ellie1_rsEllie 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.

  1. Hometown?
    New Berlin, WI
  2. Previous degrees (Degree and University)?
    BS in Geosciences, UWM
  3. Expected graduation date?
    Hopefully Spring 2013
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. ellie2_rsWhat 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.

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