Campus kicks off fall lecture series
By Laura Schlichting
Environmental science professor Kenneth Hudnell gave a lecture in Perry Hall on Sept. 17.
The lecture was titled An Alternative Approach to Regaining Designated Uses of Clean Water Act Section 303(d) Impaired Waters.
"The title of my talk comes from some of the many I've been giving at conferences around the country. I should have changed it to something better suited for those who don't know a lot about the topic of freshwater harmful algae blooms, most of which are caused by cyanobacteria," Hudnell said.
Cyanobacteria are also known as blue-green algae, which obtain energy through oxygenic photosynthesis. Under certain conditions, their explosive reproduction results in algae blooms, which can be harmful to other species if toxins are produced.
Students, staff, and community members attended Hudnell's talk.
Freshman Nick Granditzke attended the lecture after hearing about it from Biology 101 professor Dubear Kroening.
"I was interested in hearing about the water pollutants. Mainly about the blue-green algae, because I know there's some in Lake Winnebago," Granditzke said.
Associate professor of biological sciences Terri Gonya and associate professor of anthropology and sociology Renee Gralewicz also attended the lecture.
"I thought it was an excellent lecture, and I think my only disappointment was that the title that was presented wasn't exactly what he talked about," Gonya said.
"It was fascinating, though, what he went in to was less of the regulation of water and more why it needs to be regulated with lots and lots and lots of examples."
"I like to go and learn new things. I always go to the lectures even if the topic doesn't seem like it's going to be of interest," Gralewicz said.
After meeting on a plane to Denver, Colo., campus executive officer (CEO) and dean, Martin Rudd, invited Hudnell to speak at UW-Fox.
"He taught me about the science that he was doing and has been doing and of course his long and quite distinguished career in a specific area of water quality that affects us here in northeast Wisconsin and of course that's algae blooms," Rudd said.
Hudnell began his research on cyanobacteria in the late 1990s and has been lecturing about it ever since. The talk was Hudnell's first in Wisconsin.
"I give lots of talks all around the country…but I really love coming back to universities and talking to students because, you know, that's where we need to make an impression," Hudnell said.
Rudd values the Scholars Series lectures and stresses their importance for students.
"In order to be a scholar of the liberal arts, you need to embrace all of the disciplines and work out how they're interconnected," Rudd said.
Hudnell is an adjunct professor of environmental science and engineering at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He also worked as neurotoxicologist for the Environmental Protection Agency for 23 years.