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The students are the greatest strength of the Environmental Science program. Hailing from South America to Siberia and Provo to Accra, our students are seeking to understand environmental issues and develop creative and inclusive solutions. Check out the selection of student profiles below. Then come join our community of uplifting and insightful students to help us literally change the world.

STUDENT HIGHLIGHTS

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Cecilia Foster

I want to be a science journalist, more specifically an environmental reporter. By studying Environmental Science here at BYU, I can learn about the scientific basis for a lot of environmental issues and work on communicating those to a non-scientific audience. Studying Environmental Science also teaches me how to think like a scientist, while learning to talk and communicate like an activist.

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Derrek Wilson

I chose to study environmental science to understand how the natural world functions and how our interactions are affecting natural systems. I plan on going into the field of environmental law with the ultimate goal of creating environmental policy at a state or federal level. The environmental science major has provided me with scientific literacy to help me make more evidence based policy regarding environmental issues.


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Abigail Banks

I realized that I could make the difference I wanted to make in the world through majoring in Environmental Science. I'm minoring in Business and ultimately I want to do environmental nonprofit work. Studying at BYU gave me the opportunity to do my first internship at a nonprofit which made me realize how much I love it.


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Mitchell Greenhalgh

I’m very interested in how the environment is impacted by humans and how the environment impacts humans. I do research with a public health professor in addition to my main research in the environmental science program. Although my primary interests within environmental science (landscape and spatial ecology, ecological data science) aren’t really taught in the program, it’s providing me with a solid baseline that I would need to go into those fields later on.
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Isabella Errigo

I am an Environmental Science Major and International Development Minor. The ESci program has taught me a lot about environmental science, obviously, but it has also allowed me to connect my passion for environmental issues with my passions for other social injustices. I want to help nations create and enforce effective policies that reduce their emissions and promote sustainable development. I would also like to be a professor in environmental science and international development. After I retire, I want to be a park ranger.
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Sierra Curtis

I am an Environmental Science major and International Development minor.
I want to teach environmental science at community college to under represented minorities and first generation college students. I started in eco-business and while I still help with sustainable development initiatives I switched to an international development minor to better understand refugees or first generation Americans that I hope to teach someday.
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PHD STUDENTS


Devri Adams

March 14, 2020 01:03 PM
Devri Adams is pursuing a PhD studying the effects of megafires on ecosystem recovery.

Sara Sayedi

February 27, 2020 03:29 PM
Sara Sayedi is a Ph.D. student working on combining expert opinions to assess risk of dangerous change in Earth systems (permafrost collapse, global wildfire, and water security).

Qiwen Zhang

August 28, 2020 10:50 AM
Qiwen Zhang is a Ph.D. student working on using Arctic river networks as multi-scale sensors to reveal terrestrial and aquatic signals of ecosystem change.
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MS STUDENTS

Sam Bratsman

February 28, 2020 08:31 AM
Sam Bratsman is an M.S. student working on eutrophication in Utah Lake and the effects of climate change in the Abbott and Aanderud labs.

Hannah Burgin

March 14, 2020 01:30 PM
Hanna Burgin is an Environmental Science master’s student conducting research about water conservation through sustainable landscaping in Utah.

Isabella Errigo

February 28, 2020 08:48 AM
Isabella Errigo is an M.S. student studying the effects of wildfire on aquatic biodiversity in the Frandsen and Abbott labs. She is interested in the interactions between human policy and ecosystem sustainability.

Leslie Lange

February 28, 2020 08:46 AM
Leslie Lange is an Environmental Science MS student from Modesto,California. She is studying different approaches to increasing science literacy in the public and reducing waterborne pathogens.

Isak Larsen

March 14, 2020 01:33 PM
Isak Larsen is an Environmental Science master’s student from Arizona.

Madeline Malmfeldt

April 25, 2020 12:03 PM
Madeleine Malmfeldt is a Master’s student in Environmental Science from Cumming, Georgia.

Aria McComber

September 14, 2021 12:20 PM
Aria is a master's student in Environmental Science. She is interested in corporate sustainability, environmental health, international development, and environmental economics. Before being recruited by BYU's volleyball team, she received a degree in business administration from Washington State University.

