SNR Student Spotlight: Emilee Lachenmeier

Emilee Lachenmeier | Courtesy photo
Emilee Lachenmeier | Courtesy photo

Emilee Lachenmeier doesn’t hesitate to take on many things — and with majors in meteorology and hydrology, and with a math minor, the SNR student spotlight of the week does just that.

Lachenmeier, a fifth-year senior from Lincoln, North Dakota, started as a meteorology major in the College of Arts and Sciences. She added the water science major with the School of Natural Resources in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources to concentrate in hydrology.

“It’s been really cool that I get to do a cross collaboration between the two colleges,” she said.

Lachenmeier realized she liked the processes that occurred after the big storm more than the actual storm. With hydrology, Lachenmeier uses math to look at water flow amounts and values and runoff from different systems.

“I’m very mathematical, so I like the tangibility of that kind of science,” she said.

For her thesis, Lachenmeier works under Steven Thomas using CIPS analogs to predict flooding and drought probabilities. The analogs give her probabilities of precipitation above a certain threshold.

“The data is already there; it’s just my job to go in and compare it to our system averages in the area,” she said.

She also uses GIS to cross analyze and other programming languages to do calculations. Lachenmeier’s experience with CIPS helped her with her first internship two years ago at the River Forecast Center in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

“I really got to use CIPS there heavily, so I learned a lot more about the database and that helped finesse my thesis project,” she said.

Last summer, Lachenmeier worked for the North Dakota Department of Health doing stream and river assessments for the EPA. She stepped into her waders and did water sampling, field measurements, chemistry samples, bug samples, and physical habitat management.

“That was really awesome to actually get out in the field and realize how much I do really like it,” she said.

Lachemeier plans to graduate in December and go to graduate school. In the future, she hopes to do fieldwork for the state or federal government.

For now, Lachenmeier works to get other students involved with UNL with her job in the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s office.

“I meet with prospective students and show them how much Nebraska has helped me through my experiences and encourage them to come here as well,” she said.

Alli Dickey, for SNR