BROOKINGS, S.D. — The SDSU Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering welcomed four faculty and staff members during the fall 2021 semester. Those welcomed include:
- Brian Langum, Precision Agriculture Machinery Research Coordinator
- Kristen Almen, Water Resources Research and Outreach Assistant
- Kristin Stuckey, Program Coordinator and Advisor
- Matthew Sanders, Temporary Mesonet Technician
In 1986 Langum received a bachelor’s degree in mechanized agriculture from SDSU. Prior to returning to SDSU, Langum was a Service Technician for two and a half years with Perkins Manufacturing in Chicago, Illinois and a Project Analyst with Kohler Co in Kohler, Wisconsin for over 30 years.
In his role, Langum supports the needs of students and faculty in the department. He is responsible for metal fabrication, repairing department equipment, procuring equipment for class and labs, and keeping the shop supplied with tools and hardware. Langum also provides safety training for student employees.
Langum looks forward to working with the same department that he graduated from 35 years ago.
“It is such an honor to be involved with getting the new Raven Precision Agriculture Center operational,” Langum said.
Almen received a bachelor’s in biological sciences and environmental science from North Dakota State University. In 2020 she received a master’s in environmental and conservation sciences from NDSU.
In her role as the Water Resources Research and Outreach Assistant, Almen works with SDSU Extension to create materials for outreach events. She also collects tile drainage water samples, coordinates the Willow Creek project and other fieldwork activities.
Almen is looking forward to the opportunities for growth at SDSU. “There are many opportunities at SDSU for conducting impactful research and learning from stakeholders,” Almen said.
Stuckey received a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies emphasis in psychology and education in 2020. In December of 2021, she received her master’s in administration and student affairs. Prior to entering her role at SDSU, Stuckey was an instructor at Lake Area Technical College for six years.
In her role as advisor, Stuckey assists students in the department throughout their time at SDSU. She works with students in the department to identify their academic and career plans. She also assists students regarding academic requirements, class selection as well as academic policies and procedures. Stuckey helps students access resources on campus such as the Financial Aid Office and Student Health and Counseling Services.
“I come from a family of Jackrabbits, so yellow and blue is in my blood,” said Stuckey. “I love the community and the values SDSU instills in its students and employees.”
Sanders attained a bachelor’s degree in geoscience and chemistry from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York. In 2019 he graduated with a master’s degree in applied meteorology from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. After graduate school, Sanders worked as an Outdoor Educator, leading interpretive hikes and nature-based camps in and around Glacier National Park.
In his new role, Sanders supports the upgrades and expansion of the Mesonet network across the state. He also performs quality control checks on the data coming in from the stations and takes care of any maintenance at the sites.
“One of the goals of this Mesonet network upgrade is to improve forecasts of floods and drought in South Dakota, and I am excited that SDSU is at the forefront of this work,” Sanders said.
— SDSU Extension