The Professors of CAUSE 2016

Dr. Mike Nassry
Nassry Picture
Michael Nassry is an Assistant Research Professor and  ecological engineer with Riparia (formerly the Penn State Cooperative Wetlands Institute) in the Department of Geography. After graduating from Penn State’s Agricultural and Biological Engineering program and working as an environmental consultant conducting ecological and human health based risk assessments, he conducted his graduate research on glacial meltwater supported streams in southeast Alaska. Now back in beautiful Happy Valley, he works with Riparia and the Penn State Sustainability Institute on wetland and groundwater related projects.

Dr. Denice Wardrop
Denice Heller Wardrop earned a B.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia, and a M.S. from the same in Environmental Sciences. She worked as an Environmental Engineer and Risk Assessor in private industry for ten years before returning to Penn State for a PhD in Ecology, which she completed in 1997. Most of her time at Penn State has been spent as a research scientist at Riparia, a research center dedicated to providing science that informs policy and practice. Dr. Wardrop’s research has centered on ecological responses to human disturbance and climate change in freshwater wetlands, their neighboring headwater streams, and coastal marshes. She is currently serving as Director of Penn State’s Sustainability Institute, dedicated to leading and supporting the University’s integration of sustainability into all of its functions, which just celebrated its two-year anniversary. She is also still pursuing the vision of humans and aquatic ecosystems bringing out the best in each other.

The Students of CAUSE 2016


From Left to Right
Back Row: Izzy Gordon, Andrew Brown, Cecilia Cullen, Sara Tomko, Amanda Krolczyk, Andy Angle
Front Row: Daniel Guarracino, Austin Jordan, Sonia Kaufman, Alyssa Menzel, Brandon Rothrock, Lydia Scheel

Andrew Angle
Andrew Angle is a senior majoring in Physical/Environmental Geography with a minor in Energy, Business and Finance (EBF). Andrew’s academic interests include the interactions between climate change and business as well as physical climate processes. His personal interests include reading especially the Game of Thrones books, sports, and working out.

Andrew Brown
Andrew Brown is a junior majoring in geography with minors in GIS and climatology. He is the social chair for the Penn State Veterans Organization and served in the United States Coast Guard from 2010 to 2015. His interests are climate change and geoengineering. His personal interests include golf, snowboarding and various sports.

Cecilia Cullen
cecilia cullen
Cecilia Cullen is a senior at Penn State majoring in geosciences, option hydrogeology. After her intended graduation in May 2017, she hopes to attend graduate school to further her understanding of the hydrologic cycle.
A fun fact about Cecilia is that she is ambidextrous.

Izzy Gordon
Izzy Gordon is a rising junior studying Material Science and Engineering. She is an RA in East halls, and loves spending her time outdoors. Fun fact… she loves goats and can’t wait to see the alpaca in Peru.

Daniel Guarracino
Daniel Guarracino is a rising senior in Environmental Systems Engineering. Daniel is a volunteer service coordinator for the organization ServeState Students for Philanthropy and greatly enjoys the outdoors. He used to lead backpacking trips for the University. He looks forward to learning more about the mechanisms of climate change across the globe.

Austin Jordan
Austin is a rising senior in the Weather Risk Management option of Meteorology. He is interested in working with weather and climate risk, possibly in the renewable energy sector. He will continue doing climate-related research this summer as part of the Penn State REU in Climate Science.

Amanda Krolczyk
Amanda is a junior Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering Major and an Energy Business and Finance major. Amanda is the treasurer of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and loves doing anything that involves nature and the outdoors. A fun fact is that this is her first time leaving the country and she is excited to start traveling.

Alyssa Menzel
Alyssa Menzel is a junior studying Energy Engineering, with a minor in Energy, Business & Finance. At Penn State, she is very involved with THON and is the Internal Relations Director for the Society of Women Engineers. Alyssa enjoys hiking, kayaking, and photography and will be traveling outside of the country for the first time through CAUSE 2016!

Brandon Rothrock
Brandon Rothrock is currently a sophomore at Penn State from Stewartsville, New Jersey. He is double majoring in Meteorology and Geography, with his studies concentrated on both human-induced climate change and sustainability practice. After graduation, Brandon plans to either attend graduate school or dive directly into research activities. Aside from academics, he is also the Eco-Reps East Halls Area Coordinator for the upcoming academic year, and is an active member in Ohana, a special interest THON organization. Brandon is extremely excited to partake in the CAUSE Program this year, and to immerse himself in international culture and climate research.

Lydia Scheel
Lydia Scheel
Energy Business and Finance Major, Energy Land Management Option
Junior graduating in May 2017
Fun Fact: Between our trips this summer I’ll be interning in Finance, Risk & Compliance with BP in Houston!

Sara Tomko
Sara Tomko is a rising senior at Penn State majoring in geosciences and minoring in climatology. She is very interested in studying the Earth’s climate through oxygen isotopes. She hopes to one day work for the government to help fight climate change. An interesting fact about her is that she is a vegetarian and is working on becoming an activist against industrial farming.