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Where are They Now?

Kathleen Mayo

Kathleen Mayo

Which Sea Grant researcher did you work with as a graduate student and what did you work on?

As a graduate student, I worked with Michael McDonald, Minnesota Sea Grant (now with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), and Jim Selgeby, U. S. Geological Survey in Ashland, WI.

My fisheries research took place in the St. Louis River estuary of western Lake Superior. I used bioenergetics modeling to help evaluate whether fish predators, such as northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass, and bullheads, could control Eurasian ruffe. I also used oxygen bomb calorimetry to determine the caloric content of the ruffe, which was necessary for an accurate model.

What do you do now?

I currently work for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at their regional office in Chicago, IL. I am a scientist in the Water Division and my main duties are related to the water quality standards program under the Clean Water Act. I serve as the primary contact on water quality standards for the 34 Indian tribes within the region. I also review the State of Wisconsin's water quality standards and recommend their approval or disapproval.

How did your graduate work prepare you for your current job?

My graduate work further developed the scientific, oral, and written skills that give me confidence in my current job. Research taught me to take the initiative to solve problems and to follow tasks through.

Have you received any noteworthy awards in the last few years?

At EPA in Chicago, IL, I was nominated for the 1999 EPA Bronze Medal for my water quality standards work and I received a 40-hour Time-Off-Award. In 1998, I worked for the EPA in San Francisco, CA, and I received an On-the-Spot-Award for my work with western Nevada Tribes to help them establish environmental programs using General Assistance Program grants.

Why do you think Sea Grant is a worthwhile organization?

Sea Grant is worthwhile because it provides extensive outreach and education on a variety of environmental issues to both technical and non-technical entities. I see Sea Grant as facilitating research on aquatic environmental issues, and then taking this research and explaining it to the public in terms they understand and can use for decision-making.

What is your dream job?

My dream job is working as a biologist in the Lake Superior area again. After living in big cities such as Houston, San Francisco, and Chicago, I still enjoy the friendly, small town communities up north and the beautiful fish and wildlife resources of the Lake Superior area.

By Sea Grant Staff
September 2000

Return to September 2000 Seiche

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