Meet Kyle Rickert, Senior Major in Environmental Geology

Tell us something about where you grew up.

I grew up in Northwest Indiana, just outside of Chicago and of course I am a proud Region Rat. There are a lot of little details about where I grew up that define it; from having the best “A Christmas Story” museum (the movie is based on Northwest Indiana NOT Cleveland) to the beauty of Lake Michigan. But by far my favorite thing is the plethora of delicious Eastern European food you can find – highlighted by the Pierogi Festival that happens every year.

What do you like about the EEPS Dept?

Ever since entering the EEPS Department, I have always been greeted with respect and appreciation. Given that it isn’t a huge department, just about everyone knows each other and all of us are very delightful to work and interact with. Every person I’ve met in the department is very passionate about the work they are doing and to me that is the type of person I want to surround myself with.

What’s something you don’t know about or how to do, but would like to learn?

Something that I’ve always wanted to learn to do is backflip. At several different times I tried to learn but I never really got the hang of it. I think that if I could, my life wouldn’t change at all but it would just be kind of cool to know I could.

Tell us about your senior research thesis.

I have been working on a project advised by Dr. Mark B. Green. In order to examine the effects of Beech Leaf Disease on tree water use and meteorological conditions at the University Farm, I have developed probes that measure a flux of how much sap flows through various Beech trees. After collecting my data, I’ve analyzed historical trends in meteorological data that was collected from 2 different weather stations that were implemented and are maintained by Dr. Joseph F. Koonce. I’ve enjoyed this work so much and have many fun stories to tell because of it – including an extremely close encounter with a buck at dawn. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

One of the greatest joys I have in life is singing. Beginning in my childhood, I have always carried a song in my heart – much to the chagrin of the people around me. Ever since coming to Cleveland I have been heavily involved in CWRU’s Footlighters – a completely student run organization that devotes itself to putting together a full musical theater stage production every semester. This spring, we’re performing Death Takes a Holiday in March – where I am scenic designing and artistic directing, as well as performing. 

What are you enthused about for your future?

More than anything else in my life, I am excited to be seeing Josh Groban in concert this summer. Everything else in my mind is a distant second compared to seeing the most amazing performer I could ever imagine live.