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Ellis Adams

Ellis Adams
Department: Geography
E-mail: adamsel8@msu.edu

Ellis Adams describes his move from Ghana to northern Michigan two years ago as going "from the oven into the freezer." But the cold weather hasn't deterred Adams who, after completing a master's in Environmental Policy at Michigan Technological University, has decided to extend his Midwest stay and pursue a Ph.D. in Geography at MSU.

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John Clements

John Clements
Department: Sociology
E-mail: clemen69@msu.edu

John Clements is staking out a career where environmental policy meets human health.

Clements plans to earn his Ph.D. in sociology from MSU by studying environmental public health in the Caribbean and Central America. One potential project would study the health of workers in the chemical-intensive banana industry.

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Li Cheng

Li Cheng
Department: Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics
E-mail: chengli5@msu.edu

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear "mooncake?" If you're familiar with Chinese baked goods, you might think of the ubiquitous dessert eaten during an autumn festival. If you're new ESPP student Li Cheng, you might wonder: Would people pay extra to know their mooncake is made with safer additives?

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Saul Daniel Ddumba

Saul Daniel Ddumba
Department: Geography
E-mail: ddumbasa@msu.edu

In Uganda, agriculture makes up 70 to 80 percent of the gross domestic product, says Saul "Daniel" Ddumba (ESPP and Geography). But, he explains, there's still a lack of education for growers.

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Robert Drost

Robert Drost
Department: Geological Sciences
E-mail: drostrob@msu.edu

After encouraging his son to become a Geological Sciences major at MSU, Bob Drost has paved his own way in the department. While his son has since graduated and now works with as a geologist with an environmental organization, Drost has become a Ph.D. student in Julie Libarkin's Geocognition Lab.

"I wasn't necessarily interested in geology," said Drost about his decision to come to MSU. "[My interests were] more on meteorology, severe weather and peoples' interactions with weather."

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Jessica Fry

Jessica Fry
Current position:
E-mail: fryjess1@msu.edu

My research interests lie in the areas of conservation criminology and environmental crime. I am specifically interested in the application of forensic techniques in conservation and environmental law enforcement, and how the availability and level of advancement of these techniques affect the judicial process in these areas.

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Matt Grisko

Matt Grisko
Current position: Elgin Community College, Harper College
E-mail: griskoma@msu.edu

Every environmental issue has philosophical underpinnings, and understanding them can lead to better decisions. “The world would be a better place if we all sat and thought things through,” says Matt Grisko, who began at MSU this year as a graduate student in the Department of Philosophy and ESPP.

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Ryan Gunderson

Ryan Gunderson
Department: Sociology
E-mail: rgunder@msu.edu

Ryan Gunderson didn't grow up on a farm, nor does he live on one now. But as a teenager, Gunderson visited his uncle's dairy farm in Montana, sparking his interest in the social implications of modern livestock production.

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Erin Haacker

Erin Haacker
Department: Geological Sciences
E-mail: kingeri7@msu.edu

Before beginning her Ph.D. at MSU, Erin Haacker had studied dinosaur paleontology. Cool? Yes. Applicable to solving current world problems? Not really, says Haacker. Instead, at MSU she is working in hydrogeology, the study of Earth's groundwater distribution and movement.

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Ellen Holste

Ellen Holste
Department: Forestry
E-mail: holste@msu.edu

After completing a bachelor's in biology, Ellen Holste put her education to practice and joined the Peace Corps. She traveled to Guatemala, where, among other duties, she established vegetable gardens and greenhouses, developed environmental education programs, helped with tree regeneration and maintained a medicinal garden.

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Jennifer R. Kelly

Jennifer R. Kelly
Department: Sociology
E-mail: kellyj24@msu.edu

For Jennifer Kelly, a single class on the environment was all it took.

In her final year as an undergraduate majoring in communications at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, Jennifer took a class that covered major environmental issues like climate change, biodiversity loss, and overpopulation.

"And it changed my life," she said. "I thought it was the most astonishing thing, and I felt like I’d been in the dark."

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Abigail Lynch

Abigail Lynch
Department: Fisheries and Wildlife
E-mail: lynchabi@msu.edu

As concerns grow that climate change could undermine fishery protection efforts, Abigail Lynch says she wants to help resource managers make sound decisions about where and how to spend conservation dollars, "so they’re not throwing money into areas that won’t be suitable habitat in 50 years."...

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Max Melstrom

Max Melstrom
Current Position: Assistant professor of economics at Salisbury University, Maryland.
E-mail: rmelstrom@salisbury.edu

Max Melstrom is a first year graduate student in ESPP and the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics (formerly the Department of Agricultural Economics). He is one of this year's fellowship recipients at ESPP. His focus is on how environmental regulations interact with economic activity and why problems occur in making the two work together. Contrary to what some believe, "what is good for the environment is also good for the economy" he says.

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Norbismi Nordin

Norbismi Nordin
MSU Department: Packaging
E-mail: nordinno@msu.edu

In Norbismi Nordin's native Malaysia, food packaging is not as developed as it is here, and people pay it little attention.

"We always go for fresh food with a short shelf life," Nordin said. "The lay people don't have any idea that packaging is important."

