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Anna Radke
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Anna is a Physical Science Technician working on cover crops and drainage water nitrate modeling in the Malone lab. She has a BSc in Hydrology with minors in soil science and chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and an MSc in Geology from Idaho State University. Anna is originally from southwestern Wisconsin.


Was there an event or a person who inspired you to become a scientist? 

I can’t really single anyone or any particular event out. I was always a curious kid, and I’ve got scientists in my extended family. I spent a lot of time outside, then coming in and researching what I saw, and I just sort of naturally fell into it.


What attracted you to ARS or the NLAE?

 Agriculture plays major roles in environmental quality, climate change, and the health of human society—so improving it is a priority for anyone concerned about any of those! In grad school I worked with ARS scientists and technicians from the Northwest Watershed Research Center and was introduced to the great work ARS does in this arena. When I came back to the Midwest, finding out that one of the best labs for soil and ag science was more or less on my doorstep was exciting!


What is your favorite aspect of conducting research?

 That brief, shining moment where things come together and you have an answer for a question you’ve been wrestling with for a long time.


If you could achieve any research accomplishment in the next 5-10 years what would it be and why would you choose it? 

Developing efficient nutrient capture and recycling methods. Algal blooms, nitrate in groundwater, dead zones, and the increasing costs of fertilizer mean this is necessary.


Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people who know you? 

I played percussion in concert bands in high school, college, and grad school. I preferred the marimba!