2019 Graduate Student Mentors


Leslie Bychinski Leslie Bychinski

Leslie Bychinski completed her BS in Geoscience at UW-Oshkosh in 2017.  She did undergraduate research with Dr. William Mode mapping glacial deposits.  She also did field course work in Bermuda exploring the oceanographic and environmental factors that affect coral reefs and carbonate sediment-producing organisms and experienced 6 weeks of field camp out in Utah, Wyoming, and Nevada.  Now, she is working towards her MS in Hydrogeology with Shangping Xu studying the leaching of pesticides in an urban and suburban setting. Since starting her graduate program in 2018, she has been a TA instructing intro geology and conservation and environmental science labs, as well as physical hydrology and glacial geology labs. In her free time she likes to surround herself with great friends, music, and dancing. If the sun is shining, you can find her outside hiking all terrain or at a local beer garden!

David Cordie

David Cordie is a recent graduate from UWM with his PhD in Geosciences under Stephen Dornbos. During graduate school he studied the paleoecology of corals and sponges in 500 million year old reef ecosystems from Mongolia and Nevada. It was the weird and wonderful creatures of the Cambrian (google Opabinia!) that initially attracted him to studying the fossil record in more depth. Previously, he earned a BA in Biology at Lawrence University and MS in Geosciences at University of Iowa. David was born in Watertown, WI and enjoys movies, sport fencing and board games. He is very excited to meet the next generation of geologists and cannot wait to ask you about your favorite dinosaur.

Nancy Duque

I earned a BS in Physics with an emphasis in Atomic, Molecular and Optics from the University of California, Merced in 2013 and a BS in Geosciences from UWM in 2018. I started the MS program at UWM in 2019 studying structural geology.  I’m primarily interested in the tectonic and volcanic processes of our planet and how they differ in the past in comparison to today. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my boyfriend, Jason, exploring the city of Milwaukee. I like to catch up on TV shows, watching movies on Netflix or Hulu, watch cheesy scifi/horror movies on the Comet Channel, going to the movies, go hiking and I love to kickbox and practice Taekwondo. I chose to help out in the GoFORWARD because I love to show students how fun and exciting geology can be! Geology rocks!

Detaya Johnson

Detaya Johnson completed her undergraduate  degree from UWM in 2017. She participated in undergraduate research  (SURF) working on projects with Sandra Mcllelan, Dyanna Czeck, and Tim  Grundl. She investigated biosand filters, fluid-rock interactions, and  calcareous fens in Mukwaongo. She began her graduate program in 2017  working with Professor Grundl. She has been TA since the start of her  graduate program leading Intro geosciences labs. She was born and raised  in Milwaukee, WI. She is excited to be part of the GO FoRWARD program  hoping to help expand the exposure minority students have with STEM  subjects. When she is not working, she loves dancing, music, hiking, and  art of all types.

A summer experience hosted by the UWM Department of Geosciences and funded by the National Science Foundation, dedicated to increasing the diversity, equity, and inclusion of students majoring in geosciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.