Sonja Michaluk

Student: Hopewell Valley Central High School

I have been working in freshwater biology and bioassessment for nearly a decade.


Society for Freshwater Science member since 2014


Selected presentations:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2018, received U.S. Presidential Award

Society for Freshwater Science 2017 Raleigh, USA.

Alliance for Watershed Education & East Coast Greenway 2017, Philadelphia, USA

New York Academy of Sciences 2017, New York, USA

National Geographic Society 2016, Washington, D.C., USA

Society for Freshwater Science 2015, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, USA


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) named a minor planet in my honor.

Encyclopedia Britannica published my definition of “macroinvertebrate.”


I have developed and taught curriculua at a multitude of venues, consulted, and have been called upon to start water monitoring programs.


Tell us what the water concern in your country is!

Water scarcity affects every continent and was listed by the World Economic Forum as the largest global risk in terms of potential impact over the next decade. 2.7 billion people experience water scarcity at least one month per year, expected to grow to two-thirds of the world’s population.

From where comes your interest in water?

Age 3, sailing, walking streams, peeking under rocks; life surrounds water. Age 6, environmental monitoring. Age 8, walking forests with Ethnobotanist; connections between our society, plants, animals. Age 10, gathering data, speaking at meetings, protecting wild places. Water gives life to amphibians, crustaceans, fish; to our human population as well.

This is what I think is one of the solutions for a sustainable future:

Utilization of larval Chironomid midges to monitor health of freshwater adds significant value for understanding scarce water resources, capturing cumulative effects of all stressors: nonpoint source nutrient and heavy metal pollution, temperature, dissolved oxygen, flow alteration. The method I developed increases accuracy, precision and statistical power of stream health assessment.


Ania Andersch

Programme manager +46 8 121 360 59