2023 Achievement Award Recipients
The North American Lake Management Society, NALMS, recognizes individuals, teams, and organizations for their efforts and contributions to enhance management of lakes and reservoirs. Each year NALMS receives nomination letters from members and supporters lifting up their peers – individuals and groups – worthy of receiving recognition for their dedication to NALMS’ mission and/or for strides made in leadership, education, and lake management. It is with great honor that we share these nomination letters, as well as the 2023 award recipients recognized at the NALMS 43rd annual symposium, held this year in Erie, PA.
Outgoing Officers & Directors
NALMS is a product of devoted individuals volunteering their time and efforts as officers and directors to advance the NALMS’ mission. Thank you outgoing officer and directors!
- Chris Mikolajczyk, Past President
- Beth Norman, Region 3
- Victoria Chraibi, Region 6
- David Casaletto, Region 7
- Trea Nance, Region 8
- Lauren Knose, Student Director
The Secchi Disk Award
The Secchi Disk Award is given annually to recognize and honor the NALMS member who has made the most significant contributions to the goals and objectives of the society.
Dr. Imad Hannoun
Nominated by Todd Tietjen, Southern Nevada Water Authority
I would like to nominate Imad Hannoun for the NALMS Secchi Disk Award based on his long term commitment to the mission of NALMS, expanding the quality and success of numerical modeling as a tool in lake management, and service to the success of NALMS.
Imad served as a Board of Directors member of both NALMS and CALMS (California Lake Management Society). In these roles Imad was a leader of the last NALMS Symposium in California (San Diego), helping NALMS to host a popular and intellectually successful conference in the face of a government shutdown that severely limited opportunities to participate. In his roles with CALMS, he organized state level meetings that have helped grow the lake management community in a region of the country that has historically been grossly underrepresented in the overall NALMS membership. Imad was a leading voice on the Board of Directors from 2010 to 2015, a period where NALMS finances were severely stressed. Imad’s experience leading his own business brought guidance, a unique perspective and coordinated information gathering that was critical to developing our plans to return NALMS to a secure financial footing. Since 2014, Imad has chaired the Publications committee, taking the lead role in recruiting, interviewing and securing editors for LakeLine and Lake and Reservoir Management. Imad has also negotiated the last 2 contracts with the Lake and Reservoir Management publisher, ensuring that NALMS interests are respected.
As lake and ecosystem modeler, Imad has advanced the discipline significantly and represents the best of environmental modeling. Imad has been at the forefront of advancing model implementation from relatively simple 2 dimensional models to more appropriate 3 dimensional models. He has also worked to incorporate measures of uncertainty into the predictions his models produce. He is not willing to simply present a model result as “the answer”, he has worked to present clients with measures of variability and confidence for results to ensure that decisions are based on the best possible information.
Imad has also played a leading role in lake and water resources management in the western United States. Imad’s modeling was used to guide site selection in Lake Mead for the development of a new drinking water intake. Imad’s results were the basis for the placement of the $1.35 billion project ensuring that the placement of the intake would provide high quality water for the drinking water treatment process under a wide variety of conditions. Imad has also been critical in conducting the modeling for a $1.5 billion water reuse project that is critical for the continued water supply in San Diego and, in a separate project, modeling water quality in a California pump storage project that helps expand hydropower options. While I am most familiar with Imad’s work in Region 9, he has worked on projects across North America that are summarized on his company’s website
Imad has been an important player in NALMS and lake management, expanding the discipline in directions that will provide benefits moving forward.
Jim Flynn Outstanding Corporation Award
The Jim Flynn Outstanding Corporation Award is given annually to recognize and honor the corporation considered to have made the most significant contributions to NALMS goals and objectives.
Nominated by Todd Tietjen, Southern Nevada Water Authority
I am nominating Arion Consultants for the Jim Flynn Outstanding Corporation Award to recognize their efforts supporting the goals of NALMS, advancing science-based watershed management, and contributing to the continued success of NALMS as an effective organization. Arion Consulting provides leadership to the Indiana Lake Management Society, ensuring NALMS has a successful partner in this part of the country where lake management not only impacts local water quality, but also contributes to water quality and nutrient loading management that has impacts on a continental scale.
Arion works with land/lake owners, lake associations, municipalities, agriculture, and other interested members of the community to monitor and assess environmental quality, plan watershed management activities, conduct public meetings reach out to groups to conduct public environmental education and outreach.
