Congratulations to Caitlin Shipman and Joe Buckwalter, the 2021 Walker Graduate Research Fellows!
Caitlin is a first-year master’s student in Virginia Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, working with Dr. Stanley Grant. Caitlin completed her undergraduate degree in Integrated Science and Technology, with a concentration in Environment and minor in Biology, at James Madison University. After graduating, Caitlin began working at Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) as a VPDES Permit Writer. While at DEQ, Caitlin gained experience with the Commonwealth’s methods for protecting water resources and an appreciation of the need for smart, efficient approaches to environmental challenges. As a graduate student, she is a part of the convergence team tackling freshwater salinization in the Occoquan Reservoir, a major source of drinking water for Northern Virginia.
Joe is a 1st year PhD student in Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech studying fish communities in streams. In 2016, Joe completed an M.S. in Fish and Wildlife at Virginia Tech examining long-term changes in the distribution of New River fishes, and has since stayed on as a Research Associate at Virginia Tech studying coalfield streams, larval fishes, and Bog Turtles. Prior to Virginia Tech, Joe worked as a Habitat Biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game mapping the distribution of freshwater fishes across Alaska. He also worked as an environmental consultant in Seattle. Joe returned to graduate school for the opportunity to collaborate with an interdisciplinary team studying stream health in relation to land use, and to increase the impact of his research.
Established to honor the late William Walker, the founding director of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, this award has been given since 1999 to recognize and support graduate students in water resources who are pursuing work in a field different from their undergraduate study, or who have returned to school following a period of professional work. More information about this program is available HERE.