Reshet Gebremariam is a first year master’s degree student in the Water, Society and Policy program of the School of Natural Resources and the Environment. She received her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn.
As an international student from Ethiopia, Gebremariam has learned a lot from her studies in the United States. During her years as an undergraduate, she worked with watershed districts in Minnesota, raising awareness about watershed resources. She built a temporary portable water filter for third world countries with an instruction manual in nine languages and helped raise funds to build a drinking water well in Africa. Gebremariam’s interest in water systems and water policy was triggered by the increasing competition for water resources all over the world and informed by multiple labs and case studies on the Mississippi River and surrounding areas.
At the WRRC, Gebremariam works as a Graduate Research Assistant under WRRC Director Sharon B. Megdal and Water Sustainability Program Director Jackie Moxley. She works on various outreach projects for the WRRC and assists the staff with special projects.
Gebremariam decided to pursue a masters degree in Water, Society and Policy to learn more about how environmental research is directly used in understanding and solving real world issues. The degree program provides a way to see how research scientists and policy makers collaborate to solve water-related problems and to understand how human activity and environmental processes affect watersheds. For this purpose, Arizona is a great place to study, given that it has many water challenges, and shares waters with other states and another country.
Environmental sustainability is something that is not widely acted upon in third world countries, and she believes studying at a land grant university renowned for environmental research and conservation will help her gain the proper experience and knowledge needed to bring about change. She expects to graduate in the fall of 2015. Upon graduation, Gebremariam hopes to pursue a career in soil and water resources management. She wants to focus on access to safe drinking water and the development of sustainable water systems in rural areas.