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May 19, 2010
McElroy Grant Received for Student/Faculty Collaborative Research

The R. J. McElroy Trust has awarded a grant in the amount of $999 to support undergraduate research in the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences at the University of Dubuque. Lisa LaBudde, a junior environmental science major from Freeport, IL, and Dr. Adam Hoffman, assistant professor of environmental chemistry, will study the role freshwater mussels play as biological indicators in Pool 12 of the Mississippi River.

The Mississippi River is currently being monitored for water quality through the Long-Term Resource Monitoring Program which is a coordinated effort by the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the upper Midwest states. By conducting water tests at mussel bed locations in sections of Pool 12, LaBudde and Hoffman will determining specific water quality parameters including: dissolved oxygen, water and air temperature, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, pH levels, and amount of suspended particulate matter. Sediment core samples will be collected and analyzed for physical parameters such as bulk density, porosity, and organic matter. These tests may identify specific concerns in areas of Pool 12 that need to be addressed and will allow researchers to infer the health and sustainability of the mussel populations. This will provide insight about the ecology of endangered and exotic species.

Each year, the Iowa College Foundation works with the R.J. McElroy Trust to provide awards designed to encourage undergraduate research experiences in student/faculty teams.

The R.J. McElroy Trust was founded in 1965 and is located in Waterloo, Iowa. The benefactor was R.J. McElroy, a pioneer Iowa broadcaster. In 1947, McElroy founded the Black Hawk Broadcasting Company and put radio station KWWL on the air. That was followed by KWWL TV and several other radio and television stations. McElroy died in 1965 and made provision in his will for the establishment of a trust fund, the proceeds of which are to be used for the educational benefit of deserving young people. Since then, the Trust has funded a broad range of educational programs - including scholarships, fellowships, internships, student loan funds and numerous other projects to benefit youth of all ages. Literally thousands of young people in northeastern Iowa thank R.J. McElroy for the influence he has had in their lives. His strong commitment to youth and education has extended far beyond his lifetime to the enormous benefit of many, many young people. To see that this vision is continued for years to come is the responsibility