". . . the world is mud-luscious . . . [and] puddle wonderful" –ee cummings
I am a postdoctoral research associate with Vermont EPSCoR's Basin Resilience to Extreme Events (BREE) project and a postdoctoral fellow with the Gund Institute for Environment at the University of Vermont. My research broadly focuses on aquatic environments and the coupled movement of water and elements (e.g., nutrients and metals) within water bodies and through landscapes. I currently study how carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and trace metals are transported from terrestrial ecosystems to headwater streams and from rivers to lakes. For my PhD, I studied (mucky) sediment-water interactions in shallow water bodies (i.e., small lakes, ponds, wetlands, and streams) with Steve Hamilton at Michigan State University's Kellogg Biological Station.
News & updates:
- Our new paper on drivers of nitrate and phosphorus export and stoichiometry from headwater catchments was recently published in Water Resources Research! An exciting use of optical sensor technology to estimate nitrate and phosphorus concentrations in stream water.
- Our article, Ripples on the web: Spreading lake information via Wikipedia, was recently published. We give a brief overview of lake information on Wikipedia, how to contribute to it, and our vision for the broader dissemination of lake information.
- Started a reading group with Carol Adair's lab to read and discuss So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. Also exploring how we can be actively anti-racist in our lives and communities!
- Exciting news for our WikiProject Limnology & Oceanography team. We were just awarded a Wikimedia grant to fund our pilot project that will foster a natural synergy among scientists, educators, and motivated learners to increase quality aquatic-related information on Wikipedia.
- Wrapped up a semester-long course on University Teaching here at UVM. I learned a lot about the neuroscience of learning and designing courses for student learning (e.g., backward design, universal design for learning, inclusive learning, sentipensante pedagogy, and much more!).
- Congratulations to University of Vermont honors college student, Ellie Sovcik! She successfully defended her honors thesis "Longitudinal and seasonal carbon and nutrient patterns in the Missisquoi River Deltaic Wetland" today. She did excellent work and we were so glad to collaborate with her. Good luck with your future endeavors, Ellie!
- Just returned from a writing retreat and giving an invited seminar to East Carolina University's Water Resources Center.
- Attended another excellent Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science training with other members of Vermont EPSCOR's BREE project. It's really important to personally connect to your audience!
- Erin, Brittany, Andrew, and I all presented posters at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco!
- Our work on decomposition in flocculent sediments was just published in Freshwater Science. Check it out here! Turns out there's a lot happening in the mucky ooze you usually avoid in your favorite body of water.
- Summer flew by! We bid farewell to another fantastic group of interns at the VT EPSCoR BREE undergraduate research symposium.
- VT EPSCoR BREE undergraduate interns are here for the summer! Looking forward to working with 5 new interns on the ecology team.
- Attended the Society for Freshwater Science's annual meeting in Salt Lake City. Presented our VT EPSCoR BREE research on storm-driven N and P export patterns. Another novel use of s::can optical sensors - predicting in-stream P concentrations!
- We completed our first longitudinal survey of the Missisquoi River deltaic wetland! Led by UVM undergraduate, Ellie Sovcik, this research focuses on how a deltaic wetland at a tributary-lake transition affects riverine nutrient loading to the lake. We're also testing the utility of high-frequency sensors to reveal longitudinal patterns in nutrient concentrations. At least 3 more sampling trips to go this year!
- Returned to the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies to give an invited seminar. Keeping the floc talk alive!
- Our VT EPSCoR BREE ecology team is busy sampling snowmelt and rain-on-snow events in the Lake Champlain Basin.
- Back into the classroom with aquatic macroinvertebrates! This time the outreach team from VT EPSCoR CWDD and I visited 6th graders at Hunt Middle School here in Burlington.
- Kicking the year off with a science communication workshop facilitated by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science!
- I spent 2 days at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute's Plasma Mass Spectrometry Facility analyzing stream and groundwater samples for trace metals on their ICP-MS. New skills! Thankful for the kindness and patience of the ICP-MS master, Gretchen Swarr.
- I participated in my first Policy and Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) Meeting hosted by VT EPSCoR. These biannual meetings offer a space for policy makers, decision makers, researchers, federal agency representatives, town and local officials from around the state and region to convene and take an active role in interactive sessions surrounding the Lake Champlain Basin.
- Winter is coming. Time to pull our in-stream (s::can) sensors from our forested (Wade Brook), agricultural (Hungerford Brook), and urban (Potash Brook) sites. Sure wish we could find a way to keep these in all winter!
- Participated in the first WikiProject: Limnology and Oceanography edit-a-thon on Cyber Monday! The effort was spearheaded by USGS post-doc, Jake Zwart, in collaboration with a great team of recent EcoDAS XIII alum. Our mission statement:
- As a working group of aquatic scientists, we aim to improve the quality and quantity of publicly available information on Wikipedia. Our goal is to encourage scholars to bring disciplinary expertise to the public sphere in an open-source and accessible manner.
- Check out our WikiProject page and follow along on Twitter!
- I was privileged to participate in ASLO's 8th Ecological Dissertations in the Aquatic Sciences (Eco-DAS) symposium in Honolulu, HI. Spent a week collaborating with 39 other early-career aquatic scientists from freshwater and marine sciences. A truly transformative experience.
- Participated in my first K-12 outreach with VT EPSCoR CWDD at Flynn Elementary School. Brought aquatic macroinvertebrates to the classroom. Nice opportunity to get back into K-12 STEM outreach again!
- I'm officially a post-doc! Spent the first weeks of June visiting our headwater stream monitoring sites and getting out on Lake Champlain to check out our buoys in Missisquoi and St. Albans Bays. The VT EPSCoR team has quite the network of water and environmental sensors! Can't wait to work some of these data very soon!
- I successfully defended my dissertation! Officially the floc doc! Many thanks to my advisor, Steve Hamilton, my committee, and everyone at KBS for all of the support along the way. So lucky to have spent the last several years mucking around in some of the most beautiful and often overlooked water bodies in southwestern Michigan.