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Hoosier National Forest Hires Hydrology/Soils Staff Specialist
Updated September 15, 2016 7:10 AM | Filed under: Natural Resources
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(BEDFORD) - Chad Menke, the Hoosier National Forest's new hydrology/soils specialist, is a recent addition to the Forest staff and brings an unusual skill set to the team that manages the Forest.

Menke came to the Forest from the US Geological Survey where he had worked on flood maps, hydraulic modeling, monitoring flow and water levels. He also was involved with mapping river and lake bottoms. He noted it was all interesting work but he missed working in a biology-based science field. Menke had graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Environmental Sciences and Natural Resources and had earlier interned with Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Menke grew up in northern Indiana and went to elementary school with the Hoosier's Fish Biologist Len Kring. They have stayed friends over the years and often fished together. Kring relayed the exciting things he was working on with the Hoosier National Forest and told Menke about an opening on the Forest.

"He knew I had a strong background in the type of projects the Forest was working on and thought I would enjoy the job," said Menke. "He was right."

Menke was hired for a position which combined hydrology and soils, a job that he admits covers a huge realm of responsibilities. He has already been pulled into several projects and sees the potential to get involved in many other new things.

He noted, "I've really enjoyed being out on the Forest and learning new things." He said working on projects to improve passages for stream organisms by improving culverts, low water crossings, and removing Hickey-Martin Dam in collaboration with the Fisheries Biologist has been particularly interesting. "It just feels good to contribute to these worthwhile projects."

Menke is currently living in Greencastle, Indiana, and commuting to Bedford. He has two children. His hobbies include fishing, kayaking, and wood working.

Though his job covers the entire Forest, Menke works out of the Bedford office, and can be reached at (812) 276-4768 or

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