Water Resources Center

The Water Resources Center is affiliated with the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and University of Minnesota Extension.

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MinnAqua educator Roland Sigurdson brought fun to environmental education and everything else

By Christine Hansen, Minnegram editor

“Remember, the goal is to have fun.”
Roland Sigurdson, MinnAqua education coordinator with the DNR.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources press release, April 24, 2014, “How to introduce a kid to fishing.”

For fifteen years, DNR MinnAqua supervisor Roland Sigurdson occupied an office cube at the Water Resources Center. A scan of his desk and walls reveals a life in balance. The displays are remarkably focused, reflecting his love of family, friends, fun, education and fishing. His wife Stacey and daughter Natalie beam from multiple photos, there are childhood pictures of Roland and his siblings on the farm, images of Roland the educator before groups of fascinated children, and lots and lots of fish.

When Roland died suddenly on April 30, he left behind a legacy so far-reaching it is difficult to imagine it being generated by a single person. In his work as DNR MinneAqua program supervisor, his influence radiated like water ripples from a bobber, as he mentored interns, fished with Minnesota governors and University presidents, taught city kids the joy of fishing and became the go-to fishing guy for local media. Read full article>>

Minnegram Summer 2014 Roland image small

Experimenting on a grand scale: Environmental chemist Paul Capel studies glyphosate’s occurrence in the environment

While there’s been lot of talk about the health and environmental effects of genetically modified crops, there’s been relatively little attention paid to the environmental effects of glyphosate, a companion chemical that’s now the most widely used herbicide in the world.

Known to urban lawn warriors by its commercial name “Roundup,” glyphosate is routinely applied for weed control on an agricultural scale on genetically modified corn, soybeans, alfalfa, sugar beets, and cotton in the Midwest and elsewhere.

Environmental chemist and Water Resources Science graduate program faculty member Paul Capel has spent more than a decade researching what happens to glyphosate after it’s applied to agricultural fields. An adjunct associate professor in the University’s Department of Civil Engineering and a research team leader with the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water-Quality Assessment Program, Capel has focused on Iowa, Indiana and Mississippi where much of the landscape is devoted to the production of corn, soybeans, cotton and alfalfa.

“We’ve hitched much of our agricultural wagon to the use of glyphosate,” says Capel, “My perspective is that we’re with glyphosate now where we were in the early days of DDT use in the 1950 and 1960s—we’re conducting a big experiment with the environment.”  Read full article>>

Minnegram Summer 2014 capel image

Paul Capel (right) and Erik Smith, a graduate of the Water Resources Sciences Graduate Program, set up a rain sampler in Iowa.
Photo credit: Paul Capel



Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

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Watershed Specialist Training>>

News and Upcoming Events 

The Freshwater Society Presents: Dwindling Groundwater Reserves as Viewed from Space
A lecture by Jay Famiglietti

September 18, 2014
St. Paul Student Center Theater
Details at the Freshwater Society

Minnesota Water Conference

October 14-15, 2014
St. Paul RiverCentre
Details here>>

WRC Water Conference brochure cover 2014

Register to attend the Water Resources Conference here>>

Building Minnesota's Capacity for Climate Adaptation
Second Conference on Climate Adaptation

November 6, 2014
Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
Registration open>>

Watch The Cost of Climate Change on TPT in September