Celebrating 10 Years of the Global Change Fellows Program

Founded in 2011, the SE CASC Global Change Fellows program was designed to train the next generation of global change scientists by providing financial, scientific, and professional development support for graduate students who are interested in multi-disciplinary research. These students come together across disciplines to discover, collaborate, and share their knowledge with diverse stakeholders. These Master’s and PhD candidates from a diverse range of departments across NC State’s campus are dedicated to improving and advancing science related to climate change.

Breakdown of jobs by sector that the Global Change Fellows have tracked into since 2011

Over the years, 97 graduate students have been trained through this program leading to careers in federal and state governments, universities across the nation, non governmental organizations, private sector jobs, and continued education.

SE CASC Faculty Affiliate Rob Dunn has been affiliated with the Southeast CASC and Global Change Fellows program since its start in 2011. When asked about the evolution of this training program, Dunn recognizes that “The original goal of the fellows was as a training program to train students across disciplines in a common set of skills and to connect those fellows socially to each other to help span disciplines that might not otherwise be spanned. In this it was akin to other training programs. The goal was not to train people who would necessarily go into standard USGS jobs but instead to train those people AND those who would work with those people, across diverse contexts, to achieve work that would be difficult from the confines of the USGS on its own. As a result, the students need not be scientists, but do need to be dedicated to making the science related to climate change better, where better means more true, of a greater impact, or, as our land grant mission dictates, more ethical and just.”

10 Years of Success

EPA Administrator Michael Regan provided a keynote address during the November 2nd Global Change Seminar congratulating the SE CASC Global Change Fellows program on 10 years of success. 

Global Change Fellows Program Promotional Video



Fellow Spotlight:
2012 – 2013 Global Change Fellow, Adrienne Wootten

Former Global Change Fellow and current research scholar at the South Central CASC, Adrienne Wootten has developed a video message to reflect on her time as a Global Change Fellow, congratulate each student that has made this program a success, and passes on wisdom to the current and future cohorts of fellows.


10 by 10

10 cohorts, 10 students, 10 stories

Melody Hunter-Pillion, 2021 – 2022 Global Change Fellow


Megan Johnson, 2020 – 2021 Global Change Fellow
“From a short term perspective, the program is helping me to incorporate climate change into my research in ways that I had not previously. The variety of professional development opportunities the program offers throughout the year will also help me hone skills and expand my understanding of how I can approach scientific questions. I think one of the most impactful aspects of the program, though, is just being part of a community of scientists doing actionable science. I want my work, now and in the future, to be directly useful and accessible and think being part of this larger group of scientists focusing their work in this way will have a great impact on my career trajectory.”
Where is she now? Megan has accepted a Science to Action Fellowship at the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center


Mario Simon Pinilla-Gallego, 2019 – 2020 Global Change Fellow
The SE CASC Global Change Fellows Program allows me to explore many global change issues and the approaches that we can take to address those problems. In that way, I can build a toolbox of approaches and a network of connections that would allow me to address challenges with interdisciplinary approaches.
Where are they now? Simon recently finished his PhD at North Carolina State University.


Andre Taylor, 2018 – 2019 Global Change Fellow
During his fellowship, Andre knew that his dream job would be “in academia where I can teach Public History with a focus in oral history collection and documentary development. I am using these methods in my research and expect to develop a long piece that explains culture and climate change and how one affects the other.”
Where are they now? Andre has accepted a position as an oral historian at the College of William and Mary.


Danielle Lawson, Spring 2018 Global Change Fellow
“This program allows me to connect with researchers and practitioners from multiple academic institutions and governmental organizations that I would not typically have the opportunity to interact with otherwise. In my opinion, the best approach to large problems like global change, is through multiple perspectives and disciplines. This program allows me to expand my network, and in turn will make me a better researcher.”
Where are they now? Danielle is an Assistant Professor at Penn State University with a joint appointment in Recreation, Park, & Tourism Management as well as Science Education.


Wilmer Reyes, 2016 – 2017 Global Change Fellow
“Being part of GCF was an extraordinary transformative experience.
Exposure to global and holistic approaches of high rigor, combined with interactions with colleagues from multiple disciplines, creates unique conditions to stimulate and develop critical thinking. This not only allows us to understand the complexity of the planet from multiple perspectives, but also to offer creative and effective solutions based on sustainability parameters. All these capabilities led to my current professional achievements.”
Where are they now? Wilmer has been named the next Rector (President) of the National Agricultural University of Honduras. Formerly, Wilmer worked as a Natural Resources and Hydrology Professor and University Director of Research and Graduate Studies at the Universidad Nacional de Agricultura, Honduras.


Georgina Sanchez, 2015 – 2016 Global Change Fellow

Where are they now? Georgina is a Research Associate in the Center for Geospatial Analytics at North Carolina State University.


Marketa Zimova, 2014 – 2015 Global Change Fellow

Where are they now? Marketa is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Appalachian State University.


Steven Grodsky, 2013 – 2014 Global Change Fellow
Where are they now? 
Steve is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at Cornell University.


Adrienne Wootten, 2012 – 2013 Global Change Fellow

Where are they now? Adrienne is a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the South Central Climate Science Center at the University of Oklahoma.


Sarah Fritts, 2011 – 2012 Global Change Fellow
Where are they now? 
Sarah is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Texas State University.


Meet the cohorts through the years: