Jennifer Tank has been named president-elect of the Society for Freshwater Science. The leadership role involves a three-year commitment to the society. She will spend this year “getting her feet wet” as a member of the society’s executive committee before assuming the presidency in May 2018 from current president, Colden Baxter. In her final year, Tank will serve in the past-president role to advise and ease the transition to new leadership.  

She is Galla Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame and director of the Environmental Change Initiative. Tank was raised by a biology teacher along the shores of the Great Lakes and freshwater has long held a special place in her life. While attending Michigan State University, a Stream Ecology course and mentorship by senior scientists first led her to the society.

SFS is an international scientific organization dedicated to studying and promoting further understanding of freshwater organisms and ecosystems, connections between freshwater ecosystems and surrounding landscapes and the physical processes that affect them. Today the society is approaching 1,800 members of varying disciplines across seven regional chapters.

At Notre Dame, Tank also leads the Indiana Watershed Initiative where researchers are exploring how conservation practices like cover crops and restored floodplains can mitigate the influence of agricultural land use on freshwaters. The project engages key partners like local farmers and natural resource managers, conducts watershed-scale experiments on working lands and quantifies the water quality benefits in a real-world setting.