FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date: February 25, 2003
Contact: Donna McCracken, 206-6716
SPRINGFIELD – Joseph Bartletti, a graduate student in the Biology program at the University of Illinois at Springfield, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Illinois Lake Management Association. Bartletti is one of two recipients this year and will be presented with his award at the ILMA annual conference, to be held April 3-5 in Bloomington.
In addition to receiving his award, Bartletti will deliver an address titled “Nitrogen Dynamics of Two Illinois River Floodplains.”
The ILMA awards are competitive and are made on the basis of several factors including the student’s academic achievement, career goals, and special interests. Bartletti will use the scholarship to continue work on his master’s thesis involving research into nitrogen levels in floodplain wetlands along the Illinois River.
Bartletti’s graduate adviser at UIS, Assistant Professor of Biology Michael Lemke, noted, “I give Joe a lot of credit for the idea he came up with for his master’s thesis, which involves trying to understand a paradox that embraces different forms of nitrogen, land use practices, large river ecology, and microbial processes.
“The paradox is that while a reduced form of nitrogen (ammonia) is routinely applied to crops in the area, oxidized nitrogen (nitrates) are very high in our river systems,” Lemke explained. “Joe has connected the high amount of sedimentation that results from flooding and devised an experiment for testing transformation. It is a simple, eloquent design and implications could be applied on a landscape level. It is very original work.”
Bartletti plans to work with Lemke and his thesis committee to publish any significant results of his research in scientific journals.
“I am interested in any issue related to water and water quality,” he said. “In addition, I’m an avid outdoorsperson and enjoy many different aspects of our natural resources. I support conservation and restoration of our natural water ecosystems so that future generations will be able to enjoy their diversity and beauty as well.”
During the course of his studies at UIS, Bartletti has accompanied Lemke to Brazil where they collaborated with researchers from the University of Maringa to study floodplain systems of the Parana River. He maintains a 3.5 GPA and currently serves as the Biology program’s graduate research assistant. After graduation from UIS, he hopes to pursue doctoral studies and a career focusing on aquatic ecology and biogeochemistry.
UIS’ Biology program offers the bachelor of science and master of science degrees as well as an undergraduate minor. The programs are designed to prepare students for many career options.
Illinois has an estimated 84,000 reservoirs, many threatened by excessive weed and algae growth, turbid water, sedimentation, and bacterial or toxic contamination. The Illinois Lake Management Association was formed in 1985 by a group of homeowners, concerned citizens, lake associations, and environmental professionals with the mission of promoting understanding and comprehensive management of the state’s lake and watershed ecosystems.