Borchelt, who graduated with a master’s degree in geospatial sciences in 2007, is the new executive director of Table Rock Lake Water Quality Inc., an action group working to improve water quality in the Table Rock Lake watershed. The position is a natural fit for Borchelt, who has worked with the organization as a research scientist since her graduation.
“I still do research as I did before. Only now I have the responsibility to represent and lead the organization,” she said.
Boaters, swimmers and fishermen who visit Table Rock may not realize the quality of the water they enjoy is closely monitored and studied by Borchelt and others in her office.
The group also educates children and adults about how they can protect water quality and the health of ecosystems in the lake.
“What we put on the land affects water quality. My job as a conservationist is easier when people have developed a bond with natural places, because then it becomes natural for them to want to protect it. One of my wishes is for every child to get an opportunity to experience life outdoors in a natural, healthy environment. I think this type of experience fills a need, one which we cannot fill in any artificial environment.”
This deep appreciation for nature is part of what attracted Borchelt to the career she has today.
“I have always enjoyed critters and the natural world. When we were young, my brothers and sisters and I used to explore far and wide into the woods and the streams.”
Although she has a bit less time to openly explore flora and fauna, Borchelt continues to enjoy time outdoors through her career, gardening and activities she does with her husband, Joel, and son Eli.