Major: History, Minor: Ecospheric Studies and Community Resilience - "I am a student at Kansas Wesleyan from Hastings Nebraska. I am really involved on our campus as the president of our eco-club, a member of two honors societies, an RA, a representative in our student government association, and a member on the women's volleyball team. I really enjoy reading, writing, exploring the outdoors, drinking coffee, and listening to music on my record player. My absolute dream job would be working for or with an environmental non-profit, however, I have also considered attending grad school or law school. I am so excited to work with and participate in this group!"
LaKecia Farmer, Evergreen State College - Tacoma, Senior, Political Economy - "LaKecia Farmer is active in black-led and multiracial organizing around abolition, environmental justice, and racial justice. LaKecia currently works at the City of Seattle as a legislative aide working on intersecting policies regarding transportation, the criminal legal system, and equitable development. As a national champion in rugby, she brings the skills of working together in unison to achieve collective goals."
Shaun Mcgrath, Western Colorado University, 3+2 Masters of Environmental Management - "I love to spend my free time hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, and snowboarding. My goal is to share my love with the environment to cultivate people who care for nature and treat it as the gift it truly is. I currently am researching the effects of compost amendment on a rangeland's ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere in hopes to create more sustainable and resilient communities."
Jordan Spordone, Paul Smith's College, Senior, Major: Natural Resource Management & Conservation, Minor: Sustainability - "I am a self-motivated individual who loves to meet new people and explore new ideas. My primary interests originates from my carpentry background, interest in the outdoors, and admiration for methods of alternative living. You can find me climbing mountains, exploring distant countries, or jamming out on a public piano. I believe in being 100% authentic and living in the moment. I hope to someday make a positive impact with green construction innovations or inventions."
Omar Melendez, Universidad del Medio Ambiente (UMA), Senior, Maestría en Negocios Socioambientales (Green MBA) - "I am a Biologist and my work is my passion, I am founder of RENUEVA, a sustainable construction company specialized in wastewater treatment plants, rainwater harvesting and water purification systems. I am also working with different types of agriculture systems such as high-density crops, sustainable fruit orchards, industrial agroparks and indoor aquaponic farming. I would like to make the world a better place."
Fabian Bona, Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, Sophomore, International Forest Ecosystem Management - "It all started looking up into the 70 meters redwood tree crowns above. Since then my field of interest is within the conservation and dynamics of a natural environment and our place within it. I love digging, having humus under my fingernails, improving soil, writing short nature poems and connecting with people. Humans first, trees second, animals third - not always in that order."
Emma Stone, Black Hills State University, Senior, Outdoor Education: Social Resiliency - "At BHSU, I run our student organization for environmental sustainability, as well as work as a student intern for education and outreach for the BHSU Sustainability Department in which I work to educate other BHSU students and community members on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. In addition, I just received a grant from the university to implement a project to make a difference in the community. Over the course of the next year, I will be working to create a series of educational podcasts for students K-12 on environmental issues of the Black Hills. My experiences as an intern for sustainability and as a RSC student steward will help me to become an environmental educator after graduating from BHSU."
Abby Ramirez, Roosevelt University, Political Science and Sustainability - "My primary passion in life is to help others and be a part of building a better future for ourselves and future generations. An important part of being able to achieve this passion is cultivating individual and collective resiliency. My majors of study are educational tools that have exposed me to law, politics, and the science of protecting the environment. Together I blend them to form a well rounded approach. On campus I participate in RU Green, an organization dedicated to bringing sustainability awareness to the local area. I assist with the rooftop garden and work as a Sustainability Associate, conducting research on our campus’ waste stream."