Graduate Fellows

Frances Marlin

Frances Marlin

Pursuing Master's in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Bachelors in Environmental Engineering and a Minor in Humanitarian Engineering

Hello, my name is Frances Marlin. I graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a bachelor’s of science in Environmental Engineering and minor in Humanitarian Engineering in December 2016. I am now pursuing a master’s of science in Civil and Environmental Engineering under Dr. Jessica Smith and Dr. John McCray. While pursuing my bachelor’s degree I became aware of the many challenges our society faces in attempting to balance the often-competing areas of energy extraction, social license to operate, economic viability, and environmental stewardship. While these challenges often require multidimensional solutions, their controversial nature often divides the affected stakeholders. This division can lead to incomplete and unsustainable outcomes that are detrimental to all parties involved. My research examines how communities, local governments, and companies use the policy innovation of MOUs to manage the environmental dimensions of unconventional energy development. I am excited about   the opportunity of working with the ConocoPhillips Center for a Sustainable WE2ST in order to help develop a better understanding of the complex challenges that have arisen from unconventional energy development in the Colorado Front Range.

Erin Sedlacko

Erin Sedlacko

Pursuing PhD in Environmental Engineering, Masters in Environmental Science and Engineering

Hello! My name is Erin Sedlacko and I am currently pursuing my PhD in Environmental Engineering Science under Dr. Andrea Blaine as a ConocoPhillips Center for a Sustainable WE2ST Fellow. My research focuses on the Food-Energy-Water Nexus, and in particular, the uptake and metabolism of compounds in crops irrigated with produced water from Oil & Gas operations.  I completed my MS at CSM in Environmental Science and Engineering, where I was fortunate enough to combine my passion for environmental health with my previous undergraduate work in Environmental & Plant Biology as a collaborator and co-author on several projects exploring the uptake and bioaccumulation of Fluorochemicals and Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) into food crops from both reclaimed water and biosolids- amended soils.  Continuing that work after graduation, I have enjoyed the research of many exciting and diverse projects, ranging from the fate and transport of CECs in urban stormwater systems to the potential treatment of produced water with constructed wetland cells, focused at the Mines Park Greenhouse as a Research Associate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at CSM under Dr. Chris Higgins.  As vice president of an environmental consulting firm, I am excited to join the WE2ST team in their focus on the joint sustainability of water resources and unconventional petroleum energy in the Mountain West.

Michael Vega

Michael Vega

Pursuing Master's in Hydrologic Science and Engineering, Bachelor's in Geology and Chemistry

Hello, my name is Michael Vega. I recently graduated with B.S.’s in Geology and Chemistry from Kansas State University, and am now pursuing an M.S. in Hydrologic Science and Engineering at Colorado School of Mines. My research interests are in aqueous geochemistry, specifically how the interplay between redox sensitive contaminants, microbial activity, and organic matter can affect water quality. Through my undergraduate research, I investigated how organic matter quality influences the release of arsenic and manganese in West Bengal groundwater. Now, under the supervision of Professor Jonathan (Josh) Sharp, I will be applying similar principles to understand the role that biological wastewater treatment processes (e.g., constructed wetlands) can play in remediating produced and flowback waters. I am passionate about the environment – particularly with respect to water – and could not be more excited to conduct research and learn about the convergence of water sustainability and energy resources within the ConocoPhillips Center for a Sustainable WE2ST. Aside from academics, I enjoy backpacking, traveling, reading, and spending time with family.