Arion Consultants is a leader in environmental and water quality monitoring and management in the region and represents the pinnacle of how environmental consulting can meet the needs of diverse interest groups. In addition to their important work with clients, Arion Consulting has provided direct support to the operation and success of NALMS by providing Sara Peel with the time and freedom to serve NALMS in a variety of roles. Sara has had the flexibility to dedicate thousands of hours over the years to support NALMS. Sara has served NALMS as a Regional Director, Secretary, President, Past President, and most recently Conference Coordination. Sara was a key player in guiding NALMS through financial hardships, helping with redeveloping strategic planning, recruiting “fresh blood” to the Board of Directors, and carrying out desperately needed updates to the Policy and Operating documents. Sara has the most extensive knowledge and understanding of NALMS policies and procedures and has the most comprehensive knowledge of the past 20 years of NALMS history. While Sara’s knowledge of NALMS can be intimidating to some, she has provided stability based in the history of the organization that has helped NALMS maintain its focus and success guiding lake management. Most recently Sara has moved into the role of conference coordination, facilitated by the freedom provided by Arion. Sara and Arion have provided NALMS with hundreds of hours of time for pennies on the dollar of a typical conference planning service, extensive knowledge of conference planning, and ongoing improvements of NALMS finances. Sara guided NALMS through two online conferences, led the Minneapolis conference, which was the first return to in-person and hybrid conferencing, and worked with Staff and Jeff Schloss to lead the 2023 National Water Quality Monitoring Council Conference. This is incredibly important as NALMS is heavily reliant on conferences to bolster its finances and remain successful. The importance of conferences to NALMS mission and finances would suffer without the commitment of Arion to the success of NALMS. Arion has demonstrated their commitment to water quality, environmental management, community education and the success of ILMS and NALMS and represents the paragon of corporate responsibility.
Leadership & Service Award:
Community Education & Outreach
Awards individuals or teams for design, facilitation, or performance of exceptional education and outreach activities supporting community understanding and appreciation of lake and reservoir management.
Alberta Lake Management Society
Nominated by Carolyn DuBois, DataStream
We’re delighted to nominate Alberta Lake Management Society (ALMS) for the prestigious Community Education and Outreach award. Through working with ALMS, we at DataStream have seen the value of their work and the positive impact they have on community understanding and appreciation for lake management across Alberta.
Through their LakeWatch monitoring programs, ALMS collect data and information to increase the knowledge of lake functions and management options. They also disseminate information about all aspects of lake management in Alberta.
The winter LakeKeepers initiative is particularly unique and valuable as water quality data is collected all year. The program sees volunteers independently monitoring lakes or reservoirs for parameters important to ecological health. Anyone can help monitor their favorite lake. Before heading out, ALMS prepares LakeKeepers with training manuals and equipment.
Historically, winter water data is harder to collect because winter sampling requires special equipment and skills, such as knowing how to be safe on the ice. But winter water data is very important – like measuring ice thickness, temperature and dissolved oxygen using a probe. Volunteers collect water samples that are sent to a lab and analyzed for parameters such as phosphorous, nitrogen, phytoplankton, and salt levels.
The data LakeKeepers collect is incredibly valuable – for example, with winter often a stressful time for fish, low oxygen levels can cause die-offs for certain species. Monitoring oxygen can help understand changes in fish populations between years. As well, salt levels in lakes change in the winter and measuring changes in salt in the winter can help monitor problems like road salt pollution.
Winter LakeKeeper data is shared on DataStream’s open access platform, making it freely available anyone to use.
All of this information can benefit communities surrounding the lakes, from helping determine which lakes could benefit from management activities to identifying lakes that could potentially support viable fisheries. Maintaining management practices with high quality data will help ensure that things like drinking water, swimming, and fishing activities will be safe and protected for years to come.
The impact of the Winter LakeKeepers program is detailed in reports for each season. Dipping into the Winter 2021-22 report gives a revealing snapshot of its fabulous reach – 66 sites were sampled on 52 different lakes, from the Oldman watershed in southern Alberta to the Peace watershed in the north of the province. There were multiple sampling sites per lake, and multiple sampling events at specific sites on lakes.
