Dr. Chris Tonra
Chair, ORWRP
Associate Professor, SENR, Avian Wildlife Ecology

I am an avian ecologist that primarily studies the annual cycles and habitat ecology of migratory birds. Over the past 20 years, I have conducted research in a multitude of systems such as mangroves, riparian forest, and the Lake Erie marshes. Since I arrived at OSU in 2014, I have been teaching, conducting research, and participating in outreach at the Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetlands Research Park. This unique facility has both a history and enormous potential in advancing our understanding of emergent wetlands, rivers, bottomland forest, and associate habitats, particularly in an urban context. Our research informs stewardship of these ecosystems and our educational and outreach missions will engage multiple generations of the public and future scientists and land managers. Together with our Leadership Committee I am thrilled at the opportunity to lead this one of kind facility in furthering our mission. Please come visit us to learn more!


Krystal Pocock
Research and Outreach Coordinator, ORWRP

I am an aquatic ecologist who received my B.S. and M.S. from the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University. My research has focused on the influence of nutrients in freshwater streams, macroinvertebrate diversity indices, and behavioral differences between native and non-native species. Having worked out of the Heffner Wetland Research and Education building conducting research and teaching since 2016, I am thrilled to shift my focus towards reinventing our research and outreach program. Situated on 52-acres, the Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park is the perfect setting for environmental education and outreach activities. The variety of wetland types, habitats, and nearby Olentangy River offer the opportunity for community members, school groups, agencies, OSU students, and more to gain hands-on experience learning about wetlands, wildlife, and freshwater ecology. The facility also provides countless opportunities for research that will engage the community and inform future wetland research and management. Please contact us to schedule a tour and learn about YOUR Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park!

Not pictured: Glenn Mills, Facility Manager

Student Interns

Emma Robinson
Outreach Intern

I am a fourth-year undergraduate student studying Fisheries and Wildlife at Ohio State, with an interest in avian ecology and sensory biology. Growing up in Columbus, I’ve always been in awe of the wildlife we find living in our urban spaces. Whether walking through my neighborhood or a metropark trail, there’s always a critter that sparks my curiosity. I first came to the Olentangy River Wetlands Research Park in my first semester at Ohio State, and I was stunned to find a place so close to campus where I could foster the sense of wonder I experience in nature. Little did I know that these 52-acres would soon become my classroom, and a place where passion meets purpose. Now, I am fortunate to pursue my interests in research and science communication as an outreach intern by promoting the ORWRP mission through our social media platforms. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to keep up with the latest at the ORWRP!


Shelby Myers
Outreach Intern

I am a second-year graduate student in the professional Master of Environment and Natural Resources program at Ohio State, where I am focusing on environmental outreach with an interest in wildlife conservation. Growing up in an area surrounded by nature, I have always been interested in protecting and learning from the land around us. I first came to the Olentangy River Wetlands Research Park during the second to last semester of my undergraduate career at Ohio State, and I immediately loved it. After that first visit, I began spending more and more time at the park, both in and out of the classroom. I am so excited to continue growing my skills in outreach, scientific communication, and environmental education as an outreach intern by helping to develop new and exciting educational programs and promoting the ORWRP mission through our website. Keep an eye on our website and social media for future events and programs!


Samuel Stachler
Terrestrial Research Intern

I am a fourth year Forestry, Fisheries, and Wildlife student specializing in Forest Ecosystem Science and Management. I am currently the president of the Forestry Forum and the student chapter of Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) at Ohio State University. I am interested in studying oak restoration on post-agricultural lands. My favorite part of working at the ORWRP is helping to establish long term monitoring research to better understand the benefits of wetland restoration.




Joshua Kirchhofer
Site Management Intern

I am a second year Forestry, Fisheries, and Wildlife student specializing in Forest Ecosystem Science and Management. Working at the ORWRP is great because it feels like you are in a little oasis away from the rest of Columbus. I love walking the trails here and looking at all the trees and wildlife. My post-graduation career goal is to become a forester.


Chris Kalman
Aquatics Research Intern

I am a third year Environmental Science student and member of the Peer Leaders and Ambassadors Program in SENR. I’m keeping an open mind about what I want to do with my career, but I have a strong interest and background in aquatic ecology. I am also interested in terrestrial restoration. My favorite part about working at the wetlands is probably the variety of things to be done. We conduct work on so many different aspects of the ecosystem around the facility and beyond, so it feels like there is always something to dive into and be excited about here!