Ms. Kirsten Thoede graduated from Texas A&M University in 2013 with a B.S. degree in zoology. As an undergraduate, she received a research internship to participate in a biodiversity study of birds native to the South African arid zone. For this project, she extracted DNA and ran PCR’s for hundreds of tissue and blood samples. She also participated in two separate field projects. One was a research study on the hybridization of the Black-crested and Tufted Titmouse in central Texas. The other was a survey of an endangered population of Saltmarsh Sparrows in Long Island, New York. For both projects, she assisted with point-count, call-back and mist-net surveys. Ms. Thoede’s goal is to become an environmental consultant. Her primary interests are in biodiversity, surface water quality, wetland health, pollution mitigation, endangered species surveys, habitat restoration, and environmental sustainability. To gain more experience in these areas, she enrolled in the Environmental Analysis graduate program at Rice University.
Mr. Ruochen Liu graduated from Sun Yat-sen University and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University with a B.S. in Chemistry in 2016 based on a 2+2 program established between two universities. He also received his master degree in Chemical Engineering from Oklahoma State University (OSU) in 2018. In order to broaden his knowledge and strengthen his research skill, he focused on Polysaccharides from Mycelial Fermentation of Cordyceps Sinensis Cs-HK 1 Fungus: Production, Properties, and Bioactivities as his final year project in his undergraduate studies. He also worked as a Graduate Research Assistant in Dr. Kim’s lab focusing on membrane separations. During his graduate studies, he published some papers about oily water separation and produced water treatment by using inorganic membranes as well as cooperated with some Environmental Engineering groups to prepare proposals together for settling water issues. Realizing that it was not enough to solve the environmental problems at the lab-scale end, Mr. Liu is now pursuing a Professional Science Master’s degree in Environmental Analysis with a focus on Quantitative Decision Making.
Ms. Chavez has an extensive background in environmental studies, fostered through the completion of her degree in Environmental Sciences from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2016. During her undergraduate studies, she interned at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, a state agency responsible for enforcing state mandates regarding air, water, and waste. She also facilitated the progression of workshops designed to deal with sustainability issues of the Lower Rio Grande Valley by uniting governmental and non-governmental organizations under the guidance of Dr. Hudson DeYoe. She also conducted and presented research to quantitate the volume of the South Texas Sand Sheet through lithographic means obtained by drilling boreholes along a 50km distance. After graduating from UTRGV, Ms. Chavez spent two years gaining work experience outside of a university setting. Now with the acceptance of admission into Rice University’s Professional Science Master’s program she plans to tailor her degree towards sustainable development and energy management.
Ms. Jasmin Alfaro graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. While a student, she conducted research identifying uniformity in clustering of certain sized grains and how this affected sediment transport rates. She also worked as an Undergraduate Research Assistant organizing and maintaining the sample database, mechanically breaking down samples using a rock crusher and disc mill, and performing mineral separation techniques to isolate heavier zircon and apatite minerals. After graduation, she participated in the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Mickey Leland Environmental internship program. Her tasks involved reviewing Emergency Response 30-Day Spill reports and lab analytics and TCEQ offered her a position as an Environmental Investigator for the Solid Waste team. She conducted audits on regulated entities for compliance with state and federal regulations regarding industrial and hazardous waste and wrote technical reports based on findings and observed alleged violations. After a year, Ms. Alfaro chose to further her education and enrolled in the Environmental Analysis graduate program at Rice University, where she plans to integrate new skills with her work experience to pursue a career in environmental sustainability and compliance.
Ms. Callie Ayers graduated from The University of Houston-Clear Lake with a BS in Environmental Chemistry. She currently works in Environmental Health & Safety at the Dow Chemical Company.
Ms. Morgan Garner graduated from Baylor University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Science in mechanical engineering and a minor in mathematics. During the summer of 2015, she studied alternative energy and engineering at Iceland’s School of Energy at Reykjavik University. The research and immersion into geothermal energy of Iceland reinforced her lifelong passion for sustainability and pushed her to further her environmental education and integrate it into her everyday work. Morgan received her EIT certification from the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and went on to work as a mechanical project engineer at a consulting firm, ME Engineers, throughout 2017. To further her education, Morgan enrolled in the Environmental Anlysis program at Rice and plans to integrate new skills with her engineering background,and to pursue a career in environmental sustainability. Morgan secured an internship with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in Houston.
Ms. Rowan graduated from the University of the Philippines in 2014 with a B.S. in Geology. After graduation, she worked as a Science Research Specialist on Project NOAH otherwise known as Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards, to integrate current disaster science research and development projects for disaster prevention and mitigation. She also worked as a Business Development Officer at a leading property development company in the Philippines, where she helped identify possible hazards on the target properties for acquisition and development. She enrolled in the Environmental Analysis program with a focus on remediation and was able to secure an internship with Emission Advisors to apply her skills and broaden her experience.
Ms. Millerlandy Romero graduated from Universidad Industrial de Santander (UIS, Colombia) in 2007 with a B.S. in Biology. After graduation, she gained valuable multidisciplinary experience from an early career as a biostratigrapher in the oil industry, followed by a more senior career as a paleoecologist and environmental researcher in Smithsonian. She also consulted for energy production companies and government petroleum agencies, and interacted with different universities and research groups around the world. As a result of her most recent collaboration on the evolution of the Amazon River, she decided to broaden her skills by pursuing a degree in Environmental Analysis track at Rice. Millerlandy wants to learn how to contribute to the environmental sustainability related to the use of natural resources in a highly competitive business environment, and a society with a growing demand for energy, water, and food. Millerlandy secured an internship with Memorial Park Conservancy.
Ms. Zhou received a B.S degree from Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) in China and a M.S degree from University of Houston (UH) in Chemistry based on a 3+1 program established between the two universities. Her experience in summer 2013 during volunteer work related to environmental protection in Egypt’s Aiesec organization led her to dive deeper into the environment field. In order to advance her skills and broaden her career development, she worked for a year with the 2.4-dihydroxybenzoic research project using cyclic voltammetry method in an analytical chemistry lab at SYSU. During her time there, she became the president of the Unilever club, and received a full scholarship to join the 2014 summer entrepreneurship program at Tel Aviv University, Israel. Once enrolled at UH, she continued expanding her training by accepting a Teaching Assistant position in the inorganic chemistry lab. It has always been an ardent wish for Zhiruo to pursue a career in the environment consulting field or with the energy industry, which led her to the Professional Science Master’s degree program in Environmental Analysis and Decision Making at Rice University. After graduation, she has secured a full-time postion with AARC Environmental as an Environmental Analyst.