waskington state lake images
WATERLINE - September, 2011

2011 WALPA Scholarship winners announced

Congratulations to Chelsie Strowbridge and Ellen Preece, who have been awarded WALPA Scholarships to advance their ongoing lake research. Read on to learn more about these up-and-coming researchers and their work to protect lakes. And make sure to attend the NALMS conference in Spokane, especially the WALPA business meeting at noon on Friday, October 28th, where you can applaud Chelsie and Ellen as they receive their award certificates.

Chelsie Strowbridge

Chelsie Strowbridge

Chelsie Strowbridge is an undergraduate student at the University of Washington in Tacoma, pursuing her B.S. in Environmental Science. For her capstone project, Chelsie is working under the guidance of Dr. Jim Gawel to model nutrient sources and sinks for Spirit Lake at Mount St. Helens National Monument. Because Spirit Lake was allowed to recover without human intervention following the 1980 St. Helens eruption, it provides a unique opportunity to study lake ecology following a disturbance.

Over the next year, Chelsie will measure nutrient fluxes via streams, groundwater, biological life including phytoplankton, and tunnel outflow to construct a biogeochemical nutrient model for the lake. This model is intended to function into the future, documenting changes over time and helping keep lake management abreast of changing lake conditions. Ultimately, lake experts may be able to use the recovery model and nutrient budget Chelsie’s research will help create for Spirit Lake to extrapolate to the recovery of other disturbed lakes in the future.

Ellen Preece

Ellen Preece

Ellen Preece is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the Natural Resource Science Department at Washington State University. Ellen completed her M.S. in 2010 at WSU and has continued working under the supervision of Dr. Barry Moore for her Ph.D. research. For both her master’s and current research, Ellen has worked to bridge the gap between science, communities, and aquatic ecosystems.

Ellen’s Ph.D. research focuses on the accumulation of cyanobacteria toxins in species of fish consumed by humans. Currently, she is working with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation to determine whether tribal members are exposed to cyanotoxins when they consume fish from reservation lakes. Results will be used to inform the tribal community if they face increased health risks from eating contaminated fish. As cyanobacteria are increasingly an environmental concern, Ellen’s research will be used to protect public health, improve lake management and expand efforts to reduce environmental pollution that leads to the accelerated growth of noxious cyanobacteria and other water quality problems.

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2011 WALPA Scholarship winners announced

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