SASES student winners from UWRF 2019

UW-River Falls student winners at the SASES National Conference (left to right) Laura Ringeisen, Paul Tietz, Molly McIlquham, Mitchell Hockbein and Aricka Roberson.

Students earn top placements for research at the SASES National Conference

November 21, 2019 - Twenty UW-River Falls students along with three professors from the Plant and Earth Science Department in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences attended the 2019 Students of Agronomy, Soils and Environmental Sciences (SASES) National Conference, Nov. 10-13 in San Antonio, Texas. In addition to engaging in professional development and educational activities, UWRF students took top placements in several of the undergraduate research contests.

In the Soils and Environmental Science section of the Poster Contest, UW-River Falls secured all three top awards. Placing first was Paul Tietz of Waunakee with his research poster “Determining the Impacts of Land Use Change on Paleolimnological Features.” Aricka Roberson of Mazeppa, Minn., took second with her poster “Implications of Glacial Ice Source Region on Farmland Value in Wisconsin,” and Laura Ringeisen of Red Wing, Minn. came in third with her poster “Assessment of Diurnal and Nocturnal Ichthyoplankton Drift in the Black River.”

“This was my third year participating in a SASES conference,” said Tietz. “Each time, the impact and benefits have multiplied. Being part of UWRF's wins in the poster contest this year was exciting, but I valued the social and professional networking even more than the competition. I came home from San Antonio with solid connections to graduate programs and some great new friends from across the country.”

In the Oral Contest, Molly McIlquham of Chippewa Falls placed second with her presentation “Evaluating Management Practices on Winter Kill of Alfalfa.” For the Visual Presentation Contest in which students submit a PowerPoint video presentation with recorded narration, Mitchell Hockbein of Hudson earned second place for his presentation “Environmental Effect on Leaf Morphology and Adjuvant Performance.” In his research, Hockbein worked with Winfield United at their facility in River Falls to examine the leaf structure of plants grown in the greenhouse and those in the field to see if they are similar enough that testing done on greenhouse plants versus field trials would have little to no margin of error.

National officers were also elected at the conference. UWRF student Leanna Schneider of Foley, Minn., was elected corresponding secretary and will assist with the organization’s social media and publications. Jordyn Bush of Lakeville, Minn., on the other hand, marked the end of her 2019 term as president.

“Serving as the 2019 National President for the Students of Agronomy, Soils, and Environmental Sciences was a great way to round out my senior year,” said Bush. “Getting involved with an organization that had an extremely positive impact on my college career only opened up more opportunities for me to pursue after graduation and I'm very grateful for that!”

For more information, email Plant and Earth Sciences Department Chair Holly Dolliver at

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