Minnegram Fall 2015

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Director's Corner

A message from WRC Director Jeff Peterson

Call for abstracts: 2016 WRC annual grant competition


New WRC Director has roots in agriculture, branching out to include water quality protection

“I realized that I was not missing milking cows twice a day, seven days a week,” says new Water Resources Center Director Jeff Peterson, explaining in part, how he migrated from studying dairy science to agricultural economics. Peterson grew up on a typical mid-eighties dairy farm outside of Osseo in western Wisconsin; 40 cows, with 200 acres of farmland. He wanted to stay on the farm and his parents insisted on college so he majored in dairy science at the University Wisconsin- River Falls.  While there, he accepted an internship in a lending agency within the USDA and he found that he enjoyed the work.  An advisor suggested that he add some agricultural economics courses to his studies which eventually led to switching majors, and leaving farm life behind.

Water resource research, management on tap at upcoming Water Resources Conference

The 2015 Minnesota Water Conference returns to the St. Paul RiverCentre October 13-14, 2015. The Water Resources Center hosts the annual conference which presents innovative water resource engineering solutions, management techniques, and current research. Plenary topics this year include findings from Chesapeake Bay nutrient management, NOG and industry efforts in water stewardship and environmental impacts of fracking. Concurrent sessions throughout the day will offer information on engineering projects, water research, best practices in design and application of water resource management methods, water policy and emerging issues

David Fairbairn moves from WRS student to MPCA scientist, contributing critical research along the way 

Now a research scientist with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, David Fairbairn received his doctorate in Water Resources Science in June 2015. Interested in the connections between environmental chemistry and the health of humans and broader biological communities, Fairbairn received his Master of Science degree in Environmental Public Health from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2008 and worked as an environmental health specialist before entering the WRS program in 2009.

New Wild Rice Survey Protocols Released

Two recently released publications provide resource managers with the methods and rationale to estimate annual wild rice biomass, density, and productivity.  Responding to a need for accurate, reproducible field sampling protocols for wild rice, author Tonya Kjerland wrote the Wild Rice Monitoring Field Guide and the Wild Rice Monitoring Handbook as part of with her graduate work in Water Resources Science at the University of Minnesota.  The project drew upon the expertise of tribal biologists, tribal community members, and university researchers to create scientifically-defensible methods that are responsive and respectful to the beliefs of Native American, First Nations, and like-minded peoples.

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