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Spencer Cole

Environmental Engineering
Environmental Engineering

From the greater Santa Cruz area, Spencer Cole joined his elder brother as a UC Merced student in 2015. Initially driven to study Bioengineering due to the strong impacts of health conditions on family, his disinterest in the medical field as a career and developing concern for environmental issues led him to transition focus to the Environmental Engineering program. During his first year, he joined Theta Tau to develop his professional skillset. As an active member he served as the scholarship chair for three consecutive terms beginning in 2017 and on the executive board as a scribe in 2019. In his sophomore year, he dabbled into research, briefly training as a drone pilot for remote sensing of agriculture. As a junior, he joined the Water Systems Management Lab under Dr. Medellin-Azuara, where he conducted research involving hydroeconomics and agricultural modeling in the Central Valley. He presented at the annual American Geophysical Union conference in 2018 on climate change impacts on agriculture and livestock in California’s Central Valley. As a researcher, his most prominent goals are to make science more accessible and meaningful to the population at large and to improve interdisciplinarity. Academic rigor has landed him on the Chancellor’s list every year of his undergraduate career, and this summer he succeeded in passing the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, the first step in pursuing licensure as a professional engineer. He is extremely grateful for the opportunities provided by his university, mentors and family and is proud to be a graduate of UC Merced. He plans to continue his education at UC Merced as a master’s student in the Environmental Systems program, studying California’s complex water system.

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