Meet the Students (2014)

Welcome! Here you can find information about each of the 2014 NERU Fellows:

Eric Heim

Eric HeimThis is Eric Heim and I’m from Algonac, MI. I currently go to school at Northern Michigan University which is located in the scenic Upper Peninsula at Marquette.  I study Environmental Science (major) with a concentration in Pollution Control and Remediation. Previous to my research here at Abisko I have done research in organic chemical synthesis with a main project goal of developing a supramolecular catalyst for use in medicinal compound synthesis. I also worked as an intern in Alger County, MI as an intern in an invasive species management project. The most exciting part of my experience in the program besides the wanderlust of Sweden is the limitless growth that my professional career can experience from the connections made here with many wonderful people.

My project is examining the regulatory effect of bedrock geochemistry in plant chemistry and studying the theory that lithology is as important as climate in determination of floral ecology. My main compound of interest is Phosphorus but I will look at several elements to see any possible relationships. I will be working closely with Nate Tomcyzk who will study soil characteristics within the differing bedrock types. Our joint project is new to NERU and is open to some interpretation, this has made our investigation quiet enjoyable.

Some fun factoids –

Besides visiting Canada (five minute walk from home) this is my first time out of the USA.  I happen to be related to Daniel Boone (that famous adventure guy).  I have a sweet Midwestern accent and I do an annual polar plunge into a normally frozen Lake Superior (profile picture with frozen Superior in background)

 Apryl Perry

Perry PicHej!  I am Apryl Perry and I am from Antrim, New Hampshire.  I am an Environmental Science major at the University of New Hampshire with a concentration in Soil and Watershed Management.  The majority of my experience has been inside labs processing gas and biomass samples and I am really looking forward to getting out into the field.  I love the outdoors and when time allows I will often find myself on the side of a mountain with a snowboard, riding a motorcycle or in a kayak exploring some new river.  Reading is another activity that causes me to lose large tracts of time.

While in Abisko my research will focus on determining how different lake characteristics affect the emission of methane (CH4) andcarbon dioxide (CO2).  Approximately twenty subarctic lakes will be sampled for CH4, CO2, temperature, and several other characteristics.  The completion of this multi-lake survey will provide a better understanding of how different lake characteristics effect the emission of CH4 and CO2. The increased temperatures and thawing of the permafrost in Sweden provide an excellent opportunity to study how this local ecosystem is being affected by climate change and how those changes will feedback to the atmosphere globally.  As our climate continues to change, a comprehensive understanding of the effects are essential to our ability to mitigate and adapt.  The data from this study will also help to explain how the ecology of the subarctic peatlands, now a carbon sink, may be on its way to changing into a source of carbon and the effect this will have on atmospheric concentrations of CH4 and CO2.  The interactions between terrestrial ecosystems, hydrology and a warming climate are just a part of the larger picture.

 Laura Logozzo

Laura LogozzoHej! I’m Laura Logozzo, an undergraduate Earth and Atmospheric Sciences major at the City College of New York (CCNY) in New York City. I was born and raised in Brooklyn with two younger brothers. I attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School (also known as “The Fame School”), where I majored in fine arts. After taking an AP environmental science class my senior year of high school, I decided that I wanted continue my studies in the subject, with the hopes of one day being able to conduct research in the field. In addition to taking classes at CCNY, I am also working in two labs on campus assisting in research. One project is looking to identify and analyze the effects of antibiotics, specifically Narasin, on the nitrogen cycle in soils. The other project I am working on focuses on determining the titanium concentration in quartz from meta-chert taken from the Alpine Fault in New Zealand using CL images.

My research project in the NERU program is looking at the lake characteristics of twenty lakes in the Stordalen Mire to identify any characteristics that may have an impact on methane emissions in the region. The key lake components relevant to my project are grain size and composition of lake sediment. Since methane is able to adsorb to clay particles and organic matter (OM) when the methane forms in contact with the sediment and OM, I hope to be able to use methane adsorption as an indicator of areas of methane formation in lakes. This could help shed light on the source of methane in lakes and the common lake characteristics needed for methane formation to occur.

