Graduate student receives NAGT Outstanding TA Award

Colorado School of Mines graduate student Kyle BlountA Colorado School of Mines graduate student has been honored with the National Association of Geoscience Teachers Outstanding TA Award.

William Kyle Blount, a PhD student in hydrology, was nominated for the award by Terri Hogue, professor of civil and environmental engineering, in recognition of his numerous academic and community activities, research experience on hydrologic modeling and data analysis, strong rapport among students, countless contributions to improving the learning environment of his classroom and high standards for quality of analysis, writing and critical thinking.

Blount serves as TA for Hogue’s Hydrology and Water Resources Laboratory course (CEEN 482). The NAGT award honors both undergraduate and graduate students who have demonstrated excellence as teaching assistants. 

“I most enjoy interacting with the students,” Blount said. “Seeing them begin to grasp concepts by working through difficulties and learning to answer their own questions is most rewarding to me.”

Blount graduated from Texas A&M University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental geosciences. While there, he completed an undergraduate thesis titled “Future Flooding in Houston: Modeling the Impacts of Climate and Land Cover Change on Hydrology in the Buffalo-San Jacinto Watershed” and was named Outstanding Graduating Senior for the Environmental Programs. 

He arrived at Mines in 2016 and is pursuing both his master’s and doctoral degrees in hydrology. His research interests include remote sensing, hydrologic modeling and land-atmosphere interactions in disturbed areas including urban regions and post-wildfire landscapes in the western U.S. 

“In order to be more effective, I design labs and activities to be discovery-based and allow students to be active participants in the learning process and engage with new material in practical, applied settings,” Blount said. “I also design activities to promote the development of professional skills: to improve technical writing abilities, promote self-directed learning and encourage students to understand how to locate answers to their own questions independently, which will all be necessary in future jobs.”

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Colorado School of Mines is a public R1 research university focused on applied science and engineering, producing the talent, knowledge and innovations to serve industry and benefit society – all to create a more prosperous future.