Graduate Student Mentors 2021

Jiyan Hatami
Jiyan Hatami

Jiyan Hatami

Jiyan is finishing his Masters degree under Dr. Charles Paradis, his project involves studying the use of a new groundwater tracer for estimating the fraction of organic carbon in aquifer systems. During the Summer of 2020, he had the opportunity to do field work in Riverton, WY at a uranium contaminated monitoring site. Before starting school at UWM in the Fall of 2019, he was intern with the United States Geological Survey (USGS), where he assisted on projects that studied wetlands’ effects on water quality in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Jiyan is excited to share his passion for water science with students this summer as a GO FORWARD mentor. In his free time Jiyan enjoys listening to music, playing guitar, camping (when possible), and watching movies. He’s always looking for music or movie recommendations!

Kayla KopinskiKayla Kopinski

Kayla started her Master’s degree in 2020 during the fall semester and is working with Dyanna Czeck. Her project is to document deformation mechanisms across a 100m-wide shear zone to evaluate whether strain localization at the brittle-ductile transition is dominantly controlled by fluid flow or lithological differences. Prior to coming to UWM, Kayla performed a year-long field and laboratory project on rocks in southern Maine in a crustal scale high strain zone known as the Norumbega shear zone system. She presented the results of her work at the annual meeting of the Northeastern section of the Geological Society of America. She chose geology as her career after her freshmen year at Buffalo State, after taking an introductory geology course. Kayla is looking forward to being a mentor in the GO FoRWARD program because she loves to help people learn about geology and to appreciate how the Earth works! She is originally from the Buffalo, NY area and enjoys going on hikes and playing ice hockey.


Jake Potter Jake Potter

Jake started his Masters degree in 2020 during the fall semester and is working with Dr. Victoria McCoy on the functional morphology of the Tully Monster. Before starting grad school at UWM, Jake was a Biology and French double major at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. He originally planned to be a microbiologist studying astrobiology before helping Dr. Amanda Falk with paleontology field work in 2018. Jake was immediately hooked on paleontology and started research on Sharovipteryx mirabilis’s gliding capabilities as an undergraduate John C. Young Scholar. Apart from his paleontology research, Jake also conducted research on humanities topics like environmental existentialism, Finnish design, and Polynesian cultural restoration after colonialism. Jake is excited to share his passion for paleontology this summer as a GO FoRWARD mentor and hopes to encourage underrepresented students to embrace interdisciplinary approaches in the geosciences and in other fields. Apart from being a student, Jake enjoys driving, cooking, baking, and drawing.

Eric SchuemannEric Schuemann

Eric began his graduate studies at UWM in the fall of 2020. He returned to academia after almost 20 years, attending Grand Rapids Community College, in Grand Rapids, MI, as a biology major. There he took one geology class and that was it. He was hooked! He received his BS in geology from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI, where he studied felsic rocks in the Upper Peninsula’s Midcontinent Rift. In 2019, Eric was nominated to be a GSA representative for Congressional Visits Day, in Washington DC, and met with members of congress on Capitol Hill to discuss science policy. At UWM, in addition to his coursework, he is studying strain partitioning at an oblique shear zone in South Dakota’s Black Hills, with Dyanna Czeck. Eric is excited to be a mentor in the GO FoRWARD program and hopes to encourage underrepresented students to share his passion for STEM and earth science. Eric is originally from Indianapolis and enjoys just about everything.



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.