Assistant Professor of Biology
Leslie Rieck is an aquatic ecologist focusing on the interactive effects of urbanization, stream hydrogeomorphic characteristics and processes, and ecological structure and function. She investigates how hydrogeomorphic mechanisms (alterations of flow and physical channel form) influence ecological impairment in urban streams, with the goal of better informing effective stream conservation and restoration activities. This has included studies of how physical alterations in stream form and habitat impact fish assemblage structure (e.g., abundance, diversity) and food-web properties (e.g., food chain length, basal resource use). Her approach to research is heavily interdisciplinary, integrating components of geology, hydrology, ecological engineering, and terrestrial and aquatic ecology.
She is currently working with the Lycoming College Clean Water Institute to develop more effective and efficient stormwater management practices for municipalities lying along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. Through collaboration with public and private agencies, this work will look at the integration of physicochemical as well as ecological concepts to develop resilient, self-maintaining management strategies. In addition, the work will contribute to the continuing development of a strong aquatic science curriculum.
Rieck has participated in international conferences (e.g., Society for Freshwater Science Annual Meetings, Joint Aquatic Sciences Meetings) as well as smaller, more intensely interactive Symposia on Urbanization and Stream Ecology (SUSE). She has also developed working relationships with several public and private agencies.
Rieck has pursued a diversity of teaching opportunities, including participating in a Graduate Teaching Fellows program during her graduate work to advance her own teaching skills while improving the quality of the graduate teaching experience for other students. She has assisted in teaching general ecology courses as well as upper-level courses focusing on topics in which she does not specialize, but that provide greater understanding of ecological concepts (e.g., Silviculture). She has also assistant-taught methods-based courses to students with a variety of post-graduation goals (e.g., spatial information and GIS) and courses focused on the development of written and oral communication skills in the environmental sciences. She has also frequently assistant-taught aquatic science courses (e.g., Stream Ecology) and assisted in Methods in Aquatic Ecology as well as a variety of ecological engineering courses. At Lycoming, she looks forward to teaching or aiding in a wide range of courses, including practicums and internships. The development of an upper-level course emphasizing the importance and use of abiotic characteristics in environmental science in a variety of ecosystems, integrating interdisciplinary concepts and active research work, is also a major teaching goal while at Lycoming.
2010-2016: Graduate Teaching/Research Associate, The Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources
2013: The Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources, Graduate Teaching Fellow
2010: The Ohio State University Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences Graduate Research Fellowship Recipient
Memberships in Professional Societies:
Ecological Society of America
Society for Freshwater Science