From the Director

1 February 2020

This is the start of a new series on the going-ons at the NCWQR!  I hope to publish these posts monthly throughout the year to give everyone a view of what we’re up to on the 3rd floor of Gillmor Hall.

To start things off, let’s discuss last year!  In 2019, our chemistry lab analyzed over 11,000 water samples for nutrients and/or sediment most of which were for the Heidelberg Tributary Loading Program (HTLP) and were collected from 25 different locations throughout Ohio and one in Michigan.  Our researchers published 7 peer-reviewed articles (find them here); managed 8 different grants aside from the HTLP; presented at the International Society for Great Lakes Research, the Society for Freshwater Sciences, the Soil and Water Conservation Society, the Ecological Society of America, and the American Geophysical Union  conferences; and gave over 20 presentations to various groups throughout the community.  At the same time, we continued to analyze samples for private well owners, assisted in expanding the Sandusky River Watershed Coalition, and mentored students both as interns and in the classroom.  To wrap up 2019, we were informed that 4 grant proposals were selected for funding, ranging in topics from antibiotics in rivers to using field-scale models to help develop water quality trading markets.

One of the biggest events in 2019 was the celebration of our 50th Anniversary in October.  We had a 2-day workshop which culminated in an anniversary dinner.  Most exciting, the history of the NCWQR, which was written by Dr. Ken Baker, is now available online here!

This year is off to an active start!  Heidelberg’s Biology and Environmental Sciences department is in the middle of a search for a new assistant professor of ecology, which has given us the opportunity to see multiple teaching demonstrations and provide feedback.  We’ve attended meetings for a multitude of advisory groups including revising the NRCS 590 standard and planning water quality sampling for the Ohio DNR H2Ohio projects.  Rem has been involved in a collaborative effort linking phosphorus models from soils to the world, Laura attended a workshop on linking soil and watershed health to drainage practices, and both Laura and Nate have been involved in discussions on developing a pilot watershed.

On top of all that, January has been rather warm and rainy with 4 different high flow events about perfectly timed by each week leading to high samples loads for the lab with especially muddy samples (which take longer to filter).

Moving forward, we’ll be completing our spring and annual loading calculations, finishing up a number of different papers and reports that are in progress, giving a few presentations, and are looking forward to the February SRWC Brews and News featuring Ray Grob who will review the history of the Sandusky River! 

…and as always, sample on!

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