Chance Muscarella, MS Student

Fall 2020 Graduate Teaching Assistant

"Though this management of the iCourse is a tremendous amount of work, Chance has shown enthusiasm and good nature at every meeting – he has fully embraced D2L and has taught me some of the finer details of that software. As a result, ENVS 408i is a more interesting class with a nicely developed D2L site."

- Jean McLain, nominator

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. I originally planned on going to art school, I became an environmental science major after getting involved in a soil lab.

I love environmental science because of its interdisciplinary nature, there’s never a shortage of things to learn.

What do you research and why?

I work in Dr. Joey Blankinship's lab, researching lab soil health. We use enzyme activities and biochemical measurements to analyze the health of different soils. 

There’s a current need for farmers to better understand their soil to keep it profitable while also keeping it environmentally safe. I really like working with enzymes--they’re little molecular machines that are responsible for all the reactions happening in the soil.

What do you teach and what do you enjoy the most about it?

I am the Teaching Assistant for the iCourse version of the scientific writing course (ENVS 408). One of my favorite parts of teaching is seeing passionate students take the initiative to improve their writing skills on their own. 

Also, it’s really uplifting to see how the students’ response to the ongoing pandemic. Everyone has been exceedingly patient and kind during these difficult times.

Future plans?

After graduation, I hope to move out of Arizona, possibly to Colorado, and to pursue a PhD. 

Words of advice?

Everything worthwhile requires practice and dedication. Put in the effort and time that it takes to confront the skills you haven’t mastered.