Interim System Wide Monitoring Coordinator
Joseph Ripley spent his early childhood in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, but moved with his family to Northome, MN, where he graduated from high school. It was in remote Koochiching County that he developed a love of forests and wetlands.
After high school, Joe moved from a town of 300 to New York City; a drastic change to say the least! He spent six years in that great melting pot, where he learned about working with diverse populations and experienced first- hand the efforts that forward-looking NYC is making with regard to sustainability.
Joe earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in December 2015. For the majority of his undergraduate career he worked as a water quality technician with the monitoring coordinator in charge of the LSNERR’s SWMP program. Simultaneously, he worked as a student lab assistant for Dr. Lorena Rios. Joe made presentations at Stevens Point and Milwaukee, and he and a team of researchers working on Dr. Rios’ project traveled to Texas where they presented at the 247th National American Chemical Society meeting in Dallas. While at UWS, he also won a SURF award, which afforded him the opportunity to conduct a research project based on the Lake Superior Watershed in the summer of 2014.
Joe’s research work with Dr. Rios led to his future wife who had recently joined the research team. Many hours spent in the lab searching for microbeads of plastic in fish, sorting & weighing, cataloguing and taking meticulous notes led to one definite result: there was chemistry between Joe and Sapanna. The couple married shortly after Joe graduated from UWS. They are expecting their first child in March.
Joe is currently working on his Master’s degree in Sustainable Management. He continues his work at the NERR, operating the new sondes, doing water quality testing, and data management. He is eager to combine his experience and education in the important work of the NERR and other organizations and institutions dedicated to the health and wellbeing of our life-giving rivers and lakes and wetlands.