Please join us in welcoming our incoming graduates for Fall 2022!
Originally from Boston, I went to Yale for a bachelor's degree in physics and mechanical engineering. With an interest in sustainable development internationally, I found my way to Kenya where I worked for 6 years with a start-up developing renewable energy projects in rural, off-grid areas. There, I learned about the power of remote sensing, GIS, and machine learning to study remote areas and make data-driven decisions. This brought me to CU in the Geography department to dive into geospatial data science, working with Morteza Karimzadeh in his GeoHuman AI Lab. I am interested in finding ways to apply statistics and deep learning models to remotely-sensed data to study remote regions of the world and to understand which factors lead to economic growth and well-being in harmony with the environment.
I was raised in the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado, which started my interest in alpine environments. I completed my undergraduate degree in Geography from the University of Denver, and my Master’s in Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science at Lund University, Sweden. While there, I developed a novel composite indicator representing the impact of modeled forest management practices on ecosystem services. My research interests center around understanding climate and anthropogenic impacts on mountain ecosystem services through combining empirical measurements and modeling. I am working with Peter Blanken on INSTAAR’s Ecosystem Resilience Project, led by Keith Musselman, aiming to define and project climate-change refugia in the Colorado Front Range. My hobbies include spending time outdoors, performance art, and playing board games with friends.
Growing up my greatest memories we’re visiting national parks with my family and learning about plants, animals, and the environment. As I grew up I never lost that passion and knew I wanted to make a career around being outdoors and learning.
I received my Bachelors of Science in Physical Geography from the United States Military Academy, where I was a four year varsity athlete. Upon graduation I was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry. I recently changed career paths and knew that I wanted to make a difference in the world. I decided to combine my passion for nature, especially the Arctic, and my goals to make change and pursue a career in the natural sciences. The CU Geography department seemed like the perfect place to begin this journey.
I hope to focus in Glaciology and Climate change specifically in Greenland. Upon finishing my masters I wish to pursue a PhD in a similar field.
My name is Briana Prado, I am from San Diego, California, and studied Chemistry and Earth Science at UC Santa Cruz. I will be studying geochemistry and chemical weathering in the McMurdo Dry Valleys under Dr. Melissa Diaz. I am super stoked to be in Boulder, CO, and spend time outside hiking and biking and experiencing a true winter.
This past summer I sharpened my U.S geography skills while cycling across the country from Baltimore MD to San Francisco, CA with a group of 23 cyclists to raise funds for a cancer charity. The tour took us through 11 different states and 7 national parks over 70 days. We transverse mountain ranges such as the Appalachians, Rockies, and Sierra Nevada Mountains, and crossed the Mississippi, Missouri, and Colorado Rivers.
Fun Fact: I visited CU Boulder for the first time during the bike ride when we had a rest day in Boulder. This was the day before biked before heading into Estes Park through highway 34 and then biking into Rocky Mountain National Park and climbing trail ridge!
I had so much fun that I would 100% do it again. These days you’ll probably catch me riding my red single-speed bike called Tessie around campus.
Photos from Briana's Cross-country Cycling Trip