Candidate for Student Board Member Ashlynn Boedecker

Ashlynn Boedecker

M.S. 2018 (Earth and Environmental Science, Wright State University, USA)

Biographical Information

I became interested in aquatic science as an undergraduate. I originally went to college because all I wanted to do was become a tornado chaser. Eventually, I realized that was not a great career choice, and after a brief stint in the military after my undergraduate, I decided to go to graduate school and study freshwater. I joined ASLO back in 2016 as a master's student. Currently, I am a Ph.D. candidate in biology at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and I will be graduating this year. My research focuses on nutrient and dissolved gas dynamics in southern U.S. reservoirs. More specifically, I have been researching how changes in dissolved oxygen levels in both warm monomictic and polymictic systems affect nutrient and nitrogen gas transformations through the water column and at the sediment-water interface. As a freshwater biogeochemist, I am broadly interested in how different elemental cycles interact with both the environment and each other. I previously attended Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, where I received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Earth and Environmental Science and a minor in mathematics. During my master’s degree, I researched nitrogen dynamics in the western basin of Lake Erie, mainly focusing on whether the sediments were able to remove excess nitrogen coming in from the Maumee River. Outside of academics, I have done work with the It Gets Better Project the past couple of years, which is a global nonprofit that connects LGBTQ+ youth across the world through storytelling and education on different media platforms.

Candidate Statement

I would be honored to serve you as an ASLO Student Board Member. As aquatic scientists, we come in many different flavors from countless backgrounds and represent numerous different fields of study. I have been active in ASLO since 2016 and have attended many meetings and met many different wonderful scientists as a result. Participating in ASLO has always been one of the many highlights of my time in graduate school, and I would like the chance to contribute to helping future students experience ASLO as I have. Even though I really have not served ASLO in a direct capacity, I have had the opportunity to review papers for Limnology and Oceanography, even as a student. This has given me insight into related research projects and new literature, and has definitely been a good learning experience. I want to serve on the Board to hopefully help future students. This includes navigating conferences, which can seem intimidating at first, especially in the context of meeting new people in a professional capacity. As an ASLO Student Board Member, another one of my goals would be to encourage the use of social media as a platform to communicate student work. Previously, I have worked on projects that included highlighting research being done by international students, both in English and their native language. I also have experience collaborating with other societies to encourage student participation at conferences with virtual events beforehand, which included social activities like craft and game nights and more professional activities like panels and webinars. Since the use of virtual platforms as a meeting location does not seem to be changing in this pandemic/post-pandemic time, I hope to bring this experience to ASLO and continue working to give all students a voice and the confidence to be proud of the amazing research they are doing. Aquatic science (and science in general) is for everyone, and everyone should be able to share and celebrate their contributions.

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