Dianna Farrell '19

Dianna Farrell ’19 arrived on campus already equipped with a physics degree and eight years of experience flying helicopters for the Army. After leaving the military, Dianna and her husband had moved to Maine where she decided to use her GI benefits to pursue her interest in Earth sciences. An aviator and avid hiker who “lives by maps,” Dianna fell in love with the Muskie School’s multidisciplinary Geography-Anthropology (GYA) program: “Geography connects to virtually all Earth science disciplines – it was perfect.” So perfect, she earned this year’s Outstanding Student in Geography award.

Dianna’s experience at the Muskie School has been, in her words, “incredibly rewarding.” She has engaged in applied research – studying climate change in the North Atlantic with Dr. Matthew Bampton and glacial retreat in Iceland with Dr. Firooza Pavri. She has presented papers at conferences, connected with GIS professionals, interned with Friends of Aomori and Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and this year, will co-author a journal article with Dr. Pavri.

USM’s Muskie School helped jump-start Dianna’s journey “toward reaching my potential.” Graduate school is in her future and perhaps a spot in NASA’s DEVELOP program. Ultimately, she hopes to use her research to “help shift the paradigm toward making a more sustainable world.” And fortunately for us, she intends to stay right here in Maine.

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