Jacob VanderRoest was born in Holland, MI and grew up in the southwest Michigan area. After graduating from Saugatuck High School, Jacob studied chemistry and geology at Hope College where he also ran cross country and conducted organometallic chemistry research. At Hope College, Jacob was the Co-President of the Hope Advocates for Sustainability organization: an internship program that seeks to implement environmentally-friendly initiatives at Hope College and the surrounding community. This involvement sparked Jacob’s interest and commitment to environmental sustainability. After graduating from Hope College, Jacob enrolled in the chemistry Ph.D. program at Colorado State University to continue his chemical education tailored towards ecological sustainability. Since joining Dr. Borch’s research lab, Jacob has been studying the effects of wildfires on soil and water quality. Specifically, he is using high-resolution mass spectrometry to determine post-fire changes of soil organic matter composition and dissolved organic matter composition. Jacob is also the Director of the Graduate Student Chapter of the Student Sustainability Center at Colorado State University and enjoys being involved with the School of Global and Environmental Sustainability.
Jacob is an avid runner who has run over 6,000 miles total with the goal of running 24,901 miles (equivalent to the circumference of the Earth). Upon moving to Colorado for graduate school, Jacob has invested in two new hobbies: rock climbing and salsa dancing. He often climbs in Rocky Mountain National Park and can be found leading salsa dancing in downtown Fort Collins during the weekdays.
In addition to outdoor activities, Jacob is very passionate about music. He has listened to over 1,000 albums and tries to listen to a new one each day. At Hope College, he took acoustic guitar lessons and did a few performances while in Michigan. Since moving to Colorado, Jacob has learned to play the electric guitar and has performed with local punk rock bands as a guitarist and vocalist.