Islander Golfer and Environmental Science Student Excels in Both Disciplines

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Daniela Bergmann, a senior majoring in environmental sciences and minoring in biology, is putting together one of the best golf careers as a student-athlete in the history of the Island University and is a dedicated environmental researcher. 

Currently ranked second all-time in program history with a 74.96 career scoring average and one of the Islander golf team’s most consistent performers, Bergmann’s love of golf started at a young age and flourished into a way of life. 

“Golf teaches you a lot about life,” she said. “It’s 90 percent mental, so you learn a lot about yourself, and how to approach life.” 

Born in Germany, Bergmann moved to Spain at the age of 2. It was there that a 5-year-old Bergmann started playing golf and found her love for the sport. She later moved back to Germany, where she worked diligently in school, learned three languages, and excelled in golf. As high school graduation drew near, Bergmann had a world of college opportunities at her fingertips, but the Island University was her top choice. 

“The university is literally on an island and the campus is so beautiful. For golf, that means there are so many great opportunities here. I can play golf all year round.” she said. “When it comes to my major, I especially like the chemistry program here. Why would I want to go anywhere else when I have the best resources here to do research in environmental science?” 

Bergmann holds the A&M-Corpus Christi career record of three eagles, a score of two under par for a given hole. Her 178 total birdies, one stroke under par, ranks her second of all-time. She also has 13-career rounds of par or better and is the university’s record holder with 115 rounds played in four years. 

“I have been impressed with Daniela’s contributions to the team, not just in scoring performance but as a teammate,” Golf Coach Joni Stephens said. “Daniela is level-headed, thoughtful, and supportive of her teammates. She goes above and beyond what is required. She is willing to spend the extra time on her game to be prepared for competition. She excels in the classroom, and she is dedicated to impacting the community through service. Daniela has been a joy to coach, and she will be greatly missed next year.” 

When Bergmann is not practicing her swing, she can be found working hard on environmental studies as an intern in Dr. Jeremy Conkle’s chemistry lab. Here, she works with graduate and doctoral students to understand impacts of microplastics on the environment.  

“Daniela has been an asset to our lab this semester while working on research projects that examine microplastics in the Mississippi River and the bioaccumulation of perfluorinated compounds in farmed fish,” said Conkle, assistant professor of chemistry. “These two projects are very different, and she has been a great team player while learning the numerous methods so that she can assist where we need the most help on any given day.” 

Bergmann has enjoyed being immersed with studying water samples, testing soils, learning new and innovative techniques, and absorbing the Corpus Christi environment. 

Environmentally focused, she can be found working for the Islander Green Team in her spare time and volunteers at local beach clean ups. 

After her graduation in spring 2019, Bergmann will continue her academic and athletic careers on the Island University as a graduate student. You can find her either on the green or in the sea — doing the two things she loves best.