News & Resources

What have Au Sable’s Graduate Fellows Been Up To, You Ask?

Posted by lindsaybarden | Oct 03, 2016

Au Sable’s Graduate Fellows have been hard at work all year. Read on to learn about the field work, research, and various projects each of the Fellows were working on this summer.

Keep up the good work of advancing God’s kingdom through creation care and higher education, Fellows!


Carissa De Young

“This summer I interned with Shared-X, a social impact startup in Peru to develop metrics and stories to track and communicate their social and environmental impact. The company grows specialty coffee, organic bananas, and aromatic cocoa while providing access to markets and best agricultural technology for smallholder farmers in surrounding communities.”


Steve Roels

“I went on my 7th (and possibly final) research trip to central Panama. I spent 8 weeks in the field in June and July. In August, I was in Washington D.C. for the North American Ornithological Conference.”


Doug Sponsler

“Barring any unexpected complications, this was the last summer of my Ph.D. program. Accordingly, my focus has been on writing and job-searching. My wife and I had our second child in September, which is a source of great joy along with a renewed sense of urgency regarding graduation and prospective employment. Dream job: teaching and research in a liberal arts environment where I would have the opportunity to take students to Au Sable.”


Geneva Langeland

“Now that I've graduated with my master's degree, I'm starting a full-time job at the Michigan Sea Grant office. I'll be working as a writer and editor, communicating on social media, and assembling the regular newsletter. While settling into my new position, I spend my weekends traveling to see family and exploring a new corner of Ann Arbor.”


Remington Moll

“This summer I conducted field research in Cleveland, Ohio focused on urban wildlife community ecology. As well, I participated in a mentorship program that introduced high school students from under-represented groups to applied ecological research, and 3) continued work on several ongoing research projects associated with large-mammal predator-prey interactions.”


Rachel Lamb

“I started off my summer teaching Environmental Law & Policy at Au Sable during the May-term. After my course, I worked full-time as Y.E.C.A.’s National Organizer and Spokesperson and attending the Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering in Indonesia in early August. At the end of August, I started a Ph.D. program in Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park.”


Nick Turman-Bryant

“This summer was pretty laid back for me. I studied for comprehensive exams for next fall, took the fundamentals of engineering exam, and worked on a manuscript from this past year's research.”


Sam Smidt

“My summer largely consisted of finishing up research and turning those results into manuscripts. Right now, I'm working with agricultural and water use data to better improve agricultural water management strategies, and I'm also looking at how urban development impacts water and agricultural resources in the state of Michigan. I also moved to Illinois, where I started as a faculty member at Wheaton College in the fall.”


Dan Gibson

“I will be working in Michigan for my second field season sampling insect communities on native perennial flowers.  This second summer of data aims to strengthen observations from last year as I try to identify which plants are most useful to beneficial insects such as pest predators and pollinators.”


Molly Van Appledorn

“I am currently in a post-doc at the USGS in La Crosse WI. I'm working on floodplain inundation modeling projects here which involves some fun field work, but mostly a lot of computer time running simulations. I might be biased, but I think it is cool stuff.”


Brad Gordon

“This summer I will be wrapping up my research on the effectiveness of a small, edge-of-field agricultural tile drainage treatment wetland. I'll also spend a large portion of my time in front of the computer writing my dissertation and updating the agricultural best management practices handbook for Minnesota. When I'm not working, I hope to run as many new trails and camp in the wilderness of Minnesota as much as possible.”


Julie Laudick

“This summer I will be working on my MS thesis on the efficacy of plant-beneficial bacteria under different soil conditions. In my free time I’ll be enjoying life in Wooster: biking, gardening, reading, volunteering at the farmer’s market. I will also be visiting Atlanta for a research conference, catching up with old friends, and thinking about things.” 


David Wituszynski

“I spent the last two months finishing my internship with Engineering Ministries International (eMi) in Uganda, and then at home with my family in New Hampshire; from here on out I'll be working on my research project in green infrastructure for urban stormwater management. Part of this will involve learning how to identify birdcalls, as we're recording soundscapes for species counts - I'm really looking forward to this. I'm also going to have to learn my bugs, which makes me happy.”