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Interested in learning about educational and training programs designed to engage students and recent graduates in the environmental research performed at EPA? If you are interested in joining the program our site has valuable information for you.

2022 Ignite Off Semi-Finalists

Hosted by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), the annual Ignite Off! Competition showcases the talents of ORISE interns from participating federal agencies and offices as they share their research through Ignite Talks. Each competitor has five minutes to present their project, using 20 picture-centric slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds. The result is a fun and engaging five-minute presentation.

Beatriz Oliva

Tammy Tan

Sara Daley

Our participants are excited about the educational research they are doing

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    Greg Tierney

    As an ORISE fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Greg Tierney, Ph.D., uses intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) curves to evaluate the risks of extreme temperature events.

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    Jake Krauss

    By creating digital media, Jake Krauss is bridging the gap between conservation and the general public.

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    Kasey Benesh

    Benesh is part of the Ecosystem Services Branch at the Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure’s Great Lakes Toxicology & Ecology Division laboratory. Here, Benesh is studying harmful algal blooms (HABs) that are caused by cyanobacteria.

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    Isabel Dunn

    Isabel Dunn is an ORISE participant in the Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO), where she conducts Great Lakes field research and assists with maintaining a database that tracks Great Lakes restoration and protection efforts.

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    Erica Yang

    Erica Yang’s appointment with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken her from geologist to limnologist, where she collects and analyzes nutrient data on the Great Lakes.

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    Geneva Gray

    Under the guidance of her mentor Tanya Spero, Geneva Gray models extreme rainfall events that are happening today. Gray then places those events in a warmer world to see how the location, amount, and intensity of that rainfall could change in the future.

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    Chloe Malouf

    Chloe Malouf is creating multimedia content to assist the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its mission of protecting human health and the environment.

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    Dennis Guignet

    Dennis Guignet has been researching how to quantify environmental protections to inform policy makers. Improving how policy makers calculate the value of the natural world could help expand its protections.

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    Carl Sivels

    Carl Sivels, a fellow in the EPA Research Participation Program, is studying integrated waste management plans in tribal communities in order to improve existing waste management systems.
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    Krista Liguori

    During her fellowship with the EPA, Krista Liguori assisted in developing water quality criteria and provided expertise on human health effects of water contamination for the Office of Science and Technology.

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    Gaida Mahgoub

    During her ORISE fellowship, Gaida Mahgoub had the opportunity to propose new questions to the U.S Census to better gauge national wastewater infrastructure

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    Alexandra Bijak

    During her fellowship with the EPA, Alexandra Bijak developed methods to simplify environmental
    monitoring data analysis and communicate results more easily with state partners and policy-makers.
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    Kevin Hollerbach

    During his ORISE fellowship with the EPA, Kevin Hollerbach combined his passions for the environment and education by harnessing the power of effective data visualization and using it to inform people on critical environmental issues.

  • “The experience has been great. I have felt well-supported by my mentor and colleagues. Moreover, those in my division have been open to helping me experience all that goes on at the EPA beyond research, including how research prioritization and planning is carried out to determine the future direction of the agency’s research portfolio.”

    —Greg Tierney
  • “This is an amazing opportunity to join a world-wide known entity and learn from high level professionals, and to learn skills and tools that are growing in terms of need. My overall experience has been a positive one.”

    —Carl Sivels
  • “I am blessed to have supportive mentors who encourage me to grow and gain new skills, attend trainings, and present at conferences.”

    —Gaida Mahgoub
  • “I hope that my research is helping to inform the average American about the important work being done by the EPA, and how every American has the opportunity to help the environment within their sphere of influence.”

    —Kevin Hollerbach
  • "I definitely recommend the ORISE program. It is a great opportunity for students and recent graduates at all levels. I think the fellowship opportunities available to junior faculty like myself are less well-known, but it has been a truly great experience."

    —Dennis Guignet
  • "It is not always easy being a mom of two young children and a doctoral candidate, but ORISE has helped me thrive and bloom into an early career researcher that makes my family proud."

    —Geneva Gray
  • "This is a great program for recent graduates interested in learning how science informs federal monitoring and policy."

    —Alexandra Bijak
Read more about our participants
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Participants will have opportunities to collaborate with other EPA and academic scientists to further his or her professional development and will be encouraged to publish their research and give presentations.