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EDUCATION

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA                                                                                Exp. 2016 PhD., MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Joint Program in Oceanography

  • 4.7/5.0 GPA; relevant coursework: Marine Policy, Science Writing, Science Policy Bootcamp, Ocean Law, Applied Statistics
  • MIT Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate
  • Dissertation: “North Atlantic Sea Surface Temperatures during the Little Ice Age using Multi-Element Coral Paleothermometry”

Brown University, Providence, RI                                                                                                                                            2009  B.S., Geological Sciences, magna cum laude with department honors, double major in Architectural Studies

  • 3.92/4.0 GPA
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi honor societies
  • Senior Honors Thesis: “Quartz as a paleo-wind proxy in the North Atlantic” advised by Dr. Timothy Herbert

FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS                                                                                                      

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, NSF                                                                           2011-2014  Ocean Ventures Fund recipient, WHOI                                                                                                                                    2012  Department of Geological Sciences senior award for research and academics, Brown University                            2009

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE          

Department of Marine Geology and Geophysics, WHOI, Woods Hole, MA                                                 2011-present   Research assistant

  • Developing new method to estimate past temperature from coral skeletons to estimate global temperature sensitivity to climate change
  • Presented results at 3 conferences, first author manuscript in prep for submission, supervised weeklong expedition to Bermuda

Long Term Ecological Research (LTER), Palmer Station, Antarctica                                                               2009-2011       Research assistant (2009-2010) and field team leader (2010-2011)

  • Supervised 2 research assistants in sample collection and assessment of microbial growth shifts due to climate change
  • Presented poster to >12 groups of public visitors to educate about Antarctic research and climate science
  • Blogged in 27 posts describing impacts of climate change on Antarctic marine ecosystem

Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI                                                    2006-2011         Laboratory technician

  • Operated gas chromatograph and infrared spectrometer for organic and inorganic geochemical analyses

POLICY AND APPLIED  EXPERIENCE             

Broader Impacts Group, MIT & WHOI, Cambridge and Woods Hole, MA                                                 2011- present     Co-founder, President

  • Initiated organization to develop students’ oral, written, and graphic communication skills, membership of >100 students
  • Spearheaded >20 events: 6 skills workshops by media and communication professionals, 4 outreach events to apply new skills, 5 events highlighting science careers outside of the lab, mediated panel discussion of faculty and industry members
  • Posters at Communicating Science Workshop (2013), Ocean Sciences Meeting (2014), Ocean Literacy Colloquium (2014)

Climate Feedback, Cambridge, MA                                                                                                                      2014- present     Contributor

  • Wrote comments for online publication on 6 media articles about climate change, describing factual errors and flawed arguments, providing additional information and scholarly references
  • Applying technical knowledge of climate science to reach broad audience and reduce misinformation

William Mitchell College of Law Expert Witness Training Academy, Minneapolis, MN                        2015                   Invited participant

  • Weeklong case study training climate scientists to give expert witness testimony for trials and hearings

American Meterological Society, Washington, DC                                                                                     2015             NSF Student Fellow at Summer Policy Colloquium

  • Funded to attend immersive training in science policy and introduction to future career paths

Ocean Journalism Fellows program, Woods Hole, MA                                                                                           2014            Scientist presenter

  • Presented about my research “The long view: What fossil corals can teach us about climate sensitivity” to BBC, PBS, Der Spiegel, and independent journalists
  • Communicated the significance of climate sensitivity research for anticipating climate change magnitude

MIT Energy Conference, Cambridge, MA                                                                                                                   2014            Student attendee

  • Attended sessions regarding alternative energy technologies and their application to passenger cars

UN Environmental Programme, Geneva, Switzerland                                                                                           2013        MIT student delegate

  • Analyzed negotiation of UN treaty with 147 nations on use of mercury, blogged in 5 posts about treatyprocess and results
  • Presented poster “Mercury Science Bulletin – Recent Findings from Scientific Research” at negotiation

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Cambridge, MA                                                      2012-2013      Contributor, reviewer

  • Participated and contributed to MIT seminar on IPCC 5th Assessment Report draft text
  • Submitted 3 comments to IPCC on figures in Summary for Policy Makers

Congressional Visit Day, MIT Science Policy Initiative, Washington, DC                                                           2012            MIT student delegate

  • Trained in effective communication of science to policy makers by Union of Concerned Scientists and AAAS
  • Researched and drafted policy briefings, lobbied 7 members of US Congress to support funding for science and technology

The Energy and Resources Institute, Karnataka, India                                                                                           2010          Intern

  • Evaluated innovative water filtration system for purifying contaminated river water, met with local landowners and stakeholders

National Park Service Division of Interpretation, Yellowstone National Park, WY                                          2009          Intern

  • Designed and performed 3 talks and guided walks per week about Yellowstone geology and ecology to >50 people
  • Educated and enriched broad audience using a variety of communication techniques

ACADEMIC PUBLICATIONS

“Comparison of equatorial Pacific sea surface variability and trends with Sr/Ca records from multiple corals”, Alpert, A., Cohen, A., Oppo, D., Gove, J., Young, C., Paleoceanography, 2016.

ACADEMIC CONFERENCES   

AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA                                                                                                                       2015          Oral presenter

  • Presentation: “Comparison of Equatorial Pacific Sea Surface Variability and Trends with Sr/Ca Records from Multiple Corals”

Ocean Sciences Meeting, Honolulu, HI                                                                                                                       2014          Oral presenter

  • Presentation: “Central Equatorial Pacific records of Pacific Equatorial Undercurrent variability: Testing the limits of coral proxies”
  • Poster: “Broader Impacts Group: Student-led efforts to bring science communication into the graduate education process”

Graduate Climate Conference, Woods Hole, MA                                                                                                     2013        Oral Presenter

  • Presentation entitled “Central Equatorial Pacific coral records of Equatorial Undercurrent Variability”

International Conference on Paleoceanography, Sitges, Spain                                                                         2013           Poster Presenter

  • Poster entitled: “Coral records of Equatorial Pacific variability” in “Extending the instrumental record into the paleo-world”

American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA                                                                                 2008       Poster Presenter

  • Presented poster “Garnet Polycrystals in a Barrovian Sequence in Dutchess County, New York”

American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA                                                                                 2007       Poster Presenter

  • Presented poster “Global and Regional Controls on Alkenone Sea Surface Temperature and Productivity Records for the Pleistocene from the Arabian Sea.”

NON-ACADEMIC PUBLICATIONS                                                                                                                                              “Coral-current connections,” Oceanus magazine, October 20, 2014                                                                                       “Climate Codes,” Natural History magazine, July 1, 2013                                                                                                            “Coralling coral in the Pacific,” MIT Tech newspaper, November 20, 2012

SKILLS                    

Lab: Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer analysis of solids and solutions, extraction and analysis of organic compounds using gas chromatography, flow cytometry

Field: SCUBA scientific diving certification, coral drilling and collection, small boat operation, water collection for carbon, nutrients

Technology: MATLAB, R, Microsoft Office, Adobe Illustrator

Teaching: 3 semesters as a teaching assistant for introductory level geology courses for a broad audience

Language: Fluent French speaker, advanced Latin reader, intermediate Spanish, beginning Italian

Personal interests: Clarinet performance – classical (13 years), Backpacking, Film criticism, Theories of class and social inequality

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