Madeline McLaughlin

April 02, 2020 08:57 PM
Madeline McLaughlin is a Master’s student in Environmental Science from Houston, Texas.

Shannon Nelson

April 25, 2020 11:53 AM
Shannon Nelson is an Environmental Science master’s student.

Adam Norris

September 02, 2020 03:45 PM
Adam Norris is an M.S student studying soil fire responses and nutrient cycling following the Mt. Nebo Megafire of 2018.
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UNDERGRAD STUDENTS

Carter Allred

April 02, 2020 06:27 PM

David Armond

March 14, 2020 01:06 PM
David Armond is an undergraduate in Environmental Science from Provo, UT.

Kallin Austin

January 19, 2021 09:39 PM
Kallin is a junior at BYU studying exercise science and preparing to apply to medical school. He is a member of the BYU Army ROTC and is planning on commissioning as a 2nd lieutenant in the United States Army in the spring of 2022.

Addison Bliss

February 15, 2021 08:36 PM
Addison is an undergraduate from Peoria, Arizona majoring in Environmental Science. She is interested in improving community and individual health by establishing gardening programs in environments such as elementary schools and urban areas. She can’t wait to encourage others to get their hands dirty and nurture the world beneath their feet. She loves reading, gardening, cooking, drawing, hiking, and meditating.

Sarah Buening

September 11, 2020 12:01 PM
Sarah is a freshman at BYU and who is excited to gain experience in environmental research and sustainability efforts. She is interested in studying correlations between human and environmental health and advocating for stronger environmental protection policies, particularly reducing air and water pollution. She wants to ensure that our beautiful planet is healthy and strong!

Emma Bulter

January 18, 2021 09:36 AM
Emma is an undergraduate student from Gaithersburg, Maryland studying biology. She has a strong interest in animals and veterinary medicine. In her spare time she likes to bake, play basketball, and watch movies. She loves visiting national parks and being in nature.

Kristina Cass

March 14, 2020 01:00 PM
Kristina Cass is an Ohio native and is pursuing a degree in Environmental Science with a minor in Geospatial Science and Technology.

Sarah Chan

January 07, 2021 07:05 PM
Sarah is a junior majoring in Environmental Science. She developed a passion for environmental science during her time at the School of Environmental Studies in Minnesota. While there, she was able to participate in a high altitude physiology field study which took her to Tlachichuca, Mexico to climb Pico de Orizaba. Since then, she has transferred to BYU and has taken many classes which have expanded her interest in the environment, such as environmental biology, soil science, and chemistry.

Taylor Chattin

January 07, 2021 07:23 PM
Taylor is a sophomore in BYU’s wildlife and wildlands conservation major. She has aspirations of becoming a zoo curator and working with manatees.

Vivine Chen

January 07, 2021 06:53 PM
Vivine is an undergraduate student from upstate New York studying Environmental Science. She enjoys to collecting and organizing data from different experiments. She likes to use her phone to stay connected and to be socially aware.

Elisabeth Currit

January 14, 2021 11:56 AM
Elisabeth is sophomore from Texas majoring in environmental science and minoring in international development. She loves hiking (especially in Great Basin National Park), reading, mountains, and she plans on getting a PhD someday.

Sierra Curtis Nichols

April 02, 2020 08:59 PM
Sierra Curtis Nichols is a junior studying environmental science from Midway, UT.

Jonathan Daniels

April 02, 2020 08:53 PM
Jonathan Daniels is a senior studying Microbiology.

Madalynn Drennan

January 05, 2021 11:18 AM
Madalynn is an undergraduate studying Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation. She is from Dallas,Texas and loves hiking in Zion National Park.

Danny Dudley

September 14, 2021 11:44 AM
Danny is an undergraduate from Lake Tahoe, NV studying Strategic Management and Environmental Science. He loves listening to music, biking, reading, and spending time outdoors. He is passionate about the impact of environmental policy on people and places.

Zach Eliason

January 07, 2021 06:57 PM
Zach is an undergraduate student in Bioinformatics from Provo, UT. He has strong interests in ecology and conservation.

