People

Schmidt Group (L-R): Agustin Olivo, Eric Henning, Amy Schmidt, Amber Patterson, Andrea Harris, Mara Zelt and Jake Richardson. (Photo taken December 2019)



Team Leader

Amy Schmidt

Amy Schmidt, Ph.D., P.E.

Associate Professor
Biological Systems Engineering & Animal Science
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
213 L. W. Chase Hall
P.O. Box 830726
Lincoln, NE 68583-0726
402-472-0877
aschmidt@unl.edu

Having grown up in rural Iowa, Dr. Schmidt appreciates the agricultural production systems that feed people worldwide and chose her career path to support responsible livestock production by helping farmers adopt research-based practices that optimize agronomic productivity and minimize potential environmental and social risks. Keeping up with two active kids, her husband, and their family dog is her other full-time job! She spends a lot of evenings and weekends cheering on her kids at baseball and softball games, about as much time scrubbing dirt and grass stains out of white baseball pants, and not nearly enough time sleeping.

Lab Members

Amber Patterson

Amber Patterson

Extension Assistant for Media and Design
apatterson@unl.edu

Amber has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a background in graphic design. Originally from Florida, she has lived in Lincoln, NE for eight years and absolutely loves it! She's worked with the Schmidt Lab for seven years and enjoys finding new and exciting ways to share the incredible work the lab does with the public. When Amber is not working she is snuggling her Chiweenie while reading a book.

Mara Zelt

Mara Zelt

Research Technologist and Extension Assistant for the iAMResponsible Project
mzelt2@unl.edu

Mara is a native Nebraskan, attended UNL for her undergraduate and master's work, and is currently serving as the Schmidt Research Group's resident helperbot, lab manager and project manager for the nationwide extension and outreach project focused on antimicrobial resistance (iAMResponsible) which is being direct by Dr. Schmidt. Mara is an avid podcast listener, reader, and a fierce board game competitor -- if you block her bid for longest road, you will be hunted.

Current Graduate Students

Karla Melgar

Karla Melgar

MS - Mechanized Systems Management
kmelgar2@huskers.unl.edu

Karla was born in El Salvador and moved to Honduras to get her bachelor’s degree in Environmental and Development Engineering at Zamorano University. Following graduation, she then spent 12 months working on improving nutrient management in hog farms in Missouri and decided to pursuit a career in soil and water nutrient management. Karla is a master’s student in Mechanized Systems Management with a specialization in Water Resources Management and Planning. She is interested in reducing the negative impacts of agriculture on natural resources and is doing her research as a part of the “Transforming Manure and Cedar Mulch form ‘Waste’ to ‘Worth’” project. Karla enjoys cooking and discovering new recipes, being outdoors, bird watching or just observing any type of wildlife.

Juan Carlos Ramos Tanchez

Juan Carlos Ramos Tanchez

MS - Mechanized Systems Management
jramostanchez2@huskers.unl.edu

Juan Carlos was born and raised in San Marcos, a town in the western mountains of Guatemala. He recivied his B.Sc. in Environment and Development from Zamorano University, in Honduras. After a 12 months internship working on animal wastewater management in Missouri, he started his Master degree in Mechanized Systems Management with a specialization in Water Resources Management and Planning in UNL. His graduate research is a part of the project "Water and Nutrient Recycling: A Decision Tool and Synergistic Innovative Technology" under Dr. Amy Schmidt and Dr. Rick Stowell's direction. Juan Carlos is an amateur photographer, soccer fan and MMA enthusiast.

Nancy Sibo

Nancy Sibo

Ph.D- Natural Resources
knancy.sibo@gmail.com

Nancy Sibo holds a Master of Science degree in Global Health Delivery form the University of Global Health Equity. She graduated with a bachelor of science in Animal Production from the University of Rwanda. After the completion of her undergraduate studies, Nancy joined Global Health Corps, where she worked as Food Security and Livelihoods Program in charge of designing a strategic roadmap of community nutrition interventions areas aligned to the National Food and Nutrition Policy. Nancy’s area of research has covered a wide range of topics including the use of Non-Protein Nitrogen to cattle that look at achieving food and nutrition security today and poultry farming best practices for sustainable productivity of small scale farming. Nancy is now a graduate student in Natural Resources, her project will focus on the mitigation of Antimicrobial Resistance in the cattle food chain.

