Oneonta, NY, October 13, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- Hartwick College student Catherine G. Winters '14 of Duanesburg, NY has received a Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Undergraduate Fellowship from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA recently awarded approximately 40 GRO undergraduate fellowships in 2012 to students pursuing a bachelor's degree in an environmentally-related field.
Students who earn the fellowship receive funding to support their academic studies and research work during their junior and senior years. Award recipients are required to complete a three-month summer fellowship at an EPA facility between their junior and senior year and to attend at least one technical/scientific conference during the course of the fellowship as well.
For her fellowship, Winters plans to study the environmental geochemistry of the Ouleout Creek watershed that drains into the Susquehanna from the south east, near Unadilla, NY. She is interested in investigating the effect of geology and land use on the water chemistry, specifically looking at the cause of high sediment load in the creek. Dr. Zsuzsanna Balogh-Brunstad, assistant professor in the departments of Chemistry and Geology and Environmental Sciences at Hartwick College will act as her research advisor.
"I am very excited for this opportunity to do research that could affect the greater Oneonta area, which has been my home for two years now," said Winters. "The chance to work at the EPA is an opportunity which many students will only ever dream of. I cannot wait to meet new people who are as passionate about the environment as I am, and to learn about possible career paths I can take in the future."
Winters will work on her EPA internship during the summer of 2013 with hopes to present at the Geological Society of America National Conference in the fall of 2013 and the National Conference of the American Chemical Society during the spring of 2014. Her research findings will also be presented during Hartwick's annual Student Showcase in both her junior and senior years.
To date, Winters has had several internship and research experiences at Hartwick, including conducting a recycling pilot study on campus (under the guidance of Daniel Morse '97 and Dr. Brian Hagenbuch), an internship at Roots & Wisdom, an urban organic agriculture and youth development program in Schenectady, NY (under the guidance of Assistant Professor of Political Science Dr. Sara Rinfret), and shadowing Hartwick alumni at Massachusetts Clean Energy in Boston, the EPA office in Boston, Vote Solar in New York City, the Center for Autonomous Solar Power in Binghamton, and the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) in Washington, D.C.
Winters is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Chemistry, a minor in Environmental Science & Policy and a minor in Political Science. She is a Blue Key Tour Guide, the Secretary of the Chemistry Club, a Career Advising Peer in the PSGE Center, a Class Representative on the Honors Advisory Board, a member of the Wick SAA, and a student member of the Campus Theme Committee. Her career goals include working in the field of environmental policy and education, with a focus on educating the public about sustainability and working with environmental policies.
"This is a great opportunity for Catherine," said Balogh-Brunstad. "It is a very prestigious fellowship and only approximately 40 undergraduate students nationwide receive this award each year. I am proud of her accomplishment in receiving this honor and I look forward to working with her on her research over the next two years."