By Carolyn Rumery Betz
Kathryn (Kate) Ballard, a University of Wisconsin-Madison senior, is the recipient of the 2011 Carl J. Weston Memorial Scholarship. The Weston scholarship, established in 1995, is given annually to an undergraduate student who is involved in a Wisconsin Sea Grant-supported project.
Ballard, a statistics major, has been working with Sea Grant’s David Hart since 2009 on a variety of projects, including the Wisconsin Coastal Guide, improving access to Great Lakes mapping data and coastal hazards efforts supporting the Great Lakes Observing System.
“When Kate first started, I quickly realized that she could handle more advanced responsibilities so I have assigned her more challenging projects with each passing semester,” Hart said.
Ballard presented the results of one of her projects at the International Association for Great Lakes Research meeting in May 2011 in Duluth, Minn. The project aims to generate a better understanding of Great Lakes’s waves through models and observations.
“As a statistics major working at the Sea Grant Institute, I began to think about a future career that could combine statistics and geographic information systems (GIS) skills and apply it to the physical sciences,” said Ballard. “I can see myself in graduate school or a post-college career that uses statistics and GIS to tackle problems of weather, water resources and their interaction.”
Ballard contributed to this website on the Great Lakes natural and man-made attractions.