Central American forests, known for their biodiversity, were an ideal location for Scholar Nicholas Medina's environmental research.

Brandeis Scholar Wins Scholarships to Study Climate Change

Winter 2014 | New York

Biology and environmental studies major Nicholas Medina has studied and interned abroad, contributed to environmental research, and leads two campus organizations. Currently a senior at Brandeis University, he received a Gilman Scholarship to study sustainability in Panama and funding from the Brandeis Hiatt Career Center to conduct climate change research in Costa Rica.

“Brandeis has a lot of opportunities for students,” says Nicholas. “If you have the drive to accomplish goals, you can be creative with options and resources available at college.”

After studying Panamanian agriculture and the value of its sustainability during his spring term, Nicholas was eager to contribute to environmental research. With funding from the Hiatt Career Center, he accepted a summer internship with OSA Conservation, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting Costa Rica’s biodiversity, where he worked on a project that tracks how quickly trees absorb carbon and how that can mitigate climate change.

“Research is what I want to do with my life,” says Nicholas.“I like the idea of answering hard scientific questions and creating new knowledge on topics such as climate change.”

A New York City native, Nicholas’ interest in biology dates back to seventh grade where his science teacher’s enthusiasm captured Nicholas’ curiosity. He continued to study science and was nominated for a Posse STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Scholarship by his high school AP biology teacher. Now, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in ecology, environmental biology or forestry.

On campus, Nicholas is an executive board member of Students for Environmental Action and president of the salsa dancing club. Additionally, he mentors students interested in studying abroad and works with Deis Bikes, a bicycle sharing program for off- and on-campus students.