When Lisa Pezzino earned a prestigious fellowship from the National Science Foundation, she had the chance to study at any university in the country. She chose USF.
Pezzino was drawn to what she describes as USF’s “holistic” approach to studying the environment, integrating a strong science aspect with coursework on such topics as environmental law and sustainable environmental economic theory.
“I wanted a more well-rounded education, not a straight environmental engineering program,” said Pezzino, who is in her second year of the two-year master’s program in environmental management and holds a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering. “When I came across USF’s program, it just felt perfect for me.”
The fellowship, awarded to about 1,000 students nation-wide each year, is given to those who want to pursue a degree in the sciences and contribute to society in a positive way, whether through an invention, research, or related work.
As part of the fellowship, Pezzino is completing a master’s thesis that will be based on original research she began gathering data for last summer—she is helping restore native Hawaiian fishponds in the southeast corner of Oahu. As part of that, she is studying the local hydrology, specifically examining the flow of groundwater that had entered fishponds before infrastructure projects diverted it.