Undergraduate Student Of The Month

Melat Hagos  - February 2017

Melat Hagos, is a 4th year EAS major with an interest in Biogeochemistry and Climate Change. Melat has been conducting research in Dr. Kim Cobb’s lab using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), analyzing modern-day and fossil coral samples from the tropical Pacific to reconstruct past climate and El Nino events since February 2016.

Melat is currently interning at The Nature Conservancy to explore interest in conservation and urban/global sustainability.   Melat is the recipient of the Rutt Bridges Undergraduate Research Fellowship and the US Green Building Council Scholarship.

In her spare time, Melat likes to attend concerts, read, volunteer, and cook with friends. She has been a part of Women's Leadership Conference planning committee, International House, and the Sustainability & Society ThinkBig. She is also passionate about environmental justice, sustainable development, and resource use especially in regards to low-income, minority, and other vulnerable communities. 

Aishwarya ‘Ria’ Joshi  - January 2017

Ria Joshi is a 4th year EAS major with a concentration in Oceanography and Sustainability. Her line of research interest includes the Study the dynamics of density currents on underwater volcanic eruptions and currently working with Dr. Josef Dufek and grad student Ryan Cahalan.

While at Ga Tech, Ria has enjoyed the leadership role as the EAS Club President, a teaching assistant for EAS 2600, team leader for GT1000.  In the future Ria hopes to work as an environmental consultant.

Ria considers "spare time" is the equivalent of "stopping time", and because of this enjoys activities which allow her to capture a moment and indulge. Cuddling up and loosing herself in a novel or a journal article (usually about the environment) or traveling and hiking with her family. When hiking, she likes to blend her knowledge from her undergrad work and the world around her, by sharing geology knowledge to her hiking mates. Over the past 13 years when Ria wants to escape from nature and school, she enjoys practicing Tae Kwon Do, which she has the rank of 3rd Degree Black belt.

Nicholas Hitt  - December 2016

Nicholas Hitt is a 5th year senior graduation December 2016.  His line of research is Paleoclimatology and Oceanography and has worked in Dr Kim Cobb’s Lab since spring 2015. While working with Dr. Cobb, Nick was awarded the Rutt S. Bridges Undergraduate Research Award and the PURA Travel Grant. He spoke at the AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting in New Orleans in 2016 and will be speaking at the AGU Fall Meeting in December 2016.  Nick was able to go on a field expedition to Christmas Island in March 2016 for 10 days collecting water samples to study the 2015/2016 El Nino and coral for future paleoclimate work.

He has also really enjoyed teaching and being a TA for EAS 1601 since fall 2015.With Nick’s research over course of his undergrad experience, he will be publishing a methodology paper on using young fossil corals for 20th century mean climate reconstructions.

In Nick’s spare time he plays guitar, hunts, fishes and hikes. He also likes to drive around the country for music festivals. 

Riannon Colton - November 2016


Riannon Colton is a 3rd year undergraduate student in EAS currently working towards her B.S. degree. In 2015-2016, she studied tectonic influences on chemical erosion rates under Dr. Ken Ferrier. In Spring 2016, Riannon earned the EAS Rutt Bridges Undergraduate Research Award and had the opportunity to spend 16 days aboard a Schmidt Ocean research vessel, the R/V Falkor, in Vietnam.  This work was under the direction of Dr. Annalisa Bracco on an international ocean science team to measure nutrient fluxes to the South China Sea. 

She is currently working on a NASA USIP team under Dr. Brain Gunter (Aerospace Engineering) designing and building a CubeSat that will remotely sense surface topography of planetary bodies to high precision using a LiDAR instrument.

Riannon is an ORGT Caving Instructor in Training. In her spare time, she loves SCUBA diving, backpacking, and traveling. She is a member of EAS club and GT StORM, and an avid player of Humans vs Zombies on Georgia Tech campus.

Matt Barr - October 2016


Matt Barr is a 4th year undergrad student in EAS. His line of research is oceanography in which he is using models and observations to analyze areas of low oxygen off the western coast of North America. Matt received his B.A. in religious studies from UCF in Orlando. He started and maintains the EAS research blog at www.gteas.wordpress.com. Matt also writes news stories and articles for the College of Sciences website.

He says that he is interested in pursuing a career in science journalism and/or science communication, and has been trying to tailor his experience at Tech to meet that goal. In his spare time, Matt enjoys hiking/camping, learning guitar, traveling often, and building furniture.

