Biography

Earned and Honorary Degrees

PhD Biophysical Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison
MS Physical Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison
BA Chemistry Lawrence, University, Appleton, Wisconsin

Research

My current research is focused on the impact of cigarette butt leachate on the productivity of vernal ponds. Working with three undergraduates—Andrew T Goblirsch, Trevor Bennin, and Anthony Jones—using a variety of techniques, we are exploring the impact of cigarette butt litter on the environment.

Our methods include a smoking machine built by students, solid phase micro-extraction (SPME fiber separation) followed by gas chromatography with mass spectroscopic detection to determine the chemical makeup of the leachate, as well biological techniques including bacterial assays and work with Daphnia to determine LC-50 values from our leachate.

We presented a poster titled Cigarette Eco-toxicity in Vernal Ponds in May 2013 at the 44th meeting of the American Chemical Society Central Regional meeting in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Why Northland?

I enjoy the opportunity to work with wonderful students. This also ties in with the mission of Northland College because the students genuinely care about the world. Aside from teaching, I have developed a novel method for determining pheromone concentrations in mouse urine using solid phase microextraction techniques combined with the method of gas chromatography—mass spectroscopy.

I plan on continuing this research with a few students this year, including possibly looking at different animals. Our experimental hands-on approach at Northland College makes learning a way of life. The desire to understand the fundamental processes of biological function drew me to my study of biology.

Personal Interests

I like to kayak. I build speakers. I love music.