Featured Students


Michael Thayer, PhD

Dr. Thayer completed his Ph.D. in the spring and has re-joined the ESGP as an adjunct instructor. His dissertation research focused on Environmental Management Systems (EMSs), such as ISO 14001 and EMAS, which are used by many organizations across the globe, with the overarching goal of continual improvement of environmental performance. Proponents claim that properly implemented, supported, and maintained EMSs will result in many organizational benefits; detractors claim EMSs are more akin to “greenwashing” and do not provide much in the way of organizational benefit. The most important and the most difficult piece of the EMS process is the identification of significant environmental aspects. The Aspect-Impact-Mitigation (AIM) Prioritization Program was originally developed to provide a holistic risk-based approach to identify significant environmental aspects in accordance with the guidance in the ISO 14001 standard. While the current version of AIM orders environmental aspects by relative risk (i.e., significance), it is not without its own shortcomings. Dr. Thayer's research resulted in an improved AIM approach for identifying significant environmental aspects through assessment of environmental impact risks and prioritized mitigation potentials.

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Keima Kamara, MS

"Thank you for giving me the opportunity to complete my Ms degree in this wonderful program. Choosing the Environmental Science Graduate Program at Oklahoma State University is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my entire life. I have grown so much in my career as an environmental scientist. With wonderful people like Dr. Scott Stoodley I got to believe in my self and never to choose failure as an option. But rather to work harder in other to achieve my dreams and turn them into reality."- Keima Kamara

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Aniko Konya, Visiting Scholar

Aniko Konya, Ph.D. student from Hungary, arrived in Stillwater during a tornado warning. Read about this and other educational experiences she enjoyed during her five months as a visiting scholar to OSU.

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Sally Kheirandish, MS student

Sally is conducting research to develop an aeration diffuser system which employs a simple O-ring regulator to provide the oxygen necessary for effective activated sludge or water treatment. Her experiments manipulate air pressure and airflow rate to a disc diffuser which is immersed in a water tank. She uses regulators with varying O-ring hardness and observes the resulting width of the bubble plume generated by the diffuser. Sally's analysis characterizes vertical mixing of the water column based on bubble plume geometry to determine the optimal airflow. Her results will be useful in designing water treatment techniques that are both energy efficient and cost effective.

Sally received her bachelor's degree in environmental engineering from the University of Tehran in 2007 and spent the next decade working for engineering consulting firms in Iran in the fields of environmental planning, environmental assessment and natural resource management. She says studying at Oklahoma State University is one of the greatest experiences she has had during her academic career. Sally states, "Not only did I learn new scientific principles and methodologies to understand and analyze environmental problems, but also I met other students from around the world which helped me strengthen my international mindset," and she thanks her advisor Dr. Scott Stoodley "for his unwavering support and helpful advice" during her graduate program.

Sally Kheirandish, MS Student

Abubakarr Mansaray, Ph.D. student

Abu Mansaray learned about Oklahoma State University through a network of former OSU students who conducted research at Njala University in Sierra Leone, where Abu earned his MS degree in Environmental Chemistry.

Abu’s research uses remote sensing imagery of the Grand Lake, Oklahoma, watershed and in situ water quality measures to develop algorithms which can be used for predictive modeling. By combining Landsat's multispectral reflectance bands with temporally coincident water quality parameters, Abu is developing tools to assist managers in monitoring reservoir ecosystems and forecasting trends, such as imminent pollution spikes that lead to algal blooms. Abu’s advisor is Dr. Scott Stoodley.

As a volunteer with the Oklahoma Blue Thumb program, Abu assists with monthly monitoring of Stillwater's Feather Creek.  He serves as student board member of Oklahoma Clean Lakes and Watersheds Association (OCLWA) and is active in OSU’s Fulbright Students & Scholars Association and the university's African Students Organization. Abu is also President of the Society of Environmental Scientists, a multi-disciplinary organization of graduate students who are interested in environmental sciences and related issues.

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