Student Award Winners
Each year the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies present awards to students that show outstanding leadership qualities and academic excellence.
2022 Student Award Winners
Dorn C. McGrath Award: Presented to a Geography Graduate Student in recognition of Scholarly Excellence
Brooke graduated from Rowan University in 2018 with a B.S. in Geographic Information Science and a B.A. in Environmental Studies. Her research interests center on human-environment geography and utilizing geospatial techniques to answer pressing environmental questions surrounding conservation, land use/land cover changes, and climate change. Her master’s thesis focused on deriving land cover data from historic satellite imagery in northern China
Muriel H. Parry Award: Presented to a Geography Senior in recognition for Scholarly Excellence
Mei is receiving her Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs and Geography with a minor in Geographic Information Systems. She has worked part-time throughout her undergraduate career at the Peace Corps, YouthMappers, and the World Bank Group among others. She loves to ski, map, and explore DC in her free time.
Robert D. Campbell Prize: Presented to a Geography Senior for outstanding Leadership and Scholarship
Jacob has long been interested in large questions about the connections between people and the environment. During his sophomore year, he discovered the discipline of geography dedicated to studying these ideas and decided to add the major and a minor in Geographic Information Systems. During his time as an undergraduate he has worked as a research assistant, studying the impact of climate change and industrial development on indigenous infrastructure in the Arctic. He would like to thank the faculty in the department for their support and is grateful for the friendships he has made through studying geography at GW. He is excited to be continuing his education next year as a student in the Geography MS Program.
2022 Special Category Poster Winner at GW Research Showcase: Jacob was presented the second place undergraduate Cross-Disciplinary Research Prize from the Office of the Vice Provost for Research for his research on Natural Hazards and Informal Road Networks North of Lake Baikal
Thomas Foggin Award: Presented to an Environmental Studies Senior in recognition of Scholarly Excellence
As a Long Island native and Gold Award Girl Scout, Julia spent her childhood learning about how to care for the ocean, the shoreline, and the natural environment through beach cleanups, community education, advocacy, and preservation. As an Environmental Studies and Communication major at GW, she has put her education to work by continuing to advocate for the planet. In 2020, Julia worked for the Citizens Campaign for the Environment where she fundraised and fostered support for clean energy and better water infrastructure in New York. She later interned with the Macy’s marketing team and pitched a brand-new customer Sustainability Rewards Program to c-suite executives. For her senior thesis, Julia combined her passions for the environment and communication by researching how college-aged vegans make sense of their personal identities and values within interpersonal relationships. After graduation, she will be returning to Macy’s where she hopes to continue to make a difference by pushing for a greener and more sustainable future in corporate America.
As early as she can remember, Milah’s family instilled in her a love for nature and the environment. Pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Sustainability at GW has furthered that passion exponentially. During her time here, Milah volunteered with several GW and D.C.-area organizations focused on bridging gaps and promoting a more equitable city, including the GroW Garden, Surfrider, Anacostia Riverkeeper, and Capital Area Food Bank. Last summer, she interned at City Wildlife rescue & rehabilitation center, where she helped care for wildlife affected by the urbanization of their habitat and gained valuable knowledge of human-environment interactions. During her senior year, Milah researched the public perception and functionality of green infrastructure as a stormwater management strategy across all eight D.C. wards. She was also a member of a Sustainable GW research group that studied waste and recycling habits within the campus community, ultimately presenting recommendations for moving GW toward a more accessible sustainable future. After graduation, Milah hopes to continue learning and working at the intersection of social equity and environmental sustainability to ensure the long-term safety, health, and inclusivity of humans and animals alike.
Outstanding Student Presentation Award: Presented to the most exceptional presenters by the American Geophysical Union
This honor is awarded for only the most exceptional student presentations at the AGU meeting which boasts over 25,000 attendees. This is an especially impressive award for Arina to receive as a Geography student presenting multidisciplinary research at a conference focused largely on geophysics.
Accepted to NASA DEVELOP’s 2022 Summer program: DEVELOP, part of NASA’s Applied Sciences Program, addresses environmental and public policy issues through interdisciplinary research projects that apply the lens of NASA Earth observations to community concerns around the globe.
Arina was accepted to the in-person project with NASA DEVELOP at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: "Monitoring Marsh Migration in Maryland’s Coastal Croplands". The project examines effects of saltwater intrusion and increased salinization including marsh migration, loss of cropland, and decreased agricultural productivity on livelihoods of farmers and other coastal agriculture fishing industries.
Discipline-Based Presentation Award at the 2022 GW Research Showcase
Rachel was presented this award for her research entitled ‘60 Years of Permafrost Monitoring in Utqiagvik, Alaska’ under the discipline of Climate Change and its Implications.
Rachel’s poster assesses the 60-year permafrost monitoring record at a site in Utqiaġvik, the northern-most community in Alaska. It draws on data from the Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) program, which examines the response of active-layer thickness (seasonally thawed, uppermost soil horizon of the permafrost system) to climate change. Climatological analysis reveals that over the past 60 years, air temperatures in Utqiaġvik have significantly increased (0.79 °C per decade). While observations indicate that permafrost in Utqiaġvik is warming at depth, long-term active-layer thickness records do not show any significant reaction to the warming climate. Distinct positive correlations between active-layer thickness and mean annual air temperature at the site are only evident over roughly decadal time intervals. For her capstone project, Rachel plans to examine variables such as subsidence, vegetation, and other physical processes attributable to stochastic, possibly Markovian, behavior of the active layer under warming conditions.