Nineteen Nicholas School Undergraduates Earn ‘Graduation with Distinction’ Honors

May 6, 2019
Levi Rhoades Discusses his Research on Algae Growth Rate and Yield Analysis with Chantal Reid.

Levi Rhoades Discusses his Research on Algae Growth Rate and Yield Analysis with Chantal Reid.

DURHAM, N.C. – Nineteen Nicholas School of the Environment undergraduate students have earned Graduation with Distinction honors this year.

The Graduation with Distinction program recognizes undergraduates who demonstrate academic excellence through the successful completion of a senior’ thesis based on a substantive independent research project evaluated by a committee of three faculty members. The projects typically include a 25-50 page written manuscript and a poster summarizing its findings.

To earn the honor, students must also have a 3.0 grade point average overall and a 3.2 grade point average in their major.

This year’s recipients of Graduation with Distinction honors (along with their degrees, project titles and faculty advisors) are:
* Virginia Elena Carta, AB in Environmental Science & Policy, “The Socio-Economic Impacts of Organic and Sustainable Farming Practices on Local Communities,” advised by Chantal Reid;
* Rachel Cohn, AB in Environmental Science & Policy, “Small-scale, Big Impact? The Social and Ecological Effects of Small-scale MPAs in Palau” advised by Brian Silliman;
* John Dearing, AB in Environmental Science & Policy, “Effects of the EU ETS on Carbon Emissions in Developing EU States,” advised by Lincoln Pratson;
* Pauline Grieb, AB in Public Policy Studies, “Stories of Five Women in New York City: Safety and Travel Choices in the Urban Micro-Environment,” advised by Chantal Reid and Tony Sease;
* Aedan Hannon, BS in Environmental Sciences, “The Effects of Pebble-Mulching on the Growth of Corn, Bean and Sunflower in a Humid Southeastern U.S. Climate,” advised by Chantal Reid;
* Anne Harshbarger, BS in Environmental Sciences, “The Use of Drones to Study the Feral Horses of Eastern North Carolina,” advised by David Johnston;
* Briana Kleiner, AB in Environmental Science & Policy, “Understanding Fishing Communities and Conservation: GT-Kino,” advised by Xavier Basurto;
* Julia Knorr, BS in Environmental Sciences, “The Answer’s in the Gut: An Investigation of African Forest Elephant Ingestion, Digestion and Defecation on Chrysophyllum lacourtianum Germination and Growth,” advised by John Poulsen;
* Kelsey Lansdale, AB in Environmental Science & Policy, “Predictions of Human Exposure Pathways to Mercury Using Alternative Diet Scenarios in Madre de Dios, Peru,” advised by Emily Bernhardt;
* Eliza Letourneau, BS in Environmental Sciences, “Differential Risk of Human Exposure to Mercury Through Fish Consumption in Madre de Dios, Peru,” advised by Helen Hsu-Kim;
* Peishu Li, BS in Earth and Ocean Sciences, “Vapor Transport of Silver and Gold in Basaltic Lava Flows,” advised by Alan Boudreau;
* Jamie Lockwood, AB in Environmental Science & Policy, “Relationship Between Expert-Identified Biologically Important Areas and Abundance Data for Humpback and North Atlantic Right Whales”, advised by Patrick Halpin;
* Eudora Raolin Miao, AB in Environmental Science & Policy, “The Role of Gender and Race/Ethnicity in Environmental Identity Development through Duke Undergraduate Students’ Narrative,” advised by Nicolette Cagle;
* Elizabeth Nowlin, AB in Environmental Science & Policy, “Demographic Differences in Seafood Consumption and Preferences in Durham, North Carolina,” advised by Grant Murray;
* Haven Parker, AB in Environmental Science & Policy, “Managing Shellfish Mariculture in NC: Comparing State Mariculture Regulatory Programs with the Values Expressed by NC Stakeholders,” advised by Grant Murray;
* Lauren Pedersen, BS in Environmental Sciences, “Relationships between Habitat Factors and O’opu Distribution in Limahuli Stream, Kauai, HI,” advised by Rebecca Vidra;
* Levi Rhoades, AB in Environmental Science & Policy, “Algae Growth Rates and Yield Analysis with Light and Temperature Condition Variance,” advised by Zackary Johnson;
* Samantha Votzke, BS in Environmental Sciences, “Evolution and Niche Differentiation in Sphagnum,” advised by Daniel Rittschof; and
* Stella Wang, BS in Environmental Sciences, “Relationships between Chemical Exposure Biomarkers and Oxidative Stress Biomarkers,” advised by Junfeng Zhang.
The Nicholas School awards four undergraduate degrees in cooperation with Duke’s Trinity School of Arts & Sciences. Students can pursue bachelor of arts (AB) or bachelor of science (BS) degrees in Earth and Ocean Sciences; an AB in Environmental Science & Policy; or a BS in Environmental Sciences. Both of these latter degrees provide students the opportunity to pursue a concentration in Marine Science and Conservation.

Aedan Hannon completed his Graduation with Distinction thesis in December 2017; the other 18 recipients’ projects were completed this spring and presented in a poster session at the Nicholas School on April 19.

Anne Harshbarger Shares her Research on Feral Horses Response to Overflights by UAS with Rebecca Vidra.

Anne Harshbarger Shares her Research on Feral Horses Response to Overflights by UAS with Rebecca Vidra.