Luther P. Aadland has worked as a river ecologist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for the past 20 years. During that time, his work and research has included a wide variety of topics that integrate physical and biological processes of rivers and the design of river restoration, nature-like fish passage, dam removal, erosion control, and flood damage reduction projects. Primary goals of these projects have been to work with natural river processes, restore ecological functions, and eliminate or reduce maintenance needs and costs. Luther also teaches workshops on fluvial geomorphology, dam removal, fish passage, river assessment, aquatic habitat, and river restoration.
Gust Annis is the Aquatic Resources Coordinator for the Missouri Resource Assessment Partnership (MoRAP) at the University of Missouri. Gust has worked for MoRAP since 1998. During this time he has been involved with aquatic gap analysis and a variety of other projects related to ecological classification, the development of species models, and the identification of aquatic conservation opportunity areas across Missouri. Gust possesses a M.A. in Geography from Western Illinois University. His interest in streams began while attending Northern Michigan University when he was a volunteer for the Chocolay River Watershed Restoration Project in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Tim Asplund is a limnologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Lakes and Wetlands Section, with responsibilities statewide. He has worked for the Department for 14 years, both as a researcher and a water resource manager. Current areas of expertise include groundwater-lake interactions, shallow lake ecology, aquatic plant management, recreational impacts on lakes, and statewide lake assessment. He received masters degrees in Water Resources Management and Oceanography & Limnology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1993.
Adam Brooks is 27 years old and grew up on a farm near Jewell, IA. He spent much of his youth exploring the Des Moines River valley with his dad. He spent several years struggling with depression after a failed business. In 2004, he learned his dad had terminal lung cancer, and he decided to turn his life around. He lost over ninety pounds and gave up smoking. His father passed away in 2005. In 2006 he realized his dream of paddling the length of the Mississippi River and was hooked on adventure. In 2007 he paddled the length of the Missouri River. He plans to hike the Pacific Crest Trail this summer. You can find his website at www.myriverquest.com
Chad Fields has a Master's degree in Environmental Science from the University of Northern Iowa and is employed by the Iowa Geological Survey – IDNR in Iowa City. Chad's major responsibilities include providing new and updating current source water delineations for Iowa’s public water supplies; providing well forecasts and water supply information to the general public; completing accurate source water reports; and maintaining and improving well and aquifer information throughout Iowa. His current projects include Source Water Assessment and Protection Program; Iowa’s Groundwater Quality Database; well forecasts; and proper well locations. His research interests are nonpoint source impacts on surface water and groundwater; groundwater modeling; and statewide water quality trends.
Mike Gannon is a hydrogeologist for the Iowa Geological Survey (IGS) of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources where he is Supervisor of the Geology and Groundwater Section. He has been with IGS for approximately 10 years. Prior to joining IGS he was a groundwater consultant for 10 years in Wisconsin and Iowa. His main responsibilities at the survey include: groundwater modeling, aquifer test analyses, source water and wellhead protection, groundwater exploration and planning, and the study of surface water/groundwater interaction. Mike has a M.S. in Hydrology from the University of Arizona and a BS in Geology from the University of Iowa.
Steven Heiskary has a M.S. degree from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. He has been employed with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency since 1978 and currently works as a Research Scientist III in the Environmental Analysis & Outcomes Division. During that period of time he has done extensive work on lake and stream assessment with an emphasis on eutrophication impacts. He is currently focusing on the development of lake and stream nutrient criteria and is a part of USEPA’s National Nutrient Criteria Development Workgroup. He is a member of Minnesota Waters and the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS). Steve is a Past President of NALMS.
