Led by Charley Driscoll, EMPOWER is a team of over 50 people, including the leadership team, affiliated faculty, staff, graduate students, and external advisors. Browse our full directory below, which includes the leadership team and our graduate student trainees, or check out the information about our affiliated faculty and external advisors.

Photo of Emily Baker

Emily Baker

PhD, Earth Sciences

Currently, Emily is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Civil Engineering & Architecture at the University of Pavia within the Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca sulle Acque.  My research focuses on hydrologic and hydrogeological modeling of surface and sub-surface water flow and transport in the northern region of Italy.…

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Ruta Basijokaite

PhD, Earth Sciences

Ruta is PhD student in the Department of Earth Sciences working with Dr. Christa Kelleher. She earned her MS in Environmental Engineering from Syracuse University in 2018. Her research uses hydrologic modeling to better understand how Californian watersheds respond to climate change. In particular, her aim is to analyze how strong seasonal and annual weather shifts may attribute to the shifting importance of key watershed processes.…

Photo of Julio Beltran

Julio Beltran

MS, Earth Sciences

Julio Beltran is an M.S. student in the Department of Earth Sciences, working with Dr. Laura Lautz on urban hydrology and water quality. He received his B.S. degree in Geology from New Mexico State University in 2017. Prior to coming to Syracuse, he worked for a year in the petroleum industry in the Permian Basin as a wellsite geologist evaluating rocks for hydrocarbons.…

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Kyle Blaha

MS, Chemistry

Kyle earned his Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Hiram College in 2015. While there he did research on metal-ion concentrations in local water/soil sources, such as the Penguin exhibit of the nearby zoo. He also spent time researching the steric effects of aldimine synthesis, a project he did his undergraduate capstone on. Kyle joined the Kahan group in 2015.…

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McKenzie Brannon

MS, Earth Sciences

McKenzie is an MS student in the Department of Earth Sciences working under Dr. Christopher Scholz. She earned her BA in geology from the University of Kentucky in 2019. Her research interests include limnology, paleoclimate, and geochemistry. Her previous research includes an undergraduate study of a lake sediment core from Lake Tanganyika in East Africa. In particular, studying the seasonal influence on the lake’s stratigraphy.…

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Peter Brennan

MS, Earth Sciences

Peter is a first-year M.S. student in the Department of Earth Sciences under the advisement of Dr. Tripti Bhattacharya. His undergraduate career at Boston College focused on paleoclimatology and culminated in the spring of 2017 with a thesis examining late Pleistocene speleothems obtained in western Canada as a proxy for climate. Peter then worked for a private civil engineering firm as an environmental scientist in the due diligence field in Massachusetts for about two years.…

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Crystal Burgess

MS, Earth Sciences

Crystal earned her Bachelor of Arts in Geology from Alfred University in 2016 with a minor in Environmental Studies. Prior to her graduate studies, Crystal interned at SU on Project SWIFT developing an interannual time series of naturally occurring methane concentrations in the advance of unconventional gas production in the southern tier of New York.…