Riley Yager

Meet Riley Yager, Spring 2021 Community Science Intern

by | Apr 1, 2021

GASP: What is your major at and why did you choose it?

Riley Yager: I am currently working on my PhD in physics and I received a bachelors in civil engineering and a bachelors in physics in May 2020.  I chose these degrees because I wanted to go into a field where I could have a direct impact on the world.  I am a dedicated environmentalist and I want to be on the forefront of scientific discovery and innovation in the effort to make this world a more sustainable place.  I chose the physics route over the engineering route partly because of my research on nanofibers, which have ample applications in sustainability, and partly because of my love for physics.

GASP: Where do you go to high school?

RY: I went to Pinson Valley High School

GASP: What do you hope to do after you graduate?

RY: I may continue my education in postdoctoral studies.  I am also considering starting a company surrounding the environmental/sustainable applications of nanofiber ceramics.  Eventually, I plan to settle down and become a professor in physics somewhere in eastern europe.

GASP: What is your dream job?

RY: My dream job would be to start a company that utilizes the sustainable applications of ceramic nanofibers and turns them into products that will aid in the world’s transition to becoming eco-friendly and sustainable.

RY: GASP: What do you hope to learn while interning with GASP?

RY: I hope to gain skills in project management as well as gain some knowledge in the design and technology of air quality sensors.

GASP: Why is our mission to reduce air pollution important to you?

RY: Sustainability is both my passion and my career.  Any efforts made to achieve a greener world are important to me.  It means a lot to be a part of an organization working to better the city that I was born and raised in.

GASP: What is your favorite food?

RY: It’s a tie between lemon pepper wings (flats only) and vegetables.  My guilty pleasure is pickle chips.

GASP: What are your hobbies?

RY: I do aerial yoga, I occasionally sell my artwork, I foster cats when I can, and I enjoy volunteering.  I am also a huge TV person.

GASP: Who or what are your influences?

RY: Neil Degrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan, AOC, and my professor Andrei Stanishevsky.  I want to also mention my mother because I couldn’t have done it without her.

GASP: What are some other fun facts about yourself?

RY: I have been to 11 european countries and I can speak some german and a good bit of german.  I have watched every season of The Office at least 15 times.  I enjoy kayaking, I am obsessed with cats, and I am a plant mom.

About Kirsten Bryant
Kirsten was with GASP from the very beginning: first as a founding board member, then as our first part-time executive director, and finally as deputy director. Kirsten hopes future generations will inherit a healthy Alabama where clean air and water are valued and protected. She retired from GASP in 2022 after more than a decade of service to the organization.
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