Great Salt Lake Biology: A Terminal Lake in a Time of Change (Hardcover)
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About the Author
Bonnie K. Baxter got her bachelor's degree at Elon University and her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Genetics and Molecular Biology, her graduate research centering on DNA structure and enzymology. Baxter moved to the west for a postdoctoral position at Washington State University, and she investigated the biochemistry and biophysics of chromatin structure in DNA repair. She became a professor at Westminster College in Utah in 1998, where she teaches genetics and astrobiology. Doing research with undergraduates, Baxter turned her molecular skill set towards the unexplored reservoir of microbial communities in Great Salt Lake, becoming an expert on strategies for life at high salinities. She has published studies on photoprotection, DNA repair, microbial diversity, gene expression, and astrobiology of Great Salt Lake halophiles. She directs Great Salt Lake Institute at Westminster and serves on several state committees for the Utah Department of Natural Resources, allowing her to work closely with a host of interdisciplinary researchers working on the lake. Jaimi Butler achieved a bachelor's degree in Fisheries and Wildlife from Utah State University. While in school, her research focused on Great Salt Lake's eared grebes. Following this, Jaimi spent a number of years working for a brine shrimp harvesting company where she studied the population dynamics of Artemia. Butler continued her work on the lake with the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program (Utah Division of Wildlife Resources), where she monitored brine shrimp populations and helped manage the commercial harvest. With Baxter, she started Great Salt Lake Institute (GSLI) at Westminster College in 2008. GSLI is dedicated to research and education on the lake, and Butler has been engaged in both. This includes programs for K -12 teachers, community events, and citizen science projects. She also mentors research with students on Gunnison Island's breeding pelicans, tar seeps as an analogue for animal entrapment over geologic time, and many other collaborative projects with community partners.