2018 Tillman Scholar

Justin Nichols

University of New Mexico
M.S., Water Resources Engineering

“Clean water is vital for a healthy community to thrive. As an engineer, I want to provide clean water to communities across the globe.”

Justin Nichols was born and raised in New Mexico, and he knew from a young age that he wanted to serve in the military. This was mostly due to the past military service of his grandad, grandpa, and uncle and the stories they told him about their time in the service. After Justin graduate high school, he joined the U.S. Army where he served for four years. Justin took great pride in being a soldier, but during his service he also realized how many communities are lacking clean water across the globe. Therefore, he decided to leave the Army to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering at the University of New Mexico.

Currently, Justin is finishing his last semester and will soon be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. After graduating, he begins his graduate program in the fall and plans to complete a Master’s of Science in Water Resources Engineering degree in two years. While attending school for his MS, he will be conducting research on nutrient dynamics in arid watersheds. Nutrient enrichment is a major water quality impairment in many water resources across the globe, and it is currently estimated to cost the U.S. $45-165 billion a year. The research Justin will be performing will develop a more comprehensive understanding of nutrient dynamics and ultimately lead to better strategies, policies and infrastructure development to mitigate aquatic nutrient impairment.