Paige Clarizia

Paige Clarizia

Hi, my name is Paige Clarizia. I am a senior at the University of New Hampshire where I am currently studying Environmental Science with a focus in ecosystems. I am from Danvers, Massachusetts and have only left the country once for a conference in Montréal, Canada. I have been a lab technician since the beginning of my sophomore year at UNH’s Water Quality and Analysis Laboratory where I worked on various environmental projects.

My research this summer in Abisko, Sweden will focus on trace gas emissions from the peatland.  More specifically, I will look at seasonal methane fluxes along the thaw gradient in Stordalen Mire. I will also look at carbon dioxide emissions and compare these emissions to various physical factors. Understanding methane and carbon dioxide fluxes will advance future predictions of where and at what rate methane will be released into our atmosphere.

Something random: I’ve cuddled with an armadillo.

 Anthony Garnello

Garnell PicHej! My name is AJ Garnello, and I’m an Arizona Wildcat, hailing from the beautiful town of Sedona, Arizona.  I’m studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and have two years of remote sensing research experience in Scott Saleska’s lab at the University of Arizona.  Fortunately, I am working with Dr. Michael Palace here at UNH, investigating species, soil, and topographical compositions using an ASD FieldSpec 4 hyperspectral camera.  Wicked Cool! I also play on the Men’s Ultimate Frisbee team at Arizona, and am an academic tutor as well as a Resident Assistant in the undergraduate halls.

Hyperspectral imaging is a fast-growing field of ecological monitoring, and has uses ranging from enhancing climate change models, identifying species compositions in the constantly-changing ecosystem of tropical rainforests, and even identifying the damage done by invasive insect species on regional scales.  My goal is to use satellite hyperspectral imaging to advance carbon flux models, thereby enhancing our understanding of global climate change.  Understanding sub-arctic permafrost thaw and the effect on plant species is my specific task for Abisko. Advancing our spectral knowledge of plant species in the area will be used to make satellite imagery more accurate, a technique known as ground truthing.

This will be my first trip out of North America, and I’m very amped to hike and take pictures in the beautiful area of Stordalen Mire.  I am also excited to try out the local Swedish cuisine, including the deliciously-described treat called Lutefisk.


 Kristen Stilson

Kristen Stilson

Hey, I’m Kristen Stilson and I come from the Outer Banks, NC. I am double majoring in Geology and Marine Environmental Science and minoring in GIS/Remote Sensing at Elizabeth City State University. My true love is geology even though I come from an island with no rocks! I hope to become a Marine Geologist and spend my days underwater cave diving or in the beach re-nourishment field. My research is an observational study on three lakes in Abisko that I will never be able to pronounce, but I can spell Mellan Harrsjön, Inre Harrsjön and Villasjön. We are sampling the submerged aquatic vegetation in the lakes in hopes of identifying the different species and correlating them with methane fluxes. Not a lot research has been done on submerged vegetation of Scandinavia but hopefully other Arctic regions like Alaska can serve as a guide.  Along with the vegetation we will be sampling dissolved oxygen, temperature, sediment size, percent organic matter etc. and mapping those using ArcGIS for future research.

One weird thing about me is that I have a strange love for Q-Tips, best feeling ever!!

 Jynessa Sampson

Jynessa Sampson

Hi! My name is Jynessa Sampson. I am 21 years old and from Jackson, Mississippi. I am currently entering my senior year at Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, NC. I will be graduating in May 2015 with a B.S. in Marine Environmental Science and a minor in Chemistry. My project for the NERU Program involves submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) in three of the main lakes in the mire. My mentor, Dr. Maurice Crawford, fellow intern, Kristen Stilson, and I will be surveying these lakes taking various water property measurements (temperature, pH, conductivity, ect.) along with soil and vegetation samples. We will then attempt to identify these SAV down to the species. Sediment samples will be sent back to UNH to be run through a particle analyzer to determine the percent sand, silt, and clay. Our goal is to come to a deeper understanding of exactly what lies on the bottom of these lakes in terms of SAV.

