Daniel J. Okuniewicz Jr.


Daniel J. Okuniewicz Jr., from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is an environmental sciences major, with a concentration in hydrology, at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). In 2020, he was awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) from the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research. He was eager to work with Dr. Anne Lightbody, an associate professor in the Earth sciences department at UNH, and they developed his SURF research to align with what Daniel thought was her most interesting project. Daniel says that the most challenging aspect of his research was learning a lot about using geographic information systems (GIS) in a short amount of time, but this was also one of the most rewarding aspects. The COVID-19 pandemic also brought up some challenges. Originally, he planned to conduct his own fieldwork, but due to pandemic restrictions he had to find existing data for his study sites. With his research successfully completed, he decided to publish with Inquiry to share his work with others, and as a way to make a permanent record of his undergraduate research experience. Daniel will graduate in May 2021 with a bachelor of science degree. He will then work in the environmental/hydrology industry for a time before moving on to graduate school.