Mosaics 2014 Interns

Jeneva Wright
Jeneva Wright
Archaeological Impacts of Climate Change

Jeneva Wright graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in History from the University of Montana. She is currently a student at East Carolina University where she is studying for her Master of Arts in Maritime Archeology. As the child of two National Park Service scientists, Jeneva grew up having an interest in exploration and adventures. She is an avid SCUBA diver and is fascinated by the oceans, particularly maritime history and submerged cultural resources. Her previous research has focused on the development of public outreach programming for underwater archaeological sites. Past projects have included the documentation of shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, excavation of the presumed flagship of famed pirate Blackbeard - the Queen Anne's Revenge, and work on Civil War blockade runners off North Carolina's coast.

"My hope is that the Mosaics in Science internship will allow me to begin pursuing data for my doctoral dissertation, and lead to a better understanding of the impacts of climate change, and how managers can better protect underwater resources."
Binal Rana
Binal Rana
Field Research Technician

Binal Rana is a native of India and a recent graduate of Rutgers University where he studied Civil and Environmental Engineering. His previous work experience includes being the building manager for the recreation department at Rutgers University. Last year Binal was the project manager for the Rutgers Concrete Canoe Team under the Rutgers Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers and successfully created a floating concrete canoe. Binal's interests include hydrology and hydraulics, being outdoors, and watching football, basketball, and cricket.

"I hope to make the best out of my time at Congaree National Park and wish to give back as much as possible to the best of my abilities and learn as much as possible from the park staff."
Rachel Lopez
Rachel Lopez
Speleologist

Rachel Lopez is a recent graduate of the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish. As an undergraduate Rachel enjoyed being a teaching assistant, conducting research, and helping other students learn. Her current research involves streamlining the synthesis process of Forsterite a member of the Olivine mineral group, and creating different types of the mineral. In the fall Rachel will be working towards her PhD in geology at Notre Dame. Rachel's interests include hiking and camping –preferably in the Rocky Mountains.

"I hope that after I finish my degree I will become a professor. I do not have a lot of experience with caves but I am excited to learn about speleology!"
Yeyzy Vargas
Yeyzy Vargas
Water Quality Research Assistant

Yeyzy Vargas graduated in May 2014 from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology, with a minor in Earth and Environmental Sciences. She has worked with the Summer Research Opportunities Program at UIC, The Restore Project: Environment, Culture, and Conservation, and the Department of Pharmacology College of Medicine at UIC. Yeyzy has presented her research which focuses on regional bee and pollinator biodiversity at a Committee on Institutional Cooperation event for higher learning at Ohio State University;and co-lectured on regional bee/pollinator biodiversity at the Chicago Cultural Center and Wild Things: A Chicago Wilderness Conference for People and Nature.

"For the past year I have grown passionate about water quality and the role of microbes in water ecology and the environment. My goal is to build a career around water quality and wastewater management, water resource related issues, and eventually go to graduate school."
Chelsea Lewis
Chelsea Lewis
Digital Research Communicator

Chelsea Lewis graduated in May 2013 from Hamilton College with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Geoarchaeology. She has had an interest in geology since she visited Yellowstone National Park when she was six. Chelsea was drawn to geology and archaeology as an undergraduate and worked on several interdisciplinary projects using geochemistry to source lithic artifacts and track the movement patterns of paleolithic people. In her free time, Chelsea enjoys running, horseback riding and rugby. She is a park enthusiast and hopes to one day work for the National Park Service or a partner organization.

"My summer 2013 experience in Rock Creek Park made me fall in love with the park service and realize the importance of both bringing science education to and expanding diversity in the parks."
Roxanne Pourshoushtari
Roxanne Pourshoushtari
Bat and Cave Biology Research Assistant

Roxanne Pourshoushtari is an undergraduate in the wildlife program at Purdue University. Her undergraduate studies focus on bat research. She held a position as a technician with a consulting firm conducting mist-netting and acoustic surveys. While working at a rehabilitation center for flying foxes in Australia she gained experience with megabats. In her free time, Roxanne enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and various water activities.

"I am passionate about the research and conservation of bats and strive to achieve a career in cave biology research focusing on bats."
Gabriella Rossetto
Gabriella Rossetto
Paleontology/Museum Assistant

Gabriella Rossetto is a junior majoring in geology with a minor in Anthropology at Colorado College in Colorado Springs and is currently working on her senior thesis. Her research involves the study of volcanic tuff and ash of the Florissant formation to understand the elevation during Late Eocene time. Gabriella is passionate about education and museum studies. She hopes to continue research in paleontology and go on to earn a PhD. In her free time, Gabriella enjoys backpacking, traveling, rollerblading, skateboarding and teaching Spanish to elementary school children.

