A Rock-Solid Career Choice

Kyle Farrington’s lifelong love of the outdoors fueled his desire to improve the environment and pursue a related graduate degree.

Kyle Farrington

As an environmental technician in Hampton, Virginia, the water quality and soil monitoring he conducted helped ensure environmental regulatory compliance for major construction projects. But with the COVID-19 pandemic looming, Farrington knew it was time to think about his next steps.

“Few other institutions I researched offered a master’s in environmental science,” recalls Farrington. “TU had a diverse curriculum and allowed me to select courses that interest me.”

“ My professors and coursework have made me a well-rounded scientist who can evaluate research more effectively.  ”

Kyle Farrington

Farrington’s thesis research is funded by the National Science Foundation as part of a multi-institution effort to understand biogeochemical and critical zone processes in urban centers from Philadelphia to Raleigh. He is focusing his research on the chemical weathering of bedrock transitioning into soil. This process impacts plant growth, soil erosion and determines stream and groundwater chemistry. 

“My mentor, Geosciences Professor Joel Moore, helped me organize ideas, learn new research techniques and understand geochemical processes,” says Farrington, who is now analyzing previously collected soil samples from Baltimore County and comparing them to samples from the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River watershed.

“I'm also using brand new instrumentation (like x-ray diffraction and x-ray fluorescence) to do this work in the Urban Environmental Biogeochemistry Laboratory,” Farrington notes. 

“My professors and the coursework have made me a well-rounded scientist who can evaluate research more effectively,” he adds.

After graduation, his dream job would be to work for the U.S. Geological Survey or the Environmental Protection Agency. “This is a great area,” says Farrington. “There are lots of hiking trails and activities to keep you busy. Plus, I can learn more about how the urbanization of landscapes affects the environment.”

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