Riparian Community (acrylic on canvas, 20”x24”) aims to communicate how the diverse community of Water Action Volunteers works to study and protect Wisconsin stream communities. This is done with small but purposeful details. The water tower suggests that this scene does not occur in the middle of the wilderness; rather, in our own towns and backyards. The water volunteers are a variety of backgrounds and ages and utilize a variety of tools and methods. With the animals, a range of species: the sandhill cranes, icons of Wisconsin wildlife, are perhaps first to be spotted. However, with a closer look, one can spot a swimming queen snake, deer in the brush, a giant water bug surfacing for air, a goldfinch perched in a tree, or a rusty crayfish in a child’s hand. Jensen hopes that this work displays both the beauty of stream biodiversity and the collaborative and inclusive nature of citizen science.


Marie Jensen is a senior majoring in Conservation Biology and Zoology with certificates in Public Policy and Environmental Studies. For most of her life, Marie has been a musician and a hobby artist. Participating in the Flow Project was a fantastic opportunity to combine her passions. After graduating, she hopes to continue combining science-communication and the arts to make science more accessible to every member of the public.

ABOUT THE Water Partner

Water Action Volunteers (WAV) is a UW-Madison Extension volunteer stream monitoring program that engages people across Wisconsin to collect water quality data on their local streams. For the past 25 years, WAV has helped preserve, protect and restore the state’s flowing waters by collecting high-quality stream data that’s useful for decision-making and natural resource management. WAV staff support a statewide network of 40 partner organizations who in turn support over 500 volunteers who monitor nearly 400 stream sites in 44 counties. Volunteers collect local stream data six times a year (May – October), which is then combined with professionally collected data in a centralized Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources database to inform watershed management efforts. Visit our website to learn more or become a volunteer.