Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lily Hwang joins LRRD as Ecohydrologist.

I’m happy to announce Lily Charnsmorn Hwang has joined LRRD as our Ecohydrologist.  We were lucky to spot Lily as she approached a successful defense of her thesis at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC).  We were poised to do a national search, but I’m sure we could not have found a better partner!

Lily was born and grew up in New Jersey as a first generation Chinese-Thai-American and is fluent in English and Thai.  A Renaissance woman with talent and training in photography and art, she has a BS in Biology (with honors) from William Paterson University.  Her Master’s in Forestry centered on the effects of urbanization in Metro-East St. Louis area.  There Lily helped identify water quality issues, studying stream-borne nitrate, orthosphosphate, bacterial coliform, and even caffeine as urbanization indicators.  Who’d believe that the ubiquitous Starbucks would be of scientific use?

Lily was inspired to study environmental sustainability by the problems she saw in New York-New Jersey area.  She’s interested in urban “island biogeography” (one of my favorite courses in grad school); and how impervious surfaces in the northeastern US have produced huge “oceans” where insects and other fauna become isolated and genotypically fragmented.

She likes big, complicated, relevant problems, and wants to use science and education to make a difference.  A perfect fit for us!  Lily is also a techie, and is interested in our ongoing work to instrument our models and provide open source hardware and software for them.

Lily will be doing research and development work on our Emriver geomodels, she’ll also develop new ways to use them for education and outreach.

I was impressed with Lily from the moment I met her, and hired her as much for her wonderful, warm, personality as for her impressive science skills.  She has a strong environmental ethic and wants to make a difference.  And something we demand at LRRD -- a great sense of humor!

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