Donald Huggins has an M.S. degree in Fisheries Biology (minor in Water Resources) from Iowa State University (ISU) and a Ph.D. in Environmental Health Sciences from the School of Engineering at the University of Kansas (KU). Don studied under limnologist Dr. Roger Bachmann at ISU where his research focused on the limnology of oxbow lakes. Dr. Huggins is a member of the Graduate Faculty, and has been on the staff of the Kansas Biological Survey (KBS) for over 38 years. Dr. Huggins’ early years at KU were devoted to fisheries research with Dr. Frank Cross, former KBS director and renowned ichthyologist and curator with the Museum of Natural History at KU. In addition to his appointment with KBS, he has an adjunct or courtesy appointment in the Departments of Civil Engineering, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at KU (Lawrence, KS). He has been the Director of the Ecotoxicology Program at KBS since its inception 20 years ago and is also the Director of the Central Plains Center for BioAssessment since 1999. He has authored numerous technical articles and reports, written several book chapters and regularly consults with industry. Dr. Huggins’ expertise has been repeatedly sought by the state of Kansas, and he has been a member of several committees including the Planning and Advisory Committee and the Technical Planning Committee of the Kansas Water Quality Plan Task Force which was responsible for establishing state water quality standards. Additionally, Dr. Huggins is an internationally recognized expert on the taxonomy and biology of aquatic macroinvertebrates. Since 1985, he has been a member of two joint task groups (10500-Benthic Macroinvertebrates and 10900-Identification of Aquatic Invertebrates) for the American Public Health Association and others charged with the review of methodologies published in the text Standard Methods. He also serves as chair of Section 8750 (Toxicity Testing: Aquatic Insects) in this same publication, a position he has held since 1992. Dr. Huggins has managed numerous large research projects including the nationally recognized, interdisciplinary assessment of the ecological health of the Cheyenne Bottoms wetland area (for Kansas) and an assessment of the effects of nonpoint source pollution on stream ecosystem health (for EPA Region VII). Over the last 5 years, Dr. Huggins has been a principal investigator, co-principal investigator on grants totaling over $6,000,000.
Tom Isenhart is an Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State University. His research focuses on stream and watershed ecology. This research addresses the design and establishment of landscape buffers to improve the environmental efficiency of agriculture; ecosystem restoration effects on aquatic integrity; and the biogeochemistry of nitrogen in agroecosystems. Dr. Isenhart formerly was the Coordinator of the Iowa Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship for the Program’s first three years. Tom’s teaching responsibilities include courses in Stream Ecology, Natural Resources and Agriculture, and General Ecology.
Rebecca Kauten holds a Masters of Public Policy degree from the University of Northern Iowa. Her research concentrates on how to finance, develop and manage urban stormwater management systems. She has received recognition for combining her research and field work, with articles published in Stormwater magazine and Stormwater Solutions, and also has presented at many state and local workshops and conferences, as well as two National Urban Affairs Association conferences and the National Watershed Coalition annual conference held this past spring.
Adam Kiel of the Iowa DNR’s Watershed Improvement Section works to incorporate GIS and GPS technology into watershed improvement projects in Iowa. The use of GIS and GPS technology helps in targeting sensitive and critical areas for conservation practices and water quality improvements. Adam is a graduate of the University of Iowa and has worked for the National Park Service in Yellowstone National Park as well as a watershed project in northeast Iowa before joining the Iowa DNR
Jeff Kopaska graduated from Iowa State University, and is currently a fisheries research biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. As an employee of Iowa DNR Fisheries, his areas of responsibility include overseeing most technology-related efforts. He maintains the web site, develops and modifies software as needed, acquires computer software and hardware as needed to assist staff in their data inventory and analyses activities, and assists fisheries staff use of data in a comprehensive approach to resource management. To that end, he has assisted in the development of new fisheries databases for Iowa that provide public access via the internet to various types of fishery data. In conjunction with Aquatic GAP, the Iowa Rivers Information System was developed and now stores and serves interior stream fish community data to professionals and the public. In conjunction with statewide lake water quality monitoring efforts, lake fishery data and other lake management information is now housed in an online database which is also served to the public. Further development of these systems is ongoing.
Rick Langel is a research geologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. He received his M.S. in geology from the University of Iowa in 1996. He began working for the DNR in 1998 and joined the Water Monitoring Section in May 2001. He has worked on a variety of projects, including coordinating watershed-monitoring programs, coordinating the statewide groundwater monitoring program, and managing Iowa’s STORET water quality database.
Joe Larscheid is currently a fisheries research biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources located at the NW regional headquarters in Spirit Lake, Iowa. He graduated from the University of Wyoming with a B.S. in Wildlife Conservation and Management (1988) and a M.S. in Fisheries Management in 1990. He is primarily responsible for the research program conducted on Iowa’s natural lakes, but is also involved with many other projects including a very comprehensive inventory of Iowa’s principal lakes and impoundments. His primary goals as a fishery scientist are to provide the tools and insights managers and administrators need to make sound resource decisions. Most of the research he undertakes is very practical, with the ultimate goal of “shortening the time between bites.”
