Next Generation: Melanie Jackson

August 3, 2015

Hometown: Westfield, New Jersey
Adviser: Patricia Glibert, Horn Point Laboratory

Why UMCES? When I was an undergraduate I had the unique opportunity to go out on a five-week research cruise out in the Pacific Ocean. At that time I was also trying to figure out where I wanted to go to graduate school. On this research vessel there were faculty from across the U.S., and I would ask them. 'If I want to study nutrient pollution and its affect on water quality in our local waterways, where do I need to go?' It was quickly clear that the faculty at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science are at the forefront of a lot of this research. I looked into it and found that the Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences (MEES) curriculum was really what I needed to answer a lot of those questions.

I’ve enjoyed this program and the facilities here so much. I can grab a water sample outside the door and have it analyzed by lunch.

Share an experience that stands out most about your time with UMCES. I’ve been lucky enough to go out throughout the Chesapeake Bay and take water samples and see where harmful algae are located. I received an award from the National Science Foundation to go over to China and do a comparison—their nutrient pollution is very extreme compared to ours—and see what’s going on with that system.

I’ve enjoyed this program and the facilities here so much. I can grab a water sample outside the door and have it analyzed by lunch. I’ve decided to stay on for my Ph.D. here and do a switch in my topic so I can study oysters and how they are acting as a vacuum for water quality and removing nutrient pollution from the water. I’m really excited to see where my research is headed and my future career goes.