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Jodi Schilz|Meet the Science Posse

PhD Candidate in Biomedical Science

Graduate Fellow

Topics Jodi Can Bring to Your Classroom:

Public Health/Epidemiology
Environmental Health


B.S. Microbiology University of New Mexico
B.A. Foreign Languages University of New Mexico
M.S. Biomedical Sciences Colorado State University

Current Research:

There are many places in the world where clean drinking water is not available.  Much of the water is contaminated with heavy metals and bacteria.  Removing the metals is often difficult and causes the bacteria to grow out of control.  Arsenic is a metalloid that contaminates waters in Bangladesh and India.  Arsenic is very difficult to remove from water and often the treatment changes the water chemistry making it undrinkable.  Nanoparticles are very small active particles that are being used in everything from sunscreen to superconductors.  However, our knowledge of nanoparticles is limited and their toxicity somewhat unknown.  My research focuses on the evaluation of the biological effects of contaminant removal from waste and groundwater using nanoparticles.  Do the nanoparticles remove priority contaminants?  The water may be cleaner chemically, but is it less toxic?


I grew up in New Mexico and studied microbiology and foreign languages in college.  I wanted to travel abroad so I applied for a foreign exchange program and spent a year in Germany.  When I returned I moved to Colorado. I wasn't ready to go back to school so I joined Americorps in Fort Collins and dug hiking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park and repaired public lands.  After a year of volunteer work I was ready to go back to school.  I was interested in how our brains worked and what happens when our brains malfunction.  I studied neuroanatomy and physiology with a focus on epilepsy.   After graduating with my Master’s, I got the itch to travel again.  I really enjoyed the volunteer work I did with Americorps so I decided to apply to the Peace Corps.  I was sent to Bukoba Tanzania as a science teacher.  I spent 2 years teaching in an all-girls boarding school.  Despite having few amenities, I loved my time in Bukoba.  I loved teaching and interacting with the girls at the school and exploring my village and the “bigger” town nearby.  When I returned from Tanzania I got a job researching the effects of smokeless tobacco at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.  DC is an exciting place to live, but far away from my family and a bit expensive.  After 3 years in DC, I was looking to move back out West to be near my family.  I got in touch with a friend of mine who was a professor at UWYO and I ended up moving to Laramie to get my PhD.  I like living in Laramie because it is close to good hiking trails, good skiing, and crazy rock climbing.  I can’t wait to interact with the students in the area.

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“There is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself.” Herman Melville

I grew up in New Mexico and as a kid spent most of my time taking things apart in our garage. I learned that the experience of taking something apart and exploring how it worked was as important as putting it back together. I studied science because I loved learning that everything in the world is made of the same basic components just in different combinations. We often forget to teach how science concepts can be applied to our everyday lives. The world is one big science lab with infinite questions to be asked. I hope to teach students how to apply scientific concepts to their everyday lives and how scientific principles can help them critically analyze ideas presented to them by the media about their environment and health.

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