The Oregon Lakes Association as part of its scholarship and outreach commitment offers an annual $1000 academic scholarship, plus up to $200 travel expenses to OLA's annual conference. Interested applicants should be enrolled (or will be enrolled by the time the award is accepted) in an Oregon college or university graduate program in a field related to the study of Oregon lakes, ponds or reservoirs and their watersheds. An applicant may also be enrolled in a graduate college or university graduate program outside of Oregon if the study project will involve Oregon lakes, ponds or reservoirs. Download the full scholarship announcement for 2017!
Congratulations to our 2017 academic scholarship winner - Christina (Chrissy) A. Murphy, a PhD Candidate in the Department of Fisheries & Wildlife at Oregon State University.
After a year-long Fulbright research project on the ecology of intertidal crabs, Chrissy focused back on the sweet study of ‘agua dulce’ (freshwater) ecosystems for her Masters at the University of Girona (Spain) and her current PhD studies at Oregon State University. In Chrissy’s words:
“I returned to Oregon after first meeting my present-day advisor while working on my Masters in Spain. The Pacific Northwest provides excellent models in which to study limnology and the effects of hydropower and reservoir management because we have reservoirs formed by large, high-head dams, relatively uniform in age, size and biotic composition and managed for multiple uses, including hydropower, recreation, and conservation. In addition, we have a range of land use practices, cultural, ecological and economic icons such as salmonids and an amazing infrastructure for aquatic studies. This is a very exciting time to be working in reservoirs, especially with larger questions such as upstream-downstream linkages and stream-terrestrial connections. Modern tools are finally making quantification, analysis and interpretation of these complex linkages possible. I have been drawn to applied ecology both for my love of natural systems, but also through my enjoyment of mathematics, programming, and statistics. My thesis brings my knowledge and skills back to work in systems fundamental to the resource structure of the Pacific Northwest, and continues my academic path with a research plan that is ideally suited to my skills and interests.”
More specifically Chrissy’s studies aim to understand the ecology of Willamette basin reservoirs and how the application of different water level regimes affects 1) trophic relationships within reservoir food webs (using natural abundance of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) stable isotope ratios as well as a limited number of sulfur (δ34S) samples), 2) water quality (nutrient and physical parameters), and 3) phytoplankton and zooplankton communities which support listed juvenile salmonids.
Her research is focused on four reservoirs in the Willamette Basin: Blue River, Fall Creek, Lookout Point and Hills Creek. Within each reservoir, from 2013-2016, her group measured nutrient concentrations, dissolved oxygen, temperature, chlorophyll a, and light transmission. These data were collected at multiple depths and fixed locations at the start, middle, and end of full pool. They also sampled fish, zooplankton, and aquatic macroinvertebrates. Outfall water samples and zooplankton were collected during drawdown periods to examine exports and annual nutrient budgets.
Chrissy credits her early interest in fishes, invertebrates and aquatic biology to an apprenticeship before college, working for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Her current research started out as a study of the effects of dam management on the growth and survival of juvenile Chinook Salmon. It has become a broad project on physical, chemical and biological conditions within upper Willamette Basin reservoirs and how all of those factors interact. She initially set out to improve our understanding of how hydrological alterations impact fishes, and ended up working across variables. Chrissy now considers herself a reservoir limnologist, in the mold of G.E. Hutchinson.
2018 Scholarship Donation Goal
Thus far OLA has provided $6,840 in scholarships and travel expenses to the recipients. Please consider donating to the Scholarship Fund today, so we can sustain this program well into the future. Please consider donating today!
In recognition of some of our recent donors...Thank You!