News from Recent Graduates

A brief look at what some of our recent graduates are doing with their degrees…

And in a little more detail…

EESC Alumni Publishes in Prestigious Journal

Miguel Marx (Geology ’17) has successfully published his Masters Thesis research in the prestigious journal PLOS ONE. His paper, titled “The cranial anatomy and relationships of Cardiocorax mukulu (Plesiosauria: Elasmosauridae) from Bentiaba, Angola”, reports on a new specimen of the plesiosaur Cardiocorax mukulu that includes the most complete plesiosaur skull from sub-Saharan Africa. Read more about his exciting work here (


Department graduate completes two years in Zambia with the Peace Corps

Thomas de Triquet (Environmental Science, ’17) integrated into a rural subsistence farming village and shared knowledge regarding climate-smart agriculture, sustainable forest management, and animal husbandry.  He also taught adult literacy, youth environmental awareness, established a tree nursery, and encouraged food self-security within his resident population.  Thomas is now planning to pursue graduate work in sustainable development.

Fish pond established as part of developing food self-sufficiency in a Zambian community

EESC Grad Chelsea Wegner studying sea ice decline in the Arctic.

Chelsea Wegner  (class of 2010) is pursuing a PhD in polar sciences at the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science.  Chelsea studied Chesapeake Bay coastal geomorphology as a research student  with Dr. Ben Kisila while at UMW.  She received a Knauss Marine Policy fellowship in 2014, and has worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).  Chelsea worked in Antarctica with the NSF and is currently focusing on how sea ice decline in the Arctic Chukchi Sea due to rapid warming is potentially driving changes in the food web.





Departmental graduate completes PhD at Virginia Tech and starts faculty positionElyse Clark

Environmental Science and Geology graduate Elyse Clark (Class of 2013) recently finished on her Ph.D. in Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech. Her research concerned Mountain Top Removal (MTR) coal mine reclamation, the water chemistry of mine drainage, and the weathering of mine spoil. While at UMW, Elyse completed 3 years of undergraduate research, culminating in a Senior Thesis supervised by Dr. Ben Kisila (photo at right).  Elyse is now on the faculty of Fitchburg State University.

“Participating in undergraduate research enabled me to learn many laboratory and field techniques and gain confidence participating in and leading a research project. My research experience and course load at UMW helped prepare me professionally and academically for continuing my studies as a graduate student.”


Earth and Environmental Science Grad completes PhD program and teaches at American University

IMG_1583Environmental Science major Abby Lindsay Ostovar, UMW Class of 2006, completed her PhD at American University’s School for International Service, where she is currently a member of the faculty.  After graduating from UMW,  Abby completed dual Master’s degrees in Environmental Policy and Urban Planning at Tufts University in 2009.  She then worked as an Environmental Cooperation Advisor at the United States Department of State, before deciding to return to graduate school to concentrate on doctoral studies.

“UMW’s Environmental Science Honors Program provided me with the opportunity to work closely with professors and also pursue my own research interests.  This helped me significantly as I went on to graduate work at Tufts.  The research and international travel I gained at UMW also gave me a foundation for my work at the State Department, where I’ve focused on environment and trade issues for over four years.”

These are just a few of the many Earth and Environmental Science graduates experiencing successful careers.  If you are interested in learning more, continue to look at out website or contact our department chair, Dr. Jodie Hayob.