Maddi Frank - September 2016

Maddi Frank

Maddi Frank is a 5th year undergraduate student graduating in December 2016 with a B.S. EAS degree with a concentration in Meteorology. She is researching gas phase atmospheric chemistry and air quality field work with an aircraft based concentration. She currently works with CIMS (Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer) under Dr. Greg Huey and David Tanner. She has worked in Dr. Huey's lab for over 2 years and has participated in 2 field missions. Two years ago she went to Colorado for 6 weeks for the FRAPPE (Front Range Air Pollution and Photochemistry Experiment) mission with UCAR in Summer 2014. This past summer 2016, she went to South Korea for a month to participate in the KORUS-AQ mission with NASA. 

Maddie says that aviation meteorology is the field she eventually wants to go in to. She is a TL for GT1000, a member of the EAS club, an officer in the StORM club, and a mentor in the Eye to Eye program here at Georgia Tech. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends while hiking and being outside. She also enjoys eating ice cream and playing or listening to music with friends. And says that she likes to take pictures of lightning and other weather phenomena. 

Bruno Rodriguez - April 2016

Bruno Rodriguez is a 4th year senior in EAS. His line of research includes severe weather and mesoscale meteorology. Currently he is deciding between two different research projects for graduate school, which he has been accepted to. Bruno is looking to do research related to either tropical meteorology at Florida State University or Fire Weather at San Jose State University. His previous work includes a summer research project, with Dr. James Belanger, on tornado predictability during tropical cyclones.

Bruno has also worked as an EAS tutor for the Georgia Tech Athletic Association and he is currently a TA for EAS 1600, along with being a student volunteer at the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, GA. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and any and all outdoor activities (hiking, camping, etc).

Chloe Stanton - March 2016

Chloe Stanton

Chloe Stanton is currently in her third year in EAS. She has been heavily involved in undergraduate research since she was a freshman and has worked with Dr. Jen Glass for 3 years. Her interests are in the biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen in the modern and ancient oceans, particularly the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide. Currently, Chloe is investigating marine nitrous oxide as a possible alleviation of the Faint Young Sun problem in the Proterozoic Era. She will be presenting her recent studies at the upcoming Southeastern Biogeochemistry Symposium in Knoxville, and publishing these results this year.

Chloe has been on sampling trips to Sapelo Island in the summer of 2014 and to Skidaway Island in the spring of 2015. She was awarded the Rutt Bridges Undergraduate Initiative Award last summer to continue her study of nitrous oxide production. This past fall, she travelled to Penn State University to work with the esteemed Dr. James Kasting, modeling the photodissociation of nitrous oxide in the Proterozoic atmosphere. To prepare herself for further geologic research, she will be attending a course at the Indiana University Judson Mead Geologic Field Station in the Rocky Mountains this summer.

She also serves as a TA for EAS 2600 and is a co-president for the EAS undergraduate club. In her free time, she likes to get outside and spend time with her family, friends, and pets.

Zeeshan Rasheed - February 2016

Zeeshan Rasheed is a 5th year EAS student currently working as a student assistant for the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.His concentration is in Environmental Science with a minor in Sociology. Zeeshan participated in the Pacific Study Abroad Program 2015, traveling to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. His other interests include conservation and sustainability.

In his spare time, Zeeshan loves traveling and hiking. He is also the president of EAS Club, EAS representative for the SGA undergrad house of representatives and a member of both the Sustainability Committee and the Committee for Undergraduate Recruitment for EAS (CUREAS).

Shelby Miller - January 2016

Shellby Miller is an EAS senior who has been researching paleopclimate with Dr. Kim Cobb since August 2014. Her near term goals are to continue with her research in Dr. Cobb’s lab and submit for publication by Fall 2016. Some of her accomplishments include President’s Undergraduate Research Award (PURA) Salary (Spring 2015), Rutt Bridges Award (Summer 2015), PURA Travel (Fall 2015), Joe S. Mundy Global Learning Endowment (Spring 2016), and most recently a poster presentation at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting 2015.

In November 2015 she participated in a field expedition to Kiritimati Island of the Republic of Kiribati. She enjoys being the volunteer coordinator for Georgia Tech’s Association of Environmental Engineers and Scientists because she gets to meet new people and give to the community through volunteer projects that work toward improving the environment. In her spare time she enjoys hiking and gardening.

Jordan Rogers - December 2015

Jordan Rogers is a senior at Georgia Tech majoring in Meteorology. He currently works as one of the student assistants in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. His future plans include being commission as a 2nd Lt. in the Air Force, in which he will be selected as a pilot. 

In his spare time he enjoys traveling, spending time with friends, playing sports such as basketball, flag football, and paintball. Jordan also enjoys reading and going to the movies. 

