Four individuals/organizations have been announced as the first ever cohort of the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center’s Research Partnership Award. The award recognizes people, groups, and organizations who have gone above and beyond to contribute to MAISRC's mission of advancing aquatic invasive species knowledge and inspiring action to protect and restore Minnesota’s beloved waters. Honorees include Gabriel Jabbour, Justine Dauphinais, Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates (MLRA), and Pelican Lakes Association of Crow Wing County (PLA).
MAISRC, housed at the University of Minnesota, has grown considerably since its creation in 2012. The Center strives to find real world solutions to reduce the impacts of aquatic invasive species on Minnesota’s cherished lakes, rivers, and wetlands. The growth and research findings that have been acquired over the past nine years would not have been possible without the support of dedicated individuals and organizations. In 2021, MAISRC launched the Research Partnership Awards to acknowledge the indispensable role external partners have contributed to the Center’s successes.
All recipients have played pivotal roles in advancing MAISRC as a Center and providing support to individual research projects.
- Jabbour, owner of Tonka Bay Marina on Lake Minnetonka, continually provides MAISRC teams with lake access, resources, and his own personal time and network.
- Dauphinais, a Water Quality Coordinator with the Coon Creek Watershed District, has not only advocated research-based resource management within the CCWD, but has effectively implemented a MAISRC control plan to remove non-native Phragmites to the point of eradication across Anoka County.
- Under the leadership of Jeff Forester, MLRA assisted with MAISRC’s creation and ongoing legislative support, and has been a committed advocate of a science-based approach to AIS management in Minnesota.
- PLA played an instrumental role in MAISRC’s ability to form the Zebra Mussel Research Fellowship, which is focused on developing in-lake control options for zebra mussels.
The MAISRC Research and Partnership Awards were announced at the Center’s annual Research and Management Showcase event on September 22, 2021. Nominations for the award were solicited from MAISRC research teams and partner program staff. Nominations were consolidated and sent to the Center’s Advisory Board for their recommendations. Final selections were made by MAISRC staff and announced at the annual Showcase.
Funding for MAISRC is provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) and the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR), the State of Minnesota, and private donors.
Kristin Loobeek, MAISRC Communications