RETURNING TO A SPECIAL PLACE - Clear Thinking Issue 51
November 17, 2023
Oh, how happy I am to be back again. Clear Lake is a special place-- to me, to my family, and to us all. As a child, Clear Lake hosted many of my “firsts” -- my first boat ride as a baby, my first major sunburn as a youth, my first attempt (and failure) at skiing in my teens, and now, I am back again for another first; my first position in my conservation career. How fortunate am I to get to have yet another “first” at this wonderful lake.
In undergraduate school, I was deeply interested in chemistry. My greatest interest was using chemistry to understand real-world phenomenon. In graduate school, I finally began to connect the chemical processes to environmental trends. While I focused my research on nutrients in agricultural soils, this connected to a broader focus of understanding the land and water trends that impact water quality and the aquatic environment. I had one of the most dynamic study sites available, the western basin of Lake Erie, which historically suffers from large-scale annual algal blooms. Now I am applying my knowledge and experience at Clear Lake.
Being able to focus on a place that I hold so dearly in my heart is an opportunity that seems to have come from a dream. From understanding the movement of nutrients in our watershed to protecting the natural resources available to sharing the passion of conservation with the public, I am extremely excited to begin this journey.