CLUS Student Fellows

Through scholarship with CLUS Affiliate Scholars and community partners, our students build professional networks and skills that prepare them for the workforce or further studies, while addressing sustainability challenges. As of Spring 2020, over 30 Undergraduate and Graduate Student Fellows from across Shippensburg University have engaged in high-quality interdisciplinary research, supporting communities at local, regional, and global scales. Our students have been involved in the following:

  • Attend conferences and meetings to represent the CLUS and share findings
  • Community outreach and engagement
  • Conducting GIS analyses and developing high-quality research products
  • Data collection, analysis, and literature review to support grants
  • Internships with the CLUS or within our partner network 
  • Research credit for pursuing individual research and scholarship
  • Technical writing to support CLUS outreach, organizational development, and communication efforts

Our students are hard-working, highly skilled, and professional. We are always looking for new collaborations and ways to engage students from across the university. Learn more about current on-campus employment opportunities through Ship Career Connection, or contact us to learn more!

Current Students

Our Student Fellows represent a variety of disciplines across campus. Learn more about our current students and the projects in which they engage.

    Dan Hoy

    Graduate Student Fellow

    Dan is a Geoenvironmental Studies M.S. student with areas of interest in air quality and applications of GIS. Prior to attending Shippensburg, he graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. in Secondary Education and taught physical science in the Carlisle Area School District for six years. While teaching, he coached the Carlisle boys’ varsity volleyball team. After graduating from Shippensburg, he plans to pursue a career in environmental sciences.
    Projects:  Cumberland County Climate Action Plan (2020)

        Ed Benish

        CLUS Graduate Student Fellow

        Ed graduated in December 2011 from Penn State University with a B.S. in Secondary Science Education and is currently pursuing a M.S. in Geoenvironmental Studies at Shippensburg University. For the past 7 years, Ed was an 8th Grade Earth and Space Science Teacher and Varsity Volleyball Coach in Westminster, MD. His interests include stormwater management, sustainable land use planning, and GIS.

        Projects: Cumberland County Housing (2019), General CLUS (2019-2020)

            Mary McGee

            CLUS Graduate Student Fellow

            Mary graduated in May 2019 from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in Psychology. She is currently pursuing a M.A. in Organizational Development and Leadership with a concentration in Business. She is very excited to work with CLUS this academic year in general support efforts. After graduating, she hopes to pursue her PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology.

            Projects: General CLUS

                Meaghan Blair

                Meaghan is a senior pursuing a B.S. in Sustainability, with minors in Geography and Earth Science and a GIS certificate. She is also a member of the honors fraternity, Phi Sigma Pi and the vice president of the Geography Honor Society, Gamma Theta Upsilon. Her interests include environmental conservation, sustainable land use and consumption, renewable energies, and saving the bees!

                Projects: DEP ICLEI (2020), Appalachian National Scenic Trail (2020)

                    Sianoi Kimari

                    CLUS Graduate Student Fellow

                    Sianoi earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology in the year 2016 from her Kenyan homeland. She is currently an Organizational Development and Leadership Masters student, with a concentration in Management Information Systems. Sianoi is ecstatic to find purpose and meaning from joining CLUS while studying abroad. Her interests lie in the environmental and health benefits of Hemp, listening to variegated jazz, road trips, and anything that keeps her body moving. After graduation in 2021, she aims to undertake a career in Tech, and advance her quest to introduce Hemp to her Kenyan soil for the purpose of nurturing sustainable communities and reversing climate change. Finally, she serves the Graduate Student Association Board and the International Students Organization as the Executive Vice President and Executive Secretary respectively.

