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April 23, 2008
UD Students to Participate in Mississippi River Consortium


On Thursday, April 24 and Friday, April 25, 14 University of Dubuque students will participate in the 40th annual meeting of the Mississippi River Research Consortium (MRRC). MRRC is a private, non-profit organization whose members encourage both pure and applied research on the water and land resources of the Mississippi River and its watershed.

"The MRRC Annual Meeting has been a great outlet for our students' research," commented Dale Easley, Department of Natural and Applied Sciences Chair. "For many years, students have presented their findings, met other area researchers, and learned about research possibilities in the region. The meeting is usually held in LaCrosse, WI, but is at the Grand River Center in Dubuque this year at the urging of former UD professor Bob Miller, secretary of the Consortium."

Student presentations (Thursday, April 24 at 5:00 p.m.) include:

Water Chemistry Monitoring On Upper Catfish Creek, Managing For Water Quality
Bethany Bohnsack (senior, Elizabeth, IL), Oliver deSilva (sophomore, Marshalltown, IA), Francis Eggers (junior, Clinton, IA) Kayleen Keehner (junior, Guttenberg, IA), Matthew O'Brien (junior, Dubuque, IA), William O'Brien (senior, Guttenberg, IA), Tanner Rickertsen (junior, Bryant, IA), Andrew Satterlee (junior, Okinawa, Japan), Phylicia Schwartz (senior, New Vienna, IA) Mikaela Tully (junior, Dubuque, IA). Students collaborated with UD Professor Mark Sinton and Eric Schmechel from the Dubuque Soil and Water Conservation District on this project.

Light Trap Study of Larval and Juvenile Fish From Mud Lake (Upper Mississippi River, Pool 11)
Alan Butler (senior, Dubuque, IA) with UD Professor Dan Call.

A Turtle Community on 9-Mile Island in the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge
Phylicia Schwartz (senior, New Vienna, IA), Jeremy Meyer (sophomore, Dubuque, IA), Alan Butler (senior, Dubuque, IA), Matthew O'Brien (junior, Dubuque, IA), Francis Eggers (junior, Clinton, IA). Students collaborated with UD Professor Gerry Zuercher.

Southern Flying Squirrels (Glaucomys Volans) in a Protected Area Along the Mississippi River in Eastern Iowa
Fracis Eggers (junior, Clinton, IA), Phylicia Schwartz (senior, New Vienna, IA), and Alan Butler (senior, Dubuque, IA). Students collaborated with UD Professor Gerry Zuercher and Wayne Buchholtz from the Mines of Spain Recreation Area, E.B. Lyons Interpretive Center.

University alumnus, Andy Huck (C'05) will present a session (Thursday, April 24 at 1:00 p.m.) on Possible Hybridization Between Graptemys Pseudogeographica And G. Ouachitensis Along The Cedar River, Iowa And The Mississippi River . Huck, a graduate student at Western Illinois University, met his current advisor as a UD student attending the MRRC conference.

The University's Environmental Science and Biology programs are field-oriented and hands-on - preparing students for jobs following graduation, while providing real-life experiences that lead to internships and undergraduate research projects. Students are exposed to the latest technologies, such as water quality analysis, toxicological assays, and radio telemetry. The MRRC is an ideal way for students to showcase their work.

The MRRC supports organized research efforts on the Mississippi River, establishes and encourages communication among river scientists, the wider scientific community, and the public, encourages cooperation among institutions (sharing of facilities, etc.), functions as an advisory group, and provides an annual meeting where research results can be presented, common problems can be discussed, information can be disseminated, and river researchers can become acquainted with one another.