Moos Family Speaker Series

Large Lakes and Microscopic Monsters: Tracking Microbes in the Great Lakes

Featuring Dr. Joan Rose, professor at Michigan State University and 2016 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate

Thursday, November 14, 2019
If you were unable to attend the event, view a recording of the evening here!

As one of the world’s foremost experts in microbiology and a well-respected scientific pioneer, Dr. Rose uses emerging science to significantly improve methods for protecting water and food supplies. She has dedicated her career to improving the planet’s water quality, and in turn public health. We heard how her team of “water detectives” analyzes and diagnoses contaminants in water to determine if they come from animals or people, and how these sources of pollution affect the Great Lakes. This lecture covered her work connecting human and animal sources of water pollution to the landscape. After her lecture, Dr. Rose joined a discussion with Dr. Valery Forbes, Dean of the College of Biological Sciences and Dr. Sara Heger, engineer, researcher, and instructor in the Onsite Sewage Treatment Program in the Water Resources Center at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Rose is a pioneer in the emerging science of viral metagenomics – sequencing virus DNA in water sources, discharges, and shipping ballast to identify and map nonpoint sources of fecal pollution such as septic tanks and animal manure. Targeting viruses themselves increases precision in tracking these microbes, significantly improving methods to protect water and food supplies.

Thanks to our generous sponsors:

MOOS_JoanRose_SponsorLogos_11.13B
Joan+Rose+water

About Dr. Rose: Dr. Rose is an international authority on water microbiology, water quality, and public health safety, and she co-directs both Michigan State University’s Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment and its Center for Water Sciences. In 2016 she was awarded the Stockholm Water Prize, often touted as the Nobel Prize for water, for her contributions to global public health.

Layer 10

Since 2010, Freshwater and the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences have co-hosted a FREE stimulating lecture series on water and the environment. The lectures, known as the Moos Family Speaker Series on Water Resources, honor the late Malcolm Moos, president of the university from 1967 to 1974. The series brings together influential experts on a broad array of topics and pairs a nationally-known speaker with a panel of regional experts. They present the latest research on timely and important issues through an accessible — and often entertaining — presentation.

david-montgomery_cropped
Dave Montgomery

GROWING A REVOLUTION
April 16, 2019

In Dr. Montgomery’s latest book, Growing a Revolution, he introduces us to farmers around the world at the heart of a soil health revolution and makes the case for an agriculture that is profitable while also helping feed us all, cool the planet, and restore life to the land.

Thanks to our sponsors:

Environmental Working Group

Minnesota Office of Soil Health

US Department of Agriculture

JeremyGuest
Jeremy Guest
RETURNING NUTRIENTS TO AGRICULTURE:
THE ROLE OF CITIES IN A CIRCULAR ECONOMY

November 27, 2018

The current approach to wastewater treatment, while effective at protecting public and environmental health, consumes 3% of U.S. electricity and still results in excess nutrients reaching aquatic environments. More broadly, it relies on technologies that are prohibitively expensive for developing communities in which 2.4 billion people lack access to improved sanitation.
Dr. Guest shared opportunities for innovation that advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for sustainable cities, responsible consumption/production, and universal access to sanitation by 2030.

Jennifer Francis
Jennifer Francis
THE ARCTIC MELTDOWN AND EXTREME WEATHER:
HOW ARE THEY CONNECTED?

May 9, 2018

Does it seem as though the weather is a little "different" lately? Minnesota's rainfall amounts and intensity have changed and that has implications for our storm sewers and floodplains. Dr. Francis explained new research that links increasing extreme weather events with the rapidly melting Arctic. Evidence suggests weather patterns are becoming more persistent, which can lead to extremes such as droughts, cold spells, heat waves, snowy winters, and flood events.

Thanks to our sponsors:

Barr Engineering

Consulate General of Canada

Shingle Creek West Mississippi Watershed Management Commissions

Dan Egan - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter - Great Lakes - mug  - Monday, October 3, 2016.  - Photo by Mike De Sisti /MDESISTI@JOURNALSENTINEL.COM
Dan Egan

THE DEATH AND LIFE OF THE GREAT LAKES
April 15 and May 24, 2017

The Great Lakes provide the largest source of fresh surface water in the world as well as food, work, and weekend fun for tens of millions of people. Yet they are under threat as never before, and it’s only getting worse. In a time when the federal government proposes eliminating funding for cleaning and protecting the Great Lakes, two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Dan Egan has written an urgent and powerful wake-up call, and makes a clear and convincing case for how our problems can be fixed. In the grand tradition of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Egan’s The Death and Life of the Great Lakes is a master reporter’s landmark work that takes readers through the science, politics, history, and economics of the lakes, revealing an ecological catastrophe happening right before our eyes.