                      Former Student Fellows and Ship Alumni
                      A growing number of SU students began their professional careers with part time work as CLUS Student Fellows. After graduation, their skills and community connections have led them to successful job placement related to their degrees and interests. We wish our students the best of luck with their bright futures, and thank them for their important contributions to our research projects,

                        Alexandra Shatzer

                        Alex Shatzer is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Shippensburg University studying sociology with a biology minor. Her interests are in public health and the effect that climate change has on population health.  She is currently the president of the National Society of Leadership and success an honors society on campus. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

                        Projects: Kittatinny Ridge Survey

                            Bailey Bzdak

                            Undergraduate Student Fellow

                            Bailey is a student at Shippensburg University with a dual major in Geoenvironmental Studies and Environmental Biology. She is a member of the Women’s Soccer Team at Shippensburg, and also enjoys kayaking, hiking, and traveling in her free time. Upon graduation, Bailey would like to pursue a career in environmental consulting either for a private firm or for the government.

                            Projects: Loysville Village Municipal Authority (2017), CNG Partnership (2019), General CLUS Support (2019)

                                Ben Stine

                                Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                Ben is a senior pursing a Bachelor’s degree of Political Science with a minor in Human Communication Studies. Academically he is driven by issues such as campaign finance and environmentalism. He is the current Representative for Commuter Students in Shippensburg’s Student Government Association. He enjoys the arts, travelling and spending time with his family and friends.

                                Projects: General CLUS Support (2019)

                                    Caitlin Lucas

                                    Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                    Caitlin graduated in May 2017 from the Geoenvironmental Studies program with certification in GIS. She has expertise in mapping, and is pursuing a career in GIS applicable to conservation and environmental remediation. During her time with the CLUS, Caitlin gathered GIS-contact data, produced several maps, conducted analyses, and researched land use change related to energy infrastructure in the Delaware River Basin. She has studied a broad range of topics and has conducted student research in Sea Level Rise in the Eastern Shore Region of Virginia in addition to her research for our team.

                                    Projects: Delaware River Basin Project (2015-2017)

                                        Cameron Eyer

                                        Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                        Cameron graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography and concentration in Geographic Information Systems. While at the CLUS, he developed a web map for the Delaware River Basin Project. Upon graduating, he became a Network Analyst Operator at UGI Utilities, Inc.

                                        Projects: Delaware River Basin Project (2016), Antrim Township (2019)

                                            Cameron Weiser

                                            Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                            Cameron Weiser is a fourth year Geoenvironmental Studies undergraduate student at Shippensburg university with a Biology Minor. He has worked with the Center for Land Use and Sustainability on the Camp Security Project and more recently on an assessment of the solar infrastructure and potential of Antrim Township. Cameron is interested in land use and soil science and would like to pursue a career involving one or both of these interests. In his free time, Cameron enjoys hiking on South Mountain, listening to or making music, reading, and riding his bike.

                                            Projects: Camp Security (2018), Antrim Township (2019)

                                                Carla Johns

                                                Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                                Carla graduated from Shippensburg University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography and concentration in Human-Environmental Studies. Upon graduating, she was hired as the Pennsylvania Grassroots Field Specialist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. During her time at the CLUS, she researched Sustainable Community Certification for Chambersburg Borough, which was recognized as a certified gold community in 2017.

                                                Projects: Delaware River Basin Project (2015-2016), Chambersburg Borough Sustainable Community Certification (2016)

                                                    Cheyenne Port

                                                    Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                                    Cheyenne is pursuing a Bachelors of Social Work and Minor in Ethnic Studies, and expects to graduate in May 2018. She is president of the Social Work Department’s Research Club, and leads a team of students in annual research projects. Cheyenne is active in the community through various clubs and organizations and also tutors ESL students.

                                                    Projects: Loysville Village Municipal Authority (2017)

                                                        Courtney Malott

                                                        Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                                        Courtney is a student at Shippensburg University pursuing a major in Geoenvironmental Studies and a minor in GIS. She is also a member and Captain of the Women’s Volleyball Team for Shippensburg. Scheduled to graduate December of 2018, Courtney is hoping to pursue a career in the GIS field of work. In her spare time, Courtney enjoys hiking, kayaking, meeting friendly dogs, and hanging out with her teammates.

