Freshwater interns of 2020

This summer, Freshwater hosted four student interns in mutual support of our programs and their burgeoning careers. Three worked with Research and Policy Director Carrie Jennings in a partnership with the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences. Keep reading to learn more about these unique individuals and their bright futures which will no doubt make waves for water.

Ashley Laskowski is a junior, graduating in 2022. She is from Green Bay, Wisconsin, and her past work experience has involved tutoring high school students from the Minneapolis school district through the TRIO Upward Bound program and a YMCA camp counselor position. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering at Fairview Hospital, participating in events through the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Special Olympics Club, and running. She chose to study antibiotics used in confined animal feedlots that get applied with manure and are appearing in our surface and groundwater. They are suspected to be increasing antibiotic resistance.

George Roy is a junior studying biochemistry in the honors program. George grew up in South Dakota, but his family relocated to Michigan. Summer in Michigan was going to be disorienting, especially after the his position as a 2020 American Heart Association Summer Research Scholar at the Lillehei Heart Institute was canceled, so he was quite pleased to stay in Minnesota and work with Freshwater. George is a detail-oriented person who likes to help others. He has experience in performing PCR and spectrophotometry and in sorting and analyzing data. George chose to address the removal of endocrine-disrupting compounds found in human wastewater.

Colin Vehmeier is a senior in ecology, biology, society and environment, graduating in December of 2020. He was in Brookfield, Wisconsin, this summer and hiked pieces of The Ice Age Trail while there. He has conducted research in the Department of Horticultural Science on the physiological response of plants to UV light and is on the Alpine Ski team. He chose to investigate the impact of animal antibiotics on the soil microbiome. Soil health depends on a wide range of microbes, and spreading manure may come with consequences that we are not aware of.