Torin Scalora-Riley '25

A Veteran Chooses UNH for Experiential Learning Opportunities
Torin Scalora at the UNH Undergraduate Research Conference

Meet Torin Scalora-Riley, an Armed Forces veteran studying ways to mitigate climate change impacts. He is majoring in environmental science with a minor in outdoor adventure recreation. Aside from his academic pursuits, Torin is planning to climb Mount Rainier in Washington in June 2023 to raise money for the American Lung Association and raise awareness of the importance of lung health.

COLSA: Why did you choose UNH?

Torin Scalora-Riley: One of the main things for me when deciding to go back to school was to be back in New England after spending years away while I was in the military. While looking at schools in New England, UNH stood out to me because of how much of an emphasis is placed on experiential learning. Being able to get out of the classroom and into the field to learn and apply skills taught at UNH has helped me retain information and allowed me to gain a better perspective for what's being taught.

COLSA: What's your major and why did you choose it?

Torin: My major is environmental science, and I chose it because I wanted to keep doing work that's worth while after I got out of the military, but in a different capacity than what my job was in the Army. Climate change is the most important issue of our time and to research that change and be part of the solution is something very important to me.

COLSA: During your time at UNH, what are you most proud of?

Torin: The research I'm currently conducting looking at microbial dispersal in thawing permafrost. I never thought I would have an opportunity to do research like this as an undergrad, let alone go to the Arctic Circle for my study.

COLSA: What are you planning to do after graduation?

Torin: More than likely continue to further education.

COLSA: How is UNH preparing you to achieve your goals?

Torin: I've learned so much outside of the classroom here at UNH because of the opportunities available. Learning how to work in the field, sample properly and work in a lab space are all skills crucial in environmental sciences, so being able to learn these skills within my first year at UNH is something that I can keep expanding on and perfecting and is going to help when I get into the job market. The amount of support I've received from my advisor, Military and Veteran Services and my professors has also helped prepare me to achieve my goals. I know there are so many people I can turn to when I need answers and that has taken a lot of stress out of school for me.

COLSA: What do you love most about UNH?

Torin: While I do love the location quite a bit, I think I love how passionate the faculty are about their respective fields. Going to school every day with professors who are so deeply connected with their work makes learning so much easier and interesting.