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2024 Sustainability Summer Fellowships for Graduate Research Partnerships

ISE and the Graduate Division Announce the Summer 2024 Sustainability Research Fellows

Congratulations are in order for the seventeen Mason graduate students, eleven from the College of Science, who were recently selected as Sustainability Summer Research Fellows. Unique among summer research opportunities, this fellowship pairs Mason doctoral or masters students with organizations engaged in applied and impactful research on a host of sustainability, resilience, and environmental justice initiatives. In Summer 2024, students from a wide array of programs and backgrounds will co-create and conduct research activities with partner organizations that are making a positive impact on our world:  

  • Dianna Belman, PhD student in Environmental Science and Policy (COS), will be working with the American Bird Conservancy to research the impacts of alternative energy projects on wildlife and human attitudes regarding conservation.
  • Emilia Roberts, MS student in Conservation Science and Policy (COS), will also be working with the American Bird Conservancy on expanding the Alliance for Zero Extinction through partnerships with Latin American academic and community-based organizations.
  • Charles Sterling, PhD student in Environmental Science and Policy (COS), will partner with the Chickahominy Indian Tribe of Tidewater Virginia to support tribal decision-making in resilience planning and integrative conservation. 
  • Leah Sattler, PhD student in Environmental Science and Policy (COS), will work with the City of Fairfax’s Urban Forestry Program on the implementation of an EPA-funded “SPROUT” initiative focused on community-based tree management. 
  • Colin Chadduck, PhD student in Environmental Science and Policy (COS), will research the impacts of the urban heat effect on health and transportation policy in the Mount Vernon District of Fairfax County.
  • Emmanuel Ofori, MS student in Environmental Science and Policy (COS), will develop a science communication strategy for the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, in service of their mission to support local climate action plans in Northern Virginia. 
  • Yewande Oyesola, PhD student in Chemistry (COS), will work on developing an aqueous gel to aid in the detection of harmful algal blooms in partnership with GMU’s HAB-LAB and the Potomac Riverkeepers Network
  • Aline Souza de Menezes Medeiros, PhD student in Environmental Science and Policy (COS), will work with Brazil’s National Institute for Amazonian Research to assess bird and mammal populations’ response to a variety of anthropogenic disturbances in Amazonia.
  • Katharine Perkin, MS student in Geoinformatics and Geospatial Intelligence (COS), will use GIS techniques in collaboration with the Northern Virginia Regional Commission to assess the rooftop and open-space capacity for solar energy generation in the region.
  • Nana Ama Obeng Nti, PhD student in Earth Systems and Geoinformation Science (COS), will research nature-based adaptation strategies in Nigeria in collaboration with a knowledge-action network at Future Earth
  • Yukun Zhang, PhD student in Environmental Science and Policy (COS), will be assessing progress towards equity and inclusivity in global sustainability research and policy venues, also in collaboration with Future Earth’s Asia Center.

Collaboration and co-production are the key tenets of these fellowship experiences. While networking with partners, students will gain valuable experience in developing urgent and translational research alongside organizations that are making an impact. Upon completion of their summer activities, these graduate student fellows will be able to leverage their research findings in their dissertation or master’s thesis work, and will also be well-positioned to receive external research support. To allow students to focus exclusively on their work, fellows will receive stipends furnished by Mason’s Graduate Division. 

Mason graduate students and faculty advisors who would like to learn more about the program and how they might participate in the future should contact Dr. Jeremy Campbell, the Associate Director for Strategic Engagement at the ISE (