WGNHS alumnus Anna Fehling (now a hydrogeologist at the Wisconsin DNR) and WGNHS hydrogeologist David Hart received the 2022 John C. Frye Memorial Award in Environmental Geology for their report Potential Effects of Climate Change on Stream Temperature in the Marengo River Headwaters (WGNHS Bulletin 115).
The Frye Award is given annually by the Association of American State Geologists (AASG) and the Geological Society of America (GSA). It is awarded to a nominated environmental geology paper published in the last three calendar years by either GSA or a state geological survey. Authors of the honored publication receive a shared $1000 prize and individual certificates. The award was established in 1989 in memory of John C. Frye, a glacial geologist by training who served as the director of the Kansas Geological Survey (1945-1954), the chief of the Illinois State Geological Survey (1954-1974), and the Executive Director of the GSA (1974-1982). Frye’s work is considered influential in the growth of environmental geology as a field of study. As such, the Frye Award’s selection criteria require nominated papers to present a practical application of geological or hydrogeological principles to address an environmental problem.
The winning WGNHS report focused on the Marengo River’s groundwater-fed headwater streams, a watershed in northern Wisconsin’s Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest that has historically been a habitat for cold-water trout species. Fehling and Hart used field measurements and models of groundwater flow and stream temperature to evaluate how climate changes are likely to affect groundwater discharge and stream temperatures. Because cold-water trout survival is dependent on the temperature of their habitat, these climatic effects on stream temperatures have implications for trout management. The written report is accompanied by a groundwater flow model, a geodatabase of three baseflow scenarios with map plates for each scenario, and field data, all of which are available to download.