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Emily Norton

Emily Norton
Department: Fisheries & Wildlife
E-mail: nortone1@msu.edu

People love living near the water, especially here in the Great Lakes, but shoreline development can incur environmental costs. First year graduate student Emily Norton is interested in how human activity affects lake ecosystems, shorelines and the wildlife that inhabit them. She is a student in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and ESPP.

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Perdinan

Perdinan
Department: Geography
E-mail: perdinan@msu.edu

Perdinan, a Ph.D. student in Geography, has a taste for just about everything related to the environment: agriculture, forestry, economics, meteorology, geography – you name it.

"If you want to make a bridge between science and policy," he said, "you have to understand a lot of things."

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Carson Reeling

Carson Reeling
Department: Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics
E-mail: reelingc@msu.edu

Carson Reeling has been studying economics since he was an undergrad. After receiving a bachelors in economics and Spanish from the University of San Diego, he went on to Purdue University.

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Allison Rober

Allison Rober
Current Position: assistant professor in the Department of Biology at Ball State University in Muncie, IN
E-mail: roberall@msu.edu

When Allison Rober was an undergraduate at MSU, she took two classes taught by zoology professor Jan Stevenson. The two have stuck together since.

"I was so inspired that I asked if I could come work in his lab," she said.

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Leilei Ruan

Leilei Ruan
Department: Crop and Soil Sciences
E-mail: ruanleil@msu.edu

Like many Ph.D. students, LeiLei Ruan was attracted to MSU by the opportunity to work with a top researcher. For Ruan, this researcher was Phil Robertson from the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences.

Ruan had first read Robertson's work as a university student in China. Although Ruan had initially committed to attending the University of Edinburgh in England, he dropped his plans when Robertson invited him to MSU. "I was so excited!" said Ruan.

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Sara Tanis

Sara Tanis
Department: Forestry
E-mail: tanissar@msu.edu

Sara Tanis came to Michigan State to protect what she loves.

"The main reason I came back to school is because I love working in my yard," she said. "I love trees."

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Sheldon Turner

Sheldon Turner
Department: Geological Sciences
E-mail: turne184@msu.edu

For Sheldon Turner, geology is the ultimate interdisciplinary field. In college, with little prior knowledge of geology, he took some courses and was excited to see that it involved his other scientific interests—math, physics and chemistry. Following his graduation with a bachelor's in geology and a minor in physics, Turner joined the MSU Department of Geological Sciences. Here, his research has involves psychology, education and even policy.

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Cameron Whitley

Cameron Whitley
Department: Sociology
E-mail: cwhitley@msu.edu

Cameron Whitley has always been interested in doing environmental work. As an undergraduate student at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Whitley had his first experience with environmental sociology. Now, as a Ph.D. student in MSU's Department of Sociology, Whitley is interested in looking more deeply at human and animal relationships and environmental attitudes.

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Leigh Whittinghill

Leigh Whittinghill
Current Position: 2012-2014 cohort at the Earth Institute, Columbia University.
E-mail: whitti18@msu.edu

Whittinghill, a New Englander and a doctoral student in horticulture with an ESPP specialization, is studying how roofs can help feed cities. She's interested in how rooftop plants grow differently from those on the ground, and in how effective they might be in combating "urban food deserts," areas where junk food is plentiful but obtaining fresh produce takes great effort. The results so far are promising, she said; the tomatoes she grew on the ground were still green when the frosts came last fall, but those on the roof ripened nicely.

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Wu Yang

Wu Yang
Department: Fisheries and Wildlife
E-mail: yangwu@msu.edu

Wu Yang earned his bachelor's degree from Zhejiang University, the top-ranked university for environmental sciences in China. His research experience there ranged from ecological economics and urban ecology to environmental modeling and conservation biology. He has been primary author of two papers, one of which was accepted by "Ecological Economics."

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Felix Yeboah

Felix Yeboah
Department: Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies (CARRS
E-mail: yeboahfe@msu.edu

Studying natural resource management as an undergraduate student in Ghana, Felix Yeboah believed that solving environmental problems, like deforestation, could be as one-dimensional as planting a tree.

Now, as a Ph.D. student in Community, Agriculture, Recreation, and Resource Studies (CARRS), Yeboah understands environmental problems as more complex.

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Barbara Zawedde

Barbara Zawedde
Department: Horticulture
E-mail: zawedde@msu.edu

As her country, Uganda, moves closer to taking genetically modified (GM) crops from research labs to farm fields, Barbara Zawedde is interested in developing a resource that African regulators can use to assess the associated risks.

"Right now we have a lot of work going on to introduce transgenic crops in Africa, but we have limited capacity for risk assessment,” she said...

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Chiara Zuccarino-Crowe

Chiara Zuccarino-Crowe
Department: Fisheries & Wildlife
E-mail: zuccari3@msu.edu

Chiara Zuccarino-Crowe has lived and worked all over. But whether on the East Coast or West, on another continent or floating on this one's inland seas, she's never been far from fish.

Now the Chicago native has brought her love of aquatic life to Michigan State, where she’s a graduate student in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife’s Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability. She has a specialization in Environmental Science and Policy, and is part of the graduate program in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior...

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