                                                        Projects: Conodoguinet Creek Watershed Association (2018)

                                                            Courtney Papinchak

                                                            Graduate Student Fellow

                                                            Courtney began work at the CLUS in November 2017, shortly before graduating from Shippensburg University. She loves riding her horse, hiking with her dog, identifying plants, and birding. Her academic interests include land use, wetland ecology, botany, and GIS. Courtney completed her B.S. in Environmental Science at Allegheny College and  M.S. in Geoenvironmental Studies at SU. Upon graduating, Courtney began work for the Dauphin County Conservation District as a Resource Planner and plans to continue working in a conservation-related field for the rest of her career.

                                                            Projects: Loysville Village Municipal Authority (2017), Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation (2017-2018)

                                                                Dan Babyak

                                                                Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                                                Dan is pursuing a B.S. in Geography with a minor in GIS. He is particularly interested in Geology, as well the application of GIS to outdoor recreation, particularly in regards to extreme sports. Hobbies include fishing, hiking, and climbing, and Dan can usually be found on South Mountain doing any one of the three on his days off.

                                                                Projects: General CLUS Support (2018-2019)

                                                                    Dan McCormack

                                                                    Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                                                    Dan graduated in December 2016 with a Geography degree and concentration in Geographic Information Systems. During his time at the CLUS, he helped compare the new High-Resolution Land Cover produced through the Delaware River Basin Project with existing NLCD products.

                                                                    Projects: Delaware River Basin Project (2016)

                                                                        Haley Krause

                                                                        Undergraduate Intern Technical Writer

                                                                        Haley is currently following a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a concentration in writing and a minor in Technical/Professional Communications on track to graduate in May of 2019. During her time at the CLUS, she helped Antonia design, write, and edit the 2017-2018 annual report, along with writing social media posts and editing documents for the center. After graduation, Haley hopes to pursue a career in the technical writing industry. In her spare time, she enjoys reading anything written by Stephen King, writing creatively, and spending time with friends and family.

                                                                        Projects: 2017 Annual Report (2018)

                                                                            Hayden Fulton

                                                                            Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                                                            Hayden is pursuing a B.A. in Sociology with a double minor in women and gender studies and GIS. As a student in the honors program, Hayden completed a capstone research paper on thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail and was awarded a Student Undergraduate Research Experience Grant. Hayden is interested in research and community engagement, and has experience with community organizing.

                                                                            Projects: Loysville Village Municipal Authority (2017)

                                                                                Jackie Rosenberger

                                                                                Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                                                                Jackie graduated in May 2018 with a B.S. Biology and a minor in Geographic Information Science. She is interested in using GIS for wildlife management and conservation. She has worked with the Kittatinny Ridge Coalition to build a geographic database of environmental data sets for the Kittatinny Ridge in order to support the conservation of native habitat and wildlife. She also used these data sets to calculate scientific metrics for land, water, and wildlife resources to allow conservation progress to be tracked over time. In addition to working for the CLUS, she has also worked as a wildlife biologist aide for the PA Game Commission.

                                                                                Projects: Kittatinny Ridge GIS Project (2017)

                                                                                    Jacob Percey

                                                                                    Graduate Student Fellow

                                                                                    Jacob Percey is a second year Geoenvironmental Studies graduate student at Shippensburg University. He has a strong passion for both GIS and Geology and hopes to pursue these fields upon graduation. He is currently examining recent and potential forest loss from known and predicted transmission line development across the Delaware River Basin. In his spare time, Jake enjoys spending quality time with his family and pursing outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and camping.

                                                                                    Projects: Delaware River Basin Project (2018)

                                                                                        Jacob Wacker

                                                                                        CLUS Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                                                                        Jacob completed his B.S. in Geoenvironmental Studies with minors in GIS and Sustainability from Shippensburg University in May 2020 and will remain at Shippensburg to complete his M.S. in Geoenvironmental Studies. He has previously interned for the Pennsylvania Geological Survey in the Geologic Mapping Division. His primary interests include geology and hydrology. He is excited to contribute to the success of the CLUS.

