Trevor Amestoy recently won the prestigious 2021 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF). The NSF GRFP offers three years of stipend support during a 5-year fellowship tenure to applicants selected through a national competition. He is currently at the University of New Mexico, B.S. in Civil Engineering with a minor in Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts and will be graduating this spring, May 2021. Amestoy will join the Reed Research Group this summer 2021.
What is your research about?
Throughout my undergraduate studies, I have dabbled in various research topics in water resources and environmental engineering. My first substantial research project studied peatland restoration in the Great Dismal Swamp of eastern Virginia. Following that, I moved to southern New Mexico, where I studied brackish groundwater desalination and the challenge of concentrate management. Since then, I have assisted with research at UNM’s Center for Water and Environment, focusing on river nutrient dynamics within the Rio Grande.
For my NSF Graduate Research Fellowship proposal, I decided to blend my nutrient pollution research experience with my interests in environmental policy. I proposed using multi-objective evolutionary algorithms to investigate optimal non-point source nutrient pollution management policies that would balance environmental and economic outcomes.
What are your research goals and/or any goals for the future?
I hope to establish a career in academia and advance innovative solutions to our growing water resource and environmental challenges. Ultimately, after completing the doctoral program at Cornell, I plan on returning to the western U.S., where I developed my passion for environmental studies and stewardship.
Why did you choose Cornell?
I chose to join Professor Reed’s research group at Cornell because I recognize that his research is becoming increasingly important as modern water resource systems expand in complexity. Professor Reed had shown support for me and my ideas early on in the GRFP application process. Throughout the admissions process, I gradually realized that his energetic research group was the perfect place for me to conduct my graduate studies.