“There's nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater,you realize that you've been missing the whole point of the ocean.”
After earning his first undergraduate degree in Earth and Space Science Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), Jesse has been an Astronomy, Mathematics, and Instructional Support teacher at Punxsutawney Area School District since 2006. In 2014, he earned his second undergraduate degree, again from IUP, in Geology (Environmental), where his research focused on potential surface water contamination due to natural gas extraction in western Pennsylvania.
Jesse is interested in water resources and quality. At WVU, he is building groundwater models that simulate the interaction of fresh and salty groundwater in coastal aquifers to understand how surge, seiching, and waves cause contamination of these crucial resources during high-intensity storm events.
Deon was awarded an NSF EAR Postdoctoral Fellowship to work in the lab for two years. His work will examine how nutrients are processed in Arctic Deltas. He will build physical, flow, and reactive transport models for Arctic Deltas to understand the role they play in removing nutrients from discharging surface water prior to entering the Arctic Ocean. He will also conduct fieldwork in the Mackenzie Delta in Canada's Northwest Territories to make direct measurements that will constrain his numerical models.
Deon started his education at the University of Delaware, where he worked as an undergraduate field assistant in Dr. Holly Michael's lab and impressed everyone he worked with. Following UDel, he spent a year learning Mandarin at Xiamen University before returning to work with Dr. Audrey Sawyer for an MS and then a PhD at the Ohio State University. between publishing quite a few papers he found time to write grants, do outside internships, and mentor underrepresented students in a variety of capacities. We are excited for him to join us in August!