Alumni Stories

Jennifer Reynolds


I am a Fluvial Geomorphologist enrolled in the PhD program of the Department of Geography at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a former STAMPS scholar (2011­-2014). My current area of research is examining river channel bifurcations resulting from partial avulsions which are features of fluvial systems that remain poorly understood. The southeastern Piedmont of North Carolina is an area where large zones of bifurcated river flows are uncommon, yet in an area near the foot of the Blue Ridge Escarpment several prominent contemporary examples exist. It is important to study and understand the evolution of these river bifurcations and the processes of avulsion that produce them because of the significant implications of these events pertaining to infrastructure management (roads, bridges and dwellings), flood hazard assessment and zonation, land conservation, as well as riverine ecosystems.

As a Fluvial Geomorphologist, it is necessary to gain an understanding of river and stream-channel geomorphic responses to various human-caused and natural perturbations or disturbances. This understanding requires a multifarious or interdisciplinary approach that includes: Geology, Hydrology, Physics, Mathematics, Geographic Information Science, Engineering, Ecology, Chemistry and Biology.  My participation in the National Science Foundation STAMPS (Science Technology and Math Preparation Scholarships) program has enriched my scientific literacy and abilities through unique experiences with individuals that are currently making contributions in these scientific fields.  Whether it be time spent with Nobel laureate and astrophysicist John Mather or director and producer Stephen van Vuuren these diverse experiences have also equipped me with a network of career scientists and mentors who greatly inspire me and will continue to enhance my scientific knowledge, research and resources.

Not only did I communicate with researchers and scientists, through interactions with fellow STAMPS scholars I have also made countless friends and acquaintances that are actively involved in or pursuing careers in scientific fields. This interdisciplinary exposure and vast network of peers and mentors has been invaluable to my current research; as it has allowed me to gain a diverse understanding of various scientific applications and will continue to benefit me throughout my career. The generous funding of the STAMPS program has also made it possible for me to continue in my educational endeavors. I would not have even been able to complete my undergraduate degree without this funding.



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