MISSOULA – University of Montana geosciences graduate student Nicholas E. Thiros is one of 52 graduate students nationwide to receive funding this year from a U.S. Department of Energy program designed to enhance graduate research.
The Office of Science Graduate Student Research Program provides supplemental funds for graduate awardees to conduct part of their thesis research at a host DOE laboratory in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist. Thiros, whose doctoral research focuses on hydrogeology, will work at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.
“During this fellowship, I will be researching the role that groundwater plays in shaping the hydrology and biogeochemistry within mountainous environments,” Thiros said, adding that he is excited to have the opportunity to work at the renowned Berkeley lab.
“In particular, I am interested in the influence that deep and old groundwater has on the predictions we make about water and contaminant movement,” he said. “To study this, I will primarily use computer models to predict groundwater flow in a Colorado mountain catchment.”
Thiros is in the first cohort of UM’s UM BRIDGES Food Energy Water Nexus Trainee Program, which prepares students to advance science toward more sustainable food-energy-water systems. His work in this trainee program complements the research he’ll do at the Berkeley National Laboratory, said Thiros’ adviser, hydrogeology Assistant Professor Payton Gardner.
“Nick’s DOE fellowship marks him as a rising star and is a significant step in his future as a leader in food, energy and water research,” Gardner said. “Nick will work with researchers developing high-performance computational models, running on the world’s largest computers, to answer some of the most critical water resource questions facing the nation.”
Participants in the SCGSR program are selected from a diverse pool of university-based graduate applicants. Selection is based on merit peer review by external scientific experts.
Graduate students pursuing Ph.D. degrees in areas of physics, chemistry, material sciences, biology (non-medical), mathematics, engineering, computer or computational sciences, or specific areas of environmental sciences that are aligned with the mission of the Office of Science are eligible to apply to the program.
A list of the 52 awardees, their institutions, host DOE laboratory/facility and priority research areas of projects is available online. More information on SCGSR can be found here.
Contact: Nicholas Thiros, Ph.D. candidate, UM Department of Geosciences, 801-726-3160, firstname.lastname@example.org; Payton Gardner, assistant professor, UM Department of Geosciences, 406-243-2458, email@example.com.