Trainee Success Stories: Karis Nelson

University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) trainee Karis Nelson recently graduated from the Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science with an MS in Environmental Science. Her thesis project examined bacterial dynamics during the phytostabilization of mine tailings at the Iron King Mine Humboldt Smelter Superfund site. Her graduate advisors included UA SRP Director Dr. Raina Maier and Investigator Dr. Jon Chorover.

Following graduation, Ms. Nelson has started a position with the Salt River Project in Phoenix, AZ. As an environmental Policy Analyst, she will assist with the identification and translation of environmental policies that pertain to the power production industry in Arizona.

Ms. Nelson was also recently invited to serve as the keynote speaker for the Cochise Elementary School 8th grade promotion, in conjunction with the celebration of the school’s 100th anniversary. She was asked to give the speech as an alumnus of the school, having given the valedictory address at her own 8th grade graduation. In addition, Karis is a legacy student, as her grandfather also graduated from the school. In her speech, Karis talked about her academic journey from the little, rural school of Cochise to the University of Arizona. She emphasized that everyone has the potential to do great things in life, but success and reaching our fullest potential all depends upon the personal choices we make. On returning to her alma mater, Karis said, “It was like déjà vu standing behind that podium again and giving a speech. If my words offered a bit of hope or inspiration to at least one person there that night, then I succeeded!”

Congratulations to Karis on all of her successes and best wishes in her new job.