AggieMentors UC Davis

2017 AggieMentors Poster

2016 AggieMentors Poster

2015 AggieMentors Poster

AggieMentors is is the local UC Davis chapter of the national college-access program EnvironMentors. Established in 2009 as one of the first West Coast participants AggieMentors is now one of 13 chapters in the Nation.

I've mentored four local-area high school students through the AggieMentors program (2014–Present). These students have developed interesting and innovative California-water-related science projects over the years, including evaluating temperature and streamflow effects on Salmon populations in the Russian River, CA (2015), using isotope chemistry to evaluate the effects of drought on UC Davis trees (2016), simulating the effects of drought on UC Davis trees with the Hydrus variably-saturated water-flow model (2017), and evaluating the effectiveness of non-traditional, multimedia-based scientific communication platforms for science communication (2018, in prep.). Several students have received scholarships and/or have gone on to compete in the National EnvironMentors science fair in Washington DC with these projects. 

Woodland High School student Anh Vo and co-mentor, Jennifer Haskell.

Woodland High School student Anh Vo and co-mentor, Jennifer Haskell.


2015 Water Scarcity in the West: Past, Present, Future Conference

CCWAS Conference Panel Discussion with Mark Fiege, Ken Tate, and Reed Maxwell. Photo by Carole Hom.

CCWAS Conference Panel Discussion with Mark Fiege, Ken Tate, and Reed Maxwell. Photo by Carole Hom.

The first 2 years of my PhD were funded by a National Science Foundation IGERT grant (Integrative graduate education and research traineeship). Our grant, the Climate Change, Water, and Society (CCWAS) IGERT, was jointly administered at UC Davis and Colorado School of Mines to focus on interdisciplinary research to tackle the intersection between climate-, water-, and social-science disciplines.

As part of this mission, our cohort organized and held a conference at UC Davis in April, 2015 which brought together experts from across disciplines to characterize water scarcity in the American West (videos). 

Notable speakers at our conference included California Secretary for Natural Resources, John Laird, former General Manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, Pat Mulroy, NOAA Scientific Services Division Chief, David Easterling, historian Louis Warren, and economist Richard Howitt.


Science Communication

Gov. Jerry Brown addresses the media at a snowless snow survey site just south of Lake Tahoe on April 1, 2015. Photo by Florence Low/DWR.

Gov. Jerry Brown addresses the media at a snowless snow survey site just south of Lake Tahoe on April 1, 2015. Photo by Florence Low/DWR.

During the 2015 CCWAS conference, CCWAS students interviewed more than a dozen speakers and asked the question, "Is California's drought the new normal?" I found the lack of consensus striking and authored a blog post for the California Water Blog to highlight these responses. My post was also picked up and re-run by Water Deeply.

I subsequently co-authored a piece with fellow CCWAS graduate student Lauren Foster in The Conversation, which further distilled our conference findings and explored the question, "Who will be hit the hardest in a water-scarce future?"

Also during 2015, I co-authored a "Dispatch from the Drought" in the International Association of Hydrogeologists Fall 2015 Newsletter.