COVID-19 Reporting and Information • HEERF I, II & III

School of Environmental Studies


Natalie with her dog Lucy.

Congratulations to the College of  Interdisciplinary Studies' 2021 Alumna of the Year, Natalie Robbins! Natalie graduated from the P.S.M.-EI program in 2019. She currently works at Vanderbilt as a Research Analyst in the Spatial Analysis Research Lab.  She serves as a geospatial consultant on faculty and student research projects across the university and medical center. Last year, Natalie developed the Tennessee COVID-19 Data Portal and the Parsing the Pandemic Grand Challenge Initiative site. The data portal shows COVID-19 infection counts for each county in Tennessee, so viewers get a quick and accurate sense of the COVID numbers for the places where they live and work. It also shows the COVID- 19 deaths in relation to a variety of demographic, health, and socioeconomic variables.  Natalie is currently working on several projects looking at mobility through different lenses. The first project, Mapping Self in Society (MaSelfS), uses personal mobility data to foster critical spatial inquiry. In February, the MaSelfS team launched a public website for teachers and researchers to use the MaSelfS framework to help students “take back their data” by collecting personal movement data using their smartphones and visualizing their data on top of thematic maps in space and time. The goal of this project is for students to reflect on their movement in relation to their community and peers, while identifying missed learning opportunities (such as art installations or museum locations) in their everyday paths. The second project looks to understand mobility among persons living with HIV in Tennessee and its effect on continuum of care. Natalie Lives in Nashville, TN with her rescue puppy Lucy.


Nick Masto, an environmental sciences– biology PhD student, won the Best Student Poster Award at the 74th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) this year. Nick's poster, titled “Pre-breeding migration strategies of mallards wintering in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley” detailed an ongoing collaboration with other researchers across the Southeast to understand waterfowl movements in the winter and spring. Competition for these awards is always fierce so many congratulations to Nick, Abby Blake-Bradshaw and Cory Highway who all worked together on this research project! 

PhD student, Rachel Kaiser, was awarded the first Dr. Rengao Song Water Research Scholarship from AWWA and Louisville Water Company! 

Research Day 2021 Logo

SOES Winners



Primary Author: Shrijana Duwadi 

Project Title: The relation of microbial biomass carbon with denitrification and nutrient retention in restored floodplain wetlands.

Co-Authors: Spencer Womble & Robert Brown

Research Advisor: Dr. Justin Murdock


Primary Author: Lesta Kocher

Project Title: A study on the Spectrophotometric Analysis of Hg(II) using Dithizone under Conditions Pertinent to Hg(II) Reduction in Aquatic Systems

Collaborator: Stephen Okine

Research Advisor: Dr. Hong Zhang


Sociology and Political Science

Primary Author: Grady Hicks

Project Title: Examination of a Bottle Bill in Tennessee

Research Advisor: Dr. Lachelle Norris

Environmental Studies

Primary Author: Mikayla Wood

Project Title: Providing Resources for Female Forestland Owners

Co-authors/Collaborators: Caroline Curtis, Jamie Ownby, Kitty Philips, & Kyle Evans

Research Advisor: Dr. Steven Sharp


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