Undergraduate Student Highlight

Matthew Salamoni - April, 2021
Matthew Salamoni

Matthew Salamoni is a fourth year EAS major with a concentration in meteorology graduating in Fall 2021. His academic interests include severe weather development, specifically tornadogenesis. In his time at Georgia Tech, he co-facilitated the meteorology focused virtual outreach program, “Into the Storm” with Dr. Zachary Handlos to highschool students across the country. He is also a member of Georgia Tech’s nationally ranked WxChallenge team. Last summer, he interned with RapidRMS in Calhoun, GA. Outside of academics, Matt is a member of his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, a basketball fan, and an avid guitar player.  After graduation, he plans to get a Master’s degree and then begin his career as a broadcast meteorologist.

Jason Martinez - March, 2021
Jason Martinez

Jason Martinez is a senior undergraduate EAS major with a concentration in meteorology. During his time at Kennesaw State University, he made the Dean’s List and enjoyed volunteering with the Kennesaw State University Mathematics Conference and Kennesaw Mountain Trail. At Georgia Tech, Jason has continued community service through the EAS Haunted Lab Tours and Montgomery Elementary School Science Expo. A highlight of Jason's EAS experience was almost breaking into the top 100 forecasters during his first WxChallenge competition in 2018. He became treasurer of the Metro Atlanta AMS chapter for 2019. Because of supporting the role as treasurer, all four officers gained recognition of becoming part of the AMS Chapter Honor Roll 2019-2020. After graduating from Georgia Tech, Jason is looking forward to exploring the applications of meteorology and observing various weather events across the country.

Hannah Levy - February, 2021
Hannah Levy

Hannah Levy is a fourth year EAS major, with a concentration in meteorology, and a Public Policy minor, graduating in Spring 2021. Her academic interests include environmental policy and climate science. She is working with Dr. Kim Cobb to examine relationships between salinity and oxygen isotopes to identify trends related to El Niño Southern Oscillation in the tropical Pacific.  She is interning with Nashville Severe Weather writing weather forecasts that are published on a blog. Last spring, she also interned with CNN in the Weather and Climate Department. After college, she plans to begin a career in environmental policy. Outside of class, Hannah is involved with Hillel and campus Greek Life. She enjoys reading, baking, being outdoors, and running. Since starting at Georgia Tech, she has run the Atlanta Marathon twice.

Walter King - January, 2021
Walter King

Walter King is pursuing a minor in geophysics while completing his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech. Currently, he is working on the VERNE project, a NASA sponsored mission concept to penetrate the icy surface of Europa and search for biosignatures in the ocean beneath. He works under Dr. Britney Schmidt and is responsible for the design of a tether spooling mechanism and contributes to the science and sample handling team as well. In the spring of 2021, Walter plans to conduct research under Dr. Schmidt exploring seismic sensing for ice penetrator vehicles during the final semester of his undergraduate study. Outside of Georgia Tech, Walter is a participant in the NASA Pathways Program at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. At MSFC, he has worked on thermal protection systems for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) core stage, flight hardware integration for the Near-Earth Asteroid Scout mission, a feasibility study for the Europa Lander mission, and lunar sample return mission planning. Walter grew up in Elkins, a small town situated in the hills of West Virginia. He enjoys playing the fiddle and the guitar, backpacking and rock climbing, as well as tinkering with things in his spare time.

Maci Harrell - December, 2020
Maci Harrell

Maci Harrell is a fourth year EAS student with a focus in planetary geology planning to graduate in Fall 2021. She has worked with Dr. James Wray on data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM). This past summer, she interned at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum analyzing Transverse Aeolian Ridges, a type of equatorial sand dune on Mars. Outside of academics, she loves solo-traveling (she has visited 21 countries so far!), figure skating, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and taking care of her pet ball python. 

Holt Thomas - November, 2020
Holt Thomas

Holt Thomas is a former EAS major who graduated in August 2020. He worked with Dr. Takamitsu Ito on the CIMP6 project in which he restructured and displayed ocean data. He also worked as a teaching assistant for CS1315 for several semesters, two of which he was the head TA. After graduation, he plans to return to academia to pursue a Master’s Degree in Data Science. Throughout college he has also been working as a professional balloon artist, entertaining countless children as well as adults. In his free time, Holt enjoys cooking, the outdoors, video games, and drinking brown liquids from Kentucky. 

Laurel Freeman - October, 2020
Laurel Freeman

Laurel Freeman is a third year EAS Major with a concentration in Meteorology. Her academic interests include severe thunderstorm development and short to medium range forecasting. Aside from academics, she is on Georgia Tech’s nationally ranked WxChallenge team, a member of the Association for Environmental Engineers and Scientists, a participant in intramural softball, and involved in the Baptist Collegiate Ministry. In her free time, she enjoys reading, walking, cooking, baking, journaling, playing cajon, weather photography, and cheering on Georgia Tech and Atlanta sports teams. She hopes to work for the National Weather Service after college and improve severe weather warning systems.

Jackson Sims - September, 2020
Jackson Sims

Jackson Sims is a fourth year EAS major with a focus in meteorology planning to graduate in the Spring. He grew up on a farm in Palmetto, GA working with his granddad, which fostered his interest in meteorology as the weather always played a role in what they would be doing each day. He was an MSE major for his first three semesters at Tech until he heard about and switched into EAS. He has been involved with the Baptist Collegiate Ministry on campus. His research interests are centered around how synoptic and mesoscale weather phenomena and large-scale atmospheric circulations impact the agricultural industry, as well as their associated resource availability and social issues. He will get to dive into those research interests this Fall with Dr. Christ and is planning to pursue a practical internship with the National Weather Service in the Spring. He is very grateful to God, his family and friends, and his professors who have helped him get to where he is today.

Manlin Xu - August, 2020
Manlin Xu

Manlin Xu is a second year EAS major with academic interests in environmental science, specifically climate science and oceanography. She conducts research with Dr. Jennifer Glass and PhD candidate Abigail Johnson on microbial protein interactions with gas hydrates as part of the NASA Exobiology program. She is involved in the vertically integrated team conducting research on the Kendeda Building. Her team focuses on sustainable building materials production and processing. They are interested in experimenting with wood acetylation and processing measures to minimize the emission and maximize the dimensional stability of the wood used for living buildings. She looks forward to going to France next spring for Tech’s International Plan, meeting new people and embarking on new adventures. She is a member of Wreck, Tech’s women’s ultimate frisbee team. She also tutors for Georgia Tech’s Athletic Association. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out and exploring Atlanta with her friends, as well as trying new foods.

Dorien Minor - July, 2020
Dorien Minor

Dorien Minor is a third year EAS major with a focus in Meteorology, and has academic interests in tropical cyclogenesis, numerical weather prediction and climate dynamics. Dorien is an active member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS); he will serve as the President of Georgia Tech’s AMS Student Chapter, StORM Club, beginning in Fall 2020, and he attended the 100th AMS Annual Conference in January. At Georgia Tech, Dorien is part of the Georgia Tech WxChallenge team, which ranked 6th in the nation during the 2019-2020 season, and is also a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, African American Student Union, and the Association for Environmental Engineers and Scientists. To complement his interests in weather forecasting and broadcasting, Dorien began a weather broadcasting account on Instagram called EAS Finesse. After college, Dorien plans to begin his career as a broadcast meteorologist with the ultimate goal of beginning his own STEM-based television network. Outside of meteorology, he enjoys playing basketball, playing the piano and percussion, and spending time with friends.

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