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William Burke '13, Environmental Science - WET track

William Burke '13 worked on a Cumulative Environmental Impact Assessment and a GIS project in Nicaragua with ESS professors Iris Stewart-Frey and Chris Bacon. He co-authored a peer-reviewed article and is currently a graduate student in Geography at Indiana University.

Indiana University - Bloomington is quite different from Santa Clara University, and with the size of IU, is much more of a college town.  This is a new experience for me and I'm definitely enjoying it here!  My studies here are very focused around my research/thesis which is tentatively titled "Assessing projected impacts of climate change on small coastal basins of the Western U.S."  I'm learning a great deal both in class as well as outside of class, on my own, and with my adviser (Darren Ficklin).  I have found that in many ways I have been very well prepared for graduate school.  My time working as a research assistant, taking classes focused on my area of interest (hydrology), and the range of topics and the level of interdisciplinary throughout my undergraduate courses (the ESS ones at least) all played big roles in preparing me well for where I am now.

Inevitably, there are things I wish I had done differently, notably I wish I had taken more math early in my undergrad career, but I'm also learning things now that I never would or could have known to be useful four years ago (like MATLAB).  I'll be presenting my research and (some) results next week at the Association of American Geographers (AAG) conference in Chicago.

Santa Clara University was wonderful for me – it helped in launching me toward my goals.

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