Student Researchers

Undergraduate Students | Graduate Students | Law School Students

Texas A&M Undergraduate Students

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Jaron Capps is a is a senior at Texas A&M University majoring in GIST and minoring in Urban & Regional Planning and Environmental Geosciences. With this, his post-academic career aspirations are to pursue these linkages to mitigate and spread awareness of society’s impact on the environment. In all, he is always educating himself on the everchanging environment and strives to understand spatial relationships between our actions and the potential unseen consequences.







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Ryan Earl is a is a senior at Texas A&M University majoring in Geographic Information Science and Technology with a focus on computation, design, and analysis and this is his first semester working on the project. As a student researcher Ryan has worked with the department of Sociology to study segregation patterns in historic Census data, healthcare shortage areas, and maternal mortality in Texas. Ryan also serves as a volunteer mapper for the Humanitarian Open Street Map to aid in natural disaster response internationally. He became interested in the X Grant project after entering the field of civil engineering and seeing the importance of water/wastewater master planning to continued community growth through his work on the overall water plans for Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Clayton Elbel is a sophomore agricultural economics major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and this is his first semester working on the project. Clayton is involved in student organizations such as COALS Council, Student Government Association, and is a student in the University’s Honors program. He became interested in the project due to its involvement in water policy within the San Antonio and Hill Country region.




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.





Matthew Gooris is a junior Environmental Studies major on the pre law track. He is a member of several organization on campus including Texas A&M Pre-Law Society, Student Geoscience Council, and is also the Vice President of Sigma Gamma Epsilon. He became interested in water management after taking courses in watershed management and hydrology.




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.



Kalli Johnson is a senior at Texas A&M University, majoring in Environmental Geoscience with a GIST minor. Kalli did a remote internship with the Environmental Protection Agency over the summer, where she did GIS work and mapped facilities that have undergone RCRA clean-up processes, or had controls in place to mitigate for potential hazardous risks to human health and the environment. Her interest in water began freshman year, where she took a class about the world water crisis and conducted research in Costa Rica. This led her to join the student organization, Wine To Water, where she currently holds the position of Vice President. She is also a member of Women in Geosciences and the Student Geosciences’ Council.


Kurt E. Lyell is a junior at Texas A&M studying Civil Engineering with a minor in Sustainable Architecture and Urban Planning. He has been interested in sustainability from an early age, for example, in high school he went and lobbied in support of Texas Renewable Energy Industries Alliance’s (TREIA) efforts in the 84th Texas legislative session.





Vanessa Rebentisch is a freshman at Texas A&M University hoping to major in civil or environmental engineering. She is very passionate about climate change and water security, especially because she is from Los Angeles, CA. She is involved with Engineers for a Sustainable World in order to participate in projects that will increase sustainability on campus. Within her major, Vanessa hopes to focus on water, especially in terms of adaptation to climate change.




Catherine Rosas is a senior Environmental Geoscience student at Texas A&M University, minoring in Geography and Meteorology. Her academic focus is in Human Impact, with interests in solving environmental issues at the crossroads of human systems and natural resources. She is involved in several organizations including National Geoscience Honors Society, Women in Geosciences, Energy Research Society and Latinos in Science and Engineering. Catherine is passionate about providing marginalized communities sustainable access to natural resources, particularly clean water and is excited to be involved in this project.


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Texas A&M Graduate Students

Cindy Figueroa is a first-year Masters student in the Department of Geography at Texas A&M University. Cindy graduated from Texas A&M with a B.S. in Environmental Studies and a minor in Meteorology in 2019. Prior to attending graduate school, Cindy interned with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Policy Staff where she gained experience working with federal water policy and performed a benefit-cost analysis on improving impaired waters in Florida. Cindy now works as a graduate research assistant with the Pathways to Sustainable Urban Water Security project. Her current research will employ Q-methodology to examine perceptions and understandings of global water sector actors regarding how they envision their role and technologies in sustainability goals.


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.


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.

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