Hello and welcome – I’m Megan Olson Hunt, an Assistant Professor of Statistics in the Mathematics and Statistics Unit at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. In 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. While at Winona, I participated in a summer math Research Experience for Undergraduates 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 involved theoretical issues with missing discrete data, which I still work on at present. I 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 studies involving environmental issues (air pollution, soil quality, species diversity, etc.), as I have personal interest in ecology/conservation/sustainability. I also provide data analysis for a broad range of other researchers, including epidemiologists, physical therapists, geologists, human biologists, psychologists, and computer scientists, amongst others.
Outside of work, I enjoy volunteering at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, where I can get my hands dirty and interact with amazing animals like woodchucks, bats, skunks, porcupines, birds of prey, snakes, and cute baby squirrels and rabbits. I also served for three years as the Secretary of the Board of Directors for New Leaf Market, a food co-op we hoped to open in the Green Bay area. While in Pittsburgh, I volunteered for five years with Steel City Greyhounds, an amazing organization that places retired racing greyhounds into homes. One of the sweet girls we adopted, Paws, is in the photo above (wanting some of my ice cream :)).
In my “free time,” I keep more than busy with our pets, which currently include Pip (a rescue chihuahua), Manny (a rescue Boston Terrier mix), and three chickens (Speckles, Gracie, and Dottie); our almost-100-year-old house; rock climbing; camping; hiking; gardening; teaching myself piano; cooking; water skiing; photography; sustainability efforts; snowboarding; and reading.
At UWGB, I enjoy teaching theoretical and applied statistics courses of all levels, and working with other faculty on interesting projects important to the Green Bay area. I’m especially excited about the evolving sustainability initiatives around Green Bay, and being a part of this broadening awareness and activism.
– Dr. Olson Hunt