Department of Earth, Environmental & Planetary Sciences

2023 Commencement Ceremony

The Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences joins Brown University in celebrating the achievements of the graduating class of 2023. Here we will be sharing an expanded version of our Commencement Program, listing the many accomplishments of our new graduates.



Ceremony Program – Sunday, May 28th 

Light fare served prior to the ceremony – est. 2:30 PM
Introduction & Opening Remarks – est. 3 PM
James Russell, Chair

Bestowing of the Ph.D. Graduate Hoods by Advisors
Acknowledgment of Sc.M. Recipients

Conferring of Diplomas to the Class of 2023
Corporation Member: James P. Esposito '90

Presentation of Undergraduate Awards
Professor Karen Fischer

Closing Remarks – est. 4:30 PM
Dessert reception to follow.


Department Awards

Senior Award for Excellence in Research, Academics and Service
Annabelle Gao

Research Excellence Award
Julia Grossman

Jan Tullis Undergraduate Teaching Award
Nuri van Dommelen

Sarah LaMendola Undergraduate Research Award
Thomas Shaw Duggan Miller

  • Emma Buck | A.B. Geology–Biology 
    • NSF REU 2022 at Montana State University; Critical Review writer; Cooking Club & Gardening Club member; Student DJ. 
  • Lucas Fromm | Sc.B. Geology–Biology
    • Sigma Xi; Utilizing remote sensing to improve wetland vegetation mapping; Presented AGU 2022; RUSA Vice President; BUSVS Secretary. 
    • Thesis: Enhanced Wetland Vegetation Mapping via PlanetScope Smallsat Capture of Phenological Cycles (L. Smith)
  • Annabelle Gao | Sc.B. Geology–Chemistry
    • Magna cum laude: Honors; Sigma Xi; Brooke Owens Fellow 2021; Wave Fellow 2022; posters at LPSC 2021 and 2023; GeoDUG co-leader 2020-2023; TA for EEPS 0010, 0220, 0230, 0240, and 1330; research with Prof. Daubar and Prof. Ibarra; Meiklejohn Peer Advisor 2021 & 2023.
    • Thesis: Characterization of Wind Streaks from Fresh Impacts on Mars (I. Daubar)
  • Julia Grossman | Sc.B. Geology–Physics/Mathematics
    • Honors; Sigma Xi; Sarah LaMendola Award 2022; NOAA Hollings Scholar; research with Prof. Dalton 2020-2022; 2021 Caltech Summer Research Fellow; TA for EEPS 220 and 160M; Meiklejohn Peer Advisor 2020-2023; Brown Daily Herald writer and editor. 
    • Thesis: Use of SMART Subsea Cables for Faster Earthquake and Tsunami Wave Detection: Vanuatu-New Caledonia (C. Dalton)
  • Kian Kafaie | Sc.B. Geology–Biology
    • Magna cum laude; Honors; Sigma Xi; Phi Beta Kappa; Summer 2022 UTRA with  Prof Russell; Presented at AGU 2022; TA for EEPS 0240; Research at UCSC Summer 2021; Doris Duke Conservation Scholar (2020 cohort). 
    • Thesis: A 6,000 Year Record of Holocene Hydroclimate and Lake Water Balance from Lake Edward (Uganda - D.R. Congo) (J. Russell)
  • Jesse Savin Miller | A.B. Geological Sciences
    • Magna cum laude; Honors; Sigma Xi; Led Spring Break Field Trip 2023; 2022 UTRA and independent research with Prof. Ibarra; TA for EEPS 220; Brown Ultimate Frisbee Men's C Captain.
    • Thesis: Temperature Dependent Dissolution Experiments of Basaltic Andesite Dacite and Pumice from the Little Deschutes River Valley, Oregon (D. Ibarra) 
  • Thomas Shaw Duggan Miller* | Sc.B. Geology–Biology
    • Sigma Xi; Sarah LaMendola Award 2023; 2022 UTRA and independent research with Prof. Ibarra; SULI Award Summer 2023; TA for EEPS 0240; Gear Committee co-leader for 2022 SBFT; VP of the Brown University Marching Band.
    • Thesis: A New Temperature Record for Owens Lake from Clumped Carbonate and Triple Oxygen Isotopes (D. Ibarra)
  • Anna Novatney* | A.B. Geological Sciences & A.B. Computer Science
    • Summer 2023 UTRA with Prof. Fischer; TA for CS 0170.
  • Adin Richards | A.B. Geology–Biology & A.B. Public Health
    • Sigma Xi; 2020 UTRA and research with Prof. Russell; 2021 SPRINT Award; Summer 2022 Institute for Progress Fellow; interned with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; worked for a DC-based science policy think tank, publishing on US agricultural policy and working with legislators on research and development priorities in the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill: organized a GISP "Biosecurity & Biodefense" (sponsored by Prof. Beth Cameron).
  • Victoria Rose | A.B. Geology–Biology & A.B. Education Studies 
    • Sigma Xi; Joslin Award and SAO Undergraduate Student Leader of the Year Award 2023; Rural Students @ Brown Founder; Brown University Band leader; BOLT leader and manager; UTRA and TA for EDUC 550; TA for EEPS 0010.
  • Gordon Lipka Sherman | Sc.B. Geology–Chemistry & A.B. Engineering 
    • Honors; Sigma Xi; ​​​​​​​UTRA with Prof. Huang 2021; Voss Undergraduate Fellow 2023; first chair clarinet in Brown University Wind Symphony; leader in Brown Jewish community; TA for EEPS 1370 twice.
    • Thesis: Analyzing Alkenones with Unprecedented Sensitivity in Arctic Svalbard Marine Sediments: Implications for SST and Sea Ice Proxies (Y. Huang) 
  • Austin Smith | A.B. Geological Sciences & A.B. Applied Mathematics 
    • Magna cum laude; Sigma Xi; ​​​​​​​TA for EEPS 0050, EEPS 0810, and EEPS 1960D; presented at American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics conference 2021; GeoDUG leader Fall 2021; Brown Animal Rights Coalition leader 2021-2023.​​​​​​​
  • Alexander J. Almoro Tin* | A.B. Geology–Chemistry
    • ​​​​​​​Climate activism with Sunrise, Environmental Justice @ Brown, and Clean Water Action; Fostered queer community on campus Zeta Delta Xi leader; GISP organizer for Filipinx Language and Culture Spring 2020; GISP member for Southeast Asian Healing Justice Fall 2022. 
  • Nuri van Dommelen | Sc.B. Geology–Biology
    • Honors; Sigma Xi; ​​​​​​​UTRA 2021 and independent research with Prof. Herbert all four years; TA for EEPS 240 twice, EEPS 220, EEPS 1240, and EEPS 010; Spring 2022 in Copenhagen.
    • Thesis: Plio-Pleistocene Evolution of the Benguela Current: An Analysis of Alkenone Derived Proxy Data from ODP Site 1085 (T. Herbert)
  • Alexander R. Wilk | Sc.B. Geology–Biology
    • Magna cum laude; Honors; Sigma Xi; ​​​​​​​Research with Prof. Russell 2021-2023; UTRA 2022; TA for EEPS 1240 and EEPS 0010; presented at AGU 2022; Brown University Old Time String Band.
    • Thesis: Pleistocene Super-interglacial Climates and Hydroclimates of the Indo-Pacific Warm PooMagna cum laudel (J. Russell)
  • Joseph Cade Woodcock** | A.B. Geology–Biology
    • ​​​​​​​Focused studies in environmental justice and contemplative studies; Affordable housing advocate with Viva Equity; Pasta and dessert chef; Member of the mothership and Pfunk frisbee teams. 
  • Daniel Yuchi Zhou | Sc.B. Geological Sciences & A.B. Visual Art 
    • ​​​​​​​Honors; Sigma Xi; Summer Intern at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center 2021; UTRA with Prof. Daubar 2021; NASA RI Space Grant Award 2022 for research with Prof. Liang; Fundraising co-leader for 2022 Spring Break Field Trip.
    • Thesis: Estimating Martian Mantle Temperatures with Al-in-Olivine Thermometry (Y. Liang)​​​​​​​


