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NEWS

July 16, 2012

RSU Becomes GRDA Partner in Conservation and Restoration

Rogers State University is now a Grand River Dam Authority Partner in Conservation and Restoration, which will provide research and learning opportunities for RSU faculty, staff and students.

RSU will gain access to the state-of-the-art water quality laboratory at the Ecosystems Education Center on Grand Lake.

In return, RSU faculty and students will conduct pertinent conservation and restoration research endeavors within the Grand Lake watershed.

"RSU's partnership with GRDA will provide a tremendous hands-on learning opportunity for our students, along with some very interesting research opportunities for our faculty," said Dr. Keith Martin, dean of the RSU School of Mathematics, Science and Health Science.

Martin is currently engaged in research with GRDA that will provide data identifying foraging corridors along Hudson Reservoir principle tributaries used by the endangered gray bat.

GRDA has hosted seven summer interns from RSU during the previous five years, including Kaitlyn Lunk of Adair who was recently pictured in the Tulsa World as part of a story covering GRDA's water quality monitoring efforts. GRDA has roughly 70,000 surface acres of water under its control and monitors the waters of Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir on a regular basis.

Meagan Stewart of Oologah is serving as a GRDA intern for her second summer. She will graduate in December 2012 with a general biology degree in environmental conservation and real world experience that includes diverse remediation and restoration research projects.

GRDA was created by the legislature as a conservation and reclamation district for the waters of the Grand River. Its Ecosystems Management Department was established in 2004 to bring a greater focus to lake management issues, allowing GRDA to be a good steward of the natural resources under its control. RSU faculty and students will help GRDA accomplish its mission by providing experience and knowledge for conducting sound research and implementation of conservation and restoration activities or projects.

"It would be fair to call RSU and GRDA a natural fit. GRDA has employed several RSU alumni and provides internships to RSU students every summer. Furthermore, RSU provides programs which focus on areas vital to the GRDA mission," said Justin Alberty, corporate communications director for GRDA.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma's state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Directly or indirectly, GRDA's low-cost, reliable; electricity serves nearly 500,000 homes in Oklahoma and stretches into 75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA's 500 employees continue to produce the same "power for progress" that has benefited the state for 75 years.