2019 Spring Symposium

Event Overview

Over 200 members of the Wisconsin water community gathered on Tuesday, May 7th, 2019 for the largest yet Water@UW-Madison Spring Symposium. This year’s annual event reflected a theme of “Water and the Wisconsin Idea” and featured welcome messages from Chancellor Rebecca Blank as well as Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. Over 20 speed talks by experts at UW-Madison, UW-Extension, and other partners were grouped into four sessions throughout the morning:  Safe Drinking Water, Water and Environmental Change, Water Policy and Justice, and Water and Wisconsin Life. Each session began with a talk by a leader at a state agency or NGO. Additional highlights of the half-day event included networking breaks and artwork from the Under the Surface photography exhibit as well as Sarah FitzSimons’ Water Book project.

See below for:   Event Details   |   Presentations   |   Additional Photos


Click here for a link to the final schedule as a pdf.

Session 1 – Safe Drinking Water

Click here for slides featuring:

  • Kerry Schumann | Executive Director, Wisconsin Conservation Voters | Overview of Wisconsin Drinking Water Problems
  • Ken Bradbury | State Geologist and Director, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey | Growing Crops versus Growing Houses: Impacts on Groundwater Quality Beneath a Rural Subdivision
  • Matthew Ginder-Vogel | Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering | Trends in Wisconsin Groundwater Radium Concentration
  • Joe Grande | Water Quality Manager, Madison Water Utility | PFAS Testing: The Need for Standardization
  • Michael Olson | Program Director, National Atmospheric Deposition Program | Advancing the Understanding of Atmospheric Deposition Chemistry and Impacts Locally, Nationally, and Globally
  • Mark Borchardt | Research Microbiologist, USDA – Agricultural Research Service | Land Use and Risk of Private Well Contamination in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin

Session 2 – Water and Environmental Change

Click here for slides featuring:

  • Todd Ambs | Assistant Deputy Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources | Year of Clean Drinking Water
  • Hilary Dugan | Assistant Professor, Department of Integrative Biology | Fresh Water is the Best Water
  • Matthew Ruark | Associate Professor, Department of Soil Science and UW-Extension | Discovery Farms, the Wisconsin Idea, and 125 Site-Years of Edge-of-Field Runoff
  • Daniel Wright | Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering | Flood Resiliency Lessons From a Wet Hot Wisconsin Summer
  • Jeanne Scherer | Outreach Specialist, Aquatic Invasive Species Program, UW-Extension | The Wisconsin Aquatic Invasive Species Partnership
  • Jordan Read | Chief, Data Science Branch, Water Resources Mission Area, USGS | Wisconsin Lakes in a Warmer Future

Session 3 – Water Policy and Justice

Click here for slides featuring:

  • Kimberlee Wright | Executive Director, Midwest Environmental Advocates | The Role of the Public in Effective Water Policy
  • Leah Horowitz | Assistant Professor, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and School of Human Ecology | Water Justice: Indigenous People’s Engagements with Industry, from New Caledonia to the U.S. Midwest
  • Paul McGinley | Director, Center for Watershed Science and Education, UW-Extension | Learning from the Geochemistry of the Water in Private Wells
  • Ken Genskow | Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture | Extension Engagement in Water Equity
  • Adena Rissman | Associate Professor, Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, UW-Madison | Adaptations to Extreme Storms by County Conservationists

Session 4 – Water and Wisconsin Life

Click here for slides featuring:

  • Anne Sayers | Deputy Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Tourism | Wisconsin Water as a Creativity-Inspiring, Culture-Defining, Economic-Driving Niche Offering
  • Karen McShane-Hellenbrand | Faculty Associate, Department of Dance | Dance in Action: Site-Specific Dance Performance Raising Awareness Through Artistic Activism and Environmental Education
  • Caroline Gottschalk Drushke | Assistant Professor, Department of English | Living with Floods: Blending Research, Teaching, and Community Engagement to Build Resilient Futures
  • Dan Phaneuf | Professor, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics | Valuing the Economic Benefits of Water Quality
  • Eric Olson | Director, Lakes Program, UW-Extension | Protecting in Partnership Our Legacy of Lakes
  • Sarah FitzSimons | Assistant Professor, Department of Art | Research in the Visual Arts: Water as Material, Subject, and Metaphor
  • Ian Karl | Experiential Program Coordinator, Northwest Passage | Sadaf Nasir | Photographer and Poet | Wisconsin’s Lakes and Rivers, and Youth Mental Health