Alumni Spotlight: William Oestreich, BS/MS CEE (2015)
Will Oestreich has been fascinated by the difficult questions surrounding marine ecology and conservation for many years. In his time as a student in Northwestern's combined BS/MS program in Environmental Engineering, he undertook several projects that opened the door for a blossoming career in marine research and conservation. Most notably, Will conducted undergraduate research under the supervision of Northwestern’s Dr. Luisa Marcelino, developing and applying metrics for comparing the severity of bleaching episodes experienced by coral reefs around the world. Internships during his time at Northwestern included a field-based summer research fellowship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and a conservation-focused environmental policy internship with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Will also had the opportunity to develop research skills working with an international NGO, the Jal Bhagirathi Foundation (JBF), through the GEHE research project with Dr. Kimberly Gray on methods for testing water quality effectively in Rajasthan, India. Following his graduation from Northwestern and research in India, Will continued his development as a marine scientist as a research technician at WHOI. In this role, will utilized remote sensing and modeling approaches to study the dynamics of large plankton blooms in the ocean. Along the way, he published several academic papers based on his research conducted at both Northwestern and WHOI. Will is now entering his first year as a PhD student at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, where he aims to integrate his interests in marine ecology, resource management, and environmental policy to explore management approaches for protecting highly-mobile marine animals.