Student Researchers

Texas A&M Undergraduate Students

Petra Garza is a senior student at Texas A&M University and this is her second semester working on the project. She is majoring in Environmental Studies with a focus in Global Environment systems. She is a member of the environmental program involvement committee. She went on a mission trip to Haiti to teach the people about clean water and to bring the resources for clean water filters. Ever since that mission trip, she has been passionate about bringing people clean water.

Kendahl Hejl is a junior at Texas A&M University, majoring in Honors Geographic Information Science and Technology. Kendahl currently serves as Vice President of Special Projects for the Geography Society on campus, and was an intern for the Office of Sustainability. She has worked with the Department of Atmospheric Sciences to build a GIS application for weather extremes and social applications, as well as with private companies analysing remotely sensed images. Kendahl became interested in this project after taking a class on the global water crisis, and has been on the team for over a year.

Brooke Salisbury is a senior at Texas A&M University where she majors in Environmental Studies with a minor in Geography. This is her second semester on the project. In the summer of 2019, she was a Mickey Leland Environmental Intern for Oncor Electric, where she worked in waste management. She is an active member of several organizations on campus such as the Student Geosciences Council where she is the secretary and part of the Corporate Relations Committee, a member of Women in Geosciences, and the Environmental Programs Involvement Committee. She became interested in working with water and the world water crisis after going to Costa Rica for a service-learning.

Texas A&M Graduate Students

Prabodh Gedam is a second year Master of Public Service and Administration candidate (exp. 2021) at The Bush School of Government and Public Service and is interning as research assistant. As a student researcher, Prabodh is working on water security metrics and is developing a comprehensive & exhaustive framework to be utilized in long-term research and decision-making efforts. He completed Bachelor’s studies in Chemical Engineering and currently as part of Master’s studies he is pursuing quantitative and qualitative analysis methods along with latest programming tools as utility. His committed involvement of the past with civic-engagement groups and an understanding through community lenses helps him approach issues and bridge the gap between decision makers and people on receiving ends.

Victoria Harrington is a second year Masters student in the Department of Geography at Texas A&M University. She graduated with B.A. degrees in Geography and Anthropology from the University of Florida in 2019, where she first gained field experience with survey- and interview-based research. Her research focuses on how water insecurity shifts from being an acute to chronic issue post-natural disaster. Specifically, she will focus on how Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath impacted the water systems of communities in the Golden Triangle – Port Arthur, Beaumont, and Orange –as well as the current status of recovery at the household level. By utilizing a political ecology framework, she will be able to draw relationships and connections on what communities are most vulnerable to water system failures in relation to their socioeconomic status.

Nichole Mehlhaff is a second year Masters student in the Department of Geography at Texas A&M University working on her thesis regarding the roles of food banks in minority communities as they relate to food insecurity and food accessibility. She graduated with geoscience writing and research skills from Texas A&M in 2019 with a Bachelors in Environmental Studies. In addition to her thesis research, she serves as an assistant researcher and program coordinator for the Pathways to Sustainable Urban Water Security project.

Lindsey Pressler is a first year Master of Public Service and Administration candidate (exp. 2022) at The Bush School of Government and Public Service, and graduated with a BS in Biological and Agricultural Engineering at Texas A&M University in 2020. She graduated Magna Cum Laude, with Engineering Honors, and as an Undergraduate Research Scholar. Her undergraduate thesis was on quantifying microplastic in soil and researching how they impacted soil health. Her thesis is published in OAKTrust. Furthermore, she also participated in a research project studying onsite wastewater treatment systems. Her engineering senior design project was a decentralized wastewater treatment plant in Ecuador. Lindsey has also been involved with ASPIRE, a freshmen seminar class, for three years in various leadership roles, including serving as the community service coordinator. Lindsey is passionate about protecting the environment and helping people have access to the natural resources they need.

Anna Van Degrift is a 3rd year Ph.D student in the Department of Geography at Texas A&M University. She holds a M.A. in Geography from Syracuse University. Her Master’s research investigated the introduction of the Peruvian 2009 national Water Resources Law and the local politics of implementing river basin councils in a central highland watershed. Broadly, Anna’s interests involve a concern for systemic marginalization of people and places in relation to water governance policy; water users’ everyday strategies of access and control of water; hydro-social relations as predicated upon diverse understandings of the value of water.

Texas A&M Law Students

Courtney Gately is a second-year J.D. candidate at Texas A&M University School of Law and serves as a research assistant focusing on international and domestic water law and legal leadership development. Courtney holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Kansas State University and a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University. In addition to researching municipal water infrastructure and freshwater alternatives in Perth, Australia, her research interests include the relationship between water quality and water quantity, as well as the connection between agricultural and environmental issues. Last summer, Courtney interned with Resource Environmental Solutions in Houston, TX and recently completed a fall externship with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6.