Laura Triplett

Laura Triplett and students

Laura Triplett teaches in the geology department and the environmental studies program at Gustavus. She was the cochair of last fall's Nobel Conference, "Living Soil: A Universe Underfoot."

In September, 2018, Triplett received word that she'd been awarded a grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Environmental Protection Agency, funded by the Federal Clean Water Act Section 319. In collaboration with Gustavus colleagues and partners at Great River Greening and the Nicollet Soil and Water Conservation District, Laura will conduct this four-year, nearly $804,000 project which will include ongoing assessment of the Seven Mile Creek watershed and implementation of Best Management Practices.

Under a past grant, Triplett worked with three students (Connor Smith '17, Jake Westfield ’18 and Caitlin Clause ’18) to begin the study of how changing agricultural practices might improve water quality in the Minnesota River basin.

In 2016, students began collecting samples, analyzing water clarity, and setting up new monitoring stations in the first year of a long-term project to study water quality in the Seven Mile Creek watershed.

“People, environment, climate, and culture all impact water quality,” Triplett said. “Gustavus is setting up for a five to 10-year project to explore how much water improvement we can get when farmers and homeowners try new approaches on their land.”

With this new grant, the work of Triplett and Gustavus students is leaping forward.