Sara Frutos

September 14, 2021 11:45 AM
Sara is an undergraduate from Corning, New York studying Environmental Science and Sustainability. She is passionate about protecting and preserving the beauty of the Earth. She hopes to bring sustainable practices to developing countries and improve their quality of life. She enjoys music, watching movies, hiking, and New York-style pizza.

Sterling Fuller

March 14, 2020 01:01 PM
Sterling Fuller is an undergraduate student from St. Louis, Missouri studying Biology.

Mitchell Greenhalgh

March 14, 2020 12:51 PM
Mitchell Greenhalgh is a senior studying environmental science and statistics. He is a lab manager in the Abbott Lab. He has experience in R and ArcGIS and introductory experience in Python, SAS, and SQL.

Jacob Gudmundsen

September 29, 2020 12:31 PM
Jacob Gudmundsen is an undergraduate student majoring in Economics and minoring in Environmental Science. He has a strong passion for connecting the interests of economic growth with environmental stewardship.

Margaret Hancock

January 07, 2021 07:12 PM
Margaret is a sophomore from the San Francisco Bay Area majoring in Nutritional Science and minoring in Chemistry. She is planning to go into medicine.

Brynn Hogan

March 14, 2020 12:45 PM
Brynn Hoggan is an undergraduate studying Environmental Science and Spanish.

Brigham Jewkes

October 01, 2020 04:34 PM
Brigham Jewkes is an undergraduate Biology student with aspirations of becoming a dentist and an advocate for environmental health.

Whitney Kingsolver

January 18, 2021 09:52 AM
Whitney is an undergraduate student from Orem, Utah and she is studying Biodiversity and Conservation. She has always had a passion for protecting the environment. She enjoys rock climbing, hiking, and roller skating!

Lexanne Klimes

January 19, 2021 09:42 PM
Lexanne is an undergraduate from Minnesota studying Environmental Science and Portuguese. She is interested in plants and water ecology, and hopes to help conserve river systems and prevent pollution in Latin America.

Shannon Lambson

January 12, 2021 09:41 PM
Shannon Lambson is a sophomore undergraduate studying Environmental Science and Sustainability. Her interests include wildlife conservation, improving women’s health in developing countries, and watching reruns of the Crocodile Hunter.

Justin Lemke

January 18, 2021 09:38 AM
Justin is an undergraduate student from Los Alamos, New Mexico studying Microbiology. He has a strong infinity for conservation and ecology. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, backpacking, cooking and watching videos of dogs for mental health.

Elizabeth McLaughlin

April 25, 2020 12:05 PM
Elizabeth McLaughlin is an undergraduate student studying Bioinformatics.

Ethan McQuhae

September 14, 2021 11:40 AM
Ethan is an undergraduate from Fort Worth, Texas, studying Environmental Science and Sustainability. He is an avid lover of all things plantae. In his free time he loves to hike, eat pizza, and hunt for new plants he hasn’t seen before. He hopes to help others understand the importance of plants in the environment and how we can be better stewards of our great, big planet.

Kylee Mecate

January 18, 2021 09:50 AM
Kylee is a first-year undergraduate from Imperial, California. She’s majoring in Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation, and she’s always had a passion for animals.

Marina Merritt

March 14, 2020 12:29 PM
Marina Merritt is an undergraduate student in Chemical Engineering. Her goal is to learn man-made as well as natural processes involved in delivering sanitary water to a community, and is currently helping with various projects in the lab. When she is not stumped by her homework, she enjoys running, pretending she can dance, and improving her cooking skills.

Haley Moon

March 14, 2020 12:41 PM
Haley Moon is the field manager in the Abbott Lab. She is a senior from Sandy, Utah studying Environmental Science and Sustainability, with minors in Geology and Western American Studies. She loves exploring National Parks, reading, and watching John Wayne movies.

Savannah Muise

March 14, 2020 01:05 PM
Savannah Muise is an Exercise Science major from Alberta, Canada who will be pursuing a medical degree.

