Our Team

Our team has extensive experience in cutting edge water and watershed science, and public participatory research to assess the condition of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in our region.

Ryan Hueffmeier is an ecologist and environmental educator with 10 years’ experience developing and coordinating CS projects. He has worked with diverse audiences (public, teachers, students, resource managers) in both formal and non-formal settings and is the Director of the Great Lakes Worm Watch project – http://www.nrri.umn.edu/worms/.

Dr. Chanlan Chun conducts applied research on the distribution and diversity of microorganisms in aquatic and soil environments to understand their roles in water quality and human health using both cultivation and genomics techniques. She has worked on fecal contamination and bacterial pathogens issues in the St. Louis River Estuary and Lake Superior, with some projects involving CS.

Dr. Richard Axler is a research limnologist who has worked for 20 years with a team of science education, outreach, and research professionals to develop formal/non-formal/ community education websites using real-time water quality data and unique data visualization tools to inform and educate technical and non-technical audiences. CS monitoring is included in several projects. As PI of LakeSuperiorStreams.org and co-PI of StLouisRiverEstuary.org, they are available as platforms for promoting, disseminating and visualizing geospatial and long-term CS data.

Courtney Kowalczak has 20 years’ experience in water resource research and educational outreach and directs Fond du Lac TCC’s Environmental Institute coordinating collaborative research/extension projects: NASA Gidakiimanaani-wigamig (Our Earth Lodge) STEM camp: Investigating climate change and its effect on Ojibwe lifeways; EPA Tribal EcoAmbassador Dragonfly research project; and USDA NIFA funded St. Louis River-River Watch, Bimaaji’idiwin Ojibwe Garden, Building Capacity through STEM, Thirteen Moons.

Marte Kitson is an extension educator at Minnesota Sea Grant. She focuses on increasing environmental literacy by developing ways to connect individuals who are interested in citizen science to opportunities in the Lake Superior region, creating connections between researchers, educators, and Great Lakes science, and mentoring students who are interested in environmental science.

Tom Hollenhorst is a research landscape ecologist at the EPA-MED research lab in Duluth, with >20 years’ experience using GIS and computer technologies to organize, visualize, and analyze geospatial data sets. He is an Adjunct Scientist at NRRI-UMD and is adjunct faculty with the Water Resources Science graduate program at UMD.

Hannah Smith , Anishinaabekwe, White Earth Nation, started and graduated from White Earth Tribal and Community College (Northwestern MN) with A.A. in Environmental Science, B.A. in Environment and Sustainability University of Minnesota Duluth (Northeastern MN). With plans for graduate school.

Emily Wilmoth is a graduate student at the University of Minnesota Duluth pursuing her master’s degree in environmental education. Her appreciation for the natural world has led her to participate in a variety of citizen science projects, many involving birds. She practices using citizen science as an educational tool to engage students in real world science.

Kelten Kelly is a recent graduate of UMD and is now working in Mankato as a civil engineer designer at ISG. While at UMD he aided in the creation and maintenance of the LSRCSC survey and website.

Additional partners: Brian Fredrickson from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency who is Project Manager of the Minnesota Lake Superior Basin Plan; Molly MacGregor from the MN Department of Natural Resources who is Supervisor of the St. Louis River programs; Andrea Crouse from the City of Superior who is a Water Resource Specialist; and Lisa Sundberg from the Large Lakes Observatory who is the public outreach coordinator for LLO.