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CFWT Scholarship Spotlight: AmandaJo Zimmerman

The Lubbock Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Chapter Memorial Scholarship Fund for the 2021-2022 academic year is Texas Tech Ph.D. student AmandaJo Zimmerman. AmandaJo explained, “For the past seven years I worked as a geophysicist for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management – essentially the oil and gas industry for the federal government in NOLA, and for the past eight years I concurrently taught physical and historical geology in the evenings at Delgado Community College.” While she did enjoy her job, AmandaJo wanted a career shift to become a researcher for the US Geological Survey. AmandaJo had heard of the USGS from her father when she was young, and her interest in the agency has grown as she has learned more about it over time.

She has a B.S. in geology from the University of Hawai’i Hilo and an M.S. in geochemistry from Louisiana State University. Currently, AmandaJo is “working with Dr. Matthew Siebecker on soils and sediments exposed to arsenic impacted drinking water filter waste” and is expected to graduate in May 2022. Their research has yielded more than one publication since AmandaJo started her P.h.D. program. AmandaJo wrote that the “best part is I can say our work, my research, is actually impactful.” Her research has the potential to understand potential health concerns related to the use of titanium-dioxide-water-filtration-technologies and by governmental bodies to make policy changes to prevent future contaminations.

AmandaJo closes her letter with: “I took a tremendous risk leaving my safe career to work on this degree, and I appreciate your support deeply. The ARCS Endowment will be a big part of the reason I will be able to take my expertise to the USGS as a civil servant and contribute to the research being done to protect our soils and our communities upon graduation.” To apply for a scholarship through the Community Foundation of West Texas or donate to a scholarship fund, visit


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