Clarkie of the Week

Drashhti Bilimoria , Layout Editor

Shannon Reault is on the E Board of CUPS, Rows Women’s Varsity Crew, and worked on research with a Temple University Professor over the summer. In addition, she is in a graduate seminar (as a junior) taught by Karen Frey.


Scarlet: What is home to you?

Shannon: Home to me, I guess, is – so I grew up in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts, a really small town – but I went to school in New Hampshire. I also vacationed there and every summer my family goes to the mountains. I guess I’m a resident of Massachusetts, but my heart is in New Hampshire.

Scarlet: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Shannon: I’m a junior studying Earth Systems Science, and outside of academics, I like to be very active. I used to run cross country, but now I’m on the rowing team. I like to do lots of outdoor activities like cross country skiing and hiking and all that stuff. But I’m also artistic; I’ve done theatre, so I’m also involved with CUPS, Clark U Players Society. I’m their Secretary I like to think I’m pretty well rounded.

Scarlet: Why did you pick Clark?

Shannon: Generally, in my college search I knew I wanted to be in the New England area. Clark was a last-minute choice even though I knew it was a pretty good school in Massachusetts when I applied; I wasn’t planning on visiting until I was invited to a dinner of some sort, and I met the most amazing students, one of whom was Amelia Moore, who is actually a former President of CUPS, so I had an awesome conversation with her and came back for accepted students’ day! I just loved how accepting the campus was and how free the students were to be themselves. Out of all the schools I visited, the one where I could truly see myself meeting so many great people was Clark, So I’d have to say it was meeting people that helped me decide.

Scarlet: Has it lived up to your expectations?

Shannon: I think, yes, it’s funny, it’s different and the same as I expected. Something that I was surprised by in a good way was how Clark is a place that – I guess my concern was that everyone’s opinions would be so similar that it would no generate conversation – but that’s not what happens on campus at all. Clark students are constantly having in depth intellectual debates, for lack of a better word, there’s no stifling of opinions. If anything, they welcome new thoughts views and I really like that.

Scarlet: You’ve already told me about CUPS a little bit, but could you tell me about the other clubs or sports that you’re a part of?

Shannon: Yeah, so I’m on Women’s Rowing. I’m actually pretty new to the team; I joined this fall and I’m so happy I did. It was an amazing experience with our fall season – our real competition is in the spring – but the girls were so welcoming and kind and the coaches are so good with those new to the sport, who’ve never rowed before, they’re really good teachers and it’s such an awesome experience and it is a yearlong sport so I love that I get to see the team regularly.

Also, just this past fall I joined Variant, which was so much fun, I’ve never danced before in my life and that was such a non-issue. The choreographers were so welcoming for anyone to be in their dance. It was awesome. I’m so happy decided to do that as well.

Scarlet: Can you tell me a little bit about your work mapping deforestation based on natural disasters?

Shannon: So, this summer I lived in Hindenburg, PA, which is close to UPenn’s Morris Arboretum. I looked up what professors were doing, and I found that a professor from Temple that was researching tree fall post-superstorm Sandy, so I contacted him, asked what he was planning to do, if I could be a research assistant, and he was so generous; he offered me the chance to complete an independent project with him as a mentor. So, we went into the woods and analyzed tree fall trends to extend the data set he already had, and I got to write an abstract. I’m even creating a poster that’s going to be shown at the GSA Northeastern Conference.

Scarlet: You are also in a graduate level seminar with Karen Frey, how did that happen?

Shannon: I am very lucky to have Frey as an advisor. She is in the geography department but there’s a lot of overlapping with Earth Systems Science. When she asked what my end goal was, I answered, it’s kind of to study what you do arctic systems science, and she very kindly offered to put me in her research seminar, which is 300 level. It’s so amazing, I love it; it’s two juniors, one senior, and some grad students, who are all doing some sort of polar research. For the undergrads it’s like our Honors Thesis.

Each week, two students present where they’re at, what they might be having trouble with, and we all give advice, so for me and the other undergrads, it’s an amazing learning experience because we are in the early stages of academia. It’s such an amazing learning opportunity, to not only learn from Karen, and hear what she has to say about her research – she’s so smart- but also from other students who are a little further along in the process.

Scarlet: Any plans for the summer?

Shannon: I’ve been applying to internships hoping to do field work or research… this is a little early for science internships, but hopefully yes. I guess a lot of the things I’m applying to are GIS related because that’s what I want to do for 5th year, so this summer just going to be getting more hard skills.

Scarlet: So, you’ve already talked about this a little bit when you mentioned 5th year, but do you have any plans after graduation?

Shannon: Basically, my end goal is to utilize GIS technology to address climate change in northern regions. I haven’t decided yet if masters and then job or masters then PhD, but no matter what research will always be a part of my life

Scarlet: What’s something people might not notice about you at first glance?

Shannon: A lot of people don’t know that I’m a pretty good cross-country skier, since it’s not something I do now but I competed in high school.

Scarlet: Last question. If you were any food what would you be?

Shannon: I would be a jar of Teddie peanut butter.