"I think the Mosaics in Science Program will help me explore a career path in becoming a curator at a Museum of Natural History."
Madeline Pluss
Madeline Pluss
Natural Resources Intern

Madeline Pluss is attending the University of Colorado and is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Geography and Environmental Science with a minor in Geology. She hopes her studies of natural hazards and resource management will take her to New Zealand and Iceland. Her goals are to be able to use her background to offer assistance for management in the use of mitigation strategies for areas prone to geologic hazards and to support the well-being of at risk populations. As a Colorado native, Madeline can most likely be found outside exploring the mountains rock climbing, hiking, mountaineering, skiing, slack lining, or trail running. Madeline also enjoys teaching yoga, traveling, painting natural landscapes, and supporting local music.

"I am excited to experience the art, food, music, and yoga that are offered by the unique culture surrounding Santa Fe and contribute my GIS expertise and geologic/geographic understanding for improving the livelihood of the landscape."
Anton Yelk
Anton Yelk
Interdisciplinary Science and Education Technician

Anton Yelk is attending the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and is pursuing a degree in Geology with a minor in Hydrogeology. He was the treasurer for the university's Geology Club from 2012-2014. After graduation, Anton hopes to pursue a career in geology and ultimately return to school to earn Master's and Doctorate degrees. Eventually he hopes to conduct research and teach at a university. Anton has participated in the work-study program offered by the University of Wisconsin college system and has been a teaching assistant for a number of semesters, largely assisting and tutoring students in introductory geology labs.

"I am excited to begin to understand and analyze the unique hydrologic geothermal system and the invasive species threatening the Snake River in Grand Tetons National Park."
Kaytan Kelkar
Kaytan Kelkar
Paleontology Inventory Assistant

Kaytan Kelkar is a recent graduate in geology from the University of California at Riverside, and wants to pursue a master's degree. His scientific interests lie in stratigraphy, volcanology and glaciology. He is a member of The Geological Society of America and has a long term goal to be employed as a geologist with a well-established company. His hobbies are hiking, swimming and playing soccer. Kaytan wants to remain involved in research and was fortunate to conduct research in a biogeochemistry lab during his undergraduate studies. He has always been intrigued by the factors that drive geologic processes and believes this internship would be an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience and learn real world situations as a geologist.

"I am positive that the Mosaics in Science program will enable me to further enhance my knowledge in a professional setting."
Salvador Amador
Salvador Amador
Phenology Monitoring &Climate Change Intern

Salvador Amador is a Geology student at the Austin Community College and will be graduating in June 2015. His career goals include working for the National Park Service in different parks so that he can gain new cultural experiences, learn about new places, and meet new people. In his spare time, Salvador enjoys the outdoors and hiking. He feels this opportunity will enable him to create a project that will involve park visitors and that he can return to see how the project has progressed.

"Learning the processes that take place in shaping the Earth allows me to better understand how things came to be and why things occur."
Stephen Roethle
Stephen Roethle

Stephen Roethle recently graduated from Western New Mexico University where he majored in Biology and minored in Geology. Prior to attending the university Stephen was an enlisted member in the U.S. Coast Guard. Stephen is a self-proclaimed science junkie and enjoys mountain biking, exploring the backcountry, and enjoying the diverse biological and geological wonders in New Mexico. His work this summer will include studying the Emerald ash borer beetle, an invasive beetle that has made its way in to Ohio, and seeing the affects created by the recent polar vortex.

"My ideal career path would be a field job conducting meaningful scientific research."
Sarina Patel
Sarina Patel
Science Communications Assistant

Sarina Patel is currently a student at Middlebury College where she is studying Geology and Environmental Studies. Her interest in geology began when she read a book about volcanoes and became hooked on the subject. Though her interests have since expanded to a wide variety of geologic processes, volcanoes and other things that go 'boom' remain her biggest soft spot. Sarina plans to go in to natural hazard and disaster management, and use geoscience (in combination with fields like engineering, sociology, and law) to make a life-saving difference. In addition to playing with rocks, she enjoys writing novels, sketching and painting, and doing pretty much anything outdoors.

"Participating in the Mosaics program will be my first experience doing work with a government agency, and I am excited to have a chance to integrate my research-based background to real-time issues that connect science to society."
Nyambura Njagi
Nyambura Njagi
GIS/Viewshed Technician

Nyambura Njagi is a recent graduate of the Geospatial Surveying Engineering Program at Texas A&M University –Corpus Christi (TAMUCC), where she earned a Master of Science degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Her health science related thesis, titled "Driving factors of obesity in South Texas", explored spatial access to physical activity opportunities in Corpus Christi, Texas. In the fall, Nyambura will pursue further studies in GIS in the PhD program at the University of Texas at Dallas. Her career goal is to become a professor of GIS technology. Nyambura was an active member of the GIS Student Organization at TAMUCC and regularly participated in GIS volunteer events such as GIS Day and TAMUCC Island Days to help spread the word about GIS and the GIS programs at TAMUCC.

