Building Careers in Lake Management and Freshwater Science: A Student and Early Career Panel Discussion

Monday, November 16 | 17:30 pm – 19:00 pm EST

Calling all students and early career professionals in lake and reservoir management, aquatic science, wetlands, and fisheries: Join this event for a discussion on career building. Here you can meet and ask professionals about jobs in a wide range of sectors including private consulting, government science, and academia. Send any career-related questions you may have for panelists in advance to Liz Favot ( or bring them to discuss at this live event!

Conference registration is not required. NALMS members and non-members are welcome to participate.

A Zoom link has been provided to all registrants; new registrants will receive this info with their confirmation email.

This event has passed. Thank you to our panelists for a wonderful discussion!



Liz Favot is an educator and senior PhD student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and is the Student Director for NALMS. Liz’s research focuses on paleoecology and the environmental drivers for harmful algal blooms. Liz aspires to a career in which she can do science that directly benefits the natural environment.



Rachel Arsenault is a fish clan from Wiikwemkoong Unceded First Nation on Manitoulin Island. She is a second year PhD student in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto. The focus her master’s degree research was water insecurity in First Nations in Ontario and the focus of her Ph.D. research is how First Nation communities can build up their resilience to climate change. She is interested in water and how watersheds and aquatic species are being impacted by climate change.
Michelle Balmer is a limnologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, working to restore lakes through the state’s lake restoration program. Michelle loves her current role with the department, as she has the opportunity to work together with a variety of stakeholders to implement watershed best management practices and in-lake restoration strategies that will benefit the lakes for years to come.
Victoria Chraibi earned her Ph.D. in 2016 and now is an assistant professor of biological sciences at Tarleton State University in Texas. She studies paleolimnology using sedimentary diatom assemblages. Victoria joined NALMS in 2010 and currently represents Region 6 on the Board of Directors.
Ted Harris is an assistant research professor at the Kansas Biological Survey who specializes in harmful cyanobacterial blooms and their associated toxins and taste-and-odor compounds.
Emily Mayer is a Biology Project Manager/Senior Aquatic Biologist with Solitude Lake Management with eight years of experience working in the lake management industry. Emily specializes in lake mapping, water quality and project management. Emily started out as a high school intern at Allied Biological, Inc and became a seasonal biologist while earning her B.S. degree in Biology from Centenary University (New Jersey). She continued her studies at the University of Florida’s online program, while working as a full-time Aquatic Biologist, she earned her M.S. in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences in May of 2020.
Kellie Merrell is an aquatic ecologist with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. She has worked on monitoring Vermont inland lakes for compliance with the Clean Water Act for twenty years. Before that she worked for EPA monitoring estuaries from Maine to Virginia as part of the Mid Atlantic Integrated Assessment, a precursor to the National Coastal Assessment. She has also worked in environmental consulting. She received her M.S. from the University of Maryland studying the effects of turbulence intensity on the growth of the freshwater plant Vallisneria americana. A colleague described her as a binge worker, someone who puts in crazy intense field seasons, because, you can never have too much data!
Sabina Perkins, a NALMS alum since 2013, got the limnology bug while working for a private consulting company, then went on to get her Master’s from the University of New Hampshire studying cyanobacteria and working with the New Hampshire Lakes Lay Monitoring Program, a volunteer monitoring organization. Since February 2020 Sabina has been working for the US Geological Survey studying cyanobacteria blooms in the Finger Lakes region of New York, first as a contractor and now as a Physical Scientist.
Guy Thierry Tenkouano is an environmental scientist by training, currently working as a consultant at Stratos Inc. As a researcher and data analyst, he incorporates his technical and scientific background in the delivery of his work. He has experience with extensive literature reviews, report writing and data analysis. He has also been involved with the development of platforms to foster information sharing and project collaboration between water experts. His proudest moment in his current role was participating in a conversational gathering held in partnership with First Peoples Group in January 2019 as part of the Reconciliation Strategy to create a space for Indigenous Partners and Federal Employees to support meaningful dialogue and stimulate relationship-building.