Thanks to our sponsors:

Consulate General of Canada

Minnesota Board of Water & Soil Resources

Emmons Olivier Resources

The Nature Conservancy

UMD Large Lakes Observatory

KathyLake_CROPvertical
KATHY LAKE

THE LAKE EFFECT: PROTECTING WATER THROUGH INNOVATIVE COLLABORATION
November 14, 2017

The Yahara watershed, like many others, is threatened by excessive phosphorus from sources as such as agricultural runoff, urban stormwater, and wastewater treatment plant discharges. The elevated phosphorus levels are a threat to water quality and aquatic life throughout the area. Yahara WINS began in 2012 as a four-year pilot project to reduce phosphorus loads and meet more stringent water quality standards established by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. This groundbreaking program employs watershed adaptive management, a strategy in which all sources of phosphorus pollution in an area work together to meet water quality goals. This strategy is more effective and less expensive than the sources working separately on individual solutions.

Thanks to our sponsors:

Metropolitan Council

Elm Creek Watershed Management Commission

Attarian
JANET ATTARIAN

DESIGNING FOR OUR FUTURE: SUSTAINABLE INFRASTRUCTURE AND THE TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE
November 15, 2016

Our urban communities are facing ever increasing pressure to find elegant solutions to the grand challenges we face – shifting economies, changing demographics, and impacts to our landscapes and natural systems – compounded by the added stress of a changing climate. Ms. Attarian talked about designing for our future by incorporating sustainable design into every street corner, and what that means to our community’s sense of place. She also shared stories and lessons learned from her own work with the cities of Chicago and Detroit.

Thanks to our sponsor:

Capitol Region Watershed District
1408_dc-water-005-1024x682
GEORGE HAWKINS

EVOLUTION TO CLEANER WATER AND GREENER WATER COMPANIES
April 13, 2016

George Hawkins, CEO and General Manager of the DC Water and Sewer Authority, discussed how our thinking about environmental protection has evolved and the implications for cities. DC Water operates one of the largest wastewater treatment plant in the world and has launched an ambitious and innovative program to improve aging infrastructure in the Washington DC region to comply with strict environmental requirements. A recently completed digester system is generating 10MW of electricity – enough for about 7,500 homes.

Thanks to our sponsor:

Metropolitan Council
Stowe photo 1
BILL STOWE

PROTECTING SURFACE WATERS IN AGRICULTURAL WATERSHEDS
November 3 and 4, 2015

Bill Stowe, CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works spoke on the central Iowa utility’s mission to provide safe, affordable, and abundant drinking water to 500,000 customers and the challenges faced in an agricultural watershed. Iowa’s EPA-mandated Nutrient Reduction Strategy states that 92% of total nitrogen sources are currently not regulated; however, the strategy to reduce nutrient pollutants by 45% has no timelines, commitments to measurements and relies on voluntarism. Iowa’s capital city’s drinking water utility filed a federal complaint against three upstream counties in their capacities as trustees of 10 drainage districts, for the discharge of nitrate pollutants into the Raccoon River (the utility’s source water), and failure to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Thanks to our sponsors:

Capitol Region Watershed District

Consulate General of Canada

Wenck

10-sterner
ROBERT STERNER

THE OUTSIZED ROLE OF EARTH’S LARGEST LAKES
April 30, 2015

Roughly two thirds of the planet’s available surface freshwater is contained in just twenty lakes. Scattered around the globe, and diverse in almost every measurable respect, these immense “dimples” in Earth’s surface have shaped human society and history. Their value continues to grow as freshwater scarcity increases. This talk will explore Earth’s largest lakes, some of which are in our backyard, from the standpoints of hydrology, biogeochemistry, biodiversity, and geopolitics, using these approaches ultimately to ask what role these twenty places play in our lives.

Thanks to our sponsor:

Consulate General of Canada
PeterWilcock
PETER WILCOCK

SEDIMENT, SCIENCE, AND STAKHOLDERS: CLEARING THE MUDDY WATERS OF THE MINNESOTA RIVER
January 20, 2015

The Minnesota River cuts a vast valley through southern Minnesota before merging with the Mississippi River. It crosses fertile lands– and transports volumes of sediment. The geologic history of the Minnesota River makes it a large source of sediment, and land use with climate changes have greatly increased this supply.

Thanks to our sponsor:

Minnesota Board of Water & Soil Resources
Famigliettiphoto
JAY FAMIGLIETTI

DWINDLING GROUNDWATER RESERVES AS SEEN FROM SPACE
September 18, 2014

Dr. Jay Famiglietti, a leading researcher at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, uses NASA satellites to measure changes in the Earth’s stores of groundwater.

Thanks to our sponsors:

Capitol Region Watershed District

Barr Engineering

jacksonphoto
ROBERT JACKSON

FRACKING: WHAT WE KNOW AND DON’T KNOW ABOUT ITS IMPACTS ON WATER
January 30, 2014

Dr. Robert Jackson, an environmental scientist at Stanford and Duke universities, and his Duke colleagues research the impacts of fracking on drinking water.

schindler225
DAVID SCHINDLER

LETTING THE LIGHT IN: PROVIDING ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE TO DIRECT PUBLIC POLICY
November 5, 2013

Dr. Schindler, an emeritus professor at the University of Alberta, combined research and advocacy during a distinguished 45-year career. He speaks on the tension – often conflict – between science and public policy.

