Fall 2015 Student News

Incoming WRS student Anna Baker is the 2015 Smith Partners Fellow. The Smith Partners Sustainability Fellowship supports interdisciplinary study for Water Resources graduate students to pursue the connections between sustainable water resources management, economics, and public policy.  The Fellowship affirms the University’s commitment to sustainability initiatives through cultivation of interdisciplinary problem-solving, collaborative leadership, and public private partnerships. Baker is advised by Jacques Finlay and Karen Gran.

Nathan Campbell received his MS degree in July 2015. His thesis was titled: “Quantifying and characterizing the sedimentation reduction benefits of meander cutoffs in the Elm Creek basin in southern Minnesota.” Campbell was advised by Chris Lenhart.

David Fairbairn received his Ph.D. in July 2015. His dissertation was titled: "Sources, Transport, and Sediment-Water Distributions of Contaminants of Emerging Concern in a Mixed-Use Watershed.” Fairbairn was advised by Deborah Swackhamer and Pamela Rice.

Tonya Kjerland received her MS degree in July 2015. Her thesis was titled: “Wild Rice Monitoring Handbook and Field Guide.” Kjerland was advised by John Pastor.

Rachel Olm received her MS degree in July 2015. Her thesis was titled: “Watershed-based planning in Minnesota: Strategies for prioritizing and targeting, and evaluating lag time implications for measurable water quality outcomes." Olm was advised by Joe Magner.

Mike Sorensen received a summer travel grant and will be presenting at the 2015 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting on "Hypoxia tolerance of Bythotrephes longimanus and Leptodora kindtii." Sorenson is advised by Donn Branstrator.

Chakong Thao received his MS degree in July 2015. “Changes in fish community structure following crash of walleye population in Shoal Lake, Ontario, CA.” Thao was advised by Paul Venturelli.

WRS PhD student Seth Thompson has been working closely with colleagues from the Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota’s Department of Biology Teaching and Learning to development environmental science education materials for the Integrated Science Education and Outreach (InSciEd Out) Program. This summer InSciEd Out will provide professional development focused on inquiry based environmental science curriculum for around 50 K-8 teachers across the Twin-Cities, resulting in new environmental science learning opportunities for over 1000 Minnesota students. Thompson is advised by James Cotner.

New Graduate Faculty:

Jeffrey Peterson- WRC Director- Peterson holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University and a B.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Peterson also has a faculty appointment in the Department of applied Economics.