John O’Connor is an eight year science teacher and head men's soccer coach from Thomas Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids. Originally from Dundas, Ontario Canada (Western Peninsula of Lake Ontario), John brings a natural interest and love for the environment. He got started with IOWATER through a program called Project WET and is now involved with Grant Wood AEA and the University of Iowa in iGISST. In the latter program teachers learn how to create a completely problem-based learning atmosphere by using GPS/GIS and IOWATER data in the classroom. John is passionate about creating a sense of ownership for his students and the water that makes Iowa a special place to live. He encourages everyone to become involved in IOWATER as it benefits the State of Iowa and will give our students a chance to understand more about the environment that surrounds them.
Jason Palmer is a native of northwest Iowa and works with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources as a natural resource biologist in the Watershed Improvement section. He attended Iowa State University where he received his Bachelors in fisheries sciences and Masters degree in environmental science/water resources.
Clay Pierce is the Assistant Leader for Fisheries of the Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Iowa State University. He supervises graduate students and does aquatic ecology and fisheries research in the lakes, rivers, and streams of Iowa. He teaches courses in Stream Ecology and Fisheries Science. Clay is a native of Minnesota, and received his Bachelors degree at Mankato State University, his Masters degree at the University of Kentucky, and his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland. He was a postdoctoral researcher at McGill University and an assistant professor at Eastern Illinois University before assuming his present position in 1993.
Chris Riggert is the Stream Team Volunteer WQM Coordinator for the Missouri Department of Conservation in Jefferson City. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries and Wildlife from the University of Missouri - Columbia. Chris began his career with the Conservation Department in 1992 as a Fisheries Research Aid, working on the catfish project below Truman Dam, then on the Crayfish Crew on the Jacks Fork and Big Piney Rivers. He has been working for eight years with the Missouri Stream Team and Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Programs. Chris has worked in his current position since 2007 where he coordinates Missouri’s Stream Team Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring program statewide.
Rod Scott is a volunteer board member of the Iowa River Greenbelt Resource Trust in Hardin County, a river boat captain on the Scenic City Empress in Iowa Falls, and has been around water most of his life starting with competitive swimming in grade school, life guarding in high school, scuba certification in college, and now a paddling enthusiast and outfitter. Rod's recent volunteer efforts include the acquisition of over $100,000 for water trail projects along the Hardin County stretch of the Iowa River. He enjoys the outdoors and is concerned about the quality of Iowa's waters and has initiated an effort to organize people along the length of the Iowa River as well as the legislators that represent the watershed.
Jeff Tisl was born in Cedar Rapids. Jeff was raised on a farm in Buchanan County. After attending the University of Northern Iowa, Jeff began working for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in 1987. After a brief stint with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in Des Moines from 2000 to 2003, Jeff transferred to the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship - Division of Soil Conservation, and provides technical and administrative support to promote water quality efforts in 30 counties in northeast Iowa.
Tom Wilton has worked on a variety of surface water quality issues and projects since joining the IDNR in 1990. He coordinates the stream biological assessment program and participates in many related projects and activities, including: development of water monitoring studies; stressor identification for stream biological impairments; and stream management training workshops. He is part of the Nutrient Science Advisors team that is developing nutrient criteria recommendations for Iowa’s surface waters, and is co-chair of a DNR planning committee charged with developing restoration priorities for Iowa’s rivers and streams. Tom received a B.S. degree from Iowa State University and M.S. degree from the University of Minnesota.
Lois Wright Morton received her Ph.D. in Development Sociology at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. She is currently an Associate Professor of Sociology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. Dr. Morton’s areas of research include civic structure, rural communities, rural quality of life, community based watershed management, and population health. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Sociology of Environment. Dr. Morton integrates her research into ISU Extension programs by focusing on community structure and how citizens work together to solve their common problems. Her publications include definitions and theories of civic structure (Encyclopedia of Community, 1:179-182, 2003), civic structure and performance-based watershed management (Society and Natural Resources, 2008), selecting socio-economic metrics for watershed management (Environmental Monitoring & Assessment. 103:83-98) and ISU Extension bulletins on “Resident-led Watershed Management” (ISUE PM 1869), “Performance-based Environmental Management” (ISUE PM2013), Water Issues in Iowa (ISUE SP290), and a watershed manual for developing local watershed groups “Renewing Local Watersheds: Community Leaders Guide 2002, 2006” (ISUE EDC278). Dr. Morton is part of a four-state USDA water project, the Heartland Regional Water Coordination Initiative, whose mission is to build institutional partnerships and increase the capacity of citizens, educators, agencies and community leaders to better address water quality concerns. Heartland programs make research, education, and extension resources of the land grant universities more accessible to efforts on regional priority water issues.