Our Team

Ron Reimink, Owner

Freshwater Solutions, LLC

Ron began working on parasites responsible for causing swimmer's itch in 1977 under the mentorship of Dr. Harvey Blankespoor at Hope College. In 1983 he and Harvey began 25 years of summer fieldwork, a partnership focused on education, research, and control of swimmer's itch on lakes in Wisconsin, Maine, and Michigan. Ron was a professional high school biology educator from 1983-2015, directed a Summer Science Institute in the Rocky Mountains, taught at the American Wilderness Leadership School in Jackson, Wyoming and has served in many other leadership roles. He mentors college students as a member of the Hope College Campus Ministries Team during the academic year while focusing all of his attention on innovative swimmer’s itch strategies during the spring and summer months..

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Kelsey Froelich- Teacher; Field Biologist

Kelsey grew up spending her summers on various lakes in northern Michigan, often assisting her dad (Ron) working on various aspects of swimmer's itch education, research, and control. Through these experiences she developed a love for biology, leading her to Hope College where she doubled majored in biology and kinesiology along with teacher certification. While at Hope, Kelsey conducted research in ecology (Costa Rica) and early childhood motor skill development. She began her teaching career teaching secondary science in Holyoke, CO in 2011. She then accepted a job in St. Joseph, MI teaching Biology and AP Biology (2013-present).

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Sydney Rudko- PhD Student;

University of Alberta

 

Sydney is a PhD student in the School of Public Health, department of Environmental Health at the University of Alberta under the supervision of Dr. Patrick Hanington. She started her graduate program in April 2014 after receiving her BSc. from the University of Alberta with a specialization in Honors Immunology and Infection. 

Sydney’s thesis project revolves around the development of mobile diagnostic tests to quantify helminthic worm parasites in recreational water. Besides her work in Alberta, Sydney collaborates with Freshwater Solutions to provide test validation and lab-based expertise.  Sydney is currently funded by a CIHR-CGSM award, and a Queen Elizabeth II award. 

 

Dr. Patrick Hannington- Assistant Professor; University of Alberta

Patrick is a parasitologist and molecular biologist who has been working with qPCR in a variety of applications for 14 years. He has worked in Canada, the US, and Ghana on snail-transmitted parasites. He and his research team at the University of Alberta focus on the development of qPCR -based methodologies for quantifying biological hazards, such as the parasites found in ambient recreational waters that cause swimmer’s itch. Patrick continues to lead research on swimmer’s itch in his home province of Alberta, and supports integration of advanced monitoring tools such as qPCR, with community education and engagement. He maintains a swimmer’s itch focused website, targeted at translating current knowledge related to swimmer’s itch back to the community.

 
 

Chris Froelich- Teacher; Field Assistant

Chris grew up on Lake Michigan, in Stevensville, MI. He attended St. Joseph’s College where he played football and completed his degree in Education and Exercise Physiology. Chris began his teaching career in Rensselaer, IN in 2006. In 2008 he accepted a position at Buchanan Middle School, MI (2008-present). Chris has also been coaching soccer, football and wrestling at St. Joseph High School for the last 8 years. Chris has been working with all aspects of swimmer's itch research, education and control since the summer of 2015.