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Explore Wisconsin's freshwaters

Wisconsin’s fresh water lakes, streams, and groundwater are an important resource and vital to a sustainable future. Get involved in the understanding and care of our water system and explore exciting career pathways.

Faculty from four UW campuses (UW-Eau Claire, UW-Oshkosh, UW-River Falls and UW-Stout) invite you to spend a week with us exploring Wisconsin water. Join us in learning about how Wisconsin’s water system works, and how you can turn your love of the outdoors, water and science into an exciting career.

We will explore:

  • Students wading in an algae-filled body of water take a sample in wet gear
    Surface water hydrogeology in western Wisconsin
  • Biology (flora, fauna) of lakes and rivers
  • Groundwater; problems and progress
  • Invasive species in Wisconsin waters
  • Lake algal blooms
  • Freshwater and public health
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Great Lakes
  • Careers in Freshwater Science

Course Details

Day of Field Experience Activity Instructor(s), University Location
Day 1 Introduction to Wisconsin Surface Water and Groundwater System Mahoney/Vitale, UWEC Beaver Creek Reserve/Big Falls
Day 2 Biodiversity in Riverine Systems Lonzarich/Wellnitz/Mitchell/Hartnett, UWEC Canoe Trip Chippewa River
Day 3 Watershed Biogeochemistry Hayes/Gilland, UWS Lake Menomin/
Gilbert Creek
Day 4 Aquatic Invasive Species Impact on Ecological Restoration Cowart/Juneau, UWRF Kinnickinnic River
Day 5 Soil Water Management in Agricultural Landscapes Dolliver/Cowart, UWRF River Falls research site
Day 6 Introduction to Great Lakes
Green Bay**
Kleinheinz, UWO Door County
Day 7 Return to Eau Claire N/A N/A
Students collecting water samples in a stream on campus

Eligibility and Application Information

Dates: June 12-16, 2023
Details: Course consists of six modules, starting daily in Eau Claire (8 a.m.-5 p.m.). An optional overnight trip to Door County is included.
Eligible participants: High school students between junior and senior year, looking to learn more about careers in freshwater science.
Covered expenses: All in-workshop transportation, lodging, and meals plus a stipend are paid for by the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin
Application deadline: May 15, 2023
Credit: There is an option to obtain two (2) college credits for this course.

If interested in this program, please email Sarah Vitale at with the following materials attached:

  • A letter of interest
  • A letter of support from a high school teacher
  • A completed program information packet with parent/guardian signature

After these materials are received, if you are tentatively accepted into the program, Admissions will reach out with your next steps.

  • Program Application Packet
  • Program Instructors

    Meet the UWEC, UWS, UWRF and UWO faculty who are instructing the Freshwater Science Summer Field Experience.

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