Adrianne Engel

Graduating senior: Adrianne Engel

Hometown: McLean, Virginia

Majors: Meteorology and geography

Main accomplishment: Studying abroad in Nepal was an eye-opening and rewarding experience. Not only did I learn about the culture, the topography, and the day-to-day challenges that Nepalis face, but realizing that developed countries should be taking lessons from the ways in which Nepal employs innovation to cater to its needs put the Nepali way of life in a whole new perspective. In another sense, I am also grateful for the fun I had in this magnificent place, which included getting chased by a rhino in a national park, searching open grasslands for a tiger, riding and feeding elephants, and trekking through a section of the tallest mountain range in the world.

Paul Miller

Master’s student: Paul Miller

Hometown: Franklin, Tennessee

Major: Meteorology

Research focus: I was presented with the unique opportunity to analyze a relatively new data set of total lightning observations (intracloud and cloud-to-ground flashes). The purpose of my work is to identify potentially meaningful relationships between total lightning frequency in a thunderstorm and any subsequent severe weather at the Earth’s surface. The results of my work could serve to increase severe weather warning accuracy and lead time in very challenging forecasting environments.

Zachary Farris

Doctoral student: Zachary Farris

Hometown: Guy, Arkansas

Major: Fisheries and wildlife sciences

Research focus: I use noninvasive techniques, such as camera traps and line transects, to sample carnivores and lemurs in Madagascar’s rainforests. I am investigating the impact of forest loss, fragmentation, and exotic species on Madagascar’s native wildlife. I use models to provide population estimates and investigate interactions among species, particularly between exotic and native carnivores. I am working to provide the first long-term assessment of Madagascar’s carnivore community and inform conservation and government agencies about the current status of these populations across rainforest habitat, as well as recommend targeted management actions to protect these threatened species.