Hello and welcome. I’m Megan Olson Hunt, an Assistant Professor of Statistics in the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences (Mathematics Unit) at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. In the spring of 2014, I graduated with my PhD in biostatistics from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to that, I earned two Bachelor’s degrees from Winona State University in Minnesota, spanning the areas of mathematics, secondary mathematics education, psychology and statistics. During undergrad, I had a great math summer research opportunity that took me to Rutgers and Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. For two years after undergrad, I taught math at high schools in New Zealand (Rotorua and Auckland for those of you in the know). I’m originally from Eau Claire, WI and am glad to be back amongst the midwest lakes!
My dissertation covered theoretical issues with missing discrete data, which I’m still working on at present. I’ve also developed a variation of sparse partial least squares (SPLS), which is a variable-selection tool for high-dimensional problems (often found in neuroscience, genetics, etc.). In the applied realm, I enjoy working on environmental studies, as I have a personal interest in ecology/conservation/sustainability. I also provide data analysis for a range of other researchers, including epidemiologists, physical therapists, psychologists and computer scientists.
When I’m not “professing,” I love volunteering at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, where I can get my hands dirty and interact with animals I otherwise never would: woodchucks, bats, skunks, opossums, various birds of prey, snakes and cute baby squirrels and birds. I’m also a member of the Board of Directors for New Leaf Market, which is a food co-op we hope to open in the Green Bay area within the next two years! While in Pittsburgh, I volunteered for five years for Steel City Greyhounds, which places retired racing greyhounds into homes. One of my retired girls, Paws, is in the photo above (she’d like some of my ice cream).
In case I was worried about having too much free time, I keep more than busy with our three dogs (two retired racing greyhounds, Paws and Justine, and a black and tan coonhound/weimaraner mix, Buzz), three chickens (Pickles, Turnip and Sweet Pea), two rats (Bing and Wink), almost-100-year-old house, rock climbing, camping, hiking, gardening, cooking, water skiing, sustainability efforts, snowboarding, reading, tennis and photography.
At UWGB, I love teaching applied and theoretical statistics courses of all levels and working with other faculty on interesting projects important to the Green Bay area. I’m particularly concerned with water health given the history of this region and my preoccupation with being on/in/near water (which should be quite apparent from my cover photos, all of which I’ve taken in either Wisconsin, New Zealand or California). I’m excited about sustainability initiatives in/around Green Bay and being a part of the broadening awareness and activism.
- Dr. Olson Hunt