Thanks to our sponsor:

University of Alberta

DuaneChapman
DUANE CHAPMAN

THE BIOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT OF ASIAN CARP: LESSONS FOR MINNESOTA
October 8, 2013

Duane Chapman is a national expert on the Asian carp species that pose the biggest threats to Minnesota lakes and rivers. Chapman was the science lead for the United States in a U.S.-Canadian assessment of the risk the Great Lakes face from the carp.

Don Rosenberry (USGS National Research Program) conducting a slug test to measure aquifer properties on the south shore of Hood Canal near Belfair, Washington.
DON ROSENBERRY

NOT JUST FOR SCIENTISTS ANYMORE: WHY THE PUBLIC SHOULD CARE ABOUT THE CONNECTION BETWEEN GROUNDWATER AND LAKES, STREAMS, AND WETLANDS
May 1, 2013

Don Rosenberry, a U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist with Minnesota roots, discusses the physical, chemical and biological processes linking groundwater and surface water and their impact on humans in floods and droughts.

postel125
SANDRA POSTEL

WILL WE HAVE ENOUGH WATER? ADAPTING TO A WARMING WATER-STRESSED WORLD
February 12, 2013

Sandra Postel, National Geographic Fellow and founder of the Global Water Policy Project. She has written or co-written three books on water. Her Last Oasis: Facing Water Scarcity was published in eight languages and was the basis for a PBS documentary. She works with the National Geographic Society in a public campaign to restore the flow of the Colorado River. The Mosaic Company Foundation supported her lecture.

doeringphoto
OTTO DOERING

EXCESS NITROGEN: A CONFOUNDING PROBLEM FOR ENERGY USE, FOOD PRODUCTION, THE WATER WE DRINK AND THE AIR WE BREATHE
October 4, 2012

Dr. Otto Doering, a Purdue University Professor who chaired a team of scientists that researched the problem of excess nitrogen for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory board, delivered an intriguing lecture on nitrogen’s impact on the environment, surface and ground waters and human health.

mehan300
G. TRACY MEHAN III

THE CLEAN WATER ACT AFTER 40 YEARS: WHAT HAS IT ACCOMPLISHED? HOW DO WE FULFILL ITS PROMISE?
June 25, 2012

G. Tracy Mehan III, an environmental consultant who was the top water-quality official in the Environmental Protection Agency from 2001 to 2003, delivered a lecure on the Clean Water Act’s successes, work to be done and avenues to progress.

Thanks to our sponsor:

Cadmus

MindyLubber
MINDY LUBBER

INVESTING IN SUSTAINABILITY: BUILDING WATER STEWARDSHIP INTO THE BOTTOM LINE
March 1, 2012

Mindy Lubber, an international leader in efforts by investors to lead and pressure multinational companies to adopt environmentally sustainable business practices, spoke on corporate sustainability and how capital markets can help achieve it. Lubber is president of Ceres, a coalition of investors, environmental organizations and public interest groups.

Thanks to our sponsor:

Ceres

kirschenmann
FRED KIRSCHENMANN

WATER AND THE CHALLENGES FACING U.S. AND WORLD AGRICULTURE IN THE 21st CENTURY
November 10, 2011

Dr. Fred Kirschenmann, distinguished fellow at Iowa State University’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and a farmer, philosopher and national leader in the organic farming movement, lectured on water, agriculture and food.

dailyphoto220
GRETCHEN DAILY

HARMONIZING PEOPLE AND NATURE: A NEW BUSINESS MODEL
June 13, 2011

Dr. Gretchen C. Daily, a Stanford University ecologist and co-founder of the Natural Capital Project, spoke on ecosystem valuation, a blend of ecology and economics that enlists both public policy and the marketplace to protect the environment.

Craig Cox
CRAIG COX

TAKING THE POLLUTION OUT OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION
Feb 24, 2011

Craig A. Cox, senior vice president of the Environmental Working Group and a longtime advocate for soil and water conservation, lectured on agricultural practices and policies that can reduce erosion and runoff from farm fields.

Louis_Guillette
LOUIS GUILETTE

CONTAMINANTS, WATER, AND HEALTH: NEW LESSONS FROM WILDLIFE
Sept. 14, 2010

Dr. Louis Guillette, an internationally recognized reproductive biologist who has spent 25 years studying alligators and other wildlife living in polluted waters in Florida and around the world, lectured on a growing body of research that shows environmental contaminants are causing birth defects, both in animals and humans.

hedrick-smith
HEDRICK SMITH

RURAL AND URBAN POLLUTION
April 27, 2010

Hedrick Smith, the producer of the highly acclaimed PBS Frontline documentary “POISONED WATERS,” lectured on the pervasive pollution that still afflicts our waters, 40 years after the Clean Water Act. Smith, a Pulitzer Prize- and Emmy-winning reporter and producer, delivered a tough-minded report card on U.S. water policy.

glennon_robert_0
ROBERT GLENNON

UNQUENCHABLE: AMERICA’S WATER CRISIS AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
February 22, 2010

Robert Glennon, Professor of Law and Public Policy in the Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona and author of Water Follies and Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What to Do About It, spoke on threats to the sustainability of our water supplies.