 Daniel Finnell

Dan Finnell Hej, hej, (hey). I go to school in the city and had to escape a concrete jungle for the summer so I figured why not go to a Swedish Artic region for a change. They say the sunsets are beautiful this time of year. Truth be told, I have to stop myself from drooling in my coffee every morning while gazing at some of the surrounding mountain peaks. I consider myself pretty outdoorsy and while at home I fill my days with hikes in the Appalachians and paddle sessions down the James River. Climate change has been a major influence in the path I’ve chosen to study at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). I can see a research path meandering into my near future.

My research will focus on species composition at Stordalen Mire in Abisko, Sweden. I will be using remote sensing data from multiband cameras with near infrared capabilities. Using this information vegetation reflectance will be measured. I plan to determine species composition from these reflectance data. This data will also be used in scaling up processes with images taken from a Remote Operated Vehicle as well as satellite imagery.

 Nathan Tomczyk

Nathan Tomczyk I am a senior in the Ecology and Environmental Science program at the University of Maine. My previous research experience was studying biogeochemistry in vernal pools at my home university. In Abisko I am working closely with Eric (The Hammer) Heim to find a gradient of bedrock phosphorous concentrations. My work on the gradient will be with the soils that overlay the bedrock and the microbes in those soils. Specifically I will be looking at the microbial biomass by measuring substrate induced respiration, enzyme activities using a fluoremetric micro plate method and also the concentrations of nutrients in the soils. I may also do a side project involving soil biology along a temperature/altitudinal gradient.

In my free time I enjoy hiking, biking, freestyle skiing, bridge jumping and listening to NPR. A fun fact about me is that I have hiked almost all of two states on the Appalachian Trail before NERU this year (Connecticut and Georgia).


Brittany Verbeke

Brittany Verbeke Hey!  My name is Brittany Verbeke, and I am currently a senior at Florida State University (FSU) majoring in Environmental Science with a minor in Geology. Although I was born in Florida and eventually went back to Tallahassee to attend college, I grew up in Castle Rock, Colorado. At FSU, I am a research assistant at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in the Geochemistry department where I study the chemical composition of meteorites through laser ablation mass spectrometry.

The research center in Abisko, Sweden will allow me to help Paige collect methane and CO2 flux measurements along a permafrost thaw gradient, as well as related vegetation characterization, temperature, pH, PAR (photosynthetically active radiation), water table depth, and active layer depth. I will be focusing on collecting pore water samples through a depth profile along the gradient to look at the relationship between the carbon isotopes of methane and CO2 to all of these variables in order to determine methane production pathways. Isotopic signatures are important in predicting further rates and locations of release of methane in similar subarctic environments such as Stordalen Mire.

 Amy Mayedo


Amy Mayedo Hej!  I’m Amy, a senior at the University of Florida majoring in environmental science with a minor in soil and water science.  I look forward to studying hydrochemistry in graduate school, hopefully in California or Colorado.  My first research experience involved characterizing the water quality of sediment and agricultural retention ponds on a rural college campus in Lorman, Mississippi sponsored by NOAA.  This past spring semester I got the opportunity to take part in a critical zone-style research project studying the surface nitrogen flux across a regimen of land uses and fertilization regimen at the agricultural teaching farm on my campus.  My interest in hydrochemistry stems from a fascination with holistic understanding and studies of ecosystems, which are greatly shaped by water availability and quality.


This summer, I’m developing a study on mercury accumulation across the ecotones of a thaw gradient in Stordalen Mire (including terrestrial vegetation, subaquatic vegetation, sediments, and soils).  This is my first time out of North America and I’m very enthusiastic about my first experience abroad and my research project.


As for a random fact about me, I saw a chipmunk for the first time in March.



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