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PSS Summer '13

Water Research

By Brenda Pittman

The vastness and beauty of the Atlantic Ocean made an indelible impression on Katie Bush ’06 when she vacationed on the Maine coast with her family as a girl. Her love of the ocean, camping and hiking forged an even deeper respect for the treasures of nature and the need to preserve them.

A biology and environmental studies major at HWS, Bush remembers the United Nations was beginning debate on whether water was a human right around the same time she was “learning interesting course material” and collecting Finger Lakes water quality data during two summer research projects with Professor of Geoscience John Halfman.

"It all sort of sealed the deal," Bush recalls. "I knew I wanted to keep doing research and pursuing issues related to water."

After graduation, Bush landed in Denmark for a Fulbright that allowed her to work with an international research team studying biological and chemical toxins in the Roskilde Fjord. After getting her feet wet in Denmark, she headed back to the States where she received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in environmental health sciences in 2011. For the past year, she’s been an EPA Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) Environmental Health Fellow in North Carolina, doing data analysis pertaining to the benefits of healthy ecosystems in the face of environmental change.

This fall, she’ll be headed back north. She and her husband, Jason Cordeira, will move to New Hampshire where he’ll be a professor of meteorology at Plymouth State University and she’ll be an adjunct professor of ecology and global environmental health.

"It’s a great transition opportunity. There are lots of lakes there and I am eager to begin new research projects."