Provides leadership in the development and execution of research, education and engagement programs and events for DWFI, established in 2010, and the Rural Futures Institute, established in 2012, both at the University of Nebraska. Through this joint appointment she is able to share best practices and lessons learned to the benefit of both institutes. Herpel also assists the NWC as a liaison between the University of Nebraska’s water faculty and the Nebraska Legislature, Natural Resources Districts and other water resources decision-makers across the state, as well as coordinating NU’s Water Resources Advisory Panel.
Herpel returned to NU after ten years as the community programs director for the Lincoln-based Groundwater Foundation. Projects focused on source water protection, water policy education, private wells, proper disposal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products, and waterborne pathogens. Between 1999 and 2006 Herpel facilitated over 100 source water protection workshops in 32 U.S. states.
Herpel earned a B.A. in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she specialized in environmental planning and water quality issues.