Alexandra Gerling ’13, of Fairport, N.Y., has been named Virginia Tech’s 2015 Outstanding Master’s Student for the College of Science.
As a fellow with the Western Virginia Water Authority and member of the Carey Lab at Virginia Tech, Gerling will receive a Master of Science in biological sciences this August. The Carey Lab, part of the Virginia Tech Stream Team/Ecosystem Research Group, examines the interactions between eutrophication, biogeochemical cycling and plankton communities in changing lake ecosystems.
Gerling has earned the honor for demonstrating excellence in research, scholarship/teaching and outreach. She was first recognized at an awards banquet as a part of Graduate Education Week and will again be lauded during the Virginia Tech commencement exercises in May.
Gerling’s primary research as a fellow with the Western Virginia Water Authority is to examine the effects of different management techniques on a drinking water reservoir in Roanoke, Va. She specifically has focused on monitoring the water quality and biogeochemistry as a result of hypolimnetic oxygenation. She has presented her work at both international and national water resources conferences. Her outreach and service activities included work with the Western Virginia Water Authority, Blacksburg Price House Nature Center, and Gilbert Linkous Elementary School in Blacksburg, Va. She’s also the author of a 2014 publication in Water Research, Vol. 67.
At the Colleges, Gerling was a double major in geoscience and environmental studies, with a minor in mathematics. She was teaching assistant in the Geoscience Department, an environmental representative and made the Dean’s list. She was involved with the Seneca Lake State Park Enhancement Project and was an intern for the Finger Lakes Institute as well.
The Graduate School at Virginia Tech recognizes students like Gerling from each of the university’s eight colleges, a pool of more than 6,000 graduate students. The awards are presented in collaboration with Alumni Relations, the William Preston Society and Divison of Student Affairs. Gerling and her fellow outstanding master’s students have demonstrated exceptional achievements in research, scholarship, and service and exemplify graduate education at Virginia Tech. Gerling has conducted her graduate work alongside an interactive and supportive community and aquatic and ecosystem scientists through field studies in southwestern Virginia.
Virginia Tech, the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and leading research institution, promotes graduate education as essential to the transmission of knowledge, research, ideas and scholarship. Dr. Cayelan Carey spearheads the vibrant intellectual environment of the Carey Lab and Virginia Tech, developing, administering, and evaluating an internationally recognized group of faculty and students.