Hubbard County SWCD hires two water quality specialists
The Hubbard County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) welcomed two new staff members.
Alicia Gohmann is a full-time water quality resource technician.
“Hubbard County has a lot of water, in the first place,” she said. “I think it’s really important, with all of the groundwater issues going on lately, with nitrates and phosphates, to study where that’s going, especially in the watersheds. I love being outdoors as well.”
Gohmann grew up on a dairy farm in Clearwater, Minn., located south of St. Cloud. She earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies at Bemidji State University, with emphases in geohydrology as well as environmental and health toxicology, and a minor in geology.
Her previous work experience includes an internship at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center in Spicer, where she taught environmental classes. She also worked on a research project at the Pinewood oil spill site, north of Bemidji, tracking the oil plume in the groundwater.
At SWCD, Gohmann is currently working on a surface water assessment grant project with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. She is testing 15 lakes and two streams this year to see if phosphorus, chlorophyll or other pollutants are leaching into the water.
Peter Jacobson was hired as a part-time water quality resource, research and easement specialist.
“My passion is lakes. Conserving the wonderful lakes we have in this region is something I feel very strongly about,” he said. “Hubbard County is a special place. The lakes and rivers of Hubbard County are as good as anywhere in the state, so it’s really an honor to work to help to maintain them.”
Originally from Moorhead, Jacobson went to the University of Minnesota, earning a bachelor’s degree in fisheries and a master’s degree at Michigan State University.
He worked at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fisheries as a research biologist for 32 years.
“Most of those years were in Detroit Lakes at the fish hatchery there,” he said, “but the last several years I’ve worked out of Park Rapids. I was in the fisheries research unit, so I did special projects all over the state.”
In his new role at the SWCD, Jacobson will help implement the One Watershed, One Plans.
Clean Water Fund grants are available. “Quite a bit of it is going to be slated for Hubbard County, so I’m going to help with that effort.”
In the One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) program, local governments combine information from their existing water plans, data from state water agencies, and input from federal agencies, nonprofit organizations and citizen stakeholders. The resulting plans identify actions that address the largest threats and provide the greatest environmental benefits to high-priority water resources. Hubbard County has partnered with neighbors to craft 1W1P for the Leech Lake River, Crow Wing River and Mississippi River Headwaters watersheds.
These three plans “will be phased in over the next several years,” said Jacobson, adding he’s eager to work with local lake associations and other people interested in water quality.