However, perhaps the most impressive stat is the people involved – 70 volunteers and partners contributing over 600 hours of sampling. The program engages the community – facilitating their understanding and appreciation of lakes.
The program is still growing – there was an approximate 30% increase in sampling events relative to the previous winter. In the future, increased sampling frequency and repeat sampling will give further insight into winter seasonal trends and dynamics.
ALMS are doing valuable and innovative work, engaging the community in their water bodies and improving monitoring and management. With the winter LakeKeepers just one of their exceptional programs, ALMS is deserving of this award.
Nominated by Kathy Peterson, Chair Emeritus, Barnes Lake Management District Steering Committee
Gary Bodeutsch moved to Barnes Lake in 1975 when he was still in his 20’s. The lake was beautiful then, and he and his family enjoyed many years of recreation on the lake. In the late 1980’s non-native lilies and noxious weeds were introduced to the lake, and they quickly became an infestation. Gary and others rallied to pull vegetation out by hand. When that proved futile, he led a group to collect money to contract for lake treatment, which was very successful. These efforts ultimately resulted in a petition for the City of Tumwater to form the Barnes Lake Management District, which was established in 2005. Gary became a member of the BLMD Steering Committee in 2007 and has served as Chair of this committee since 2016.
The BLMD Steering Committee is nominating Gary Bodeutsch for a Volunteer Leadership and Service award because of his long-time commitment to improving the health of Barnes Lake. He is one of the few who remembers the lake as a clear body of water, where families could enjoy fishing, swimming and boating. When volunteers are needed to conduct monthly water sampling, he is the first to volunteer.
In addition to being a hands-on leader, Gary is a visionary and recognizes the need for dependable long-term funding for the LMD. He led the Steering Committee in proposing an annual increase in funding for the remaining 15 years of the current term of the LMD. Newcomers to the lake often fail to realize the effort and resources that are necessary to maintain a healthy lake. He is also very sensitive about preserving areas for wildlife. Gary’s skill as a teacher has been a significant factor in his ability to get people to see the investment that is needed for the future. He put together a very informative presentation of what the lake has looked like over time, beginning with early aerial photos, and on to the present. This approach was very persuasive, and the additional funding has been assured.
In the words of other BLMD Steering Committee members:
“Gary was a member of a small group formed to organize neighbors to care for Barnes Lake in the 1990s. They went door-to-door explaining the need to control the non-native lily pad infestation and collecting money to put a treatment plan into action. It wasn’t easy to convince people to contribute, but Gary was persuasive and brought others along. This resulted in two years of treatment and planted the seed for the later Lake Management District.”
“Gary Bodeutsch has chaired our Lake Management group for several years. In his leadership of our group, he has been level-headed and low-key, encouraging input from all. I’d call him more of a facilitator than a chairman. He is knowledgeable about our lake’s issues, and about the concerns of lake area residents. He has been an important part of improving the health and maintenance of Barnes Lake.”
“Gary has always been a calm presence and a voice of reason. People listen to Gary because we all know his comments are both thoughtful and helpful. He has a love of Barnes Lake that runs deep. When I suggested we put together a lighted boat parade on the lake for Christmas, Gary has been one of my most enthusiastic participants – decorating his canoe with a beautiful lighted angel.”
Advancements in Lake Management Techniques
Living Lakes Canada
Nominated by Andy Miller, Deputy Director, Living Lakes Canada
Climate change has garnered public awareness over decades and poses significant threats to lakes with rising temperatures and shifting precipitation patterns. Living Lakes Canada (LLC) is bringing awareness to these challenges and seeking community solutions. Various programs; the National Lake Blitz (LB), Action for Healthy Watersheds (A4HW) and Foreshore Integrated Management Planning (FIMP), challenge existing protocols by bringing about new methods and techniques. Braiding Indigenous Knowledge with Western science, Lake programming is fostering a coordinated and progressive approach to gather long term data on lake health. By accurately tracking impacts to lakes we are better positioned to assess the rate of change and adapt to impacts.
