Environmental Studies

All Majors & Minors

Catherine Buczek

Class Year

2018

Major(s)

Environmental Studies

Minor(s)

Climate and Dynamic Earth Systems (Self-initiated)

Current Position

Teaching Assistant and Graduate Student of Meteorology

Employer

Florida State University

Location

Tallahassee, Florida

About

I grew up in Wind Gap, Pennsylvania and graduated from Nazareth High School in 2014. I came to Ursinus with the intent to graduate with a degree in Environmental Studies and then go to graduate school to pursue a degree in Meteorology. I ran track during my time at UC and worked for the Office of Sustainability. I also did Summer Fellows research under the supervision of Dr. Leah Joseph.

I graduated from Ursinus in 2018 and began my journey living in the south with an internship with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at Marshall Spaceflight Center (MSFC), located in Huntsville, Alabama. I did research, using ArcGIS, to analyze the effects of urbanization on the water quantity and quality of an urban river. I also worked on a group project which assessed the overall state of sustainability in Northern, Alabama.

After Alabama, I moved to Tallahassee, Florida, where I am now a Teaching Assistant (TA) and a Meteorology graduate student under the Department of Earth, Oceans, and Atmospheric Science (EOAS) at Florida State University. I teach an introductory meteorology lab and will be working with my research advisor, Dr. Vasu Misra, to examine how climate change has impacted the timing of seasons in the Florida peninsula. I love what I do.

Longer term, I hope to use my background in Environmental and Meteorology to communicate climate science and climate change in a way that is impactful and ethical. I want to do research that can be applied to society and can be used for better decision-making.

Impact of Ursinus

I immediately gained a crucial sense of academic self-confidence, which was instilled by my professors at Ursinus. This has helped shape who I am and what I do today. The discussion-based classes allowed me to think creatively and taught me to be an articulate and thoughtful communicator. Meteorology is a male-dominated field, as are many STEM fields, but at Ursinus, most of my calculus and physical science classes were taught by women, who acted as my role models, which was really encouraging to experience before heading to graduate school.

I truly would not be where I am without the guidance and care from all of the faculty members in the Environmental Studies Department. From them, I will have support and friendship for a lifetime. Each individual professor in the department has left a lasting impact on me, about which I can write pages.

Piece of Advice

Be selfish with your education. You get out of it what you put in. If you do not understand something, ask. If you have something to say, say it. Ursinus supports that kind of participation in class, which is a support that is not found at every institution. Be fearless and tell yourself you can. Identify what you want, understand the amount of work necessary to get what you want, and get after it. Lastly, home is where you make it.