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Department of Geography

USC Geography end of the year awards round-up

As the academic year wraps up, both faculty and students in the Department of Geography have won numerous awards, grants, and fellowships.

With finals, grading, and summer research plans looming, the end of the academic year brings both apprehension and excitement. However, the end of the year is also awards season and the students and faculty of the USC Department of Geography have continued their recent success.

Masters student Sumi Selvaraj was matched with the California Coastal Commission as part of NOAA's Coastal Management Fellowship, a highly selective program that provides graduate students with on the job training in coastal resource management. While at USC Sumi has studied climate change adaptation and coastal hazards while working with Dr. Kirstin Dow in the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments lab.

Ph.D candidate Alexandria McCombs has been awarded the College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Dissertation Fellowship. This highly selective award provides financial support for doctoral candidates late in their graduate career. Alexandria is supervised by Dr. April Hiscox and researches micrometeorology, climatology, and remote sensing.

Masters student Angie Seidler was awarded the Cultural and Political Ecology (CAPE) Specialty Group field study award for her project "Socioenvironmental Effects of the Northern Cyprus Water Supply Project." The award will help fund her research in Cyprus and Turkey this summer. Angie is advised by Dr. Jessica Barnes, who was elected as an at-large councilor for the CAPE group and, most notably, received the prestigious James M. Blaut award for her book Cultivating the Nile: The Everyday Politics of Water in Egypt. The Blaut award is given annually in recognition of innovative scholarship in cultural and political ecology. Past winners include some of the most important books published by geographers in recent years.

Jory Fleming, an undergraduate double major in Geography and Marine Sciences, also won numerous awards. These include receiving the 2016 Harry S. Truman scholarship for students planning a career in public service, and being named a Goldwater Scholar, a national scholarship awarded to top students in mathematics and the natural sciences.

Finally, Drs. Zhenlong Li and Conor Harrison received funding from the USC Advanced Support for Innovative Research Excellence (ASPIRE) program. Dr. Li's grant will support his research "Developing a High Performance Query Analytical Platform to Support Large Scale Climate Data Analysis" that seeks to increase the speed of large scale climate models. Dr. Harrison's award for a proposal titled "Power Play: Examining low carbon energy transitions in the Caribbean" supports his ongoing research on the increase in renewable energy in small island developing states in the Caribbean. 

Congratulations to all the winners for another great year!

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