Lake Mendota, favorite site for UW-Madison water scholars since the late 1800s. Today, the scope and diversity of research extend far beyond this shore!

Recent News

Freshwater@UW launches!

Freshwater@UW Summer Research Scholars arrived at UW-Madison May 28 for three days of orientation before heading off to conduct research under the mentorship of faculty, staff and graduate students. The 35 students hailed from 37 universities in Wisconsin and around the country. 

But first, a weeklong orientation, where they learned about water research in Wisconsin and spent time together– working to lay a solid a foundation on which to build a strong and supportive network of water research peers.

The week kicked off with a speaker’s event– and who better to give an introductory talk in to Lake and River ecology than Dr. Grace Wilkinson of UW-Madison’s Center for Limnology, and Dr. Kathi Jo Jankowski from the USGS? They also learned about the Freshwater Collaborative, and their place in the bigger picture of water research from Dr. Marissa Jablonski and Dr. Alison Mikulyuk.

Later, the students stretched into interdisciplinarity with a water-themed tour of the Chazen Art Museum. They also learned about the First Nations of Wisconsin—thanks to the First Nations Cultural Landscape Tour, which  provided place-based introduction into the 14,000+ years of human history along the shores of Lake Mendota.

The next day was all about watersheds (everything flows downstream!), including four different locations in the Madison area that highlight challenges facing the Yahara Watershed. They visited a Dane County Discovery Farm site to learn about soil health and farmer-led councils; they helped out with invasive species control in the Lakeshore Reserve on campus; they visited a “sand boil” at Franklin springs and wrapped up the day with sampling and scope work from the Center for Limnology’s Lake Mendota dock.


Students capped off orientation on their last day with more hands-on activities—this time at the UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences. They kayaked in the Milwaukee Harbor, conducted lab work in the fish labs, and took a research trip on the R/V Neeskay.


The students will present their research on Aug. 1 at the Summer Research Symposium at UW-Madison. Funding for the Freshwater@UW Summer Research Opportunities Program is provided by the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Sea Grant, the UW Water Resources Institute, Water@UW-Madison, and the UW-Madison graduate school.


More about the program.

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