Sean Schrag-Toso Wins Prestigious Presidential Management Fellowship

Photo Sean Schrag-Toso
Monday, December 9, 2019

Congratulations to Sean Schrag-Toso, HAS MS Hydrology student, who was recently selected to receive the very prestigious Presidential Management Fellowship award!

The purpose of this post-degree fellowship for advanced-degree candidates is to foster the spirit of public service, develop leadership skills, and provide a pathway for individuals pursuing professional careers in government. Sean hopes to complete his MS Hydrology degree by the summer of 2020 when he will begin a 2-year paid internship with a government agency of his choosing.

Currently, Sean is a University of Arizona Coverdell Fellow (returning Peace Corps volunteer) completing his thesis research under the direction of HAS Professor Jennifer McIntosh. His project is focused on the changing groundwater recharge conditions in the Sonoita Creek Watershed in southeastern Arizona. The Patagonia Mountains provide nearly a quarter of Sonoita Creek's base flow and little is known about how changing recharge conditions and increasing demand will affect spring flow and groundwater levels.

The first phase of his project will include an isotopic tracer study to analyze the geochemistry of the mountains. These insights, coupled with available data and knowledge of the area's hydrology, will guide the development of a conceptual model for groundwater flow in the mountains. The conceptual model will inform the second phase of the project: Creation of a monitoring plan, formation of a citizen science group, and the training of well owners and residents. These stakeholders will monitor, measure, and document precipitation events and groundwater use and their effects on spring flow and the water table to inform future water use-management decisions by the town council.

Upon completion of his Master's degree, Sean would like to work with the National Forest Service, the National Resource Conservation Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, or the Agency for International Development.

Congratulations and well done, Sean!