This August, University of Rochester alumna Katherine Garner '11/T5'12 will head to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Carnegie Junior Fellows program. She is among 10 students and recent college graduates selected to provide research assistance in 2013-14 to senior scholars working on Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) programs. The Carnegie Junior Fellowship is a highly selective program that accepts just five percent of its applicant pool; candidates must be nominated by their college or university and represent close to 400 participating institutions. Rochester joined the list of participating institutions in 2004, and Garner is the first candidate to be selected.
"It is a tremendous accomplishment for Kate Garner to have been selected as the first-ever Carnegie Junior Fellowship finalist and winner from Rochester this year," said Belinda Redden, director of fellowships at Rochester. "Her year at the Endowment will be a transformative experience. Not only will she obtain a keener understanding of the politics of climate change and energy issues, but she will also gain greater insight into how she can best marshal her talents and commitment to science, public policy, and effective public outreach in the realm of environmental challenges and sustainable solutions."
A native of Cheshire, Conn., Garner will spend one-year working under senior associate Deborah Gordon through the Carnegie Energy and Climate Program, researching the policies and regulations surrounding unconventional oils and water usage. It's a subject that has always been of interest to Garner. As an undergraduate, she enrolled in a course, Physical Hydrology, which explored how water is used as a resource for human consumption and touched on governmental regulation of water. This sparked a curiosity in policy for Garner, who said the Carnegie Junior Fellowship will be an opportunity to delve deeper into the subject. She'll assist Gordon in creating a database that tracks the total carbon footprint of unconventional oils. Pending funding, she also may research how states currently regulate water usage, as a way to benchmark the best way to regulate water use for producing unconventional oils.
Garner has had multiple research experiences as an undergraduate and young alumna. She served as a rare gas laboratory research assistant in the Poreda Lab in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and in summer 2011, participated in an NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates internship at Northern Arizona University. Working in the Barlow Lab in NAU's Department of Physics and Astronomy, she conducted research on central floor pit craters on Mars. After graduation, she spent summer 2012 working at NASA's Student Airborne Research Program through the National Suborbital Education and Research Center (NSERC). Garner headed to California to assist NSERC faculty members with research projects, including testing how water stress affected a vineyard located in the central Joaquin Valley.
At Rochester, Garner majored in chemistry with a minor in American Sign Language, and spent a tuition-free fifth year here as a Take 5 Scholar. Her project, Exploration in Geological and Environmental Sciences through Art, sought to look at geology and earth and environmental sciences from an artistic perspective. She also served as a teaching assistant/workshop leader in biology, chemistry, and earth sciences, sharing her knowledge of the subjects with her peers. A 2010 summer study abroad experience in the Netherlands afforded her the opportunity to study the Dutch perspective on issues related to globalization, climate change, environmental policy, and sustainability.
Garner was awarded a Bausch & Lomb Scholarship for Excellence in Science upon entering the University, was a perennial member of the Dean's List, and graduated Magna Cum Laude and with High Distinction in Chemistry. She also was inducted into the Golden Key International Honour Society. Active in co-curricular athletics, Garner was a member of the women's club ultimate Frisbee team and women's rugby team.
One of the world's leading think tanks specializing in international affairs, the CEIP is a private, nonprofit, and non-partisan organization based in Washington, DC, with global centers in Moscow, Beijing, Beirut, and Brussels. In addition to their work with senior associates, junior fellows write articles and reports as well as give presentations and interact with U.S. governmental and foreign representatives on behalf of the Endowment. Selection is based on academic background and scholastic achievement, critical thinking and analytical writing skills, relevant work experiences, and interest in internationally-oriented careers.