Notes of appreciation

From recipients of summer awards

Adrianna Gorsky – Kenneth W. Malueg Limnology Scholarship Award
Thank you so much for the generous award to support my graduate studies here at the CFL. This award will help me continue through my second year as a master’s student in the Freshwater and Marine Science program. I just wrapped up my first field season collecting dissolved greenhouse gases in bogs near Trout Lake Station (TLS). Through a snow removal experiment, we are investigating the role decreased snow and increased light might have on carbon cycling. We were even able to install two eddy covariance flux towers on the bogs to measure emissions as ice comes off right before the quarantine began. Hopefully, the sensors will be doing the collecting while we shelter in place. Your award will help me continue this field work again in the fall through next spring.

David Ortiz – Kenneth W. Malueg Limnology Scholarship Award
I am sincerely honored to have been selected for the Kenneth W. Malueg Limnology Scholarship Award. I am a first-year graduate student working with Dr. Emily Stanley investigating ecosystem scale processes (e.g. eutrophication, algal blooms, nutrient cycling) and have enjoyed my first year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your generosity in providing funds to students in order to pursue their academic careers while feeling supported and more financially comfortable. These funds will not only help support me while I undergo my first summer of field work, but more importantly receiving this award reflects people who believe in my future success! Knowing that there are people invested in my success is inspiring and a large personal motivator on a day to day basis.

Roger Ort – John and Patricia Lane Award in Limnology
I would like to sincerely thank you for your support of my summer position with the CFL. I am part of the Oberlin College class of 2021 (currently between my Junior and Senior years) and a declared Biology and Environmental Studies double major. Thanks to you and my experience at TLS last year, I can now say with confidence that I will be pursuing a degree in microbiology at the graduate level once I graduate from Oberlin College. My experience as an undergraduate researcher at TLS last summer was truly life changing in the most significant way possible. Though I arrived at TLS knowing that I had an interest in limnology, I could not have imagined how fulfilling fieldwork and research would actually be. I would like to thank you for providing me the opportunity that has set me on the academic and professional track that I am currently on.

Cassie Gauthier – E.T. and Jean Juday Award in Limnology
I wanted to express my thankfulness for your generosity and the opportunity I have to work for the CFL this summer as the Science Communications Intern for TLS. I believe it is important for everyone who interacts with lakes to learn about and understand the complexity of their ecosystems and current research that is being conducted within them. I am hoping that my work communicating these topics to the public over the summer will help to build a community in the Northwoods that will greatly appreciate the lakes that surround them, be excited to learn about them, and have a passion to keep them healthy for future generations to continue to enjoy.

Vince Butitta (2019) Charlotte Stein travel Award*
I’m writing you to thank you for your generous award in supporting graduate student research. To come from a small farming town with a low high school graduation rate and from a family where I will be the first to receive a PhD to being a member of the CFL family, is an opportunity that I greatly appreciate. One of the main goals of my current work is to develop tools to assess the health of these inconspicuous organisms. The Yahara lake chain was recently invaded by the exotic Zebra mussel, which are known to be catastrophic to our native mussel communities. I have been monitoring our native mussel community during this invasion and collected detailed physiological profiles of native mussels that are being suffocated by Zebra mussels in the hope to determine how native mussels respond to intense zebra mussel infestation and what makes certain native species/individuals more susceptible to extirpation than others. With your award, I was able to attend the biennial conference of the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society in Salt Lake City, UT.  I was able to talk directly with some of the world’s top mollusk ecologists to help me tackle some issues I’ve come across in my own research and learn about current research and findings from their work. And I think most importantly, your support allowed me to able to spend the better half of a week surrounded by people who share in my passion for conservation and scientific discovery, an often overlooked, but incredibly important part of being able to enjoy this work and buoy motivation to continue to making progress on my work.

Mike Spear (2019) Charlotte Stein travel Award*
I am profoundly grateful for this award and would like to extend my sincerest thanks. I understand this fund has supported the travel of many CFL graduate students, and to be selected among them is both an honor and a charge to do great work. I am finishing my fourth year as a Ph.D. student under Dr. Jake Vander Zanden. Your generous support will help me disseminate my research on cutting-edge techniques for detecting and quantifying aquatic organisms. With the funds, I plan to travel to Salt Lake City, UT to present my research at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society for Freshwater Science. I’ve developed a molecular technique to detect and quantify walleye populations in Wisconsin’s lakes without ever touching or even seeing a walleye. Traditional walleye surveyors haul large nets or electroshock the lake in the middle of the night to estimate the size of a lake’s walleye population. With environmental DNA, or eDNA, we are able to take a small number of water samples from a lake and estimate the density of adult walleye swimming below by identifying and counting the DNA molecules they have shed into the water. This eDNA technique is a huge improvement on the efficiency and cost of traditional surveys. This tool moves forward the burgeoning field of molecular ecology and could prove very useful for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in their management of the state’s valuable walleye fishery.

Samantha Schiereck (2019) Chase Noland Scholarship*
I am very grateful for the opportunity you have given me to gain experience through research and fieldwork. I am majoring in evolutionary biology and I intend to go on to graduate school for marine biology after graduation. This scholarship will give me the opportunity to continue working on the project studying zebra mussels and the effects they have had on the lake ecosystem. I worked on this project previously in the lab and I will be one of the divers as well as processing the samples we collect. I have been diving for 4 years now and it is something I am very passionate about, so I am very excited to be able to combine my love for diving and my love of science through working at the CFL. I am hoping to continue doing scientific diving in the future for my own research so this will be an important learning experience.

*The Stein Travel and Chase-Noland awards were not distributed in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic.