AWRA Water Blog

AWRA’s 2013 Spring Specialty Conference Student Presenter Competition

Agricultural Hydrology and Water Quality II which was held during the conference in St. Louis, Missouri on March 25-27.Thirty-four students participated and were schedule throughout the thirty-nine sessions and the poster session.Conference attendees were given the opportunity to judge the students during their scheduled session.The following criteria were used for all competitors:

  • Efficient use of allotted presentation time or poster space.
  • Quality of responses to audience questions in oral or at poster sessions.
  • Effective integration of audio-visual materials.
  • Perceived preparedness.
  • Logic and understandability of material (problem, methods, results, conclusions).
  • Adequate description of context for material – conveyed purpose of paper, identified relevant literatures, etc.
  • Overall style and presence; effective communicator – enthusiasm or persuasiveness
  • Suitability for AWRA/professional audience.
  • Significance and originality of the material presented.

Everyone did a terrific job and made the decision difficult.  However the following individual was selected as the outstanding winners:

Oral Student Presenter:  Mark R. Williams, Penn State University, University Park, PA Nitrogen concentrations and transport potential in shallow groundwater: Contrasting seep and non-seep regions of a riparian zone in an agricultural watershed (co-authors: Anthony Buda, Hershel Elliott, Elizabeth Boyer)

Poster Student Presenter:  Margaret Kalcic, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN Farmer perceptions of targeting agricultural conservation practices (co-authors:  Linda Prokopy, Jane Frankenberger, Indrajeet Chaubey)

Again, our congratulations on a job well done to all those students who were in the competition and we wish them all the best in their future endeavors.  We look forward to hearing more from everyone at future AWRA conferences!

Mark R. Williams Bio

Mark Williams is a Ph. D. candidate in the department of agricultural and biological engineering at Penn State University in University Park, PA. He is currently working on a project with the USDA – Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit evaluating the fate and transport of nitrogen in headwater agricultural watersheds. Specifically, Mark’s research is aimed at elucidating the role of hydrology on nitrogen transport in emergent groundwater seeps and determining how seeps influence stream water quality.

Mark received a B.S. in environmental resource management with minors in soil science and water resources management from Penn State University in 2008. Following his B.S. degree, Mark worked with scientists from the USDA-ARS and Penn State on a project to determine nutrient losses following manure application in the late-fall and winter. He received his M.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Penn State University in 2010. Upon completion of his Ph. D. (May 2013), Mark will be working with the USDA-ARS Soil Drainage Research Unit in Columbus, OH as a postdoctoral agricultural engineer.

Margaret Kalcic Bio

Margaret is a PhD student at Purdue University in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department and Ecological Sciences and Engineering Interdisciplinary Graduate Program.  Her research focus is on targeting of agricultural conservation practices, including the watershed models used, spatial optimization, and the human dimensions of targeting.  She earned her BS at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, MA, and her MS from Purdue.

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