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Welcome New Grad Students, Fall 2013!

Ellen Aster. Originally from New Mexico, Ellen got her B.S. in geology here at the University of Oregon, where she was involved in freshman mentoring with Dave Blackwell and did a senior thesis with Paul Wallace studying geochemistry of Cascade volcanoes. Ellen couldn’t get enough, so she’s back for her Masters degree! She plans to continue research on volcanology and geochemistry with Paul. When not pursuing her interests in geology, Ellen can be found running marathons, reading poetry, and eating mint chocolate chip ice cream. Ellen Aster standing in a snowy forest.
Evan Baker graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Geological Sciences. To further his interests in volcanology and experimental petrology, Evan completed an undergraduate thesis on the effect of temperature cycling on crystal growth. In the summer of 2013 he worked at the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, Washington, assisting with studies of Mt. Hood and Mt. Shasta. Evan plans to pursue a Ph.D. in petrology and geochemistry at the UO with Jim Watkins. Evan Baker hiking in front of a waterfall.
Miles Bodmer received his bachelors degree at the University of New Mexico in physics and applied mathematics with a minor in Earth and Planetary Science. As an undergraduate student, Miles worked for over 3 years as part of the MiniCLEAN collaboration. MiniCLEAN is a single phase, liquid argon dark matter detector being installed at SNOLab in Sudbury, ON, Canada. Miles plans to pursue a Ph.D. in geophysics and seismology here at the UO, working with geophysics faculty Doug Toomey, Emilie Hooft, and Gene Humphreys. Miles Bodmer sitting in front of trees.
Julia Irizarry was born in California and grew up in North Carolina. She graduated from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, with a degree in Quantitative Geoscience. While at Appalachian State she studied stress changes, fault loading, and coseismic deformation associated with the 1994 Northridge earthquake in southern California. Julia plans to pursue a Masters degree at the UO studying geophysics with Alan Rempel. She enjoys math and all kinds of science, although geophysics is her favorite. She also enjoys hiking with her dog and lots of other outdoor sports. Julia Irizarry hiking in front of a waterfall.
Nathan Mathabane is a native Oregonian from Portland, OR. He got his BA degree in Geosciences with a minor in Environmental Studies at Princeton University. Nathan competed for the Princeton Tigers in Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, and he plans to continue his NCAA career racing for the Oregon Ducks. Nathan plans to pursue a Masters degree in geomorphology with Josh Roering. A member of several national associations dedicated to the advancement of minorities in STEM fields, he is committed to increasing diversity in the Earth Sciences and serving as a mentor for aspiring students from all backgrounds. Nathan Mathabane lecturing in a classroom.
Shannon McKernan is originally from Tampa Florida. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2010 where she received her Bachelor of Science degree with majors in Geology and Zoology. She has been working for the past 3 years in Iowa City at Integrated DNA Technologies, a company that manufactures synthetic DNA. She likes practicing yoga and is hoping to get her yoga teacher certification soon. She also enjoys cycling and other outdoor activities. Shannon plans to pursue her Masters degree in geobiology at the UO with Qusheng Jin. Shannon McKernan hiking.
Brian Penserini grew up in Carmichael, CA, and received his B.S. degree in Geology from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 2013. At Caltech he conducted research under the supervision of Joe Kirschvink in the Paleomagnetics Laboratory. He also played on the school Water Polo and Baseball teams and was a member of Ricketts House. Brian enjoys biking, running, and hiking as well as most organized sports. His favorite teams include the San Francisco Giants, Oakland A’s, Sacramento Kings, and San Francisco 49ers. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. studying geomorphology with Josh Roering. Brian Penserini hiking on the coast.


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