Hobart and William Smith Colleges - Toupal ’19 Pursues Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvani
The HWS Update
Jonas Toupal '19, a geoscience major, addresses the Board of Trustees luncheon. Toupal discussed his honors project, "Using Remote Sensing to Analyze Mercury Contamination in Vegetated Areas: The Case of Tarkwa, Ghana."

Toupal ’19 Pursues Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania

Jonas Toupal ’19 has begun his Doctor of Philosophy in Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Toupal, who graduated summa cum laude in geoscience and planetary science, plans to research metal ore deposits and conduct field work on lithium reserves in his home country of the Czech Republic as part of his doctoral work.

“I am interested in the environmental impacts of mining, modern remediation techniques, as well as the exploration of new deposits and coming up with ways to extract the metal from the rocks safely and economically,” says Toupal.

He credits the research he conducted under the direction of his adviser Professor of Geoscience Nan Crystal Arens for earning him entrance in the competitive program. “In addition to her research guidance, Professor Arens helped me identify potential doctorate programs that would be a good fit. She also gave me ideas of what graduate school professors look for in an applicant.”

It was while presenting his Honors project “Using Remote Sensing to Analyze Mercury Contamination in Vegetated Areas: The Case of Tarkwa, Ghana” at a national meeting of the Geological Society of America in November that he met Professor Reto Gieré, his new adviser at Penn.

“The fact that I was already able to take a research project from formulating a research question to complete results, along with submitting manuscript of our work, waiting to be published, was very important to graduate committees,” says Toupal.

As the second Statesmen hockey player in the history of Hobart to be named an Academic All-American, he also intends to continue his hockey career at Penn. “Professor Arens taught me how to be a scientist and how to think as an academic, Coach Taylor taught me about teamwork and professionalism, and the guys on the team have made the entire four years unforgettable,” he says.

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