"My interest in the GIS / viewshed project attracted me to the Mosaics summer internship program and a project that aims to help protect the scenic beauty of historic sites by assuring that urban development does not obscure the view of historic monuments at Manassas National Battlefield Park."
Justin Tran
Justin Tran
Science Engagement Specialist

Justin Tran is a first generation Asian-American who just finished his first year at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). He is studying Earth Science with an emphasis in Geophysics. Justin is a newly initiated member of the Cal Gamma chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon, an events coordinator at UCSB Campus Conference Services, and a member of the Excursion Club. He is studying the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill under the direction of Dr. Dave Valentine, professor of oceanography. In the summer of 2015 he plans to travel with Dr. Valentine to the Gulf of Mexico for continued research on the Gulf oil spill. Justin enjoys playing the guitar, photography, and fishing in his free time.

"I love anything that involves pushing my limits, whether it is physical or mental, and if I can do so in the beauty of the outdoors, so be it!"
Alianora Walker
Alianora Walker
Cave and Karst Interpreter

Alianora Walker graduated from Smith College in May 2013 where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geosciences. Growing up in the high Sierras and close to the San Andreas Fault inspired her interest in plate tectonics and the challenges of living safely in dynamic landscapes. Last summer she worked as an interpreter in Sequoia and Kings National Park's Crystal Cave, where she used her theatre skills to share caves and karst with park visitors. She is currently the vice-chair of the Redwood Grotto, which is California's youngest National Speleological Society caving club.

"I hope to make it to graduate school soon to study structure, tectonics, seismology and natural hazards. I truly love to travel and experience new places."
Shelby Matsuoka
Shelby Matsuoka
Paleontologist

Shelby Matsuoka graduated from San Diego State University in May 2014 with a bachelor's degree in Geology with an emphasis on Paleontology. Her interest in vertebrate paleontology started when she first watched Jurassic Park as a little girl. She is a member of the Geological Society of America (GSA) and the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Shelby first learned about GeoCorps and the Mosaics in Science programs through GSA's On To the Future program, and was encouraged to apply by her professors.

"I hope to get hands-on knowledge in my field of interest and cannot wait for this internship to start!"
Darius Naraine
Darius Naraine
GIS/Stream Morphology Technician

Darius Naraine is a junior at East Carolina University where he is working towards a Bachelors of Science degree in Applied Geography with a minor in Geology. Upon graduation, Darius hopes to work in the field of GIS so that he can become more knowledgeable about GIS. He was drawn to the Mosaics in Science program because the project involved GIS and GPS, his two favorite courses he took in college. Darius enjoys spending time at the lake or beach where he can swim and kayak.

"I wanted to learn more about how GIS and GPS are used in the workforce and this internship will help me to understand a different side of how GIS and GPS is used to benefit people in the working environment."
Kristan Culbert
Kristan Culbert
Desert Hydrology Research Assistant

Kristan Culbert graduated from the University of Southern California with an undergraduate degree in Earth Sciences and a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies. She is on leave from her positions as Project Coordinator at Inland Empire Waterkeeper, a non-profit organization committed to protecting the Santa Ana River Watershed, and as a Saturday Academy Chemistry Teaching Assistant for USC's Neighborhood Academic Initiative. After completing her internship she hopes to continue working at a nonprofit or for the National Park Service. Kristan's hobbies include hiking, baking, reading, sailing and exploring Los Angeles' vibrant food and music scene.

"I am excited about continuing to learn about hydrology, ecology, and resource management in the Sonoran Desert as I document the effects of climate change on the tinajas this summer."
Graham Crawbuck
Graham Crawbuck
Prairie Restoration Assistant

Graham Crawbuck is a sophomore at the George Washington University studying public health and Spanish. He assisted in the creation of the new San Juan Islands National Monument, which designated 1,000 acres of land administered by the Bureau of Land Management as National Conservation Lands. Graham has previously worked as a research assistant at the University of Washington Friday Harbor Marine Laboratories, conducting research on the local seagrass species. This internship, coupled with his family's background in botanical research, prompted him to continue studying the flora of the Pacific Northwest.

"In the coming years I hope to continue my education and receive a graduate degree in epidemiology before going to medical school."
Sidney Mathis
Sidney Mathis
Natural Resource Conservation Assistant

Sidney Mathis is currently a student at Humboldt State University where she is studying Environmental Management and Protection. Upon graduation, Sidney wishes to become a park ranger for California state parks. Her focus is to promote and spread environmental awareness and conservation to those who are less likely to be informed. Working in Valley Forge National Historical Park will be her first experience working in the field other than class field trips in the Humboldt area.

"I hope to build a rapport with leading staff members that may possibly become mentors throughout my journey. I'm very delighted to be working with such great people and I hope this continues throughout my career!"

Last updated: May 17, 2016