Megan Nebeker

January 12, 2021 09:32 PM
Megan is an undergraduate student studying exercise science from Oregon. She loves learning more about the environment, and ways that we can protect it. She is planning on becoming a physical therapist. In her spare time she enjoys go hiking, visit national parks, and play tennis.

Nick Newbold

January 12, 2021 10:31 PM
Nick is an Environmental Science major from Kaysville, Utah. He loves everything from cheesecake, bigfoot stories, and his wife and baby daughter...not necessarily in that order. He is also minoring in International Development and would love to marry that with his major eventually.

Baylie Nusink

March 14, 2020 01:09 PM
Baylie Nusink is an undergraduate studying Environmental Science. She currently studies how wildfires and rodents influence plant invasions in forest and desert ecosystems.

Luke Oldham

January 12, 2021 10:45 PM
Luke is an undergraduate student from Eagle River, Alaska studying Exercise Science. He is planning on going to medical school and enjoys skiing, backpacking, traveling, and music.

Abbie Packard

February 15, 2021 08:34 PM
Abbie is an undergraduate from Draper, UT studying Global Supply Chain Management. She has a passion for environmental sustainability in businesses and hopes to create a large impact by working with corporations to create a balanced and sustainable approach to the 3Ps: people, profit, and the planet.

Ryan Packham

February 15, 2021 08:30 PM
Ryan is a sophomore from Idaho majoring in Environmental Science. He hopes to improve environmental stewardship in developing countries through research and educational outreach programs.

Isaac Parrish

March 14, 2020 12:54 PM
Isaac Parrish is a Junior from Salem, Utah studying Exercise Science and Gerontology. He is very interested in healthy lifestyles and helping others making changes to have a happy and healthy life; especially the underserved. Isaac is also interested in the recent wildfires. He loves being outside with friends mountain biking and playing Pickleball. He plans to go to medical school and work in Family Medicine.

Heather Phipps

August 31, 2020 10:20 AM
Heather is an Environmental Science major in BYU's Department of Plant and Wildlife Science. She has a strong desire to enhance environmental stewardship, personal accountability, and the application of science and technology.

Shiloh Ploeg

January 12, 2021 09:51 PM
Shiloh is an Environmental Science undergrad student from Pleasant Grove, Utah.

Mary Proteau

March 14, 2020 12:48 PM
Mary Proteau is an undergraduate student majoring in Environmental Science from Connecticut. She is a lab manager in the Abbott Lab.

Thomas Richards

March 14, 2020 01:11 PM
Thomas Richards is an undergraduate student studying Wildlife and Wildlands conservation with minors in French and Chinese.

Sarah Rollins

January 07, 2021 09:55 PM
Sarah is a BYU undergraduate student from Orlando, Florida. She studies Environmental Science and hopes to be an advocate for environmental health and sustainable living.

Samantha Shumate

March 14, 2020 01:35 PM
Samantha Shumate is an Environmental Science undergraduate from Sherman, Texas.

Jacob Spencer

January 07, 2021 07:17 PM
Jacob is a junior majoring in microbiology. He is very interested in the environment and how we can best protect it. He love sports, dogs and family. He look forward to going to dental school in the future.

Dion Tapahe

April 25, 2020 12:02 PM
Dion Tapahe is a senior majoring in Environmental Science and minoring in American Indian Studies.

Nathan Thompson

September 14, 2021 11:43 AM
Nathan is an undergraduate from Rexburg, Idaho studying Environmental Science and Sustainability. He has a passion for outdoor recreation and helping others get involved in those types of activities (backcountrybasics.org). He cares deeply for the environment and hopes to help everyone to become better stewards of this beautiful world.
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Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own—indeed to embrace the whole of creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder. Recognizing that sustainable development, democracy and peace are indivisible is an idea whose time has come
WANGARI MAATHAI
Environmental Science & Sustainability in the News
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Air pollution costs Utahns billions annually and shortens life expectancy by two years

November 18, 2020 09:13 AM
New study led by ESS undergraduate Isabella Errigo reveals the cost of air pollution for Utahns’ health and pocketbooks
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BYU researchers help test wastewater for COVID-19 infection rates in Utah

