Alaina is a Research Assistant for the Institute of Water Research. Alaina’s love for water and the environment began at a very early age, growing up on the northern shores of Lake Huron. As a young girl, her summers were spent swimming and fishing in these waters, while enjoying the laid-back lifestyle of living in a small beach town. It wasn’t until she entered college at Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) that she realized “her lake” and many others were in grave danger. As an intern at the Saginaw Bay Environmental Science Institute (SBESI), Alaina gained a firm understanding of the impact that human activities such as farming can have on water quality when a proper balance is not maintained.
Upon graduating from SVSU, Alaina continued her education at Michigan State University (MSU), receiving her Master’s degree in Community Sustainability. During this time she also worked as an intern with the Institute of Water Research (IWR), where she focused on working with farmers in the River Raisin Watershed. Alaina’s research focuses on helping farmers to better understand the impact that their farming practices may have on water quality, and providing them with data specific to their fields to help them improve farm management when needed. This has been accomplished through finding cost-effective ways to provide water quality data to farmers who can then review their data through an easy-to-use online interface.