1. UW-La Crosse researchers study marsh ecosystem in oil spill scenario

    Photo of UWL graduate student Anna Hilger pulling up marsh water and sediment from La Crosse’s Myrick Marsh. The water will be mixed with crude oil for testing.

    If a train derailed, spilling crude oil into La Crosse’s Myrick Marsh, what would happen to the community? The community of microbes — that is. Microorganisms — such as bacteria — are nearly all invisible to the human eye, which makes them easy to overlook. However, their value in an ecosystem is great, says UWL […]

  2. UW-Stout students researching cyanobacteria in Red Cedar watershed

    Photo of UW-Stout LAKES REU students helping to weed a rain garden on the shores of Lake Menomin in Menomonie. The eight-week program studies issues related to cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae, in the Red Cedar watershed and how the compromised water quality affects the area.

    Naomi Albert, a UW-Stevens Point senior majoring in natural resource planning, enjoys the interdisciplinary approach LAKES REU offers to trying to solve environmental problems. Albert is one of eight college students from around the U.S. who took part in LAKES, a summer research experience for undergraduate students at University of Wisconsin-Stout. The eight-week program studies […]

  3. UW-Eau Claire student researchers study nitrate levels in area private wells

    Photo of homeowner Katie Wehling, who is eager to work with Dexter Zebro, an environmental public health major, on a study to determine how nitrates get into private wells. More than 100 samples from private wells — including Wehling’s — in Eau Claire County have been collected.

    When Katie Wehling and her family moved into their hobby farm 10 miles south of Eau Claire, they loved everything about their new home except that the nitrate levels in their water were elevated, which appears to be a common issue in their township. “With young children, we are especially concerned about our drinking water,” […]

  4. UW-La Crosse grad, USGS scientist takes aim at Great Lakes invaders

    Photo of UWL December graduate and U.S. Geological Survey Biologist Nick Schloesser who worked at USGS as an undergraduate student. He began a full-time career at USGS after his 2008 graduation and continued while earning his UWL master’s degree in biology. Through a “career pathways” position, he was able to build his master’s thesis around a project that would be important to protecting the Great Lakes ecosystem and its fisheries.

    Sea lamprey have a nasty bite. This blood-sucking parasite could kill more than 100 million pounds of Great Lakes fish annually if left unchecked, according to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. “If we didn’t have controls, we wouldn’t have a fishery to speak of — recreational, commercial or tribal,” says Marc Gaden, communications director for the […]

  5. UW-Madison graduate student studies how green spaces in cities help control floods, store carbon

    Photo of UW-Madison graduate student Carly Ziter conducting field work in a restored urban prairie in Turville Point Conservation Park in Madison. Photo by Eric Perdersen

    For many ecologists, fieldwork involves majestic mountains or rushing rivers or large tracts of wilderness. At the very least, it means exploring natural areas that aren’t defined by human development. But for Carly Ziter, a research site can be a lot closer to home. In fact, it can be right out your back door. In […]

  6. UW-La Crosse collaborates with startup company at the frontiers of sustainable agriculture

    Photo of Superior Fresh, which about a dozen UWL faculty toured last summer and some have already started working on projects for the cutting-edge company. The startup in Northfield, Wisconsin, sits on a 720-acre native restoration property. Photo courtesy of Superior Fresh.

    UWL students are getting a hand on the future of food growing. In a biology lab, students spent fall semester nurturing lettuce leaves from seedlings in dishes of water. Biology faculty Anita Baines and Tom Volk led the class in figuring out whether an additive in the growing process was worthwhile. Their research would help answer questions […]

  7. UW-Milwaukee geologists uncover Antarctica’s fossil forests

    Photo of Erik Gulbranson, paleoecologist and visiting assistant professor at UWM, studying some of the fossilized trees he brought back from Antarctica. Gulbranson is returning there for further research this year. (UWM Photo/Troye Fox)

    During Antarctica’s summer, from late November through January, UW-Milwaukee geologists Erik Gulbranson and John Isbell climbed the McIntyre Promontory’s frozen slopes in the Transantarctic Mountains. High above the ice fields, they combed the mountain’s gray rocks for fossils from the continent’s green, forested past. By the trip’s end, the geologists had found fossil fragments of […]

  8. UW-Superior’s Lake Superior Research Institute launches new major project to prevent spread of invasive species

    The Lake Superior Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Superior has launched the Great Waters Research Collaborative. Research will focus on preventing introductions and spread of invasive species by ships.

    The UW-Superior Lake Superior Research Institute (LSRI) announced the launch of its Great Waters Research Collaborative (GWRC), a major project devoted to assessing effectiveness of tools for sustainable industrial, commercial and public use of the nation’s Great Waters, especially green shipping. The project’s immediate focus is assessing the effectiveness of ballast water management systems (BWMS) at preventing […]

  9. UW-Madison students in Houston to aid post-Harvey mosquito control

    Photo of Melissa Farquhar (left) and Erin McGlynn, UW–Madison professional students, standing outside the Clarke mobile entomology lab, where they are working to identify mosquitoes to assist mosquito-control efforts following Hurricane Harvey. (Photos courtesy Erin McGlynn and Melissa Farquhar)

    As the floodwaters recede in Houston following Hurricane Harvey, millions of mosquitoes have emerged to blanket southeastern Texas, hampering recovery efforts and raising public health concerns about mosquito-borne diseases. To assist ongoing mosquito-control efforts, two University of Wisconsin–Madison students, Melissa Farquhar and Erin McGlynn, have flown to Texas to help trap and identify mosquitoes. Part […]

  10. Students in UW-Stout LAKES program present research in Menomonie, Chetek

    Photo of UW-Stout biology instructor Arthur Kneeland, left, working with LAKES REU students Elise Martinez, center, and Sarah Mack in a university lab. They are growing corn and other plants in sediment taken from a local waterway.

    Menomonie, Wis. — New studies on the Red Cedar River watershed, including Lake Menomin, Tainter Lake and the Chetek chain of lakes, were presented in forums in Menomonie and Chetek in early August. Thirteen university students from around the U.S. explained their summer research to the public at the Raw Deal restaurant in Menomonie and […]