                                                                                        Projects: South Mountain Research Corps (2020), Community Research Support (2020)

                                                                                            James Hughes

                                                                                            Graduate Student Fellow

                                                                                            James is a second semester graduate student in the Applied History program, focusing on historic preservation. While at the CLUS, he worked directly with PA municipal offices to gather information about historic preservation ordinances throughout the state.

                                                                                            Projects: Center for Rural Pennsylvania (2017), Loysville Village Municipal Authority (2017)

                                                                                                Jim Smith

                                                                                                Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                                                                                Jim is a junior Geography/Economics major and Religious Studies minor at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He is excited to work with the CLUS this summer on the Appalachian Trail NRCA and other ongoing projects. In his spare time, Jim likes to hike, golf, and work on his stamp collection.

                                                                                                Projects: Appalachian Trail NRCA (2019)

                                                                                                    Jonathon Chester

                                                                                                    Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                                                                                    Jonathon graduated from Shippensburg University in May 2018 with a B.S. in Geo-Environmental Studies and Certificate in GIS. He plans to attend graduate school in the fall and hopes to pursue a career which integrates GIS with land conservation and management. Outside of work with the CLUS, he was involved in an undergraduate research project using LiDAR-derived data sets to investigate the geomorphology of broad low-relief surfaces along the crest of South Mountain, PA. Jonathon has extensive local, regional, and national leadership experience within the Boy Scouts, earning his Eagle Scout in 2011. 

                                                                                                    Projects: Upper Delaware Partnership (2017-2018), Kittatinny Ridge GIS Project (2017), Delaware River Basin Project (2018)

                                                                                                        Joshua Barth

                                                                                                        Graduate Student Fellow

                                                                                                        Joshua earned an A.S. in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Burlington County College and a B.S. in Geology from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He is currently pursuing a M.S. in Geoenvironmental Studies at Shippensburg University. Joshua enjoys teaching through nature walks and other outdoor activities and works as an environmental educator at Palmyra Cove Nature Park.

                                                                                                        Projects: Delaware River Basin Project (2015-2017), Poconos-Kittatinny Cluster Consulting (2017), Rhyolite Project for South Mountain Partnership (2018)

                                                                                                            Kate Nicholson

                                                                                                            Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                                                                                            Kate is a junior Sustainability major, pursuing a biology minor and Geographic Information Systems certificate. Her interests within the field include climate change, rare and endangered species, carbon footprint assessments, and tracking pollination habits and bee populations. In her free time, Kate enjoys hiking and competitively powerlifting.

                                                                                                            Projects: South Mountain Research Corps (2019), Appalachian Trail NRCA (2019)

                                                                                                                Kristin Thorpe

                                                                                                                Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                                                                                                Kristin is a Geography major with a concentration in GIS and a Technical/Professional Communications minor. She will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in May of 2019. While at the CLUS, Kristin continues work on the Upper Delaware Partnership project to develop an online decision support tool. She picked up the project where former Student Fellow, Jonathon Chester, left off upon his graduation. Kristin also assisted with a Shade Tree Inventory for the Shippensburg Borough, and aided in the Appalachian Trail Research project. After graduation, Kristin will either continue her education and obtain a master’s degree, or pursue a career as a GIS specialist.

                                                                                                                Projects: General CLUS Support (2018-2019), UPDE Project (2018-2019), Appalachian Trail NRCA (2019)

                                                                                                                    Maren Smith

                                                                                                                    CLUS Graduate Student Fellow

                                                                                                                    Maren graduated from Coastal Carolina University with a BS in Marine Science and Biology and is in her final semester of graduate school for a MS in Environmental Science. She has interned with Johnson Mirmiran and Thompson (JMT) and with Renfrew Institute where she worked heavily in wetlands and hydrology. She spends her free time working at a local brewery and out adventuring with her dog.

                                                                                                                    Projects: Brew Science

                                                                                                                        Matt Ostap

                                                                                                                        Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                                                                                                        Matt is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Shippensburg University studying Geoenvironmental Studies with a GIS Minor. He is currently working on the Kittatinny Ridge GIS Project at CLUS. He has completed internships with The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania and the Cumberland County Conservation District. Matt is interested in field work and GIS and would like to pursue a career with both of these fields.

