Each month, the Environmental Sciences Academic Program highlights a current student who represent the diverse and involved student population within the program. This month, February, the spotlight focuses on, Alex Gizzi.
Name: Alex Gizzi
Focal Area: Atmospheric Science
Year: Super-Senior! (5th Year)
Hometown: Cary, NC
1. What lead you to select Environmental Sciences at NC State?
I actually started in Environmental Sciences at UNCW, and I transferred to NCSU after my third year to study Environmental Engineering. Turns out, engineering was not what I wanted, and I switched back to Environmental Sciences.
2. What is your favorite aspect about the Environmental Science program?
I think the best things about this program are the awesome advisors that make moving through this program enjoyable and achievable. I also appreciate the interdisciplinary aspect to this degree, and the wide variety of courses we take.
3. What has been your favorite course at NC State?
My favorite course at NC State was MEA 315 – Mathematical Methods in Meteorology, taught by Dr. Anantha Aiyyer. In this course, we discussed atmospheric phenomena like divergence, vorticity, and advection, and applied equations to them so that we could represent them mathematically and manipulate them in computer models.
4. How did you select your focal area?
My passion has always revolved around studying climate change and climate dynamics. I wanted to prepare myself to attend graduate school in atmospheric science, so I chose my focal area in this field. Another great thing about the ES program is that you can design your own focal area if you have a passion that has not been already planned out. (Like me!)
5. What is something you wish someone had told you when you were a freshman?
While I am very happy that I inevitably transferred to NCSU, I wish I had known that engineering was not my true passion when I was freshman. I wanted to have my college major planned out, so I jumped into the program and followed it blindly. It wasn’t until my first semester at NCSU (my fourth year of college) that I realized I had been going down the wrong path. Taking an extra year allowed me to get back on a path that was more aligned with my interests and will hopefully lead me to graduate school.
My advice to freshman: 5 years is the new 4 – don’t rush yourself! If you’re doing what you love it doesn’t matter how long it takes.
6. What is your favorite thing to do outside of the classroom?
Like most environmental science majors, I love being outside and exploring. Hiking, camping, yoga, and traveling are all things that excite me. I also love music, coffee, and being active.