News Release

Minnesota Sparks at U of M Crookston

By Elizabeth Tollefson on
Friday, August 25, 2017

September 19th- UMN SPARKS Crookston
Bede Ballroom
2900 University Ave., Crookston, MN 56716
Student Center, UM-Crookston

Hosted by University of Minnesota Regent Tom Anderson

Register for Minnesota Sparks Crookston

For more information, contact Gretchen Ambrosier at

Anthony Schroeder Title: Soaking up the Unknown of Minnesota’s Waters

Anthony Schroeder is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Crookston. He received his Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of North Dakota in 2006. He received his Doctor of Philosophy in Biology from the University of North Dakota in 2012. He did a post-doctorate from 2013-2015 at the United States Environmental Protection Agency in cooperative agreement with the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. This fall, he will be starting his third year as a faculty member at the University of Minnesota Crookston.

Description of Talk: 
Generally, when people think of a sponge, a colorful organism in the ocean or the pad used to clean their cooking pot comes to mind. However, there are also sponges living in our freshwater lakes and rivers. Despite their important connection to the health of freshwater ecosystems, these simplest of animals have, for the most part, been overlooked. Thanks to a grant from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources, a team of four investigators from the University of Minnesota Crookston is learning more about these mysterious animals.
The presentation details the basic characteristics of freshwaters sponges, their preferred habitat, and how the University of Minnesota Crookston’s comprehensive study will ultimately lead to a better understanding of Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, and streams.

John Loegering

Education: B.S. in Biology & Zoology, North Dakota State University, 1988; M.S. in Wildlife Science, Virginia Tech, 1992; PhD in Wildlife Science, Oregon State University, 1997. Certified Wildlife Biologist, 2001.

Professor & Extension Wildlife Specialist, jointly appointed at the Crookston and St. Paul campuses. I teach courses in vertebrate ecology and management to undergraduate students at UMC. My research interests are in avian ecology, wildlife-habitat relationships, and reproductive performance of birds. I provide wildlife-related components to the Master Gardener program, Minnesota Master Naturalist training, Master Woodland Owner, Pesticide Safety program, and the White Earth summer Science and Mathematics Academy for middle school children.

Description of Talk: 
Wild Times - Engaging citizens to inspire commitment and dedication to wildlife resources.

Interactions with wildlife are ever increasing, as is the need to understand these interactions within a many different contexts. Growing urban centers encroach on wildlife habitat and create conflicts, while citizens living in these centers often seek to attract wildlife to their back yards. Further, some Minnesotan’s are committed to the public good of vibrant natural resources and desire training to further their understanding of Minnesota’s natural areas and how to contribute to citizen-driven science in these areas. Wildlife Extension Specialist and Professor John Loegering will share his passion for wildlife and Minnesotans by highlighting his work with Extension’s Master Gardener, Master Naturalist, Master Woodland Owner, citizen science, local Learning Circles, and Pesticide Safety Programs.

Neil Linscheid

Neil Linscheid is an Extension Educator in the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality. His work is focused on supporting local leaders as they navigate economic changes taking place in their community. His mission is to teach, coach, and connect local leaders as they try to make informed decisions about their community's economic future.
He received his Master’s of Public Policy with a concentration in rural economic development and Bachelor of Political Science degree's from the University of Minnesota. He is also a Ph.D student in the Human Factors and Ergonomics Design at the University of Minnesota

Rewriting the Rural Narrative
It seems the rural story has already been told. Small towns keep getting smaller. Churches, schools, clinics, businesses, and now post offices, have closed their doors as the lucky few migrate out to the big cities. This deficit framework dominates how we discuss and envision our rural communities. However, the story of rural America since 1970 is rich and diverse, with positive trends occurring under the radar. Learn how these important positive changes have been occurring across the rural landscape that require us to rewrite the narrative of rural community change.


Elizabeth Tollefson

University Relations


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