                                                                                                                        Projects: Kittatinny Ridge (2020)

                                                                                                                            Mimansha Choudhary

                                                                                                                            CLUS Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                                                                                                            Mimansha is a first-year international student at Shippensburg University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. She is excited to work with CLUS this academic year on the SMRC, CCFSA and as a general CLUS support. In her spare time, Mimansha enjoys cooking, hiking, biking, and spending time with her family and friends.

                                                                                                                            Project: South Mountain Research Corps

                                                                                                                                Nicole Hallahan

                                                                                                                                CLUS Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                                                                                                                Nicole Hallahan is a fourth year dual major in French and Sustainability with minors in International Development and Geo Environmental studies. She is currently working on a proposal to add solar panels to campus. Nicole has completed a GIS internship with Peoples Natural Gas company. She is interested in GIS and renewable energy resources.

                                                                                                                                Projects: On-Campus Sustainability Projects

                                                                                                                                    Paige Steffy

                                                                                                                                    Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                                                                                                                    Paige will graduate in 2021 with a BS in Geo-Environmental Studies and a minor in Geographic Information Systems. She is a Wood Honors College student and a member of the Geography Honor Society, Gamma Theta Upsilon. After graduation, Paige plans to pursue a master’s degree in Geo-Environmental Studies.

                                                                                                                                    Projects: General CLUS Support (2019), Appalachian Trail NRCA (2019)

                                                                                                                                        Patricia Newdeck

                                                                                                                                        Graduate Student Fellow

                                                                                                                                        Trish applied her BS in Geosciences (Penn State) toward an environmental consulting career where she performed soil and groundwater investigations and designed remediations plans for industrial and petrochemical clients.  As an SU graduate student, Trish is gaining GIS processing skills and and land use knowledge.  At CLUS, she applies her analytical, project management and visual graphic skills to support a passion for land conservation and sustainable communities.  When away from the computer, she adventures on land & water with her teenage sons or slings clay at the ceramic studio.

                                                                                                                                        Projects: Minigrant storymap for the South Mountain Partnership (2017), DWRF Project (2018), ATC Demographics Project (2019), General CLUS Support (2018-2019)

                                                                                                                                            Rebecca Hansen

                                                                                                                                            CLUS Undergraduate Student Fellow

                                                                                                                                            Becky is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Shippensburg University majoring in Geoenvironmental Studies with minors in Biology and GIS. She will be working on the Appalachian Trail Natural Resource Condition Assessment during her time with the CLUS. Becky has completed an internship with DCNR and is a current Environmental Health and Safety Intern at Volvo Construction Equipment.  Her primary interests include conservation and environmental education.

                                                                                                                                            Projects: Appalachian Trail NRCA (2019), Community Research Support

                                                                                                                                                Troy Alleman

                                                                                                                                                Graduate Student Fellow

                                                                                                                                                Troy graduated in May 2018 with a B.S. in Geo-Environmental Studies and minor in Public Administration. He is interested in hydrology and hydrogeology, and plans to pursue a graduate degree focused on water resource management. A nontraditional student with a military background, Troy enjoys mentoring and supports many students in the department. His wide-ranging skills include interpersonal communication, planning, cartography, GIS, spatial analysis, and finding creative solutions to unique problems.

                                                                                                                                                Projects: Kittatinny Ridge GIS Project (2017), LVMA (2017), Delaware River Basin Project (2018)

                                                                                                                                                    Tyler Costlow

                                                                                                                                                    Graduate Student Fellow

                                                                                                                                                    Tyler graduated in December 2016 from Pitt-Johnstown with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Geography with a certificate in GIS. He is currently pursuing a M.S. in Geoenvironmental Studies at Shippensburg University. Tyler recently completed a year in AmeriCorps working with The Nature Conservancy in West Virginia. During his time there, he served managing invasive species and contributed towards restoring the red spruce population in West Virginia.

                                                                                                                                                    Projects: General CLUS Support (2018-2019), Appalachian Trail NRCA (2018-2019)