Student Research Assistants
The Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience is fortunate to have several hardworking student research assistants. Student assistants help with various tasks including landscape management, research projects, event planning, social media, and day-to-day activities at the Institute. A brief description about some of their individual research interests, goals and/or current activities is described below.
My name is Finn Tran and I am a senior Chemistry major as of Fall 2020. I have been an undergraduate research assistant at the IWER since the summer of 2019. I am often in charge of quantifying the concentration of nutrients in the groundwater at the SSAC and its surrounding water bodies, specifically nitrate/nitrite, orthophosphate and ammonia. My plan after graduating from Stetson is to enroll in graduate school as a PhD candidate specializing in chemistry/biochemistry.
As a student research assistant, I have had the opportunity to work with faculty and community leaders from government agencies, not-for-profit organizations and businesses in the region assisting in the development of ongoing research and policies, participating in public education efforts that identify environmental problems and helping implement solutions. One of the projects that I've enjoyed the most is being an ambassador of our team and attending the winter park land trust event on behalf of my university and the IWER.
I have also had the opportunity to be part of the stormwater program summer internship. This internship provided a structured, short-term work assignment with the Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant’s Stormwater program.
I am working to create a sustainable shoreline management plan for the shoreline of the SSAC property. The idea is to use native plantings strategically to benefit the ecological processes of the surrounding environment as well as be aesthetically pleasing and useful to the people that use the property. In addition, there is also a focus on preventing and repairing erosion to the shoreline, especially the peninsula region on the southern end of the area.
I am currently a Senior Water Challenge Ambassador for Earth ECHO International, where I am tasked with increasing the knowledge of the importance of water throughout my community. As a graduate of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida's Teen Internship Program, I have developed an interest in a variety of topics, including invasive species and wetland ecosystems. Through this organization, I also designed an independent research project about mangrove restoration and presented it to my community.