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Smith earns Levinus Clarkson Award


POTSDAM - Graduating senior Jared D. Smith of Bay Shore received the Levinus Clarkson Award during Clarkson University’s 120th commencement ceremony. He was selected for the $1,000 award by a vote of the full University faculty based on his scholarship and promise of outstanding achievement.

The Levinus Clarkson Award was established by university founders Elizabeth and Frederica Clarkson in memory of their brother, Levinus, and was first awarded in 1909. This award and the Frederica Clarkson Award are traditionally given to the two top students in the graduating class.

Smith received a bachelor of science degree in environmental engineering with a minor in environmental health science. He was a presidential scholar for all seven semesters at Clarkson, and graduated with a 4.0 GPA. He studied abroad at the University of Newcastle, Australia, in the fall of 2011 for the other semester.

In the summer of 2011, Smith was selected to be a fellow of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), a research fellowship granted for junior and senior years of study. As part of this fellowship, Smith conducted research on several topics. His first research experience was in the spring of 2012, when he performed an analysis of the indoor air quality in Clarkson University LEED- and non-LEED-certified buildings under Environmental Health Science / Environmental Science and Policy Professor Alan Rossner.

Also as part of the fellowship, Smith spent the summer of 2012 at the Western Ecology Division of the USEPA in Corvallis, Ore., as a research assistant under Bob McKane and Paul Rygiewicz. Here, he studied the human impact on forest ecosystem services and advanced the visual representation of the research forest through ArcGIS mapping. His largest contribution was a method for matching light detecting and ranging (LiDAR) 3-D images of the research forest to ground-mapped field studies of the forest.

In November of 2012, Smith and design team partner Jessica Hernandez presented class research on the fate and transport of triclocarban in the environment at the United States Naval Academy Science and Engineering Conference. Each received a Navy command medallion for their poster.

Smith’s most recent research, which he began in the spring of 2012, studied the “Impact of Brazilian Amazon Deforestation on Global Carbon Dioxide Concentrations.” The research group consisted of environmental engineering seniors Bradley Kelsey, Rebecca Prendergast, and Joleigh Doner, and mentor Professor Susan Powers, Spence Professor of Sustainability in the Clarkson Institute for a Sustainable Environment. Their research followed the primary cause and effect relationship of the NASA Science Strategic Plan for global climate change research, and will be published as a teaching module on the Clarkson University Climate Change Education Project-Based Learning database.

Smith’s attraction to Clarkson began in his senior year at Islip High School when he received the Clarkson University Leadership Award for his contributions to his high school’s organizations. Since arriving at Clarkson, Smith has been granted several additional awards, first receiving the Civil and Environmental Engineering Award for Writing in his sophomore year, and then the Keith M. Russ Award for outstanding performance and service to the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department in his junior year. In his senior year he received the Clarkson Marshal Award and the Commendable Leadership Award from Phalanx, Clarkson’s Leadership Honor Society, for his contributions to multiple organizations at Clarkson. During this time he was also recognized by the engineering honor society of Tau Beta Pi as a Scribner Scholar.

Outside of the Clarkson curriculum, Smith co-founded a chapter of the environmental engineering honor society of Tau Chi Alpha at Clarkson with senior Jared Best and advisor Professor Stefan Grimberg. He was also the president of the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO), the vice president of Clarkson’s Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, the secretary of the Clarkson Community Orchestra, and the group coordinator for an Adopt a Highway Group consisting of three environmental clubs on campus. Smith also served as a student representative for the Clarkson Sustainability Committee and the International Study Committee, and was a mentor for Clarkson’s Freshman Connect Program.

Smith has been a teaching assistant for Groundwater Hydrology and Geochemistry for Professor Michelle Crimi, and Introduction to Environmental Engineering for Professor Andrea Ferro. He was also a tutor at the Clarkson Tutoring Center for one semester each in General Chemistry I and II, Differential Equations, Introduction to Environmental Engineering, and Groundwater Hydrology and Geochemistry.

Following commencement, Smith will be pursuing an M.S./Ph.D. in environmental and water resource systems engineering at Cornell University. He is interested in quantifying the risks and uncertainties of hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas on groundwater and surface water resources. He aspires to invoke environmentally safe and sustainable protocols, and develop environmentally conscious engineering solutions for hydrofracking into policy.

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