Summer Internship Student Spotlight: Emily Luetschwager

An undergraduate student in Statistics 
July 31, 2020
Emily Luetschwager works with the von Fisher lab to analyze methane leak data in an effort to better map leaks in 15 cities across the U.S.

This summer, Emily Luetschwager is continuing her work from fall that involves mapping methane leaks across the country by analyzing data from 15 U.S. cities. Ultimately, her work will contribute to larger methane mapping efforts that can help cities efficiently pinpoint leaks and quantify their sizes so gas companies can be notified about critical issues that need to be addressed.

“The overall goal of this effort is to reduce greenhouse gas by reducing the amount of methane coming of out pipes,” she said.

Luetschwager is a senior majoring in statistics with minors in economics and math. She’s currently working with the von Fisher lab, led by biology professor Joe von Fisher, where she’s assessing the accuracy of methane leak measurements by evaluating the characteristics of leak size estimation and then providing sampling practice suggestions to companies using Advanced Mobile Leak Detection (AMLD), she said. Her goal this summer is to finalize and publish a paper with results from the work so far. She also hopes to present her findings in a poster presentation at the Women in Statistics and Data Science Conference this fall.

Luetschwager’s work on methane mapping may seem like an unlikely path for a statistics major, but she believes there’s significant value in students pursuing research projects outside of their comfort zones.

“Getting involved in research has been a really great opportunity for me to study a topic I would have otherwise never learned about,” she said. “I don’t know much about science, and here I am in a bio lab. Don’t rule anything out as far as what you’re going to be doing,” she said.

Outside of her academics and research, Luetschwager loves spending time outdoors — particularly kayaking and skiing, she said. She also plays on CSU’s Women’s Tennis team and has earned Academic All-Mountain West and Mountain West Scholar-Athlete honors.

Her advice to students seeking research projects: “Get to know your professors, go to office hours, look online at their publications and write-ups, and ask about what they do and if they have opportunities to get involved.”