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Ryan Walter

RELP Cohort: 2014
Civil & Environmental Engineering
School: Engineering

Ryan is an avid explorer, adventurer, and outdoor enthusiast. A curiosity of the natural world led him to pursue his B.S. in Environmental Engineering at Cornell University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. It was here that he began to realize the power of scientific research, as he worked in four different labs, spanning four different disciplines. In one particular lab during his junior year, he investigated how a human carcinogen (vinyl chloride) enters drinking water distribution systems. This led him to publish a peer-reviewed journal article on the subject, in addition to disseminating the findings at several conferences. He was also involved with AguaClara, a student group that designs and implements water treatment plants for villages in Honduras. He had the opportunity to travel to Honduras to see his design efforts first-hand, and was honored as a Global Fellow by Cornell University. Finally, he worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the summer after his junior year. It was with NOAA that he realized the importance of protecting the nations coastal oceans.

This led him to Stanford Universitys Environmental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory (EFML), where he is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His research focuses on how physical processes in the coastal ocean affect the biology and ecology of the nearshore coastal environment. He has designed and managed multiple field projects and collaborated on others (>15) during his Ph.D., including international work in Palau, Singapore, and Italy. He has published his research in peer-reviewed journals, presented his findings at conferences both domestically and internationally, and been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including the National Defense in Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. During his free time, you can usually find Ryan scaling granite covered peak in the Sierras, scuba diving through the giant kelp forests of Monterey Bay, or snowboarding through fresh powder on the slopes near Lake Tahoe.