Joe Dallas Moore
Ph.D. Candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
My science adventure began at Wabash College (Indiana), where I studied biology and French. From there I moved to Chicago, where I taught high school science through Teach For America, on the city’s southwest side. I also started a track program for cross country runners and organized an environmental club. Through the club, my students engaged with science by obtaining and implementing a grant to boost the school’s energy efficiency. I credit those experiences with orienting me towards being an Ambassador. After Chicago, I wandered in Latin America and the American Southwest, honing my science education skills along the way—in Perú, through educating community leaders about climate change, and in New Mexico, investigating the state’s water resources for the Roswell Daily Record.

Now, I am a PhD student and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. I investigate how nanomaterials (NM) interact with microbial life. Some NMs are toxic to microbes, especially in lab environments. I want to learn about NMs’ behavior in nature and how they affect microbial populations over time. I am also interested in cases where NMs are not toxic to microbes. Ultimately, my research asks, might we be able to take advantage of NMs’ unique properties to create microbe-based biotechnology, like microbial fuel cells?

Outside of school, I enjoy running Frick Park’s trails, reading nonfiction, gardening in my sun-less backyard and baking. My wife, Juleen Rodakowski, and I are enjoying the challenges of parenthood, too. Our son, Quinn, was born in early 2013.