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News From Our Graduates

New Page!!! We are excited to share news from our graduates! We would be delighted to hear from all of you!

Please send news of your “next steps” to Allyson Beall King or Alecia Hoene.

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School of the Environment

Ruby Nguyen PhD Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences 2012

Ruby Thuy Nguyen is a senior systems engineer at Idaho National Laboratory. Her work seeks to understand human impacts on natural resources (especially critical materials) and mechanisms to reduce impacts such as recycling, substitution and reducing material intensity. An important aspect of her work is linking economic drivers, environmental factors and technology development to shed light on how new technology adoption will be driven by a combination of economic and environmental factors. Some examples of her recent work include:

Lamers, P., Nguyen, R., Hartley, D., Hansen, J. and Searcy, E. Biomass Market Dynamics Supporting the Large-Scale Deployment of High-Octane Fuel Production in the United States. GCB Bioenergy. (In Press).

Nguyen, R.T., Fishman, T., Fu, Z., Imholte, D. and Graedel, T. (2018). Analyzing Critical Material Demand: A Revised Approach. Science of the Total Environment. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.02.283

Imholte, D., Nguyen, R.T., Brown, M., Iyer, A., Vedantam, V., Smith B., Collins, J., Anderson, C. and O’Kelley, B. (2018), An Assessment of U.S. Rare Earth Availability for Supporting U.S. Wind Energy Growth. Energy Policy. DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2017.11.001

Nguyen, R.T., Diaz, L.A., Imholte, D.D. and Lister,T.E. (2017). Economic Assessment for Recycling Critical Metals from Hard Disk Drives Using a Comprehensive Recovery Process. JOM. DOI: 10.1007/s11837-017-2399-2.

Gary Spradlin MS Environmental Science 2003

I work as a federal employee for a government agency. I am a member of a 24/7 radiological emergency response team assigned to DC headquarters – provides expertise and support during emergency response activities during national and international emergencies caused by natural disasters, nuclear power plants accidents, transportation accidents involving shipment of radioactive materials, and potential terrorist-related events in accordance with the National Response Plan.

Laura Livingston

2017 MS Environmental Science. I work for the American Conservation Experience. We are surveying for aquatic invasive plants and animals. Right now, we are watching the spread of invasive rusty crayfish from the Columbia River up the Spokane River as the native crayfish decline. The invasive crayfish are voracious scavengers and predators, so I wish we had time to do stomach dissections on them! The other part of our job is educating the public about invasive species (or Skiff Transmitted Diseases as the state of Utah likes to call them), so that we can minimize hitchhiking among lakes. I love being out on the boat and learning about this lake!
Alex Iveson

Alex Iveson

Dr Alexander Iveson, PhD Geology 2017
Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University, United Kingdom

Bridget Deemer

PhD Environmental and Natural Resource Science. Former advisor name: John Harrison
Broadly, I am interested in how human activities are affecting the way that energy and nutrients cycle through ecosystems. My research aims to better characterize how reservoirs can affect the transport and transformation of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and other biologically relevant elements.I am currently a postdoctoral ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center. Here, I am working to understand how changing nutrient concentrations in Glen Canyon Dam’s outflow are affecting rates of primary production in the river below.

Alex Johnson

Fall 2017 I will be starting a PhD at UC-Santa Barbara working with Prof. John Cottle focusing on the petrochronology of metamorphic rocks.
Rebecka Bence

Rebecka Bence

2017 B.S. Environmental and Ecosystem Science.
I am working at Pacific Northwest National Lab in Sequim, Washington researching how eel grass impacts harmful algal blooms. Next year, Graduate School!
Cassie Geraghty

