University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

School of Freshwater Sciences

The Great Lakes Consortium for Oceans and Human Health Graduate Training Program

ohhi01The Laurentian Great Lakes contain nearly 20% of the Earth’s fresh surface water and provide drinking water to nearly 40 million people. Despite their size, they are sensitive to urbanization and the subsequent rapid deterioration brought on by pollution and human alterations. Restoration and stewardship of the Great Lakes will require sound science to inform policy and management decisions. 

The Great Lakes Consortium for Oceans and Human Health (OHH) Graduate Training Program will produce the next generation of OHH scientists specifically trained to address basic and applied research questions on freshwater systems and will generate relevant knowledge and tools that will contribute to public health, water resource management and policy.


Graduate mentors for the program are part of a consortium of faculty and scientists from the School of Freshwater Science and College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, and the College of Engineering and Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Students will be engaged in multidisciplinary/multi-investigator projects that have grown from OHH research conducted by the consortium’s principal investigators and NOAA scientists at the OHH Centers of Excellence located at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory and the Pacific Northwest Fisheries Science Center

The training program is for doctoral students and consists of formal courses taken at either UW-Milwaukee or UW-Madison campuses as part of their graduate curriculum; research training for thesis projects; consortium-wide group activities; and internships with organizations involved in setting policy and developing management strategies.

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Research areas of the faculty are broad and encompass anthropogenic impacts on aquatic systems such as emerging contaminants, pathogens and consequences of climate change; physical and ecological modeling; and sentinel aquatic organisms to assess and predict ecosystem health. Projects include modeling hydrodynamics and sediment movement, molecular based detection strategies, gene expression studies in aquatic organisms, and ecological assessments. These studies offer a view of human impacts on the ecosystem and the resultant negative consequences for humans. Marine technology and global genomics are major experimental platforms with which these problems are investigated (i.e. field and laboratory based), and are unique strengths of the consortium researchers.

Participating Faculty:

School of Freshwater Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Sandra L. McLellan, Associate Professor

Rebecca D. Klaper,Associate Professor

Michael J. Carvan, Associate Professor

J. Val Klump, Professor

James T. Waples, Associate Scientist

Department of Civil Engineering and Mechanics, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Hector R. Bravo, Associate Professor

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Katherine D. McMahon, Associate Professor

Chin H. Wu, Professor

Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Jonathan A. Patz, Professor

Other Institutional Partners:

Center of Excellence for Great Lakes and Human Health, NOAA/Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

David Schwab, Senior Scientist

Gary Fahnenstiel, Senior Scientist