FIMP utilizes drone footage and mapping tools to inventory shoreline habitats, assess habitat value and establish Foreshore Development Guidelines. LLC has helped facilitate 15 FIMP surveys within BC and Alberta. FIMP arose from the need to reduce climate risks by protecting high carbon resources; lakes, wetlands and vegetated riparian zones, and to conserve critical habitat. When FIMP’s effectiveness was assessed, LLC identified the need to better prioritize Indigenous Knowledge and cultural values into the framework. As a step towards Reconciliation, in 2021 LLC partnered with the Upper Nicola Band to launch a project identifying opportunities within the protocol to prioritize Indigenous Knowledge and cultural values. The result was a co-developed and dynamic, precedent-setting methodology which is being applied in 2023. This refined method provides a template for future use throughout British Columbia and Canada. This project serves as an example of how applied Indigenous Knowledge may be revered as an essential aspect of environmental conservation initiatives.
Action for Healthy Watersheds (A4HW) supports and builds capacity for communities across Canada to protect their watersheds. The success of this program led to a collaboration with the Yukon Government to fill knowledge gaps on lake water quality in the territory. LLC hopes to utilize their innovative technologies to address data gaps through community-based water monitoring led by First Nations communities. Alongside communities and local groups, LLC aims to address water concerns such as water security, climate adaptation and awareness of watershed health in the Yukon.
While many individual monitoring programs exist across Canada, not many span provinces and territories to provide an overall snapshot of lake health. The National Lake Blitz gives people a barrier-free opportunity to act, making citizen scientists part of a solution. The LB is an innovative program which was developed to mainstream water stewardship and education, and help communities understand the impacts of climate change. The LB offers free citizen science opportunities by gathering temperature and photo observations on local lakes. LLC provides the tools, training, and support to get volunteers connected and subsequent data creates a national dataset of lake temperature and biodiversity. This data is shared on open source platforms and is accessible to decision makers and the public.
The Lakes Team at LLC deserves to be appreciated for their innovative efforts to actively involve communities and FN groups in climate solutions. These opportunities provide hope for people who are often daunted by the impacts to their water resources in the face of an uncertain future.
Lake Management Success Stories
Awarded to individuals or organizations accomplishing successful lake management efforts. Nominees must show demonstrable improvements in lake conditions through lake and watershed management.
Nominated by Sara Windjue, Extension Lakes, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Chute Pond is a 440-acre lake 45 miles northwest of Green Bay in Oconto County. The lake was formed by the construction of Chute Pond Dam on the Oconto River in 1937. Its shoreline is now home to a YMCA camp, many summer homes, a public campground and a county park and is enjoyed by many throughout northeast Wisconsin. A key member of the group maintaining the health of Chute Pond is Floyd Schmidt.
Floyd and his wife, Edith, bought their property on the lake in 2003. After extensive renovations, the family moved year-round to Chute Pond in 2011. Shortly thereafter, Floyd became involved with the Chute Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District, serving as treasurer from 2012 to 2017, and as chairman since.
In 2012, Floyd assisted with an aquatic plant survey on Chute Pond. He very quickly learned the ropes of aquatic plant management including becoming an expert on plant identification. Since 2012, Floyd has been a great leader for the holistic management of Chute Pond. With Floyd leading the charge and working closely with the Oconto County Land Conservation Office and the Department of Natural Resources, Chute Pond has installed over 20 Healthy Lakes shoreline practices, including fish sticks, rain gardens, native plantings, diversions, and infiltration practices.
Floyd is very active in other aspects of the lake’s health as well including the Clean Boats, Clean Waters Program, Wisconsin’s watercraft inspection program that provides a frontline defense against the spread of aquatic invasive species; water quality sampling; and the control of Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM). Regarding EWM, he managed a winter drawdown in 2016, coordinated several herbicide treatments with and without the use of limno curtains, participated in dye monitoring studies, performed residual herbicide sampling and operated and maintained two harvesters.
Under Floyd’s guidance, the district has received numerous grants from Oconto County as well as 14 from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource which supported projects such as lake management planning, EWM and Curly Leaf Pondweed control, Healthy Lakes projects, Clean Boats, Clean Waters, and education to riparian property owners. As an active member of the Oconto County Lakes and Waterways Association, Floyd was part of the group that convinced the county board the importance of protecting the lakes, which led to Oconto County setting aside $230,000 for a Healthy Lakes cost share program. Because of this designated funding, multiple other lakes in Oconto County have participated in healthy shoreline practices.
WI DNR Lakes Biologist, Brenda Nordin, states, “Floyd has been a great leader for the holistic management of Chute Pond. … Chute Pond is in good hands with Floyd and his hard work has laid the foundation for the health of the lake well into the future.”