- University of Notre Dame
- 2020-2021, Undergraduate Research Fellow
- Academic Concentration: Environmental Engineering, Theology
Mariana Silva is a senior environmental engineering major and theology minor. She has conducted, presented, and published exploratory research on the Urban Heat Island effect in Chicago using the Array of Things (AoT) environmental dataset, and wetland ecosystems at the University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center (UNDERC) in northern Wisconsin. She hopes in the future to explore constructed wetlands as an alternative wastewater treatment scheme, and peatland restoration as a carbon mitigation strategy. Outside of engineering, Mariana has honed her theological interests by embarking on the México City pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe during her 2019 fall break, and journeying to Entebbe, Uganda to serve at the Bethany Land Institute as an immersion part of a theology/peace studies class entitled Peace, Ecology, and Integral Human Development. This past summer, she volunteered remotely with Clean Water Action to research well contamination in the state of Maryland and with Wetlands International, working on site selection for the Building With Nature (BwN) Asia project, with the goal of restoring 15 wetland ecosystems in 5 Asian countries. She will also be serving in an ISSLP program next summer (due to COVID-19) in Quito, Ecuador, working on wastewater engineering with a focus on development, tying in all of her interests well. Mariana has developed a unique focus within her major that she hopes to take with her as she applies for master’s programs in Ireland soon, in the hopes of researching the environmental benefits of the peatland ecosystems present in the country. Regarding extracurriculars, Mariana is highly involved with dance; she is a member of ND Dance Company and TransPose Dance Collective, and she will be president of TroopND, a hip-hop and jazz team, for two years running. She is also involved with GreeND, the environmental club on campus, and a member of Chi Epsilon and Tau Beta Pi honor societies.