Spring 2019 Community News

Minnesota Water Resources Conference Call for abstracts
Deadline: May 3, 2019

Dave Ford Award nominations
Deadline: May 3, 2019

MDH Report estimates removing lead from drinking water could benefit state by $8 billion
The report, co-authored by Lucia Levers of the Water Resources Center and Peter Calow of the Humphrey School, estimates the costs and benefits of removing lead from drinking water in Minnesota. To ensure the best cost and benefit methodology, MDH turned to the University of Minnesota, enlisting the expertise of Levers, who performed the mathematical analysis for the report, and Calow, who contributed to the general rationale and literature review. 

New this year, the College of Science and Engineering is modifying its annual public lecture format and introducing the “Curiosity Drives Progress Lecture Series.” The series will focus on showcasing CSE's top faculty in short, TED-style lightning talks around key research areas. Bill Arnold (CE, WRS faculty) and Crystal Ng (Earth Sciences, WRS faculty) were featured speakers in the inaugural presentation April 9, 2019.

Tracy Fallon, (WRS Graduate Program Coordinator) is the 2019 recipient of the Borealis Exemplary Staff award. Borealis, the CFANS Alumni Society, annually recognizes staff for contributions to the CFANS commuity, support of students and CFANS staff, and is highly regarded by students, alumni, faculty and staff.

John Gulliver (CE, WRS faculty) is working on multiple projects: Assessment and treatment of internal phosphorus loading in stormwater ponds Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District; Detecting phosphorus release from stormwater ponds to guide management and design, Minnesota Stormwater Research Council and Wet Pond Maintenance for Phosphorus Retention, Minnesota Local Road Research Board and Minnesota Department of Transportation with Jacques Finlay (EEB, WRS faculty); and Evaluation of Environmental Impacts of Potassium Acetate Used as a Road Salt Alternative, with Chanlan Chun (NRRI, WRS faculty) Minnesota Local Road Research Board.

WRC staff updates

John Bilotta moved from Extension to the WRC as a Senior Research and Extension Coordinator February 18, 2019.  BIlotta is a longtime University of Minnesota Extension employee and has been working closely with the WRC for a number of years. Bilotta began his career in the 1990s working in local soil and water conservation districts. After joining Extension in 1998 as a county educator, he earned his MS degree from the University of Minnesota in soil science and became a regional water resources educator in 2007. John's joint appointment with Sea Grant began in 2009. In his new role, Bilotta’s initial responsibilities will include a stormwater research/technology transfer program and government/stakeholder relations.

Adam Wilke came on staff March 25, 2019. Wilke is a University of Minnesota alumnus, earning his BS in psychology in 2007. He later earned MS and PhD degrees in sociology and sustainable agriculture from Iowa State University, and then worked as an Extension Water Specialist for Iowa State Extension before moving to Colorado for his position at USGS in 2017. In 2018, Wilke served as acting deputy director for the North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center in Fort Collins with a joint appointment as a faculty affiliate at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University.  Adam Wilke was a postdoctoral Research Social Scientist at the USGS Science Center in Fort Collins, Colorado.  Wilke’s initial responsibilities include NSF-INFEWS projects and the emerging digital water initiative. 

Dana Wilson joined the WRC February 28, 2019 as Senior Communications Specialist. Wilson moved from Iowa State University, where she served in a variety of communications positions over the last eight years. Most recently, she was the Communications Officer in the ISU Office of the Vice President for Research, where she managed a range of communications projects. Wilson has a background in science and research and is well-versed in translating the results and value of the work done at the WRC. She is experienced in both developing and implementing communications strategies. In her roles at ISU, she worked with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Department of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering, among others.