Name: Matthew V. Koszuta
Major: Meteorology & Mathematical Sciences
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Q. How did you find Northland?
A. My introduction to Northland College was through my friends/coworkers at a Milwaukee County Council Boy Scout Camp—LeFeber Northwoods Camps. This occurred the summer prior to my Senior year of high school. The program director, climbing wall director, and a friend either attended or recently graduated from Northland. They pushed the environmental mission and small feel Northland provided and encouraged me to apply and visit that summer. With their encouragement, a couple of us on staff who were just beginning the college search visited for a day over the summer and I completed my application on the only publicly-accessible computer at the camp within weeks.
Q. Best experience?
After my junior year, I completed a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Climate Science at Penn State. These competitive positions offer master’s level academic research, which helped me develop skills in programming that were not offered in a course at Northland. The experience gave me real credibility in scientific research and helped set me up for successfully completing my senior capstone ultimately helping me get accepted into a graduate program.
Dr. Andrew Jensen has had a huge impact on me by supporting my research interests the past couple of years and by allowing me to struggle through difficult aspects of projects on my own, adding to what I learned. His approach to advising my research forced me to delve deeper into different methods and topics I was working with and built-up my ability to do independent research.
Q. What’s next for you?
A. I recently heard back from Oregon State University’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences which offered me support to begin my graduate studies there this fall. I will be working with Dr. Nicholas Siler on orographic precipitation research while also working as a teaching assistant this September. I am excited to continue my education out west and begin a new round of research related to climate change and how it will affect certain populations in the future. Hopefully, the work I do will help to inform decisions surrounding water management from mountain runoff and be a valuable tool in our future climate system.
Q. Advice for newcomers?
A. Northland is great! I have learned so much, developed wonderful friendships, and have been helped along the way by many mentors in the staff, faculty, and administration. Get outside and enjoy the beautiful north woods and Lake Superior! Although Northland can feel small at times, make sure to open yourself up to the beauty around you.