I spent the first twenty years of my career evaluating environmental resources, assessing environmental impacts, and verifying and optimizing remedial system performance associated with solid, hazardous and nuclear wastes. I am now a Research Fellow with the University of Minnesota's Natural Resources Research Institute, at the Ely Field Station. I use algae as indicators of various environmental parameters. For the Great Ships Initiative ballast water treatment testing program, I assist in determining whether treatment methods are effective in exterminating potentially invasive phytoplankton in ships’ ballast water in accordance with state, federal and worldwide standards. For the USEPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) Great Lakes Monitoring Program, I assist in characterizing and evaluating phytoplankton communities throughout the Great Lakes which are used to track shifts in the offshore biological community related to natural and anthropogenic influences. I am learning diatom taxonomy in more detail to aid in the analyses of phytoplankton and sediment cores from lakes to aid in tracking local and global stressor effects and the sensitivity of lakes to these stressors. Our findings will provide support for and encourage sustainable environmental practices.