Kaitlin Gardner - November 2015

Kaitlin Gardner is a 4th year EAS major minoring in Public Policy. She is currently working with Dr. Andrew Newman on seismology. This past spring, after receiving the PURA award, Kaitlin joined Dr Newman’s group to Costa Rica to assist with onsite research. Kaitlin also took part in a project at the University of Reykjavic in Iceland on nuclear energy on a study abroad program this last summer. 

She is a co-chair of the EAS Club and loves spending her free time participating in that.  Kaitlin says “planning events and getting to know everyone in the program is pretty awesome.”  She also loves being a TA for 2600 and when she does get time on the weekends, she goes to football games (GO JACKETS) or hikes. 

Matt Meister - October 2015

Matthew Meister is in his 6th year in Mechanical Engineering and will be graduating this December.  In his line of research he works with Dr. Britney Schmidt on underwater vehicles and CubeSats, specifically mechanical design and system integration. For the underwater vehicle research he primarily focuses on Icefin, which is the vehicle Dr. Schmidt built using her startup funds. Matthew is the lead mechanical engineer on the vehicle and is responsible for the mechanical design and analysis. Currently he is working on a robotic arm that will be attached to Icefin and will have the capabilities to collect water samples as well as taking samples of the ice shelf from the underside and even sediment from the ocean floor. Icefin was nominated for GTRI’s 2014 Innovative Research Award.

This past spring Matthew performed research for CubeSat which was part of a Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) project to design a CubeSat that would be sent to Europa, an icy moon around Jupiter. He was the lead engineer for the spacecraft design team that came up with The Europa Plume and Exosphere CubeSat (EPEC). Matthew was also part of the group that flew out to JPL this summer and met with the engineers to present his team’s design. He also gave two conference presentations/posters this summer (AbSciCon - Chicago and IGS - Cambridge).

During his time at Georgia Tech, he was an undergrad researcher for Dr. Michael West at GTRI in 2013 and 2014, President of Wreck Racing in 2013 and developed a custom turbo kit for his team’s competition car that placed 5th at competition in 2014. In his spare time Matthew likes working on cars and cycling. Currently he is working on his 1995 Land Cruiser making some modifications for more extreme off road use. He is also training for a 100 mile bike ride, 6 Gap Century.

Namrata Kolla - September 2015

Namrata Kolla is a 4th year student double-majoring in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Public Policy. She says that Dr. Dana Hartley, Dr. Richard Barke, and Ms. Leslie Ross have been her greatest mentors through college. Namrata is currently researching the crossroads of earth sciences and public policy, such as how to quantify the negative social effects of environmental damage or how to improve the communication between scientists and policymakers.She is also researching the predictability and long-term trends of ocean acidification with Dr. Emanuele Di Lorenzo.

Some of her notable achievements include joining the President's Scholarship Program as a "Walk-on" Stamps scholar last semester and being chosen to be part of the 113th Congress' Stennis Center program. She has also co-authored a paper with Congressman Sanford Bishop about Georgia's chicken industry. Along with being the co-chair of External Relations for the Mental Health Student Coalition for Georgia Tech she is also co-chair of Talks@Tech for Omicron Delta Kappa honor society. Talks@Tech is an initiative that brings international political leaders to campus to discuss controversial, global issues not discussed in the classroom. Namrata was also the co-chair of the SGA Sustainability Committee last year where she created the first-ever Greenovation and made Green Alliance an established component of Tech's environmental movement. 

When she’s not studying or in meetings, Namrata enjoys spending time with her first-year residents as a Peer Leader (RA) in Howell Residence Hall. She goes on to say, “I also enjoy watching Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, going through TIME's Top 100 books of all-time, and trying out new physical hobbies, the most recent one being salsa-dancing." 

Lauren Merrit - January 2015

Lauren Merritt is a 4th year student in Earth and Atmospheric Science concentrating in Meteorology. Her interests include severe weather, aviation, and mathematics. She first became interested in meteorology in the 4th grade when she read books about severe weather and natural disasters. Her freshman year in college she volunteered at the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, where she shadowed forecasters and learned how to launch weather balloons. During her sophomore year, she researched at GTRI in the Severe Storms Research Center in the Sensors and Electromagnetic Applications Laboratory. There she researched different audio signatures in thunderstorms. Her junior and senior year she interned at The Weather Channel and was a TA for EAS 1600. She is currently a TA for Atmospheric Chemistry and researches hurricanes with Dr. James Belanger. She is also finishing her Bachelors degree and is enrolled in the B.S./M.S. program working towards her Masters degree in Meteorology. After graduate school, she would like to work at The Weather Channel, Delta Airlines, or continue to do research in severe weather.