profile picture

Julia H

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at North Carolina State University


microbiology, water chemistry, hydrology, contaminants in the environment, water quality, pathogens in the environment, public health


Hi! My name is Julia Mae, I'm a Ph.D. student researching fecal contamination in coastal surface waters. In my research, I've led field sampling campaigns to collect environmental data, processed samples in the lab, and conducted data analysis in R. I'm extremely passionate about environmental resources, specifically water, and how environmental resources can affect human health. In my spare time, I love being outdoors. I enjoy camping, paddleboarding, hiking, and birdwatching. I grew up as a part of a birding family but got much more into it during college. Taking photos of new birds when I travel is one of the most exciting parts of traveling for me.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Concerns about Water Website

As different issues surrounding water arise and approaches to resolve these issues are developed, it’s important to consider the opinions of people in the community. People may have extreme viewpoints on their water resources, and having insight into these viewpoints can greatly benefit researchers. For this project, you would interview community members in an area of interest about their concerns and viewpoints about their water resources, this could be compiled on a website that could be added to over time. If previously conducted interviews are accessible, perhaps also creating a map of different interview opinions would be interesting.

Utilize Developed QMRA tools

There have been several tools made for quantitative microbial risk assessment. For this project, you would put together a scenario that would be useful to quantify the risk to human health using the QMRA framework. This could involve testing a few of these developed QMRA tools and presenting the pros and drawbacks of the different tools and also comparing the results. This would involve a write-up of findings.

Comparing Citizen Science observations and water quality data

Citizen science is a very valuable tool as it supplements existing data by obtaining data from a wider population and it also promotes science in a community. For this project, we could use data from a beach monitoring citizen science project and water quality obtained by a separate organization to analyze the trends between the citizen science observations and the water quality measurements taken over time. This would involve data analysis, perhaps making some maps, and likely a write-up of findings.

Coding skills

R, ArcGIS, MATLAB, Python (basic)

Teaching experience

I've worked as a Teaching Assistant for an environmental engineering course containing undergraduate and graduate students, which involved meeting with students for office hours and grading assignments. I work as a tutor with a wide range of students from elementary students to college level. This tutoring has involved working with students one-on-one each week, via Zoom or in person. I've also mentored several undergraduate students who have assisted me in my graduate research.



North Carolina State University
BSE Bachelor of Science in Engineering (2021)
Environmental Engineering
North Carolina State University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Environmental Engineering

Interested in working with expert mentors like Julia?

Apply now