Alyssa Soucy: Outstanding Master’s Degree Student

The Outstanding Master’s Degree Student Award recognizes a student who has distinguished themselves in all aspects of graduate performance.

Portrait of Alyssa SoucyAlyssa Soucy is the recipient of the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture’s Outstanding Master’s Degree Student Award. She is pursuing a M.S. in forest resources. Her advisors are Sandra De Urioste-Stone, associate professor of nature-based tourism, and Parinaz Rahimzadeh-Bajgiran, assistant professor of remote sensing of natural resources, both of the School of Forest Resources.

Soucy has excelled in all aspects of graduate study. Her ambitious thesis far exceeds the depth typical of a master’s degree. She has also engaged with an additional research project, presented at international conferences, and has multiple manuscripts in preparation.

Although Soucy is supported through a research assistantship, she lectured and aided with courses for the School of Forest Resources. She also volunteers in local schools, working to inspire environmental stewardship in future generations. Her commitment to learning led her to take extra courses, all while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. Soucy’s co-advisor, Sandra De Urioste-Stone, describes her among the top one percent of her graduate student peers.

How do you envision your research might someday change the world? How will your experience at UMaine help you?

My research seeks to understand the vulnerability of Maine’s forest industry to climate change and the ways in which forest stakeholders perceive and respond to these changes. The research is highly interdisciplinary and emphasizes the importance of approaching complex problems facing our society, such as climate change, from both a biophysical and human dimensions viewpoint. I also hope this research will inspire others, especially graduate students, to engage in collaborative and creative research projects.

I am extremely thankful to have received this award and recognition from the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture. I am also thankful that as a graduate student at UMaine I have been involved in research projects that I greatly enjoy, that I am surrounded by inspiring and supportive individuals, and that these relationships have made it possible for me to engage in community work that I am deeply passionate about.