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QCNR Graduate-Undergraduate Mentor Program


About the Program

The Graduate-Undergraduate Mentor Program was created to build mutually beneficial relationships within QCNR, and especially to provide personal and professional support to current undergraduate students.

Need help writing a scientific report or preparing for a presentation? Want to learn more about potential career pathways in the biological, physical, and social sciences? Thinking about graduate school but not sure how to find the right program or contact potential advisors? Our graduate mentors are here to help, and are available to meet on a one-time or regular basis.

Browse the mentor bios below and email any of the graduate students to set up a meeting. For questions about the program or to be paired with a mentor, contact the QCNR Graduate-Undergraduate Liaison Molly Blakowski at mollyblakowski@gmail.com.

Meet the Mentors

Alec Arditti

Alec Arditti

Originally from the East Coast, I spent six years in California working on fire ecology, stormwater pollution and watershed health. I just started my PhD in the WATS department studying wildfire impacts to sedimentation and geomorphology. Talk to me if you want to learn about opportunities in different sectors (and how to make yourself stand out), spatial analysis or want help on any application materials.

alec.arditti@usu.edu
Molly Blakowski

Molly Blakowski

My research at USU and with the United States Geological Survey is focused on using geochemistry to understand how dust from natural and anthropogenic sources can impact environmental and human health. I am a former community college instructor and am very invested in helping undergrads (particularly first-gen students) develop strong time management skills, find internships and research opportunities, and prepare for life after graduation.

mollyblakowski@gmail.com
Cole Bleke

Cole Bleke

I was born and raised in Indiana where I attended Purdue University to receive my Bachelor’s in Wildlife Biology. My current research is focused on investigating the vital rates of adult female pronghorn antelope that may influence fawn recruitment, under Dr. Eric Gese. My interests include hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, and snowboarding.

bleke.cole@gmail.com
Erika Blomdahl

Erika Blomdahl

I am a PhD student studying forest and disturbance ecology with Dr. Justin DeRose. I study how forest disturbances (in particular, wildfire and insect outbreaks) interact with vegetation, climate, and patterns in subsequent disturbances.

erika.blomdahl@usu.edu
Tatum Del Bosco

Tatum Del Bosco

Originally from Ontario, Canada, I came to USU two years ago to pursue an MS studying deer migration patterns in mountainous regions of Utah. I've worked for nonprofits previously and am eager to help students navigate the grad school application process, help with resumes/CVs/personal statements, and provide interview advice.

delboscotatum@gmail.com
Ethan Ducharme

Ethan Ducharme

I was born and raised in North Eastern Vermont and received my BS in Wildlife Biology from University of Vermont in 2015. After graduation I worked extensively across the North Western US which eventually led me to Utah where I am now pursuing my MS researching polar bear denning ecology on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska.

ebduchar@gmail.com
Greg Goodrum

Greg Goodrum

I'm a PhD candidate in Watershed Sciences studying native fish conservation, dam removal, computer modeling, and balancing human and ecological water uses. Prior to joining USU, I spent 8 years studying upland vegetation, springs, and streams with the National Park Service, and remain passionate about protecting our plant communities, wildlife, and public lands. I'm excited to offer my academic and professional experience to help students interested in state/federal agency careers, graduate programs, and maximizing undergraduate opportunities.

goodrum.greg@gmail.com
Macy Gustavus

Macy Gustavus

I recently moved to Utah from Michigan after graduating with a BS in Environmental Public Health and Safety, and am now a Master’s student studying dust composition in the Department of Watershed Sciences. As a first generation college student, I have worked throughout college and would love to talk about time management, entering graduate school directly out of undergrad, how to fund a degree/general finances, and the importance of making connections.

macygustavus@yahoo.com
Alex Howe

Alex Howe

I am a PhD fellow in WILD with the Yocom lab where I study the landscape ecology of fire, but I also took 6 years off between finishing my undergrad before starting graduate school, working as a botanist for the BLM and Forest Service in the Intermountain West, and also serving as a Peace Corps agroforestry volunteer in Senegal working with rural farmers. I would be happy to talk with current undergrads about searching for a graduate program and applying, gaining work experience outside of school, and alternative options like the Peace Corps.

alex.howe@usu.edu
Cat McClure

Cat McClure

I’m originally from a small town in Connecticut, and received my B.A. in Environmental Science and Biology from Colby College in Maine. Before moving to Utah I worked as a science educator and outdoor guide in Wyoming, and now I am a first-year PhD student in the Hammill Lab studying community ecology and predator/prey dynamics in protist communities. Feel free to reach out about applying and transitioning to graduate school, work-life balance, and science communication and education.

cat.mcclure@usu.edu
Christina Morrisett

Christina Morrisett

I grew up in rural Alaska, but have been in the Lower 48 for the last decade getting degrees in Ocean Systems (BS), Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (MS), and now Watershed Sciences (PhD). I currently work for an NGO and study water resource management for farms and fish in Idaho, but I have worked for state agencies and NGOs throughout the western US. Feel free to reach out about grad school, changing disciplines, finding internships, and being a first-gen college student!

christina.morrisett@aggiemail.usu.edu
Jordan Nesbitt

Jordan Nesbitt

I am a second year Master's Student in the Recreation Resource Management Program in ENVS. I am originally from Western New York - I graduated from SUNY Cortland in NY with a BS in Outdoor Recreation and Conservation Biology in 2016. Before moving here to Utah I worked for an Outdoor Education program in Michigan for three years. Feel free to reach out to chat about coursework, contacting potential MS advisors, life after undergrad and the workforce in our fields. My research interests include human environment interactions on public lands and recreation management applications in urban-proximate parks.

jordan.nesbitt@aggiemail.usu.edu
Britta Schumacher

Britta Schumacher

Broadly, my research at USU explores how resilience can be assessed across space and through time in US agriculture; I pair big spatial and non-spatial data to model and understand these dynamics at the individual- and county-scales. Reach out if you are interested in coding, data science, R, spatial data science, agriculture, and/or modeling--I’d also love to talk grad school, managing stress, and imposter syndrome.

britta.schumacher@aggiemail.usu.edu
Kait Spangler

Kait Spangler

I am an avid runner, hiker, gardener, and shortbread cookie-lover from the small, rural town of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. I moved to Utah via Blacksburg, Virginia. I have dual bachelor's degrees from Penn State, a Master's in Geography from Virginia Tech, and am working toward my PhD in ENVS! Feel free to reach out about help with grad school, applications and job opportunities, and general writing skills.

kspangler@aggiemail.usu.edu