Utilized Science – Faculty of Earth & Atmosphere grad sees future in catastrophe mitigation | Rowan At this time


Her profession aspirations are the stuff of which motion pictures are made.

Mairen Flanagan, who graduated from Rowan College in December, utilized for a NASA internship “on an entire lark” and landed the work expertise of a lifetime.

Working nearly at NASA’s headquarters in Washington from her residence in Level Nice, Flanagan did so nicely in her internship with the company’s Disasters program this winter that it’s been prolonged three further months.

In accordance with its web page, this system’s professionals “use information and utilized analysis to enhance the prediction of, preparation for, response to and restoration from hazards and disasters all over the world.”

“I used to be exploring totally different careers involving catastrophe mitigation and I got here throughout the NASA Disasters program,” Flanagan stated. “Courses I took at Rowan led me to it and, on an entire lark, I emailed this system supervisor. Think about my shock once I acquired an invite to a gathering.”

A geology main within the Faculty of Earth & Atmosphere with a minor in chemistry and a certificates of undergraduate research in French, Flanagan earned a close to excellent GPA throughout her time at Rowan, which she attended on a tutorial scholarship. Nevertheless it wasn’t simply her levels that set her on the profession path she now walks.

Taking programs by way of Rowan’s standard Catastrophe Preparedness & Emergency Administration program, Flanagan found a strategy to apply the science she likes to a profession instantly impacting others.

Partly impressed by the Pierce Brosnan character within the film “Dante’s Peak,” through which the scientist seeks to mitigate harm from an impending volcanic eruption, Flanagan stated there’s an ideal want for scientists to assist put together for, anticipate and react to the seemingly never-ending stream of pure disasters.

Yearly, she famous, local weather change seemingly worsens the frequency and severity of floods, hurricanes, forest fires, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and droughts, and the NASA program was created particularly to deal with their influence within the U.S. and all over the world.

“I’ve all the time needed to assist folks and disasters are an ideal method to make use of the science background I’ve gathered to assist facilitate change,” she stated.

Starting her internship in January, simply days after the large volcanic eruption off Tonga within the South Pacific, Flanagan noticed how scientists inside the Disasters program impact actual change.

“They supplied information and assets to the businesses that had been actively responding,” Flanagan stated. “That’s the place the science background comes into play.”

Undergraduate analysis

Like many Rowan college students, Flanagan took half in precise, hands-on authentic analysis as an undergraduate.

Working with Dr. Gerald Rustic, an assistant professor of Geology, Flanagan helped analyze the fossilized remnants of tiny ocean creatures collected from Pacific Ocean core samples. The objective: to find out their chemical composition and, from that, the oceanic situations from when the organisms lived.

The method concerned crushing shells from tiny foraminifera, single-celled organisms the dimensions of a grain of sand, and operating them by way of a machine referred to as a mass spectrometer to find out their components.

“In the event you take a look at the ratios you may put them into an equation and get the temperature of the ocean on the time the forams lived,” Flanagan stated. “We had been wanting on the Holocene, the final 12,000 years, which is vital as a result of should you take a look at what occurred previously it may be a great predictor of what is going to occur sooner or later.”

Devoted scholar and future plans

Flanagan this semester is receiving the Dean’s Excellent Senior Award, one among three college students within the Faculty of Earth & Atmosphere to be so honored this yr.

As for her future, Flanagan believes she’ll probably pursue a graduate diploma in one of many sciences or emergency administration however first needs to see how her NASA internship develops.

“I’d like to work there,” she stated. “If a possibility comes up I’ll bounce on it full drive. I really like volcanoes, the work they do with them, and I’m a catastrophe film buff. I’d like to be concerned and serving to make selections when one thing was occurring.”


Supply hyperlink