Candidate for Student Board Member: Brianna Loeks-Johnson

Brianna Loeks-Johnson

PhD.2022 (Water Resources Science, University of Minnesota, United States of America)

 

Biographical Information

I am in my third year in the Water Resources Science PhD program, and a fifth-year graduate student having obtained my Master of Science in January of 2019. I am a freshwater biogeochemist studying nitrogen cycling in lakes. I have always had a love for all things aquatic while growing up in Minnesota-the land of 10,000 lakes. I learned that this passion could turn into a career while I was a lab manager at a local university and assisted a professor in field research examining the effects of trout stocking on water clarity.

During my time as a graduate student, I have found joy in roles of leadership and science communication. I have served as the president of the Water Resources Science graduate program student body for three years, while also serving on my college’s Graduate Student Board for two years and the University’s Council of Graduate Students for one year. In my outreach roles, I have established relationships with interested parties such as local artists, politicians, scientists, and community members and developed events that combined science, art, and advocacy.

An event I helped plan and host that I am particularly proud of brought top water scientists and political officials together to provide insight and answer questions regarding the issues facing Minnesota waters right now; over 200 community members attended. Additionally, I have volunteered at Itasca Biological Research Station bringing science to visitors at the state park and sharing my love for macroinvertebrates. These experiences have been important adjuncts to my research work and have helped show me the importance of this field to all people.

Candidate Statement

I would be honored to serve as a student representative on the ASLO Board of Directors because I appreciate and strive to further the mission and goals of ASLO. Specifically, the goals of fostering a diverse scientific community and focusing on public outreach resonate with me. I would like to learn from and contribute to the board in building up this already wonderful association. As a queer person, I deliberately focus on creating an inclusive environment for all with an emphasis on intersectionality. As an example, I believe diverse voices should be emphasized proactively as we take steps to become a more accepting and inclusive association.

Additionally, I believe public outreach should be a major focus bringing important science and curiosity around aquatic environments to communities. I have been involved in several public outreach projects throughout my graduate career and would enjoy continuing in this work through the board if elected. I have appreciated seeing the combination of art and science and would like to see this grow. I gave an oral presentation at the ASLO conference in Victoria, BC and am currently serving as the student representative for ASLO on the JASM 2022 planning committee.

 

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