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Who We Are

Our Team:

Erik Wardle

Erik Wardle, Program Manager

Erik is the manager of the CSU Water Quality Program in the Soil and Crop Science Department. In this position he does extensive research, writing and Extension work related to agricultural water quality issues including; pesticide use, nutrient management, soil moisture monitoring, groundwater/surface water interactions, conservation tillage, and irrigation water management. He supports the development, validation, and promotion of agricultural Best Management Practices that allow chemical users to use these products appropriately while preventing the contamination of surface and groundwater in Colorado. He works closely with the agricultural community to ensure that research and outreach efforts provide practical, real world solutions to water quality issues in agriculture.

Emmanuel Deleon

Emmanuel Deleon, Research Associate


The main focus of this research role is edge of field monitoring and evaluating Best Management Practices on water quality. Using emerging technology such as 3D printing and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, real time data is collected to support the team’s research. Recent technology currently under development is the low cost water sampler and the temperature and humidity sensor. As a certified drone pilot, he uses NDVI and RGB mapping technology to assess field conditions throughout the growing season. He is passionate about sustainable agriculture because soil is the source of infinite life.  He is proud to work for a team that helps promote soil and water conservation.   If not in the lab, you will find him outdoors. He enjoys camping, mountain biking, disc golf, and paddling boarding.

Christina Welch

Christina Welch, Outreach and Research Coordinator

Through the Outreach and Research Coordinator position Christina is pursuing her passion for facilitating effective, science-based communication within the broader context of applied research. This role supports the validation of agricultural Better Management Practices to inform decision-making at the state and farm level in Colorado.  Specifically, she focuses on advancing collaborative efforts within the Agriculture Water Quality Program’s diverse network of water and agriculture stakeholders. Her interdisciplinary background includes program management, GIS mapping, natural resource mediation, grant writing, and strategic planning. She completed her joint master’s degree in Water Cooperation and Diplomacy from OSU, IHE-Delft, and UPeace.  In her spare time she enjoys camping, salsa dancing and trail running.


A.J. Brown, Research Associate


The focus of A.J.’s research role is in the areas of data analytics, soil-water-nutrient transport, irrigation management, and environmental monitoring technologies.  A.J. has extensive experience with using environmental data collected from commercial, or self-developed sensors to answer larger questions with data algorithms coupled with spatial mapping software.  He has a strong agronomic background from growing up on a farm. Managing research farm operations in the past allows him to better understand how his data can make a difference.  A.J. also has experience in outreach and community extension in agriculture, making it his mission to bridge the communication gap between farmers and researchers. He looks forward to making an impact with the AWQP team. In his off time, A.J. is usually found biking, cooking, or hitting up a local brewery.

Troy Bauder

Troy Bauder, Senior Advisor, Extension Water Quality

Troy serves as the Assistant Deputy Director of the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station (75% appointment). In this role, Troy works directly with research center managers, faculty, and staff across the state, enhancing communication between the centers and leveraging center resources and expertise to maximize our support for Colorado agriculture. Troy has extensive experience collaborating with partner agencies and advocacy groups supporting the agricultural industry and the water community. As an Extension Water Quality Specialist (25% appointment) Troy’s research and outreach focuses on environmental issues, especially in the areas of nutrient and irrigation management to prevent nonpoint pollution in irrigated agriculture; soil fertility management; and irrigation scheduling using soil moisture and evapotranspiration methodology. Troy Bauder received his B.S. degree in Agronomy and his M.S. in Soil Science from Colorado State University. He is actively involved in the family farm in northeast Colorado.

Tad Trimarco

Tad Trimarco, Research Assistant
PhD Soil and Crop Sciences

Tad is a PhD student studying the nexus between Soil Health and Water Quality as they relate to Best Management Practices in irrigated agriculture. As an analytical person and a systems thinker, he found his niche on the team and he has loved bringing his passion to the work. His research interests include water resources, soil carbon dynamics, ecosystem services, and bringing science to producers. Tad graduated from CSU in May of 2021 with a B.S. in Soil and Crop Sciences and minors in Watershed Science and Mathematics.

Contact Us

For general questions about the AWQP please email

Past Student Staff

Nik Radtke
B.S. Ecosystem Science & Sustainability

Morgan Effrein
B.S. Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

Mia Morones
B.S. Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

Ethan Gates
B.S. Watershed Science

Christina Lilligren

B.S. Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

Justin Hollis

B.S. Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

Melina Takvorian

B.S. Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

Justina Rice

B.S. Agricultural Biology

AWQP Staff: Colorado Department of Agriculture

Rob Wawrzynski, Program Manager

Karl Mauch, Groundwater Monitoring Specialist

Lucas Howard, Surface Water Monitoring Specialist

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Colorado Department of Agriculture


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