I am currently a fifth-year senior in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences department at UW-Madison. I came to Madison from the small town of Fennimore, WI, about an hour and a half west of Madison. I grew up on a dairy farm, where I developed a strong interest in weather. The weather conditions during the summer months are crucial for end-of-season crop yield, so I was exposed to monitoring weather conditions at a young age. I spent my first two years of college at Western Illinois University, where I became more interested in the impacts of weather on agriculture. This led me to pick up an Environmental Studies certificate when I transferred to UW as a junior.
Prior to beginning my independent study work with Dr. Kucharik, I did a summer research project with UW Space Science and Engineering Center studying the impacts of weather and climate on agriculture. I particular, my focus was on how changing precipitation and LULC patterns are impacting river discharge rates within watersheds. In particular, we looked at how agricultural drainage practices have been impacting discharge, and in turn flooding patterns. I plan to continue this work with Dr. Kucharik in my independent study, but I will bring it down to a more local scale. My area of interest for this study is the Driftless Region, the area where I grew up and know very well. My hope is that this work not only helps me in my pursuit of a career in climate and agriculture, but also proves to be very useful for many stakeholders in my home area.