Oklahoma Water Resources Center

Thoughts from a Former ‘Outstanding Graduate Oral Presentation’ Winner

Student Water Conference Accomplished Participants

Thoughts from a Former ‘Outstanding Graduate Oral Presentation’ Winner

Alex McLemore

STILLWATER, Okla. – The Oklahoma Water Resources Center will host the annual Student Water Conference March 23-24, 2017.

“The Student Water Conference is an excellent opportunity to meet students that have a similar passion and to discuss research in a professional setting that is very welcoming to student scientists,” said Alex McLemore, a past winner at the conference.

The doctoral student at Oklahoma State University said that one of the many benefits of attending the conference was receiving feedback.

“Questions raised by students and professionals at the conference helped me identify problems I had not yet thought to consider,” he explained.

McLemore echoes other past participants in saying that the Student Water Conference is extremely beneficial to students seeking critiques and the opportunity to network with others involved in water research. The conference brings together students and faculty with diverse backgrounds from all over the country to solve tomorrow’s water resources needs.

McLemore enjoyed participating in both the 2015 and 2016 conferences. In fact, in 2016, he won the Outstanding Graduate Oral Presentation award with his research project over bioretention cell retrofits in a suburbanneighborhood. His project focused on demonstrating the design and construction of bioretention cells in Oklahoma. The project also covered stormwater monitoring as bioretention cells are one of the low impact development stormwater control measures.

McLemore was grateful to the Oklahoma Water Resources Center, as the Center has allowed him to become more “aware and astute of current water issues and ongoing research in Oklahoma.” Much of the Water Center’s information influences how he interprets his research results while keeping him up-to-date on Oklahoma’s water resources needs.

He explained he came to OSU specifically for the opportunity to study stormwater and the application of low impact development stormwater control.

“Stormwater is often negatively perceived because of severe storms and flooding, but in reality, it is a vital component of the hydrological cycle. I wanted to research stormwater and knew that biosystems and agricultural engineering would provide a mix of soil, water and engineering courses that would help me with my research,” said McLemore.

Through his research, McLemore sought “to demonstrate that bioretention cells can provide ecological benefits and persist through the variable weather patterns in Oklahoma.” During May of 2015, their research site was hit by two major flood events. Through these events the bioretention cells continued to function even though they had been inundated with flood waters. Furthermore, through monitoring, he proved that bioretention cells can be used to reduce phosphorus pollution in stormwater. Pollution control and excessive run off stormwater from suburban and urban areas is an extremely relevant issue in Oklahoma. For example, many streams and lakes in Oklahoma are largely degraded by both pollution and increased stormwater runoff values.

“Without sustainable stormwater management, many ecological benefits we enjoy degrade or completely disappear,” said McLemore.

Student researchers and projects like this one are why the Oklahoma Water Resources Center hosts the Student Water Conference. The Water Center seeks to promote and support the water resources researchers of tomorrow through this conference.

If you are interested in attending the 2017 Student Water Conference, register at www.water.okstate.edu/swc.

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Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures.  This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; phone 405-744-5371; email: eeo@okstate.edu has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity. Any person (student, faculty, or staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154.

REPORTER/MEDIA CONTACT:
Sean Hubbard
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
145 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-4490
Fax: 405-744-5739
Email: sean.hubbard@okstate.edu

REPORTER/MEDIA CONTACT:
Emily E. Horton
Communications Student Worker
Oklahoma Water Resources Center
245 Agriculture Hall
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-5615
Fax: 405-744-5339
Email: emily.e.horton@okstate.edu

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