Ellie Stapleton; Masters Student
Hello! I'm Ellie Stapleton and I am a graduate student studying hydrogeology. I completed my undergraduate degree here at UWM in 2011 and decided to pursue my MS here as well. I am working with Dr. Shangping Xu for my thesis project. In my spare time I like to go fishing, horseback riding, and hiking.
New Berlin, WI
- Previous degrees (Degree and University)?
BS in Geosciences, UWM
- Expected graduation date?
Hopefully Spring 2013
- What is your field of study and how would you describe it to a prospective graduate student?
My focus is on groundwater resources. Specifically, I am looking into new ways to remove harmful contaminants from drinking water. I use special minerals to absorb chromium, arsenic, and E. coli so that they are removed from drinking water.
- What brought you to UWM to study Geosciences for your graduate degree?
Well, I liked it so much the first time around doing my undergrad work here, so I decided to stay.
- What's been your best experience so far?
Being able to work in the lab and develop my skills. I’ve gained a lot of confidence in myself from performing numerous experiments and using different equipment. This is also my first semester as a TA and I really like that too.
- In graduate School, have you gotten the opportunity to travel as part of your education?
Nope, not really. I practically live in the lab when I am here. I have gone on a few local field trips with some of the classes I have taken though.
- What trait or thing has allowed you to succeed in graduate school?
Multi-tasking. It can be hard to keep up and juggle everything: research, classes, teaching, and life outside of school. It’s essential to find the right balance.
- Do you have any advice that you would give to a new graduate student in your program?
Talk with your advisor often to make sure you are on the right track. It’s good to have a nice working relationship with your advisor. Also, get to know your fellow grad students. They’ll usually listen to you, even if you are complaining.
- What has been the hardest part about being a graduate student?
You have to be really committed to your project and ready to put in the hours. I have to admit that sometimes it was hard to get out of bed in the morning to come down here to work in the lab over the summer.
- What are your plans after you graduate?
I would like to work in the environmental consulting industry. I think that is the really cool thing about hydrogeologists; they are able to directly improve people’s well-being by solving hydrogeologic problems.
- How would you describe the Department of Geosciences at UWM to a prospective student?
I love it. In fact, it may actually be difficult to leave UWM and get a job out there in the real world. People are so nice here and we have such great professors covering a broad range of geology topics.
- What has been your favorite activity while you've been in Graduate School in Milwaukee?
I like being able to go home at the end of the day, back out toward Waukesha. I’m not much of a city gal, so it is nice to be able to get out horseback riding or fishing after a long day at school.
- What do you most enjoy about Milwaukee?
There are a lot of nice parks to enjoy here. My favorites are Grant Park and Doctor’s Park along Lake Michigan. They are great places to take a nice relaxing hike.