Cassie Geraghty

M.S. Geology 2017
I am currently teaching geology at the Pullman campus for Spokane Community College
Melanie Thornton
Melanie Thornton PhD Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences 2017. Next year Melanie will be serving as a Geologic Society of America, US Geological Service Congressional Fellow in Washington D.C.
shay workman
Shay Workman- 2016 BS in Earth and Environmental Sciences
“What I have learned through the SoE, through classes and internships, has allowed me to have enough background in various environmental-based fields that I was able to apply and qualify for several jobs after graduation.”
“Transferring to WSU to major in environmental and ecosystem sciences in 2013 was one of the best life decisions I have made so far.”
River flow graph
Brad Luff – Environmental and Ecosystem Sciences 2016.
My name is Brad Luff and I would like to share with you some of things I have learned about conducting research as an undergraduate student in the School of the Environment here at Washington State University. When I began my studies at WSU, I did not realize that it was possible to do research as an undergrad. I always asked other students in my classes what classes and clubs they were in each semester to see what opportunities were available to me as a student here. I learned about a few really cool classes this way AND that I can do research as an undergraduate student! After learning of this news I asked one of my professors that semester if he knew of any research opportunities and after discussing my interests, we decided that we could work together the next semester on a project examining the impacts of climate change on stream systems across the Pacific Northwest. The aim of this project is to compare historical daily discharge data for rivers to projected daily discharge in the future that is created with Global Circulation Modeling and macroscale hydrology modeling.
Kayla Wakulich
Kayla Wakulich – Environmental Science B.S. 2015
Environmental Science Master’s student School of the Environment
Kayla focuses on the longterm stewardship of a riparian restoration project on the Missouri Flat creek in Pullman Washington. She uses an ecological perspective to look at the social interactions between the community, university, city and the creek to ensure future participation in restoration efforts. "Science is coming to a point where we need more than just peer reviewed journal articles to explain theories and processes. What we need is to walk the boundaries of science, art, and community engagement to entice the community into action, as well as an understanding that we share the responsibilities of Pullman-whether it’s four or forty years of residency"
Mark Billings
Mark Billings
Environmental and Ecosystem Science B.S. 2015 – Master’s Degree Student, Natural Resource Sciences School of the Environment

I am researching ways to better understand human/community responses to wildfire. The focus of the research that I’m involved in occurs in areas where human development intersects wild areas such as forests.
My time as an undergrad in the School of the Environment helped prepare me for grad school in several ways. Undergraduate course work was practical and provided a strong foundation that I could begin to build upon in my field of study. I was also able to establish connections with faculty members who were, along with being well respected in their perspective areas of expertise, able to help me transition to the next level of my education.

Miranda Crowell
Miranda Crowell- M.S. Wildlife Ecology, 2015
In PhD program at University of Nevada, Reno
Studying demography and genetic connectivity of pygmy rabbit populations in Nevada and southeastern Oregon
"WSU allowed me to receive a top notch education in the field of wildlife ecology with valuable hands-on experience in a variety of classes. Without the volunteer opportunities, professors who took a personal interest in me, and the undergraduate research opportunity I received, I wouldn’t be where I am today! Go Cougs!"
Allen Anderson
Allen Andersen- MSc Geology, 2010; PhD Geology, 2015
Visiting Assistant Professor of Geology at the State University of New York at Oswego
Teaching Mineralogy, Geochemistry, and Physical Geology
Research involving geochemistry of magmatic-hydrothermal ore deposits, ore forming-processes, and alkaline magmas
"WSU’s School of the Environment provided an excellent balance of field-based, laboratory, and teaching experiences which prepared me for a career in academia or industry."
Eric Koenig
Eric Koenig – Class of 2014, Forestry
Consulting Forester at
American Forest Management.
Timber harvest, Reforestation compliance, Silvicultural prescriptions, Timber inventory.
Writes forest management plans for landowners
3-4 days per week in the field, 1-2 in the field.
"WSU, and the Forestry Club in particular, gave me the skills and knowledge necessary to begin a successful career in forestry."
Jeffery Ladderud
Jeffery Ladderud- BS Geology 2013
Environmental engineer for Freeport McMoRan, a global copper, gold, and molybdenum mine.
“Geology is integral to so many aspects of our society. It’s used to discover and mine the mineral resources from which we’ve built our standard of living. It’s also used to clean up these mines. It’s used to manage and treat the water we depend on for drinking, agriculture, manufacturing, and sanitation.”
“And as always—Go Cougs!!”