I am a senior undergraduate student majoring in Agronomy with a certificate in Environmental Studies. I was raised two hours west of Madison outside the small town of Viroqua, Wisconsin. Growing up near the origin of Organic Valley, I was raised in an environment that strongly emphasized sustainable farming and managing the land through the lens of being a steward for our planet. Additionally, I served for two summers as a crew member and leader for the Wisconsin Youth Conservation Corps and am passionate about the environment and conservation work.
I joined the Kucharik Lab in January 2016 as an agronomy department independent study. During my semester long independent study, I aided Mallika Nocco in compiling flight GIS data and performed soil particle size analysis on samples taken from her research site near Stevens Point, Wisconsin. This past summer, I worked full time within the Kucharik Lab completing field work for Adam von Haden at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center plots at Arlington Research Station and helping Eric Booth and Mallika Nocco collect water resource flight imagery. My experience this summer helped me to develop new skills as an agronomist and additionally exposed me to new aspects of ecology. The two largest take aways from this summer were learning about carbon cycling in biofuel feedstocks, particularly switchgrass and corn, in addition to learning new techniques for understanding water resource management issues in agricultural systems. I also enjoyed participating in flight data collecting as I love flying in small airplanes and was able to gain a more holistic significance of the GIS data I compiled during my independent study. Moving forward to this fall, I will be working with Mallika Nocco to analyze water resources in the Central Sands Region of Wisconsin as part of another independent research project.