Stanford University
Arden Wells

(Photo courtesy of Arden Wells)

Cutting the jargon

Arden WellsMS ’19Earth System Science

Published

In 2010, approximately 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, becoming one of the largest marine oil spills in history. Growing up in the suburbs of New Orleans, this was one of the first times that Arden Wells, MS ’19, learned how scientists could work to help the environment. By the time she began her undergraduate education at the University of Texas at Dallas, she knew she wanted to pursue some kind of environmental science degree.

“Ultimately I wanted to become a hydrogeologist because water quality is so central to our livelihoods and welfare.”

Through her education in geology, Wells developed skills in data analysis, subsurface interactions, water resources and policy – a great foundation for furthering her skills at Stanford Earth.

“I came to Stanford with an interdisciplinary background to some extent. But one of my favorite things about being in the Earth System Science Department is that it’s changed how I think and communicate. Our department has so many types of scientists collaborating, so we really have to cut out the jargon and explain things in an approachable way.”

Following graduation, Wells is beginning a role as a staff geologist for Todd Groundwater. She will be working throughout California to monitor groundwater quality and supply, as well as to oversee drilling, collect data for groundwater models, and analyze and map data for models.

“I’m especially passionate about working with the many stakeholders who depend on these groundwater resources. What’s sustainable for one community might not be sustainable for another, so it’s important to understand the local policy and work with local community leaders and people to figure out what is going to work for a particular community.”

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