Molly Murchison

Master of Science
Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
Chapel HillNC 27599-7400


(828) 783-0368

molly.murchison@gmail.com


Current Work

I am an environmental scientist specializing in GIS and spatial data analysis. My master's thesis is an investigation into groundwater contamination in North Carolina using modern geospatial methods.  

 

Using data from private well water analyses, I apply non-linear statistical methods that account for the uncertainties in our chemical and hydrological knowledge to interpolate between points in space and time, creating continuous maps of groundwater contamination across North Carolina.

 

These maps are layered with source information such as Superfund sites, the Toxics Release Inventory, and Coal Ash disposal sites to examine associations between sources and contamination.  With impact to public health as the primary motivator, I focus on areas and contaminants where the greatest number of people are at risk for exposure.

 


Education

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

§  Master of Science in Environmental Sciences and Engineering: Academic Advisor: Dr. Marc Serre

§  ThesisSpatial Analysis of Industrial Sites and North Carolina Groundwater Contamination

§  Relevant Coursework:  Biostatistics, Principles of Experimental Analysis, Spatial Regression Analysis, Chemical Equilibria of Natural Waters, Limnology, MATLAB programming, Space/Time Exposure Mapping and Risk Assessment

 

 

Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, NC

§  Certificate: GIS Specialist –May 2011

 

University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

Bachelor of Arts – May 2006

§  Major: International Affairs, Minor: Environmental Biology

 


Technical Skills

§ MATLAB: advanced computer programming for spatial data analysis

§ ArcGIS: spatial data analysis and map creation

§ ENVI: remote sensing and geospatial imagery analysis

§ Spatial Data Analysis: statistical approach optimized for spatial problems

 


Professional and Research Activities

Engineers Without Borders, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Moche Valley, Peru

GIS Lead, Peru Team: July 2012 – May 2013

§ Conducted interviews in an unincorporated settlement to determine ongoing public health needs

§ Collected spatial data of potable water and latrines to monitor the EWB intervention in Peru

§ Built a working spatial database integrating  public health, demographic, and infrastructure data

 

North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Raleigh, North Carolina

Intern for Groundwater Data Analysis: June 2012-July 2012

§ Summarized well monitoring data from Cumberland County to examine issues faced by residents using the local aquifer

§ Contributed data analysis and summary to the county-level groundwater assessment planned by DENR

 

GTZ, German Organization for Technical Cooperation, Rabat, Morocco

Intern for Biomass Development: August 2009 – December 2009

§ Researched potential sources of renewable energy resources in Eastern Morocco

§ Investigated impact of energy development on local communities

 

American Language Center, Rabat, Morocco

English Teacher: October 2007 – August 2009

§  Taught English as a foreign language from beginning to advanced levels

 

American Home English School, Vladimir, Russia

English Teacher: August 2006 – July 2007

§  Developed curriculum for English grammar and communication instruction

 

US Embassy, Bern, Switzerland

Department of State Intern – Public Affairs Section:  September – December 2005

§  Edited and researched the Daily Press Summary, a Swiss news digest compiled for the DOS in Washington, DC

§  Translated cultural and political articles from French to English

 


Awards

2012-2013 FLAS Fellowship, Institute for the Study of the Americas, UNC Chapel Hill 

 

§  Advanced study of Haitian Creole language (Duke University)

§  Incorporation of Latin American and Developing countries studies into graduate work


Community Activities

Team Epi Aid, Chapel Hill and Durham, North Carolina

October 2013-May 2014

§  On-call field work volunteer: GIS and public health data collection, Spanish-speaking survey administration

     

New Hope Elementary School, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

September 2013-May 2014

§  3rd grade reading tutor

 

Clean Water for Haiti /Hands Together of the Palm Beaches, Artibonite, Haiti

March 2013

§  Biosand filter production and delivery helper

§  Adult literacy project volunteer

 

Engineers Without Borders, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

September 2011-May 2013

§  Fundraising volunteer

 

Great Baikal Trail Project, Baikalskiy National Natural Reserve, Russia

August 2007

§  Trail builder