Fall 2017 Community News

Mae Davenport (Forest Resources, WRS faculty) and team were recently awarded a Water for Agriculture Challenge Area grant from USDA NIFA for their project Understanding and Building Capacity To Address Changing Water Availability In The Upper Corn Belt.

John Gulliver (CE, WRS faculty) traveled to Prague, Czech Republic, to attend the International Conference on Urban Drainage September 10-15, 2017 and make two presentations: Phosphate capture from urban and agricultural runoff with Peter Weiss and Andrew Erickson and Roadside swales infiltration performance calculator  with Maria Garcia-Serrana and John Nieber (BBE, Co-director of WRS graduate studies, WRS faculty).

Barbara Liukkonen (former WRC, UMN Extension)  presented a keynote talk, Social Dimensions of Private Well Testing, at the national Private Well Conference, in Champaign, Il. June 24-27, 2017.

The University of Minnesota Water Resources Center in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences has received a grant of more than $930,000 from the new Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS) program. Jointly sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the grant will fund research on innovations for sustainable food, energy, and water supplies in intensively cultivated regions.

Kirsten Rhude is the first recipient of the Water Resources Center Graduate Student Fellowship. Kirsten graduated from Middleton High School in 2008 and from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012. Her bachelor's degree is in biology and zoology. She is enrolled at UMD in the WRS Master's program and is working with Bob Sterner.

The Minnesota Stormwater Research Council (MSRC) is pleased to announce the recipients of their first round of research funding. The two projects to be funded are Determining which iron minerals in iron-enhanced sand filters remove phosphorous from stormwater runoff, led by Beth Fisher, UMN Department of Earth Sciences; and Field performance assessment of sediment and gross solids removal from surface inlet pretreatment practices for bioretention, led by Andy Erickson, UMN St. Anthony Falls Laboratory. The Water Resources Center is the fiscal agent for the MSRC, a consortium of local government entities dedicated to facilitating and promoting research about the use, management and protection of water resources in urbanized areas.

The Water Resources Center welcomes two new staff members, research associate Lucy Levers and finance professional III Doug Johnson.  Levers  incorporates both economic and natural science data and methods in bio-economic models.  Lucy has PhD and Master’s degrees in Environmental Sciences from University of California, Riverside and a Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Stanford University. 

Extension educators John Bilotta and Cynthia Hagley presented a Watershed Game-training the trainer workshop in Rockford Ill. September 22, 2017. The Watershed Game is an interactive tool that helps individuals understand the connection between land use and water quality. Participants learn how a variety of land uses impact water and natural resources, increase their knowledge of best management practices (BMPs), and learn how their choices can prevent adverse impacts.