May 18, 2020 09:58 PM
ESS professor Zach Aanderud and his team of students use cutting-edge molecular methods to track COVID-19 in municipal wastewater.
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How You Can Have a Positive Impact on the Climate Change Emergency

November 23, 2020 07:20 AM
COVID-19 isn’t the only worldwide emergency affecting billions of people—climate change continues to threaten us with devastating implications. Here are some ways to help.
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Studying climate change at opposite ends of the Earth

ESS undergraduate Natasha Griffin has presented at conferences in Europe, ridden in a helicopter and visited both the North and South Poles to figure out how humans are affecting the Earth.
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The price of air pollution

We all know intuitively that polluted air isn't good for our bodies or communities, but just how much is air pollution costing us? ESS undergraduates and faculty led a statewide study to answer just that.
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Influencing Environmental Change from Iran to Utah

April 08, 2020 10:36 AM
ESS PhD student Sara Sayedi wanted to use science to improve policy in her home country of Iran, but politics limited her work in the public arena. Now at BYU, she is influencing policy at a global scale.
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After a mega fire: how waterways are impacted by wildfires

BYU team investigates ecosystem resilience to wildfire, linking plants, streams, climate, and society
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Tree Heart Attacks: Aspen Clones Dying

Professor Sam St. Clair from the Environmental Science & Sustainability program takes the vitals of one of North America's keystone tree species.
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How environmental justice affects all of us

June 24, 2021 12:30 PM
Environmental degradation harms every individual by causing pervasive decline of life on Earth, but it doesn’t impact everyone to the same degree. ESS professor Ben Abbott shares three ways to improve your understanding on how environmental justice affects you and your community.
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Saving the world's water (and humans) one little stream at a time

January 16, 2018 10:00 PM
ESS professor Ben Abbott presents a new tool to fight nutrient pollution. Streams can be “sensors” of ecosystem health, allowing both improved water quality and food production.

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Fighting bad air quality with ... dance?

September 11, 2018 10:00 PM
Dance professor Keely Song and ESS professor Ben Abbott teamed up to promote BYU's free UTA passes to students, employees, and their families.
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Dr. Gary Booth: A Lifelong Legacy

July 03, 2020 03:29 PM
While at BYU, Dr. Gary Booth taught a wide range of subjects. Students and faculty alike appreciated Booth and his impact on the college.
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BYU analysis of 115+ studies: Masks powerful & cost-effective in combating COVID-19

July 23, 2020 09:56 AM
After reading 115 studies on COVID-19, ESS faculty and students published non-technical report on the effectiveness of masks at slowing the spread.
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Why are aspen dying?

June 27, 2013 10:00 PM
If Utah’s quaking aspen appear to be quaking more than usual this summer, the trees have reason to tremble, says a Brigham Young University biologist. In dappled forests across the West, aspen trees are battling deadly killers from heat stroke to bud-nipping predators to tree “heart attacks.”
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Permafrost Collapse and the Global Ecosystem

March 17, 2020 11:10 AM
ESS professor Ben Abbott co-authored a study in Nature on the permafrost climate feedback. Working with an international team, he found that abrupt permafrost collapse could double carbon release.
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Water cycle diagrams are giving us a false sense of water security

June 10, 2019 10:00 PM
A new study in Nature Geoscience led by ESS professor and students found that the global water cycle is incorrect even in modern papers and textbooks. 85% of diagrams show no people, despite human domination of water at a global scale.
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Plant & Wildlife Sciences Across the Map

June 29, 2020 02:18 PM
Professors and students from Environmental Science & Sustainability lead research projects from Antarctica to Alaska.
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Study finds bedrock is teeming with microorganisms protecting water quality

February 03, 2019 10:00 PM
The solution to nutrient pollution could be right below out feet. Literally. New study reveals the active and dynamic world of groundwater microbes.
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Interdependence and Stewardship: Piecing Together Humanity’s Relationship with the Earth

By Carlee Reber
June 05, 2019 01:06 PM
Will we show up in the geologic record in millions of years? The Anthropocene suggests the answer is yes: collective human impact on the environment will leave a definitive mark in future bedrock.
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