Five students were awarded the annual Guy and Giese Graduate Student Fellowship. The Giese Graduate Fellowship was created in memory of Henry Giese, professor of structures and environment areas for Iowa State University’s Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department (ISU ABE). The Harold and Katherine Guy Graduate Fellowship was designed to promote research done in soil and water conservation.
The following students are this year’s recipients:
Tim Neher is a Ph.D. student in the agricultural and biosystems engineering department and works with Michelle Soupir, ABE associate chair for research and extension and professor, on optimizing efforts to monitor bacteria and antimicrobial resistance in the agricultural environment to ensure a sustainable future for public health and food security.
Lindsey Hartfiel is a Ph.D. student from central Wisconsin, who grew up on her family’s dairy farm. Her childhood experiences allowed her to develop a passion for agriculture and water quality. This led her to complete her undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in agricultural engineering in May 2019. Following graduation, Hartiel moved to Ames. After she completes her graduate studies, Hartfiel intends to pursue a career in academia or with a government agency to continue working towards water-quality solutions.
Abby Schaefer is a master’s student from rural Waterloo, Iowa, and completed her undergraduate studies at Iowa State in biosystems engineering with a minor in chemistry. Her study abroad program in Lima, Peru, piqued her interest in the impact of water pollution on human health and the environment. After completing her graduate degree, Schaefer intends to solve water-related problems with her career.
Laura Alt is in the third year of her doctoral program. She is co-advised by Adina Howe, head of the Genomics and Environmental Research in Microbial Systems (GERMS) Laboratory at Iowa State, and Soupir, also head of the Water Quality Research Laboratory. Alt’s research is focused on characterizing microbial communities in agricultural land and water resources in order to understand the impacts of agricultural management and practice on environmental quality. As a member of the Science-Based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips (STRIPS) team at ISU, she hopes to contribute more information to the already extensive list of benefits the integration of prairie strips has been shown to exhibit.
Sara Weyer is a master’s student in agricultural and biosystems engineering, with a focus in animal production systems. Originally from Ferdinand, Indiana, she completed her bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering, also from Iowa State, in May 2020. She is advised by assistant professor Brett Ramirez, and Weyer’s research is focused on mass mortality management strategies for swine. She plans to pursue a career in industry upon completion of her degree.