Funded Students

2018 - 2019 Recipient    
Photo of Kaela Natwora

Kaela Natwora
Doctoral student

  • Research: Kaela's primary research is focused on understanding if nitrogen fixation aids cyanotoxin production in low nitrogen environments. Additionally, she is investigating the distribution of nifH genes across the Great Lakes and measuring nitrogen fixation rates.
  • Faculty advisor: Cody Sheik, Duluth
  • Undergraduate: BS in Chemistry from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF)
  • Hometown: Buffalo, NY



Previous WRC fellowship recipients

2022 Recipient 2022 Recipient 2021 Recipient
Photo of Mariel Jones

Mariel Jones
Doctoral student

  • Research: Examining the intricacies of spring and winter hydrological effects in Minnesota headwaters and peatland landscapes.
  • Faculty advisor: Xue Feng, Twin Cities
  • Undergraduate: BS in General Engineering (Civil Eng. Focus) and Mathematics and Statistics, Smith College, 2020
Photo of Leslie Ludtke

Leslie Ludtke
Doctoral student

  • Research: Groundwater modeling of the Pineland Sands aquifer region to better understand the impacts of intensive irrigation on nearby water bodies and wild rice populations.
  • Faculty advisor: Joe Magner, Twin Cities
  • Undergraduate: BS. Geology. University of Wisconsin, River Falls. 2021.
Photo of Zac Aanerud

Zac Aanerud
Doctoral student

  • Research: Nitrogen cycle in corn fields in Lamberton, MN
  • Faculty advisor: Fabian Fernandez, Twin Cities
  • Undergraduate: BS in Environmental science with a hydrogeology minor, University of River Falls WI, 2021
2021 Recipient 2021 Recipient 2021 Recipient
Photo of Matthew Belanger

Matthew Belanger
Masters student

  • Research: Investigating how the use of livestock manure fertilizers affect chloride concentrations in Minnesota waters.
  • Faculty advisor: Melissa Wilson, Twin Cities
  • Undergraduate: B.S. in Environmental Studies and GIS from Central Michigan University, 2019
Photo of Zixuan Chen

Zixuan Chen
Doctoral student

  • Research: Reactive transport modeling of nitrate.
  • Faculty advisor: Crystal Ng, Twin Cities
  • Education: MS in Environmental Engineering, SUNY Buffalo, 2021. BEng in Hydraulic Engineering, Shihezi University, 2017.
Goldy Gopher

Bailey Tangen
Masters student

  • Research: Assess the soil response to rainfall under soil health and conventional management systems, estimate field working days and their economic impacts under soil health and conventional management systems, and explore the importance of field working days for farmer quality of life and stress levels.
  • Faculty advisor: Anna Cates, Twin Cities
  • Undergraduate: BS in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of Minnesota, 2020

Previous WINS recipients

2021 Recipient 2020 Recipient 2020 Recipient
Goldy Gopher

Kaitlyn Hembre
Masters student

  • Faculty advisor: Ray Newman, Twin Cities
Photo of Nichole Hembre

Nichole Angell
Masters student

  • Research: Understanding the costs and effectiveness of various aquatic invasive species prevention techniques to inform managers how to better place their limited prevention resources across the Minnesotan landscape.
  • Faculty advisor: Nicholas Phelps, Twin Cities
  • Undergraduate: BS in Aquatic and Fisheries Science, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 2020
Photo of Denver Link.

Denver Link
Masters student

  • Research: Zebra mussels effects on walleye food webs in Minnesota lakes to aid agencies and lake associations in management decisions.
  • Faculty advisor: Gretchen Hansen, Twin Cities
  • Undergraduate: B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies, St. Olaf College, 2021

Previous USGS recipients