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Allison Rychtanek

Elgin, Illinois - Class of 2018 Major: Marine and Environmental Science
Allison Rychtanek

Allison Rychtanek chose the Coast Guard Academy because she wanted to be able to create the largest impact on her country and society as a whole.

On choosing Marine and Environmental Science:

"I feel as though chemistry is the closest thing humans have to magic. I love learning about how substances interact and why certain reactions happen. I want to study something that legitimately fascinates me and walking into my classes every day I find something that I can learn and be interested in."

On the Academy's MES Program:

"MES majors pick two out of the three main tracks to study: Marine Biology, Chemistry, and Physical Oceanography. I am a chemistry/ Physical Oceanography student however, each cadet walks away with an understanding of each of the three subjects. Everyone takes courses such as Marine Biology, Meteorology, and Chemistry 1 and 2 which give us a well-rounded, knowledge on each subject."

On her environmental chemistry research:

"With my current research, my adviser and I are trying to determine a new method of measuring isotopic values of nitrogen, which can be an important indicator as to the health of an ecosystem. We are in the process of finalizing this method and hope to publish our paper about it in an Analytical Chemistry journal sometime in the near future."

On plans after graduation:

"My number one choice out of the Academy is a 225 buoy tender, preferably in Alaska. After that I hope to transition into a Strike Team and potentially get real world experience utilizing the knowledge and skills I will learn in my Petroleum and Oil Spill Science class this semester by helping to clean up environmental hazards such as oil or chemical spills."