Who we are

Faculty and Staff


Darrell became Professor and Chair of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering in July 2015 and Director of the Institute of Water Research in Feburary 2017.  From 2012- 2015 he was at Maine Maritime Academy as Vice-President-Operations and Research Director.  Darrell began his academic career in 1995 at the University of Maine (UMaine) and was there for 17 years last being professor of chemical engineering and Associate Director of the Forest Bioproducts Research Institute and was affiliated with the Maine Water Research Institute in research. Prior to UMaine he was a process engineer with a private company for nine years between his BS and PhD degrees.

Most recently, Darrell has worked in the realm of food safety, lending his expertise in statistics, modeling and simulation to issues related with chemical and microbial risk assessment.  He was an AAAS Fellow in 2007-08 at DHS focusing on security and health affairs and still consults with the government on security issues related to risk assessment.  He has served on three NAS and international panels addressing food safety.  He currently serves as a consultant to two WHO tendered food safety committees.  Darrell received his BS, MS and PhD from NC State University.  He is an outdoors person; growing up on a farm in NC gave him a unique perspective and important respect for stewardship of the outdoors.


Vicki Anderson is a natural resource specialist with a background in field and watershed level conservation planning and implementation.  Prior to joining the Institute of Water Research, she worked for the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). During her 33 year career with NRCS, Vicki developed and managed the Certified Conservation Planner program; served as River Basin Coordinator for Southeast Michigan, the Thunder Bay River, and the Grand River; and delivered training throughout Michigan based on the Department of Environmental Quality book “Developing a Watershed Management Plan for Water Quality: An Introductory Guide” to which Vicki was a contributor. She is currently facilitating the Michigan Natural Resources Working Group which is a partnership of federal, state and local agencies and organizations with an interest in conserving Michigan’s natural resources.  Vicki also served as project manager for the “Flint River Nutrient Reduction: Focusing Action” project which was funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.  The goal of the project was to increase technical assistance capacity in the watershed to reduce soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP).  One of the products of this project is a tool that enables local technical staff to identify sites in the landscape that are the primary sources of SRP.  Once identified, these sites can be the focus of concerted outreach and technical assistance.

Assistant Director

Jeremiah Asher is the Assistant Director at the Institute of Water Research and has an extensive background in geographic information systems, decision support system development, and natural resource management.  His interest is in web/GIS decision support systems. His most recent activities and research are focused on networking environmental practitioners and communities in the Great Lakes, evaluating wetland treatment of nutrients from agricultural tile drains for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and exploring a groundwater credit trading system for Michigan high capacity water users.

Outreach Specialist

Bo is an Outreach Specialist whose education and work experience lie in urban and regional planning, mostly at the local government level. Since coming to IWR in 2013, he has been actively involved with the improvement and dissemination of courses contained in the Institute’s watershed management certificate program, working with other water resources organization to ensure the courses remain current and delivered in a contemporary manner. He also coordinates outreach activities related to water resource related grants with stakeholders. Bo brings his local government and planning perspective to all IWR activities in which he is involved, and has assisted the Land Policy Institute at MSU with several planning related projects.

Outreach Specialist
Graduate Student

She is a first year student in the community sustainability masters program. While she hasn’t picked a focus yet, she is considering Great Lakes research, policy, or international water policy. Before graduate school, she worked at the Saginaw Bay Environmental Science Institute, and she is continuing similar work at the IWR. She is involved in the “Cooling the Hotspots” project, more specifically setting up water quality monitoring in the River Raisin for the purpose of informing farmers and seeing how the data might change their perspectives on adopting best management practices.

GIS Specialist
GIS Specialist

Jason’s primary work at the IWR has been the development of online GIS applications, such as the Mid-Michigan Health Impact Assessment Tool, to help with ensuring sustainable decision-making at local and regional levels.  He also has worked on the development of the Great Lakes Clean Communities Network and conducted hydrologic modeling in southwestern Michigan using the USGS’s AFINCH model.

He completed both his B.S. in Geographic Information Science (2011) and M.S. in Geographic Information Science (2014) at Michigan State University.

When not thinking about GIS applications, Jason enjoys cycling, reading, and fishing.


Frank consults part time with IWR, offering policy and strategic advice and counsel on major IWR projects. Frank is retired from the State of Michigan where he capped a career of over thirty years as a leader in natural resource and environmental policy including positions Departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources, as an attorney for the U.S. Department of the Interior and as Executive Director of the West Michigan Environmental Council. He has provided program and policy direction on a broad array of issues including Great Lakes and water management, environmental protection, public lands, and fish and wildlife resources. In addition to his role with IWR, Frank is currently an instructor with the Great Lakes Leadership Academy housed at MSU. Frank holds Juris Doctor and Master of Science degrees from the University of Michigan. His undergraduate degree in Political Science is from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. He is a member of the Michigan and Wisconsin Bars.

Research Specialist

Saichon Seedang is Research Specialist focusing on the use of economic tools for improving policy decisions related to water and natural resource management.  Her research, based in both the United States and Southeast Asia, has included designing a market-based policy for groundwater and ecosystem services, an economic valuation of water and ecosystems, and economic analysis of restoring  rivers for aquatic habitats. Saichon received her Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences with focus area in Environmental Resources and Economics from Oregon State University. Currently, she assists IWR with research and consultancy on topics related to economics for water resources, and oversees the online Watershed Concepts course.

Fiscal Officer

Stephanie is currently employed as the unit fiscal officer for the Institute of Water Research, Michigan State University. Her interests are in web development and maintenance with focus on database integration. She is a certified webmaster with a technical specialty from Davenport University.

Water Quality Specialist
Research Associate

Laura contributes significantly to a number of outreach and research initiatives at the Michigan State University Institute of Water Research. She currently co-leads outreach and communication efforts for the Institute’s Great Lakes Clean Communities Network and conducts trainings for the Great Lakes Watershed Management System among other activities. She also assists with software testing and provides user support for various tools developed at the IWR. Her research interests include evaluating environmental decision support systems and strategies for technology transfer and diffusion. She is also deeply committed to building leadership capacity and empowering communities and organizations in the Great Lakes.


United States Geological Survey (USGS)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD)

National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR)

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ)

Michigan Association of Conservation Districts

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR)

Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR)

Michigan State University AgBio Research

Michigan State University Extension (MSUE)

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

North Central Region Water Network

Michigan Water Environmental Association (MWEA)

Michigan Chapter of the North American Lake Management Society (MCNALMS)

Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership (MNSP)

Michigan Inland Lakes Partnership

Michigan Lake and Stream Associations

Michigan Farm Bureau

American Water Resources Association (AWRA)

Tri-County and Regional Planning Commission

Flint River Watershed Coalition