Abby Schmeichel

Abby Schmeichel

2020 BSWC Member

Abby Schmeichel

Abby identifies water creatures with a local school group

Site Supervisor: Monica Elser, FLBS Education Liaison
Current Position: Big Sky Watershed Corps Member at Lake County Conservation District in Ronan, MT

2020 Big Sky Watershed Corps Member Abby Schmeichel joined the Bio Station’s Flathead Lake Aquatic Research Education (FLARE) K-12 Program for the 2020 season. When the arrival of an unprecedented pandemic disrupted initial plans for Abby to share FLARE K-12’s “Be Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Aware” curriculum during many in-person field trips and community outreach events, Abby quickly and effectively transitioned her approach. Instead of connecting with Flathead area classrooms through in-person activities, Abby helped create innovative new virtual programs to bring FLBS research to local K-12 students and teachers. These programs included the implementation of an online Earth Day Art Project competition, and the development of an educational AIS sampling video.

Abby also created new AIS lessons for future Mussel Walk events, and developed an interactive FLBS campus nature walk that will continue to be part of the educational programming at FLBS for years to come. She also shared FLARE educational material with a variety of small groups of students of different ages, participated in a teacher workshop, assisted with AIS sampling on Flathead Lake, and provided important AIS information with Plein Air artists visiting FLBS.

Abby’s experience as a BSWC Member was so positive, that she is currently gaining another year of professional experience as a BSWC member with the Lake County Conservation District.

“Abby did an excellent job with educational programming at FLBS, especially with the changing COVID environment, and successfully met the variety of unanticipated tasks that were part of the very challenging year of 2020.” ~ Monica Elser