*Will complete in Fall 2023.
**Will complete in Spring 2024.



Thomas Czernik|Sc.M. – Creep and Attenuation in Ice/Magnesium Chloride Eutectics with Implications for the Thermomechanical Evolution of Europa (R. Cooper & G. Hirth)

Raven Grazulis |A.M. – (Y. Liang)

Yiran Huang | Sc.M. – Estimating the local amplification of Rayleigh waves with regional broadband seismic arrays (C. Dalton) 

Anna Lo Piccolo | Sc.M. – Energetics and Transfer of Submesoscale Brine Driven Eddies at a Sea Ice Edge (B. Fox-Kemper)

Andrea L. Mason | Sc.M.  – Tropical High-Elevation Mountain Response to Changing Hydroclimate Over the Holocene (J. Russell)

Sebastian Munoz | Sc.M. –  Partitioning of Reactions Reveals Hydrologic and Landscape Controls on Rock Weathering Along a Glacial Gradient in South Central Alaska, USA (D. Ibarra)

Kierra Wilk | Sc.M. – Characterization of Surface Adsorbed H2O on Lunar and Lunar Relevant Minerals (J. Mustard) 

Nimisha Wagle | Sc.M.* - Understanding Canadian Shield surface hydrology (L. Smith)


*Will complete in Fall 2023

Anson Cheung | Global and Pacific Temperature, Productivity, and Western North America Hydroclimate Change during the Holocene (T. Herbert)

Anant Hariharan| Understanding Overtone Interference in Surface Wave Measurements: Application to Anisotropic Imaging of the Uppermost Mantle Beneath North America (C. Dalton)

Emily Joyce* | From the Atmosphere to the Sea: Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition to Aquatic Ecosystems (M. Hastings) 

Jenny Kowalzyk* | Precipitation and Vegetation in a High CO2 World (J. Lee)

Ethan Kyzivat | Methane Emission from Arctic-Boreal Lakes: Insights from High-Resolution Remote Sensing (L. Smith)

Sarah McGrath* | Late Pleistocene Orbital-Scale Indian Summer Monsoon Hydroclimates Reconstructed Using Leaf Wax Hydrogen and Carbon Isotopes from the Northeast Indian Margin and Andaman Sea (S. Clemens & Y. Huang)

Erica Nathan | Controls on the Freezing, Fracture, and Evolution of Icy Ocean Worlds (C. Huber & J. Head)

Rosa Xu* | Interaction between the Andes and the Climate System, and the Waves Studies (B. Fox-Kemper & J. Lee) 


*Completed in Fall 2022.