María José Oviedo Ventura

María José Oviedo Ventura

MS - Mechanized Systems Management
moviedoventura2@unl.edu

María José was born in El Salvador and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science and Development from Zamorano University, in Honduras. After the completion of her undergraduate studies, María José worked in different areas of environmental education, agri-environmental regulatory frameworks and on monitoring projects focused on promoting sustainable agriculture and improve the resilience of households whose livelihoods depends on agriculture. She is currently a master’s student at UNL in the Dept. of Biological Systems Engineering, working towards a degree in Mechanized Systems Management with a specialization in Water Resources Management and Planning. She is interested in researching how different agricultural practices can improve ecological systems capacity. María José enjoys playing volleyball, doing activities outdoors and reading a nice book.

Current Undergraduate Students

Bella Breinig

Bella Breinig

Advertising and Public Relations
Expected Graduation: 2021



Andrew Lutt

Andrew Lutt

Agricultural Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2022

Andrew is from Battle Creek, a small town in Northeast Nebraska. He is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Agriculture Engineering. Andrew is also a part of the Quarter Scale Team and is also an Engineering Ambassador. In his spare time, he enjoys sports, camping, boating, and hanging out with friends. Andrew loves to learn about how things work, and hopes to make an impact in the field of agriculture.

Seth Caines

Seth Caines

Biological Systems Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2023

Seth Caines is from Hanover Park, Illinois and attended Lake Park High School. Some hobbies of his include thrifting, biking, and hiking. After college, Seth plans on working in Environmental Engineering and has interests in ecological engineering, bioremediation, and habitat restoration. At UNL, Seth is a Teaching Assistant for ENGR 100 and is a part of the McNair Scholars Program.

Jacob Stover

Jacob Stover

Agricultural Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2023

Jacob is from Gretna, Nebraska. He is pursuing Agricultural Engineering with hopes of working with irrigation systems, sensors, or natural resource management. Jacob has always loved the outdoors, and his favorite hobbies are playing guitar, hiking, fishing, and pretty much anything that brings him into nature. Jacob is involved in Campus Crusades for Christ (Cru) and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineers (ASABE).

Andrew Ortiz Balsero

Andrew Ortiz Balsero

Biological Processes Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2021

Alumni

Graduate Students

  • Agustin Olivo , MS Mechanized Systems Management, currently pursuing a PhD at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • Mara Zelt , MS Agricultural and Biological Engineering, currently employed at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
  • Erin (Stevens) Boyles , MS Animal Science, currently employed at Zoetis, Lincoln, NE
  • Linda Schott, PhD. Biological Engineering, Assistant Professor, University of Idaho, Twin Falls, ID
  • Mitch Goedeken, MS Agricultural and Biological Engineering, currently employed at Amec Foster Wheeler, Wichita, KS
  • Scott Speicher, MS Environmental Engineering, currently employed at Felsburg Holt & Ullevig, Lincoln, NE
  • Nicole (Schuster) Leonard, MS Agricultural and Biological Engineering, currently employed at Olson Associates., Grand Island, NE

Undergraduate Students

  • Elise Gamble, (2019-2020) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Expected Graduation: 2022
  • Trevor Kalson, (2019-2020) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Expected Graduation: 2022
  • Jake Richardson, (2019-2020) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Graduation: 2020
  • Eric Henning, (2018-2020) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Graduation: 2020
  • Andrea Harris, (2018-2020) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Graduation: 2020
  • Garret Isom, (2019) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Expected Graduation: 2023
  • Abby Steffen, (2018-2019) Major: Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communication, Graduation: 2019
  • Zach Trout, (2018-2019) Major: Plant Biology, Graduation: 2019
  • Autumn Dunn, (2018) Major: Environmental Restoration, Graduation: 2018
  • Katherine Mundorf, (2017) Major: Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communication, Graduation: 2017
  • Colton Hintz, (2017) Major: Mechanized Systems Management, Graduation: 2018
  • Mara Zelt, (2016-2017) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Graduation: 2017
  • Bethany Brittenham, (2015) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Graduation: 2015
  • Ashley (Schmit) Dierks, (2015-2017) Major: Animal Science, Graduation: 2017
  • Julia Frank, (2015) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Graduation: 2015
  • Troy Nelson, (2015) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Graduation: 2018
  • Jared Korth, (2014-2016) Major: Mechanized Systems Management, Graduation: 2016
  • Ethan Doyle, (2014) Major: Animal Science, Graduation: 2016