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CIELO ANGELICA SHARKUS

Education

DOCTORATE OF PHILOSOPHY IN ENVIRONMENTAL AND WATER RESOURCE ENGINEERING

May 2024

The University of Massachusetts Amherst. GPA: 3.92
Thesis title: "Climate Engineering: Past and Future Risks of Climate Change"
Advisor: Dr. Christian Guzman

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING

May 2021

University of Massachusetts Amherst. GPA: 3.91

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN BIOCHEMISTRY

May 2019

Worcester Polytechnic Institute. GPA: 3.3
Thesis title: “New Class of Fluorescent Biomarkers” Advisor: Dr. Arne Gericke and Dr. Achim Ecker
Minor: Environmental Studies & Sustainability

INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH PROJECTS

January 2022-Present

IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND EXTREME WEATHER ON SEDIMENTATION OF THE CONNECTICUT RIVER

  • Utilized a HEC-RAS hydraulic analysis software to analyze the impact of dam failure/collapse on hydropower infrastructure on the Holyoke dam

  • Evaluated the impact of solar energy inputs for equitable outcomes for EJ neighborhoods in Holyoke MA. Described these impacts to a non-profit organization for policy advocacy

September 2021-Present

EXTREME WEATHER AND CLIMATE CHANGE INFLUENCE COMMUNITY VULNERABILITIES

  • Educated farmers and community members on hazardous materials transport, climate risks, and climate resillience

  • Develop climate smart agricultural approach to fortify food, water, and energy structures using inclusive engagement structures and practices

  • Worked with community members to engineer social and scientific solutions to mitigate hazards associated with environmental hazards of climate change.

February 2021 - Present

CHANGING FIRE REGIMES EXACERBATE SOCIAL INEQUALITIES AND INCREASE VULNERABILITY

  • Geospatially delineated wildfire and erosion risk using raster dataset from CalGIS

  • Quantitaviely assess the socio-environmental burden of risks on EJ populations, indigenous tribal lands, and transient populations

  • Developed a workflow for characterizing and identifying communities at risk, engaging with communities of color, and creating inclusive socioenvironmental fire practices

July 2020 - Present

LEGACY CONTAMINATION RISKS ON SURFACE AND GROUNDWATER DURING HIGH FLOW EVENTS

  • Evaluated potential health risks to community members using spatial and temporal analysis in GIS

  • Ran a MODFLOW MT3DMS simulation in GMS to visualize 3D contaminant transport

  • Collaborated with community members to engineer social and scientific solutions to mitigate hazards associated with environmental hazards of climate change.

July 2019 - December 2021

SOCIAL VULNERABILITY AND HYDROLOGICAL RISK IN MASSACHUSETTS

  • Geospatially delineated hydrological risk using FEMA Q3 flood data in GIS.

  • Delineated flood hazard areas by social risk and created a vulnerability assessment of environmental justice communities.

  • Worked with science policy leaders in Massachusetts to enhance flood mitigation plans.

January 2018 - October 2018

INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS FOR FLUORESCENT BIOMARKERS FOR CLIMATE MIGRANTS IN SWITZERLAND

  • Created a fluorescently quenched nanozeolite framework for use in heavy metal identification in human lung cell fibroblasts.

  • Used principles of genetic engineering to describe the impact that pesticides had on migrant farm workers

  • Successfully defended thesis in front of a panel of industrial chemists in Wädenswil, Switzerland.

January 2018-May 2018

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP AND STORMWATER EDUCATION

  • Performed quantitative analysis on water quality in central Massachusetts including TMDL tests.

  • Organized compliance with MS4 permit and Massachusetts EPA by creating an educational solution to mitigate stormwater pollution in Fitchburg. The product being a student workbook, educator handbook, and stormwater curriculum that meets state educational frameworks.

  • Collaborated with stormwater experts, environmental engineers, and educators.

October 2018- December 2018

PETRÓLEO EN ECUADOR: CRISIS DE AGUA LIMPIA

  • Designed an interactive exhibit on the issues surrounding environmental degradation, protecting indigenous peoples’ rights, and oil propagation in Ecuador.

  • Created hands-on demonstrations to educate rural farmers focused on: detecting water contamination, treating people affected by water contamination, and methods to remove contaminants in water.

  • Delivered a professional presentation to faculty at WPI and Engineers in Napo Ecuador.

SELECT AWARDS, GRANTS, AND FELLOWSHIPS

DEAN'S CURRICULUM CHALLENGE

College of Engineering Teaching Award, UMass Amherst ($300, 2022)

INSTITUTE FOR ENERGY JUSTICE

Justice in 100 Grant, ($1,000, 2022)

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

Research Trainee Fellowship ($150,000 total, 2021-2024)

VALENTE HUMANITIES IN CLIMATE JUSTICE FELLOWSHIP

Bentley University ($3,000, 2021-2022)

ENERGY TRANSITION INSTITUTE

Elevating Equity Values in the Transition of the Energy System Fellowship, (2021-2024)

AMERICAN WATER WORKS ASSOCIATION

HDR One Water Industry Scholarship ($10,000, 2021)

UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST TEACHING FELLOWSHIP

College of Engineering ($8,000, 2021)

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award ($500, 2021)

AGENTS OF CHANGE

Agents of Change Environmental Health Fellowship ($1,000, 2021)

INSTITUTE OF DIVERSITY SCIENCES

Seed grant award ($12,000, 2021)

NORTHEAST CLIMATE ADAPTATION SCIENCE CENTER

Fellowship award ($34,000, 2020)

SPAULDING-SMITH FELLOWSHIP

UMass Amherst ($70,000, 2020)

SELECT PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

Sharkus, C., Stoof, C., Givens, J., Guzman, CD. (2022). Changing Fire Regimes Exacerbate Social Inequalities and Increase Vulnerability. (In Review)

Guzman, C., Salap-Ayca, S., Vogel, E., Hatch, C., Sharkus, C., Tacheron, K. (2022)Using self assembled flood maps for risk analysis and social depravation. (In Review)

Sharkus, C., Saia, S. M., Givens, J., Knighton, J., Guzman, C. (2022). Assessing Social Vulnerability and Hydrological Risk in Massachusetts. (In Review)

Knighton, J., Hondula, K., Sharkus, C., Guzman, CD, Elliot, R (2021). Streamflow Dynamics and Race Drive the Flood Risk Behaviors of US Metropolitan Areas.

European Geophysical Union General Assembly 2022. Climate Change Amplifies Flood Hazards in Socially Vulnerable Areas. April, 2022. Vienna, Austria.

Eighth Annual HBCU Climate Change Conference. Utilizing a Climate Justice Engineering Framework for Development of Community-based Climate Solutions. March, 2022. New Orleans, USA.

American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2022. Using self assembled flood maps for risk analysis and social depravation. February, 2022. New York Cita, USA.

National Climate Adaptation Science Center Annual Fall Symposium. Invited Speaker. Climate Justice Engineering: Using Action-Focused Research for Community Risk Management. October 2021

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