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UWS students, faculty present at Great Lakes conference

It might be summer vacation for some, but University of Wisconsin-Superior students and faculty were represented at the 58th annual conference on Great Lakes Research in Burlington, Vt., at the end of May.

The International Association for Great Lakes Research invited Lorena Rios Mendoza to showcase her plastics research. She and two UWS students were invited to participate in the conference in the special session of plastic pollution within the Great Lakes Ecosystem.

Rios Mendoza presentation was “Microsynthetic plastics in air, water, fish and sediments in the Great Lakes.” Two UWS student accompanied her and took part in poster presentations.

Kristen Johnson of Superior featured “Are we Breathing Plastics” and Felagot Abebe presented “Persistent Organic Pollutants on Microplastics Debris from Great Lakes.”

“This was a great opportunity for the students to showcase their undergraduate research and highlight their work at UW-Superior,” Rios Mendoza said.

Johnson was honored for her research by earning the Information Impact Award at the conference. This was significant according to Rios Mendoza because she was competing against many other students who have advanced degrees.

“It was great to see her get rewarded for her hard work,” she said. “Perhaps this could also inspire others in this subject.”

Rios Mendoza is heading to Cleveland this month to feature a workshop for K-12 teachers in collaboration with NOAA. She will give a seminar in plastic pollution and lead the collection of plastic for them.