Hannah Lukasik is a second-year Hydrology Master of Science student in the Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences (GPHS) at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and is assigned as a Research Assistant at the Microplastic and Environmental Chemistry Laboratory at the Desert Research Institute. Her research focus involves the investigation of microplastics concentrations within the Truckee River and the Lower Colorado River, with Dr. Monica Arienzo as her advisor. This comes after earning her Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Water Resources: Hydrology at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) in 2022 along with being a recipient of the prestigious National Science Foundation - Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF-GRFP).
(Credit: Hannah Lukasik)
Hannah Lukasik being announced as the recipient of the Outstanding Junior Award during her undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (Timestamp: 20:00)
Hannah Lukasik being announced as the recipient of the World Languages and Literatures continuing student award during her undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (Timestamp: 7:50)
“I became interested in hydrology because I am passionate about drinking water accessibility,” Lukasik tells Labroots. “After working at the Water and Environmental Analysis Lab at UWSP, I discovered that water quality was my passion and that I wanted to further pursue an education in hydrology by attending UNR.”
Lukasik tells Labroots that an increased likelihood for more job opportunities and diversifying her hydrological knowledge was what motivated her to attend graduate school. This hydrological diversification came from moving from Wisconsin to Nevada, as both exhibit differing climates and topography that results in differing natural regulations for hydrological events. She feels this has enabled her to appreciate and address water quality and water availability concerns even more than before.Lukasik was drawn to GPHS for her love of water, not just as a powerful source of energy and landscape beauty but also as an essential life source for a multitude of communities, including humans, plants, and animals.
Hannah Lukasik collecting samples of microplastics in the Truckee River. (Credit: Hannah Lukasik)
Hannah Lukasik collecting samples of microplastics in the Black Rock Desert. (Credit: Hannah Lukasik)
“I hope to use my skills learned in graduate school to work on global water scarcity and water quality issues,” Lukasik tells Labroots. “I want to work for an international NGO that connects underserved communities with resources like programs and funding that work towards solving water quality and water availability problems brought on by climate change.”
As always, keep doing science & keep looking up!