Katherine L. Barrett Adjunct Professor
What is a watershed, and why should we care? All life depends on clean water, and each of us has an impact on downstream water quality, even if the nearest body of water is out of sight. Ensuring the vitality of our water resources for future generations of humans and wildlife starts with a properly designed water quality monitoring program that spans a watershed scale and can address and mitigate sources of impairment. As the program coordinator at the St. Joseph River Basin Commission, my research focuses on synthesizing and interpreting temporal and spatial trends in water quality of the St. Joseph River and its surrounding tributaries. Current projects include analyzing fish and macroinvertebrate indexes of biotic integrity, legacy contaminants in fish, water chemistry, and changes in land cover, specifically wetland loss. I also am involved in the development of a web map that displays all available water quality data for the St. Joseph River Basin that can be used by local government and for education and outreach efforts in raising watershed stewardship awareness.
When I am not working on understanding vast amounts of data, I bring my passion for ecology and watershed stewardship into the classroom. My teaching is deeply rooted in the watershed philosophy, in that I challenge students to find and describe connections between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, human activities, and implications of alterations to the water and land on public health. In my role as watershed ecologist and instructor, I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to aquatic ecology and environmental science courses at Holy Cross College, and to engage students in my research through internships at the St. Joseph River Basin Commission.
- Adjunct Professor of Biology, University of Notre Dame
- Instructor of Biology, Holy Cross College
- Watershed Ecologist & Program Coordinator, St. Joseph River Basin Commission
- Graduate Research Assistant & UNDERC Fellow, University of Notre Dame (2016-2020)
- Ph.D., University of Notre Dame (2021)
- M.S., SUNY Brockport, Brockport, NY (2015)
- B.S., Nazareth College of Rochester, Rochester, NY (2013)
Selected Professional Activities
- ESA Commitment to Human Diversity in Ecology Subcommittee
- Oceanbites author (2016 – 2020) https://oceanbites.org/author/kbarrett/
- Barrett, K.L., & G. E. Belovsky. 2020. Invertebrates and phytoplankton: is salinity the driving factor? In Baxter, B.K. and Butler, J.K. Eds. Great Salt Lake Biology: A Terminal Lake in a Time of Change. Springer, Netherlands https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-40352-2_6
- Anderson, N. L., K. L. Barrett, S. E. Jones, and G. E. Belovsky. 2020. Microbialite response to salinity, temperature, and nutrients (Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA). Hydrobiologia https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-020-04235-9.
- Bailey Barrett, K., J. M. Haynes, and D. I. Warton. 2017. Thirty years of change in a benthic macroinvertebrate community of southwestern Lake Ontario following successive invasions by four Ponto-Caspian species. Freshwater Science 36:90-102.
- Barrett, K. L. 2022. Greater Elkhart Stormwater Partnership Surface Water Monitoring Draft Report: Long-term trends in water quality (2010 – 2021). Drafted for the Greater Elkhart County Stormwater Partnership, Elkhart County, IN. 43 pp. https://sjrbc.com/resources/monitoring/index.html
- Bailey Barrett, K., J. Haynes and J. Maharan. 2017. Population and Habitat Characteristics of the Pugnose Shiner (Notropis anogenus) in Embayments of the St. Lawrence River, New York. 2016 Data Report for Project #2005-0129-04, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fish Enhancement, Mitigation and Research Fund. 14 pp.
- Haynes, J., J. Maharan and K. Bailey Barrett. 2016. Population and Habitat Characteristics of the Pugnose Shiner (Notropis anogenus) in Embayments of the St. Lawrence River, New York. 2015 Data Report for Project #2005-0129-04, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fish Enhancement, Mitigation and Research Fund. 12 pp.