School of Environmental Studies

Student and Alumni Awards

Natalie with her dog Lucy.

Congratulations to the College of  Interdisciplinary Studies' 2021 Alumna of the Year, Natalie Robbins! Natalie graduated from the P.S.M.-EI program in 2019. She currently works at Vanderbilt as a Research Analyst in the Spatial Analysis Research Lab.  She serves as a geospatial consultant on faculty and student research projects across the university and medical center. Last year, Natalie developed the Tennessee COVID-19 Data Portal and the Parsing the Pandemic Grand Challenge Initiative site. The data portal shows COVID-19 infection counts for each county in Tennessee, so viewers get a quick and accurate sense of the COVID numbers for the places where they live and work. It also shows the COVID- 19 deaths in relation to a variety of demographic, health, and socioeconomic variables.  Natalie is currently working on several projects looking at mobility through different lenses. The first project, Mapping Self in Society (MaSelfS), uses personal mobility data to foster critical spatial inquiry. In February, the MaSelfS team launched a public website for teachers and researchers to use the MaSelfS framework to help students “take back their data” by collecting personal movement data using their smartphones and visualizing their data on top of thematic maps in space and time. The goal of this project is for students to reflect on their movement in relation to their community and peers, while identifying missed learning opportunities (such as art installations or museum locations) in their everyday paths. The second project looks to understand mobility among persons living with HIV in Tennessee and its effect on continuum of care. Natalie Lives in Nashville, TN with her rescue puppy Lucy.


Nick Masto, an environmental sciences– biology PhD student, won the Best Student Poster Award at the 74th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) this year. Nick's poster, titled “Pre-breeding migration strategies of mallards wintering in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley” detailed an ongoing collaboration with other researchers across the Southeast to understand waterfowl movements in the winter and spring. Competition for these awards is always fierce so many congratulations to Nick, Abby Blake-Bradshaw and Cory Highway who all worked together on this research project! 

PhD student, Rachel Kaiser, was awarded the first Dr. Rengao Song Water Research Scholarship from AWWA and Louisville Water Company! 

Research Day 2022 Logo

SOES Winners



Primary Author: Mary Mahan

Project Title: Industry Leaders' Perceived Critical Thinking Dispositions of Early‐Career Employees

Co-Authors: Dennis Duncan and Ciana Bowhay

Research Advisor: Dr. Dennis Duncan


Primary Author: Bryant Davis

Project Title: Geochemical Fingerprinting of Natural Waters in Tennessee

Research Advisor: Dr. Andrew Callender

Computer Science

Primary Author: Daniel Adams

Project Title: Estimating the Condition of Streams & Rivers: An approach using supervised learning methodologies.

Co-Authors: William Eberle

Research Advisor: Dr. Peter Li


Primary Author: Madison Moffitt

Project Title: A Method for Mapping Environmental Justice Factors by Watershed

Research Advisor: Dr. Peter Li


Environmental Studies

Primary Author: Rachel Reed

Project Title: Solar Energy for Bridgestone Nature Reserve at Chestnut Mountain

Co-authors/Collaborators: Samantha Snyder, Ashley Daniel and Luke Fraley

Research Advisor: Dr. Steven Sharp



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