EducationB.S. in Environmental Science, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA
My research focuses on aquatic invasive species and how they interact with benthic communities, the organisms that live on the bottom or buried within the sediment. I am studying the Asian clam, Corbicula fluminea, which has invaded rivers and lakes throughout North America, South America, and Europe. Despite being such a widespread invader, there is still a lot to learn about how Corbicula can impact an ecosystem. My research involves experiments in the tidal freshwater regions of the York River estuary to determine how these invasive clams are changing the sediments and benthic community. Since it is very difficult to remove Corbicula from an ecosystem, my work will be useful in predicting how ecosystems may change when invaded by this species.
I have always enjoyed teaching and I am thrilled to be a part of the NSF GK-12 PERFECT program. Before coming to VIMS, I worked as an environmental educator at the Institute of Florida Studies in Tampa Bay. My goal is to pursue a career as a science outreach director at an aquarium or marine science center. The GK-12 Fellowship will be a tremendous asset for me in attaining this goal, as effective communication is integral to implementing educational programs and training other educators. I sincerely believe that engaging young minds with hands-on exploratory learning about local and global ecosystems is key to fostering a new generation of scientists and to securing a sustainable future for our environment. I have been placed as a GK-12 Fellow at the Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School, Glenns Campus and I am looking forward to finding innovative ways to bring the captivating world of marine and environmental science into their classrooms.
2012 NSF GK-12 PERFECT Fellowship
2011 Virginia Institute of Marine Science Student Research Grant
2011 Ferguson Enterprises Fellowship